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Travel Tuesday: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) Travel Tips

Truffle Fries from Annie's at AUS Airport

Whether you follow the blog or follow @fabeverydayblog on social media, you know that I travel a fair amount.  Living in Austin, AUS (aka ABIA, or Austin-Bergstrom International Airport) is becoming like a home away from home.  Certainly my home airport at least.  Here are some of my tips for travel at or through AUS.

ABIA is a small airport.  Don’t let the word “international” fool you into thinking otherwise.  Compared to my previous home airport LAX, AUS feels tiny.  This is not a bad thing.  It actually means you don’t have to get to the airport as early as you would at say, LAX (where you are sometimes pushing your luck to make your flight even when arriving two hours early).  Check-in and security lines at AUS are rarely long, and since the airport is not that large in general, it’s not a long walk to your gate.  Traffic is also not that bad within the airport.  I have never had a problem catching my flight by arriving one and a half hours in advance.

There are several yummy spots to grab a bite to eat at AUS, including local favorites like The Salt Lick, Amy’s Ice Cream, Hoover's Cooking, ThunderCloud Subs, and Earl Campbell’s Sports Bar.  Many of these even include live music!  However, there are a few that are my favorites:

  • Ruta Maya – The best cup of coffee at ABIA.  If you are on the American, US Airways, United side of the airport, you must get a cup of Joe at Ruta Maya.
  • Annie’s Cafe This is my favorite restaurant at AUS.  It’s a farm-to-table restaurant (with bar, just saying) on the American, US Airways, United side of the airport.  Though even if you are not near those gates, it’s worth the (relatively short) walk to eat there.  The breakfasts are tasty, and include options like steel-cut oatmeal, granola, free-range breakfast tacos, and breakfast sandwiches on artisan bread.  For lunch or dinner, though everything on the menu looks good, I always get the same thing: a turkey and cranberry panini with a side of truffle fries.  If you are feeling decadent, get a side of their garlic aioli to dip the fries into.
  • Saxon Pub – On the Delta side of the airport there’s this fun little pub that has a great burger and offers live music for entertainment.  This is one of at least three live music offerings at AUS.  I suppose it wouldn’t be in Austin without it.

Ruta Maya has the best cup of coffee at AUS

Annie's - my favorite place to eat at AUS

You can't go wrong with fresh, local fare

Paninis prepped and ready to grill at Annie's

I don’t do much shopping at AUS, but if you needed to pick up some souvenirs there is a Austin City Limits/Waterloo Records store at the airport.  Here, you can get an iconic “Keep Austin Weird” shirt, a shirt that pays homage to Austin’s favorite brother, Willie Nelson, or some burnt orange Longhorn gear. 

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