It’s a warm summer day. You’ve just finished tubing one of Central Texas’ waterways. You’re sunburned. You’re hungry. You’re thirsty. Where should you go cool off? I polled the Austin American-Statesman newsroom to find out the best post-float hangs near Austin, San Marcos and New Braunfels.
READ MORE: Where to float the river in Central Texas
Tacodeli. There’s one on Spyglass Drive right near the Barton Creek Greenbelt, after all. Just make sure to note the early closing time: 3 p.m. So this may even be a better option pre-float.
Pinthouse Pizza. Now that Pinthouse has a location on South Lamar, your favorite local pizza-and-beer joint is now right next to one of the entrances to the Greenbelt.
Kerbey Lane Cafe. Open 24 hours, it’s perfect pre- or post-float fuel, and you can order breakfast any time of the day or night.
Red’s Porch. It’s all in the name. Porch sittin’ means you won’t have to worry about looking (or feeling) damp and disheveled, and you can’t go wrong with the all-American eats not far from the Greenbelt.
Radio Coffee and Beer. It’s one of the best joints in South Austin for -- you guessed it -- coffee and beer.
Hyde Park Bar and Grill. There’s a south location not far from the Greenbelt, and they’ve got the best fries in town.
Moontower Saloon. If you’re down to venture a little farther south, you can chill out after your long water-y day with some live music, food trucks and maybe even a little beach volleyball.
Nothing here tickle your fancy? Check out Statesman restaurant critic Matthew Odam’s picks:
Mamacitas. Casual, good Tex-Mex. What more could you want?
Pluckers. Because, as my Statesman web desk colleague Maribel Molina suggested, a patio is essential to all post-float hangs.
Taproom Pub & Grub. Forty-two beers on tap and nine large flat-screen TVs. You may as well move in.
Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Q. It doesn’t get more classic than this place, which has been around forever.
Herbert’s Taco Hut. Margaritas. Queso. Yes.
Los Vega. A must-visit neighborhood joint, according to breaking news reporter Mark Wilson. He recommends the burrito compuesto.
Garcia’s Tex-Mex. It describes itself as a down-to-earth stop, which means they’ll be OK with some sunburned, sun-drunk river rats eating there.
Grin’s Restaurant. Because, I mean, have you seen those onion rings?
The Gristmill. Sure, it’s touristy. But if you didn’t go to the Gristmill, did you really go to Gruene?
Gruene River Grill. It’s cozy and there’s a deck by the river.
Cantina Del Rio. Tacos, burgers and pizza, all washed down with a cold drink.
Mozie’s. It’s perfect for eating or drinking, and they have adorable mini sliders to offer.
Krause’s Cafe. It’s a New Braunfels staple that recently reopened as a German beer hall. Prost!
Buc-ee’s. Forget everything else we suggested and just go here, honestly.