Places to eat in austin, my top picks

If you’re looking for places to eat in Austin (especially if you’re headed out for SXSW, F1, iHeart Radio, ACL, etc), take a sip of your coffee and start-a-clickin’. I’ve lived in Austin for over 3 year, and have put together a list of some of my favorite spots. Skip the touristy places to eat in Austin, and knock a couple off this list. You’ll be happy you did, and you’ll see a little more of the city– more of why locals love to live here.

Looking for more things to do? Throw your question in the comments section, and I’ll get you the answers (Looking for hiking? Crossfit? A dive bar? I can help). Do you manage a restaurant in Austin and think you should be on this list? Give me a shout here. Oh, and you can always hit me up @ifyouwillit on Twitter. 🙂 Annnnndddd of course, this list is ever-changing, so check back for new things. Protip: If you’re headed here for a big event, make a reservation. Most Austin restaurants fill up as quickly as hotels do around here.

If you’re looking for places to eat in Austin in a category not listed here, leave a comment and I’ll add the category!

Key: Close to downtown = a 10ish minute rideshare ride

A note on ridesharing: Uber & Lyft currently don’t operate in Austin. Instead, use these ridesharing services:

Ride sharing in Austin

Fasten (Get $5 off your first ride)
Fare (Use code Mendel11)
RideAustin

Places to eat in Austin

BBQ

Brown’s Bar-B-Que – Casual, close to downtown, local hangout, bar, good for groups
Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que – Casual, bar, city center, good for groups
Rudy’s “Country Store” & Bar-B-Q – Casual, good for groups
Lamberts Downtown Barbecue – Upscale casual, bar, live music at select times, city center, good for groups, reservation recommended

Mexican

Takoba – Casual, near downtown, good for groups, bar, good for tequila
Polvos Mexican Restaurant – Casual, near downtown, good for groups, bar
Marias Tacos Xpress – Casual, near downtown, good for groups, beer, music at select times
Matt’s Famous El Rancho – Casual, near downtown, good for groups, bar
La Condesa – Upscale casual, city center, good for groups, bar
Chuy’s (the original) – Casual, close to downtown, good for groups, bar
Torchy’s – Casual, multiple locations, good for groups, some locations have a bar

Fine dining

Uchi / Uchiko – Upscale, sushi, bar, reservations highly recommended, good for small groups, near downtown
Alcomar – Upscale, Mexican / seafood, bar, reservations highly recommended, good for small groups, near downtown
Launderette – Upscale, bar, good for small groups
Swift’s Attic – Upscale, bar, good for small groups, good for cocktails, reservations highly recommended, city center
Hillside Farmacy – Upscale casual, bar, good for small groups, good for cocktails, near downtown
Olive & June – Upscale, bar, good for groups, good for wine, good for cocktails, reservations recommended
Winflo Osteria – Upscale, bar, good for groups, good for wine, reservations suggested during busy times, close to downtown, good for ambiance

Coffee

Houndstooth Coffee – Single origin coffee, second wave coffee, city center
Seventh Flag Coffee – Single origin coffee, second wave coffee, close to downtown
Patika – Single origin coffee, second wave coffee, close to downtown, food
Cenote – Good for ambiance, close to downtown, solid coffee, food
Halcyon – Good for people watching, city center, decent coffee, bar, s’mores, food, wine, beer
Radio Coffee & Beer – Good for ambiance, solid coffee, near downtown, food, wine, beer
Royal Blue Grocery – Good for people watching, solid coffee, city center, food, wine, beer, grocery
Stouthaus Coffee Pub – Good for ambiance, solid coffee, food, beer
Cuvée Coffee Bar – Solid coffee, roaster
Thunderbird Coffee – Solid coffee, food, ambiance
Jo’s Coffee – Solid coffee, food, good for people watching, good for ambiance

Dessert

Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery – Awesome donuts, interesting neighborhood
Gourdough’s – Creative must-see donuts, good for ambiance, bar, city center, live music at select times
Lick Ice Cream – Local favorite, near downtown
Prohibition Creamery – Boozy icecream, near downtown, bar
Amy’s Ice Cream – Ice cream, multiple locations
Voodoo Dougnuts – Donuts, city center
Dolce Neve – Local favorite, near downtown
Tiff’s Treats – Desserts, city center
Cow Tipping Creamery – Ice cream, near downtown

Breakfast

24 Diner – Near downtown, bar, vegetarian options, french press coffee
Snooze – Multiple locations, bar, local coffee

Fusion

Elizabeth Street Cafe – French / Vietnamese fusion, good for ambiance, good for small groups, good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, coffee, near downtown, casual
Contigo – Good for cocktails, good for ambiance, good for groups, casual
Easy Side Kings – Asian fusion, near city center, casual
Ramen Tatsu-ya – Near downtown, casual

Vegetarian

Counter Culture – Near downtown, casual
Bouldin Creek Cafe – Near downtown, casual, beer and wine
Mother’s Cafe & Garden – Casual

Pizza

Home Slice Pizza – Casual, close to downtown
Pinthouse Pizza – Casual, close to downtown
Bufalina – Upscale casual, near city center
Via 313

Other good spots

Vinaigrette – Salad, close to downtown, casual
Habana SoCo Restaurant – Good for rum, good for ambiance, casual, close to downtown
Thai Fresh – Good for groups, good for light meals, casual, coffee, wine, good for ambiance, close to downtown
Frank – City center, good for groups, bar, casual
Lucy’s Fried Chicken – Close to downtown, good for groups, casual, some locations have a bar

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