Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) is an international airport that serves as the primary airport for the Austin metropolitan area and the surrounding regions. While on the smaller side of international airports, ABIA stands out as one of the biggest airports in terms of attractions and amenities it provides to travelers.
If you find yourself stuck in the Austin airport due to a layover, delayed flight, or you just showed up a little too early, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied while waiting for your flight. Whether you call Austin home, are a visitor to the city, or merely passing through, there is always something new to explore at ABIA.
We know many people traveling to Austin get their first and last impressions of Austin at the airport. That’s why we’ve curated this article to highlight where to eat, what do and where to shop while waiting on a flight.
In this article, we explore:
- What are the best restaurants at the Austin airport?
- Where are the best places to get a drink at the Austin airport?
- What are the best stores at the Austin airport?
- Where is the best entertainment at the Austin airport?
What are the best restaurants at the Austin airport?
Whether you are looking for a traditional dine-in experience, or just need to grab a bite on the way to your gate, ABIA has plenty of options whatever the case may be.
- Parkside (near gate 3) – Likely the most diverse restaurant on this list, Parkside is a restaurant located primarily in Downtown Austin. This location now brings a wide variety of options from cheeseburgers to oysters by the dozen to the Austin airport.
- Salt Lick (near gate 22) – Salt Lick is one of the many iconic barbeque restaurants in Austin, TX. Salt Lick is a family-style smokehouse that is known for its variety of homemade seasonings and barbeque sauces. They also serve breakfast tacos during breakfast hours.
- East Side Pies (near gate 22) – A local Austin favorite thin-crust pizza joint. Customers can choose between a traditional sit-down experience or a build-your-own “grab-and-go” line.
- Hut’s Hamburgers (near gate 14) – The last remaining location of the staple Austin burger joint with a retro vibe
- The Peached Tortilla (near gate 17) – If you’re looking for something outside of the box, The Peached Tortilla is your place. This restaurant is a former food truck turned into a full-service Asian-fusion restaurant.
- Annie’s Cafe & Bar (near gate 27) – Delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, sides and more
- I Vini (near gate 32) – Italian restaurant serving pasta, pizza, salads, sandwiches, breakfast, sweets, Italian coffee, and wine
- Haymaker (near gate 23) – Local Austin spot offering southern food such as poutine, comfort sandwiches and craft beer
- Tacodeli (near gate 32) – A fast taco joint known for its unique combinations and, of course, breakfast tacos. They have a grab-and-go breakfast taco station, but you can also order at the counter for fresher tacos if you have the time.
- ThunderCloud Subs (near gate 30) – A local Austin favorite, this sub shop serves fresh sandwiches and salads.
- Flyrite Chicken Sandwiches (near gate 22) – A high-quality, modern fried chicken joint.
- Hat Creek Burger Company (across from gate 12) – A family-friendly specialty burger restaurant with endless customizable options.
- Juiceland (near gate 17) – An Austin favorite juice/smoothie bar that offers unique combinations and recipes based on raw, organic vegetables, and fresh fruits.
- Earl Campbell’s Taco Truck (near gate 19) – The only food truck inside Austin’s airport, which offers a wide variety of tacos including build-your-own, all started and owned by Texas Longhorns football legend running back Earl Campbell.
- Whataburger – The Texas-born fast-food burger joint everyone knows and loves. The drive-thru is open 24/7 so you can get your fix no matter what time you land. (Note: This is located at 2901 Spirit of Texas Drive, right in the airport’s cell phone parking lot, not actually inside the airport.)
Coffee and Sweets
- Jo’s Coffee (near gate 19) – Our favorite stop for a hot coffee, cold brew, or a quick bite for the road.
- Berry Austin (near gate 17) – For all the sweet tooths out there, Berry Austin offers frozen yogurt, acai bowls, and juices.
- Amy’s Ice Cream (near gate 21) – This local and well-loved ice cream shop is serving up a wide variety of unique and classic ice cream flavors, as well as milkshakes and baked goods.
- Caffe Medici (near gate 9) – A cozy coffee spot with quick but delicious handcrafted coffee, and sweet and savory bites to-go.
- Ruta Maya (near gates 14 and 28) – A more traditional coffee spot known for their organic arabica imported straight from Chiapas, Mexico.
- Sprinkles (by gates 12 and 15) – Cupcake vending machine serving up fresh cupcakes at the touch of a button.
Where are the best places to get a drink at the Austin Airport?
It’s almost always five o’clock in Austin, and there are plenty of places to quench your thirst at ABIA when the time comes. We’ve curated some of our favorite bars to grab a drink at, no matter what your style is.
- Second Bar + Kitchen (near gate 16) – One of the more upscale options on this list, Second Bar + Kitchen is primarily known for its food. The original Austin location is a fine dining restaurant inside the four-star Archer Hotel. However, Second Bar has the best cocktails in all of ABIA by far. If you’re looking for a hefty selection of fine wines, or specially crafted signature cocktails, Second Bar is the place for you.
- The Beerdrop (near gate 12) – The Beerdrop is a more casual option and is the perfect spot for a refreshing IPA. The Beerdrop is a rustic draft bar with the largest selection of beers in the airport that range from craft locals, to well-known domestic and import beers, almost all of which are offered by draft, can or bottle.
- Vino Volo (near gate 22) – If you’re feeling a little fancy, Vino Volo is Austin-Bergstrom’s classic wine bar with a plentiful selection of reds, whites and sparkling mixtures.
- Saxon Pub (near gate 19) – An expansion of the live music dive bar on Lamar Boulevard, Saxon Pub gives off the classic Austin vibe with craft beers, great cocktails and live music on some days.
What are the best stores at the Austin airport?
There are also a number of places to shop at the Austin airport, from well-known stores to souvenir shops.
- Austin City Limits / Waterloo Records (near gate 15) – Offshoot of the historical record store Waterloo Records, which sells CDs, DVDs and records from every ACL concert, they also have other merchandise and live concerts inside the store.
- Tyler’s (near gate 18) – A popular clothing retail store where you can find the notorious “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirts, as well as other apparel and gift items – a great spot to grab a last-minute gift for someone back home.
- Book People (near gate 20) – A local Austin bookstore offering a great selection of books, magazines, souvenirs, gifts, snacks, electronics, and travel necessities.
- The Scoreboard (near gate 15) – A sports gear and clothing store for Longhorns fans, Cowboys fans, and sports fans in general.
- Taste ATX (near gate 15) – Traditional airport souvenir store.
- Fifth & Congress (near gate 28) – Retail store with apparel and gift items.
- James Avery Jewelry (just past checkpoint 1) – Shop for a last-minute gift or accessory for your trip or a loved one back home.
- The Austin Chronicle (near gate 8) – Books, magazines, souvenirs, snacks and travel accessories.
Where is the best entertainment at the Austin airport?
We’d be amiss if our airport didn’t feature live music (we are the Live Music Capital of the World afterall!) So if shopping isn’t your thing, there are numerous stages with live music as well as some incredible art exhibits throughout the airport.
- Asleep at the Wheel Stage (near gate 19 between The Saxon Pub and Earl Campbell’s Taco Truck)
- ACL/Waterloo Records Stage (near gate 15)
- The Haymaker Stage (near gate 24)
- Tacodeli Stage (near gate 23)
- Austin City Market Stage (near gate 12)
- Wings of History Exhibit (under East Mezzanine staircase) – Model airplane collection exhibit
- Texas Toy Museum (between gates 18 and 20)
- Colony Park Gallery (across from gate 10)
- Clarksville Gallery (across from gate 10) – Art cloth network
- Zilker Gallery (across from gate 17) – Art cloth gallery
- Joyville Gallery (across from gate 20) – Art cloth gallery
- 5 Banksy Prints (near the Clarksville Gallery)
*These art exhibits are not permanent as they are ever-changing through seasons and shows. While the exhibits listed above may not still be there when you make your way through ABIA, rest assured there will be an exhibit that takes it’s place!
Want to explore the Austin airport on your own? Click here to view an interactive map of ABIA.
We hope this guide helps you pass the time while you are at the Austin airport. With things changing rapidly at the airport, there may have been something we missed. Let us know of any changes or additions through our website contact form.
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