Austin Marathon Post-Race Refueling

Blueberry waffle with sausage and scrambled egg at The Noble Pig

[This post is part two of a series on marathon eats in Austin. Part I is all about pre-race carb loading.]

As runners we spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about what we’ll eat before a race. Scoff if you’d like, but if you dig down deep you know it’s true. Often though we give less thought to what we’ll eat afterwards. Besides the very important need to replenish your body after a long race, I see the post-race meal as a way to refocus and appreciate your efforts. After a particularly grueling run or race I try to be sure I take the the time to sit, nourish, and reflect. In that spirit, I’ve put together this list of my favorite post-race noshing options around Austin. From Austin-standard breakfast tacos to fancy buffets befitting a long-running victor there’s something for every runner.

I love that the race organizers will have some of Austin’s best food trucks waiting for us at the finish line. It’s so Austin. Even if you aren’t ready for a full meal, I encourage you to try a nibble or two from the different trucks. Each tells a different story about the Austin food scene. Plus their food is really good.

Breakfast Tacos

  • Just about every Saturday after my long runs I head to Taco Shack for a Shack Taco: eggs, potatoes, chorizo, and cheese on a corn tortilla. It’s a complete re-fuel in an easy-to-eat package. Luckily for those of us finishing the race this Sunday the downtown Taco Shack, just a block east of Congress on 4th and Brazos streets, will open at 8am.
  • Austinites are passionate about their breakfast tacos, and while I’m a Taco Shack fangirl, one of the other most popular breakfast taco spots in town is Taco Deli. Their migas taco is a favorite with several runners I know and their Dona sauce is legendary. There isn’t a Taco Deli in downtown but they have two locations just a quick drive either south just off of MoPac at Spyglass or north at North Lamar just before 45th street.

Casual Breakfast and Brunch

  • Sometimes after a run you just want a big breakfast and my two favorite spots for that near downtown happen to be situated within a block of one another just west of downtown on Lamar. 24 Diner is far from a greasy spoon but just as satisfying. With a menu that focuses on local ingredients their waffles, french toast, and pancakes are fit for a post-race dive. They also make fritattas big enough to share (on any day other than race day of course) if eggs are more your style. They have a large gluten-free menu too which is so important to many runners these days.
  • Just down the block from 24 Diner is Counter Cafe, housed in a narrow building that’s not much wider than a box car. Their blueberry pancake is as big as your head and filled with fresh blueberries you can watch them sprinkle on from the counter. They have biscuits and gravy on a plate also as big as your head and two egg omelets that must be made from giant chicken eggs. You may have to wait at both spots but it’s well worth it.
  • Back in downtown La Condesa offers their Mexican-inspired twist on breakfast food with eggs prepared five different ways — from traditional huevos rancheros to eggs with mushroom and eggs with chorizo and a quinoa croquette on the side. You can also nibble on small plates such as a jumbo lump crab tostada or chicken flautas. La Condesa’s food is always great for sharing so it’s a great post-race choice for adventurous groups of runners. Brunch starts at 11am and they take reservations.
  • One of the most fun brunches in town is just a couple of blocks south of Congress at 2nd and San Jacinto at Max’s Wine Dive. Enjoy their fried chicken and waffles to cover all of your protein and carb bases or dive into jalapeno cheese grits with spicy pulled pork and a fried egg. They also turn Frito Pie into an omelet which is really just the tip of their creative iceberg. In their underground space you can stuff yourself with French toast, migas, shrimp and grits, and more on their all you can eat buffet. At $19 it’s very reasonable and easy for a post-race runner to get their money’s worth. Max’s takes reservations. Their breakfast service starts and 9am so they’ll be open immediately after the race. Buffet service starts at 11am if you don’t mind waiting a bit.
  • Just on the edge of downtown in a beautiful renovated house you can enjoy a plentiful and varied brunch at Moonshine. Cornflake fried chicken tenders, migas, and tamale scramble find their place next to muffins, biscuits, bunt cake, and other breakfast pastries. Their brunch service starts nice and early at 9am and is nicely priced at  $16.95. If mimosas are your post-race drink of choice you can get a carafe of them for $20. Cheers to crossing the finish line!
  • South of downtown across the lake is Zax, a brightly lit, open restaurant that you can walk to post-race. You’ll just have worked the kinks out when you’re ready to sit down and eat. They feature a wide selection of egg menu items, including eggs benedict and migas. And for a Texas twist on brunch they have a variety of quesadillas. Their brunch starts at 11am and they take reservations.
  • If you’re up for a drive, head up  north to Noble Pig for biscuits and gravy, a breakfast, sandwich on house made bread, or the excellent waffles pictured at the top of this post. I’ve waxed rhapsodic about both their breakfast and lunch before so you can read all of the tasty details.

Upscale Brunch

  • If you’d like to get cleaned up and treat yourself to some of the best food and service in town TRIO at the Four Seasons should be at the top of your list . Their extensive buffet includes made-to-order omelets and eggs benedict, smoked Texas ribeye, chicken and waffles, and a separate display of desserts made by their in-house pastry chef. You’ll run out of stomach space before you run out of dishes to try. At $52 this brunch is absolutely a special treat but you just ran all of those miles so you’re worth it. They of course take reservations and brunch begins at 10am.
  • A bit south of downtown on Lamar Olivia features a locally sourced a la carte brunch with traditional dishes like french toast and omelets. But where they really shine is on their unique twists on traditional breakfast items. Their eggs benedict come with either red wine braised beef or fried oysters. Their English muffin breakfast sandwich stars pork belly with a maple glaze and they serve foie gras with their grits. Entrees are from $12 – $26 each and oh so worth it. Brunch starts at 10am and they take reservations.

Are you looking for a different kind of post-race re-fule? Let me know in the comments and I’ll find it for you.

Happy running!


1 Comment

  1. I love this list! I am running the Austin Marathon, and I always obsess on long runs about what I’m going to eat afterward. It’ll be breakfast tacos or pancakes for sure… maybe both.


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