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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 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. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Josephine House

    $$$ | Clarksville | American

    The adorable little sister of Jeffrey’s occupies a beautifully restored, light-filled bungalow next door to the Clarksville fine dining institution...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Olive & June

    $$$ | North Austin | Italian

    Whether you're grabbing a cocktail at the bar, sharing a few appetizers with friends on the treehouse-like outdoor patio, or settling in to...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Perla's

    $$$ | South Congress District | Seafood

    Seafood, service and panache are pretty as a pearl at this homage to yacht clubs on the Northeast Coast. One of Austin’s original high-end patio...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Truluck's

    $$$ | Seafood

    Pricey-but-excellent fish, shellfish, and steak are served in handsome surroundings that suggest a businessmen's yacht club at Truluck's, part...Read More

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