Discover the Best Restaurants in Austin: Your Ultimate Foodie Guide
If you’re visiting Austin, Texas, you’re in for a treat. The city boasts a rich culinary scene that offers a diverse range of flavors and dining experiences. From Tex-Mex to BBQ and farm-to-table restaurants, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best dining spots in Austin, so you can savor every bite during your visit.
1. Barbecue Bliss: Franklin Barbecue
When you think of Austin, BBQ is likely one of the first things that comes to mind. And what better place to start than the legendary Franklin Barbecue? This world-renowned establishment is famous for its melt-in-your-mouth brisket and finger-licking ribs. Be prepared to wait in line, but trust us, the food is well worth the wait.
2. Tex-Mex Tantalizers: Torchy’s Tacos
For a true taste of Tex-Mex, head over to Torchy’s Tacos. This local chain has a cult following, and for good reason. With a variety of creative taco options, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings, whether it’s the Trailer Park (fried chicken, green chiles, and queso) or the Crossroads (smoked beef brisket and grilled onions). Don’t forget to try their famous queso and green chile queso as well.
3. Farm-to-Table Freshness: Odd Duck
Odd Duck is a must-visit for foodies who appreciate locally-sourced ingredients and inventive dishes. This farm-to-table gem offers a frequently changing menu that showcases the best of Austin’s seasonal produce. Their small plates are perfect for sharing, so bring a group and sample a variety of their delicious creations.
4. Vegetarian and Vegan Delights: Bouldin Creek Cafe
Vegetarians and vegans, rejoice! Bouldin Creek Cafe has got you covered. This funky, laid-back eatery offers an extensive menu of vegetarian and vegan fare, from hearty breakfasts to satisfying dinners. The tofu scramble and the veggie burger are crowd favorites, but don’t miss out on their daily specials and rotating selection of soups and salads.
5. Southern Comfort: Olamaie
For a taste of refined Southern cuisine, make a reservation at Olamaie. This upscale restaurant is the perfect spot for a special occasion or a romantic night out. Their menu focuses on modern twists on classic Southern dishes, like shrimp and grits or fried chicken. Don’t skip their famous biscuits—many diners say they’re the best they’ve ever had!
6. Sushi Sensations: Uchi
Uchi is a must-try for sushi aficionados. Helmed by renowned chef Tyson Cole, this upscale Japanese restaurant offers an impressive selection of sushi, sashimi, and other creative dishes. The daily specials are always worth exploring, and the omakase (chef’s tasting menu) is an unforgettable experience. Make sure to save room for their delightful desserts, too!
7. Italian Indulgence: Red Ash Italia
If you’re craving Italian cuisine, look no further than Red Ash Italia. This stylish eatery offers homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and an array of tempting antipasti. The cozy atmosphere and attentive service make it an ideal spot for a date night.
8. Asian Fusion Favorites: Sway
Experience the flavors of Southeast Asia at Sway, a trendy and modern restaurant that brings a contemporary twist to traditional dishes. The menu features Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese influences, resulting in a unique and delectable fusion of flavors. Don’t miss the Son in Law (crispy farm egg, braised pork shoulder, and chili jam) or the Jungle Curry. Shareable plates and communal seating make this a fun and lively spot for group dinners.
9. Late-Night Bites: 24 Diner
Craving comfort food in the wee hours of the night? 24 Diner has you covered. As the name suggests, this retro-inspired eatery is open 24 hours a day, making it the perfect spot for late-night cravings. The menu offers classic diner fare, like burgers, sandwiches, and breakfast served all day, with a focus on high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients. Don’t leave without trying their famous milkshakes and decadent desserts.
10. Sweet Treats: Gourdough’s Public House
For dessert lovers, Gourdough’s Public House is a must-visit. This one-of-a-kind establishment is known for its unique and indulgent donut creations. From savory donut burgers to over-the-top sweet concoctions like the Funky Monkey (grilled bananas, cream cheese icing, and brown sugar), Gourdough’s will satisfy your sweet tooth in the most delightful way. Enjoy your treat in their quirky, fun atmosphere or take your donuts to go and enjoy them as a late-night snack.
Austin’s diverse culinary scene has something to offer for every palate. From finger-licking BBQ and mouthwatering Tex-Mex to upscale dining experiences and late-night comfort food, the city’s restaurants will not disappoint. Be sure to explore as many of these delicious dining spots as you can during your visit to Austin, and don’t hesitate to ask locals for their personal favorites.