10 Cool Dishes to Beat the Texas Heat in Austin

By Veronica Meewes  |  August 26, 2015

While many U.S. cities are preparing to trade in summer weather for mellow fall temperatures, Austinites know the unforgiving heat of the sun will blaze well into September. Luckily, there are more than just a handful of ways to cool off. Here are 10 of our favorite refreshing dishes and drinks currently on menus around town.

Beef-Papaya-Avocado Salad at Barley Swine

The hot spot's ​take on a Thai papaya salad (pictured above) stars Wagyu beef served over a bright avocado purée, while strips of fresh green papaya serve as the topping. It's finished with herbs and salty, crunchy peanuts.

2024 S. Lamar Blvd.; 512-394-8150

Jelly Beer at Sway

Using a special machine imported from Thailand, Sway creates this refreshing sipper (pictured below) by cooling bottles of Singha to just above a freezing temperature, creating an instant alcoholic slushie.

1417 S. First St.; 512-326-1999

Photo by Dan Gentile

Sgroppino at CANTINE Italian Cafe & Bar

Lisa and Emmett Fox discovered the boozy Italian gelato cocktail known as sgroppino while visiting Venice. At their South Lamar nook, a variation begins with vanilla soft-serve, which they then top with vodka, limoncello and Prosecco.

1100 S. Lamar Blvd.; 512-628-0348

Sicilian Seafood Salad at Liberty Kitchen

The eatery's ocean-focused menu is a welcome addition to West Austin, and their Sicilian seafood salad (pictured below) is a must-try. Shellfish, squid, olives, roasted peppers and celery are tossed with avocado oil, lemon and herbs and presented on a crisp bed of head lettuce.

507 Pressler St.; 512-840-1330

Tsukemen at Ramen Tatsu-ya

​Record highs are not enough of a reason to eliminate ramen from the diet. So thankfully this noodle specialist comes to the rescue with their tsukemen: thick, cold noodles served with chashu, an ajitama egg, nori and lime, accompanied by a condensed pork bone–based broth for dipping. 

8557 Research Blvd. #126; 1234 S. Lamar Blvd.

Summer Sausage at Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile

The huge fans on Jacoby's porch make dining alfresco lovely even in the summer months — and their housemade summer sausage appetizer (pictured below) sweetens the deal a little more. The beef and cheddar sausage is cut into thick slices and served with seasonal pickled vegetables.

3235 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd.; 512-366-5808

Watermelon Gazpacho at Jack Allen's Kitchen

It doesn't get much more refreshing than watermelon gazpacho, and this local farm-to-kitchen chain makes theirs extra juicy and flavorful with Black Mamba watermelons. Slurp, smile and repeat.

Multiple locations

Helote Sundae at Michoacana Natural Ice Cream

If you're a fan of sweet and savory elements, particularly with an added kick, the Helote Sundae (pictured below) at this ice cream shop will be right up your alley. The creation turns elotes, the dressed cups of Mexican street corn, into a dessert with the use of cheese ice cream in lieu of mayonnaise. Then choose your add-ons, from pickled jalapeños and lime juice to cheese and Tajín

9426 Parkfield Dr.; 512-740-2997

Photo by Veronica Meewes

Granita at Dolce Neve

​Though their gelato is awfully hard to resist, nothing is quite as quenching and cooling as the housemade granita at Dolce Neve. It comes in seasonal fruit flavors, and coffee and chocolate are both usually available — and even better topped with a dollop of fresh cream.

1713 S. First St.; 512-804-5568

Spring Rolls at Elizabeth Street Cafe

Elizabeth Street Cafe's rice paper and vermicelli spring rolls (pictured at top) come in five inviting variations — ranging from flank steak to jumbo lump crab to ginger-marinated grilled tofu — and arrive with peanut sauce, sweet chile vinegar and ginger-jalapeño for dipping.

1501 S. First St.; 512-291-2881