Don’t worry if you miss—or missed—some of the official SXSW events, as the airport does the live music thing all year long. They call it Music in the Air, as the airport features plenty of live performances outside several gates and restaurants in the afternoons on Mondays through Fridays. It’s pretty clear that even the airport takes that “The Live Music Capital of the World” thing pretty seriously.
As far as food goes the offerings at AUS can’t be beat, as pretty much all of their options come right from the local community—no Sbarro slices here and they don’t even have a Starbucks. We’ve got a couple picks for you to try out, and the first is within the West Food Court. Salt Lick Bar-B-Que is a top five airport restaurant, and after you have their brisket or smoked sausage you’ll agree. Side dishes and a spongy hunk of bread—for soaking up the extra sauce—round out your meal, and there’s even extra sauce bottled up and ready to go as your own airport souvenir.
Don’t worry if you fill up on the BBQ, as dessert is only a few steps down. Amy’s Ice Cream has locations all over the area, but if you’re in the airport the one at the West Food Court—by Gate 12—is the one to stop at. Their ice cream is some of the best we’ve had anywhere, so being able to enjoy it within the terminal just makes it that much better. They mix any and all of the concoctions right in front of you, so feel free to add chocolate and candy bits and pieces into their unique flavors. Sweet cream, white chocolate, Belgian chocolate, and Mexican vanilla are just some of their everyday flavors, but of course they have some others that come and go daily. There are even some booze-infused flavors that may come in handy for those a little nervous to fly.
So all in all—just make sure you give AUS a little attention as well when you’re in town for SXSW. The music, the food, and the ice cream—it makes the airport one of the best around.