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.
Bess translates an idealized French bistro into western terms (pewter bar; encaustic tile; distressed mirrors).
Torchy’s Tacos is the little taco trailer that made a name for itself, and is now not only a taco stand in the hipster enclave of South Austin, but a growing chain with several locations in Austin and a new location in Houston.
What It’s Like: The layout of this Austin favorite is a marvel in itself; 40 tiered decks—that can hold up to 2,200 people—jut out from a 450-foot-high cliff over Travis Lake.
With La Condesa in Austin's trendy Warehouse District, chef Rene Ortiz brings traditional flavors of the interior of Mexico to Texas. Don't expect Tex-Mex.
Stop by for grilled pimento cheese sandwiches, cult-favorite Coca-Cola from Mexico, and a stellar burger topped with crumbly cheddar.
Stubb’s is an Austin institution serving standard Texas barbecue fare: brisket, beef and pork ribs, and chicken, all slow-cooked over wood flames. The meats come accompanied by Stubb’s signature sauce and a selection of sides that include okra, pinto beans, and sweet potatoes.
The Hula Hut serves large portions of Tex-Mex cuisine with Polynesian touches (typically involving pineapple slices), often accompanied by pitchers of margaritas made with freshly squeezed lime juice. Menu items include everything from macadamia-crusted Mahi Mahi to chile-rubbed salmon tacos.
Order the birria, a hearty Mexican goat stew. The light burgundy broth has an oily sheen, and should be showered with minced jalapeño, onion, cilantro, habanero chile, and lime juice.