You know the saying; everything’s bigger in Texas, and that’s especially true for the food and drink here. In Austin, there’s absolutely no going hungry. It used to be all about the barbecue and the Tex-Mex, but it’s 2022, and times have changed y’all. The rapidly growing (and increasingly diverse) city is adding European and Asian flavors to the mix, and a bunch of other ingredients. Not sure where to start on your Austin gastronomic journey? Here are all the very best spots to come get your fill at right now.
Feast on a contemporary menu of shareable plates ranging from grilled gulf shrimp to crispy pig ears, alongside an extensive wine and cocktail list from the bar. Geraldine’s not only serves incredible flavors, but hosts some of the city’s best local live music. Come turn things up on Sundays with Geraldine’s Record Society – Vinyl, Wine + Swine event, it’s a must for music lovers.
For the most delicious (and creamy) paitan ramen, head to Sazan on Airport Blvd. This is the place for Japanese comfort food, where you’ll nosh on authentic takoyaki and Indomitable chicken wings. End every meal with their mochi ice cream.
Honey Moon Spirit Lounge
Elegant French-inspired interiors and a relaxed cowboy-hat-wearing crowd make this a roaring brunch-time winner. Dinner’s a decadent occasion, with menu items including duck confit and koji-aged wagyu steam.
There’s no doing Austin without doing barbecue. La Barbecue sees both locals and visitors line around the block to get a taste of that oh-so-tender brisket. The sandwiches are worth a whirl too, and they serve a broad range of beverages (for a BBQ joint!) including sake, Aperol Spritz, and Earl Grey tea.
Walton’s Fancy and Staple
The city’s most popular brunch spot is not only a homely, inviting space, but also owned by none other than Austin favorite, Sandra Bullock. If you miss brunch, then come by for lunch (the house burger is amazing). Stick around and shop flowers, coffee and other items in their boutique.
Sushi Bar ATX
Looking for something extra special for date night? Omakase speakeasy, Sushi|Bar ATX is your Eastside answer. Top sushi chef, Ambrely Ouimette, and her team prepare 17 courses in front of just ten diners. Sake pairings are a must, and the seasonal dessert is always the icing on the cake. Note: reservations are hard to come by, so act quick on each monthly release.
Austin can do healthy as good as any Californian, and Picnik is proof of it. The restaurant cooks with first cold-pressed avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, on healthy, nutritious and delicious dishes that accommodate every diet from paleo to vegan to plant-based and more, and they even have a better-for-you cocktail list.
The casual eaterie cooks up the most incredible Mexican dishes around, from queso fundido to duck relleno to fish tacos. They have a happening patio from which to celebrate the likes on Cinco de Mayo on…so order up a margarita and join the party.
Austin isn’t a place that you’d associate with Thai food, but Thai Fresh is changing that. The south side restaurant is always busy with patrons who come for authentic curries, soups, pad thai and more. They’re also famous for their vegan ice creams.
Houston’s goodness grub restaurant opened in Austin in 2022, and has already become a staple all-day spot downtown. Best known for their overstuffed sandwiches, other treats include seasonal salads, dessert, plus a deliciously long list of wines and beers. If the name didn’t give things away; the focus here is on local, hyper-seasonal ingredients and sustainability.