Food & Drink

What Would Your Last Meal in Austin Be?

Published On 06/23/2015 Published On 06/23/2015
Dan Gentile/Thrillist
Flickr/edwin_x_ochoa
Knox Photographics
Deana Saukum
DAN GENTILE/Thrillist
Casey Dunn
Ramen Tatsu-ya 
Giant Noise
Flickr/David Ingram
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1. Houndstooth Coffee Downtown 401 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Houndstooth Coffee wows the addicts with roasters like Kansas's PT's and Portland's Coava, plus a new fancy single-origin siphon brewer, which produces a smoother cup of coffee without sacrificing any of the oomph.

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2. Veracruz All Natural 1704 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702 (East Austin)

Owned by sisters born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, this trailer (with a few locations across the city) serves tacos, tortas, and smoothies. The migas -- cloud-like scrambled eggs mixed with house-made tortilla chips, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado, then served atop a fresh tortilla -- are the stand-out dish.

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3. Fixe 500 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Fixe, with its very experienced chef/management team, is doing upscale-Southern with a dedicated grits menu and a barrel-aged craft cocktail program.

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4. VOX Table 1100 South Lamar Blvd, 2140, Austin , TX 78704

Vox Table is known around Austin for their killer New-American style small plates and lively craft cocktail bar, but this South Lamar restaurant serves up a serious brunch on the weekends. The must try of the menu is Olive Oil Pancakes with fig/walnut butter and maple syrup. If brunch isn't your thing, stop by and try dinner menu, featuring a wide variety of meat and fish entrees, or happy hour specials.

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5. La Barbecue: Cuisine Texicana 902 E Cesar Chavez in the Good Life Food Park, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

This is a no frills barbecue joint is known for their hand made sausage and mean slabs of meat. Behind La Barbecue's fire is veteran pitt boss (which is basically like the General of the BBQ world), John Lewis, who can also churn out whole briskets and racks of ribs to go if you're in a hurry. And did we mention the live music? Yes, every Saturday and Sunday, as it should be in the live music capital.

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6. Ramen Tatsu-Ya 8557 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758 (North Central)

Nothing compares to the lovingly simmered broth made at Ramen Tatsu-ya. The gang here has managed to create a cult classic with their menu. Try their signature bowl of ramen is a rich, complex, pork bone broth filled with thin noodles, tender chashu pork (soy braised pork belly), a marinated soft boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, scallions, and your choice of add-ins. There is often a line but service moves lightning fast.

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7. Launderette 2115 Holly St, Austin, TX 78702

Executive Chef Rene Ortiz and pastry chef Laura Sawicki are fearless in the kitchen. The flavor combinations on the menu at Launderette are both complex and approachable, featuring favorites like the charred octopus, plancha burger (quite possibly the best burger in Austin), roasted parsnips, birthday cake ice cream sandwich... scratch that. Everything. Try everything on this menu. Stop by for dinner, weekday lunch, weekend brunch, or for their weekly happy hour specials.

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8. Justine's Brasserie 4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702 (East Austin)

Situated in East Austin, Justine's Brasserie is a sexy French eatery and social club specializing in "very late night dining." Classic bistro fare (steak frites, ratatouille) and daily blackboard specials make up the bulk of the menu. Super boozy cocktails, lots of red wine, and the company of friends may make it hard to leave this lounge-y, chic bistro.

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9. Clark's Oyster Bar 1200 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

A small neighborhood seafood joint, Clark's Oyster Bar, prides itself on simple, sustainable seafood with a cozy ambiance. The maritime cache is fully stocked with house-made breads, burgers, and an extensive brunch menu, but the oysters, which come in a breadth of both East and West Coast options that rotate out with availability and season, are an essential order.