Chances are, if you're in the music, tech, film, or media business, you or some of your colleagues are headed to Austin right about now for the SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive conference which kicks off March 8. While attendees will find their schedules packed with panels, demos, concerts, and wall-to-wall marketing pitches, if they can sneak away from the SxSW circus, Austin has a lot to offer.

Here, we present some suggestions for enjoying the most laid back city in Texas beyond the 24-hour blitz of the festival.


The Dock & Roll Diner: Every city has food trucks, but Austin has a food Airstream trailer. Follow them on Twitter @DockandRoll for the daily specials, like today's offering: The Infidel Castro: "Cuban rubbed smoked pork, prosciutto, swiss, pickle, jalapeño and vaquero."

Roll on Sushi Diner: Prefer down-home sushi? Try their Chicken Fried Steak Roll. Of course they're on Twitter: @RollOnSushi.

Uchi + Uchiko: Another award-winning sushi option that offers "Japanese farmhouse dining." @UchiAustin.

The Backspace: There's a reason T+L put this place on the Best Italian Restaurants in the U.S. list last year: The wood-fired brick oven pizza will make you forget all about New York or Chicago. (Please direct all angry pizza-related emails to our Pizza Ombudsman.)


Hotel San Jose's Courtyard Bar: Take a break from the smartphone crowd by renting a typewriter or a polaroid. If you really feel the need for status updates, hand out what you typed and call it an acoustic tweet.

Max's Wine Dive: This mini chain has outlets in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, and their website proudly states that "During SXSW we will be serving our dinner menu all day Monday - Friday, 11am - midnight." You know what that means? Fried chicken with your hangover.


Progress Coffee: With two locations offer "Better Coffee" for a "Better Life" and "Better World"—and breakfast. What more could you want?

Hotel Saint Cecilia: Looking for a hotel that quotes Bob Dylan on its website and offers turntables in each room? Look no further. Didn't bring any records? Their library offers vinyl along with books.