Where to Eat in Austin Right Now

Michelin-starred pasta, intoxicating American-Chinese, and Texas-style comforts for the win.

We’re going to sound like a broken record but this is important: Austin’s food scene isn’t just tacos and barbecue. Boomtown is totally diversifying—that’s why we’re Boomtown, duh—and with humans landing from all corners of the world, it’s inevitable that the culinary offerings are rising to meet the demand of new worldly tongues. That means Austin can do ramen as they do on the streets of Shinjuku (we also do pretty swell okonomiyaki and onigiri, too), sexy vegan like our friends in California, and Italian that’ll make you blurt out “Bellissimo” with your hands in the air. Of course, many local restaurateurs are putting their Texan twist on such international fare, meaning an extra special gastronomic experience in Bat City. Loosen your belt, here are the absolute best restaurants in town right now.

Sazan

Highland
$$$$

Situated on Airport Blvd—AKA Asian feast central—Sazan is Austin’s most popular and beloved ramen outpost. Obviously, it’s all about the noodles here. Their signature bowl is the Paitan Ramen, a steaming hot creamy broth bubbling with arugula, umami egg, and chicken or pork. The Paitan is available in Spicy or Vegan versions, too—if you can handle a little heat, definitely try it, as it’s laced with a delicious nutty cream to soften the burn. Also on the menu are Indomitable Chicken Wings (seasoned with curry rub and cilantro), Osaka-worthy Takoyaki octopus balls, mochi desserts, and a brilliant selection of Japanese-inspired craft cocktails (the Shun-Sational Old Fashioned is pure perfection), plus sake and beer.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order delivery via Uber Eats.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Ciclo
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Austin

Ciclo

Downtown
$$$$

One of the city’s fanciest restaurants, Ciclo is modern Texan with a Latin touch. Choose between the gorgeous indoor dining room or brunch out on the flourishing Oak tree-covered patio overlooking Lady Bird Lake. Standout menu items include the Duck Confit with mole rosa, lotus root, and baby veg salad
as well as the classic, the Ceviche Amarillo and Flambéed Texas Wagyu Tomahawk. Mains aside, you’ll also need to factor in stomach space for the House Bread; a mini cast iron of four of the most delectable and shiny parker house rolls you’ll probably ever taste, complete with pots of local butter and good flow honey. If there’s ever an unforgettable breadbasket, this is it. As for dessert, the Coco Afogato with coconut ice cream, cookie and espresso, should do the trick. Speaking of which, the Sunday Brunch buffet is worth coming for the dessert station alone.

Available for Reservations
Super Thai Cuisine
Photo courtesy of Super Thai

Super Thai

South Lamar
$$$$

As far as Austin’s Thai community is concerned, this casual little eatery is unparalleled. Everything, including the sauces, is homemade, and best of all? It's super affordable and excellent quality. For anyone who ever vacationed in Bangkok, this place will instantly bring back street food memories. Menu items include Pad Thai, Gaeng Keow Wan green curry, and Tamarind Duck. Of course, it wouldn’t be Texas without a Thai Taco (roti wrap with crispy pork belly, yellow onion, and bell pepper tossed in sweet Thai basil sauce). Another thing we love about this place is that a set gratuity is automatically added, meaning no need to fumble with your cell calculator after one too many Singhas.
How to book: Call 512-284-7004 to reserve.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

TLC Austin

South Lamar
$$$$

A family-friendly indoor-outdoor space serving coastal Texan fare and over 30 beers on tap, TLC is all the Southern comforts rolled into one restaurant. Expect large portions, great prices, sports on the screens, and patrons in flip-flops. Bring your party to TLC’s boil experience, where you’ll choose from fresh catch like Texas Gulf Shrimp or Littleneck Clams, customize it with your choice of flavoring and sauce, and devour it alongside Texas corn and red potatoes. Other menu highlights include Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs, Mac & Cheese, Redfish & Crab, and, of course, a Cowboy Ribeye. As for dessert, sweet spots go to the Giant Milkshakes or the Season Fruit Cobbler. They're big enough to share, but you’ll still probably want to wear pants with an elastic waistband or a dress.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout via Toast.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Mumtaz Market
Photo courtesy of Mumtaz Market

Mumtaz Market

Bouldin Creek
$$$$

A manifestation of Austin’s beloved G’Raj Mahal, Mumtaz Market is its successor—and one of Austin’s top Indian restaurants—blending scratch cooking, South Asian flavors, and a touch of adventure. Aside from a wide selection of traditional curries from Tikka Masala to Korma, the team puts a creative spin on Indian entrees. The Pork Rechaad is a belly-warming stewed, spiced, and gingered pork with braised cabbage and candied pineapple, while the Gnocchi Saag, a creamed curry spinach with potato dumplings, is a vegetarian’s dream. Lunch specials include the Tikka Masala plate and Lamb Burger and Fries (best enjoyed with Mango Lassi). Happy hour runs daily 4 pm - 6 pm.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout via Toast.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
40 North
Photo courtesy of 40 North

40 North

Downtown
$$$$

Austin’s prized pizza joint specializes in Neapolitan pies, burgers, and other casual eats. Pizza toppings may seem a little on the quirky side, but trust us, they work. There’s the sweet and spicy Hot Honey, laden with tomato sauce, ricotta, Grana Padano, Salumeria Biellese Coppa, Fresno peppers, and Mike’s Hot Honey; the Kale, with mozzarella and house sausage; plus a funky LA BBQ collaboration called the Spicy Pickle, piled with mozzarella, Fontina Fontal, Grana Padano, LA BBQ pickles, pickled garlic, Fresno peppers, and fresh dill. Add a bottle of Pinot to the mix from their stellar natural wine list while you’re at it.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout via ChowNow.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Geraldine's
Photo courtesy of Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt

Geraldine's

Downtown
$$$$

Geraldine’s is classic Austin, with live music, a buzzing bar, and delicious Southern recipes making their way to the table. It is a sharing situation, with plates that get bigger the further you go down the tightly curated menu. We suggest Grilled Texas Quail and the Hamachi Crudo to start, then onto biggies like the Half Roasted Chicken (prepare to fight over the crispy potatoes) and Smoked Short Rib alongside small veg dishes like the sweet fish sauce-laden Brussel Sprouts or Smoked Carrots. Come down on a Sunday for Geraldine’s Record Society featuring a live vinyl experience and wine specials.

Available for Reservations

Birdie's

East Austin
$$$$

This family-run neighborhood gem on the corner of 12th and Harvey serves a rotating menu of clean American comfort fare inspired by the cooking and eating styles of France and Italy. It all depends on the weather when it comes to the highly seasonal menu, however sample dishes include Casarecce Pasta with pork sausage, mustard greens, and fennel pollen, and Snapper, served heavy with field peas, sungold tomatoes, hakurei turnips, and basil pistou. As for the bar tab, Birdie’s shops a mix of classic and new winemakers with a focus on mindful farming and minimal intervention in the cellar. Bring your pooch, tuck in on the patio, and call it a night.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

The Well

Downtown
$$$$

Here for the eco-conscious, The Well incorporates nutrition, local and sustainable farming, and naturally bold flavors into a wellness studio-style dining room. Everything on the menu is non-GMO, free of soy, gluten, peanut, corn, and refined sugar, and cooked with olive, coconut, or avocado oil. If Gwyneth Paltrow were Texan, this is where you’d find her. Signatures include the Butternut Squash with roasted squash, medjool date, red onion, caper, and Moroccan spiced pistachio; and the Kale & Lentil salad which you might fancy pairing with their Roast Purple Potato. There’s no feeling bad about indulging afterward—desserts are designed around fruit, nuts, and seeds, and cocktails are crafted using standout ingredients like cold-pressed organic juices and sweetened with natural sugars like agave, honey, and dates. We recommend the Lovell, with apple and ginger vodka, passion fruit, vanilla, lemon angostura, habanero, and Brut Cava. Feel-good brunch is served on weekends from 8 am to 3 pm.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Jjim BBQ

South Lamar
$$$$

South Lamar’s sizzling Korean hot spot is K-BBQ on a mission. Their specialty is jjim, a method of slow-cooking or braising meats until extremely tender, so expect a fall-off-the-bone situation every time. Newcomers should try the signature Beef Short Rib Jjim, a pile of soft, meaty chunks cooked on cast iron with vegetables in a sweet soy sauce and sided with steamed white rice plus your choice of add-on (kimchi, mozzarella, egg, or glass noodles). It’s big enough for up to three to share, though two hungry stomachs will suit just fine. The Seafood Pancake Jeon is a lighter, crispier take on the traditional, if you want something smaller, and the Seafood Soon Dubu Soup, a hearty combo of silken tofu, clams, scallops, shrimp, and vegetables, feels like it was whipped up by grandma. Drinks-wise, expect a selection of cocktails, beer, wine, and Korean spirits like soju and makgeolli.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Garrison

Downtown
$$$$

The open-concept kitchen helmed by renowned Chef Jakub Czyszczon is Austin’s sexiest date spot—dress up and get prepared to be wined and dined. Entrees off the grill include Roasted Duck Breast Rossini with foie gras, and Whole Grilled Branzino, but it’s the steaks that take center stage (Eye of Rib, Tomahawk or Porterhouse—all incredible). Pair anything with a side of Tater Tots, especially if you love cheese and black truffle. The beverage list spans select cocktails, wine, and beer curated to complement the upmarket digs.

Available for Reservations

La Tunita 512

East Oltorf
$$$$

Armed with a social media feed full of crispy red tortillas, tender beef birria, and melty queso that sells out daily, chef-owner Gerardo "Jerry" Guerrero has officially captured the attention of a taco-obsessed city. He 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 taco is wrapped in a handmade tortilla fried in beef fat. The quesotaco is griddled Monterey jack cheese. The mulita is essentially an overstuffed quesadilla and the ramen combines that famous birria with Tapatio noodles. Always order a side of consomme, a rich broth made from beef, onion, cilantro, chile, and spices that’s essential for dunking. Oh, and did we mention birria is the ultimate hangover food?
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

JewBoy Burgers

Airport Boulevard
$$$$

Owner Mo Pittle blends flavors from the El Paso border with Jewish traditions for a unique feast spanning burgers, burritos, and all kinds of fried sides. A must-try is the Yenta Burger, which adds a crunchy latke to the classic JewBoy burger—a third-pound of freshly ground beef perched atop diced grilled onions, stacked with double cheese, steamed to melty perfection, topped with lettuce, pickles, and mustard, and served on a squishy Martin's potato roll. The Puro Picadillo Burrito is the ultimate Jewish-Tex-Mex mashup. A giant tortilla is stuffed with seasoned ground beef, grilled onions, hatch green chiles, chopped latkes, and, of course, a hefty serving of Texas-style queso.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via Favor.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Nixta Taqueria

East Twelfth Street
$$$$

Chef Edgar Rico harnesses Mexican tradition and his culinary know-how to elevate the humble taco, dishing up a bill of heirloom corn tortillas filled with textures and colors you’d expect to see in a fine dining establishment, all served in a neighborhood setting. Tacos and tostadas begin with fresh masa made in-house from heritage corn. The vegan Beet Tartare Tostada is a must-try, a crisp shell topped with earthy roasted beets, salsa macha aioli, avocado crema, horseradish, and lime for a one-two punch of flavor and texture. Make the Coco Rico Paleta your go-to dessert—it’s a popsicle made with coconut milk, coconut cream, and toasted coconut chips.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order delivery via Favor.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Kinda Tropical

East Seventh
$$$$

This former gas station finds life as a colorful café complete with a full bar, all-day dining, and a breezy patio filled with brunching patrons sporting band tees and sandals. Those on a health kick can opt for a vegan Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich or saucy Sesame Salad, while their naughtier pals can indulge in a Maple CBD Waffle washed down with a frozen cocktail. They also peddle boozy ice pops in four delicious flavors. A Monday through Friday afternoon happy hour with dollar-off brews, $7 cocktails, and $7 snacks sweetens the deal.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast.

LeRoy & Lewis

South Congress
$$$$

With a rotating selection of smoked barbecue by the pound and a focus on alternative cuts and creative sides made with local ingredients, this is food truck gold. Known for his innovative takes on Texas ‘cue, pitmaster Evan LeRoy incorporates elements of fine dining and scratch-made cooking into every aspect of his menu-on-wheels. Look forward to brisket, ribs, and sausage, plus flavorful and creative sides like housemade Kimchi and Kale Caesar Slaw alongside a deep yellow Cheddar Cheesecake with apple butter that’s far from what you’d expect (in the best way).
How to order: Stop by for counter service.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Fukumoto

East Sixth
$$$$

Chef Kazu Fukumoto’s masterful approach to yakitori and sushi plus the knowledgeable, friendly staff makes this Japanese standby a perennial top pick. Expect an expansive array of nigiri and sashimi, skewers grilled over charcoal, and mouth-watering maki. Standouts include the King salmon skewers, the YST roll (smoky yellowtail, shiso, tomato, Thai chili mayo), fried chicken karaage, and a palate-pleasing chef’s choice sashimi platter.
How to book: Call 512-770-6880 to reserve or get delivery via UberEats.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

This ambitious food truck hawks its Asian-inspired, delectably crispy fried chicken sandwiches, wings, and endlessly buttery, curry-laden roti from its posts at St. Elmo Brewing, East Sixth, Rainey and Metric. While much of the menu falls on the chill side of hot, we can’t stop obsessing over the Boneless Nugs (also available in cauliflower form) and fiery Hot Gai Chicken Sandwich (spicy fried chicken, Massaman mayo, Swiss cheese, Thai basil, pickles). Throw in a side of tots tossed with your choice of sauce for a complete and balanced meal.
How to order: Stop by for counter service or get delivery via Favor.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Cuantos Tacos

East Oltorf
$$$$

Stationed inside his cartoonishly cute bright yellow truck, chef Beto Robledo regularly sells out of his game-changing lineup of Mexico City-style street tacos. Suadero (braised, crisped brisket), Cachete (beef cheek), Buche (pork stomach), Carnitas (pulled pork), and Longaniza (chorizo-like Portuguese sausage) are all cooked to perfection on a vertical rotisserie or trompo. And while each cut sports its own unique textures and flavors, Robledo’s masterful touch makes them all equally appealing, 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 filling of choice in griddled quesadilla form.
How to book: Stop by for counter service.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Pasta Bar
Adahlia Cole | Pasta Bar

Pasta Bar

East Austin
$$$$

The Californian Michelin-Starred restaurant finally debuted in Austin this year and has already become the hottest ticket in town. With just 10 prized seats, snagging a reservation is like winning the lottery. When you’re in, expect an omakase-style journey of Italian fare with a Southern twist, of course. The menu is seasonal but sample items include Foie Gras with ramps (a type of wild onion with rich forest flavors) and the Bone Marrow with gnocchi. The meal is sided with Margarita Lee’s sensational sourdough, and resident Sommelier Lindsay Drew’s wine pairings are a must (if your wallet allows).
How to book: Reserve via Tock, and watch for last-minute drop-out announcements on their Instagram page.

Walton's Fancy and Staple
Dani Parsons | Waltons

Sandra Bullock’s (yes, Sandra Bullock’s!) neighborly café is a favorite daytime destination for downtowners, especially come weekend brunch. Step up for counter service, tasty yet affordable grub, and a cozy local atmosphere. If you’re up early, this is your spot. Breakfast and brunch items include the staple, their classic consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage or ham and multigrain toast; avocado toast with goats cheese and pickled onion; and biscuits with pork sausage and country cream gravy. The counter also has a wide selection of baked goods (including $1 macarons) as well as organic teas and coffees. Late riser? Lunch is a treat, too. Go for the turkey sandwich, sweetened with caramelized onion-apple chutney on a croissant. Yum.
How to book: Stop by for counter service and first come, first served seating.

Old Thousand
Old Thousand

Old Thousand

East Austin
$$$$

This eclectic eastside restaurant makes going out for a cheeky Chinese a real occasion. Team Old Thousand take American-Chinese recipes and bring them to life in the company of delicious cocktails and a lively atmosphere. They do the classics brilliantly, from the chunky General Tso’s Chicken with jasmine rice to the Xiao Mian wheat noodles with peanut, Szechuan peppercorn and chili oil. The Brisket Fried Rice uses generous helpings of their house-smoked beef brisket, which marries perfectly with Chinese pork sausage. If that’s all too meaty for you, they also bring the flavor to tofu on dishes like the Mapo Fried Tofu and the Hot and Sour Soup. Save room at the end for the Five Spice Chinese Churro with Pandan Cream.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, or order takeout and delivery via Toast.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations
James Wong is a contributor for Thrillist.