Near Downtown & SXSW Activity:
- Co-owned and operated by award-winning mixologists Justin Lavenue, Dennis Gobis and Matthew Korzelius, The Roosevelt Room specializes in craft cocktails as the extensive, 80-drink beverage program consists of a historic chalkboard menu covering the essential periods in cocktail history (including Prohibition, Tiki and Modern Classics) in addition to innovative House Creations. Since opening in 2015, the bar has racked up numerous accolades including earning a spot as a top four finalist in the 2022 Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards for both the Best U.S Cocktail Bar and Best U.S. Bar Team categories.
- The South Congress Shopping District is the ultimate destination for SXSW this year. Up along the street of South Congress there are a multitude of restaurants of various types of cuisine including Lucky Robot, Güero’s Taco Bar, Jo’s Coffee, Perla’s, Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Neighborhood Sushi, June’s All Day, Home Slice Pizza and more! There are also numerous hotels that feature tasty happy hours and/or live entertainment such as South Congress Hotel, Austin Motel and Hotel San Jose. Whether you’re looking for a nice meal, a refreshing drink or just a casual stroll outside, SoCo has you covered.
- Nestled away just off the sidewalk on Austin’s iconic South Congress Avenue, Gelato Paradiso is a hidden gem offering traditional, handcrafted Italian gelato. All made in-house, gelato flavors at Gelato Paradiso range from classics like Stracciatella and Pistacchio to monthly flavors featuring seasonal and Texas-inspired ingredients as well as vegan Sorbettos. All flavors are available in a cup or on a housemade cone. Gelato Paradiso also offers a variety of handcrafted gelato cakes (available for preorder 36 hours in advance), Affogatos and more.
- An upscale salad bistro featuring fresh, farm-to-table fare, Vinaigrette is the perfect destination for a nourishing lunch or dinner. The restaurant’s large, serene oak tree shaded patio is ideal for al fresco dining. Vinaigrette also features craft cocktails, curated wine as well as tinctures and tonics that nourish both mind and body. Vinaigrette also serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m.
- A modern steakhouse located in downtown Austin with an unforgettable full-service experience, J-Prime Steakhouse is the ultimate hot spot during SXSW. The menu features their chef’s innovative recipes with the highest quality premium cuts as well as unique flair and flavor. J-Prime also offers a complete craft bar with a variety of signature cocktails, beer and wine. Social hour is available at the bar only and includes $15 select appetizers and $12 select drinks. See here for the dinner menu, here for desserts and here for the wine list. J-Prime Steakhouse is also available for buyouts and larger parties.
- Located on South Lamar near downtown Austin, El Naranjo is an interior Mexican restaurant led by James Beard Award-winning Chef Iliana de la Vega. Diners can enjoy traditional Mexican dishes, craft cocktails and wine in El Naranjo’s intimate dining room or on the patio for dinner Tuesday through Saturday as well as brunch on Sunday.
- North Italia will be popping up near the festival from Sunday, March 12th through Tuesday, March 14th to kick off their new month-long campaign honoring their favorite holiday, Pi Day (3/14). Over the course of three days, the team will dish out FREE food and drinks (including 3,141 slices of pizza) as well as FREE tattoos, FREE entertainment including an epic BMX stunt show on Pi Day and more. North Italia street teams will roll up on branded Vespas to surprise unsuspecting festival goers with 175 free pizzas per day on Sunday & Monday.
- On Tuesday, the team will host a commemorative Block Party at 415 E 7th Street where they’ll be serving up more free pizza (including a Pi Day special Texas BBQ Brisket pie!), mini budinos, charcuterie cups and mocktails. Taking the celebration to new heights, the North Italia team has tapped a highly specialized team of BMX riders to “wow” the crowd with a showstopping stunt show featuring a “Globe of Dough” and a flurry of flips, jumps and tricks that they’ll be performing throughout the event. Plus, wearing your heart on your sleeve is encouraged at this party…especially if it’s in the form of a pizza tattoo! North Italia has enlisted local tattoo artists to design a collection of ten limited-edition, free tattoos (option to make a $3.14 donation to a nearby homeless shelter) that’ll be available for a select number of guests.
Worth the Drive/Escapes from the SXSW Madness:
- Take a drive to northwest Austin and experience Dog Haus Biergarten Four Points, an award-winning concept known for its gourmet hot dogs, sausages, burgers, plant-based and fried chicken offerings and creative full bar program. Dog Haus Four Points offers a daily happy hour from 3-6 p.m. that includes $5 pints, Haus Cocktails and wine by the glass, and half-priced wings, tenders and sliders. Dog Haus Four Points is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- ONETACO.: For anyone looking for an authentic taqueria during SXSW season but are trying to avoid downtown during the madness, ONETACO. has you covered. With seven locations throughout the city there are multiple outside downtown that offer the same exceptional, traditional Mexican flavors including Al Pastor, Marinated and pork and fresh vegetables. Head to the ONETACO. website to see where each of their restaurants are located to avoid the busy season next month.
- Cork & Barrel: SXSW in Austin can be a crazy time and for anyone looking to escape for an evening, just a short drive north, you can find Round Rock’s very own Irish Pub. Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery is a gastropub where Irish flair meets Texas fare serving seasonal food and beverage menus. Guests can enjoy their meal inside the beautifully designed pub or outside in the beer garden. Cork & Barrel is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.