Try these 7 South Austin Lunch Spots Along the Austin Marathon Course

These seven South Austin lunch spots are all Austin originals

South Austin is one big melting pot. This list of seven south Austin lunch spots perfectly exemplifies this! From grilled cheese to barbecue, everything on this list offers something different. If you’re visiting friends or making plans for the Austin Marathon, add these lunch places to your must-visit list. Check them out and Miles 1-6 of the Austin Marathon course at the same time! Want more south Austin recommendations? These lists of breakfast spots and coffee shops should get you started.

Picture of the Waylon & Willie from Burro Cheese, one of our favorite south Austin lunch spots along the Austin Marathon course.

Snag the Waylon & Willie! Credit – Burro Cheese Facebook.

Burro Cheese (Mile 1)

Don’t look at the name and dismiss this as a food for children. Burro Cheese (1221 S. Congress Ave.) is next-level and combines artisan cheeses, homemade sauces, and fluffy breads. Burro has served delectable grilled cheese sandwiches to the masses since February 2013. Whether you’re from Texas or just visiting, we strongly recommend the Long Tall Texan or the Waylon and Willie. 

Güero’s Taco Bar (Mile 1.5)

When Texas food is mentioned most people immediately think Tex-Mex and they wouldn’t be wrong. But Güero’s Taco Bar (1412 S. Congress Ave.) is just a bit different. They’ve prepared Mexican food with a hint of Tex-Mex for 30 years. Their menu can be overwhelming… in a good way. They have something for everyone, plus their tortillas and salsas are homemade. Whatever you decide to eat, wash it down with a hand-shaken margarita.

Picture of different pizza slices from Home Slice Pizza, one of our favorite south Austin lunch spots along the Austin Marathon course.

In crust we trust. Credit – Home Slice Facebook.

Home Slice (Mile 1.5)

This South Congress staple has the best of both worlds (1415 S. Congress Ave.): you can dine-in or you can call ahead and pick up your pie. Home Slice’s New York-style pizza is making the world a better place, one slice at a time. We can brag about their pizza all day, but their salads, subs, and calzones really make this joint the perfect place for friends to gather after the Austin Marathon. 

Lucy’s Fried Chicken (Mile 2)

Picture of a bucket of fried chicken from Lucy's, one of our favorite south Austin lunch spots along the Austin Marathon course.

Can’t go wrong with a bucket of fried chicken. Credit – Lucy’s Facebook.

Lucy’s (2218 College Ave.) is open seven days a week and their brunch is as legendary as their lunch. If you keep waffling on what to get, just order the Chicken Basket. You won’t be disappointed. Make sure you save room for dessert and their homemade pies! When you go there for lunch, you might want to set aside some time for a post-lunch siesta (nap)!

LeRoy and Lewis (Mile 3)

This once up-and-comer on the Texas barbecue scene has firmly established themselves as one of the best. They even made our top Austin barbecue spots list! LeRoy and Lewis (121 Pickle Rd.) offers non-traditional meats like beef cheeks and barbacoa. They pair them perfectly with their ever-rotating side options. You can still get your brisket on the weekends, but their masterful ability to smoke different meats allows you to expand your horizons. They change their menu a lot. Stay up-to-date with their Instagram!

Picture of the outdoor seating at Fresa's, one of our favorite south Austin lunch spots along the Austin Marathon course.

Sit underneath the massive shade trees at Fresa’s. Credit – Fresa’s Facebook.

Fresa’s (Mile 5)

The Tex-Mex at this Austin original (1703 S. 1st St.) is perfect for sharing with friends and family. If you’re thinking Fresa’s tacos are good then you are correct. Before you order, start off with the Chipotle Bacon Guacamole (you’re welcome). Looking for a vegetarian option? We recommend the Crispy Brussel Sprouts and Grilled Sweet Potatoes. If it’s a beautiful day, sit underneath the massive shade trees. Pro tip: this location offers happy hour prices all day every day to folks seated at the bar! 

Elizabeth Street Cafe (Mile 5.5)

Switch it up a bit at Elizabeth Street Cafe (1501 S. 1st St.). This Vietnamese cafe and French bakery opened in December 2011. They’ve served South Austin fresh-baked pastries ever since. You might think this is an odd combination, but try their pho and follow it up with something sweet. You’ll be hooked! They also have a full bar featuring different sakes and Japanese whiskeys.

We curated this list of south Austin lunch spots. Now the question is where do you begin? To tell you the truth, you can’t go wrong. Just pick a place and get started. Welcome to south Austin! Did your favorite south Austin lunch spot not make the list? Let us know what it is on Facebook or Twitter.

Running Becomes New Routine for Volleyball Player

Broken back leads Blair on a journey and running becomes her new routine

There isn’t a correct way or right time to begin running. Everyone’s journey is different. Some start at a young age while others transition from a different sport. Some start later in life while others return after a lengthy injury. Unbeknownst to Blair Nagel, she broke her back in the seventh grade. But she didn’t realize it until eight years later (sounds like a runner already!). Read her edition of My Running Story, see how running became her new routine, and follow her journey back to full health!

Image of Blair Nagel backpacking through Colorado. Learn how running became her new routine when you ready her edition of My Running Story.

Blair enjoying the scenery while backpacking through Colorado! Credit – Blair Nagel.

Running was the only workout that didn’t aggravate back pain

February 2019 was marked by many things, most prominently inexplicable back pain. Here’s the thing, I’m a 21-year-old lifelong athlete and suddenly I couldn’t drive a car more than ten minutes down Lamar Blvd. How was I going to make it through the upcoming summer of backpack guiding in Colorado? Running became the only form of working out that seemed to make my body and back stronger, rather than ache. So, it became my new routine.

I grew up playing year-round volleyball. As long as I can remember, it was three or more hours of play a day. School ball in the fall, club in the winter and spring, beach in the summer. I’ve always loved the intensity of the game. I was in shape to sprint and jump – not to run long distances. So running and I have never quite been friends, barely even acquaintances on conditioning day. Then one day in the seventh grade, amidst all this training, I felt a sharp pain in my back for the first time ever. After a few months of physical therapy, I was back up and running, but things were never quite the same.

Eight years of my stubborn nature later, I had let my lower back pain persist to the point that some nights I’d end up laying on the floor. Sitting to finish an essay for class was too painful. I have friends in my life who decided it was time for me to overcome my strong will and see a spine doctor. All hopes and prayers begged for clarity because this didn’t add up. 

My back has been broken since seventh grade

Within seconds of looking at my x-ray, my doctor exclaimed, “Oh! Your back is broken! But don’t worry — it’s better than a fracture. No surgery needed. L5-S1 Isthmic Spondylolisthesis.” Essentially, my lowest vertebrae and sacrum are no longer connected by bone, only resting on my disc. My strong muscles compensated for the break since it occurred in seventh grade, until 2019, when my focus turned more to school and extracurriculars rather than fitness.

Not only did running become the new routine, it became a form of medicine. A safe place of healing. Training for the 2020 Austin Half Marathon is a journey back to health and a journey out of pain and stubbornness and into one of joy and overcoming.

My Running Story is a series of blog submissions from runners just like yourself. They submitted their inspirational running stories as part of a contest to win an entry of their choice to the 2020 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon. Their stories range from crossing their first finish line to drastic lifestyle change due to running. Everyone’s story is different and unique, impacting them in a specific way. While each story is specific to the author, everyone can resonate in some form or fashion because of the power of running. Other My Running Story submissions include Kayleigh Williamson, Kirsten Pasha, Michael Coffey, Samantha Santos, Tom Hamann, Erica Richart, Angela Clark, Rebecca Galvan, Jeremy Tavares, and Axel Reissnecker.

Free Marathon Training Plan for 2020 Austin Marathon

FREE 12-week 26.2-mile training plan to get you ready for Austin Marathon

Professional triathlete and coach Paul “Barny” Matthews constructed a free 12-week marathon training plan for 2020. Don’t worry, the plan will still get you ready for the 2021 Ascension Seton Austin Marathon presented by Under Armour on February 14th! Whether you want to set a new PR or complete your first marathon, download this 26.2-mile training plan and toe the start line with confidence. Barny is the coach of Heather Lieberg, 2019 Austin Marathon female champ (2:42:27) and 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

Are you running the Austin Half Marathon? Download Barny’s free half marathon training plan!

Train for 26.2 with a pro

Barny is a world-class triathlete, winning or placing at numerous IRONMANs and 70.3s. He broke onto the triathlon scene at the 2014 IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship in Melbourne. The native Australian finished second in his home country with a time of 8:02:14. He ran the marathon portion of the triathlon (final portion) in 2:44:09! During the marathon, Barny averaged 6:26 min/mile after swimming 2.4 miles and cycling 112 miles! His coaching style provides athletes with a blend of training knowledge he’s learned first-hand. Barny also includes lessons he’s been taught from other world-class runners and triathletes. Barny lives in Austin, but coaches athletes around the world.

This downloadable plan is geared for runners who want to complete their first marathon or set a new PR. You can customize this training plan yourself by adjusting the specific workouts and their days to fit your busy life.

Pro tip: when you have a rest day, take it!

Take your training to the next level and contact Matthews today for personalized coaching. Make sure you ask for his special Austin Marathon coaching rate! Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see where he’s training and join him for a workout.

Enter your email to download the Austin Marathon training plan!


Free marathon training plan for the month of November, designed by Paul "Barny" Matthews for the 2020 Austin Marathon.

Free marathon training plan for the month of December, designed by Paul "Barny" Matthews for the 2020 Austin Marathon.

Free marathon training plan for the month of January, designed by Paul "Barny" Matthews for the 2020 Austin Marathon.

Free marathon training plan for the month of February, designed by Paul "Barny" Matthews for the 2020 Austin Marathon.