4403 Avenue B, Austin, Texas, 78751
Mon 9 am–6 pm
Tues 9 am–6 pm
Wed 9 am–6 pm
Thurs 9 am–6 pm
Fri 9 am–6 pm
Sat 9 am–6 pm
Good for: kids, take-out, lunch, dinner
Additional info: outdoor seating only
Tucked away on one of Hyde Park's quiet and charming letter streets is Avenue B Grocery and Market. Despite its existence since 1909, this little gem manages to be both an Austin landmark and a well-kept secret. This time capsule of a building will conjure ideas of simpler times—whether or not things actually were simpler or they only exist that way in our imaginations. The small, clapboard-sided building is filled with vintage advertisements and antique displays from the days when the town general store ruled. Inside, a small assortment of basic groceries can be found. Enough for an emergency restocking of toilet paper or a staple ingredient, but not enough to prepare an entire meal. Walk to the back of the store though, and order one of their deli sandwiches. That's the real reason you are there.
The menu is primarily no frills. You'll find the old stand-bys that seem perfectly appropriate to this setting like ham and cheese, pimento cheese, or BLTs. You also find some vegetarian options—because this is Austin, after all—like the Queen Bee, featuring three kinds of cheese, avocado, and pickled peppers, the last of which makes the sandwich. Specials rotate, and on my most recent visit I indulged in the Italian grinder, complete with salami, ham, mortadella, provolone, peppers, lettuce, and tomato all drizzled in a red wine vinaigrette. The portions are generous, and I'd eagerly purchased two old-school deviled eggs, some mustard potato salad, and banana pudding to go along with the sandwich. I ended up with lunch for the next day as well and was just as happy to eat it the second time around.
Kids will be happy here as well. PB&J and a grilled cheese panini were a hit with my two picky eaters. We sat at the picnic tables and enjoyed the unseasonably temperate summer day, while they played with a wooden airplane they'd purchased inside with money earned at the last Ye Olde Agua Fresca Stand. Afterwards, we all returned to the old ice cream cooler inside to peruse the frozen treats. Nothing fancy here, just items that these days seem a little more out-of-the-ordinary. I felt somewhat like a failed parent when I exclaimed in excitement at seeing an honest-to-goodness Push-Up and my kids asked, "What's that?" (Kids these days and their fancy ice cream.) But I remedied that problem quickly.