Central Library Field Trips for Kids and Teens: Food & APL Shop

Use this site to plan and book a field trip to the Central Library in Austin Texas!

Food and Gift Shop Particulars

"Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably" -- C.S. Lewis

Eating Options

We welcome field trips to bring lunches with them. If your students will be bringing their lunches and/or a cooler, please let us know in your request so we can help you make arrangements.

There are designated areas for eating on the 2nd Floor, and on the outdoor reading porches and rooftop garden.

The Library has vending machines located on the 2nd Floor directly across from the Information Desk.

Lidded drinks are allowed throughout the building.

Outside Eating Options

If you prefer to eat outside, you have access to the Shoal Creek Plaza, or you can take the Shoal Creek Trail, which goes underneath Cesar Chavez and leads to Lady Bird Lake and Shoal Beach, which is a large grassy open area right along the waterfront.

Cookbook Cafe

The Cookbook Cafe is an independently operated business that is located on the Main Floor (2) of the Central Library.  Service is available through a window on the 2nd floor inside the Library's main lobby, or through the external entrance to Cookbook.

Meal options:

  • Groups of 5 or less: Order at the window on the day of their field trip (card only - no cash)
  • Groups larger than 5: We recommend ordering boxed lunches or sandwich trays at least 2 weeks in advance.

Visit Cookbook for current hours and menus.

Email catering at : librarycatering@elmrg.com

**Last minute inquiries, please call Cookbook Manager Patrick at 512-934-2156**


Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Field trips are not offered on weekends
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: Window-only service from 12-5 PM

APL Shop

The APL Shop sells Austin Public Library branded merchandise, book themed products, and unique, locally sourced gifts. All proceeds benefit Austin Public Library.

Check here for current hours and information.


Sunday: Closed
Monday - Thursday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday - Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Field trips are not offered on weekends