When you're driving around Austin and reeeeeaaally want a delicious meal and also reeeeeaaally don't want to get out of the car, you need a great drive-thru restaurant. Thankfully, Austin has lots of them. Forgo the chain fast food spots, and check out one of these drive-thru restaurants in Austin.
Whether you're trying to avoid waking the sleeping baby in the back seat or you just don't want to have to get out of your car on a cold, rainy day, drive-thru restaurants are pretty sweet on those lazy days.
Use the map at the bottom to navigate around, or scroll to read a quick snippet on each of our top picks for drive-through spots in ATX.
12 Great Drive-thru Restaurants in Austin
The oldest operating restaurant in south Austin, Sandy’s Hamburgers is a quaint, faded yellow building nestled between shiny new high rises. It’s a simple menu of hamburgers, root beer, soft serve, and fries. There’s no interior dining - just a walk-up window and a few picnic tables in the parking lot + the drive-thru (with an ancient intercom system that will make you feel like it’s the 1950s.)
It’s nothing fancy, but when you want a quick cheeseburger and a classic Austin drive-thru experience, be sure to check out Sandy’s Hamburgers in south Austin.
True Texas BBQ
The beloved Texas grocery store chain H-E-B operates a bbq joint called True Texas BBQ from some of their grocery stores, and there’s a drive-thru pickup window at the Slaughter Lane location. Texas Monthly called True Texas the best barbecue chain in Texas, and you'll probably agree! The brisket is consistently moist, the smoked half chicken is extra juicy and flavorful, and those sides are a great way to round out the meal. Be sure to load your mac n cheese with brisket!
For a drive-thru dinner option for the family, it’s hard to beat True Texas Barbecue. You can order their party packs, which are big enough to feed a group of 6-24 people. It ends up costing about $11 per person, which is a steal considering how much you’d have to pay for a sit-down barbecue meal at most restaurants in Austin.
El Pollo Rico
El Pollo Rico’s smoky, charcoal-grilled chicken and Mexican sides are available through the drive-thru window. It’s a great option if you need a big meal to feed the family, but you also want a quick, convenient drive-thru option.
The whole chicken meal comes with two 8 oz sides, grilled onion, a bunch of tortillas, and salsa and lime for extra zing.
If you want to try to avoid burgers and fries and look for a healthy drive-thru restaurant in Austin, you have to check out Fresa’s Chicken (Lamar location.) They serve absolutely delicious, healthy bowls made from their pulled achiote chicken, kale, rice, and other superfoods. The menu also has salads that are loaded up with protein, and yummy sides like grilled sweet potatoes. Or, if you want to indulge a bit more, get their tacos and queso.
You can order ahead and then swing through the drive-thru line for a quick, healthy lunch.
Speaking of tacos, El Tacorrido has quickly become a taco favorite in Austin with numerous locations around the city. The Riverside, South First St, and North Lamar locations have drive-thrus. These are Mexican tacos that are cheap, served quickly, and super tasty.
(Not saying that they’re the best tacos in the entire city, but if you need a drive-thru option for breakfast tacos or a quick lunch, it’s a solid option.)
If you find yourself going through the El Tacorrido drive-thru for breakfast, be sure to try the El Equinox: it’s an iced horchata with a shot of espresso, and it’s scrumptious.
Ok, one more for tacos…just because we’re in Austin. OneTaco has some of the most delicious tacos in this city, and they (thankfully) opened one location with a drive-thru! The OneTaco at Anderson Mill has a drive-thru where you can get some chips and queso, a pastor taco, and yes, margaritas, all at the drive-thru window.
For something slightly healthier, stop by Juiceland to pick up one of their plant-based smoothies, coffee drinks, juices, or food items for breakfast or lunch. They have a special smoothie each day for a discounted price, or just browse the (massive!) menu for a specialty smoothie or a make-your-own creation.
The Juiceland locations at Oak Hill, Brodie Lane, and Westgate all have drive-thru options. You can place an order on your phone, and your refreshing smoothie will be ready when you pull up.
Plaza Colombian Coffee
It sounds like a coffee place…and it is, but Plaza Colombian Coffee also has some food menu items that you can get at their drive-thru window. If the baby’s sleeping in the back seat, try their arepas, empanadas, or other small plates of Colombian food.
P. Terry’s Burger Stand
For a consistently tasty (and inexpensive) meal in ATX, hit up P. Terry’s. They’re a favorite in Austin for all-natural, affordable drive-thru burgers, shakes, fries, and vegetarian options. With 23 locations and counting, there’s always a P. Terry’s near you and they’re open all day long.
The next time you’re craving that famous green chile queso and a Mr. Pink taco and you don’t want to have to get out of your car, remember that there you can head to Torchy’s drive-through window. The Spicewood location is currently the only one with a drive-thru.
Top Notch Burgers
If you’ve ever seen the movie Dazed and Confused, you might recognize this old-school Austin drive-up diner! Top Notch Burgers serves burgers (duh), fried chicken, and sides, and it’s been open in North Austin since 1971.
While it’s technically not a drive-thru, the novelty of their drive-in option is pretty. Plus, it means you won’t have to unload all the kids while you’re waiting for your lunch order.
While fried chicken typically isn’t a great to-go option (it gets soggy in the steamy container), Flyrite makes it extra crispy and it can hold up on the quick drive home. If you’re looking for something on the nutritious side, their superseded salad has kale, cabbage, and grilled broccolini. That, topped with a grilled chicken breast, makes for a fairly nutritious drive-thru lunch in Austin.
Of course, you can get the standard craft chicken sandwiches, fried tenders, wraps, and yummy sides like fries and crunchy tots. They have a whole bunch of dipping sauces, too…try the Thai Chili!