Eat + Drink BBQ

Austin’s Best Restaurants & Neighborhoods: Where to Go For Your Next Meal

Austin is a lively city paradise for foodies. Whether you’re looking for dim sum, an all-day brunch, or a classic deli; Austin has what you’re looking for. Journey around the city to find a laid back atmosphere, cooking classes from world-class chefs, and innovative dishes that combine flavors from across the globe. This handy guide will show you Austin’s best restaurants and food neighborhoods that are not to be missed.

photo 1466978913421 dad2ebd01d17The Best Restaurants & Foodie Neighborhoods in Austin

East Austin

East Austin has long been a foodie hotspot in Austin, Texas. The neighborhood offers everything from laid-back vibes to a rowdy party scene and every flavor you can imagine. Feeling like brews? Head over to Wright Bros. Brew & Brew or Lazarus Brewing — two hotspots that offer craft beers and high-quality coffees to keep you charged all day long.

No visit to Austin is complete without some Tex-Mex food and a visit to Austin’s best restaurants. East Austin is home to some of the best Mexican food trucks in town with Veracruz All Natural and Las Trancas both calling the neighborhood home. Don’t miss Suerte — Food & Wine’s Best New Restaurant winner in 2019 — and dig into soulful Mexican food that will make your mouth water.

For some of the best Italian food in the city, check out Bufalina — an original Neapolitan pizzeria that serves pizzas up Italian-style.  Try one of their specialty desserts — like the olive oil cake or peach leaf panna cotta — after digging into a thin-crust pie.

Texas is famous for barbecue and the East Side is home to one of the best places to grab some brisket or burnt ends. Franklin Barbecue offers tasty brisket, sausage, pulled pork, and chopped beef along with classic sides like potato salad, beans, and slaw. You can even sign up for a master class on Texas-style barbecue from head chef Aaron Franklin.

Launderette is an East Austin restaurant that offers beautiful surroundings to pair with delicious meals and a friendly atmosphere. This restaurant is located in a former Laundromat and features stunning decorations that make it the perfect backdrop for brunch. Try the European Iberico prawns or the sticky Brussels sprouts and don’t miss out on their seasonal ice creams and sorbets.

Craving Japanese food? Head of to Kemuri Tatsu-ya for the chili cheese takoyaki or a bowl of Texas ramen featuring beef broth, brisket, and bamboo.

austin best restaurants: skylineDowntown Austin

Downtown Austin offers visitors the opportunity to dive deep into the rich food roots of the city. Restaurants are in walking distance from many of the hotels and offer the perfect spot for a day of exploring the city’s culinary chops.

Start the day off with a tasty cup of coffee over at Houndstooth Coffee — an Austin favorite where employees emphasize the quality of coffee and community vibes. For a fine dining experience, head over to Olamaie, which serves up ranger cattle and seafood with exquisite additions including hibiscus onion and green peppercorn gravy.

New in the neighborhood are the offerings over at the Fareground. The site bills itself as “Austin’s first food hall” and offers a blend of indoor and outdoor areas to enjoy food and drink from early in the morning to late in the evening. Some of the hotspots that call the Fareground home include Henbit, Contigo, and Ni-Kome, which offers delicious seafood and ramen bowls. Don’t forget to check out TLV, the area’s new Israeli street food vendor brought to you by the owners of Emmer & Rye.

photo 1517248135467 4c7edcad34c4South Austin

The South Austin area is overshadowed by its eastern and northern neighbors when it comes to food and flavor. However, this area offers the perfect opportunity to get off the beaten track and try some excellent cuisine. One of Austin’s most famous Japanese restaurants — Uchi — can be found in South Austin.

Uchi is located on South Lamar boulevard in a quaint, refurbished bungalow and is the sister restaurant to Uchiko. The head chef is Tyson Cole, an award-winning restaurateur who has received accolades from the James Beard Foundation and appeared on the Food Network. The cuisine features a unique blend of Japanese flavors – including sushi — with Texan influence and a focus on fresh and sustainably produced ingredients.

In this area, you’ll also find other Asian-inspired restaurants including the delectable ramen at the south Austin location of Ramen Tatsu-ya. Try one of their beef or chicken broths or keep in vegan with the veggie options. You’ll also find authentic Chinese food including dumplings at Sichuan River and great tasting Thai at Thai Taste.

Don’t miss the affordable Vietnamese options at Dong Nai or go for a more upscale vibe with Vietnamese and French flavors at Elizabeth Street Café. Enjoy a banh mi sandwich on the sunny outdoor patio or relish a French pastry in the romantically decorated indoor dining room.

This neighborhood also offers a range of gastropubs and burger joints when you’re craving some comfort food. Try Odd Duck for an ever-changing menu of small plates featuring all locally sourced ingredients. The founder Bryce Gilmore is also the owner of Austin hotpot Barely Swine.  Bouldin Creek Café offers tasty burgers and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Entrees include classic Austin staples like smoky beans and jalapeno bowls as well as innovative dishes such as sweet potato and pecan tamales.

austin best restaurants: eatNorth Austin

North Austin is home to a world of flavors with restaurants featuring Mediterranean, American, Korean, and Indian cuisines. Mirchi offers a tasty blend of Pakistani and Indian foods with entrees including kebab, chicken tandoori, and creamy curries. For dessert, try the ras malai — a milk dish with rich cheese, rose water, and pistachio nuts.

Chi’Lantro is a must-visit Korean restaurant that is famous for its kimchi fries. The restaurant started out as a humble food truck and now features seven locations including one on Burnet Road and South Lamar. The Korean-Mexican infusion dishes include BBQ, queso, and Korean fried chicken wings.

For delicious Mexican food in North Austin, stop by Fonda San Miguel. Their ceviche is heavenly and the tostadas are the perfect blend of textures with mashed avocados, juicy cochinita pibil, and crunchy homemade tortilla shells. Pair your meal with a shot of tequila or one of the house special margaritas.

photo 1481819167214 0427aac02394Rainey Street

Rainey street is one of Austin’s must-visit neighborhoods. The area boasts a lively vibe with excellent nightlife and delicious eateries. Meat lovers will be thrilled with the offerings at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden where they can enjoy 30 house-made sausages and more than 200 beers on tap. It’s the perfect place to go for an Oktoberfest or German beer garden vibe.

Here, you’ll also find the Via 313 food truck that serves up delicious Detroit-style square, deep-dish pizza. The Italian restaurant serves up classic styles such as four cheese pizzas and pepperoni that are sure to please everyone in your crew.

Manor Road Corridor

Manor Road is an up-and-coming food hot spot that has really rounded out its offerings over the last few years. In fact, it’s home to some of Austin’s best restaurants. Check out Dai Due for a taqueria that makes their own masa tortillas from scratch and butchers the farm-fresh meat on site. If breakfast tacos are more your thing, head over to Mi Madre’s and pair them with an ice-cold glass of horchata. For another southern Mexican food hotspot in the area, check out El Chile and don’t miss their happy hour and brunch specials.

Erika Marty
Erika Marty

Erika is an avid traveler who has been to more than 60 countries where she finds food, activities, and hidden locales for touring like a local. When she’s not writing, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and planning her next adventure.

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