With double the booth space this year, Chi’lantro BBQ is ready to cook up comfort food favorites like korean fried chicken tacos and the legendary original kimchi fries for festivalgoers. A plate of these crispy spuds are served with a mound of caramelized kimchi, cilantro, Sriracha, cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, beef, and magic sauce.
A longtime ACL Eats favorite, Mighty Cone lives up to its moniker with their crunchy chicken wrapped inside a cone made with a fried tortilla, topped with mango jalapeño slaw, and doused in ancho aioli. This year, the new kid on the block is the dirty bird, which is a kick-in-a-cone made with chicken or shrimp and served with an extra dose of the aforementioned ancho aioli.
A top-selling item year after year is undoubtedly The Salt Lick's sloppy nachos. Piled high with their signature chopped beef, made-from-scratch queso, and spicy jalapeños, this dish hits all the right notes of savory, meaty goodness. For those who prefer to eat without a bib, don't miss their sausage wraps, pork rib boats, or chopped brisket sandwiches.
For a version of chicken and waffles with the same taste and none of the guilt (especially a vegan and non-GMO option), head to Skull & Cakebones to savor their reimagined classic created with house-made seitan that is guaranteed to satiate meat and non-meat eaters alike. Bonus: The craft bakery will also serve a variety of sweet treats to wash down all of the savory foods.
No Austinite can deny the power of East Side King’s Brussels sprouts salad, which manages to feel light and fresh when the main vegetable is mixed together with cabbage, basil, cilantro, mint, onion, and jalapeños. However, East Side King will offer a fried chicken sandwich for the first time at ACL Eats this year, made with green curry and buttermilk chicken, kewpie mayo, and kimchi pickles.
Tacos are an ideal option for a one-handed festival meal, and Peached Tortilla offers several delicious ways to do it. Try everything from the classics like barbecue brisket and crunchy fish, which are served with homemade sauces and slow-braised meats, though the banh mi tacos won't disappoint—made with Vietnamese braised pork belly, pickled daikon, carrots, spicy mayo, and fresh cilantro, it's the perfect grab-and-go bite.
Maine Root serves up fair trade certified, organically sweetened beverages made right here in Austin, which is the best way to wash down your ACL Eats meal. Choose from spicy ginger brew, mexicane cola, and root beer, though our vote goes to the Texas pink lemonade, which gets its vibrant color from the opuntia fruits of the prickly pear cactus.