Austin: 24/7 Eats


What time is it?

Who cares?! Some of Austin’s greatest diners are open ‘round the clock… 24/7. Basically anytime you want food, they’re there for you. Want the quick guide to some of Austin’s best 24 hour eateries? Read on.

Let’s start with Magnolia Cafe – or “Mags” as I like to call it. With two locations – one on South Congress and the other on Lake Austin Boulevard – Mags isn’t the place to see and be seen, nor is it where you go for fine dining. I doubt the restaurant has been renovated since I moved to Austin in the early 90s. Linoleum everything, broken cushions, peeling walls… those are all part of Mags’s charm! The other part? The perfect, greasy, TexMex and breakfast food.

When thinking about Mags, two words come to mind: endless chips. Many a night, I’ve found myself at Mags, stuffing my face (sexy, I know) with their delicious chips, salsa, queso ($6.50), and Mag Mud ($7.50) – have the Mag Mud with tortillas, it’s awesome! Aside from those appetizers, my Mags favorites include their chicken quesadillas ($6.95), flamingo quesadillas ($6.75), cheese quesadillas ($4.50), Migas ($6.75), vegetarian omelette ($7.95), popeye omelette ($7.95, I get it without bacon for $7.50), breakfast tacos ($4.25), garden breakfast tacos ($6.50), and their pancakes – I suggest their blueberry and banana short stack ($6.50). All are delicious.

Next up: Kerbey Lane Cafe. Kerbey Lane Cafe was named for its original address – 3704 Kerbey Lane. Over the past 30 years, Kerbey Lane has expanded to have four additional locations on South Lamar, North 183, Guadalupe (by UT, on the Drag), and on William Cannon.

Now for your menu choices. Basically, choose anything from their breakfast menu, and you’ll be golden. French Toast with a scoop of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream ($7.20)? YUM. A short stack of buttermilk, gingerbread, apple whole wheat, blueberry, gluten free apple cinnamon, or gluten free gingerbread pancakes ($5.75)? Double yum! Kerbey Lane’s Paris Texas Platter – French toast and Migas ($7.50)? TRÈS YUM! You really can’t go wrong.

Last, but certainly not least, we have 24 Diner (photograph above by my dear friend Shaina). One of my favorite spots in Austin – diner or not. Located at the corner of 6th Street and North Lamar (next to Waterloo, diagonal from Whole Foods, across from Anthropologie… you should really just memorize that corner if you haven’t already), 24 not only has [damn good] food: it also has beer, wine, and cocktails! It is one of my favorite places to go for brunch, partly due to 24’s great Bloody Marys and Mimosas, and I even enjoy going there for just drinks (I love the 24 Diner Press).

24 Diner is unique in that the majority (if not all) of its food is local and organic… rare in the 24-hour diner market! The majority of the dishes are massive servings so I really suggest ordering the small whenever possible. The restaurant is most well known for its delicious hash (I like the Veggie Hash, small is $8.95) and its Chicken and Waffles (small is $9.95). For another breakfasty option, I really enjoy 24’s Veggie Frittata ($10.95). If you decide to go for lunch, dinner, midnight snack, or you just really don’t feel like eating a normal breakfast, I definitely suggest ordering the Baked Ricotta ($8.95), Betsy’s Veggie ($13.95), Goat Cheese Veggie ($13.95), the Patty Melt ($12.95), and/or the side of Macaroni & Cheese. Whatever you do, do not skip 24 Diner’s milkshakes – the Roasted Banana & Brown Sugar ($6.45) is without a doubt and by far the most amazing milkshake I’ve ever had. And I’ve had my fair share of milkshakes.

Seriously. Don’t miss that milkshake.


What are your favorite things to get at Mags, Kerbey Lane, and 24? Any 24/7 diners you think should make my list?


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