45 Best Restaurants in Austin Every Newcomer Should Check out
There are many good reasons for moving to Austin, such as affordable housing, beautiful weather, live music performances, and of course, the food. If you want to feel like you truly belong in the Texas capital, you should get familiar with the best restaurants in Austin and their rich offer of mouthwatering delicacies. It will take some time, but if you’re a real foodie, you already know it’ll pay off.
Being hungry in a city that, according to some estimates, has nearly 2,000 eateries can seem confusing and scary, especially if you’re coming from a smaller place with not so many dining out options. But as with anything in life, you have nothing to fear if you know where you’re headed. Let’s review the top eateries in the best neighborhoods in Austin and find the right place to celebrate the start of your new Texas life.
ATX Is Home of the Best Barbecue
Let’s start with the basics. After all, it’s Texas we’re talking about, and this story wouldn’t be complete without its renowned barbecue.
Micklethwait’s started in an adapted Comet trailer back in 2012 and has since become one of the leading BBQ joints in the city. Many are waiting in lines to try their signature smoked meat and brisket, and they say it’s worth the time.
Franklin BBQ was rated as the best venue of its kind in the known universe by the Texas Monthly. Located on the East Side, this place knows its business. Every piece of meat is perfectly seasoned, grilled or baked and served with raw cabbage, pinto beans, or a potato salad.
La Barbecue is known for pulled pork, sausages, and ribs – pork and beef ones. There’s no mistake with their house-made sauces and sandwiches. The meat is so flavorful, and it melts in your mouth. If you come here (and it would be a shame not to), make sure to try La Frito Loco.
Three Other BBQ Places in Austin, TX That Should Be on Your List
Once you’re here, don’t miss the chance to eat at the Shmidt’s Family Barbecue. They have been around for over 75 years, and this is the third generation serving bone-in pork chops and beef ribs as their specialties.
Stiles Switch BBQ guarantees you’ll enjoy their smoked meats and craft beer. As for Black‘s, they have several locations since the business they’re running is doing well. Their smoked sausages are prepared with an 80-year-old recipe and techniques that haven’t changed much over the years.
Experience the East in East Austin Eateries
After all that meat, it’s time to eat something light. Try Japanese curry at Domo Alley-Gato. For just nine bucks, you’ll get a delicious Gyukotsu beef stock, with slow-cooked shredded beef, potato, yogurt, and cheese sauce.
At Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, you can experience a mix of Japanese and Mexican dishes served in shareable plates. Try their cultural mash-up of ramen with beef, bamboo, and sprouts. They also have amazing unusual cocktails that go well with their dishes.
South Austin Isn’t Far Behind
Every vegetarian and vegan in this place loves Bouldin Creek Cafe. At a fair price, you can get a veggie meal with any beverage, including wine, hot teas, and sake.
Old fashioned Phoebe’s Diner will make you feel like you’re in the ’50s. This is the best place for an early meal any day of the week since they open at 7 AM. You can choose between buttermilk flapjacks with blueberries, strawberries, or chocolate chips for a happy breakfast or a Ceasar Salad with baby spinach and roasted garlic dressing for a healthy breakfast.
For a good burger and some tasty shakes, visit the Hopdoddy Burger Bar. You can see the calories on the menu, but who cares when you have a chicken wing burger with blue cheese and honey mustard in front of you.
Aviary is an excellent place with Mediterranean influences and wine and beer lists. The executive chef makes impressive dishes every day from 4 PM.
If You Want to Go Fancy, Try Odd Duck or Botticelli’s
If you’re up for some fine dining for a special occasion or you just like to spoil yourself and go fancier, book a table at Botticelli’s or at Odd Duck. The former is an Italian place with fresh and delicious specialties, live music, and beer garden, while Odd Duck serves various meals made from locally-farmed products.
Have a Taste of Different Cultures in South Congress
This neighborhood has it all when it comes to food – from the Far East cuisines to the good old American kitchen.
Each chef at Uroko is dedicated to making an affordable and flavourful dish every day from the freshest ingredients. It’s a place that organizes sushi classes every Thursday night so that you can learn the technique and make this raw fish specialty at home.
A similar option is Poke-Poke, named after a traditional Hawaiian dish made from ahi tuna or salmon with sauces and vegetables.
Taste of Ethiopia also has an authentic East Africa-inspired menu for lunch. Both meat lovers and vegetarians can try something new and exciting.
Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar has fantastic lunch, dinner, and brunch options with sides for sharing like baked shells & cheese.
A Bit of Italian and American Style
Lucy’s Fried Chicken has not only that, but also oysters, freshly-made side dishes, pies, and salads – all of that every day of the week. Vespaio and its sister Enoteca have a variety of Italian recipes, home-made pasta, pizzas, and salads. Gluten-free pasta is also available.
Zilker Park Is Another Neighborhood With Outstanding Food
In this community, you’ll find a bit of everything. We singled out one of each cuisine worth a visit. The Italian place La Volpe continues to wow people with their ever-changing menu. Home-roasted meat, seafood, steaks, pasta, salads, and desserts – they have it all.
Grab some sushi at Uchi, which means house in the Japanese language. Award-winning chef Tyson Cole does wonders with raw and natural ingredients.
More Meat, Please!
Chuy’s Restaurant is an original Tex-Mex spot. Guacamole, Nachos, and Panchos as appetizers, house specialties, and their famous enchiladas are some of the reasons why Austinites love this place. Kids can get a free dessert.
Another casual and relaxed meat place is Cypress Grill, with the hint of New Orleans and seriously good fare. You can watch a game there, go for a date, or just come and feel like home. Their menu is diverse; you can get something healthy like fish or chicken meat in a salad or a bread pudding with bourbon sauce.
Go to Old West for Good Old Pasta
Two Italian-style places – Cipollina Bistro and Olive & June have an offer that you can’t refuse. Wood-fired pizzas, fresh pasta, friendly service, and an extensive wine list are great for a family dinner or casual or business meetings. Don’t miss out on their ice cream (gelato) and chocolate cake.
34th Street Café is an excellent choice for an affordable and flavourful lunch like salmon with quinoa, almonds and yogurt gran mustard sauce, or lamb meat in apple mushroom bread pudding.
Enjoy Fine Dining at Upscale Jeffrey’s
This is really something. Their bar and desserts are fantastic, but dinner at this place will be unforgettable. Order something from the grill or one of their specialties like Alaskan king crab in white wine. Try mixing Wagyu beef that is dry-aged for 32 days with Jeffrey’s steak sauce. The bar is open daily from 4.30 to 11 PM.
You’ll Love the Restaurant Offer in Mueller Neighborhood
Mueller is home to many young families due to its vicinity to good Austin schools, and it is definitely one of the best places to live in Austin. It’s also renowned for its chain retailers and restaurants. If you’re moving here or just staying for some time, there are eateries that will complete an already good first impression.
Authentic Mexican cuisine in Paco’s Tacos with a lovely patio and cozy setting would be a great spot to eat something fresh and cheap. There’s breakfast all day, tacos, tostadas, quesadillas and so much more. You can order and get meals delivered at your door, or come and build your own taco.
If you love Middle Eastern delicacies, come to The Halal Corner for some rice, meat, and pita wraps, or for some vegetarian and vegan combinations. Ingredients they use are locally grown, but the spices are imported to achieve the authentic taste of the East. On the other hand, a few beers and grilled cheese or chicken at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub is a safe choice for every newcomer.
Downtown Austin Restaurants Serve Delicious Dishes
If you missed French cuisine on this list, go downtown to Chez Nous bistro that serves regional French dishes in an intimate atmosphere. Get some baked goat cheese on a baguette with a glass of red wine and feel like you’re in Paris!
In case you’re craving Chinese, pay a visit to Wu Chow and try some modern and representative dishes and dim sum on Sundays. Taste their steamed seasonal whole fish with ginger and scallions or hot and spicy lobster.
The Backspace is Austin’s first Neapolitan pizzeria that makes pizza with Italian-imported flour and tomatoes. Except for that, they have meatballs, baked ricotta, sandwiches, and salads.
Taste of the South at Olamaie
Traditional southern American recipes are made in Olamaie on San Antonio Street. Don’t miss the chance to get a table here and taste their field peas and country ham with red-eye gravy, squash, and sesame. If you’re visiting or moving during the holidays, keep in mind that this place doesn’t work then.
Have a Punk Rock Dinner at Holy Roller
There’s no better place for fries, sandwiches, and donuts. Get your Holy Roller meatloaf sandwich with mozzarella with some eggs and bacon and finish the meal with banana pudding or a cake with warm chocolate case scraps, vanilla ice cream, and a scoop of chocolate frosting. Also, fried chicken with hot honey-buttered biscuit, comeback sauce, fried egg, and some syrup is a smart choice.
Comedor Will Win You Over With Its Charm
This modern Mexican joint has great cocktails and even better fare. You’ll enjoy bone marrow tacos with quelites and smoked butter in a pleasant and relaxed space.
Scholz Garten EST 1866 Is One of the Best Restaurants in Austin
Texans love their tradition, and having the honor to dine at a restaurant that’s more than 150 years old is quite a big deal, don’t you think? Scholz Garten is a German place with Bavarian recipes, sausages, potato pancakes, and other specialties. Burgers are also outstanding, and you can get pulled pork for just eight bucks.
However, ATX has a couple more places with a decades-old history. For example, The Frisco opened in 1953, Cisco’s in 1943, and Dirty Martin’s started serving guests in 1926.
Ready to Move?
If you were reading this article because you’re thinking about relocating to this city, we firmly believe it would be a great idea. There are many good reasons for calling Austin movers and making the so-called Live Music Capital of the World your new home. Besides the reasonable Austin cost of living and a strong job market, food is definitely one of the city’s main selling points, and we’re sure it will quickly become one of your favorite things to do in Austin.