Acquired Taste: Blood Rice Cakes With Timothy DeLaGhetto and Justina Valentine
laVAddress and Info
Yes, we know Provencal-inspired French restaurant laV has just been open a year and a half, but it's made quite an impression in that time. The talent of the culinary team is off the charts. The wine selection is second to none, the atmosphere is elegant and modern, there’s free valet... it’s perfection.
Santorini CafeAddress and Info
This cozy white cottage with blue trim is home to the best Greek food in Austin. The owners are friendly, and the food is fresh, authentic, and just the right price.
Fonda San MiguelAddress and Info
West North Loop
An Austin institution since 1975, Fonda San Miguel combines authentic Mexican cuisine with attentive service and an atmosphere that will make you feel as if you’ve traveled to a Mexican hacienda. It's known for its epic brunch spread, regional flavors, and strong margaritas.
Barley SwineAddress and Info
Dining at Barley Swine is an experience that exhilarates guests. Course after course, each sip and bite are pieces of a masterfully orchestrated whole. The menu will change with season and availability, and each plate is a work of art.
Habanero Mexican CafeAddress and Info
Ask a South Austin resident, and they’ll agree that Habanero is their go-to for solid Tex-Mex. It’s cheap, authentic (as authentic as Tex-Mex can get), and a little divey. Pro tip: bring cash.
AsianaAddress and Info
This South Austin gem serves a mix of North and South Indian cuisine and earns stunning reviews. It stands out for good service and a lunch buffet that is constantly refreshed.
Via 313Address and Info
Central East (& other locations)
Via 313 is not your run-of-the-mill pizza, it’s thick as a brick, it’s got crispy burnt cheese edges, and the sauce has a bit of sweetness. That being said, it’s quickly become a local favorite even among the throngs of authentic Neapolitan pies being made by other joints.
Asia CafeAddress and Info
Asia Cafe is tucked away in a North Side shopping center that has accumulated a lot of “character” over the years. Walk inside, order at the counter, and prepare to be impressed with the authentic Sichuan fare. Also fun: when your order is ready, a man will yell your number REALLY LOUDLY.
Enoteca/VespaioAddress and Info
Italian eatery Vespaio Ristorante has been satisfying discerning palates since ‘98 with its authentic offerings. All stocks, pasta, charcuterie, and pastries are made in-house and it offers a wine selection to complement any dish.
Clark’s Oyster BarAddress and Info
A beachy and stylish interior, immaculate service, and a perfect selection of fresh seafood make Clark’s a no-brainer for this category. You’ll definitely impress your date (or your parents) with this dining choice.
UchiAddress and Info
Uchi is one of the restaurants that catapulted Austin into the foodie spotlight. James Beard Award winner Tyson Cole is the executive chef/owner responsible for Uchi + Uchiko’s astronomical success. They’ve combined traditional Japanese cuisine and ridiculously high-quality fish with modern flavors and innovative techniques.
OlamaieAddress and Info
Olamaie has been making waves on the national food front, earning praise for its inventive twist on classic Southern cuisine. A visit to Olamaie promises exciting, complex flavors and great service.
SwayAddress and Info
If you like your food bursting with flavor, Sway’s take on modern Thai is a solid bet. The date-worthy ambiance, great service, and menu will have you planning your next visit -- as you eat.
Korea House Restaurant & Sushi BarAddress and Info
Korea House is fast, authentic, reasonably priced, and oh so satisfying. If you bring a group, you can be seated at a table with a grill in the middle for cooking your own meat -- or you can opt for sushi, stews, bowls, and many other mouth-watering choices.
Best food truck
Thai-KunAddress and Info
Oh Thai-Kun, you hurt so good! From the East Side King empire, Thai-Kun brings its own special brand of burn-your-face-off delicious, spicy Thai cuisine. It's received national attention, and for good reason.
La BarbecueAddress and Info
East Cesar Chavez
Franklin is fantastic but unless you take the day off from work, or wake up early enough to beat the crowd -- it’s not happening. Luckily, La Barbecue serves some of the juiciest brisket, ribs, and sausage in town.
Best locally sourced
LenoirAddress and Info
Lenoir creates what it refers to as “hot weather food” -- taking inspiration from Indian, North African, and Mediterranean cuisine and using locally sourced ingredients. “Brothy, citrusy, spicy, and full of global inspiration,” is how we would describe Lenoir’s offerings via its ever-changing prix-fixe menu.
Swift’s AtticAddress and Info
Swift’s may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of burgers, due to the influx of slick chains and beefy standbys, however during lunch & brunch you can get your hands on one of the country’s best burgers. No joke. Also, Monday nights are Big Ass Burger Night, in which the crew at Swift’s puts together a limited number of huge 1/2lb burgers and $3 pints are on offer.
Vince Young SteakhouseAddress and Info
Vince Young Steakhouse is the only locally owned and operated prime steakhouse in Austin -- “prime” meaning it serves USDA Prime top cuts including Japanese A5 Wagyu. This spot embodies Rat Pack cool with an elegant interior, perfect classic cocktails, and even a cigar patio. Try the weekday happy hour from 5-7pm, and everything on the entire bar/lounge menu is $10. Highlights include lobster rolls, a Wagyu brisket burger, and steak frites.
Veracruz All NaturalAddress and Info
East Cesar Chavez (& other locations)
Three words: “migas,” “fish,” and “tacos.” That’s all you need to know.
Salt & TimeAddress and Info
The East Side butcher shop-cum-restaurant is a solid choice for sandwich cravings. The meat is expertly cured and cut, and the portions are beyond generous.
Bouldin Creek CafeAddress and Info
Breakfast junkies have been flocking to vegetarian/vegan Bouldin Creek Cafe since Austin was still a sleepy college town. Luckily, the flavorful menu appeals to meat eaters and veggie folks alike -- and it's got a great selection of caffeinated drinks.