Austin's Best Potluck Ideas

The crushing rush of the party season starts in late fall, and shall be in effect until the Big Game (which is in February, non-jocks reading this). This means that Thursday nights typically spent on the couch watching The Office will now be spent in the kitchen making cheesecake for that office/friendly potluck gathering. Call it laziness, call it a tasty-fake, call it going to the store to save what's left of your dang mind, but picking up a freshly made dish is not cheating when it comes to potlucks. If you're going to take credit, do it right by picking up goodies at Austin's best.

Updated: December 01, 2009

Potluck Pleasers


4970 W Highway 290, Austin, TX 78735

For a tea (or cocktail) party, baby shower or other gathering that requires dainty, finger-esque foods, try this liquor mega-mart. Head to the deli aisle for teeny quiches and mini key lime pies, egg rolls and comforting side dishes. If hot hors d'oeuvres are needed, check out the freezer case. Inside are oodles of little pastry-puffed appetizers, from crab to cheese to spinach, perfect for baking, then elegant grazing. Don't miss the other 9/10ths of the store, which contains wine and booze out the wazoo.

El Milagro Tortilla Inc

910 E Sixth St, Austin, TX 78702

Ever notice a delicious aroma wafting from East 6th Street? That would be due to this fab bakery, which cranks out crunchy chips and soft tortillas (and lots more) by the dozens. Make a huge hit at any party with a honkin' bag of chips or big old package of tortillas from here. These will be the foundations of a great meal.

Quack's 43rd Street Bakery

411 E 43rd St, Austin, TX 78751

This low-key, old school bakery has loads of options other spots don't. Like for instance, vegan treats, gluten-free stuff (a growing trend, but these folks were early), and any cute, colorful treat for any holiday, from Halloween to St. Patrick's Day to everything in between. Recently spotted were mustache cookies--or cookies baked in the shape of famous mustaches. Ask for "The Lemmy."

Central Market Cafe

4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

While wholesome produce here is always tempting, skip the fresh stuff and head right past the butcher's aisle to the cooked rotisserie chickens. Yes, it seems cliche to bring a supermarket rotisserie chicken to a party, but these are elegantly spiced (from cardamom to citrus pepper) and way tasty. The wine selection is also vast and very fairly priced.