Whether it’s a Google Doc or handwritten sheet, most Austinites have an ever-growing dining bucket list. Thanks to the Central Texas Food Bank, locals will soon have a chance to start checking some of those restaurants off. On May 2, the nonprofit announced that Austin Restaurant Weeks is returning August 15 through September 2.
The promotion, launched in 2018, enlists some of the area’s best eateries, breweries, and bars to provide discounted prix fix menus and specialty drinks over a two-week period. A portion of each sale goes toward providing hunger relief for neighbors in need. According to a release, the inaugural event raised enough money to provide almost 550,000 meals to Central Texans.
“It’s a delicious and easy way to help fight hunger, while enjoying some of the best restaurants our food-centric city has to offer,” said Mark Jackson, chief development officer for the food bank via release. “And since Austin Restaurant Weeks is planned entirely by Food Bank staff and volunteers, 100 percent of the contribution from each meal or beverage goes directly to fighting hunger in Central Texas, where a staggering one in five children are food insecure.”
Austinites can participate in several ways. Prix fixe feasts are offered for $20 at lunch or either for $35 or $50. Those with only time enough for a quick drink can purchase a glass of beer or wine at any price or a $12 specialty Tito’s Handmade Vodka cocktail.
Although restaurants have until June 8 to sign up, the planners have already drafted an impressive roster that includes Austin favorites like Barley Swine, Bar Peached, Contigo, Sway, Easy Tiger, L’Oca d’Oro, Nightcap, and Parkside. The organization hopes to draft 100 spots this year, upping the ante from 86 participants last year.
“It's kind of a no-brainer when you think about it, combining a great opportunity to bring in new guests while helping out the Central Texas Food Bank at the same time,” said Barley Swine chef Bryce Gilmore in the release.
Until August rolls around, locals can start building their game plan by visiting the Austin Restaurant Weeks website. There, diners can easily search restaurants by cuisine type and location and even book a reservation. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for full menu details.