I will be the first person to tell you that this should not be taken as any sort of definitive guide of where to eat in Austin. I didn’t have nearly enough time to explore the city and eat all the food. That’s okay, it just means I’ll have to go back and
eat drink explore some more.
Local Austinites, I’m sure, have about two dozen other places to eat and drink that they prefer over what is listed here. Are you from Austin? Travel there often? What else belongs on this non-definitive guide? I’ll add it to the growing list of where I need to go next time.
I was only in Austin for five meals, the other meals we had at Austin Psych Fest or at HausBar Farms and Guesthouse. This limited our exposure to the dining scene. The parameters for our search included but was not limited to: tacos, BBQ, craft beer, Texas craft beer, and Texas border cooking.
Here is part one of a two-part series on where we ate food and drank beer and margaritas in Austin, Texas. I’ll call this the Rainey Street Edition.
Food, craft beer, and travel is a trifecta of happiness.
Rainey Street. Parking is a crooked and haphazard affair where sidewalks can’t be found, laughter is loud, and what appears to have once been a small community has evolved into a bustling enclave for bars and restaurants.
Banger’s is located on hip and chaotic Rainey Street in Austin.
There is outside and inside seating at Banger’s, the former consisting of long family-style picnic tables piled into a large courtyard. Entry doors lead inside where porcine taxidermy overlooks additional family-style tables and a tap list of over 100 beers.
Banger’s prides itself as having the largest selection of sausages in Austin and they offer meats like duck, antelope, venison, and more common varieties containing pork and chicken.
Of course I had to get the Southern Texas Antelope & Venison Merguez, because where else am I going to find Southern Texas Antelope in Pennsylvania? It was mildly spiced but not spicy and surprisingly moist inside a casing that popped with every bite. I’ll be honest, though, the Dak Bulgogi that my friend chose was amazing. From Banger’s menu, the Dak Bulgogi:
Bulgogi Chicken Sausage topped with sriracha, kimchi, oyster sauce, cilantro, carrots, and jalapenos on a kolache bun with a side of soy caramel lime. Served with a house made kimchi salad and sun dried shrimp chips.
With such a huge variety of craft beer, outstanding sausage and a poutine dish worth sharing with your friends, the laid-back atmosphere at Banger’s is definitely a place I’d go back to again and again.
They also offer menu items like fried cheese curds, currywurst, boiled peanuts, a michelada bar, and beer milkshakes.
If you want to get a tattoo of the cute Banger’s logo, a hybrid cowboy boot/beer mug, talk to your server. Apparently they have a deal with a local tattoo shop and it’s free.
I should have gotten one. Talk about awesome conversation-starting souvenirs. Banger’s, we’re talking about this tattoo the next time I’m in town, okay?
They have live music, many events, and are dog-friendly.
The legends of their founder, Olaf Gufstafson Banger (OG Banger), are colorful. See their website to read all about him.
Now I want a sausage.
Craft Pride is also located on Rainey Street, close to Banger’s and wholly dedicated to all things Texan and craft. There is a small bottle and merch shop, inside seating that is decorated richly but simply, and outside seating areas.
The interior walls are black with an ornate pattern, the comfortably curved barstool-style seats at the pub tables are covered in black leather(ette) and heavily studded at the arms. On the ceiling is a large cut-out wooden plank relief of the Lone Star State, appropriately decorated with a single illuminated star.
You will only find craft beer made in Texas at Craft Pride, with offerings from more than 20 breweries taking up 54 taps and 2 casks from breweries like Live Oak, Hops & Grain, and Saint Arnold. The staff is knowledgeable and happy to answer questions about the beer that is served there. If you don’t understand a style, just ask!
If you need something to nosh on while at Craft Pride, head out back to the courtyard and order one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had, an exotic Detroit-style pie. Via 313 is a food truck that is parked behind Craft Pride and sells pizza by pie, consisting of four corner slices. One pie was plenty of food for two people.
But what is Detroit-style pizza?
For starters, it’s delicious. The crust is crunchy and full of cheesy grease-soaked flavor, the toppings are piled on the crust and the sauce gets spread on top. We chose the Carnivore pizza and it was truly memorable, what with its pepperoni, ham, sausage, and bacon. The menu also includes The 500 (with pepperoni, jalapeños and pineapple), the Continental (prosciutto, arugula, and parmesan), and the Omnivore (cremini mushrooms, sweet onions, green pepper, pepperoni, and hot Italian sausage). Order your pizza, sit back down with your beer and an order number placard, and have it delivered right to you.
Craft Pride has events like Flight Nights, release parties, and live music. When stepping out on Rainey Street, Craft Pride and Banger’s are great options for you.
I hope you enjoyed this first post in my Non-Definitive but Delicious Guide of Where to Eat in Austin, the Rainey Street edition! Check back next time for Guero’s Taco Bar and one or two more locations.