by Brad Pauly
on Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at 3:04pm.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for Memorial Day weekend ideas in Austin, Texas. We’ve curated a list of the top events all Memorial Day weekend long, ranging from expensive to totally free. In case you get hungry, we also added our picks for the best Memorial Day brunches. Read on, and enjoy your 2019 Memorial Day Weekend in Austin.
Austin Memorial Day Weekend 2019 Events
Most Notable Memorial Day Events
Hot Luck ($125+) Multiple Locations
Hot Luck was created by James Beard Award-winner Aaron Franklin (yes, that ‘Franklin’) and is an annual festival celebrating food and music. (Especially food though, so let's just music.) You may not recognize the names of the chefs from the 2019 lineup, but you’ll probably recognize many of the restaurants they made famous.
The best food festival in the country.
The 2019 festival lineup features award-winning chefs from Loro, Contigo, Salt & Time, Holy Roller, The Hightower, Easy Tiger, Emmer & Rye, Suerte, Launderette, Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ, Uchi, and more. Those are just the chefs, from Austin. The food festival features chefs from around the country as well.
It might be expensive, but it’s been referred to as "the best food festival in the country" by Farideh Sadeghin, the Culinary Director at MUNCHIES. If you attend in 2019, your stomach won’t soon forget it.
City-Wide Garage Sale ($12+) Palmer Events Center
The City-Wide Garage Sale® has been an Austin tradition since 1977. More like a Texas-sized flea market than a garage sale, attendees can browse through thousands upon thousands of items of vintage clothing, art, furniture, collectibles, toys, jewelry, electronics, and basically anything.
Austin Greek Festival ($5) Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church
On the west side of Austin amongst the beautiful Hill Country views, the Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church is hosting its first annual Austin Greek Festival. The event runs through most of Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26, 2019.
During this three-day event, you can find authentic Greek cuisine including lamb, gyros, souvlaki, baklava, and more! There will also be a live band from Greece playing music to listen and dance to. You can even drop your kids off at the KidZone while you go shopping for Greek souvenirs and enjoy superb Greek wine.
Free Memorial Day Events
Covert Curiosity Presents: Memorial Day Weekend Party Scholz Garten
In case you haven’t heard of Scholz, it’s a German beer garden and restaurant. It’s much more than that, though. Established in 1866, Scholz Garten is the oldest operating business in all of Texas. For Memorial Weekend 2019, you can get more than great beer and burgers. Come for a free concert featuring performances by Union Specific, Mayeux & Broussard, Croy & The Boys, and Altamesa.
Close Assault: 1968 Camp Mabry
Close Assault: 1968 honors the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans with a look back at the Vietnam War. During the free program, members of the Texas Military Forces Living History Detachment will exhibit uniforms and equipment worn by American soldiers during the war. The two-day event also features firing demonstrations, highlighted by an attack on a small bunker with an M113. (An M113 is a heavily armored military vehicle, basically a tank minus the turret.)
May ATX Art Market - Memorial Day Weekend Drinks Lounge
This fun free event on Saturday includes local art, shopping, brunch, and drinks at Drinks Lounge, a casual neighborhood bar on East Cesar Chavez. Austin based artists, makers, and vintage dealers will all be showcasing their work all afternoon. You can discover one-of-a-kind original art, crafts, jewelry, and vintage items.
Best Memorial Day Brunches
Stubb’s always has one of the best brunches in Austin, renowned for its “Gospel Brunch”. For Memorial Day Weekend 2019, this edition of Gospel Brunch features the New Soul Invaders. Come to enjoy gospel music, a legendary brunch buffet, and excellent drinks. Start your day off at this historic 1850's limestone building and you may end up bar hopping all day. It’s located right in the heart of downtown, and you don’t have work tomorrow anyway...
Suerte comes to us from one of the founders of Odd Duck, another excellent place to eat. Opening in March of 2018, this restaurant has quickly become one of Austin’s best Mexican restaurants. Austinite’s especially love their brunch menu, which features dishes such as duck confit flautas, shrimp tostadas, delicious tacos, and the traditional migas plate.
This punk rock diner just off West Sixth serves brunch-centric food seven days a week. Holy Roller has its own spin on your favorite brunch classics like steak and eggs, migas, and pancakes. But they also have unique brunch dishes like churro french toast and trash fries, which are topped with green chili, a sunny egg, sour cream, cotija, and jalapenos.
Memorial Day Weekend in Austin is best spent however you see fit. If you’re incredibly ambitious, you can try to do as many of the events we’ve listed as possible. If you’d be happier staying in your home all weekend long, however, that’s a wonderful plan too.