All this cooking and recipe developing I do, and yet my most common question I get in my instagram messages are “what should I eat/do in Austin?” I get it, it’s a common bachelor/bachelorette party and travel spot in general. Everyone is moving here. I am by no means, an Austin restaurant expert. There are a ton of Austin restaurant bloggers out there, who do this for a living!
These are just my personal favorite spots! I still have a lot more places to try, but I think I put a pretty big dent in my Austin eating bucket list. There will be a healthy section on this list, but for the rest – I am not being health conscious. If you’re visiting Austin, leave your calorie counter at home. The food here is amazing, and you don’t want to miss out.
I’m also working on a blog post on what to do in Austin, so stay tuned!
Favorite places for a sit-down meal:
Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill – Expect a wait.. but it’s worth it. This is my favorite restaurant here. Good ol’ southern food. Portions are HUGE – we split and it’s a few extra dollars but then you get an extra free side so its worth it. For appetizers I recommend the roasted garlic bulbs, shrimp corn dogs, and fried green tomatoes (if they’re on special). The pan-fried chicken almondine is my favorite meal ever. Also, if you’re going to try a chicken fried steak here in Austin, this is the place to do it. The patio is dog friendly!
Peached Tortilla – this place is like asian/southern cuisine combined. They have a food truck but I’ve only been to the restaurant in North Austin. I love the thai chop chop salad, charred brussels, bbq brisket taco, and my favorite is the Japajam burger (so unique and flavorful – I get it without the fried egg, but my husband gets it with). My favorite drink here is the margarita de peached. They also have great brunch!
Lin Asian Bar and Dim Sum – this place has instantly become a new favorite for my husband and I. It’s very small so make a reservation before! I would suggest loading up on dim sum and apps and splitting a meal if possible. You want variety! We got the Shanghai soup dumpling, the chili oil wontons (I think they’re called something else on the menu under appetizers but I forget, ask your server), and we shared the volcano crispy shrimp with honey pecans as our entree. For drinks we got some sort of sangria, it was red wine mixed with saki and it was amazing!
Fresas on South 1st – my favorite outdoor patio to dine at! Also, my favorite margarita in Austin is here – the avocado margarita. Don’t knock it until you try it. It makes it creamy, but a little less sweet. They have some healthy bowl options. I love their green apple guac, tortilla soup, queso, Mexican street corn, El Santo taco, and chimichurri skirt steak. Very dog friendly.
Jack Allen’s Kitchen – we are regulars at the Oak Hill location (they have quite a few locations – I’m sure one will be close to wherever you’re staying) they have half off apps during happy hour which is pretty awesome. I love their drinks – our favorites are mango-habanero margarita (ask for it frozen-they’ll do it!), cucumber-jalapeno margarita, moscow mule and tito’s sage and grapefruit splash. Their fat jack burger might be the best burger I ever tasted. I also love the green chile pork tacos, twisted cobb salad, and the chorizo stuffed pork medallions. Their specials are all usually great too.
Anthem – a new “Tex-Asian” pub on Rainey St. This place is great. Their atmosphere and drinks are all tiki themed. A lot of their food is vegan, but definitely caters to meat-eaters as well. We got the banana daiquiri (so gooood) and Mai Tai (so good and so strong!! comes in a Chinese to-go box), JFC honey sriracha popcorn chicken, Nam Nom noodle salad (could eat this everyday of my life), and border salad! It was all amazing and super flavorful. The menu is extremely creative and unique, can’t wait to try everything else!
Grizzeldas – a small intimate spot located in East Austin. I’d say this spot is perfect for girl’s night – it’s decorated so cute. I love all their drinks – but warning, they are STRONG. They also have a great brunch buffet here.
Jacoby’s – another restaurant in East Austin. This spot is ranch-to-table and has a huge Texas/rustic feel to it.
Loro – Asian BBQ made by the award winning chefs from Uchi and Franklin’s Barbecue. I loved the green papaya salad, kale and asian pear salad, Malaysian Chicken Bo Ssam, and Thai Green Curry Sausage. The atmosphere is amazing! It’s on South Lamar – so this is a good central spot!
Suerte – new modern Mexican spot in East Austin!
TLC – this new spot on S. Lamar is one of my favorite spots now! I love their oysters, gumbo, boils, brussel sprout hash, and their happy hour is awesome.
Ramen Tastu-Ya – their ramen is amazing! There’s usually a line but it goes fast and is worth the wait. Plus, you can grab drinks while you’re waiting.
Second Bar and Kitchen – another great downtown option (they also have a location at The Domain) I love their drinks and apps!
La Condesa – another good girl’s night or date night spot located right in downtown. Their drinks are amazing – also love the ambiance!
Oasis Brewery – if you need a break from downtown – take a trip up to Oasis Brewery on Lake Travis. The food and view is WAY better here than the Oasis Restaurant (in my opinion) – and it’s super laid-back. You can’t get cocktails here – at least the last time I checked. But, they do have beer (obviously) and wine. The food is SO good – we always bring family here during sunset and it’s super relaxing and everyone enjoys it. Also, dog friendly! I believe their food menu changes a lot but we love the wagyu burger and rye of the tiger brisket sandwich (definitely a casual eating/ sandwich place) Heads up: they’re closed on Mondays!
Red Ash – pricy but VERY delicious. My husband goes here for work sometimes, and he says the wine and steak are great.. just bring your credit card 😉
Perla’s – cute seafood spot on S. Congress – I love the location of this place!
Terry Black’s Barbecue – this is a great central BBQ spot – BBQ isn’t something I crave all the time, but I do love this spot for those occasions when I do.
Elizabeth St. Cafe – great vietnamese food! also, SO cute. I love their ginger-chili oil dumplings and of course their pho! I like the chicken lemon-grass one a lot.
Uchi – we haven’t been here yet (sadly) but everyone I knew who has been there said it’s phenomenal.
Healthy Eating Spots:
Flower Child – located downtown and at the domain.. this spot is SO cute. I love the kombucha on tap, vegan poke (except I add salmon), the cobb, bird is the word wrap, and honestly just everything. i could eat here everyday if my wallet let me.
Picnik – their butter coffee is the best ever (mayan mocha is my favorite) – they have a little trailer on S Lamar and S Congress – you can get coffee and a few select food menu items there. But, their dining location on Burnet Road is amazing. We love going for breakfast – the harvest hash is my favorite breakfast dish in all of Austin – maybe in the world.
True Food Kitchen – I know these restaurants are in a lot of cities. But, I still love having this option here! The spicy panang curry with shrimp is my favorite.
Vinaigrette – a salad lover’s dream.
JuiceLand – smoothies!! They have locations all over Austin. My go-to is the wundershowzen and I add CBD oil.
Juice Society – super trendy juice spot on S. Lamar – this place is adorable. Love their juices and toast!
Honest Mary’s – healthy and delicious bowls located in North Austin!
Soup Peddler – great soups and smoothies!
Blenders and Bowls – acai bowls, need I say more?
Irenes – literally the perfect spot for brunch. They have super fun drinks, instagrammable wall, dog friendly, avo toast is amazing – basically a dream come true.
Snooze – expect a looong wait on weekends – if you’re on S. Lamar you can wait at picnik’s trailer next door and get some butter coffee. They have great eggs benedict. The pancakes are UNREAL – they have pancake flights too, so you can try a little of everything.
Josephine House – perfect girl’s brunch spot. Lemon ricotta pancakes and the rice bowl are my favorites!
Hillside Farmacy – super cute spot in East Austin. They have great brunch and the BEST bloody mary I ever had in Austin. They also have happy hour, oysters, and all that fun stuff! I love this spot.
Forthright – amazing avo toast and chia pudding!! this place is cute and healthy – so I’m a fan.
Quick food spots/food trucks:
Taco Deli – the name kind of speaks for itself! one of my favorite taco spots in ATX.
Hopdoddy – delicious and wide variety of burgers!
Valentina’s TexMex BBQ – permanent food truck in way South Austin but so worth it. smoked carnitas taco = one of the best tacos I’ve ever had.. so good! Stop at Moontower Saloon up the road for a drink and live music after!
Happy Lobster Food Truck – I think they’re usually on Rainey St. on Saturday nights – but check their calendar on their website. It’s crazy how fresh the lobster is.. I’m drooling just thinking of their angry lobster roll.
Velvet Taco – located at the Domain. I loved this spot when I lived in Houston – so when they opened one here I was pumped. Their tacos are all unusual and amazing. My favorites are buffalo chicken, spicy tikka chicken, annatto shredded pork, grilled flank steak, and ahi poke.
Veracruz All Natural – authentic mexican food truck – their migas breakfast taco is the best ever.
Torchy’s – ok some locals will disagree with me, but I love the tacos here. When I bring visitors here, they leave happy!
Jo’s Coffee – coffee, tacos, sandwiches on South Congress… oh and most importantly the famous “I love you” wall!!
Whole Foods Flagship Store – on North Lamar. this is my happy place. You can literally find anything you want to eat here.
Gourdough’s – some crazy and delicious donuts here!
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ – food truck with delicious BBQ and Mexican food.
Homeslice Pizza – Austin is not known for their pizza – but if you must .. this is the place to go to (coming from a Jersey girl .. it’s pretty good)
Wholy Bagel – once again.. Austin isn’t known for their bagels either – but when I’m really hungover, they are a must. This is as close to an NJ bagel you will get down here. AND THEY HAVE PORK ROLL! They call it taylor ham but north-east people know what I’m talking about.
Amy’s Ice Cream – locations all over. DO NOT leave Austin without getting their Mexican vanilla ice cream.
Steel City Pops – all natural/organic and super unusual ice pops – very necessary for the crazy heat we have here.
Nada Moo – my favorite store bought non-dairy ice cream just opened a shop on South Lamar!
Where To Drink:
Dirty 6th – obviously you need to go on the famous dirty 6th. My favorite bars are the blind pig and shakespeare’s pub.
West 6th – a more “laid back” version of dirty 6th .. still a bunch of fun bars!
Rainey St. – the street with renovated houses turned into a strip of bars. Bangers has a ridiculous amount of tap beer and sausage, if you’re into that kind of thing. My favorite bars are Lucille’s and The Parlor Room. Bring your dog because they are more than welcome.
Moontower Saloon – in way south Austin if you want to escape the city. They have live music, outdoor games, and it’s dog friendly!
The Broken Spoke – located on South Lamar – you will really get a feel of Texas in this place with all the country music history. You can find live music and 2 step dancing here!
The White Horse – located in East Austin.. similar vibes to the Broken Spoke.
Stay Gold – in east Austin.. we stopped here on my bachelorette party on our peddler. Lots of Austin vibes, and a cool spot in general.
Garage – a classier spot in downtown Austin.. in an actual parking garage. They have great quality cocktails.. more intimate so don’t go here if you’re trying to “rage”
The Domain – if you’re near North Austin – the Domain isn’t just for shopping. At night they have a great night life scene on Rock Rose Ave.
Welp, that’s all I got.. still trying to figure out this growing city myself, but I hope this helps! Don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss my next Austin blog post on “what to do in Austin” !!