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.
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.
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.
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.
Operating out of a vintage Avion trailer, this cash-only crêpe vendor serves sweet and savory variations of the French staple, all of which are made from scratch with high-quality ingredients.
The restaurant looks and feels like a farmer's market and supports local farmers and business. It uses only biodegradable, compostable, or recycled products, including cutlery made from potatoes.
At this unassuming restaurant in Cherrywood, local chef-owner Hoover Alexander serves Deep South—style comfort food with Tex-Mex, Cajun, and Jamaican influences.
Located off the beaten path in the West Campus neighborhood, this second-story restaurant is known for its Mediterranean small plates and inventive cocktails. The covered patio caters to a 30-something happy hour crowd, while the candlelit dining room is popular with couples.
The Scene: Despite their demanding day jobs, Hannah Calvert and her business partner, Tasso, opened SUG in 2006 as a way to exorcise their deep desire to cook, entertain, and even matchmake.
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.