Proof That Iceland's Ring Road Is the World's Most Beautiful Road Trip
1. Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile3235 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin
2. Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club2406 Manor Rd, Austin
3. Olamaie1610 San Antonio St, Austin
4. Red Star Southern1700 E 6th St, Austin
5. Kin & Comfort1700 W Parmer Ln, Austin
6. laV1501 East 7th St, Austin
7. Odd Duck1201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
8. Thai-Kun1104 East Sixth St, Austin
9. Gardner1914 E 6th St, Austin
10. Noble Sandwich Co.12233 620 N, Austin
11. St. Philip4715 S Lamar Blvd, Sunset Valley
Boasting a number of Southern-inspired menu items -- such as shrimp and grits, family-style braised greens, and pork confit fritters -- Jacoby's Mercantile is the perfect spot for al fresco with friends, offering a view of the Colorado River most people have never seen. Must-try items include the Muskoka Smash (Bulleit Rye, blackberry, basil, & lemon), and for "supper" a Bone-In Ribeye with a side of Mac-n-Cheese (made with sour cream and Roggenbier).
A former farmer's market mainstay and supper club with a serious locavore following, Dai Due is now a brick-and-mortar butcher shop and restaurant (via prix fixe menu or a la carte). The menu changes almost every night, according to season and availability.
Housed in a charming cottage just south of campus, Olamie offers a menu with picks such as skillet cornbread (with stewed okra, fairytale eggplant), sweet tea red wattle pork chop (charred apple, sorrel, pickled red onion), and apple pie with buttermilk ice cream.
Pastry Chef Erica Waksmunski offers up Southern fare via a shiny Airstream trailer parked outside The Grackle on East Sixth. Her style is East Coast Southern, and standouts include the fried chicken (buttermilk-marinated Tennessee hot chicken breaded, fried, and seasoned with cayenne, lemon, and thyme).
Kin & Comfort is a rare opportunity to taste what happens when Thai cuisine meets Southern comfort food -- try the Panang Mac & Cheese, Tom Kha Shrimp & Grits, and Thai Meatloaf & Gravy.
An impressive wine list, intriguing dishes like Wood Oven Bouillabaisse with squid, clams, and blue prawn, and a complimentary valet make laV the ideal spot to go when you want to feel like a celebrity... then treat yourself to a Meyer Lemon Cream and feel like a slightly larger celebrity.
Communal seating, an expansive patio, and an open kitchen (the view is best from the bar) abet in the casual atmosphere at Odd Duck -- a second concept from the team behind Barley Swine -- on South Lamar Boulevard. Antithetical to its atmosphere, Odd Duck's menu features upscale, intricate dishes inspired by the daily pick at the local farmer's market, and thus the menu shifts with the Texan seasons. Odd Duck features craft cocktails, craft beer, and wine to pair with its flavor- and ingredient-forward dishes. If you happen upon the pimento cheeseburger, get it.
Located at the back of Wonderland, Thai-Kun is a food truck collaboration from chefs Paul Qui and Thai Changthong, offering up Thai-inspired dishes like Beef Panang Curry. Grab a seat at one of their picnic tables.
From Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton of Contigo, Gardner is taking what they do very seriously — a vegetable-focused menu that uses meat and/or animal fat as accent flavors. Gorgeous interiors, perfect service, interesting flavor profiles. Is it pricey? Sure. Are the plates small? Yeah. Is Gardner creating an exquisite, art-like dining experience? Definitely.
Noble Sandwich Co.'s commitment to "real food" means you'll never find anything on the menu made with boxed, canned, or pre-sliced ingredients. Sandwiches here are made purely with hand-crafted ingredients: bacon, chorizo, pickles, and bread are smoked, rolled, brined, and baked in-house, respectively. The shop opens in the morning to serve its fresh-baked biscuit sandwiches, then continues service throughout the day with savory options like the Noble Pig, a spicy ham, pulled pork, and bacon sandwich with provolone and mustard on thick-cut bread. If that triple-meat combo sounds too heavy, swap the yeasted book-ends for a lettuce wrap.
St. Philip, both pizzeria and bakery, serves up gourmet slices and meatballs. Special feature: build your own pizzas. Choose from a variety of toppings, like Idiazabal cheese or roasted red pepper. And try not to drool over the baked goods counter on your way out.