South by Southwest is a networking opportunity like no other, but it can be difficult to navigate follow-up meetings with all the chaos of the conference. For out-of-towners, or just those looking for trusted info, we’ve assembled this list of where to meet after the business card exchange.
This charming cafe on the lake with strong Sightglass coffee will definitely become a favorite. Dining options range from light quinoa porridge to hearty waffles. Don't worry, there are breakfast tacos, too, so you can check those off your Austin bucket list. 35 Brazos St., 512-433-6155
Plentiful, comfy seating and a homey feel make this downtown java joint a choice pick for meeting. Friendly staff can help you find the perfect blend, and their passion for coffee is evident in every remarkable cup. Plus, they have extended SXSW hours from 7 am to 7 pm. 804 Congress Ave., #101, 512-827-2770
The afternoon meal during SXSW is generally something hastily grabbed between sessions, and the staff at Trace can happily accommodate tight schedules with their Lunch on the Fly offerings. The $12 menu (which includes valet parking) features a main course, side dish, and box of cookies to-go. Their full lunch menu also has some standouts (duck confit grilled cheese, anyone?), while the beautiful patio provides a nice respite. 200 Lavaca St., 512-542-3660
Choosing an award-winning cocktail bar definitely shows taste. Featuring concoctions by era (Prohibition, Tiki, etc.), and crafted by expert bartenders, Roosevelt Room also has ample booths or table seating so you can get down to business. 307 W. Fifth St., 512-494-4094
A little farther away from the conference epicenter (but still walkable), this neighborhood gem offers excellent food and a quiet atmosphere that's better fit for conversation. The menu is composed of perfectly balanced dishes, and "The Experience" allows diners unlimited small plates. 1200 W. Sixth St., 512-322-9226
Hey, it’s doesn't have to be all business at SXSW! Nothing says romance like a cozy Italian bistro, and La Traviata’s excellent pastas and prime location on Congress Avenue makes for a special night. Have your own "Lady and the Tramp" moment with their sumptuous carbonara—if your date has proved worthy of sharing, that is. 314 Congress Ave., 512-479-8131