A Foodie’s Guide to Austin, Texas: Where to Eat & Drink
Don’t know where to eat in Austin? This guide can help! Read on to learn about the top restaurants and bars in Austin, Texas.
From incredible outdoor destinations and unbeatable live music to quirky culture, top-rated museums, and historic landmarks, Austin, Texas, is known for it all. When you think of this amazing city, the affordable rent in Austin, Texas might come to mind, among many other things. But the lively metropolitan area is nothing if not for its great food scene. Whether you gravitate toward restaurants, food carts, diners, family-friendly eateries, brunch spots, bars, pubs, clubs, cafes, or coffee shops, the city has it all.
If you’re wondering where to eat in the Violet Crown City, you’ve come to the right place. Maybe you know about the best companies to work for in Austin, but make sure you know where to get a bite to eat after a long day at the office. We researched the best spots for all occasions, including dining staples and top-rated newcomers. Find a rundown of the top restaurants in Austin below.
Austin, Texas is home to a wide range of mouth-watering cuisines. We’re talking Tex Mex, barbecue, Mexican, Japanese, Italian, German, and American fare. You can find pizza, pasta, poke, tacos, sushi, burgers, beers, fried chicken, oysters, and everything in between. Here are the best places to eat in Austin (or at least our favorites).
When it comes to recommendations of where to eat in Austin, Franklin Barbecue can be found on most lists. Located in the city’s historic East Side, it’s the go-to spot for authentic Texas barbecue. This BBQ joint is so famous, in fact, that you can even take a Master Class taught by chef and founder Aaron Franklin.
Though you can almost always expect to wait in line at Franklin Barbecue, it’s well worth it. The drool-worthy brisket is by far the most popular menu item, but if they run out, the turkey and ribs won’t disappoint.
Sugar Pine is a cute and casual Japanese eatery located in Austin’s Wooten neighborhood. The counter-service menu is divided into three categories. There’s the delectable onigiri, which is seasoned perfectly and comes with fillings and toppings like avocado, ume shiso, and spicy tuna.
Then you’ve got bento boxes, which you can get to go or enjoy from a cafeteria-style tray. Bento boxes come with a variety of options, including grilled salmon, chicken karaage, and katsu pork. Last but not least, Sugar Pine offers tons of amazing sweets. Standouts include house-made Japanese-style ice cream, mochi, macaroons, and chocolate cakes.
If you’re partial to Mexican cuisine, you’ll love Fonda San Miguel in Allandale. Founded in 1975, this high-end destination is not only one of the best restaurants in Austin, but it’s also credited for helping bring authentic Mexican food to the city. You can get true regional cuisine inspired by interior epicenters like Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, and Yucatan. Whether you’re craving an enchilada or tacos, this Mexican food will have your mouth watering.
Some of the must-try menu items include cochinita pibil, rellenos, and anything with pico de gallo. Both the dishes and the restaurant are presented beautifully with gorgeous garnishes and curated artwork. It’s definitely worth stopping by for dinner, but you might also consider getting brunch at Fonda San Miguel. The brunch buffet is offered on Sundays, and it’s your best bet for a breakfast taco in Austin.
Foreign & Domestic is a New American restaurant located in the hip Austin neighborhood of North Loop. Co-owners Nathan Lemley and Sarah Heard are a stellar duo, always bringing fresh, innovative ideas to the delicious menu.
The offerings at Foreign & Domestic change depending on the season. However, if you see any type of risotto or hash on the menu, you won’t regret ordering it. This comfy-cool dining destination is a versatile dinner spot. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or have a business meeting on the calendar, this is an excellent place to eat in North Austin.
Some of the best places to eat in Austin are food trucks. And while there’s a wide range to choose from, The Peached Tortilla is at the top of the list. The Southern-Asian fusion cart has been so well-reviewed that owner Eric Silverstein ended up opening a full-on restaurant of the same name in Allandale.
The Peached Tortilla is the place to go for eclectic comfort food. You can get shrimp-topped toast, gochujang ground pork, tasty tacos, rice bowls, curries, and other delightful dishes. Even the salads are scrumptious!
If you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy craft beer in Austin, head over to Hopfields. Located in Heritage, one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Austin, the French-inspired gastropub is perfectly casual with a gourmet vibe. From nicoise salads and house-made charcuterie to mushroom pho and short-rib risotto, they have a little of everything.
As for beer, Hopfields boasts an impressive draft list featuring picks from local breweries and imports alike. You can dine in or each outside on the patio or deck. Hopfields also offers takeout food. Once you try it, this place is sure to be your new favorite restaurant.
Though it’s a relatively new establishment, Nixta Taqueria is one of the top restaurants in Austin, and it’s easy to see why. Chef Edgar Rico is known for his colorful food creations that nod to the traditional culinary styles of Mexico.
When you eat at this East Austin joint, you can enjoy tostadas and tacos that come with house-made heirloom corn tortillas and other fresh ingredients. Nixta Taqueria makes its own salsas and hot sauces, which you can buy by the bottle. Then there’s a range of delectable desserts to choose from, including freshly made popsicles and Persian rice pudding.
If you’re looking for somewhere to get fried chicken, check out East Austin’s Spicy Boys Fried Chicken. This pan-Asian eatery is located right outside Zilker Brewing, and it’s the place to go for wings, sandwiches, and traditional fried chicken.
Each dish is tossed in your choice of specialty sauce. Choose from Thai BBQ, Thai Basil Ranch, Korean Buffalo, Spicy Boys Vintage, and some limited-edition flavors. You can dine in at Spicy Boys or get your food to go if you prefer eating at home or picnicking at one of Austin’s many parks.
If you can’t visit a city without trying a slice of local pizza, we think you’ll appreciate East Side Pies. With several locations throughout Austin, this is one of the best places to get pizza in the metro area.
Though you can order classics like pepperoni and plain cheese, you might consider trying one or the creative yet delicious specialty pies. If you like spicy food, the White Pepper, Homer, and Jamaican pizzas are worth tasting. And if you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the Chimi Hendrix, Moon Unit, or Girther.
For unparalleled Tex Mex, we recommend stopping by the Texas Chili Parlor in Downtown Austin. Since 1976, the small divey diner has been serving up some of the best chili in the city. It’s also known for nachos, queso, and some pretty impressive burgers. Texas Chili Parlor was also a film location for Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, which is set in Austin.
Nightcap is a chic Austin restaurant and dessert bar located in the historic district of Clarksville. You can enjoy food and drinks inside the revamped bungalow’s dining room or sit outside on the lawn or patio.
Notable entrees include the Nightcap Burger, Grilled Cheese with Carnitas, and Crispy Confit Chicken Thighs. Pair your meal with a signature craft cocktail, and finish the evening with a dessert drink or something from the sweets menu.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected some operating hours, in-dining availability, and reservation requirements. While we carefully researched this list to present you with only the most accurate, up-to-date information, it’s always a good idea to check the website of a restaurant or call before heading out.
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Book your stay today or contact us to learn more about our long-term rental homes in Austin’s best neighborhoods.