A Guide to the Best Food in Austin, Texas
In recent years Austin has received more attention from the US and the rest of the world. But many know Austin only for its famous concerts and for it being the “Live Music Capital of the World.” But this is not the Austin I grew to like and appreciate. I want to introduce the lesser known Austin, the Austin I grew to love.
So I’m starting with one of the many things Austin is known for… its food. When I think of Austin… I think of food. There is always some delicious place around the corner and I’m constantly recommending restaurants to my friends.
And one other reason I wanted to list good eating in Austin is because I recently had a friend travel to Austin who lives here in Chicago. And he said the food was not very good in Austin or at least comparable to Chicago. I can’t accept that! Because the Austin I know has fantastic food.
All of the restaurants/cafes below I have personally ate out and would highly recommend to anybody. I’ve laid out 16 restaurants and cafes that I personally love.
(click on the links to visit the website… directions and map of the restaurants below)
This place is an Austin tradition for me and at the top of my list. It all started when I came back from my study abroad in France and I was obsessed with tea. This place purely delivers on my obsession. They have a wide selection of teas, the inside is cute and quaint and the food is delicious. I find random reasons to go here anytime I’m in town.
This cute French restaurant sits out in west Austin and is a pretty far drive. But if you love original French food from real French people, this place is for you. This place has all of the sandwiches you would see in France as well as some of the best crepes and other deserts.
A great Austinish Tex-Mex restaurant with some of the best queso in Austin. The restaurant is covered with artwork of women and candles to set the mood. Vivos is located close to downtown on the east side of Austin.
This is my absolute favorite burger restaurant in Austin. I’ve yet to find better burgers. Everything is handmade and fresh. The original Hopdoddys is located on South Congress just south of downtown Austin. I guarantee you that it will be one of the best burgers you will ever have. They now have a second location up in north Austin that is much bigger than the original… both places will have a line out the door at lunchtime or on the weekend.
This place is actually owned by the actress Sandra Bullock who lives in Austin. It is located downtown in a basement of a building. They serve a combination of French and American food that is actually reasonably priced.
This restaurant is high end and voted one of the best restaurants in Austin. I absolutely can see why. It’s just south of SoCo (also known as South Congress) and serves French food inside of an old Victorian House.
I actually use to work at this place and it was an alright place to work at but had some fantastic food. Drinks were relatively inexpensive and the food was very well prices. They have around 7 restaurants in Austin and they serve Tex-Mex.
Simply put… this place is perfect if you’re looking for famous Texas breakfast tacos or some Texas brisket. Just good ole classic Texas eatin’.
Another fantastic breakfast taco restaurant that only serves until 3 pm. Tacos are cheap and they have so many combinations of tacos to eat. This place is small and crowded so make sure you get here early.
An awesome cafe that overlooks Lake Austin. You will usually find college students studying during school time. In the winter the patio is filled with blinking Christmas lights that light up to Christmas music. Simply a chill place to hang out in Austin.
I remember my first impression of this restaurant. It overlooks the famous Lake Travis out in west Austin. Being from Dallas it was unusual to see steep hills and a beautiful lake. If you’re going with a date or a significant other this is the place to go. While they do not have strong food the view alone is worth it… and if you’re not feeling hungry… have some Texas sized margaritas.
This restaurant is a little pricey but is one of the highest rated restaurants in Austin. This place is quaint and quirky but offers fresh dishes that are in constant change. I remember fresh food in a cute intimate setting.
Nestled in a quirky neighborhood just west of downtown this place is best described as “a very Austinish cafe” that serves excellent food. Consider this restaurant if you’re looking for an all American type of diner.
This place is in extreme north Austin but has some of the best bubble tea ever. Seriously, I drive out just to get their Thai Tea. One of those places that is off the beaten track.
I love this place because of nights like Mexican Martini nights (every Mondays and they are cheap). The alcoholic drinks are strong and the food is pretty tasty (mostly Tex-Mex). Come early though because this restaurant is very popular on any given night.
There are a couple of Hai Ky restaurants around Austin and they are famous for serving tasty Vietnamese food and Thai Tea.
A map of all of the restaurants listed
For now, I have compiled 16 restaurants/cafes but perhaps I will continue to update this list. There is always another tasty restaurant waiting to be discovered.
Happy eatin’ y’all!
images by: shawnvoyage