Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon
1703 S. 1st St., Bouldin
Austin is one of the few cities that can pull off a really well done drive-through. Fresa's is all about chicken—tacos, bowls, salads, wings—although there is usually a beef and shrimp plate, and you can order the salads sans meat. The have a handful of grilled sides, including, of course, Mexican street corn. The Downtown location is the original one and is to-go only; in addition to lunch and dinner, they do breakfast tacos until 11am on weekdays and until noon on weekends. The second location in Bouldin is larger; it has a dining room and outdoor patio (plus a full bar) in addition to a go-to window, so you have the option of eating there. They do lunch and dinner here only—the take-out window opens at 8am, though, with dine in starting at 11am.
Bouldin Creek Cafe
1900 S. 1st St., Bouldin
Whether you never eat meat, or you're just looking for a break from brisket and BBQ, Bouldin Creek is an easy choice. The cafe serves appetizing all-vegetarian fare with vegan options and mostly organic, local ingredients. Come here for salads, sandwiches, breakfast all day—or just a coffee as you meander down South First. (If you are spending some time in the area, after Bouldin Creek, go to Sugar Mama's across the street for a cupcake.)
1713 S. 1st St., Bouldin
Francesca and Marco Silvestrini are Italian immigrants (Francesca’s fiancé Leo is also involved in the business; he’s another Italian native) who were dismayed that they couldn’t find great gelato in the states. One hot summer in Columbus, Ohio, Francesca quit her doctoral program and bee-lined it for Bologna to attend the Carpigiani Gelato University, which is, in fact, a real place and every bit as wonderful as it sounds. Francesca makes authentic, Italian-style gelato using the mantecazione vertical batch method, which contributes to its creamy texture. While she does the basics like chocolate and stracciatella really well, there are some great Texas-inspired flavors like peach and sweet potato on the menu too.
909 W. Mary St., Bouldin
While it’s not an ice cream shop per se, every vegan in Austin knows that Thai Fresh has the best vegan ice cream. Made with coconut milk, it’s light and refreshing, and the flavors reveal a combination of Thai and Texan influences, with options like mango lime, Texas peach, sweet potato pie, ginger lemongrass, and Texas corn. Try ordering it on top of traditional sweet sticky rice.
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