Summer in Texas is long, y’all. It’s sunny and stifling hot, and the only survival method we know is to be in or around water as much as humanly possible. It doesn’t end with the official summer season, either. Long after the fashion world touts the new fall lines, we’ll still be hitting over 90 degrees and wearing as few clothes as possible. The fact is, we’ll be sporting bathing suits for the next six months (at least). This means that summer eats are essential.
Summer’s when we start trading the pizza and beer for things that complement the sweltering heat. You might think about bar food when you think about us, but we’ve also got great summer eats. Whether you’re squeezing into last year’s Vix suit or just sick of hot food in 100-plus degree temps, we’ve got something to satisfy the hunger pains. Here are five options for summer eats in Austin – all found on West 6th.
West 6th’s Best Summer Eats
J. BLACK’S | J. BLACK’S has great bar food. Lesser known are some of their lighter options. Opt for their vitamin rich beet salad with seasonal beets, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, avocado, and arugula dressed with balsamic vinaigrette (add grilled chicken if you need some extra protein). Their housemade hummus is some of the best in town and full of healthy protein. (Pro-tip: hold the pita in favor of extra cucumber and carrots.)
Open for lunch + dinner nightly, and weekend brunch.
Dogwood | Dogwood makes a mean burger (seriously, fried green tomato on a burger?!), but their salads are fresh and tasty. Opt for the Greek with romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, peppercorns, feta cheese and herby vinaigrette. They also have a new spinach salad on offer. (Pro tip: add grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or salmon for protein.) Two people can easily split the “I work out” with two grilled chicken breasts, avocado, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, black beans and roasted corn without any guilt. For brunch, order an egg white garden omelette sans cheese for a veggie packed meal.
Open for dinner nightly; lunch Friday through Saturday; and, Sunday brunch 11 am to 3 pm.
Frank & Angie’s | We all know (and if you don’t, you should) that Frank & Angie’s has been baking some of Austin’s best pies for more than two decades. But they have huge salads and low-fat, low-calories options for sandwiches, and heart healthy meals (designated by a nutritionist). For fresh salads, you can’t go wrong with the Guido’s Garden (green leaf + iceberg lettuce, bell pepper, spinach, mushroom, artichokes, garbanzo beans, feta, black olives, tomato, and pepperoncini) or the Louis Prima (green leaf + iceberg lettuce, chicken, spinach, bell pepper, garbanzo beans, tomato, pepperoncini, provolone cheese). For something more carby, opt for the Fellini Leany – a low-fat, low-calorie version of their popular Fellini sandwich (herb vinaigrette, eggplant, red onion, green bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, green leaf lettuce, provolone on homemade focaccia).
Open for lunch + dinner nightly.
Green Light Social | Green Light Social runs a weekly Wednesday poke pop up dubbed the Sake Social. Enjoy the perfect summer eat, poke, from Poke Me Long Time as you sip flights of sake. It’s a meal that won’t weigh you down or heat you up. Bonus, you can dance it off after the fact.
Wednesdays only from 5 – 10 pm.
Hut’s Hamburgers | Boyfriend love the 2-for-1 special on Wednesday nights at Hut’s, but you’re avoiding burgers? Hut’s has a few options to make everyone happy. Opt for their diet plate (chicken breast, salad, wheat toast) or a grilled chicken chef salad sans cheese and bacon. Or, you can always indulge in a bun-less chicken, lean buffalo or veggie burger of your choice. Sad as it is, skip their signature giant onion rings. We know it’s the stuff that dreams are made of, but the swimsuit calls.
Open daily for lunch + dinner.