Austin, Texas is a foodie heaven and famous for a unique blend of Tex-Mex creations. The vibrant city serves up delicious meals that go beyond Mexican-inspired dishes. In the “live music capital of the world”, you’ll find everything from upscale brunch and fine dining to tasty food trucks, thriving happy hours, and Asian-inspired treats. Get ready to take your taste buds on an adventure with this list of the best food in Austin.
Classic Austin Foods You Must Try
Austin has something for everyone. Whether you’re a vegan or someone who likes their meat mooing, you’ll find an eatery to meet your needs in ATX. If you’re visiting or new to town, there are some staple foods you must try. Here are some of the classic appetizers and mains you can’t miss. Get your fix and satisfy a craving with the must-try foods in Austin, Texas.
Migas is one of ATX’s most famous creations. The dish consists of fried tortillas mixed with eggs and cheese. It’s typically served with tortillas or as a taco. Some variations include veggies such as avocado and add-ons to make them even tastier. You can find this dish at many of the Mexican restaurants in Austin, but the ones at Veracruz All Natural are particularly tasty.
Burnt ends are made from the fatty “point” cut of brisket. The dish features a deep beef flavor with a crisp and juicy texture. The brisket is smoked, then coated with seasoning s or sauce and then smoked again to create a caramelized finish with a soft, tender center. Franklin Barbecue and La Barbecue are two great spots to check out this delicacy.
Topo Chico is the kin of the mineral beverage world. The sparkling mineral water comes from Mexico and features the perfect balance of bubbly and nuanced flavor. Drink it by itself or mix it in your next cocktail.
Queso is a Mexican cheese dip that goes perfectly with everything from tortilla chips to tostadas and sandwiches. Fill up on this creamy, cheesy dip and you’ll melt into the best food coma you’ve ever had.
Chicken Fried Steak
Even though it looks like a fried chicken, this delicious Austin meal is actually made of beef steak. The steak is breaded and pan-fried to create a crispy crust and juicy center. The steak is typically served with a hearty helping of white gravy with pepper and sausage chunks.
Best Restaurants in Austin
Austin is famous for its food scene. It’s not just popular among locals. It’s a foodie hub where restaurant owners and chefs have received the James Beard award and national recognition from outlets like the New York Times. From Clarksville to Mueller, you’re never far from a delicious meal in Austin. The delicacies here are endless. From fried chicken sandwiches to miso soup and vegan brunch, there’s food for everyone. Here are the best restaurants in Austin to get your grub on.
1. Franklin Barbecue
900 E. 11th
No visit to Austin is complete without a stop at one of the best BBQ places in the city: the world-famous Franklin BBQ. Founded by award-winning chef Aaron Franklin, this barbecue joint serves up a delicious menu of brisket, ribs, sausage, and pulled pork. Order your favorite meat by the pound or get it on a sandwich and pair it with a delicious Mexican coke. Save room for dessert and try the exquisite pecan pie, or our favorite: the bourbon banana pie.
2. Odd Duck
1201 S Lamar Blvd
Odd Duck was founded by Bryce and Dylan Gilmore who’ve created one of Austin’s most beloved eateries. Odd Duck sources all their food from local producers to serve innovative dishes from goat merguez to fried bologna sandwiches and shishito sorbet. Head over during happy hour Sunday through Thursday to get half price on their food specials and some tasty drink discounts.
4200 N Lamar Blvd
Uchiko is the second restaurant owned by famous chef Tyson Cole who has won awards from Food & Wine Magazine, the James Beard Foundation and appeared on Iron Chef America. Like sister restaurant Uchi, Uchiko offers upscale Japanese farmhouse dining, blending cultures, cuisines, and flavors into an excellent dining experience. The restaurant sources all of their fish products from transparent sellers and even flies in fresh seafood from the Toyosu market in Japan. The seafood is combined with seasonal ingredients to create innovative and ever-evolving menus featuring things like sushi and sashimi.
4. Barley Swine
6555 Burnet Road Suite 400
Part of the Odd Duck and Sour Duck Market family, this restaurant delivers farm-to-table food. The team offers shared plate and tasting menus that change depending on seasonally available items. You’ll enjoy each bite even more knowing that you’re supporting local farmers and producers. Join them for happy hour — known as Swine Time — Sunday through Friday between 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm.
5. Kemuri Tatsu-Ya
2713 E 2nd St
Austin likes to keep things weird and Kemuri Tatsu-ya takes a blend of Texas smokehouse and Asian flavor to create weird dishes with an out-of-this-world taste. Try the Texas Ramen — a blend of beef broth, brisket, nori, ajitama, and bamboo— or opt for the truly unique sticky rice tamale. Want something even more adventurous? Delight your taste buds with the chili cheese takoyaki — octopus fritters topped with Texas chili, cheddar, and smoked jalapeños.
111 Congress Ave | 2027 Anchor Lane
Here you’ll find ranch-style foods from garlic and herb-roasted tomatoes to rabbit rillettes and roasted sweet potatoes. Relax on the newly renovated patio or take a break from the summer heat in the large indoor dining area with air conditioning. Don’t forget to stop in for a delicious brunch on Sundays between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.
1610 San Antonio St
Olamaie offers an exquisite menu of southern food from recipes that have been passed down through five generations. This is the perfect place to celebrate special occasions or have a meal that truly inspires your senses. From Wagyu beef to grouper and farm-raised chicken, you’ll find a menu that strives to highlight the qualities of each food item. For dessert, try the passion fruit jello or the exquisite vanilla cake, featuring Cocoa Barry chocolate and candied fennel.
8. Ramen Tatsu-Ya
8557 Research Blvd #126 | 1234 South Lamar Blvd | 1600 E. 6th St
Ramen Tatsu-ya offers delicious Japanese-American food at three locations spanning North Austin, South Austin, and East Austin. As indicated by the name, this place specializes in ramen bowls but adds innovative ingredients to take this up a notch. The ramen bowls consist of a pork bone broth or chicken broth and feature ajitama, scallions, woodear mushrooms, and other veggies. The place encourages traditional eating techniques, so slurp to your heart’s content.
2115 Holly St
Launderette is an Austin hotspot built in a former laundromat. The restaurant is impeccably designed, making it the perfect spot for your next Instagram shot. Lounge on the gorgeous outdoor patio or relax inside and enjoy the laid back vibe and international ambiance. The restaurant specializes in small plates, so it’s best to go with some friends and share several dishes. Check out their brunch menu and don’t forget to try one of their craft cocktails.
1519 E Cesar Chavez St | 6555 Burnet Road
If you’re craving Italian food in Austin, Bufalina is the place to go. Here, you’ll find some of the best pizza in the city. Try traditional Italian favorites like Margherita pizza or opt for something a little weirder like the kampachi crudo — featuring cucumber, lime, habanero peppers, and mango — or the meat plate with rabbit liver pate and smoking goose coppa. Finish off the meal with a scoop of Neapolitan ice cream or an olive oil cake.
11. Veracruz All Natural
1704 E Cesar Chavez | 9003 Waterford Centre Blvd Suite 180 |4208 Manchaca Rd | 4209 Airport Blvd | 2711 La Frontera Blvd Suite 320
Veracruz All Natural offers authentic Mexican food, smoothies, and juices that should not be missed whether it’s your first time or hundredth time visiting Austin. The restaurant features five locations from the east side to Round Rock with food truck style eating to established brick and mortar locations. You must try the breakfast tacos, migas, and tortas.
1800 E 6th St
Suerte was voted one of the best new restaurants in Austin by Food & Wine magazine. The menu features local ingredients and executive chef Fermin Nunez uses traditional flavors and cooking techniques from Mexico to create innovative dishes. The restaurant also features a full bar with high-quality tequila and margaritas.
440 E St. Elmo Rd Building G-2
Soursop was established in 2016 and serves up pan-Asian foods. The chefs combine Vietnamese, Thai, and Malaysian flavors in delightful dishes. Entrees include the waterburger featuring Thai basil ranch and waterfall slaw as well as sautéed rice cakes with lamb, jalapeno, mixed veggies, and chili crisp. If you’re looking for some lighter fare, try the som tam with green papaya, tamarind, vegan fish sauce, peanuts, and herbs.
14. Dai Due Taqueria
111 Congress Ave
Dai Due serves up authentic Mexican food using only the freshest ingredients. Corn and flour tortillas are made fresh daily in-house using locally grown corn and milled flour. The wild game includes feral hogs and venison sourced from Hill Country. The menu also includes pastured animals such as turkey and quail in addition to seafood from the Gulf. All herbs, cheeses, vegetables, and fruits are sourced locally from Austin growers.
15. Emmer & Rye
51 Rainey St #110
Emmer & Rye is another Austin hotspot that emphasizes using local ingredients and serves up small plates like dim sum. The menu changes seasonally but generally features house-made pasta, bread, and fresh ingredients. Animal butchery is done on-site and a visit to the restaurant includes a visit to the larder where fresh veggies are pickled and turned into vinegar. The menu changes daily, meaning there is always something new cooking at this Austin favorite.
16. Via 313 Pizzeria
3016 Guadalupe St #100 | 1802 E 6th St
Located in West Austin, this restaurant serves up Detroit-style pizza. The deep-dish, square-shaped pizza features a cheesy crust and crisp finish that makes it a late-night delight. You can pair your slice with one of the craft beers or specialty cocktails or opt for clean eating with one of their healthy salads.
1603 South Congress
Located in the South Congress Hotel, Otoko is one of the most elite fine dining experiences in all of Austin. The restaurant features a small dining area that accommodates twelve people. Head chef Yoshi Okai serves up a specially tailored menu that changes each and every night. The multi-course meal blends Tokyo-style sushi with Kyoto-style kaiseki based on seasonal offerings.
18. Justine’s Brasserie
4710 East 5th St
Justine’s is risqué, rebellious, and inclusive. it’s the place to go when you want to dine on delicious meals and indulge in a sensual and evocative atmosphere. On the menu, you’ll find French fare like escargot, confit de canard, and ratatouille. The dining room can be rented for special events and is one of the best places for a night out on the town with great food. Don’t miss their exquisite wine list, which features natural wines, French classics, and more.
Chow Down On the Best Food In Austin
With these Austin restaurants, you’re sure to find the innovative spirit and lively attitude of Austin in each bite. Try some of the new restaurants that are making a name for themselves in the Austin food scene or opt for long-time local favorites and eat like a true Texan. Whether you want a light appetizer, a morning snack from a coffee shop, or a mountain of food for dinners you’ll find something that fits the bill. For more delicious restaurants, check out Bar Peached for some of the best drinks in town, Matt’s El Rancho for to-die-for Tex-Mex, and Jeffrey’s for incredible dry-aged beef plates.
There are dozens of delicious options from downtown Austin to Round Rock featuring comfort food, farm-to-table foods, and gluten-free options. Whatever your flavor, Austin has something for you to try: from French fine dining and bone marrow tacos to all-day brunch and Chinese dumplings.