Best Thing We Ate

12 Game-Day-Inspired Eats to Try in Austin

By Veronica Meewes  |  October 13, 2015
Credit: 1886 Cafe & Bakery

Football season may be on fire in Austin right now, but that doesn't mean your diet needs to consist solely of queso, barbecue and Buffalo wings this fall. Here are a dozen creative takes on game-day cuisine (some even vegetarian!), which might just inspire the menu at the next game you host. 

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  • Buffalo Quail at Odd Duck

    Odd Duck makes its own "Buffalo sauce" from fermented habaneros and tosses grilled quail in it with olives, figs and local Pure Luck goat cheese and Deep Ellum blue.

    1201 S. Lamar Blvd.; 512-433-6521

  • Blistered Green Beans at The Hightower

    The Hightower's blistered green beans are tossed in honey mustard with farro and candied pecans, mint and leek. It was recently featured as a special for EAT EAST, and remains on their regular menu too.

    1209 E. Seventh St.; 512-524-1448

  • BLT Sliders at Jack Allen's Kitchen

    Why settle for basic sliders when you can take inspiration from Jack Allen's Kitchen? Its BLT-inspired rendition is made with grilled pork belly, micro greens, fried green tomatoes, pimiento cheese and zesty slaw.

    Multiple locations

  • Buffalo Cauliflower at 1886 Cafe & Bakery

    1886 Cafe & Bakery is proving that vegetarians can also get in on the game-day fun. To make their Buffalo cauliflower, the kitchen roasts the florets until they’re lightly browned, then tosses them with a cayenne pepper butter sauce (similar to Frank’s Red Hot) and serves them with a blue-cheese dipping sauce. 

    604 Brazos St.; 512-391-7066

  • Sweet-Chile-Glazed Wood-Grilled Wings at Fresa's Chicken Al Carbon

    Fresa's brought back its wood-grilled wings with sweet arbol chile glaze just in time for football season (they're available starting this Saturday). Each order of six or 12 comes with jicama, carrots, celery, poblano ranch and salsa bruja.

    915 N. Lamar Blvd.; 512-428-5077

  • Bacon Dumplings at Greenhouse Craft Foods

    This fall, Greenhouse Craft Foods brought back one of its most popular appetizers. The bacon dumplings are enrobed in a crunchy wonton shell and accompanied by a creamy beer cheese dipping sauce. We dare you to just eat one.

    1400 E. Old Settlers Blvd., Round Rock; 512-366-5567

  • House Beef Jerky at The Driskill Bar

    The Driskill Bar makes its own house beef jerky daily using top round and a spice rub made from soy sauce, Round Rock Honey, Cajun seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar and chile flakes.

    604 Brazos St.; 512-439-1234

  • Sake Mac 'n' Cheese at Pacific Rim Sushi & Yakitori Lounge

    Expect an Asian twist on a South comfort classic with this spot's signature sake mac 'n' cheese, made with spiral pasta, white cheddar and sake reduction, then topped with black sesame and scallions.  

    9070 Research Blvd. #305; 512-458-8881

  • Jalapeño Cheese Curds at Salty Sow

    Salty Sow's Texafied version of this Midwestern treat adds a touch of jalapeño to the crispy, melty curds and comes with a tangy honey mustard dipping sauce. This is just one of their veggie snacks, which also includes truffled deviled eggs and eggplant fries with fresh tomato dipping sauce.

    1917 Manor Rd.; 512-391-2337

  • Fried Oyster Nachos at The Scarlet Rabbit

    The Scarlet Rabbit's fried oyster nachos arrive on a blue corn chip with a daub of chipotle aïoli and a nest of slaw in the center of the plate.

     410 W. Main St., Round Rock; 512-774-6472

  • Kolaches at Kerlin BBQ

    Kerlin BBQ bakes housemade kolaches every Wednesday through Sunday, and you can always expect to find brisket and sausage with cheddar, plus a rotating special like fontina and roasted red pepper or pastrami with kraut.

    1700 E. Cesar Chavez St.; 512-412-5588

  • Fried Artichoke Hearts at Rebel Pizza Bar

    Also called The Heartbreaker, these crispy bites come with spicy rémoulade and a black pepper vinaigrette for dipping.

    7858 Shoal Creek Blvd.; 512-457-5757