Restaurants in Austin
Austin restaurants sport simple and excellent Tex-Mex and comfort food, as well as new culinary creations and world-renowned chefs. Food trucks are widely popular, and the restaurant scene is equally as vibrant. Congress is being called the best new restaurant in Texas, with a choice of a three or seven-course prix-fixe menu by Chef David Bull. Stubb’s Bar-B-Q is famous not only for its food but also for its history in the music scene. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Cash and countless other blues and country artists would play for their meals there, and the Austin location carries on that spirit with live music almost every night. Not to mention exceptional barbecue.
Kerbey Lane Café is an Austinite favorite. It’s open 24 hours a day, so anyone looking for late night queso dip, afternoon coffee or morning brunch has the perfect place to go. They also emphasize local and sustainable food. For some authentic Tex-Mex, the wildly popular Guero’s Taco Bar offers classic style margaritas and cantina fare. Plan ahead for a line, and don’t miss their chicken tortilla soup.
There’s no better place to go for burgers and shakes, especially since this casual joint with great outdoor seating and a big playground is connected to the Austin-born Amy’s Ice Cream (try the Mexican Vanilla).
Located in Austin’s up-and-coming East Side, Justine’s is a fantastic French bistro that attracts a stylish hipster crew, eager for expertly crafted steak frites and garlicky escargot.
El Meson, which serves traditional Mexi
This retro restaurant and bar evokes Rat Pack–era Palm Springs; the
furniture in its Vegas-style space is covered with acres of tufted
leather, and its upstairs terrace has views of the Austin skyline.
From an unassuming, tin-roofed structure on Manor Road, across from Interstate 35 and the University of Texas at Austin campus, El Chile serves Tex-Mex to a mixed crowd of Austin high rollers and hungry undergraduates.
The coffee house is adjacent to the Hotel San José and is perfect for iced coffees and people watching.
Aquatic-themed watering hole. The bar at this Caribbean-Mexican restaurant is backed by an enormous black-lit aquarium filled with brightly colored tropical fish.
This barbecue institution began as a small addition to a general store in the Texas Hill Country town of Leon Springs. Since then, it has expanded to locations throughout Texas, with a few in neighboring states, too. The look is indeed that of a Texas country store.
Named for the expansive pecan trees lining this trendy section of Barton Springs Road, Shady Grove's patio area provides coverage from the hot Texas sun.
This tacqueria in Old West Austin
Don’t let the pedestrian name fool you: Maria's Taco Xpress is not a fast-food joint. Rather, it is a characteristically offbeat South Austin hangout specializing in Tex-Mex classics with the occasional live music act.
This updated version of the traditional diner concept is not, in fact, a cafeteria at all but a sit-down restaurant popular for its take on traditional meat-and-three Americana.
Bess translates an idealized French bistro into western terms (pewter bar; encaustic tile; distressed mirrors).