Best Place To Eat In Austin Tx – After closing all year and losing some of Austin’s most popular restaurants, in 2020 the city has fully reopened for business and people are dining out again.
One of the questions I get asked more than any other is, “What’s my favorite restaurant in Austin?” While this isn’t a guide to Austin’s best restaurants, we found it prudent to provide a guide to Austin’s most popular places.
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This guide has helped put Austin on the map and provides a list of restaurants most frequented by visitors and locals alike. From world-famous Central Texas BBQ to authentic Mexican interior food to Detroit-style pizza, some of these places were Austin staples before Elon Musk and Google knew Austin was a cool city.
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| Franklin Barbecue is the place that changed all things modern barbecue around Austin and Texas. Austin’s reputation as a barbecue spot is more than legendary. Every modern BBQ spot across the country and around the world is inspired by Aaron Franklin’s model for smoked meat success. Legendary lines don’t just last 4 hours on complete randomness. Their smoked brisket alone is pure excellence and worthy of a pilgrimage. If you plan to eat here, plan to arrive between 6am and 8am and be prepared to wait. Bring your coffee, chair and cooler and be prepared to wait.
| When the weather isn’t blazing hot or freezing, Austin has plenty of great patio dining spots. Since 2013, Contigo has been one of Austin’s most popular destinations for outdoor experiences. The expansive backyard and deck provide casual, relaxed Southwestern ranch-style dining, refreshing craft cocktails, all-you-can-eat meals, and ample space for events or yard games.
SkyHouse, 51 Rainey St #110 | Headed by owner and executive chef Kevin Fink and partner Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Emmer & Rye boasts a menu that changes daily, as well as rustic, seasonally inspired cuisine designed around the touch of local farmers. Heirloom grains are freshly milled for house-made pastas, breads, and desserts, whole animal slaughter is done on site, and an extensive in-house fermentation program captures peak flavors and preserves them for off-season.
Multiple locations in Austin | Via313’s pizza defines the beauty of Detroit-style pies. Brothers Brandon and Zane Hunt create a thick, airy, chewy crust in-house from cold-leavened dough that delivers a delightful texture from the crunch provided by the caramelized cheese coating across all four corners of the pie. Baked in a square silver pan out of the oven, top these buttery squares with two strips of freshly crushed tomato sauce, toasted and drizzled with, then topped with melted cheese. Each bite is a baker’s triumph and a pizza lover’s delight.
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2613 S Lama Blvd | Matt’s El Rancho has been an Austin scratch kitchen Tex-Mex restaurant since 1952. The restaurant is one of the largest serving restaurants in Austin, providing an outstanding experience for a long and loyal customer base that returns year after year. Matt’s has been recognized by virtually every magazine and publication in Austin and countless others across the country. Photo Credit – Matt’s El Rancho Facebook
1800 E 6th Ave | Founded in Austin, Texas by restaurateur Sam Hellman-Mass, Suerte believes that great dining begins with delicious food, but always includes genuine hospitality and a celebration of time together at the table. The restaurant combines its obsession with home-made masa and sophisticated culinary techniques with ingredients from local farmers to take you on an inspiring and unexpected journey in Mexican interior dining.
2330 W North Loop Boulevard | Since opening in the 1970s, the restaurant’s reputation has made it one of the most famous and popular venues in Texas. The restaurant has been known to host notable visitors and celebrities over the years, such as President Lyndon Johnson and President George W. Bush. Considered by many to be “Austin’s prettiest restaurant,” museum-quality artwork, exotic flora and cosmopolitan décor make the Fonda San Miguel the ideal venue for an exquisite dining experience. The restaurant itself celebrates this unique cuisine and rich colorful history.
1201 S Lamar Blvd | Founded by acclaimed chef Bryce Gilmore, Odd Duck is one of Austin’s most acclaimed restaurants, shaped by an artisanal culinary approach, a culture of creativity by its staff, and products from amazing local farmers. Locally sourced ingredients are used to create an ever-changing seasonal menu, along with creative cocktails, craft beers and readily available wines.
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| Translating from Japanese to “child of Uchi,” Uchiko opened in 2010 as the successor to Uchi, which was critically acclaimed by executive chef and sushi master Tyson Cole. Uchiko’s menu features a variety of composed dishes and sushi drawn from the original Uchi’s ideas, featuring innovative and fresh dishes in the same style. Highlights include hot and cold tastings, grilled foods, vegetables, omakase, sushi and sashimi, makimono, and award-winning desserts.
2027 E Cesar Chavez St. | La Barbecue has been serving up outstanding BBQ since opening its trailer service in South Austin in 2012. They use 100% natural USDA Prime Beef, which provides the richest intramuscular marbling. The result is a perfectly moist taste with rich flavor. Nothing can be expected from owner LeAnne Mueller and her crew.
| This casual spot on Rainey Street offers a fun and relaxed dining experience with plenty of outdoor seating. Founder Ben Siegel and chef Ted Prater serve up an impressive selection of handcrafted sausages, from Chinese BBQ, currywurst, jalapeño cheddar brats and drunken chicken to the state’s largest draft beer, making the restaurant a haven for locals and visitors alike.
| Home Slice Pizza is one of Austin’s most legendary neighborhood pizzerias, serving up authentic New York-style pizza to good people like you. The original popular location in South Congress and a second location on the North Loop serve authentic hand-tossed pies for dine-in or take-out.
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Cooking is honest, good Texas home cooking and soul food that has been operating for 16 years in the heart of East Austin.
Four Locations in Austin | Serving simple fare such as the signature Ramen Bowls and Bombs, the popular Sweet & Sour Yodas, and rice bowls and snacks, Ramen Tatsu-ya is a local sensation garnering praise from locals and national publications alike. All three Austin locations are available for in-house dine-in and take-out.
Two positions | Located in the heart of Austin’s beloved Zilker Park neighborhood, Juliet Italian Kitchen strives to be a destination for anyone looking for a comfortable Italian venue for a date night, business lunch or casual weekend brunch. Juliet embodies community and camaraderie through dining together.
6610 N Lamar Blvd | At Stiles Switch, you’ll stay for the brisket that arrives for daily specials and develops to absolute greatness. North Austin’s BBQ Jewel has been a perfect staple in the city since 2012, helmed by pit master Lance Kirkpatrick, who trained under the legendary Bob Mueller at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor. You won’t find campers standing in 3-hour lines as they consistently move quickly and efficiently and provide a level of service to enjoy top-quality Central Texas-style BBQ.
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Six locations | Chi’Lantro is an award-winning restaurant, mobile food truck and full-service catering company known for creating a variety of Korean BBQ-inspired dishes. The name ‘chilantro’ is a combination of ‘kimchi’ and ‘cilantro’. The company is known for its signature menu, The Original Kimchi Fries, which features caramelized kimchi, Korean barbecue, fresh cilantro, onion, and sesame seeds topped with a magic sauce.
5520 Burnett Road #100 | Peached Tortillas combine bold Asian flavors with subtle Southern ties to create a truly unique dining experience. Since owner Eric Silverstein launched its first food truck in 2010, the brand has expanded into a full-service catering operation, brick-and-mortar restaurant, event space, and spin-off restaurant Bar Peached. Enjoy unique and comforting dishes such as Kimchi Arancini Bowls. Hainan Chicken; A bowl of noodles, rice, tacos and burger specials.
Four places | Founded by Executive Chef Jack Gilmore, Jack Allen’s Kitchen has been a local haven for casual, contemporary, suburban-style dining sourced from the local scene. With favorites like house-made pimento cheese, pesto-marinated crabmeat chicken, Baja fish tacos, and a decadent dessert selection along with a Chicken Fried Anything menu, Jack Allen’s continues to be a favorite spot for Austinites and visitors alike.
| Located downtown on Congress Avenue, executive chef Donnie Forehand and team serve up classic American cuisine with a modern twist, as well as handcrafted cocktails with worldly influences. Craft cocktails that attract Austinites and visitors alike. From sirloin steak, kimchi rice, red miso aioli, and loin rolls with galbi sauce, to spicy lamb meatballs with feta, orzo horitaki, and charred fennel, to the infamous Monday burger. During Sunday brunch, enjoy hearty daily happy hour specials and the original Bloody Mary bar in character.
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