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Austin Restaurants

The Austin eating guide

My passionate foodie journal of the best restaurants in Austin

the top 6


Image by    Red Ash Italia

Red Ash Italia

What’s a better combination than a well-seasoned wood-grilled steak and handmade pasta? Add on a fantastic wine list and you have my favorite restaurant in Austin. The plates by chef-owner John Carver and partners Larry Foles (yes, his son is Nick Foles) and Guy Villavaso, founder of Eddie V’s and Hopdoddy, are served in an industrial dining room that can get a bit loud, so I suggest requesting a table upstairs. If you’re on a date, ask for the chef’s table! Austin food does not get any better than this.

Price: $$
Order:
Charred Tuna Crudo, Bone-In Filet, Agnolotti “Piemontese style”

Image from    Instagram

Image from Instagram

Emmer & Rye

E&R features a beautiful American farm-to-table menu with seasonal small plates and dim sum specials. Locally sourced products, heirloom grains, and herbs picked fresh from the garden outside of the Rainey Street Restaurant are the focus of Chef Kevin Fink. The fresh food and airy space make a perfect retreat amongst boozy Rainey Street.

Price: $$
Order: Depends on the menu, but their pastas are always amazing (cacio e pepe is my favorite). Trust your waiter and save room for the dim sum cart!

Image by    Mattie’s

Image by Mattie’s

Mattie’s at Green Pastures

Inspired by the history of the original Green Pastures structure, the architecture and interiors of Mattie’s take you out of the city. Built in an old Southern-style mansion, the restaurant serves amazing Southern food and cocktails and offers one of the most unique dining experiences in Austin. PS— keep an eye out for the peacocks roaming the grounds.

Price: $$
Order: Pimento Cheese, Farmhouse Salad, Fried Chicken (or any fish), Crispy Cauliflower (the best), Pommes Purée

Image by    A Taste of Koko

Lonesome Dove

LD is an amazing western steakhouse by Chef Tim Love of Fort Worth. The decor is great and the food is even better. Most of the appetizers can be ordered as single pieces, which I love because I can never decide what to get!

Price: $$$
Order: Rattlesnake Sausage, Hamachi Tostadas, Blue Corn-Lobster Hushpuppies, Elk Loin, Grilled. Halibut, Crispy Brussels

Image by Gracie

Image by Gracie

June’s All Day

McGuire Moorman Hospitality has my heart when it comes to Austin food. June’s is one of their newer concepts and offers breakfast, brunch, grab-and-go pastries, and an all day bistro menu that is to die for. Located on South Congress Ave., this is your perfect spot for a boozy brunch or happy hour.

Price: $
Order: Any wine on Master Sommelier June Rodil’s  list menu (the June’s Rosé is amazing), Snapper Carpaccio, Appetizing Board, Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad, June’s Charbroiled Burger

Image by    OpenTable

Image by OpenTable

Uchi

Sushi is something I could eat every day, especially if it’s from Uchi. Uchi is 100% the top sushi restaurant in Austin, along with it’s slightly more casual, sister restaurant Uchiko. The menus are about the same, but the experience of dining at Uchi is unbeatable. This is one of those places where it’s cool to say “Bring us whatever you think we’ll like” and I promise it’ll be amazing.

Price: $$$
Order: Hama Chili, Machi Cure, Spicy Crunchy Tuna roll, Zero Sen roll, Shag roll — OR try the Chef’s tasting

American


Image by Gracie

Image by Gracie

Hank’s

Hank’s is a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It has a light and bright atmosphere, great patio, bar, coffee shop, and even has a drive-thru window. What more can you want? The menu features many healthy options, alongside burgers, sandwiches, and pastas. One of my favorite spots to get some work done and stay for happy hour!

Price: $
Order: Wood-grilled Artichoke, Baked Ricotta, Chopped Black Kale Salad, Crispy Rice Bowl, Pappardelle Pasta, Brie and Baguette

Image by    HYHOI

Image by HYHOI

Café No Sé

This restaurant in the South Congress Café transports you to sunny California or whatever makes you think of bright atmospheres and healthy, delicious foods. From pastries in the morning, to salmon for dinner, this place has it all. The place to be on the weekends for brunch!

Price: $
Order: Café Spread, Crudites with green goddess, Quinoa Bowl, Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Avocado Toast, No Sé Cheeseburger

Image by Condé Nast Traveler

Image by Condé Nast Traveler

Eberly

When I first went to Eberly I felt like I walked into a restaurant in New York. With dark leather seats, low lights, and hints of gold and bronze, the restaurant is great for a trendy, more hip nice meal. There’s a gorgeous sunroom (pictured) and also a large bar on the side of the restaurant with a whole separate menu. Great for a pre or post-dinner drink or a whole different occasion.

Price: $$
Order: Charcuterie board, Oysters, Cacio e Pepe, Filet, Market Fish, Shells and Cheese (Menu changes seasonally)

Hillside Farmacy

With beautiful interiors reflecting the original drugstore in the 1950s, Hillside Farmacy is the perfect East Austin destination for brunch or a charming dinner. The menu changes seasonally and there’s a great patio for sunny days.

Price: $$
Order:
Farmacy Plate, Burger & Malt Vinegar Fries, Fried Egg Sandwich, Crab Cakes, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Mac and Cheese

Image by    Departures

Image by Departures

Jeffrey’s

If I had all the money in the world, you could find me here all the time. Absolutely the best steakhouse and upscale restaurant in Austin. With the clubby decor, Jeffrey’s does fine dining well with its French-American fare menu with a little Texan twist. The posh bar area has a smaller menu that is 50% off during happy hour (4:30–6:30 Tuesday – Sunday). One of the best HH in the city! Make sure to also check out its sister restaurant next door, Josephine House.

Price: $$$$
Order: Little Gem Caesar Salad, Hamachi Carpaccio, White Truffle & Chestnut Tortellini, Centercut Tenderloin Filet, Yukon Gold Pommes Purée, Oak Grilled Broccolini, Crispy Brussel
Sprouts, Creamed Spinach Gratin

Josephine House

Jeffrey’s sister restaurant sits in a cottage right next door and features a lovely breakfast menu and a Steak and Frites Night on Mondays. The whitewashed interior offer the perfect spot for a great salad or rice bowl with a glass of champagne for lunch.

Price: $$
Order:
Charcuterie Board, Agua Dulce Lettuces, Rice Bowl, Josephine House Burger, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Launderette

This East Austin neighborhood cafe serves contemporary American cuisine in a converted laundromat. They make one of my favorite burgers and the best birthday cake ice cream sandwich desserts during dinner. With its small plate menu (which changes frequently) and a great patio, this is the perfect date spot or girls night out.

Price: $$
Order: Striped Bass Crudo, Farm Salad, Crab & Avocado Toast, Sunshine Bowl, Plancha Burger

Image by  Tiny Boxwoods

Image by Tiny Boxwoods

Tiny Boxwoods

The Houston restaurant famed for its chocolate chip cookies recently opened in Kerbey Lane Village. Tiny’s serves salads, sandwiches, pastries, and cocktails in its lush, garden restaurant with large patio and private dining room.

Price: $
Order:
Pastries, Turkey Avocado Club, Cheese & Meat Board, Fig & Prosciutto Pizza, Shrimp & Risotto, Crispy Brussels, COOKIE(S)

Image by  Walton’s

Image by Walton’s

Walton’s Fancy & Staple

Nestled in West 6th street, this chic bakery, deli, and floral shop is one of my favorite spots for breakfast and a latte. Backed financially by Sandra Bullock, this place never fails to be packed every Saturday and Sunday. Walton’s also serves up the best sandwiches in town!

Price: $
Order:
Staple Breakfast, Challah French Toast,Crab Cake and Eggs Benedict, Turkey Sweet, The Gobble, Freebird Chicken Sandwich

Southern


Fixe Southern House

Head to Fixe when you want some southern biscuits and honey and fried chicken. You won’t be disappointed. With a steakhouse vibe, Fixe serves up some of the best southern food in Austin and the best biscuits you’ll ever have. If you’re not in the mood to roll out of the restaurant, they have great seafood and salads too.

Price: $$
Order: BISCUITS, Pimento Cheese, Smoked Trout Dip, Fried Chicken, Red Grouper, ‘Blackened’ Red Snapper, Grits

Image by    Olamaie

Image by Olamaie

Olamaie

You would never know when driving by this little white house near downtown that it’s a restaurant. Within those walls is a charming upscale restaurant that serves Southern food with a modern, farm-to-table spin. Order the hush puppies and the hoppin’ John and don’t forget about the incredible off-menu biscuits.

Price: $$$
Order:
Menu changes often

 

BBQ


Image by Gracie

Image by Gracie

Lamberts

Fancy and barbecue are not often used in the same sentence, however Lamberts pulls the concept off very well. Despite the upscale menu, the joint maintains an old-fashioned feel in its refurbished general store with an upstairs bar with live music. The meats are rubbed perfectly, the sauces are homemade, and the sides are out of this world. Get ready to roll out full and happy!

Price: $$
Order: Roasted Green Chile Queso, Classic Iceberg Wedge, Crispy Wild Boar Ribs, Natural Black Angus Brisket, Natural Pulled Pork

Image by    Loro Austin

Image by Loro Austin

Loro

Uchi founder Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue joined forces and opened a counter-service spot on South Lamar. With much lower prices than their other restaurants, this rustic Asian smokehouse is just as good as you would expect. It is perfect for a low-key date or day drinking with friends on their large patio.

Price: $
Order: Candied Kettlecorn, Cruncy Sweet Corn Fritters, Smoked Prime Bavette, Smoked Beef Brisket, Salted Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie

 

Seafood


Image by    Marina Piagoldi

Clark’s Oyster Bar

McGuire Moorman’s Instagram-worthy, up-scale seafood restaurant in Clarksville serves the freshest oysters and amazing lobster rolls. Originally termed as Perla’s “little brother” , the brand of the restaurant is light and airy and was inspired by yachting and sailing. This is one of my favorite restaurants for lunch on a nice day in Austin.

Price: $$
Order: Dressed Oyster, Crudo Plate, Crab Cake, Lobster Roll, Pan Roasted Black Angus Hamburger, Shoestring Fries

Image by    Eddie V’s

Image by Eddie V’s

Eddie V’s

The swanky steakhouse chain has a great location on 5th Street downtown with live music in the lounge and an ideal private dining room for social gatherings. Always a great go-to steakhouse in Austin.

Price: $$$
Order: Maine Lobster Tacos, Kung Pao Calamari, Chilean Sea Bass, Steak, Truffled Mac and Cheese

Image by    Perla’s

Image by Perla’s

Perla’s

Nothing beats sitting on Perla’s large patio on South Congress eating oysters and sipping on great cocktails. This oyster bar and seafood joint has always been one of my favorite spots in Austin for any meal. It can get a bit pricey, so I save dinners for special occasions, however if it’s a pretty day in Austin, you know I am splurging on a burger and cocktail on the patio.

Price: $$
Order: Wood Grilled Creole Oysters, Spicy Lobster Bisque, Lobster Roll, Flat Top Cheeseburger, any seafood or steak for dinner, Lobster Shells and Cheese

Mexican/Tex-Mex


Image by    Andrew Reiner

Image by Andrew Reiner

Suerte

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Image by    Thrillist

Image by Thrillist

El Naranjo

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Image by    Fresas

Image by Fresas

Fresas Chicken al Carbon

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Image by    Grizzelda’s

Image by Grizzelda’s

Grizzelda’s

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Image by    Jody Horton

Image by Jody Horton

La Condesa

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Matt’s El Rancho

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El Alma

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Italian


Image by    Backspace

Image by Backspace

Backspace

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Image by    Bufalina

Image by Bufalina

Bufalina

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Image by    Cipollina

Image by Cipollina

Cipollina

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Image by    Homeslice

Image by Homeslice

Homeslice

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Image by    Italic

Image by Italic

Italic

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Image by L’Oca d’pro

Image by L’Oca d’pro

L'Oca d'Oro

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Image by    Eate   r

Image by Eater

North Italia

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Image by    Vespaio

Image by Vespaio

Vespaio

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Japanese/Vietnamese


Elizabeth Street Cafe

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Lucky Robot

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Kemuri Tatsu-ya

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Uchi & Uchiko

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Kome

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Wu Chow

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