Between keynotes, film premieres and keeping track of secret pop-up shows, it’s easy to forget the most important — or at least my favorite — part of South By Southwest: eating. SXSW is a non-stop experience that can leave you in the dumps if you don’t treat your body well and give it more than just the free candy and alcohol promoters are peddling on the streets. The Daily Texan compiled a list of six conveniently located places to stop and refuel.
- Iron Works BBQ
- Where: 100 Red River St.
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Hanging out in the convention center? Head down the street to Iron Works BBQ and enjoy some delicious Texas barbecue. It’s a casual dining experience, where you can walk straight up to the counter — barring potential SXSW-length lines — and order food served on cafeteria trays. Don’t even think about skipping out on the sauce. Go big or go home. Sides are also crucial for a beautiful barbecue plate. The potato salad and beans are delicious, as are the pickles. Plate prices range from about $9 to $18, depending on the meat.
- Easy Tiger
- Where: 709 East Sixth St.
- Hours: Bake Shop — 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.
- Beer Garden — 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
All that partying might make you sleepy, so be sure to carb up at Easy Tiger. The bakery serves American-style baked goods, and the restaurant offers German sausages. Their house-made breads and pretzels are glorious snacks and pair well with any of the alcoholic offerings you can enjoy in the beer garden, which is open until 2 a.m. Try the $12 snack board to get a mix of all the best offerings.
- Gourdough’s Public House
- Where: 209 W. Fifth St.
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Tuesday
- 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday
Gourdough’s, which started as a donut food truck, has since expanded to include the original food truck and two brick-and-mortar locations. Gourdough’s Public House on Fifth Street offers wacky donut sandwiches topped with things such as fried chicken in addition to their eccentric dessert donuts. If you’re looking for a music-themed sugar rush, try the Fat Elvis. With peanut butter icing, grilled bananas, bacon and honey, this donut lives up to its name.
- Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
- Where: 303 Red River St.
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday
- 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday
- 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday brunch
- 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday dinner
Located just behind the convention center on Red River, Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill is a true southern experience. It’s a more formal and pricey dining experience, so don’t show up in a tattered band T-shirt and cut-off jean shorts. Entrees include chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and blackened catfish. The restaurant fills up quickly, so show up early, or make a reservation if you’ve got a late-night party to crash.
- Daily Juice
- Where: 205 W. Third St.
- Hours: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday
- 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
If all the free food and alcohol is leaving you a little sluggish, make your way to Daily Juice at Third and Lavaca streets. Serving up healthy smoothies, juices and food options, it’s the perfect grab-and-go option. Try the cosmic trigger smoothie, loaded with maca and cacao, blueberries, banana, coconut water and hemp oil.
- Whole Foods Market
- Where: 525 N. Lamar Blvd.
- Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. storewide
- 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. coffee bar
Whole Foods is another healthy and quick option and a must-see for out-of-towners. The original Whole Foods includes a hot and cold buffet, a juice bar, a gelato shop and a sushi bar. Stock up on snacks from the bulk section where you can make your own granola mix and choose from a host of dried fruits. Pick up any of their prepared food options to eat in-store or take with you for a pick-me-up after your adventures are over each day.