Best Lunch Spots to Hit Up Near UT’s Campus
As a college student living near campus and rushing from class to class each day, it can be hard to fit in a good, nutritious lunch on a daily basis. But, luckily, Austin is one of the greatest food cities in the world, and this isn’t limited to just the hip downtown restaurants. In fact, there are countless phenomenal restaurants right by campus that provide an array of delicious lunch and brunch options for a busy student.
Kerbey Lane Cafe
Starting off with a classic student staple, Kerbey Lane Cafe is all you could want in a campus diner. It’s delicious, greasy diner food with a necessary tex-mex flair, and is the perfect place to go at any time of day. I’m not lying when I tell you it tastes just as good at 8pm as it does at 8am. But, lunch is definitely my favorite time to be at Kerbey, eating anything from the delectable chips and queso, to the comforting pancakes, to the refreshing mediterranean salad.
Ask anybody at UT where the best game-day eats come from, and they’ll say Cabo Bob’s. With the atmosphere of a mom-and-pop shop and featuring endless options to add to your custom burrito or bowl, this Mexican spot is just a short walk from campus and never disappoints. For a post-game lunch, the massive burritos are a classic. But on any given day, you can find Cabo Bob’s packed to the brim with students getting salads, tacos, and more!
A little further north of campus sits the most adorable deli-meets-cafe with some of the best sandwiches around. FoodHeads has insanely creative dishes, such as the Brisket Brioche Banh Mi and the Green Chile Chicken Pozole. But, what truly makes it special is that it houses the perfect atmosphere for students to study and get work done.
On the corner of Guadalupe and 29th street, Counter Cafe is a must-try lunch spot. With everything from loaded salads to pancakes larger than the plate, this unassuming, small cafe is anything but. Students can easily walk here from anywhere on campus, and with indoor and outdoor seating the wait is never too long. Insider tip- try the breakfast potatoes, you won’t regret it.
The fact that this bagel spot is a short drive away should not be a reason to ignore it. Being from the northeast, I thought coming to Texas I would never have a good bagel again. But, let me tell you, Nervous Charlie’s bagel sandwiches are some of the best I’ve ever had. And that’s including what I’ve eaten in New York City! High quality lox, creative lunch combinations combining chicken cutlets and Russian dressing, and delicious egg sandos can all be found at Nervous Charlie’s.
I can’t make a list of best lunches in Austin and not include tacos. UT Austin students are really spoiled in that we have Torchy’s Tacos just north of campus, with some of the best tacos and queso you’ll ever try. My personal favorite is the ‘Mr. Orange’ Taco, made up of blackened salmon, grilled corn & black bean relish, cotija cheese and cilantro on a corn tortilla. The chips, guacamole and queso are all incredible as well, representing some of the best that Tex-Mex has to offer.
As much as I love cheesy gueso and greasy French fries, sometimes all I want is a good salad. The Sweetgreen location right on Guad is perfect for this craving, providing healthy, whole ingredients to students all day long. I love to pick up a custom salad on my way home from class. The spicy broccoli is a personal favorite, but all of the ingredients are fresh and make the best salads in Austin.
Sometimes a student just wants a little bit of a nicer, sit-down meal for lunch. When I have the time, Josephine House is my top pick. This cute spot is a short drive from campus and features great options that don’t break the bank. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Avocado Toast. But, items like the Big Chopped Salad and rice bowl have received rave reviews as well.