Barbecues and Breweries: a Feast-Worthy Food Tour of Austin

Austin is a foodie's paradise, with a thriving street-food scene
Austin is a foodie's paradise, with a thriving street-food scene | © Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Emilie Hall
24 March 2021

On this all-American adventure through the Texas state capital, you’ll taste-test the city’s taprooms, brunch spots and secret speakeasies – and you can book the whole experience, including your hotel, with Culture Trip.

Thanks to the city’s maverick spirit, swirl of cultural influences and collaborative atmosphere, Austin has, deservedly, become known as one of America’s greatest food cities. Of course, as it’s the state capital, carnivores will be in barbecue heaven, but there’s more to the city than just brisket.

“The best way to experience Austin and support local businesses is to visit the food trucks that dot the city’s landscape,” says Barclay Stratton, local chef and owner of Brucie, an Austin food truck inspired by Australian cafe culture. “They will lead you to different parts of town, offer cuisines from various parts of the world, and will absolutely exceed your expectations of what can come out of a tiny truck.”

To help in your quest to hunt down Austin’s most daring dishes and thrilling tipples, we’ve tracked down three tours and paired them up with one legendary hotel to fully immerse you in the city’s food scene and craft-beer culture, all bookable right here on Culture Trip.

La Condesa Restaurant in Austin, Texas
An imaginative neon sign promoting Doc's Bar and Grill in Austin, Texas
Tuck into authentic Texas fare at Salt Lick BBQ | © Peter Tsai Photography / Alamy Stock Photo La Condesa has a range of gorgeous mezcal and tequila cocktails | © Al Argueta / Alamy Stock PhotoDoc's Bar and Grill is a staple of the food and drink scene in Austin | © Alpha Stock / Alamy Stock Photo

Where to Stay: the Hotel

The Driskill

Luxury, Independent Hotel
4.5/5 (955 Reviews)
The Driskill
Courtesy of The Driskill / Expedia

Sleep in a living monument to the Lone Star State’s history at the Driskill, a downtown grande-dame built in 1886 by a wealthy cattle baron. You’ll be floored by the grandeur as soon as you walk in – the stately lobby is all marble columns, stained glass and gilded oil portraits. And thanks to cowhide barstools in the Driskill Bar, longhorns on the wall and cattle-branding irons built into some of the bedframes, you’ll never forget you’re in Texas. From its central Sixth Street location, you’ll be within easy walking distance of Austin’s buzziest restaurants and live-music venues. However, you can experience some of the city’s best dining without going anywhere at all. The Driskill Grill offers a selection of dry-aged steaks from nearby ranches, while the 1886 Café and Bakery serves classic comfort food dishes such as the Hangover Burger and hot fried chicken.

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What to Do: the Experiences

ToursTexas Hill Country Olive Orchard Walking Tour
From $9 per person
30 to 45 minutes
5 (1)

This tour will take you outside Austin to the scenic city of Dripping Springs in the Texas Hill Country to visit a family-owned, organic, olive-oil farm. Enjoy fresh breezes and bucolic scenery as you stroll through the orchard, learn about planting and harvesting and even meet a few chickens before sampling its award-winning, extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars in the tasting room. Before heading home, walk around the on-site boutique to shop its curated range of infused oils, beauty products and homeware.

ToursAustin Food Tour by Bus With Live Band Onboard
From $102 per person
3 hours
4.3 (3)

All aboard the brunch bus – this BYOB ride combines a whistle-stop tour of Austin’s best brunch spots with a concert on wheels. It’ll take you to visit three eateries for breakfast tacos, Czech kolaches (pastries) and chicken and waffles (with a boozy beverage included at each stop), all adding up to one very satisfying mega-brunch. While en route, groove to the sounds of live music from talented local musicians.

ToursPrivate Austin Brewery Tour by Pedicab with All-Inclusive Beer Flight Option
From $55 per person
120 to 150 minutes
4 (4)

A brew with a view – that’s what you get on this pedicab tour of three of Austin’s top microbreweries: Lazarus Brewing, Hops & Grain, and Zilker Brewing. Your guide will do the pedaling from one brewery to the next while you sit back and enjoy your beers under the sun. You can pay as you go or opt for the all-inclusive beer flight to make sure you don’t miss a sip. And if you get peckish along the way, fret not – there’ll be some tasty snacks at the breweries to pair with your fresh-from-the-keg craft beers.

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