The dishes at High Tower -- a friendly neighborhood spot in East Austin -- run the gamut from Tex-Mex to Asian, and though their flavor and presentation could compete with the best of Austin's white-hot culinary scene, they're still affordable enough to order any night of the week, not just for special occasions. Grab a spot on the outdoor patio and try the ever-popular and comforting roasted pork jowl, a Korean hot pot filled with rice, egg yolk, cucumber, pickled shallots, and house Sriracha. Another favorite? Grilled scallops with avocado and grapefruit.
Located the second floor of the historic (and now defunct grocery store) Swift's Premium Food Co. building on Congress Avenue, the appropriately named Swift's Attic serves up eclectic small plates and creative cocktails for hipstered out Austinites. Among a brunch Bloody Mar bar and generous daily happy hour deals, Swift's offers sophisticated meats, seafood, snacks, and cocktails. Must trys are Korean BBQ flank steak, squid "fries," and the Pop Rocks charred edamame.
From the dude behind Barfly's, VCSC brings the same everyman ambiance to the former Iron Gate spot, with 16 taps including easy-drinking domestics and craftiness (Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball, Franziskaner, Stone IPA), plus an expanded patio and a jukebox.
Pleasant Storage Room is a throwback to "golden age Cuba and the Caribbean", where you can find yourself dining on island street foods, like their ceviches, while sipping on a sweet rum cocktail.