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 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. Driskill Grill

    $$$ | Sixth Street District | American

    Dominated by shiny, dark paneling and etched glass, this would-be cattle baron's club inside the Driskill Hotel recalls the palatial restaurants...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Lamberts

    $$ | Barbecue

    Smack in the middle of Second Street, Lamberts draws a broad range of downtown business crowds, local foodies, and tourists, for its stylish...Read More

  • 6. Arro

    $$$ | French

    Fans of classic French fare have flocked to Arro on West Sixth since its opening last year. The atmosphere is intimate but approachable and...Read More

  • 7. Fonda San Miguel

    $$ | North Austin | Mexican

    This beloved villa-style North Loop spot combines sophisticated ambience with a solid menu of authentic Mexican classics. Start with the ceviche...Read More

  • 8. Foreign & Domestic

    $$ | North Austin | American

    It’s been almost five years since chef/owner Ned Elliott opened his upscale, 47-seat North Loop gastropub, deep in the heart of the locavore...Read More

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Jasper's

    $$ | American

    Business travelers and upscale tourists alike are drawn to this handsome, 9,000-square-foot eatery, in the midst of The Domain shopping district...Read More

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Olivia

    $$$ | South Austin | American

    The menu recently transitioned away from its “hyper-playful” Italian-inspired cuisine and back to its original style of rustic, farm-to-table...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. Uchiko

    $$ | North Austin | Japanese

    Austin’s Uchiko might have started out as the "little brother” of Chef Tyson Cole’s now famed Uchi restaurant, but four years later the contemporary...Read More

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