If you plan to enjoy Barton Springs Pool on one of the many 100-degree days in Austin, you have to plan for food and drink as well. Sadly, the food kiosk on the Zilker Park side of the Springs is now closed, and until the city finds a suitable replacement which can handle the cost of repairs, you’re left planning for food either before or after you submerge.
With that in mind, here is a fantastic list of food and drinks within minutes of Barton Springs Pool that will soothe the savage beast, or beasties, who may be ravenously hungry after a day in the sun!
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An Austin staple, Juice Land sits right on Barton Springs road, a mere 5-minute walk from the pool. Serving up fresh-squeezed juice and other healthy snacks, Juice Land is a mainstay for the Austinite who knows how to hydrate and recharge after a harrowing day of relaxation. Try the Wundershowzen, guaranteed to be ‘wunderful.’
Chuy’s is one of Austin’s old-school Tex-Mex restaurants, and happens to be a 2-minute walk from Barton Springs Pool. With its funky, vibrant interior, and oh-so-welcome AC, Chuy’s is there to fill you up, without taking your wallet down. Hit it from 4-7 M-F for a FREE nacho bar, including spiced ground beef, refried beans, queso, jalapenos, two types of salsa, and chips with a one drink minimum.
8.) Shady Grove
Not only can you get heavy, filling food at Shady Grove, just a six-minute walk from Barton Springs, you can treat yourself to some live tunes and the glory of outdoor misters. For a hearty bounce-back from your day’s festivities, try the loaded fries. Yum to the yum.
Sandy’s is a bit of a jaunt on foot from the Springs, but, oh, that custard makes it so worth your while. An old shake-and-burger shack on Barton Springs near S. 1st St., Sandy’s has long been an Austin staple to beat the heat on a summer day. Not to be overlooked for the shady exterior!
6.) Barton Hills Food Mart
More than just a convenience store, Barton Hills Food Mart has a hidden sandwich shop in the back. Stocked with picnic staples like chicken, tuna, and potato salad, the owners also offer all kinds of delectable sandwiches and salads made to order. Try a turkey with Swiss, fully loaded, and walk away a happy camper for under $6.
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5.) La Feria
Hop in the car and head five minutes up the road, either on Kinney from Barton Springs Road or from South Lamar, to La Feria, one of the hidden gems of South Austin. Surrounded by expensive bars, and upscale dining, La Feria is a great place to pick up affordable and authentic Tex-Mex while lounging on their expansive patio or in their lavish air conditioner. Go before 3 pm and you’ll also get two tacos for $3! Did we mention Pierce Brosnan was there recently? True story.
4.) P. Terry’s
It may seem obvious, but P. Terry’s is right up the street. For drive-thru or walk-up, P-Terry’s is a great place to fill up on carnivorous OR vegetarian and vegan vittles. A 10-minute walk or a two-minute drive from Barton Springs proper, P. Terry’s offers hand-cut fries from real potatoes, 100% beef patties, and a damn fine veggie burger. Try a peanut butter shake and call it a day!
3.) The Picnic
A short jaunt from the pool, you’ll find a food-trailer park called The Picnic. Though offerings at The Picnic can be a revolving door of tastiness, expect to find Kebabalicious and Turf n’ Surf Po-Boy, as well as other local notables. This place is perfect for lounging, bathing-suited and sweaty, without feeling the embarrassment of needing to shower! If you hit Kebabalicious, get a falafel with extra spicy sauce and extra tahini. For Turf n’ Surf, try the bacon-wrapped shrimp. YUMMILICIOUS.
2.) Austin Java
Austin Java serves it up hold, cold, and everywhere in between. A seven-minute walk from the Springs, you can load up on pasta, salads, or any number of home-cooked dishes. Try a creamy chicken penne pasta, or the peanut soup (featured). Even in hot weather, they’re both worth it.
1.) Barton Springs Saloon
But let’s say that you’re full. Full of sun, full of snacks, and did we mention full of sun? Take the seven-minute walk to what Austinites call the “B.S. Saloon” and get yourself a frosty adult beverage. You will find yourself in good company, and can relish the quality people-watching at the corner of South Lamar and Barton Springs. Go on a Wednesday, to get Lone Star cans for the low low price of $1.50 each!