Austin Restaurants

Though Mexican, Tex-Mex, and barbecue are the default cuisines, everything from Brazilian to Pacific Rim fusion has made headway here, and there are strong vegetarian and natural-food followers.To find the best barbecue, local consensus tends to be that you've got to head out of town to Lockhart, Luling, or Llano, in the Hill Co
Though Mexican, Tex-Mex, and barbecue are the default cuisines, everything from Brazilian to Pacific Rim fusion has made headway here, and there are strong vegetarian and natural-food followers.To find the best barbecue, local consensus tends to be that you've got to he
Though Mexican, Tex-Mex, and barbecue are the default cuisines, everything from Brazilian to Pacific Rim fusion has made

Though Mexican, Tex-Mex, and barbecue are the default cuisines, everything from Brazilian to Pacific Rim fusion has made headway here, and there are strong vegetarian and natural-food followers.

To find the best barbecue, local consensus tends to be that you've got to head out of town to Lockhart, Luling, or Llano, in the Hill Country. Nevertheless, there are several fine options within the city limits, the bulk of them simple places.

In some venues the music and food share nearly equal billing, like Threadgill's, whose massive chicken-fried steak is as much of a draw as the well-known blues and rock acts on stage. Stubb's Bar-B-Q hosts a popular gospel brunch on Sundays.

Austin is a casual city, and the dress code is almost always "come as you are"; a few restaurants require a jacket for men. Tips are generally 20%. Smoking is prohibited inside restaurants and bars, though some allow smoking on their outdoor patios.

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  • 1. Clark's Oyster Bar

    $$ | Clarksville | Seafood

    The fifth of local restaurateur Larry McGuire's white-hot portfolio, which includes Jeffrey’s, Lamberts, and Elizabeth Street Café, Clark’s...Read More

  • 2. Congress

    $$$ | American

    An evening here is no regular weekday affair. As Chef/partner David Bull intended with this crisply elegant fine dining concept, this restaurant...Read More

  • 3. Hudson's on the Bend

    $$$ | Lake Travis | American

    In a restored ranch house near Lake Travis, 30 minutes outside of town, Hudson's on the Bend has been Austin’s best destination for elevated...Read More

  • 4. Lenoir

    $$$ | South Austin | American

    Bouldin Creek’s best date night destination might have limited dining space, with only 34 seats, but the seasonal prix fixe selections and shabby...Read More

  • 5. Uchi

    $$ | South Austin | Japanese

    You've heard the term "extreme sports"? Uchi is "extreme sushi." Respectful of traditional sushi and sashimi methods—but not limited by them...Read More

  • 6. Bess Bistro

    $$ | American

    In the restored cellar of a 1918 brick building on the more sedate end of 6th is this casually chic boîte owned by actress Sandra Bullock (but...Read More

  • 7. Gardner

    $$ | East Austin | Vegetarian

    The second restaurant from the team behind Contigo, the popular meat-focused farm-to-table operation, is a trendy new endeavor with a heavy...Read More

  • 8. Hyde Park Bar and Grill

    $$ | Hyde Park | American

    With its simple, eclectic menu focusing on comfort foods and more than ample portions, it's no wonder that this welcoming neighborhood hangout...Read More

  • 9. Jeffrey's

    $$$ | Clarksville | French

    Homegrown restaurateur Larry McGuire recently revitalized Clarksville’s beloved Jeffrey’s steakhouse this year and rave reviews of the French...Read More

  • 10. Juan in a Million

    $ | East Austin | Mexican

    The not-so-secret weapon of this classic East Austin breakfast spot is its owner and namesake, local legend Juan Meza, who has run his modest...Read More

  • 11. Magnolia Café

    $ | West Austin | American

    This local institution serves a full complement of the simple breakfast/brunch foods that Austinites tend to crave at all hours. The typical...Read More

  • 12. Mandola's Italian Market

    $$ | North Austin | Italian

    Houston restaurateur (and co-founder of the Carrabba’s restaurant chain) Damian Mandola introduced this "neighborhood grocery store" and Italian...Read More

  • 13. Odd Duck

    $$$ | South Austin | American

    This food truck turned brick and mortar was an early trailblazer of the city’s farm to table movement, thanks to chef Bryce Gilmore’s inventive...Read More

  • 14. Olamaie

    $$ | American

    Pronounced “oh-la-may,” this upscale twist on traditional Southern cuisine has been turning heads since debuting in the fall of 2014 in a renovated...Read More

  • 15. Phil's Icehouse

    $ | North Austin | Burger

    This burger joint is a moms' favorite for its kid-friendly menu, play area for ages 3–12, and occasional live music or movies for kids in summer...Read More

  • 16. Qui

    $$$$ | East Austin | American

    Austin’s favorite culinary conqueror Paul Qui opened his eponymous Qui to an already adoring public last year and the modern fusion eastside...Read More

  • 17. Salty Sow

    $$ | East Austin | American

    This porcine-themed gastropub in the midst of East Manor’s burgeoning food scene might sport a range of pig illustrations and artwork on their...Read More

  • 18. The Carillon

    $$$ | University of Texas Area | American

    In 2014, executive Chef Josh Watkins left The Carillon—a stylish New American concept he helped launch in 2008—but the highly regarded fine...Read More

  • 19. Threadgill's

    $$ | North Austin | American

    Locals take their out-of-town guests to this legendary "real Texas food" locale. The original location opened on North Lamar in 1933 as a gas...Read More

  • 20. TRIO

    $$$ | American

    Steak, seafood, and wine are the three focal points (thus the name) of this sophisticated oasis overlooking downtown’s Lady Bird Lake. Executive...Read More

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