With service workers facing mass vacations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Austin restaurants are offering free or discounted meals to their brothers.
From the upcoming Vic and Al’s restaurant transforming into a communal kitchen to the neighborhood Flightpath Coffeehouse serving food for the unemployed, restaurants are finding creative ways to support members of the service industry.
An ongoing list of restaurant programs can be found below. Did Eater miss a food program for service workers? Let us know via the tipline or by email at [email protected]
- Austin Eastciders:: The local cider company is offering a 25 percent discount on six-packs of cider for the service industry. (979 Springdale Road, East Austin)
- Austin Shift Meal: This nonprofit, supported by the Austin Food & Wine Alliance and several local restaurants, offers bags of groceries weekly. Register online.
- Aviary wine + kitchen: South Lamar’s quirky wine bar offers service lunches for $ 2.13 (minimum wage for tipped workers). Lunch includes a sausage sandwich, dessert, and a bottle of wine. All tips go to the staff at the aviary. Order online or by calling (512) 916-4445. (2110 South Lamar Boulevard, South Lamar)
- Baton Creole: For a $ 10 donation, the Cajun Food Truck will provide a plate of groceries (with sides) for healthcare or hospitality workers – either a specific person or a person in need. (1016 East Sixth Street, East Sixth)
- With you: The ranch restaurant offers dinner to its employees every day. Customers can support these efforts with online orders. (2027 Anchor Lane, MLK)
- Crema bakery and café: The South Austin bakery has burlap to anyone in need, including workers on leave. Donate to the cause on the Crema website. (9001 Brodie Lane, South Austin)
- Cruzteca Mexican cuisine:: Sunset Valley Mexican restaurant offers a 50 percent discount on orders for service workers. Call (512) 291-7726 or order online. (5207 Brodie Lane, Sunset Valley)
- Flugweg coffee house: The North Loop Coffee House runs a small grocery store selling fresh produce and basic necessities at cost to those who have lost their jobs. (5011 Duval Street, Nordschleife)
- FoodHeads: The 20 year old gourmet sandwich shop in Heritage allows those in trouble to pay for what they can. Email [email protected] for more information. (616 West 34th Street, Heritage)
- Gourmet: In addition to feeding seniors in a nearby age community, the Webberville Pub offers free meals to neighbors on leave. Community members can also donate to the cause. (2316 Webberville Road, East Austin)
- House wine: Starting May 4th, Zilker Wine Shop will offer $ 5 meals every Monday for service workers, including a local cider or beer and a hummus plate. Order by phone for collection, 512-322-5210 from 12 noon (408 Josephine Street, Zilker)
- Interstellar barbecue: The lauded smokehouse offers free bowls of chicken caldo soup to members of the service industry (and customers have the option to purchase soup for others). Order online by the roadside. (12233 Ranch Rd 620 N, North Austin)
- Old thousand: The Chinese-American restaurant in East Austin serves 20 meals a day for service workers. Send an email to [email protected] to sign up. (1000 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)
- Parkside projects: The restaurant group, which includes Parkside, Backspace, Olive & June, Vamonos and Jugo, offers family-style to-go menus that are free for employees and half price for hotel employees.
- Pizzeria Grata: Italian Pizzeria-in-a-Gas Station in South Austin offers 50 percent discount on pizzas for service (and healthcare) workers. Grata also has a Pay-it-Forward program (an extension of a regular program that is now focused on industrial workers) to donate meals. Order online or through DoorDash, Favor or Uber Eats. (4415 Menchaca, South Austin)
- Plow burger: The vegan burger truck with locations in Buzz Mill Coffee on East Riverside and in Hyde Park offers a 20 percent discount for people from the service industry.
- Quality seafood market: The long-running restaurant and seafood market offers service staff, including take-away lobster, a 20 percent discount. (5621 Airport Boulevard, Nordschleife)
- Soup vendor: All locations of the soup and smoothie spots are still open and offer employees from the service industry a discount of 20 percent.
- Tso Chinese: The Asian grocery delivery service is offering free family meals to anyone displaced by COVID-19 in April every Saturday and Sunday at their Arbor Crossing location. Community members can support the program through GoFundMe or Venmo. (9333 Research Boulevard, North Austin)
- Vic and Al: The Patrizi family’s soon-to-be-opened Cajun restaurant serves 50 to 100 meals a day in a communal kitchen that is open for the duration of COVID-19, offering a free meal to anyone who needs it. Registrations for the week are open on Sundays. The effort accepts donations by cash or Venmo (@VicandAls). (2406 Manor Road, Cherrywood)