Austin, Texas - Planes, Trains a Lunch and Brunch?
July 31, 2018 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Next week I fly into Austin at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday and catch the Texas Eagle Amtrak south at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, I get back into Austin at 9:30 a.m. and fly out at 1:30 p.m. Where is a good place between the airport and the Amtrak station to catch a late lunch and wander a bit on Wednesday? Where can I get a quick brunch on Saturday morning?

I will be Ubering and carrying a small backpack. I'm TSA pre-check so I probably don't need to be at the airport two hours before my flight home.
posted by ITravelMontana to Travel & Transportation around Austin, TX (10 answers total)
The Amtrak station is very close to the flagship Whole Foods, which has multiple "venue" eateries inside the store as well as the standard hot and cold bar/made-to-order sandwiches and salads). Across from Whole Foods is Book People, a large independent bookstore with an excellent selection (and a cafe); on the other corner is a shopping center with a nice selection of boutiques and other shops.

For food, Whole Foods would be your quickest option, and the options are all quite good. But there are lots of other options near the Amtrak station. Three I'd recommend are True Food Kitchen, The Grove, and Z Tejas. All three of these have brunch but no guarantees that it will be quick (but that's probably true for anything downtown or downtown-adjacent).

Really, downtown and South Congress are between the airport and the Amtrak station, so you won't suffer for choices. But the ones I've mentioned are walking distance to the Amtrak station, which may make things simpler than having to stop somewhere else and deal with getting a second rideshare or whatever transportation you're going to use to get between locations.
posted by devinemissk at 6:28 PM on July 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

These are all perhaps slightly cliché Austin options: All three are liable to be busy on a Saturday morning. I'd perhaps just go to one of the local taco chains: Torchy's, Tacodeli, there are a few more.
posted by hoyland at 6:31 PM on July 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also, many people seem to speak highly of the food at the airport. I think it's the barbecue, but I'm a vegetarian, so I was always somewhat underwhelmed. (There are no obvious decent brunch options that I recall.)
posted by hoyland at 6:33 PM on July 31, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks all and hoyland. I'm pretty much a must-stop for local taco chains. All we have are Taco John's Bell.

I've seen the airport options for BBQ and Tacos, but airport food is generally my last resort. It can be good or it can be . . . airport food for bland travelers.
posted by ITravelMontana at 6:49 PM on July 31, 2018

While there are good local tacos at the airport, it is airport food and the execution isn't as good as their actual locations. The exception is breakfast tacos - try the ones at Maudie's.
posted by devinemissk at 6:55 PM on July 31, 2018

24 diner and Counter cafe are both hellaciously good and both are a short walk north up lamar from the amtrack station.
posted by nikaspark at 6:59 PM on July 31, 2018 [5 favorites]

Also if you decide to go to Kerbey Lane on south Lamar you can use the Yelp App to get on their waitlist well before you arrive and save yourself a lot of time waiting at the restaurant.
posted by nikaspark at 7:04 PM on July 31, 2018 [1 favorite]

Veracruz has the town's favorite migas tacos. El Primo trailer down south also has some excellent breakfast taco, as does Pueblo Viejo. Tamale house's food isn't amaaazing but it's cheap and got mimosas and very Austin.
posted by monologish at 10:02 PM on July 31, 2018

24 Diner is great, but the wait can be crazy, BUT you can sit at the bar if you're by yourself and it'll be tons faster. Their waffles (with or without chicken) are incredible.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:26 PM on August 1, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks. I ate at Z Tehas and has some good carnitas at the Rustic Tap.

Amtrak was 3 hours late arriving in San Marcos so I ended up having to take an Uber directly to the airport on Saturday morning.
posted by ITravelMontana at 2:12 PM on August 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

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