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Where to Find the Best Free Food at SXSW

By Megan Giller
March 6, 2014
Photo by: Jim Wright

SXSW is full of promises of free food and free parties with your favorite tech idols and rock stars, but oftentimes that translates into waiting in a long line for cold leftovers after the band has left the building. So we’re cutting through the noise with this ultra-curated guide to the tastiest free treats at the festival. As always, come early for the best chance at snagging this highly desirable free food.

Sliders, Dogs, Drinks and More at Rachael Ray’s Feedback  
Who: Open to the public
What: Rachel Ray creates recipes just for the free Saturday extravaganza, like whiskey chicken drummers, smoked brisket sliders, grilled eggplant and tomato sliders with tahini, frankfurters with kimchi chow chow relish, and more, plus beer from Blue Moon. Bands include CeeLo Green, Blondie and more all day.
When: Saturday, March 15, 10 AM-4PM
Where: Stubb’s BBQ, 801 Red River St.
RSVP: No, but get there early, because the lines are insane

Burgers, Fries and Bottled Water at Shake Shack Truck
Who: Open to the public
What: The beloved burger chain is giving away free ShackBurgers, fries and bottled water
When: Saturday, March 8 through Monday, March 10, 8 PM-1 AM; March 10 through March 16, 8 PM-1 AM
Where: 6th and Red River (3/8-3.10); Brushy and San Marcos (3.10-3.16)

Texas Barbecue at La Barbecue  
Who: Open to the public
What: Windup Records showcase with free barbecue from one of the best places in Austin, plus free beer
When: Thursday, March 13, starts at noon
Where: La Barbecue, 1200 E. Sixth St.
RSVP: Required

Hearty Breakfast at KGSR's Live Music Broadcast 
Who: Open to the public but limited to the first 300 people who arrive
What: Free pancake-battered maple sausage and hashbrown bites
When: Wednesday, March 12 through Saturday, March 15, starts at 6 AM
Where: W Hotel, 200 Lavaca St.

Paella, Tapas and Cocktails at Hotel Ella and Goodall’s  
Who: Open to the public
What: Enjoy free paella from hot spot Barlata, tapas from Goodall’s and craft cocktails from Deep Eddy Vodka
When: Saturday, March 8 through Monday, March 10, 4-7:30 PM
Where: Goodall’s, 1900 Rio Grande St.
RSVP: Required

Snoop Dogg's Breakfast and Peached Tortilla at Airbnb Park 
Who: Open to the public
What: On Tuesday, March 11 it's Snoop Dogg's fave breakfast sandwich (scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, and sausage on white toast with grape jelly) and Good Pops popsicles. On Saturday, March 15 it's singer Allen Stone's choices from the Peached Tortilla truck like BBQ brisket tacos and a s'mores-inspired dessert.
When: Tuesday, March 11 from 10 AM-1 PM and 8-11 PM; Saturday, March 15, 10 AM-6 PM
Where: Airbnb Park, 1501 E. Sixth St. at Onion St.
RSVP: Required

Cupakes and Beer at Sugar Circus 
Who: Open to the public
What: Free cupcakes (including the vegan variety) for the first 100 people and beer at the Acoustic Austin Musicians showcase
When: Friday, March 14, 2-8 PM
Where: 2613 E. Fifth St.

Craft Beer at DC Against the World
Who: Open to the public
What: Free craft beer from local Rogness Brewing Co. and free tacos, plus a book signing by the Bitch Beer blog
When: Thursday, March 13, 11 AM-6 PM
Where: New Movement Theater, 616 Lavaca St.
RSVP: Required

Original Recipes From Kelis
Who: Open to the public
What: Singer Kelis is also a Le Cordon Bleu-certified chef, and she’ll be serving free homestyle food from her food truck throughout the festival
When: Thursday, March 13, and Friday, March 14, 12-4 PM
Where: Follow @iamkelis to find the truck (don't you just love gimmicks?)

Places Mentioned

Stubb's BBQ

Barbecue • Downtown

Food21 Decor21 Service21 Cost$26
East Side King

Thai • East Austin

Food27 Decor18 Service21 Cost$14
East Side King

East Austin

Food27 Decor18 Service21 Cost$14
East Side King

Asian • East Austin

Food27 Decor18 Service21 Cost$14
East Side King South Lamar

Asian • Zilker

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
Barlata Tapas Bar

Tapas Bar • Zilker

Food23 Decor23 Service22 Cost$44
Goodall's Kitchen & Bar

New American • West Campus

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
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