Spencer’s Favorite Restaurants

The culinary scene in Austin is flourishing, and as a result some of the best places to eat are just popping up or off the beaten path. From traditional favorites to recent additions, here’s where Austinites love to eat in their city:

Fine Dining

1. Eddie V’s – Known for their top of the line seafood and steak, Eddie V’s also features an exquisite atmosphere with live music almost every night.

2. The Driskill Grill – Although its location is historical, the Driskill Grill’s cuisine is innovative and modern. The Driskill Grill first gained a reputation as a romantic hotspot when former President Lyndon B. Johnson took Claudia (Lady Bird) on their first date here.

3. Olivia – Each plate is especially prepared and presented at Olivia. Their Modern American flavors take food to the highest form of art in creativity and taste.

4. Fogo De Chao – For carnivores at heart pay a visit to Fogo de Chao, an authentic Brazilian steakhouse offering sixteen cuts of meat.

5. Josephine House – Josephine House may be strikingly quaint and pretty in appearance, but its food speaks volumes. Delicious meals paired with cute surrounding create an unforgettable experience.

1. Salt Lick – Hill Country hospitality and old-fashioned Texas barbeque make Salt lick one of the best BBQ places in town!

2. Rudy’s – With several locations throughout Austin, Rudy’s BBQ should not be missed. From brisket to BBQ sauce, Rudy’s does it right.

3. Franklin’s Barbeque – Franklin’s has rocketed to success since it opened in 2009. As a testimony to its flavor there is often a line wrapped around the building and it has sold out of brisket every day it’s been open.

4. Lambert’s Downtown Barbeque – Proving that traditional BBQ can be served in an upscale, fancy way, Lambert’s Downtown Barbeque serves all types of barbeque with a gourmet twist.

5. Stubb’s BBQ – Located in the heart of downtown Austin, Stubb’s is a hallmark of Austin’s live music scene. It features headlining artists as well as selling its famous BBQ.

1. Uchi – Designated as ‘life-changing,’ the modern Japanese culinary experience of Uchi has a large following in Austin. You can’t go wrong with their impeccable sushi.

2. Asia Cafe – Using authentic methods, Asia Cafe is sure to satisfy any craving for Chinese food. Don’t be discouraged by the wait or crowds—the food is worth it.

3. Kome Sushi Kitchen – Home-style Japanese cooking is the highlight of Kome Sushi Kitchen. Even the restaurant’s interior is Japanese-styled with an emphasis on comfort.

4. P.F. Chang’s – P.F. Chang’s is infused with a Chinese-American spirit from its upbeat atmosphere to its delicious plates. If you are looking for Asian food in Austin, P.F. Chang’s will not disappoint.

5. Korea House – This well-priced restaurant has both Korean BBQ and sushi. Perhaps one of the biggest draws is the option to grill your own food at the table.

Tex-Mex & Mexican
1. La Condesa – Located in the restaurant-heavy 2nd street district downtown, La Condesa is the best choice for upscale, modern Mexican cuisine.

2. Z Tejas – Classified as a ‘Southwestern Grill,’ Z Tejas combines the flavors of the region in unforgettable ways. It’s central location and vibrant atmosphere make it ideal for group meals or special occasions.

3. Manuel’s – Manuel’s serves exceptional Mexican food, complete with Mexican specialty dishes with a unique, modern flair.

4. Chuy’s – A more budget-friendly option, Chuy’s serves the most authentic Tex-Mex. It’s impossible not to have a good time at one of their eclectically decorated restaurants.

5. Trudy’s – When you think of Tex-Mex, Trudy’s has the best of all its aspects, complete with happy hour specials.

1. Asti Trattoria – With dishes from Piedmont, Tuscany, and Sardinia, Asti Trattoria is authentic Italian mixed with an enjoyable mid-town ambiance. Located in Hyde Park.

2. Vespaio – Italian restaurants are not populous in Austin, but Vespaio caters to those seeking fine Italian cuisine in a beautiful setting.

3. Winflo Osteria – Though it opened fairly recently, Winflo Osteria takes the cake for impeccable Italian food in Austin. Housed in a ‘20’s bungalow house in West Austin, Winflo Osteria has indoor and outdoor seating accompanied by a menu that is sure to dazzle patrons.

4. Cru – Pairing delicious international wines with Italian food, Cru has all the elements of a heavenly dining experience. Its interior and patio are charming, the menu is impeccable, and the staff is helpful.

5. La Traviata – Good food, service, and location—Traviata has it all. A classy-chic setting downtown provides the backdrop for Traviata’s Italian comfort food.

1. Hut’s Hamburgers – Hut’s offers unparalleled beef patties served in an Old-fashioned setting. Its menu is a tried and true Austin favorite, from its burgers to its milkshakes and onion rings.

2. Hopdoddy – Hopdoddy is in its own league in terms of its style of service and incredible burgers. The menu may be minimal—mostly burgers and fries—but they could be the best you’ll have!

3. Mighty Fine Burgers – Come for the burgers—stay for the shakes. Mighty Fine Burgers serves up the burgers of your dreams, complete with tasty sides and consistently good service.

4. Counter Café – Though it may be small, Counter Café is great for good food and a laid-back attitude. Their burgers are legendary.

5. P. Terry’s – P. Terry’s may technically be fast food in delivery and price, but its quality is five stars. Made with lots of natural ingredients, P. Terry’s is also a healthy alternative.

1. Kerbey Lane Café – Open 24/7, Kerbey Lane’s comfort diner food has something for everyone. With so many options, if you are struggling with what to get try their prestigious pancakes.

2. 24 Diner – Conveniently located downtown and open around the clock, 24 Diner is a classy ‘50’s inspired restaurant. Their fresh take on décor and food will leave you fully satisfied.

3. Magnolia Café – With a great diner-style atmosphere, Magnolia Café is perfect if you are looking for a relaxing, fun, quick, and gratifying meal.

4. The Frisco – Begun in the 1950s, the Frisco maintains the feel of an older Austin. Breakfast is served anytime here and the service is sure to make you feel at home.
5. Hillside Farmacy – Taking their name from the pharmacy building they now occupy, Hillside Farmacy has a retro-diner feel unlike any other. Their food stands out as well, and they do classic diner food well.

American Cuisine
1. Eastside Café – A cozy venue serving quality American food, Eastside Café is surrounded by their own garden, which impressively supplies their fresh produce.

2. Moonshine – Moonshine offers a full experience—complete with tasteful interior and tasty food. Come for the brunch buffet that spans multiple rooms—so good you’ll be talking about it for years.

3. Old Pecan Street – Simple and elegant, Old Pecan Street delivers on a top-quality menu and a variety of classic American plates.

4. Second Bar & Kitchen – Fresh, seasonal ingredients combine in Second Bar & Kitchen’s ‘Natural American’ cuisine. Stunning from location—the 2nd floor of the Austonian residence—to their presentation of gourmet plates, Second Bar & Kitchen has so much to offer.

5. Galaxy Café – Consistency in high quality food and fast service makes Galaxy Café a great lunch or brunch destination. Their menu is full of a vibrant and varied selection of meals.

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