Where to Eat in Austin Right Now
Indulge a little.
It’s been a hell of a year, so unsurprisingly, many of us turned to comfort food for, well, comfort. From an onslaught of spots slinging over-the-top burgers dripping with American cheese to a full-blown taco craze, Austin is adapting to takeout culture in the best ways possible. Get in on the ooey-gooey action while supporting local businesses with the current standouts everyone is talking about: beef quesabirria tacos that are dipped into a rich broth, a White Castle-inspired slider and cocktail pop-up, and Olamaie’s new spicy fried chicken biscuit sandwich. Or, revisit one of the many gems that opened in recent years. Whichever adventure you choose, we know it’ll be the warm (and likely tortilla-wrapped) hug you needed. We'll start with the must-trys from the past few months, then move on to the modern classics.
La Tunita 512
The buzz: Armed with an Instagram feed full of crispy red tortillas with tender beef birria and melty cheese that sell out daily, Chef/owner Gerardo "Jerry" Guerrero has captured the attention of a taco-obsessed city with his birria-focused menu.
The food: Guerrero slow-roasts his guajillo-based beef brisket until it’s fall-apart tender, serving the flavorful meat in a handful of delicious forms: the birria tacos (birria wrapped in a handmade tortilla that’s fried in beef fat), the quesotaco (the birria taco with griddled Monterey Jack cheese), the mulita (essentially an overstuffed quesadilla), and the Tapatio ramen (birria ramen served with Tapatio noodles). Always order a side of La Tunita’s consomme—a rich broth made from beef, onion, cilantro, chile, and spices—for Insta-worthy taco dunking. Oh, and did we mention birria is the ultimate hangover food?
Cost: Tacos cost $2.50 - $3, ramen cost $8, mulita is $4, and consomme cost $2 - $3.
How to order: Order online for pickup and takeout.
The gist: While Southern eatery Olamaie remains closed for now, their famously rich and flaky biscuits are back along with biscuit sandwiches, cocktails, desserts, and more at their takeaway shop, Little Ola’s Biscuits.
The food: The team behind Little Ola’s are busy serving the biscuits that Olamaie is known for—impossibly buttery with seemingly hundreds of flaky layers, available by half and full dozen and in the form of sandwiches. We love the new spicy fried chicken biscuit, a deep-fried Dewberry Farms chicken thigh dressed in a spicy Southern cayenne chili-garlic oil, and the country ham and cheese sandwich, made with a thick slice of fresh mozzarella. And, with one of the city’s best cocktail programs, we’d suggest adding to-go cocktails to your order.
The cost: Sandwiches cost $7 - $10, sides and spreads cost $3 - $7, desserts cost $4 - $15, and cocktails will run you $8 - $12.
How to order: Order online for curbside pickup and takeout.
The gist: Owner Mo Pittle takes influence from his Jewish upbringing and Tex-Mex cuisine from his hometown of El Paso for these over-the-top burgers and burritos.
The food: The Yenta Burger adds a crunchy latke cake (imagine an oniony potato hash brown) to the already-perfect JewBoy burger (1/3 pound of freshly ground beef smashed over diced, grilled onions, double-cheesed then steamed to melty perfection, with lettuce, pickles and mustard served on a Martin's potato roll). For the ultimate Jewish/Tex-Mex mashup, check out the Puro Picadillo burrito, a giant tortilla stuffed with seasoned ground beef, grilled onions, hatch green chile, shredded potato latkes, and queso (aka the lifeblood of Austinites).
The cost: Burgers cost $8.50 - $12.50, burritos cost $4.50 - $7, and sides cost $2.50 - $6.
How to order: Order online for pickup and takeout or get delivery from Grubhub and Favor.
The gist: Nixta Taqueria’s Chef Edgar Rico applies both Mexican food traditions and his culinary know-how to the humble taco. The result? Fresh heirloom corn tortillas are filled with textures and colors you’d expect to see in a fine dining establishment, served in a neighborhood taco joint.
The food: Tacos and tostadas always begin with fresh masa made in-house from heirloom corn. The beet "tartare" tostada is super popular for good reason—a crisp heirloom tostada is topped with earthy roasted beets, salsa macha aioli, avocado crema, sharp horseradish, and lime for a one-two punch of flavor and texture. And, the paletas are a must: Try the Tropical Sueño—a summer-y popsicle made with pineapple, mango, and lemon then dipped in chamoy and lime zest.
The cost: Tacos and tostadas cost $4 - $8.50, salsa and tortillas cost $8 - $11, and desserts are $5.50 to $7.
How to order: Order online or call 512-551-3855 for pickup and takeout or order delivery from Grubhub, Postmates, and Favor.
The gist: Hestia is the sleek New American restaurant from the Emmer & Rye team, where everything is cooked over live fire. Just adjacent is Kalimotxo, Hestia’s Basque-inspired, casual sister concept.
The food: Hestia’s artfully conceived and presented dishes make for a very engaging, experiential dining experience. The deceivingly simple menu lists ingredients—for example, “lion's mane mushroom, cauliflower, blackened koji, charcoal”—versus familiar dishes, but we know from experience that each bite will be unexpected, exciting, and really (really) delicious. Next door, Kalimotxo offers casual, hearty Basque-inspired dishes (also cooked over life fire), dessert, and cocktails. Try the Kali burger—44 Farms beef, Pedro Ximenez-spiked onion, mushroom aioli, and Mahón cheese on a house-made bun.
The cost: Hestia’s dishes cost $12 - $90, and the pre-fixe tasting menu is $100 per person. Kalimotxo’s small plates cost $8 - $16, mains cost $13 - $40, and desserts are $8.
How to order: To dine-in at Hestia, book your table online or by calling 512-333-0737. Order Kalimotxo online for pickup or takeout, get delivery via Favor. Place a reservation by calling 512-333-0737 for patio dining. Walk-ins are also welcome.
The gist: Patio bar Kinda Tropical offers colorful cafe fare and a killer selection of adult beverages in a former convenient store.
The food: Kinda Tropical’s menu strikes the perfect balance of fresh-and-healthy and fuck-my-diet. Grab the (addictive) Sesame Salad, a bed of local butter lettuce topped with pulled chicken, avocado, peanut, and cilantro with Kinda Curly fries. We also love the jackfruit sandwich, a vegan barbecue-style sandwich that rivals the real thing. Oh, and the cocktails. Get those too.
The cost: Food costs $4.50 - $12 with cocktails around $9.
How to order: Order online or call ahead at 512-373-8430 for pickup and takeout.
The gist: At Vaquero Taquero (which translates to “cowboy taco vendor”), owners/brothers Dani and Miguel Cobos craft mouthwatering tacos and overstuffed quesadillas inspired by the pair’s dual upbringing in the Rio Grande Valley and Monterey, Mexico.
The food: The specialty at Vaquero Taquero are the tacos laboriously made with juicy al pastor sliced off the trompo (vertical rotisserie), as well as their handmade corn and flour tortillas. Don’t snooze on lesser-known offerings like the quesadilla de nopales—pan-seared Oaxacan cheese, and chopped cactus garnished with queso fresco, cilantro, onion, roasted salsa roja or verde, and avocado cream.
The cost: Tacos and quesadillas cost $2 - $5.
How to order: Order online or call 512-366-5578 for pickup, takeout, and delivery. Get delivery from Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Favor.
The gist: 12-seat Japanese omakase restaurant Otoko is one of the priciest and most exclusive, bucket-list-worthy dining experiences in town.
The food: The chef's-choice tasting menu will vary based on availability; we don’t know what chef Yoshi has up his sleeve from one day to the next. However, you can expect small plates and fresh seafood treated with the expertise and innovation of nationally celebrated chef Yoshi Okai.
The cost: The multi-course, omakase tasting menu costs $175 per person.
How to order: Purchase your ticket online. Otoko offers two seatings available from Wednesday to Saturday with six guests maximum per seating.
The gist: Popular East Austin eatery helmed by chef Fermín Núñez with an in-house masa program and top-notch mezcal selection serving modern Mexican cuisine made with local ingredients.
The food: Like other restaurants, Suerte has switched gears a bit to make their food more takeout friendly. What hasn’t changed is the commitment to highlighting Texas ingredients and their corn tortillas made using heirloom grains. Order the best-selling suadero tacos (confit brisket, black magic oil, avocado salsa), which are probably the best tacos we’ve ever tasted. Also, don’t miss the to-go cocktails, particularly the Don Dario, Suerte’s tamarind-laced margarita riff.
The cost: Snacks cost $7 - $14, raw dishes cost $15 - $16, mains cost $11 - $17, shareable dishes cost $34 - $38, and veggies cost $9 - $13. Cocktails are $9 - $15.
How to order: Order online for pickup and takeout. Reserve your spot for indoor and outdoor dining.
LeRoy & Lewis
The gist: LeRoy and Lewis is the new-school barbecue truck offering a rotating selection of smoked ‘cue by the pound, with a focus on alternative cuts and creative sides made with locally sourced products.
The food: Known for his innovative takes on Texas barbecue, pitmaster/chef Evan LeRoy incorporates elements of fine dining and from-scratch cooking into the menu. Expect old-school, market-style meats sliced to order and served by the pound; accompanying the meats are seasonally inspired, picnic-style sides, home-style desserts, and even barbecue bagels for breakfast.
The cost: Barbecue by the half pound will vary; the current cost is $13 - $18. Sides are $5, and specialties are $8 - $14.
How to order: Order online for pickup and takeout.
The gist: Chef Kazu Fukumoto’s masterful approach to yakitori and sushi and the knowledgeable, friendly staff is why Fukumoto has remained a top pick.
The food: In addition to an expansive menu of sushi and sashimi offerings, skewered meats and veggies grilled over charcoal, and rolls, Japanese izakaya Fukumoto has now added bento boxes. Standouts include the King Salmon skewers, the YST roll (smoky yellowtail, shiso, tomato, Thai chili mayo), fried chicken karaage, and the chef’s choice sashimi.
The cost: Yakitori costs $3 - $6, sushi/sashimi costs $3 - $12, and hot dishes cost $5.50 - $13.
How to order: Order online or call 512-770-6880 for takeout. Call to place a reservation to dine-in. Get delivery via UberEats.
Foreign & Domestic
The gist: Chefs and owners Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley breathed new life into this neighborhood restaurant with their modern and inspired farm-to-table food.
The food: Ingredients from local farmers and producers and the chefs’ self-assured approach results in bold dishes and flavors that are both familiar and exciting. Do yourself a solid and order the Parisian gnocchi (with oyster mushrooms, dandelion green, and koji butter) and a bottle of wine. F&D also has its brunch menu available for dine-in and takeout/delivery (hello, fried chicken biscuit!).
The cost: Mains run $18 - $28, starters and sides are $5 - $12, brunch entrees are $10 - $19.
How to order: Order online for takeout and delivery or reserve your table to dine-in. Get delivery via Uber Eats and Postmates.
TLV Israeli Food
The gist: When Chef Berty Richter started cooking out of his former food truck, Hummus Amongus, Austin went nuts for his take on Israeli street food and didn't let up.
The food: Try the hummus with chicken thighs in a Yemenite spice blend, with onion, green tahini, amba (spiced pickled mango), schug (spicy herb garlic pepper sauce), and pita—it’s literally two meals worth of food. Also great: the grilled minced beef and lamb pita wrap with tzatziki and herbs.
The cost: Wraps and plates are $10 - $15, sides are $4 - $11.
How to order: Order online for curbside pickup at the 2nd Street lot. Get delivery via DoorDash or Favor.
Spicy Boys Fried Chicken
The gist: Spicy Boys, the food truck known for Asian-inspired super crispy fried chicken sandwiches, wings, and must-try buttery roti with curry, can be found at St. Elmo Brew Co. in addition to Zilker Brewing.
The food: While much of the menu is on the chill side of hot, we can’t stop ordering the mouth-numbing, peppery Lemon-Sichuan wings, and the Hot Gai chicken sandwich (spicy fried chicken, massaman mayo, Swiss cheese product, Thai basil, pickles). Get tots tossed with your choice of wing flavor.
The cost: Wings cost $11 - $12, sandwiches cost $8 - $8.50, and sides and extras are $3 - $5.
How to order: Order online for pickup and takeout, get delivery via Favor.
The gist: Japanese culinary vets from both Kome and Uchi have joined forces to serve sushi hand rolls and omakase in a casual setting.
The food: From Chefs Kayo Asazu and Takehiro Asazu (cousins and co-owners at Kome) and Chef Masazumi Saio (formerly at Uchi), this casual eatery focuses on temaki (sushi hand-rolled into a seaweed “cone”) as well as takeout-ready omakase (12 pieces of sushi, chef’s choice) and DIY temaki (hand roll) kits. Or opt for hand rolls like the salmon, avocado, and cucumber or beef tataki (chopped raw beef tenderloin, pickled jalapeño, shiso, garlic chip, ginger, and umami jelly).
The cost: Hand rolls cost $4.50 - $7, and take-home kits start at $45.
How to order: Order online for pickup and takeout, get delivery via Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, and Favor.
The buzz: Chef Davis Turner worked with top local chefs before returning to his Southern coastal roots with Huckleberry, a food truck serving Gulf Coast-inspired comfort food at Circle Brewing.
The food: Go hearty with favorites like the Gulf Fish Sandwich (fried Gulf Black Drum, Barton Springs Mill cornmeal challah bun, pickles, tomato, lettuce, onions, and lemon caper remoulade), Po’ Boy Sandwich with fried shrimp or fried oysters, or the Thursday-only Angus smash burger that always sells out. Tasty sides like the braised beet salad with bright preserved lemon, ricotta, Texas pecans, and mint perfectly balance the menu offerings.
Cost: Sandwiches cost $13 - $14, quesadillas cost $12, sides cost $3 - $10, and burgers cost $8 - $12.
How to order: Order in person or call 512-900-5818 for pickup and outdoor dining.
The buzz: From his (cartoonishly cute) yellow truck, Beto Robledo regularly sells out of his Mexico City-style mini street tacos.
The food: Suadero (braised, crisped brisket), cachete (beef cheek), buche (pork stomach), carnitas (pulled pork), and longaniza (chorizo-like sausage) are all cooked on a vertical rotisserie or trompo. While each cut has its own unique texture and flavor, Robledo’s maestro’s touch makes each one a winner, especially when double-wrapped in fragrant nixtamal corn tortillas and topped with cilantro, onion, homemade salsas, and a squeeze of lime. For a few bucks more, you can get your fill in quesadilla form.
Cost: Tacos cost $2, quesadillas cost $5, and extras cost $1-3.
How to order: Order in person or call 512-903-3918 for pickup and takeout or order delivery from Grubhub and Postmates.
The buzz: Eastside pizza truck executing wood-fired Neapolitan pies with the style’s signature thick, puffy, slightly charred crust and topped with seasonal, local ingredients.
The food: The menu of 12-inch pies is full of both classic offerings like the Bob-A-Rita (red sauce, herbs, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil) and creative flavor bombs like the Green-Go (garlic cream, smoked mozzarella & provolone blend, spicy pork sausage, roasted onions, broccolini, topped with secret green sauce). Start with garlic knots; twisted house dough served with marinara and herbed ricotta. And, if you’ve got a vegan bud in tow, try the Vegan Bombero, a vegan red sauce pizza topped with cashew ricotta and herbs that doesn’t compromise on flavor.
Cost: Pizzas cost $12-17.
How to order: Order online or call 972-316-7478 for pickup and takeout from a dedicated walk-up window or get delivery from Grubhub and Favor.