For the Live Music Capital of the World, it can be surprisingly tough to find good 24-hour joints to grab a bite after a night out or a show.
While some Austin staples—Kerbey Lane, Epoch Coffee, Bennu Coffee and Magnolia Cafe to name a few—have adjusted their hours due to COVID, there are still plenty of iconic eats ready to fuel you through all types of all-nighters.
Here's some 24-hour restaurants to satisfy any late-night craving around Austin:
The Buzz Mill, 1505 Town Creek Dr.
Open 24/7, this Austin staple has been feeding Riverside with vegetarian eats since 2013. Grab a coffee by day and a craft beer come nighttime while choosing from a variety of Beyond Meat burgers and breakfast options. You don't have to go out at all beforehand, either—Buzz Mill brings the entertainment to you with live music, open mics and more events on their outdoor patio.
Zombie Taco, 25512 Guadelupe St Unit 100
A favorite for UT students, Zombie Taco offers the classic late-night staple: tacos and burritos—just off campus on The Drag. The one-stop-shop comes stocked with a full bar and outdoor patio perfect for a night out and breakfast for the morning after.
Voodoo Doughnuts, 212 E 6th St.
Lodged in a prime location on Dirty Sixth, this gourmet doughnut shop has been a haven for late-night munchies for countless Austin partiers. The Portland-based chain offers flavors that are much more appetizing than they sound—"Dirt" and "Dirty Old Bastard" are just a few examples—as well as classic donut shop fare.
Bring your cash and your appetite when you go—the restaurant is cash-only but has ATMs onsite.
La Mexicana Bakery, 1924 S 1st St.
Family-owned and operated for more than 27 years, La Mexicana Bakery is home to "the best Mexican bread in Austin" 24/7. The bakery is home to oven-baked bread, cakes and pastries, savory items like breakfast tacos and BBQ and is conveniently located at the center of town.
Tyson's Tacos, 4905 Airport Blvd.
This 24/7 Hyde Park location embraces "Keep Austin Weird" culture while serving up 37 tacos of all varieties. Grab a bite for breakfast, lunch and dinner on their aesthetic outdoor patio.
Las Cazuelas, 1701 E Cesar Chavez St.
Las Cazuelas is the only non-24/7 restaurant on the list—it's open 24 hours Wednesday-Sunday—but it more than makes up for it with its classic Tex-Mex options for any late night out.
Jim's Restaurant, Multiple locations
"There's always Jim's," as the restaurant's motto goes, to satisfy your cravings with classic diner fare. From chicken fried steak to stacks of pancakes, the San Antonio-based chain's three Austin locations are readily available for any late-night wanderer.
The Classics: Waffle House, IHOP, Whataburger
Every Texan's rite of passage is eating in a Whataburger at 3 a.m., and with 18 locations around Austin, the Texas-based burger chain is readily available to Austinites craving a late-night snack.
Other classic favorites include Waffle House and its slightly classier sister, IHOP, both of which bring early-morning breakfast options well into the night.
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For years Austin has been one of the top 5 places to live in the U.S., according to an annual ranking from U.S. News and World Report. But this year, Austin dropped out of the top 10.
The publication ranked Austin at No. 13, down from No. 5 last year, No. 3 in 2020 and No. 1 in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Cities ranking in the top this year were No. 1 Huntsville, Alabama, No. 2 Colorado Springs and No. 3 Green Bay, Wisconsin.
So why did it rank lower this year?
The hot housing market is part of the reason. The report states "Austin offers a lower value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income."
Still, Austin was the highest-ranked Texas city on the list. Adding to its desirability are its live music capital roots and the growing tech scene. The next Texas area on the list was Dallas-Fort Worth coming in at No. 32.
U.S. News says it analyzed 150 metro areas in the U.S. to make the list based on the quality of life, the job market, the value of living there and people's desire to live there.
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Austin parents and grocery store shelves are feeling the effects of a nationwide baby formula shortage.
Caused mostly by a February recall due to contamination issues, followed by the Abbott Nutrition factory closure in Michigan, the shortage has left Austin shelves barren. However, earlier this week, U.S. officials announced a plan with the facility to restart production.
In the meantime, local parents in crisis have turned toward the Mother’s Milk Bank to keep their babies fed.
HEB on East 7th has been picked clean of formula and is limiting purchases. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
The milk bank—which takes donations from lactating mothers and dispenses milk to babies in the NICU—has been helping feed upwards of 30 families in need as the formula supply tightens.
According to the bank’s executive director Kim Updegrove, Mother’s Milk Bank has seen an uptick in calls from parents with healthy babies in need of help since the shortage began.
“We aren't used to hearing from families with healthy infants,” Updegrove said. “They're typically very upset, angry, frustrated, sobbing—it's scary to not be able to feed your infants. So in the past few weeks, those calls have been significantly increasing.”
Mothers are only able to donate if they are within a year postpartum, so Updegrove said they are constantly bringing on and retiring donors. While donors had been on a 30% decline leftover from 2021 when the shortage began, Updegrove said the shortage has led to mass community interest and more than 90 prospective donors in just the past few days.
“We and other milk banks are experiencing significant interest from the community—becoming milk donors and helping to turn around this crisis,” Updegrove said. “Every infant needs to be fed, every one of us can relate to that need, and we need to make sure as a community that it happens.”
Whole Foods downtown was also cleaned out of typical formula. (Laura Figi/Austonia)
While you may still be able to find formula at places like Whole Foods—which currently has goat milk, soy and plant-based formula in stock—Updegrove said it might not be what a baby needs.
Updegrove said it is best to buy types that say “infant formula,” as they are FDA approved and will provide the nutrients, vitamins and minerals a baby needs. Plant-based, homemade, non-cow's milk or diluting formula may not provide the same nutritional value.
As the community navigates the shortage, Updegrove said the most important way to help out is to not panic buy or stockpile.
“This is a crisis for families,” Updegrove said. “This is the time for the community to gather together and figure out what everyone can do to help families with young infants.”