Austin Airport Food: Satisfy Your Cravings at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Nasreen Stump Avatar

Jo's coffee i love you so much mural, Austin Airport Food

When it comes to travel, one thing that can make or break your journey is the quality of airport food. It’s good news then that Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) has so many delicious choices, including local chains. The Austin airport food options go far beyond typical fast-food chains, offering an array of culinary choices showcasing Austin, Texas’ vibrant food culture.

From drool-worthy Tex-Mex to juicy burgers and refreshing beverages, Austin airport restaurants feature something to please every palate. In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual culinary journey, running through all of your food choices at the Austin airport. Prepare your taste buds for an appetizing adventure!

AUS: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Layout

Before we start talking food, let’s cover the airport itself. Unlike some airports which require tons of explanation on layout (I’m looking at you, Atlanta), Austin’s airport is fairly simple for most passengers. However, if you’re flying Allegiant or Frontier Airlines, there are special instructions so pay attention!

AUS (sometimes called ABIA by local sites) is the third busiest airport in Texas after Dallas (DFW) and Houston (IAH). It’s set up to handle about 15 million passengers annually but in reality closer to 22 million go through every year.

Barbara Jordan Terminal

There are technically two terminals which might surprise some passengers. If you’ve never flown Allegiant or Frontier through Austin, you’ve never seen the South Terminal. The main terminal is called the Barbara Jordan Terminal. That part of the airport is one long straight stretch with just a slight curve where the main security entrance and exit is. You can walk from one end (Gate 1) to the other (Gate 34) easily.

Get to AUS EARLY!!

One major Austin travel tip you’ll need to follow if you want to have time to eat anything but airline pretzels is to arrive early. Remember how the airport is crowded and serving way more passengers than it’s supposed to? Parking shortages, huge lines to drop off rental cars, lengthy TSA lines and snaking check-in counter lines are all the norm for AUS. At most airports I’m sliding in an hour before my flight (team carry-on only) but at Austin? It’s 2 hours before, all of the time.

How bad is it really? Well, my kids and I were due to fly from Austin to Boston in December of 2021. About a week before, I started looking for parking and there was nothing. Every lot near the airport including onsite airport parking, SpotHero, ParkWhiz and hotel park and stays were checked with no luck. I started looking into having someone drop us off and decided that honestly I’d rather drive than be in an airport that busy with three kids. It was the right choice. Lines during that travel period lasted for hours, backups at drop-off points were epic and news images of the airport looked like they were trying to break a “how many people can we fit” record. Get there early, the earlier the better.

Homegrown Airport Drama: South Terminal in Austin Texas

You didn’t think you were going to hear the tea when looking up Austin airport food but I’ve got it for you. Scroll past if you’re not interested, but if you’re flying Allegiant or Frontier Airlines through Austin, make sure you read this.

The short version is the city of Austin made a deal with a company called Lonestar Holdings in a public-private partnership about 6 years ago. They took a defunct old terminal that used to house Mexican airline VivaAerobus and signed a 40-year contract with Lonestar Holdings to operate it. Two ultra low-cost carriers (Allegiant and Frontier) went in. Less than five years after the initial deal, the city council is now trying to take that terminal back by eminent domain so that they can expand the other airport terminal, Barbara Jordan.

They offered less than $2 million to Lonestar Holdings for it, which Lonestar said was insulting. The resulting legal battle has cost the city almost twice that much and they’ve recently been ordered to pay $90 million to terminate the contract. This means that we may see South Terminal closures announced sometime in the future if the space is closed, to be knocked down for expansion.

Flying In or Out of South Terminal at AUS

For now, while South Terminal remains open, there are some very important considerations for passengers on Allegiant Air and Frontier Airlines. First, the space is completely separate. You will not be attached to the Main Terminal so none of the restaurants there are accessible to you. You cannot walk between them. Jump to the South Terminal food listings for information on your food options.

Second, for parking, pick-up and drop-off the address is different. You CANNOT access South Terminal from 71 like the main AUS airport. Type 10000 Logistics Lane in Austin TX into your GPS. You’ll take US 183 to Burleson Road. The South Terminal has its own parking lots. DO NOT book off-site discount parking. They do not run shuttles to South Terminal.

If you’re connecting to a different airline, there is a shuttle between the Barbara Jordan Terminal and South Terminal. But trust me. That shuttle will not be your friend timewise if you park on-site and use it to get over to South Terminal.

Food Choices at the Austin Airport: Barbara Jordan Terminal

In the Austin-Bergstrom Airport the main security lines will dump you in between Gate 16 and Gate 19. To your left will be Gate 1 through Gate 13. To your right you’ll find Gates 20-34. Let’s walk through the choices you’ll have for Austin airport food.

It’s important to note that there are several non-official accounts claiming to have maps of the airport and information on food. Because of constant renovations and updates, many are extremely inaccurate. The official Austin-Bergstrom airport map and website can be found HERE.

Gates 1-15: Austin-Bergstrom Restaurants

Parkside

Gate 3

Hours are Monday – Sunday 6a-8p

If you’re flying in or out of Austin you’re probably familiar with 6th Street, home of the original Parkside. Featuring farm-to-table food, Chef Shawn Cirkiel built a loyal following. An airport location opened in late 2019.

In full transparency, this location is inconsistent at best. It’s also pricier than other airport choices. Also I feel like it says a lot when the original restaurant itself doesn’t even have info about their airport location or a menu. That speaks volumes. In short, there are better choices at AUS for food. It is well-located though if you have a lot of time to kill. Eat somewhere else then grab a beer here and listen to live music or people watch.

Vino Volo- Hill Country Store

Gate 8

Hours are Monday – Saturday 11a-6p and Sunday 12p-6p

I’m going to be honest, Vino Volo is close to my heart as far as airport food goes. In my early business travel days there weren’t always a lot of choices. Vino Volo locations were a great spot to plug in, do some work, enjoy a glass of wine and have something snack-y when you didn’t feel like a full meal or like sitting at the gate. That being said they aren’t whipping up fresh meals. Items are designed to be prepared in advance and served. The food isn’t memorable. My personal go-tos are the marcona almonds and olives along with a wine flight.

Austin has two  Vino Volo locations. The Hill Country Store location at Gate 8 features a stage area for live music so take that into account.

Cafe Medici

Between Gate 7 and Gate 9

Hours are listed as 430a-4p but are subject to change

Cafe Medici opened its first location in 2006 in Austin, Texas. Named after Italy’s Medici family in honor of their patronage of the arts and humanities, the small chain now has six locations.

The Cafe Medici location at ABIA is run by Delaware North, a hospitality company. Their menu features traditional espresso drinks, drip coffee and Italian sodas. Food options include bagels, breakfast tacos, muffins and other pastries. Pre-made sandwiches are also offered.

JUGO

Next to Gate 8

Hours are 5a-6p and are subject to change

The airport location of JUGO, an offshoot of Austin’s Brazos Street locale, has a limited menu of fresh juices, smoothies and pastries. JUGO is a Parkside project, affiliated with Parkside (located at Gate 3).

Salvation Pizza

Gate 11

Hours are 10a-730p

Salvation Pizza bills itself as New Haven style pizza. In reality New Haven-style pizzas are baked in coal-fired ovens and are heavy on the sauce and light on the cheese with super thin crispy crust. At Salvation the crust is thin but the sauce is light and the crispness of the crust is a little tricky to maintain during slower periods when the pizza sits. You’ll pay $6-$8 a slice. The Hawaiian and Primavera slices are pretty good. If you’re traveling with littles be aware that extra seasonings and glazes are added to the dough of some slices. The garlic, balsamic glazes and other flavor enhancers might be too much for picky eaters.

24 Diner

Gate 11

Hours are 6a-8p

An offshoot of the Waterloo Records-adjacent 6th Street and Lamar location, this airport spot serves up traditional diner fare. Operated by HMSHost, 24 Diner offers sit down dining at tables or a diner counter. Portions are large and meals run between $15 and $20. You can get breakfast platters, loaded fries, hamburgers, sandwiches, salads or chicken with waffles here.

24 Diner has a full bar.

Heads up that 24 Diner has a live music stage. Currently, there’s music playing here between 115p-315p. You can always check for live music updates on the airport’s Live Music Performance list.

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Gate 12

Open 24/7

This cupcake vending machine gets a fresh delivery of Sprinkles Cupcakes every morning. Available flavors are Black & White, Dark Chocolate, Red Velvet, Sprinkle and Vanilla.

[512] Market

Gate 12

Hours are 5a-830p

If you’re just looking to stock up on snacks and didn’t have a chance to pack some [512] Market has you covered. Offering the usual crunchy, candy and beverage options, you can also grab prepackaged food for your flight here.

Costa Coffee BaristaBot

Across from Gate 12 and Across from Gate 16

Open 24/7

Looking to be caffeinated without conversation? Check out this robot barista coffee experience from Costa Coffee. As someone who managed coffee accounts nationwide in another role, I will say a machine can be a solid option for a consistent cup of coffee.

If you’re flying out of Austin in the wee hours of the morning this is going to be your best option. Traditional coffees and americanos are going to be the best choices. Alternative milks and drinks like hot chocolate don’t always perform well in automated machines. If you have any issues with payment and performance, email Costa Coffee here.

Austin City Market Food Court at AUS

Gate 12

The Austin City Market area in Austin-Bergstrom is located across from Gate 13 and the Visitor Information Center and includes several different dining concepts.

Zocalo Cafe

Austin City Market

Hours are 8a-6p

If you’re looking for Tex-Mex favorites check out Zocalo Cafe. Appetizers like chips and queso and chips and guacamole are a little pricey, even by airport standards for what you get. You’re better off grabbing the entree nachos, quesadillas or a taco plate. Frozen margaritas are also available. If you’re here in the morning you can enjoy breakfast tacos or a Migas bowl.

Noble Sandwich Co.

Austin City Market

Hours are 7a-8p

Noble Sandwich Co. offers a limited menu of four sandwiches. What really shines here though are the breakfast sandwiches. The everything bagel sandwich is one of the airport’s heartier breakfast options.

Komé Sushi A-Go-Go

Craving sushi? Komé Sushi A-Go-Go in the Austin City Market area has a diverse selection of rolls and sashimi.

The Beerdrop

Austin City Market

Hours are 8a-8p

Looking to try a local beer while you wait for your flight? Try brews while you sit out delays at The Beerdrop.

Hut’s Hamburgers

Across from Gate 14

Hours are 10a-945p daily except for Saturdays when they close at 845p

Hut’s was a long time Austin favorite before closing a few years ago. Luckily this airport location still exists. Burgers are good and they come out fast. Those burgers do come priced about double what they would be outside of an airport.

Ruta Maya

Gate 14

Hours are 5a-1p

You may have seen Ruta Maya organic, shade-grown coffee beans in warehouse stores. Grab a cup in person at AUS.

Starbucks

Diagonally across from Gate 15

Hours are 4a-8p

Pick up your favorite latte, blended beverage or breakfast sandwich at this Austin airport Starbucks location.

Gates 15-22: Austin-Bergstrom Centrally Located Restaurants

Second Bar + Kitchen

Between Gate 15 and Gate 16

Hours Monday – Friday 430a-945p and Sundays from 8a-730p. Closed Saturdays.

Second Bar & Kitchen is a great spot to sit and burn through some layover time with a specialty cocktail like a Night Flight or Green River. The menu is curated, with limited but well-executed options. There is also a Grab and Go area to buy a quick meal to bring on the plane.

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Between Gate 15 and Gate 16

Open 24/7

For more info see the listing for Sprinkles at Gate 12 above.

Costa Coffee BaristaBot

Across from Gate 12 and Across from Gate 16

Open 24/7

See the full listing under Gate 12 above for details.

MAD Greens

Gate 16

Hours are 10a-945p daily except for Saturdays when they close at 845p

MAD greens menu includes everything from salads to grain bowls to juices. If you’re looking for something a bit more hefty, they also have fancy mac and cheese. It’s lighter than traditional mac and cheese. Thick cheese sauces are replaced with themed ingredients. If you have food allergies MAD greens makes it easy for you. You can use their interactive widget to search for allergens or diet types (vegan, vegetarian) and view ingredients.

The Peached Tortilla

Across from Gate 16

Hours are 5a-945p

The Peached Tortilla is an inventive fusion restaurant combining Southern food and Asian food. An Austin-born favorite the concept evolved from a well-loved food truck. Check out their delicious menu and plan to arrive a little early to try their Chinese BBQ Chicken or Korean Steak tacos! Travelers love their affordable options.

JuiceLand

Across from Gate 16

Hours are 4a-8p

Sharing a space with The Peach Tortilla, JuiceLand offers up smoothies and juices as well as a selection of prepackaged food. The JuiceLand airport location menu isn’t as extensive as other locations but is still a great healthy option. If you have peanut allergies proceed with caution; a lot of their smoothies include peanut butter.

Hippies and Hops

Across from Gate 17

Hours are 7a-945p

Serving up beer from the Live Oak Brewing Company, Hippies and Hops also offers tacos, bowls and burgers. The beer is your best bet. There’s better food in the area and the wine servings are small and expensive. When in doubt here, ask for the price up front so there aren’t surprises later!

Berry Austin

Across from Gate 17

Hours are 430a-945p daily except for Saturdays when they close at 845p

Another hometown favorite, Berry Austin, serves up smoothies, frozen yogurt and acai-style bowls.

Departure Lounge

Across from Gate 18

Hours are 430a-1p daily except for Saturdays when they are open until 845p

Departure Lounge as a concept is a bit easier with backstory. Basically, its a “restaurant” being put on by a highbrow travel agency. The original plan was that it would be a place to sip wine and plan your next vacation. The result is that the experience is extremely inconsistent. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes you’re told you can’t use a table after making your purchase. Food consists of snacky items, pastries and sandwiches.

Saxon Pub

Across from Gate 19

Hours are 730a-945p

Saxon Pub is one of the more solid bar options in the airport if you want a mixed drink. If you’re flying out early after a night of drinking on Sixth Street or Lamar stagger your way over here for a Bloody Mary. Food consists of pub favorites and all the fried snacks.

Earl Campbell’s Taco Truck

Across from Gate 19

Hours are 430a-945p

Earl’s is a solid option for affordable airport food. The wait tends to be reasonable and the food is consistently good.

Jo’s Coffee

Across from Gate 19

Hours are 4a-730p

During your time in Austin you may have seen Jo’s and their well-known mural on South Congress. There’s an airport location as well, opening bright and early to grab coffee from! You can enjoy La Colombe Coffee pre-flight. It’s located near Gate 19.

Amy’s Ice Creams

Across from Gate 21

Hours are 9a-9p

If you didn’t have a chance to check out Amy’s Ice Creams while in Austin be sure to take the chance while you’re at the airport! Amy’s is known for their decadent and rich flavors. They also have dairy-free ices.

Thurman’s

Across from Gate 21

Hours are 7a-945p

Thurman’s is a great choice for basics. They are a concept under the Salt Lick BBQ umbrella. If you’re looking for a burger, fries, hot dog, Philly cheesesteak or chicken tenders, they’ve got you covered. Their kids meals are affordable. A solid option in a sea of inconsistent performers.

Eastside Pies

Across from Gate 21

Hours are 7a-945p

Enjoy thin New York-style pizza with the requisite greasiness and “should I really be eating this” thought process. Honestly, it’s a good quick grab and the triangle boxes are convenient for the slices. It’s a go-to when I’m not feeling like thinking about what I want.  

Flyrite Chicken

Across from Gate 21

Hours are 7a-945p

Near Gate 21 at ATX you’ll find a menu featuring delicious comfort food like fried chicken sandwiches, tenders and wraps.

Salt Lick BBQ

Gate 22

Hours are 5a-8p (or last flight)

If you’re craving authentic Texas barbecue, look no further than The Salt Lick BBQ. You can grab a meat plate or sandwich combo in the mid-$20 range. If you’re there in the morning be sure to check out their breakfast tacos. Looking to take the taste of Texas home with you? Grab a whole brisket packaged just right to be your carry-on.

Vino Volo

Gate 22

Hours are 11a-945p

As covered under Gate 8’s Vino Volo there are two locations at the Austin airport. This is the smaller one. Stick to snacks and wine here.

Farmer’s Fridge

Gate 22

Open 24/7

I know it’s a bold choice, but I’m giving my vote for the best most consistent meal in this airport to a vending machine. If you’ve never seen a Farmer’s Fridge vending machine, you need to check it out. The machines are stocked regularly with healthy salad options, wraps, breakfast oats, bowls and snacks in recyclable containers. You can order through a touch screen and pay with your credit card. You can also browse through their app to see your choices in advance and even reserve your salad on your way to the machine. Prices tend to be slashed ahead of scheduled restocks. It’s a really cool concept and I’m a fan!

Gates 23-34: Austin-Bergstrom Restaurants

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Gate 23

Open 24/7

For more info see the listing for Sprinkles at Gate 12 above.

Tacodeli

Gate 23

Hours are 5a-945p

For a delicious grab-and-go breakfast or lunch, swing by Tacodeli. This local favorite offers a wide selection of mouthwatering tacos, made with fresh ingredients and homemade tortillas. Don’t miss their famous “The Otto” taco, filled with refried black beans, bacon, avocado, and more.

Einstein Brothers Bagels & Caribou Coffee

Between Gate 23 and Gate 24

Hours are 430a-10p

This combined concept features everything you need in the AM part of the day to get started.

Haymaker

Across from Gate 24

Hours are 6a-9p

This offshoot of the popular Manor Drive location has a solid patty melt and beers that are slightly less expensive than other over-priced options. The pretzel bites are also good.

Ruta Maya Cafe & Books

Gate 30

Hours are 5a-930a

Sharing a space with Thundercloud Subs, this spot is one of the OG coffee spots at Austin-Bergstrom.

Thundercloud Subs

Gate 30

Hours are 12p-9p

As far as subs in the airport go, Thundercloud is one of the better options. It’s a local chain and the subs are good quality.

I Vini Italian Wine Bar

Gate 32

Hours are 5a-9p

Head over to this Italian-inspired Wine Bar to pass time between flights. Indulge in a plate of authentic pasta or sample their exquisite antipasti platter, paired with a glass of fine Italian wine. This sophisticated eatery is the perfect choice for those seeking a taste of Italy before taking off.

Food Choices at the Austin Airport: South Terminal

There are not a ton of choices at South Terminal for food. It’s a good idea to pack some snacks just in case! Your options are what they have stocked for grab and go, vending machines or the coolest one – a food truck. De Nada Tacos serves out of a food truck on the South Terminal patio. Yes, you heard that right- patio. Enjoy a margarita and a taco in the sun!

Airport Food: Setting Expectations and Having Grace

Realistically none of us dream of airport food. So much so that when a decent option is found we rave about it because it stood out. One of the challenges that Austin-Bergstrom International has is that a lot of the concepts are local but are being executed by food service operators not owners. In addition, airport dining faces obstacles that other restaurants don’t. Employees need to be badged, flight delays alter hours of operation and getting supplies in and out is tricky and time-consuming.

We applaud AUS for offering so many local options. Go into the experience knowing that consistency in service and product is a challenge right now.

Our top picks for consistency and taste are TacoDeli, Salt Lick, Thurman’s, Farmer’s Fridge, Starbucks, Mad Greens, Earl Campbell’s Taco Truck and The Peached Tortilla. What is your favorite Austin airport meal?

Nasreen Stump Avatar
Nasreen’s adventures started out as business travel. Working as a territory sales manager she covered 21 states during her tenure, traveling 3-5 nights a week. As she visited new cities and states, she always worked in a quick stop at a unique or iconic site. A travel writing career was born. When her father-in-law’s cancer came back she started writing and consulting full-time around his chemotherapy schedule. Traveling with her firefighter/paramedic husband, kids, friends and solo allows her to cover a variety of situations and topics. Her four kids (19 year old boy, 13 year old girl, 11 year old girl and 7 year old boy) are professionals at the cross country road trip. After 10 years in Texas, their family is back in the Northeast exploring both familiar and new destinations. There she runs her own business providing go-to-market, sales strategy, podcast, and content marketing consulting for websites and B2B businesses. Whenever possible she writes for a variety of publications in the podcast, travel, and business space. Connect with her on LinkedIn to chat about travel, content, sales, and podcasts!
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