It’s late at night in Austin, and much of the city is still wide awake!
Once the bars let out, the housemates get too loud, that test is looming, or ya just can’t shake the munchies, it’s time to get out of the house and find your niche. However, when the clock strikes midnight, the list of ideas just won’t populate in your brain!
Fear not: Aus10 is here to help. One of the many cool aspects of life in Austin is that 24/7 you can find food, drinks, and society at a number of venues unique to Austin. Not your typical Ihop, Denny’s, or Waffle House, Austin’s 24-hour fare can go from a simple cup of joe to a loaded plate of locally-made profiterole and ice cream.
Read ’em and eat, folks:
An old Austin fave, Kerbey Lane Cafe offers home-grown veggies and home-cooking, in multiple locations throughout town. A heads-up: Only the South Lamar, Guadalupe, and original Kerbey Lane on Kerbey Lane remain open 24 hours, and wait times can be fairly epic post bar-close, 2:30-3:30 a.m. Best gingerbread pancakes evah, and you wouldn’t kick the migas out of bed…
If Kerbey Lane is “Austin”, Magnolia Cafe is Leslie-air-guitaring-to-Willie-Nelson-at-Eeyore’s ”Austin”. With two locations, one on Lake Austin Boulevard and the other deep in the heart of SoCo along South Congress Avenue, Magnolia has a funky, colorful, lived-in vibe. Fare is mostly Tex-Mex and home-cooking, much like Kerbey. Unlike Kerbey, ‘Mag’ has chocolate peanut-butter pie w/whipped cream.
Buzzmill is a 24-hour coffee-shop and so much more. Offering a wide-variety of local goods, the Buzzmill is also a craft distillery, entertainment venue, and rustic beer-garden which enjoys relative seclusion for being so close to downtown. Buzzmill is lively, funky, and welcoming, with light fare inside, and the scrumptious 1776 Cheesesteak trailer out back. HOT DAMN: Try a Patrick Henry with wiz.
Back in the day, Starseeds Cafe on 31st might have been a wee bit intimidating to Austin newbies, with signs like “Don’t stare at the cooks” and “Don’t Feel Free to Seat Yourself”. Over a decade ago, Starseeds reopened under new Management with new seats, new paint, and a diverse new menu from healthy to decadent for any meal of the day. Homemade biscuits with sausage gravy will make the wait worthwhile.
A bit further north on Burnet Road near 2222/Koenig Lane/290, Monkey Nest Coffee is there for delicious snacks, tea, and strong coffee 24/7. Also an organic bakery, Monkey Nest’s food is not to be overlooked. A Monkey Nest Special includes chicken breast, cranberries, tomato, basil, garlic, red onion, capers, and pomegranate honey-mustard. So, YEAH.
6. Bennu Coffee
Though it is in the epicenter of the UT Campus area, Bennu Coffee kind of blows it out of the water for price, location, and quality. Bennu features vendors from local businesses, and is a great place to hit for a long stint of studying, 4 straight hours of finishing a good book, meeting new people, or filling up on a yummy yet affordable meal. Check out their vegan and gluten-free shepherd’s pie for only $5.50, straight from The Happy Vegan Baker.
7. Epoch Coffee
Epoch Coffee, located on North Loop by Guadalupe, is a sprawling yet secluded coffee-shop nestled in Hyde Park. Epoch’s biggest draws include an outdoor patio for smokers, another for non-smokers, two large rooms indoors with plenty of light, mismatched cozy furniture, and relative peace. For snacks, a cold case holds locally made goods like spinach quiche, croissants, and pizza slices.
UPDATE (Feb. 2017): Strange Brew has closed and we are sad about its passing. Please disregard this entry until we think of something better to put here.
Strange Brew coffee is a short jaunt south down Manchaca, just north of Stassney. Strange Brew provides light local fare, very tasty coffee, and a funky, “78704-feel” in the 78745. With a few rooms on the inside and an unexpectedly hoppin’ back-patio, Strange Brew is a great place for a late-night rendezvous, a study-crunch, or a chill afternoon date.
9. 24 Diner
24-Diner is accessible, central, popular, yummy, and perpetually crowded. That’s because they crank out some of the most decadent, scrumptious, heavy fried dishes this side of the Mississippi. Always loud, and a bit pricey, 24-Diner fills a need that Kerbey, Starseeds, and Magnolia cannot. If you’ve never tried the chicken and waffles, you’ve never been there.
Last, but not least…
It’s no secret that Whataburger is a go-to for 24-hour fast food in Austin. With locations throughout the city, it may not be the Ritz, but Whataburger will surely fill you up day or night! Popular items that you can’t find elsewhere include the famously rich honey-butter biscuits and their signature spicy ketchup. Good on everything.