Whether you currently live in Austin, have visited friends here and wish you did, or experience this one-of-a-kind city vicariously through classic country music songs and viral videos of mouth-watering food trucks, most likely you’ve heard of the ultimate two-weekend homegrown event, Austin City Limits Music Festival. With eight stages, 140 bands, and more than 30 food and drink vendors, it’s jam-packed with all of your favorites from live music to craft brews to the best tacos in Austin. It has a little something for everyone, and they definitely expect you to come hungry. The ACL Eats food court this year has a lineup almost as incredible as the artists themselves. With the most delicious options from local eateries and the surrounding area’s favorite restaurants, we’re here to give you the scoop on how to stay healthy and hydrated without breaking the bank…or your gut. We’ve narrowed down the list to ten options that will keep you refreshed, satisfied, and feeling as great as you look all while jammin’ out to your favorite bands at Austin’s hottest music festival of the year.
It’s hot in Texas. Heck, it’s hot even in October. When you need something sweet and icy to beat the heat, these gluten–free, low calorie, fresh fruit popsicles will make you think you’re cheating the system as soon as you you taste them. How can something this healthy taste so wonderful? Bonus, they even have a cold-brew pop option for all of you caffeine lovers out there who need that little afternoon pick–me-up!
Orange ‘n’ Cream (GF)(V) – $4
Strawberry Lemonade (GF)(V) – $4
Watermelon Agave (GF)(V) – $4
Cold–brew Coffee (GF) – $4
With a feel-good, do-good initiative in every sip, JuiceLand’s fresh veggie and fruit smoothies are the perfect way to cool down, feel refreshed, and satisfy your hunger between your favorite bands on stage. Packed with berries, greens, antioxidants, and protein, you can’t go wrong with any of their featured options.
Fun Punch (Pineapple, Cherry, Ginger) (V)(GF) – $6
Cucumber Kale Agua Fresca (V)(GF) – $6
Mango Smoothie (V)(GF) – $7
Watermelon Agua Fresca (V)(GF) – $6
photo by Mark Weatherford
East Side King
“Japanese street food with a touch of Austin soul” is how this famous food truck likes to describe itself. With three of their top menu items being featured at the festival, we really want to single out the Brussels sprout salad. Looking past the fried Brussels sprouts and bun, you’ll find some fresh and healthy veggies like cabbage, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, and jalapeño that really bring this dish into a serene balance for those who love fried food, but want to stay on a healthy track.
Pro tip: This dish is vegetarian, but can be vegan/gluten free upon request!
Brussels Sprout Salad – $9
Tino’s Greek Cafe
Tino’s offers a variety of authentic Greek food made with fresh ingredients to satisfy both the meat eater and the vegetarian. This is a great choice for those looking for a variety of healthy options in one place.
Falafel Wrap (VGT) – $10
Veggie Plate (Hummus (V), Tabouli (V), Tzatziki Sauce (GF), and Grape Leaves (V) (GF) – $10
Gyro Salad – $10
This food truck is a savory fusion of Mediterranean and Indian cuisine that will leave your belly happy and your hunger satisfied. The hummus and pita chip combo is a great mid-afternoon snack to tide you over until dinnertime, but if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and want something heavier, the salad bowl comes with your choice of meat and is served on a bed of spring salad mix with hummus and their signature tzatziki and spicy sauce.
Pro Tip: For portion control, ask for the sauce on the side.
Salad Bowl (Chicken Tikka (GF), Gyro, or Falafel (V)(GF) – $9
Hummus & Pita (VGT) – $4
Known for their top-rated South African cuisine and kebabs, Peli Peli is featuring a super fresh salad option on their menu this year at ACL. Chock-full of cool, refreshing veggies and sweet peppers from Africa, this is a great option to curb your mid-afternoon hunger and leave you feeling good enough to crowd surf after.
Cucumber Salad with Tomatoes, Peppadews & Onions Mixed with an Italian Vinaigrette – $6
Skull & Cakebones
This plant-based bakery serving only clean eats is all vegan and a healthy choice to curb that concert-going hunger.
Mac N Chee–Z (Elbow Macaroni And Cheeze Topped With Sourdough Breadcrumbs) (V) – $10
Avocado Toast (Sourdough Toast With Mashed Avocados, Cherry Tomatoes, And Toasted Hemp Seeds) (V) – $9
Finally! A taco you can stuff your face with and still feel good about. Chi’Lantro is one of the most sought after Korean food trucks in Austin–their tacos full of deep fried tofu, soy vinaigrette Korean salad, cilantro, onion, and special salsa are a no-brainer healthy late night choice after seeing your favorite musician perform live.
Tofu Tacos (V) – $9
You can’t have a music festival in Austin without some fresh, local, and organic Mexican food readily available for the masses. Tamale Addition’s vegetarian and vegan tamale options at ACL this year are so tasty, you’ll wish you could have them every day.
Beans and Goat Cheese Tamales (GT) (VGT) – 2 for $10
Spinach with Caramelized Onions Tamales (GT) (V) – 2 for $10
P. Terry’s Burger Stand
It wouldn’t be a festival without a burger we could get behind. P. Terry’s is a household name in Austin and if you haven’t tried their house-made veggie burgers, you’re seriously missing out!
Pro tip: For a healthier alternative, order without cheese and ask for your burger to be served on a whole wheat bun or lettuce wrap!
Veggie Burger (VGT) – $6