Brunch Before the Fest!

Coming in from out of town for ACL? Or just an Austinite looking to mix up your weekend routine? If you’re looking for a great new place to grab food before heading to ACL Fest, let us guide you to some of our favorites.


Start your Saturday or Sunday off right with the elegant weekend brunch at Chicon. The airy, beautiful dining room is a wonderful place to explore creative dishes such as Whipped Feta Benedict and Smoked Trout Tacos. Feeling especially indulgent? Look no further than The Elvis, featuring pork belly, bourbon bananas, peanut butter mousse, brioche, and whipped coconut cream. Pretzel Donuts are another unexpected joy of the menu, and the intimate patio is a great place to catch up with friends.


Cantine is your new fave brunch spot you didn’t know existed. Located next to the South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse, this sleek and trendy restaurant serves up some of the best Italian fare that Austin has to offer. From their Frittatas and Benedicts to their Handmade Pasta and “Breakfast Pizza”, you can’t go wrong. And their Breakfast Bloody Mary, complete with bacon and shishito pepper, will cure any hangover.

Russell’s Bistro

Russell’s Bistro is a charming Austin original – small and cozy, in the best way. The coffee is magnificent and the Bistro Omelette is a must. There are vegetarian and gluten-free options too, so all your friends can have a relaxing morning with a great meal! Plus they have a dog friendly patio, so even your furry friend can join your brunch squad.

Café No Sé

Located in Austin’s beloved SoCo, Café No Sé invites visitors to take part in their rustic and chic ambiance. Try their poached eggs and ricotta hotcakes, or opt for one of their famed in-house baked goods like the peach frangipane croissant or the banana bread. And what would brunch be without a proper mixed drink? Complete your brunch with a coffee cocktail or mescal mule for that extra pep in your step.

Hillside Farmacy

Deep in the heart of Austin’s East Side is one of the city’s most instagrammable eateries. Hillside Farmacy brings eclectic flare and top notch food service to all its guests with its popular menu items like the fried egg sandwich and malt vinegar fries. The family friendly restaurant also offers homemade fountain sodas and bubbly cocktails, such as the grapefruit-based house punch with gin and bubbles, that make Hillside a must-stop for out-of-towners and a regular stop for Austin residents.

AFWF 2016 Canceled

Due to recent and ongoing inclement weather saturating the grounds of Auditorium Shores and Republic Square Park, all outdoor Austin Food + Wine Festival programming has been canceled.

All paid ticket holders will be refunded the amount of purchase to the original form of payment. For more information or additional customer support, please contact Front Gate Tickets at 1.888.512.7469.

Cheers to 130 Years and Social Hour will proceed as planned and original tickets will be honored.

David Bull + Troy Knapp Dish Up Cheers to 130 Years!

Just next week, we’ll be digging into 6 courses at Cheers to 130 Years!, an intimate dinner and celebration of the beloved Driskill’s 130th anniversary. You can check out the menu here, and tickets are available here. We sat down with Executive Chefs David Bull + Troy Knapp to discuss the inspiration behind the dinner.

What is your inspiration for this menu + how did you plan it?

Troy Knapp: The thing that keeps it all feeling real and right is The Driskill’s history. Whether it be a new interpretation of a classic dish, or small elements that give a nod to a moment in time, it has allowed us to share what history means to each of us in our own interpretation through these menu items. We are very excited to welcome the talents of Chef David Bull back to the kitchen. He had a major role in developing the Culinary reputation of The Driskill and the community; it’s an honor to share the kitchen with him for this special evening.

David Bull: We looked at past menus and popular items that had the best guest response. There were several dishes that we wanted to bring back for this event, but we landed on items that made the most sense for a plated dinner and would have the biggest impact to highlight the memories of my time spent in The Driskill kitchen.

Executive Chef David Bull

What are the steps of planning a menu or wine pairing that most people might not realize?

Troy Knapp: Typically I start by selecting the wine and then build the dishes around the selections. This allows for a more detailed focus on nuances and the ability to create great harmonies. For this event it’s really special to co-celebrate 130 years with Trefethen Family Vineyards; it’s more than just great wine, we share a moment in time together that is meaningful to both of us.

David Bull: I think functionality is always overlooked. It’s important to anticipate how the guest will consume the product—the size of each bite, the ratio of texture throughout the dish and also how to maintain the specific temperature of the dish. Cooking for a large group changes everything. For the best outcome you have to put yourself in the shoes and minds of your guests.

What was the first thing you ever cooked?

Troy Knapp: I don’t remember the first thing I cooked, but I clearly remember the first thing I should have cooked. I was washing dishes at a restaurant in the outskirts of Seattle (where I grew up), the cook left and I was the only one in the kitchen. An order came in for a seafood salad and I put raw scallops on top of the lettuce, made it look good and sent it out. Needless to say, it didn’t go over very well.

David Bull: The first thing I ever cooked was meatballs in the back room of my grandparents’ Italian restaurant–Oliveries. I’m sure there were other earlier items but I remember being thrilled to finally get to make the meatballs!

Chef Troy Knapp
Executive Chef Troy Knapp

What is your favorite part about being a chef?

Troy Knapp: The kitchen is an environment that will accept most anyone that has strong work ethic. It’s diverse in many ways such as age, culture, ethnicity, etc. This all creates a dynamic where you’re learning from each other all the time (not just about food, life in general). Everyone has something to give and giving is the driving force of hospitality. This is the environment that I grew up in and find comfort in.

David Bull: My favorite part is the relationships I have been blessed to share in and the opportunity to provide hard working people a chance to reach their dreams and full potential.

Trefethen 130 Year[2]
You can still get tickets to Cheers to 130 Years here!

Friday Fives: Graham Elliot

We’ve been grilling AFW chefs every Friday to find out more about their favorite wines, restaurants, and more. This week, it’s Graham Elliot – a critically acclaimed chef, restaurateur and television personality who also happens to be one of the most recognized faces cooking in America today.

<img src="×1024.jpg" alt="New_GrahamElliot_headshot_2016" width="742" height="1024" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-21310" srcset="×1024.jpg 742w, https://www helpful×300.jpg 217w,×860.jpg 624w, 800w” sizes=”(max-width: 742px) 100vw, 742px” />

1. What’s your favorite easy dish or cocktail to make?
Pasta with olive oil, grated Parmesan and whatever seasonal veggies I can find. It’s great to cook with and for my kids.

2. What inspired you to become a chef?
I loved the idea of working with my hands and learning a craft/trade. Soon, I discovered cooking could be an artistic/creative outlet and from then on, I was on the path.

3. What’s your favorite restaurant (besides your own)?
I don’t have a favorite restaurant; I try to hit up as many spots as possible when I travel and places are opening all the time.

4. What’s your favorite cookbook or book about food?
Definitely Ma Gastronomie by Fernand Point. My wife Allie got me a signed first edition copy for Christmas this year – priceless (literally)!

5. What are you most excited about doing / seeing/ tasting at AFW?
Few towns are as exciting as Austin – the celebration of food and music creates an atmosphere unlike any other. Can’t wait!

Couple In The Kitchen’s Favorite Food Trucks

Hi everyone! We’re Couple in the Kitchen, an Austin-based food blog that showcases the best food products, home-cooked recipes and restaurants from Austin to around the globe. Leading up to Austin Food + Wine Festival, we’ll be highlighting the best of Austin’s eats and drinks, from the fanciest date night locations, to the affordable (but delicious) huge food truck scene. When in Austin, do as the locals do and hit up one of the nearly two thousand mobile kitchens.

Best truck for a taste of Texas and a souvenir to take home: LA Barbecue

We’ve all waited in long lines for great BBQ, but what if we were to tell you that you can get the great quality brisket from a truck and the line would be 80% faster?? What you’d have then is the fantastic and wondrous LA Barbeque, where their brisket will leave you dreaming about marrying a piece of meat. The beef rib is also a must: it’s the size of a dinosaur bone, melts in your mouth, and falls off the bone. Get there early though because it will sell out fast!

Must-order dishes:

  • Brisket – Ask for the “fatty” end (Karen likes hers in a sandwich with pickled onions and pickles!)
  • Humongous beef rib
  • El Sancho Loco – A barbeque sandwich with sausage, pulled pork, brisket, and finished with pickled red onions. This must’ve been created by an evil genius or after a long night of drinking, but one thing we do know is that it’s amazing and we thank them.
  • Buttermilk and bacon potato salad
  • If you’re not an Austin local and want to bring a taste of Texas home, be sure to pick up a fully cooked, frozen brisket for your flight home. Be prepared for all of the excitement and smiles that you will bring to whoever is lucky enough to eat it with you. Whenever we fly to see family, we pack one of these puppies in our checked luggage and it’s always a huge hit! We also love thinking about the look on TSA’s face when they’re randomly checking that luggage and see a slab of meat!

    Best truck for a taste of the Olympics: Boteco

    We just took a trip to Brazil for Carnaval, and to prepare for our adventure we stopped by Boteco, a food truck dedicated to Brazilian cuisine. The grub is top notch, the owners are friendly like family, and it represents the country of Brazil’s culture and amazing food. In a city like Austin that loves a great piece of meat, we’re shocked that Boteco doesn’t have lines for days, similar to our most famed barbeque joints. Simply put, we could not have asked for more out of a food truck.

    Matthew Mcconaughey has been spotted here with his Brazilian wife a time or two. All right, all right, all right! Hey Matthew, how about we set up a double-date?!

    Must-order dishes:

  • Picanha bowl – Think chipotle steak bowl on steroids, with an egg on top
  • Coxinha – A delicious Brazilian-style fried chicken dumpling
  • Sunday special: Feijoada which is a classic Brazilian meat and bean stew. This dish is perfect for the weekend, because after eating it you’re going to need a nap
  • If you like spice in your dishes, be sure to ask for extra Brazilian peppers (We love them!)
  • Best breakfast taco from a truck: Veracruz All Natural

    You can’t visit Austin without eating breakfast tacos, and Veracruz All Natural offers the best breakfast tacos out of a truck. The tortillas are made fresh and it tastes so authentic you’d think a 95-year-old grandma was cooking your meal.

    Must-order dishes:

  • Migas – A Texas specialty where tortilla chips are crushed and sautéed in a mix of onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos, all of which are cooked in scrambled eggs.
  • Chorizo, egg, cheese, and avocado taco
  • Bacon, egg, and cheese – #CLASSIC
  • Tacos 2.0: Torchy’s

    Torchy’s is not your mom and pop taco truck, and with the President’s recent visit we can say that President Obama would definitely support this message. The tacos they dish out are truly a work of art, in the trashiest of forms (be sure to get your taco “trashy style”). Come hungry with a goal of two tacos and a side of queso and plan on leaving with a food baby and be ready for a snooze.

    Must-order dishes:

  • Queso with Chips: arguably some of the best in Texas
  • Obama special: 1 Republican, 1 Democrat, and 1 Independent
  • Secret menu tacos:

  • Green Chili Pork Missionary Style – A soft tortilla hugging a crispy tortilla, then stuffed with pork carnitas, onions, guacamole, cheese, and a creamy chipotle sauce (our favorite!)
  • Trailer Park Taco, Hillbilly Style – Fried chicken, bacon, chorizo, queso, green chilies, and a poblano ranch, all loaded into a tortilla.
  • Pizza: Via 313

    In America, New York and Chicago are pizza meccas, but if most pizza joints in Detroit are like Via 313 we can truly say Detroit deserves it’s place on the pizza map right besides them. Via 313 dishes out incredibly buttery pan pizzas that we crave for dinner, late night, and breakfast (typically after a night out on the town).

    Must-order dishes:

  • The Detroiter – A pepperoni lover’s dream that includes both a smoked pepperoni and a natural casing pepperoni.
  • The Rocket – I don’t know if Via 313’s pizza can be classified as healthy, but if you top soppresatta and parmesan with arugula that’s enough green on a pizza to make me feel healthy.
  • The Cadillac – Fig, gorgonzola, prosciutto, and a balsamic glaze. #Fancy
  • Chilantro

    Our greatest late night treasure is Chilantro and their gigantic Kimchi Fry Burrito. Image a massive tortilla, filled with Asian flavors and then packed with French fries. This sweet/salty/spicy masterpiece is usually sought after at 1am in the morning, to soak-up all the wine, liquor, and beer we’ve consumed throughout the night. If you happen to be around the truck pre-happy hour, their menu is filled with less-glutinous items that are just as delicious (like the kimchi fries and their special quesadilla with caramelized kimchi).

    Must-order dishes:

  • Kimchi Fry Pork Burrito – Don’t forget to specifically add the fries to your burrito and if you’re feeling feisty, add an egg as well
  • Soy Glazed or Spicy Chicken Quesadilla
  • Kimchi Fries
  • Thanks for joining us on our food truck tour! We hope that we inspired you to try a new cuisine or that we have you craving our favorite dishes. Sorry to have to run, but a bowl of melty queso is calling our names! Cheers!

    Gavin Booth + Karen Reinsberg
    Couple in the Kitchen

    Friday Fives: Mark Oldman

    We’ve been grilling AFW chefs every Friday to find out more about their favorite wines, restaurants, and more. This week, it’s award-winning author, television judge, and renowned speaker on wine, Mark Oldman. Mark’s last book, Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine (W. W. Norton) won the Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year Award, and Fall 2016 will see the release of his upcoming book How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine with Joie de Vivre (Regan Arts). mark oldman

    1. What’s your favorite wine type?
    Champagne and other sparklers: what other liquid is so universally celebratory, deeply delicious, and food friendly? There’s a reason why Marilyn Monroe bathed in it and Winston Churchill reportedly spent $150,000 a year on it. Drinking it makes you feel iconic.

    2. What inspired you to become a wine expert?
    The inspiration comes from the impulse to help people create and elongate sublime moments in life. In a world that can disenchant, there needs to be more moments that make you feel, “Now, this is living.” I aim to fix that, sip by sip, bottle by bottle.

    3. What are some of your favorite restaurants?
    Franklin Barbecue (Austin): never has a queue rewarded tastebuds better.
    Jonathan Waxman’s Barbuto (NY): so dependably good that I took my mom there on Mother’s Day for the famous roast chicken.
    Marcus Sammuselon’s Red Rooster (NY): its culinary delights are well known, but its power as a Valentine’s Day deal closer is its secret weapon.
    Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami (Miami): just try resist the extreme succulence of the stone crab, the oily cripness of the hashed browns, and the chilled, tangy key lime pie. My first job in office as President of the U.S. would be to name Joe’s a national landmark.

    4. What’s your favorite book about food?
    I sink into books about food like a jungle cat devouring a fresh kill. My current favorite is Bien Cuit: The Art of Bread, a compendium of carb porn so beautifully crafted that its makes you rejoice for the invention of the printed page.

    5. What are you most excited about doing / seeing/ tasting at AFW?
    The audiences at AFW are so high-spirited and knowledgable – I can’t wait to present to them. And because I select the wine for my seminars with such care, I am looking forward to getting high on my own supply.

    Tips for the Weekend!

    The 2016 Austin Food + Wine Festival is almost here!



    Feast Under The Stars, the Grand Taste, Chef Showcase and all demos and panels will be located in downtown Austin at Auditorium Shores.

    Wednesday night’s Cheers to 130 Years! will be located in downtown Austin at The Driskill Grill.

    Friday night’s Social Hour will be located in downtown Austin at The Madison.

    Friday night’s Taste of Texas and Saturday night’s Rock Your Taco will be located in downtown Austin at Republic Square Park.

    Festival Map

    Check out the 2016 Event Map below for Auditorium Shores! Be in the know before you go.


    Festival Hours

    On Saturday, April 23rd, the gates at Auditorium Shores will open at 11:00am and close at 4:00pm.

    On Sunday, April 24th, the gates at Auditorium Shores will open at 11:00am and close at 3:00pm.

    Wednesday’s Cheers to 130 Years! takes place at 6:00pm at The Driskill Grill.

    Thursday’s Feast Under the Stars takes place at 6:30pm at Auditorium Shores.

    Friday’s Social Hour takes place between 6:00pm and 7:30pm at The Madison, and Friday’s Taste of Texas takes place between 7:00pm and 9:30pm at Republic Square Park.

    Saturday’s Rock Your Taco takes place between 7:00pm and 9:30pm at Republic Square Park.

    Picking Up Your Tickets

    Tickets may be picked up at the Box Office, located at Auditorium Shores, by the entrance of the festival, which is directly across from the Long Center.

    Auditorium Shores Box Office Hours
    Thursday, April 21st
    2PM- 6:00PM

    Friday, April 22nd
    9AM – 6PM

    Saturday, April 23rd
    9AM – 4PM

    Sunday, April 24th
    9AM – 3PM

    You’ll need both your Ticket and ID to access the festival, so don’t leave home without them! Feel free to swing by the Auditorium Shores Box Office in advance of the weekend on Thursday, April 21st and Friday, April 22nd, but remember that we’ll also be fully staffed & open during regular festival hours as well, so you can just stop by on your way in to the fest with ease on Saturday or Sunday!

    Getting Here

    Good News: Lyft, the app that gets you rides in minutes, is the official ridesharing partner of this year’s Austin Food + Wine Festival. Forget the hassle of parking and driving to the festival, and let Lyft focus on getting you where you need to go.

    Even better news: You get $20 off your first ride with Lyft. Here’s how it works:
    1. Download the Lyft app and enter code FOODWINE (in the Payment area).
    2. Request a ride.
    3. Get where you want to go at the push of a button. Easy as that!

    afw women

    Where To Stay

    Need a hotel? We’ve partnered with select hotels to offer our ticket holders discounted hotel rates over the festival weekend. When you book your hotel room through us, $2 per room night goes to Kids In a New Groove. Inventory is limited, so head to our hotel page to reserve your room now before they’re gone!

    Plan Your Schedule

    Be sure to check out the schedule before the weekend to plan out your preferred, demos, panels and activities. Seating begins 15 minutes prior to each demo and will be on a first-come, first-served basis so be sure to arrive early! If you’re grilling with Tim Love, make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early to secure your spot.

    Meet The Talent

    Meet your favorite chefs and pick up a signed cookbook! Swing by the Book Signing Tent on both Saturday and Sunday, then head to the Festival Store to check out our 2016 festival merchandise and take home your own copy of other featured books by the Festival’s top chefs and talent!

    book sign

    Connect With Us

    Follow along the festival fun all weekend and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Remember to use the festival hashtag when sharing your photos: #AFWFest

    Friday Fives: Andrew Zimmern

    We’ve been grilling AFW chefs every Friday to find out more about their favorite recipes, restaurants, and more. This week, it’s three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher, Andrew Zimmern. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel, Andrew has explored cultures in more than 150 countries.


    1. What’s your favorite easy dish or cocktail to make?
    Black bean spare ribs with green onions. I’ve made this Chinese dish a hundred times. Friends and family clamor for the recipe and are always surprised at just how easy it is to make at home.

    2. What inspired you to become a chef?
    Traveling with my father overseas and being exposed to a variety of cuisines from an early age inspired my love of connecting with cultures and exploring new culinary realms.

    3. What’s your favorite restaurant (besides your own)?
    I can’t praise my adopted hometown’s food scene enough these days. Now that we have chefs like Gavin Kaysen returning home to open amazing restaurants, the world is finally paying attention. Spoon & Stable is your best bet by far in Minneapolis.
    Atelier Crenn, Nomad, Trois Mec, Dai Ho, Cockscomb, Husk, Qui, Franklin BBQ, Del Posto. Vaucluse, Peter Chang, Mission Chinese, Raku, Cochon Butcher, Shaya, Zahav, Johns Roast Pork, Le Pigeon–all come to mind as I’m sitting and writing of restaurants that I’m loving these days, or hit recently and can’t shake.

    4. What’s your favorite cookbook or book about food?
    La Methode by Jacques Pépin is one of my essentials.

    5. What are you most excited about doing / seeing/ tasting at AFW?
    The Austin Food + Wine Festival is one of the most fun, intimate festivals in the country, featuring great music and some serious culinary talent. There’s a lot of amazing barbecue coming out of Austin; I tend to leave the festive weekend with a meat hangover. I’m always excited to try newcomers’ takes on smoked meat tradition, as well as hit up old favorite joints (Franklin Barbecue, I’m looking at you).

    Around The Park 2016

    rodney strong ATP


    Come Share the Table™ with Barilla® pasta and sample delicious recipes while getting some culinary secrets from our chefs!

    Beaujolais Wines Photobooth

    Come taste our amazing Beaujolais Wines and take fun pictures at our Photobooth!

    Big Green Egg Official Grilling Partner

    Big Green Egg is the Official Grilling Partner of the 2016 Austin Food & Wine Festival. We’ll be grilling, roasting, smoking and baking at the Chef Fire Pits so come see (and taste) why Big Green Egg is the The Ultimate Cooking Experience.

    Bonterra Organic Vineyards

    Sample a range of award-winning wines made from 100% organic grapes. Meet the winemaker and discover America’s #1 organically farmed wine brand at the Bonterra Pop Up Bar!

    Château D’Esclans Rosé Garden Lounge

    Stop by the Château D’Esclans rosé garden lounge and experience the rosé lifestyle of St. Tropez, featuring rosés from Château D’Esclans including the #1 premium rosé in the U.S, Whispering Angel.

    H-E-B Primo Picks

    Discover unique eats and treats with H-E-B at the Austin Food + Wine Festival. Featuring interactive cooking demonstrations and delicious recipes from renowned Chef Michael Skibitcky centered around H-E-B Primo Picks, one of a kind finds available only at H-E-B.

    Hendrick’s Gin

    Sample unusual cocktails concocted by fascinating humans with the assistance of fantastic machines, whilst coming face to face with the HENDRICK’S Curious Cocktail Configurator.


    Stop by the KitchenAid tent to see all of our latest kitchen offerings, including the new black stainless steel major appliances. And watch your favorite chefs cook at the KitchenAid demonstration kitchens!

    Life is Good Discovers Heroes of Optimism

    Take a moment to share who inspires you and fill your glass with optimism.


    Come by the Lyft tent to get free and discounted rides, ask questions and learn about all things Lyft. New to Lyft? Use promo code FOODWINE and get your first ride FREE (up to $20) or click here to download the app.

    Mionetto USA: The Bubbly Bar

    Visit us for a sparkling experience! Enjoy a selection of amazing Proseccos, Sparkling Rosés and refreshing cocktails created by Mixologist Justin Noel.

    Paso Robles Wine Country

    Come taste the wines of Paso Robles Wine Country and learn more about this unique wine region on California’s Central Coast. Fine wine without a hint of snobbery.

    Pioneer Wine Company

    Come uncork some of the finest wines and sakes you’ll encounter from all over the world, and see that there is always time for a great glass of something fantastic!

    Rodney Strong Vineyards Wine & Bites Tent

    Experience the intersection of place and palate with pairings of Rodney Strong wines and bites from Chef Jason Dady.

    Shun Cutlery

    Come see Shun’s gorgeous collection of kitchen cutlery, handcrafted in Japan. Stop by and meet your next favorite kitchen knife.

    SKYY Vodka

    Raise a glass with SKYY Vodka and make a Toast to Austin.

    Summer Sipper Lounge & Patio

    Enjoy the finest summer sips available, including crispy whites, amazing rosés and bubbles from 12 different wineries.

    Stella Artois

    Stella Artois is Hosting One To Remember, breaking down the barrier between front and back of house to bring you incredible flavors and world class beer. Rub elbows with your culinary comrades while enjoying delicious and unexpected plates, perfectly paired with Stella Artois.

    Tesla Motors

    Take an up close look at the revolutionary Model S and learn about our groundbreaking technology that will change your perception of driving, forever.

    Treana Winery

    Sail over and experience the Treana Yacht Club. Relax in our lounge, or captain our luxury yacht, all while enjoying our opulent Treana wines.

    Wines of Navarra

    Run with the kingdom of Navarra, run with the bulls. Stop by to taste wines from the beautiful region of Navarra, Spain, and #namethatbull! The best name wins wines.