Once upon a time, the top restaurants in Austin were all Tex-Mex this and barbecue that, but that’s all changed now. Austin has grown past queso and brisket, and while those casual options remain dominant, they now go along with international concepts and fine dining restaurants. To help you make the most of Austin’s culinary landscape, we have compiled a list of the best restaurants in Austin that you will find appealing.
Austin has quickly become one of the top places in Texas for an amazing dining experience. Her culinary ability is expanding and becoming more exquisite as her population diversifies and tourists from all over the world visit.
Best Restaurants in Austin
Whether you’re looking for a casual food truck experience or a candlelight evening with award-winning chefs, we’ve selected the best restaurants in Austin, all of which are guaranteed to make your taste buds do cartwheels.
Garrison is currently on every list of best restaurants in Austin, and it never fails to live up to lofty expectations. The upmarket grill house combines big-city flair with small-town charm, and the food is delicious, as it should be for Texan fare.
Chef Jakub Czyszczon, who barbecues with Texas Post Oak flames and uses only fresh, locally produced ingredients, is responsible for this. As a result, the tastiest fish, juiciest steaks, and poultry are available.
Don’t miss their signature soft Barbecue Grouper, exquisite Tater Tots, and warm Pecan Souffle. Garrison creates a date-night standard that few other downtown eateries can match.
Don’t be fooled by the ultra-tall, glassy structure it occupies or the Shoal Creek views; Hestia is cozier on the inside than it appears, with a bespoke 20-foot hearth burning with live-fire boiling top cuts of beef and pig.
Whether it’s smokey lion’s mane mushroom, silky halibut with charred corn, juicy Berkshire porkchop, blackened koji, or the soft Wagyu beef with tallow, everything is cooked over a live fire and it is a lovely sight to behold.
Try the bread, as well as the smoked blackberry with oyster and Wagyu beef carpaccio small plates. Everything in Hestia will make know you are in one of the best restaurants in Austin.
Comedor‘s modern, Mexico City-inspired menu, in contrast to its basic blacked-out brick facade, erupts with originality and one-of-a-kind delicacies.
Among the many standouts are Spanish mackerel escabeche tostada with chilhuacle Amarillo and kohlrabi, buttery bone marrow tacos with hoja santa-pecan gremolata, and a Texas cremini mushrooms, and quesillo de Oaxaca, blue-corn quesadilla with huitlacoche.
Don’t leave without trying the tajin pavlova with tangerine sorbet or the chocolate tamales with caramelized milk ice cream. Comedor is in a class of its own. Little wonder why it is one of the best restaurants in Austin.
When Tyson Cole founded Uchi in 2003, delivering authentic Japanese sushi in landlocked Austin, he put Austin’s culinary culture on the national map.
Chefs here use ancient techniques, seafood brought in daily from Tokyo, and a few wildcards plays (like substituting fish for foie gras in nigiri) to keep foodies coming back.
This is a must-visit restaurant as it is one of the best restaurants in Austin. Reservations are scarce, thus long lineups are a nightly occurrence. Our advice: go for sake social hour at the sushi bar from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. to learn why Uchi still reigns top.
The value you get for a $60 prix fixe here is the best you can get anywhere else for a number of reasons, chief of which are dishes that rotate every week.
The cuisine is prepared from seasonal, local ingredients, such as delicately roasted beet crêpe folded with hazelnut pesto or a charred orange-glazed cauliflower with herb purée. You should try the wine pairings as the selections from the mostly European menu are top-notch.
The area is small, so don’t bring more than a handful of buddies, or just bring your date, as the snug setting is extremely charming, giving you a feel of what it means to dine in one of the best restaurants in Austin.
6. Sushi | Bar ATX
Sushi | Bar ATX , one of the best restaurants in Austin is still the hottest spot in town for omakase, thanks in part to the fact that there are only 10 seats available per sitting and the rascals who’ve tasted it keep going back for more.
Those who haven’t had the privilege are in for a treat when a premium seat becomes available. Chef Ambrely Ouimette and her colleagues create a stunning 17-course omakase experience that is best accompanied by sake.
The seasonal menu has roasted toro nigiri and bone marrow, but it all depends on what’s fresh that night. In the end, they’ll ask if you want to add a course, to which we strongly advise you to say yes.
This is not a wild eating experience. The tiny group of diners is quiet and attentive to what they’re eating. The daytime counter-service temaki and 90-minute sushi-making sessions are excellent, but the 45-minute, reservation-only omakase is the icing on the cake.
With only six seats available, this personalized dining experience presents fresh ingredients in engaging and approachable ways while delving into former Uchi chef Masazumi Saio’s ingredient methods and approaches.
The beef tataki, sake toro roll, and zarigani roll are all fantastic bites packed with flavor, giving you a taste of ecstasy. Uroko, one of the best restaurants in Austine, is the place to be if personalized dining is your thing.
8. Vixen’s Wedding
Beyond the green glass and concrete facade of Vixen’s Wedding are pale macramé and handcrafted local canvas lamps, as well as a surreal fox/wolf mural that inspired the restaurant’s name.
The lamb foreshank with tamarind curry and pineapple, as well as shishito chutney and roasted garlic naan, are highlights of the sharable Goan cuisine.
The aloo kampachi ceviche with mango, sweet potato, and a curry leaf tepache, as well as the judion goa feijoada with coconut basmati and grilled pork belly, are other standouts.
9. Lutie’s Garden Restaurant
Step back in time to Lutie’s on the Commodore Perry Estate, where black-and-white tiles lead to emerald velvet scalloped bar stools and a simmering glow from huge windows affords a view of the sunken English gardens below in one of the best restaurants in Austin.
Everything on the menu is created in-house, including the Texas Heritage food. Along with New Orleans-style royal red shrimp with daikon and Texas beef with marrow and sweet potato, fresh garden hand rolls and home-style estate bread make sense.
Don’t forget to try River Whey blue cheese with smoked pecans and preserved figs, and the bee wax crème caramel.
10. El Alma
Everyone knows that El Alma one of the best restaurants in Austine, a Barton Springs institution, is the perfect venue for a feast slash party. During the weeks leading up to Cinco de Mayo and Dia de Muertos, the multi-tiered rooftop is the best spot to congregate.
Outside of the fiestas, things are more relaxed, but the food is just as delicious. Popular dishes include duck Relleno and pork tamales. You can’t go wrong with any of the numerous taco options.
Of course, no Austin Mexican supper is complete without a margarita. During a long, hot Texas summer, their icy treats are the medicine.
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11. Honey Moon Spirit Lounge
The luxurious French-inspired mansion, located just north of downtown, is ideal for a dinner date night as well as a fun weekend place for cocktails or brunch with friends.
Tuck into delicacies with a hint of ooh la la while sitting against seductive velvet walls surrounded by amazing antiques. We’re talking duck confit with soft gnocchi and swhipped cheeses easonal mushrooms, and charcuterie, even caviar with creme fraiche if you’re feeling extra fancy.
Sunday brunch, on the other hand, is all about the seafood tower. In terms of cocktails, we recommend the Pucker Up, a zesty gin combo.
Honey Moon Spirit Lounge, one of the best restaurants in Austine takes advantage of the pleasant Southern weather by offering a breezy patio where you may enjoy a wide variety of beers, ciders, wines, cocktails, and other beverages.
13. Bird Bird Biscuit
Many Austin restaurants serve fantastic biscuits, but if you can only visit one for a biscuit-centric meal, make it Bird Bird Biscuit, which by the way is one of the best restaurants in Austin.
This basic, fast-casual eatery opened in 2018 and serves breakfast and fried chicken sandwiches on their wonderful, all-butter biscuits cooked from scratch.
The Bird Bird Bacon, constructed with bacon, cheddar, over-medium egg, and bacon-infused chipotle mayo, is one of the best breakfast sandwiches you’ll ever have. The Queen Beak and Firebird are two other Bird Bird favorites.
Yoshi Okai, who was born in Kyoto and moved to Austin has left his mark on the chef’s approach to sushi in his contemporary 12-seat tasting station at the South Congress Hotel.
While he does provide a seasonal 20-course omakase menu structured kaiseki-style, with seafood mostly brought in from Japan, it’s not an ostentatious restaurant for sushi burdened by somber lighting and hushed tones.
No, this place is primed for action. Okai gets to work putting on a show with a playlist heavy on Bowie, Zappa, and Fugazi, making it one of the best restaurants in Austine to dine.
Healthy eating in Austin? Yes, you read that correctly. Picnik started as a food trailer with the goal of making healthy food accessible to all, and it now has three brick-and-mortar locations, including a stylish new outlet on South First with a full-service, better-for-you bar.
The cuisine selection prioritizes seasonal fruit and ethically sourced proteins, and there’s a plant-based pleasure on every plate.
Cool down with their watermelon salad and heirloom tomato, refuel with their sustainable pan-seared fish with veg, and finish with their sweet coconut matcha latte.
Austin is one of the best destinations to try a variety of cuisine, including Thai, tacos, barbeque, and even Mexican! Besides its wealth of cultural and historical attractions, people flock to Austin to sample its delectable gastronomy.
From Tex-Mex to barbeque, this list of the best restaurants in Austin has it all. Try any of these and you’ll see why they were chosen.