Threadgill’s

Chili Parlor | Meat-and-Three | Southwestern
Memorable
One of the best
Save

*** THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED. ***

In the several decades we’ve been eating at Threadgill’s, the portions have gotten noticeably smaller. Now, one full meal is big enough to feed only two or three people. This boisterous culinary giant of a restaurant remains a bonanza for endless appetites, particularly for those of us smitten with southern and/or Texas cooking.

The big menu starts with fried green tomatoes as an hors d’oeuvre and features chicken-fried everything (steak, pork chops, even chicken) as well as a long list of fabulous vegetables, from virtuous (okra with tomatoes) to wickedly luscious (garlic cheese grits). Many hungry customers come to Threadgill’s to eat ONLY vegetables, accompanied by big squares of warm cornbread. If you choose right, a meal of five vegetable selections is, in fact, every bit as satisfying as a few pounds of beef. Among the excellent choices from the regular list are the San Antonio squash casserole, turnip greens, and definitive crisp-fried okra.

If, for some reason, we arrive in Austin not wanting something fried in oil, such as the four-star chicken-fried steak or the impossibly rich plate of fried chicken livers with cream gravy, we love to eat Threadgill’s T-bone steak with side of scalloped or mashed potatoes and a dish of black-eyed peas. Those of lighter appetite can choose either an all-vegetable meal or a very handsome (albeit quite gigantic) Caesar salad piled with grilled chicken.

Aside from great food, Threadill’s is worth visiting for its live music. A while back, yodeler extraordinaire Don Walser performed regularly on Wednesday nights, and even when there’s no live music, the juke box is sensational. In fact, Threadgill’s is probably more famous for its music than its food. Historians credit this place as the source of the Austin music scene, going back to its beginnings in 1933; Janis Joplin waitressed here in the 1960s and started her career performing on hootnanny night!

Ambiance is Texas-to-the-max. Although the original beer joint/gas station that Kenneth Threadgill opened in 1933 burnt down twice and virtually none of it remains, the restaurant has the feel of a genuine antique: creaky wood floors, wood-slat ceilings, and a devil-may-care floor plan that gives the impression that the sprawling space just kept growing through the years. The main decorative motif is beer signs. Even before it became a legal beer joint in 1933 (with the first post-Prohibition beer license in Travis County), Threadgill’s was known for the dime-a-bottle homebrew suds it served; and long into the thirties, it was still famous for its moonshine. Today’s beer list is prodigious, including Live Oak Pilz on draught, and bottles of Salado Creek Honey Bock and Fat Tire Amber Ale.

What to Eat
Threadgill’s, chicken-fried steak
chicken-fried steak
Chicken-fried steak with cream gravy, mashed potatoes and butter beans
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday10 am - 9:30 pm
Monday11 am - 10 pm
Tuesday11 am - 10 pm
Wednesday11 am - 10 pm
Thursday11 am - 10 pm
Friday11 am - 10 pm
Saturday11 am - 10 pm
Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Salt Lick

    Driftwood, Texas

    In the Hill Country west of Austin, the Salt Lick is a theme park of BBQ, serving a full range of smoke-cooked meat with all the fixins. A Texas legend!

  • Matt’s El Rancho

    Austin, Texas

    A bustling south Austin Tex-Mex landmark, Matt’s El Rancho is the place to come for chilies rellenos, huevos rancheros and legendary Bob Armstrong Queso.

  • Opie’s BBQ

    Spicewood, Texas

    A family BBQ in the small town of Spicewood, Opie’s is a perfect example of the no-frills Texas attitude for which people drive miles away from the metropolis.

  • Billy’s on Burnet

    Austin, Texas

    Billy’s is an Austin favorite restaurant where wings are superb and the Uptown Burger, topped with bacon marmalade, avocado and blue cheese, is unforgettable.

  • Texas Pie Company

    Kyle, Texas

    The Texas Pie Company bakes individual as well as full-size pies. Lemon chess is a standout, as is strawberry cake crowned with fruit-flavored frosting.

  • Dean’s One Trick Pony

    Austin, Texas

    Delicious modern burgers and popular frozen cocktails make Dean’s One Trick Pony a unique dining experience in Austin, Texas.