Let’s face it: Eating lunch at your desk is getting old, and you need to stretch your legs before they start fusing into your chair. So, now that it’s almost noon and you’ve Googled “best lunch downtown Austin,” you’ll be glad to know you have options. Plenty of options.
To get you started on your quest for a midday meal that doesn’t involve drive-thru, check out this list of Austin restaurants that’ll feed you well and help get you through the rest of your day.
Austin‘s Best Restaurants for Afternoon Eats
You’ve been looking forward to lunch since your morning smoothie (or, let’s be real, that a.m. donut), and it’s time for a break. Whether you’re having a lunch meeting with colleagues or having a solo out-of-office meal, these restaurants in downtown Austin offer a little something for every scenario. And once you’re done with lunchtime, be sure to check out the ATX guides on the best happy hours and weekend brunch spots in Austin.
Walton’s Fancy & Staple
609 W. 6th St., Austin, TX 78701
From coffee and cake to poultry and pastrami, Walton’s Fancy & Staple is one of those old-school favorites that every local (and visitor) loves. Breakfast is served every day until 2 p.m., so you know what that means: If you feel like bacon and eggs, shrimp and grits, challah French toast, or avocado toast, your breakfast-for-lunch dreams just came true. Speaking of lunch, the menu spans salads, cold sandwiches, hot sammies, and “The Fancy Lunch” featuring a half sandwich, cup of soup, or side salad for $10.50. There’s also weekend brunch, dinner, and happy hour.
525 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78703
Whether you have an hour lunch break or just 30 minutes, Whole Foods is a no-brainer for healthy food that’s fast. This downtown Austin location is massive (outdoor seating included), with options ranging from made-to-order deli sandwiches, daily soups, and a salad bar to barbecue, sushi, pizza, pastries, and just about anything you might be craving. Plus, where else can you grab lunch and laundry detergent at the same time?
621 E. 7th St., Austin, TX 78701
Looking for healthy, quick, and affordable Asian food? Koriente is just the ticket. With plenty of vegan-friendly and gluten-free lunch options (everything from curries and veggie bowls to savory sautees and salads), this friendly and modest restaurant prides itself on freshness and flavor without a trace of MSG. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio and take advantage of the free parking out back — you can enter on 6th Street and Sabine.
315 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
From the second floor of the historic Swift’s Premium Food Co. building, Swift’s Attic is a local fave for creative farm-to-table “modern American plates.” Lunch is served weekdays 11 a.m.-2 p.m. with everything from squid fries and blistered shishitos to creative sandwiches (think kimchi Reuben and fried chicken with green apple slaw), and larger plates like a BLT salad, ceviche bowl, and vegan-friendly grain bowl.
Second Bar + Kitchen
The Austonian, 200 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
For a business casual lunch that feels a little like fine dining, you can’t go wrong with Second Bar + Kitchen. With several locations across Austin, the downtown spot on the corner of 2nd Street and Congress is walk-in only, but you can usually find a seat in the laidback dining room or covered patio. As for the food, the all-day menu features local, seasonal ingredients in a range of dishes like buffalo-fried pickles, burgers, avocado toast, short rib sloppy joe, pizzas, and a decent selection of vegetarian (and a few vegan) selections.
One Eleven Congress, 111 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
Located in the One Eleven Congress skyscraper in downtown Austin, Fareground is a spacious food hall that features six different restaurants in one sleek yet casual space. Choose from Contigo’s Texas-style burgers and sammies, Dai Due’s tacos and burritos, Italic’s rustic Italian pasta dishes and salads, Ni-Kome’s sushi and ramen, Henbit’s farm-to-table fare, and TLV’s menu of delicious Israeli street food (which has plenty of veggie-centric options).
507 San Jacinto Blvd., Austin, TX 78701
Hidden behind Parkside restaurant is where you’ll find The Backspace, “Austin’s first Neapolitan pizzeria.” Offering thin-crust pies made with ingredients sourced directly from Italy, this 30-seat space is bustling during weekday lunch (11 a.m.-2 p.m.), so consider calling ahead to make a rezzie or getting it to go. FYI, lunch is the only time when you can try the delicious paninis served on Easy Tiger ciabatta.
509 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701
In case the giant poster of Iggy Pop didn’t clue you in, Holy Roller is all about that punk rock vibe. Start with the shareable Trash Fries before graduating to the Kinda Cobb salad, meatloaf sandwich, chicken pot pie, or French toast of the day. When you’ve had a long day and it’s not even noon yet, you can take comfort in these grown-up twists on the meals you loved as a kid.
400A W. 2nd St., Austin, TX 78701
Whether you’re having a lunchtime meeting or just want to step it from your regular Chipotle and Taco Bell runs, La Condesa is where to go for legit Mexican cuisine with an Austin twist. Along with its chic space and windows offering views of downtown Austin, you’ll find an assortment of small plates, salads, tacos, tortas, and quesadillas all made with homemade tortillas. As for those killer margaritas, maybe it’s best you wait for happy hour or dinner.
110 San Antonio St., Austin, TX 78701
Who says you can’t make it to Paris in the middle of the workweek? With its iconic rattan bistro chairs, white marble surfaces, and shiny brass accents, Le Politique is a classic French brasserie and patisserie in downtown ATX. For lunch, choose from soups, salads, and favorites like the croque monsieur, escargots, steak tartare, chicken pillared, trout almondine, moules frites, and more.
500 W. 2nd St., #133 Austin, TX 78701
This national chain has multiple locations in Austin, but this outpost on 2nd Street is an ideal weekday lunch spot for quick and healthy fare. Along with its airy, laidback vibe and plethora of outdoor seating, Flower Child offers a well-curated menu of salads, wraps, bowls (including vegan ramen), and many gluten-free options.
IBC Bank Plaza, 500 W. 5th St. #168, Austin, TX 78701
Offering a gourmet and modern twist on Chinese food, Wu Chow is where you can chow down on favorites like dan-dan noodles, honey pecan gulf prawns, veggie stir fry, Sichuan braised eggplant, and Chengdu chili chicken. Most dishes are gluten-free, and lunch is available weekdays (11 a.m.-2 p.m). Just don’t expect any dumplings — dim sum service is only available on Sundays.
It’s Time to Do Lunch in Downtown Austin
When you’re ready to ditch the brown paper bag and desk routine, Austin has plenty of options that are worth your time and your dime. Spanning just about every cuisine and price point, this city isn’t just the live music capital of the world — it’s also your favorite place for lunch. Get satiated and through the rest of your day with a meal at one of these best lunch spots in downtown Austin.