How to Win at Austin Food and Wine

I just made that up because it sounded nice. But, let the record show, I was extremely content at just how much food I consumed in the course of 48 hours.

The end of April is a special time, the weather is generally enjoyable (Despite some rain showers here and there), the sun is out, you can get away with wearing a tank top. And it’s just a “gotta be outside” kind of vibe.

Perfect backdrop for a day drinking food fest, right? RIGHT!

This was my 3rd year at Austin Food and Wine Festival, a privilege I do not take lightly. The event generally sells out, and so obtaining a coveted ticket means you are one of the few who will have basically all access to copious amounts of good times fueled by food and wine. And in my case, lots of Tiny Pies and Dulce Vida Tequila soda’s. Because your girl has a sweet tooth and also enjoys a paleo friendly cocktail.

There are a few events that happen during the weekend event, but the main kahuna is Saturday from 11-4pm and Sunday from 11-3pm. In theory not a lot of time, in reality a ton of time. You are out in the sun and alcohol is involved. Thankfully there are tons of water stations and shade and seating so you don’t have to overdo yourselves. Buuuut, plan accordingly because you’re outside.

So, tips: Wear sunscreen, invest in a wine lanyard, definitely arrive on time so you can maximize food and fun potential, and dress not only to impress, but to fest. As you can see my dress covered me up but left me with a gnarly chest burn so lesson learned apply sunscreen everywhere!

When you’re at the fest, expect to see a handful of brand activations. This year featured a Hendricks Gin giant shaker, and Angry Orchard had a second story deck with views of the lake built. Austin favorite HEB always does a showcase featuring food and drinks that can be found at HEB’s across the state. There are a few programming tents ranging from chef demo’s, to tastings, but the lines get long so be prepared to wait to get in.

My main places to hangout though, are the Contigo and Friends fire pit, and the good ole reason, IMO, why we’re here…. The tasting tents! There are about 4 huge rows that all cross in the middle with a DJ booth. It’s a relatively intimate festival so you run into people a lot, and throughout the day the music blares so as you drink, the dance floor starts to sound really nice. And it drops a BEAT. People, myself included, go to town on the dance floor. It’s a carefree zone and my favorite part about the festival.

Aside from having free reign to some of the best food and drink purveyors in this country, it’s just a really fun time to be surrounded by fellow foodies and experience Austin’s food scene in a really intimate way.

And in my opinion, really fun to see all my talented friends!

Highlights: Lichas’s Cantina had a tasty little chicken tostada. Sway made a delicious *but duh bc Sway* traditional moo larb dish. Lenoir had a curry taco that was really memorable. And Thai Fresh turned it out with dairy free ice cream :b.

So until next year, I will probably spend all of May working off the fest because of how much fun I had. But if you went, then you know. If you didn’t make it, well now you know you gotta get there. See you in 2020!