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. Barley Swine

    $$$$ | South Austin | American

    The 36-seat eatery recently abandoned their no-reservation policy, which can now be made a month in advance, but there is a new 8-seat communal...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Contigo

    $$ | East Austin | American

    The predominantly outdoor layout of Texas ranch-inspired Contigo consistently draws a steady evening crowd—even when summer temps are well over...Read More

  • 4. Franklin Barbecue

    $ | East Austin | Barbecue

    If Central Texas is the hub of the state's best barbecue, then this place has become its favorite darling. This food truck-turned-full-fledged...Read More

  • 5. Komé

    $$ | Hyde Park | Japanese

    This North Austin sushi joint is the best place to find superior sashimi, sushi rolls, and Japanese cuisine without the daunting prices of Uchi...Read More

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Sway

    $$ | South Austin | Thai

    Based on a distinctive Australian-style Thai cuisine, Sway has provided Austin with an injection of modern Thai fusion in a chic, sexy setting...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Bouldin Creek Café

    $ | South Austin | Vegetarian

    A vegetarian-only restaurant might sound like a bland option at first, but even devoted carnivores frequent this hip South First neighborhood...Read More

  • 11. Bufalina

    $$ | East Austin | Pizza

    A bevy of new pizza places debuted in Austin over the past couple of years and one of the best is this hip eastside eatery, specializing in...Read More

  • 12. Chavez

    $$ | American

    Downtown’s Radisson hotel finally ousted an outdated TGI Fridays location on their ground floor and made way for yet another hit from chef and...Read More

  • 13. Counter Café

    $$ | East Austin | American

    Fans of Austin’s iconic Counter Café got a lot of good news this year, when the beloved (but tragically tiny) diner on North Lamar unveiled...Read More

  • 14. Dai Due

    $$$ | East Austin | American

    This Manor Road newcomer hangs their hat on seasonal local cuisine, with an emphasis on farmers’ markets, Texas beer and wines—even ingredients...Read More

  • 15. Easy Tiger

    $$ | Sixth Street District | German

    This German-style bakery and beer garden, above Waller Creek on the far end of 6th Street, has become the go-to spot for beer and sausage lovers...Read More

  • 16. Elizabeth Street Café

    $$ | South Austin | Vietnamese

    This clever nouveau Vietnamese-French concept from chef-restaurateur Larry McGuire—of Lamberts and Clark's fame—sits on the corner of South...Read More

  • 17. 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

  • 18. Fork & Taco

    $$ | North Austin | Mexican

    Far from the expected price tag of the myriad street and trailer tacos that abound throughout the city, this new Burnet Road eatery boasts a...Read More

  • 19. Fork & Vine

    $$$ | North Austin | American

    North Austin’s Anderson Lane and Burnet neighborhood has welcomed several new restaurants over the past few years, with one of the most notable...Read More

  • 20. Frank

    $ | Hot Dog

    Discerning hipsters, corporate lunch crowds, and late-night barflies frequent this Warehouse District favorite specializing in artisanal hot...Read More

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