Austin's 7 Best Frito Pies

By Megan Giller  |  March 17, 2014

There’s only one way to make chili better: add Fritos and cheese. Austinites know how to do Frito pies right, in many cases elevating a simple corn chip into a work of delicious art. And since the chips themselves are vegan, that just begs for a plant-based chili feast, too. Whether you want meat or not, here are 7 places to get your junk food on.

  • Kerlin BBQ  

    Here it’s all about the pulled pork. The barbecue joint piles smoked pork shoulder, Monterey Jack cheese, house-pickled jalapeños, red onion and cilantro crema on top of the famed corn chips, still in the bag. Get yours with our without Lone Star borracho beans, but be sure to get a Lone Star beer to wash it all down.

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

  • Gourdough’s Public House

    They’re just gonna come right out and say it here: Gourdough’s Frito pie is called the Ode to the Trailer, and it features the typical Fritos, chili, white cheddar cheese and red onions, still in the Fritos bag. Unlike their salads, it doesn’t come with a donut, so we advise a donut burger and a dessert donut to round out your experience.

    2700 S. Lamar Blvd., 512-912-9070

  • Credit: Jane Ko


    This downtown hot spot is known for live music, craft sausages and beer, but they also make a killer Frito pie with vegan chili, Fritos and cheese. It’s so over the top that you won’t notice it’s missing meat. Be sure to ask for onions and sour cream.

    407 Colorado St., 512-494-6916

  • Vegan Yacht  

    The militantly vegan trailer has "Freeto" pie on the menu (organic tempeh chili on corn chips), but they’re mainly famous for their Freeto burrito. They go one step further with the burrito and take their Freeto pie, wrap it in a flour tortilla and grill it with vegan cheese.

    1700 E. Sixth St., 512-619-7989

  • Shady Grove

    The popular restaurant on Barton Springs Road takes its homemade Airstream chili and pours it over a pile of Frito’s, then tops it with cheddar and Jack cheese and jalapeños. Wash it down with a frozen sangria swirl margarita.

    1624 Barton Springs Rd., 512-474-9991

  • Billy’s On Burnet  

    A while back we wrote about Billy’s chili, but what’s even more exciting is their Frito pie. Unlike many varieties, this one comes with the chips on top and a side of fresh tomatoes and onions. Also check out the vegetarian variety, and don’t miss the good beer selection.

    2105 Hancock Dr., 512-407-9305

  • Ranch 616

    OK, we lied. There’s more than one way to make chili better, and that would be putting it in Frito pie on top of a burger. Old-school upscale comfort food locale Ranch 616 does it right, with an 8-ounce Angus patty topped with their housemade Frito pie, pico de gallo, a cheese blend and tomatillo crema sauce.

    616 Nueces St., 512-479-7616