Kerbey Lane Cafe Excels Among Local Austin Restaurants

Kerbey-Lane-Cafe-New-LocationHave you ever had a craving for blueberry pancakes and hot queso at 4 AM in the morning? In most cities, you would be out of luck. But in Austin, you have Kerbey Lane Cafe.

From humble beginnings to word-of-mouth wonder, Kerbey Lane Cafe opened in May 1980. The owners, Patricia Atkinson and David Ayer, lived in the back of a little house on Kerbey Lane. The front of the house birthed what has become an icon in the Austin restaurants scene.

There are five locations in the Austin area, but we had the privilege of the visiting the newest location at 3003 S. Lamar. Karli Isiyel met at us at S. Lamar and gave us a bird’s eye view of Kerbey Lane’s history, achievements and goals that most casual visitors never get to see. Karli, a roller derby enthusiast and native Austinite, is the Marketing Coordinator for all of the Kerbey Lane Cafe locations.

We also got to meet Ben Wintle, who you’ve talked to if you’ve ever interacted with Kerbey Lane Cafe on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social networks. When Ben isn’t working at Kerbey’s S. Lamar location, waiting tables and doing his part to make customers’ culinary dreams come true, he’s talking about it online! When I read a tweet like, “Have we told y’all lately that we love y’all? We do. So much.” from @kerbeylanecafe, I believe it. I feel a welcome and warmth whenever I step into a Kerbey dining room and Ben verbalizes it well.


Karli and Ben

The Austin community has shown love for Kerbey Lane for almost 32 years, and Kerbey’s 400 employees show the love right back. On an annual basis, the real people behind Kerbey Lane Cafe take part in the Mighty Texas Dog Walk and Keep Austin Beautiful. They also have monthly donation drives and give to local charities such as the Capital Area Food Bank. In April, they will be supporting the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Talk about giving back to the community!


Famous Kerbey Queso!

Then there’s the food. Karli likes to describe Kerbey Lane Cafe’s fare as “24-hour comfort food with a vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free twist.”

The signature Kerbey dishes are the Kerbey Queso and pancakes. When we visited, there were seven (count them – seven!) pancake options on the menu: buttermilk, gingerbread, apple whole wheat, blueberry, blackberry (the daily special), daily vegan and pumpkin (seasonal). Austinot Eric ordered the blueberry, and I had the blackberry. Neither of us were disappointed!

In addition to some amazing breakfast food, there are delicious and unique lunch and dinner entrees. Try a Pear and Bacon Panini, or the Wild Boar and Bison Chili Frito Pie. I did say unique, didn’t I?!


Happy customers at 3003 S. Lamar

Stuck in the office? Contact Kerbey’s catering service for 24-hour yummy-ness. Yearning for a taste of Spring? Kerbey’s Spring seasonal menu comes out at dinnertime on March 28th.

See? They have you all taken care of. Stop by the new location on South Lamar and give Kerbey Lane Cafe a try, and tell them the Austinot sent you!

Austinot Brittany asks:
Have you been to Kerbey Lane Cafe? What is your favorite dish?


Save 10% off food and non-alcoholic drinks, M-F at Kerbey Lane, and save at hundreds of other local Austin businesses with the Go Local card:

Kerbey Lane Cafe (South Lamar) on Urbanspoon



We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. We only send out our Best of the Austinot newsletter 2 times a month. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and where we give stuff away. Interested? Subscribe to Best of the Austinot here!

  • David Lackey

    Turkey avocado sandwich and sweet potato fries w/ chipotle mayo. Yeeeah. 

    • Eric Highland

      Personally I’m not a big sweet potato fry fan.  However, the sandwich sounds delectable! 

  • MommaLou

    But of course!!! The queso!!!!!!!!!!  ~8P  And the pancakes are awesome too, YUM!

    • Eric Highland

      It was incredibly good.. Karli and Ben were very gracious too.  Actually the whole staff was really cool.  Everyone just kinda had that Austin vibe.

  • Pingback: The Austinot Podcast Highlights Delish Austin Restaurants | The Austinot()

  • Daisyfleur70

    OMG  Kerbey queso!!!!!! I get it everytime I come home and visit! Looking forward to getting some this summer.  :)   My husband and I used to live near the original one (the one on Kerbey Lane LOL )  and we went there very often.  

    • Eric Highland

      Daisy Fleur have you checked out their new location.. or does the original always bring back those great Austin memories so much that you’d prefer to go there?  When is your next visit and does it involve a stop at Kerbey Lane Cafe? – Eric

  • Kenneth Bloomer

    Matt Corcoran is right.  Mediocrity abounds here.

    • Eric Highland

      What place do you recommend Kenneth? We really enjoyed Kerbey Lane.. we are always open to check out places that our readers recommend though. Have any thoughts?