If you’re like us, you’re already excited to visit Austin this winter for the 2024 Industrial Marketing Summit (IMS). Food is always the best part of traveling, and what better place to enjoy food than a city known for its vibrant culinary scene?      

Luckily, breakfast, lunch and two breaks will be catered at IMS on-site February 1, and the February 2 workshops will include breakfast and a break. But you’ll still have plenty of time to check out the local foods.

IMS will be located on The University of Texas at Austin campus at the AT&T Hotel and Conference Center. Here are some of our favorite nearby grub spots!

Austin’s Best BBQ Spots 

Austin is renowned for its delicious barbecue, with a focus on smoked meats like brisket, ribs, and sausages. These restaurants have gained national attention for their barbeque offerings.

Franklin Barbecue is said to serve “the best barbecue in the known universe.” The co-owner and pitmaster, Aaron Franklin, has published multiple books and even hosts a MasterClass! Located about 1.4 miles from the Conference Center, Franklin Barbecue is a close option, but be prepared to get there early and wait. The line forms as early as 6 am prior to the doors opening at 11am. Only the first 150 or so people in line are guaranteed to get food. Good luck!

la Barbecue is a barbecue dynasty. Owner LeAnn Mueller’s father won a James Beard award for his barbecue in 2006. Their recipes celebrate his traditions but with new twists – like sugarless coleslaw! La Barbecue is located just over three miles from the Conference Center.

Terry Black’s BBQ, located near Zilker Park on Barton Springs Rd., is a go-to for locals who love them for their moist brisket, sausage, abundance of sides, and homemade peach cobbler.

The Salt Lick is located on sprawling acreage southwest of Austin in the Hill Country town of Driftwood. For first-timers we recommend the all-you-can-eat meal served family style so that you can try a bit of everything. It is BYOB, but the adjacent Salt Lick Cellars has a selection of wine…or you can pick up a six-pack nearby.

Austin’s Best Food Trucks

Austin has a thriving food truck culture, offering a diverse range of cuisines from all around the world. You can find anything from gourmet donuts to Korean tacos, and more!    

East Side King is known for its Asian fusion street food. Created by Paul Qui and Moto Utsunomiya during their time at the Japanese restaurant Uchi/Uchiko, East Side King provides a space for them to have creative freedom and fun with food. Visit East Side King at their two Austin locations, each about a 10-minute drive from the Conference Center.

Torchy’s Tacos is known for its creative and flavorful tacos and for its fans, otherwise known as Taco Junkies. Try their experimental and always- fresh tacos at multiple food truck and retail store locations throughout the city.

Patrizi’s is a family-owned business thatspecializes in Italian cuisine. They originally opened in Beaumont, TX in the 1940s and served fresh pasta dishes. Now they deliver the same delicious pasta out of their food truck two miles from the Conference Center.

Gourdough’s is known for its “Big. Fat. Donuts.” It may not be a traditional meal, but we won’t judge if you fill up on these massive, fresh-baked goods! The best donut served out of a truck is only a nine     -minute drive from the Conference Center.

Unique Downtown Dining

Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill serves comfort food menu with a Southern twist, including chicken and waffles, moonshine shrimp and grits, smoked brisket queso. Excellent craft cocktails too.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya specializes in Japanese street food with a Texas twist. Kemuri Tatsu-Ya offers ramen, yakitori and other creative Asian fusion dishes. Their brisket ramen is legendary!

Perlas is located on South Congress and offers oyster and seafood dishes with a coastal vibe. Their patio has amazing views for people watching.

Swift’s Attic is an industrial-chic restaurant with New American cuisine and a popular rooftop patio bar.

Odd Duck offers seasonal farm-to-table new American dishes with an adventurous menu and laidback vibe. Recently spotted dining here – Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick!

Vespaio is a cozy yet vibrant restaurant specializing in rustic Italian cuisine. Known for their handmade pastas, bruchetta bar and extensive wine list.

Aba is owned by, James Beard-nominated chef, CJ Jacobson, an Austin native. Aba serves Mediterranean and Italian inspired dishes with a modern twist. Named one of the best new restaurants in the US by Bon Appétit magazine in 2018. Make a reservation well in advance!