1. Old School Bar & Grill401 E 6th St, Austin
2. Moonshine Grill303 Red River St, Austin
3. Gourdough's Public House2700 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
4. Olivia2043 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
5. Jack Allen's Kitchen7720 W Hwy 71, Austin
6. Hoover's Cooking2002 Manor Rd, Austin
7. Red's Porch3508 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
Austin's best school-bus BBQ has expanded downtown to the former Paradise Cafe, bringing it back to life by polishing the bird's-eye maple walls (originally from the Armadillo World HQ!) and removing the kitsch from stone siding that dates back to the space's days as Austin's original cotton exchange. The upstairs and its outdoor patio will serve as a music venue, and sling cocktails like the Devil's Cut, Grand Marnier, bitters & ginger ale "Devil's Delight", so clearly the singer bartered her soul in exchange for just one immortal song.
Get your comfort food fix at Moonshine, serving everything from "corn dog" shrimp to cornflake fried chicken tenders to molasses- and chile-cured pork chops with bourbon apple sauce.
Gourdough's Public House, operating out of S Lamar Kerbey Lane in South Austin, has redefined the function of the donut, again. There is a "Donut Burgers" section in their menu, in real life. To bring you back down to earth, you can pair that with a specialty cocktail with bourbon-infused bacon, because that is also real.
Bringing together the best of the European and Southern traditions (think: the fanciest, most delicious fried chicken you ever did taste), Olivia applies a farm-to-table mentality to eats like quail with egg ravioli, ricotta, wild mushroom, scarred cherry tomato, cured "Olivia yolk", and parmesan broth.
Jack Allen's has nightly rotating specials of locally sourced additions to their usual menu, but also make sure you stop by for their brunch, or even just to try a cocktail, like the Cucumber Jalapeño Rita, with Tequila, St. Germain, muddled cucumber, fresh jalapeños, simple syrup, and fresh lime.
The soul kitchen enters our Favorite 5 Sports Bars based on this sterling criteria: it's a short hop from the Stadium; the bar's flatscreen loves football; their fresh-orange-mellowed frozens won People's Choice at San Antonio's Margarita Fest; they've got a mean-ass chicken-fried steak; oh, and it's managed by Skip Walker, who carried the rock for the Aggies and Ottowa Rough Riders, who were sued for their motto "We Like the Rough Stuff" by the writer of a dirty classified ad.