When in Austin, eat as Austinites do!
We have found the absolute best places to eat throughout the city of Austin when traveling with a student group, these eateries offering up excellent local foods, plenty of seating options, and/or group dining platters and specials.
Sometimes it may seem difficult to eat in Austin with student groups, most well-known eateries offering up a lively night scene and bar option, but these choices provide a delicate balance that we think makes them great for groups of all types.
Disclaimer: most of these options DO offer alcoholic beverages, but that isn't their main focus.
- Contigo is an East Austin eatery modeled after the owners' family ranch, Contigo Ranch, at which they have been entertaining guests for over 30 years. They wanted to 'bring the ranch to everyone in Austin', so they set up a restaurant with the freshest ingredients they could find. This eatery serves up favorites such as corn fritters, the Smash Burger, chicken fried steak, watermelon and tomato salad, and perhaps the all-time favorite, crispy green beans. Contigo is great for kids and groups, offering tons of space and kid-friendly options such as grilled ham and cheese, chicken strips, and more.
- Easy Tiger Bake Shop
- At Easy Tiger Bake Shop you will not only experience excellent local food but really excellent local views as well, this eatery offering a gorgeous outdoor creekside patio area. This hip hangout offers a bakery, cafe, and beer garden, serving up local coffees, artisan bread, cured meats, and much more. Try any of the delicious European style pastries, signature soft pretzels, or sausages and smoked meats. The green chili sausage, ratatouille sandwich, and french toast bites are just a few of the fan favorites here at Easy Tiger. Bonus, you can easily cater to a group dining here with the Boat and Picnic Pack with 6 sandwiches included for one price, or any of the pastry packs, bread packs, or bulk prepared coffee packs.
- Banger's Sausage House
- First opened in 2012 in the Rainey Street Entertainment District, this handcrafted sausage house is perfect for larger groups looking to sit down for a meal together, the eatery seating up to 350 guests at one time. Banger's presents a menu that is both exotic and traditional, offering up creative plays on comfort food favorites. You will eat at communal tables and enjoy regular live music here, as well as fun events such as Southern Style Brunch each Sunday. Enjoy dishes like a sharable plate of poutine, grab a brat or two, and just enjoy your time here at the eatery officially dubbed 'where you go for group dinners'.
- Iron Works Barbeque
- Your group can enjoy a 'unique piece of Texas history' as well as what has been designated the best bbq in Austin, in Texas, and even in the United States by various sources when you visit Iron Works Barbecue, an Austin must-visit! This signature bbq stop is located in a historic former iron shop in Austin, converted into the eatery it is today in 1978. Enjoy signature beef ribs, specialty sauces and spices, and plenty of group/family dining options while here. There are bbq plates, bbq by the pound, family takeouts, and sandwich plates offered here at IWB, with all the ribs, chicken, pulled pork, hot sausage, and cobblers you can handle!
- The food scene is shifting to more herbivore-friendly fare everywhere you look, and Austin is no exception. At Arlo's, your group can find late-night eats that are designed to satisfy both omnivores and herbivores, a fantastic alternative to the usual greasy late-night trailer eateries. Arlo's serves plant-based comfort food in a bistro-style setting, some favorite options here including the bac'n cheezeburger with mac, Frito pie burger, chipotle burger, and street tacos. All of these options are 100% plant-based, and they even offer tasty sides like sweet fries, tots, and chips and salsa. This is a good option for groups with slightly pickier eaters.
- 'Eat Great, Live Healthy'. That is the mindset of the owners and workers of Austin's Tacodeli, a beloved local taco eatery that serves handmade tacos with quality ingredients daily. This eatery first opened in 1999, though it had roots long before this in Mexico City, where the founder found his inspiration. You can enjoy breakfast tacos, vegetarian options, kid-friendly options, and a plethora of flavorful lunch and dinner tacos such as Shrimposito, Cowboy, Delibelly, Papadulce, and much more while here. Our favorite thing about this place is the family meal options available, with 8 to 10 tacos of your choice, an excellent option for visiting student groups.
- Amy's Ice Creams
- If there is one thing everyone in your group can agree on, it's that nothing beats a nice scoop of ice cream on a hot Texas day. That's why Amy's Ice Creams is always an excellent choice for visiting groups and locals alike, this popular creamery offering up 12 locations in Austin, as well as some in Houston and San Antonio. You will find over 350 flavors in rotation here at Amy's Ice Creams, as well as ice cream cakes, baked goods, and other edible gifts. Try classics like sweet cream, Mexican vanilla, Belgian chocolate, or coffee while here, or maybe get a bit more adventurous with choices like the Aloha, Ancho, Popcorn, PB and Honey Sandwich, or All Thai'd Up. Adults in your group will want to try the alcohol-based ice creams for a nice treat, with options such as mint julep, pickle shot, redrum, and bourbon custard.