South Lamar is a charming Austin neighborhood that sits just south of the river and minutes from Downtown. It’s an up-and-coming area in Austin and is home to The Alamo Drafthouse, cute shops like Strut and Mockingbird Domestics, and yes, tons of good food.
From delicious quick bites whipped up in tiny food trucks, to fancy schmancy restaurants serving gourmet cuisine, South Lamar is loaded with mouthwatering treats. With so many fantastic dining options in the hood, you should never waste your time or money on something that’s just average, so make sure you only eat the best of the best, here are my top picks for a perfect day of eating in South Lamar.
Breakfast: Veracruz All Natural
As far as I’m concerned, the best way to kick off a day of good food in South Lamar is to swing by Veracruz All Natural for one of the best breakfast tacos you’ll ever treat your tastebuds to. This unassuming food trailer, located on the patio at Radio Coffee and Beer, started as a single trailer on East Cesar Chavez and quickly became the much talked about, three-truck operation it is today. Everyone from Food Network to Rolling Stone is obsessed, and you can add me to that list. What I love most about Veracruz, aside from their insane aforementioned tacos, is that all of their ingredients are fresh. Plus, thanks to their stellar location, you can treat yourself to a ridiculously tasty coffee and hang out on the spacious patio while you eat. It’s a win-win.
Order like a pro: Two migas tacos; one on flour, one on corn. These little beauties come loaded with fresh pico de gallo, chips, eggs, cheese, and avocado, and they’re the best migas tacos in all of Austin. Oh, and don’t forget the green salsa. Careful, though – she’s spicy.
Veracruz All Natural
4202 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78704
Photo by @elizzlou.
Coffee Break: Patika Wine and Coffee
If you opted for water instead of coffee at breakfast, you’re going to want to swing by Patika Wine and Coffee for a pick-me-up next. Trust me, there’s a lot of food to come, and to avoid the inevitable post-lunch coma, you’ll want the caffeine. Plus, the coffee here is to die for. At Patika, they use beans from great local roasters, as well as innovative roasters from all around the country, and the result is a consistently delicious cup of joe. And they offer a ton of freshly baked treats too – both sweet and savory – that kick the coffee shop pastry game up about 18 notches.
Order like a pro: Order a vanilla latte. Its rich and flavorful, without being overly syrupy or sweet. Pure velvet. Oh, and I know you just ate two tacos and are gearing up for lunch, but loosen your belt up a few notches and try your best to make room for a french onion biscuit. It’s kind of a game changer.
Patika Wine and Coffee
2159 South Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
Photo by Megan Schwartz.
Lunch: Brown’s Bar-B-Que
When you’re craving a mean plate of barbecue, and you don’t want to stand in line for five hours waiting for it, wander on over to Brown’s Bar-B-Que. Located in the parking lot outside of Corner Bar, this smokin’ trailer puts out a mouthwatering assortment of some of the best barbecue around – from brisket and sausage, to pulled pork and beef ribs. And their sauce is so perfect it’ll make you cry. Even if you think it’s a sin to muddy up a moist cut of brisket with a flood of barbecue sauce, get some on the side and take a shot of it once all the meat’s gone. You’ll have zero regrets.
Order like a pro: Treat yourself to the 3 Meat Plate with moist brisket, sausage, and beef ribs. And mac and cheese. And slaw. And when you’re done, order yourself a banana pudding and make your mama proud.
1901 South Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
Photo by @annieraydotnet.
Snack: Lick Honest Ice Creams
After that lunch, you’re without a doubt feeling the effects of what we in Austin call a meat-induced food coma. You likely feel more than a little sluggish, and probably find your mind drifting to thoughts of a nice, long afternoon nap. Fight it. This is a day of food, and if you’re really going to make the most of every calorie-packed minute, you have to push on. So give yourself a long, hard look in the mirror and get pumped, because it’s snack time. And what better way to wash down all that barbecue than with a refreshing scoop of ice cream? At Lick Honest Ice Creams, you’ll find some of the most unique and delicious ice cream flavors in all of Austin. From Goat Cheese, Thyme and Honey; to Roasted Beets and Fresh Mint; to Toffee Dunked Donut, this ice cream will have you tasting things you’ve never tried before, and lining up for seconds.
Order like a pro: It’s really tough to go wrong when you’re at Lick, so my only recommendation is to taste a few options before you order – even the ones you doubt you’ll enjoy – so you don’t miss out on a life-changing flavor. Oh, and get at least two scoops. But that’s obvious.
Lick Honest Ice Creams
1100 South Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
Photo by Chris Corona. Compliments of Ramen Tatsu-ya.
Dinner: Ramen Tatsu-ya
Congratulations, diner! You’ve made it to your last stop: dinner. For a casual meal that’ll warm you up from the inside out and have you dreaming of soft boiled eggs all night long, hit up Ramen Tatsu-ya, where you can treat yourself to a hearty bowl of some of the best ramen around. This isn’t the styrofoam Cup-o-Noodles ramen you may have gotten a bit too familiar with during your college days. This is some truly inspired, fresh made goodness that is the soul food of Japan. Ramen Tatsu-ya offers a variety of soups and sides, from traditional ramen that you can order as spicy or mild as you like; to an equally tasty, but less common noodle dish called tsukemen; to yummy sides like katsu sliders and brussels sprouts.
Order like a pro: If it’s your first time at Ramen Tatsu-ya, you should order a hot bowl of tonkotsu ramen, and dress it up to the nines with add-ons like a corn bomb (basically a golfball-sized scoop of corn, honey, and butter), brussels sprouts, a spicy bomb, and, most importantly, an extra soft boiled egg. Trust us. Get the extra egg. The chefs here definitely sold their souls tosomeone for the ability to create these magical marinated beauties.
1234 South Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
That’s it! You did it! You ate your way through South Lamar and had some of the best food this neighborhood has to offer. Now stumble on home, put on your stretchiest pants, and climb into bed for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow’s a new day, and there are plenty more neighborhoods to explore.