You're going out on the town, and at some point, you'll need to eat dinner, so we've rounded up Austin's best spots for a party-filled meal that won't put a dent in your momentum.
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Enjoy hIgh-end, beautifully presented Mexican food and fresh cocktails in an unpretentious (yet gorgeous) atmosphere that's buzzing with conversation and the whizzing sound of their lightning-fast staff -- it's almost like they KNOW you have more partying to do, but not before you finished that wood-fired carne asada with citrus habanero butter.
Enter on the street level, pass the beautiful aroma of baked bread, go downstairs and behold: a modern German beer garden and bakery nestled on the far East end of Dirty Sixth. Amazing house-made sausage (try with the beer cheese!) and house baked pretzels (also try them with beer cheese!) will help soak up their impressive beer and booze selection.
The Downtown institution keeps bringing the crowds back with bowl upon bowl of curry/tandoori/masala goodness and... oh man do you REALLY need another samosa? Yes you do. More warm, soft, powdery naan? Why is that even a question? Always more naan.
The swanky eatery located upstairs from acclaimed jazz club The Elephant Room is like a tuxedo T-shirt -- the perfect mix of elegant and whimsical. Okay maybe a little more elegant than the shirt. Their inventive cocktails and well-curated wine list beautifully complement the shared plates menu (puffy pigtail carnitas tacos, Korean BBQ strip steak with crispy kimchi) that will make you disinclined towards sharing.
Sometimes you want to sit down with five of your friends and eat queso and drink pitchers of frozen margaritas and just demolish some fajitas. Actually, that sounds pretty good just about all the time, but whenever you're in that kind of mood, Polvo's is that place.
East Side King
The first eatery in "Austin Golden Boy" and Top Chef winner Paul Qui's empire, East Side King is putting out consistent and flavorful Asian fusion everyday. Good luck not getting hooked on their Thai Chicken Karaage and Beet Home Fries, and the communal picnic tables and generally attractive clientele make the people watching almost as compelling as the food.
Polvos greets you with a sign that says "I love you" and then shows you love on the inside with quality interior Mexican food, big and strong margaritas, and a salsa bar with about 15 different varieties of goodness. We love you too, Polvos.
The Clay Pit is a favorite for Indian cuisine in downtown Austin, serving up traditional dishes alongside more unique items like their Curried Mussels. Be sure to check out their selection of grilled goodies from their namesake: the Tandoor, or clay pit oven.
La Condesa is the place to go if you're looking for traditional Mexican flavor with modern Austin flair. The menu, offering up handfuls of tortas, taquitos, combos, and a few other staples, is shorter than most, but there's an obvious preference for quality over quantity at this Downtown restaurant. Tacos strewn with red pickled onion, cilantro, and guacamole make the ideal warm-up round before hitting the bar, where tequila and mezcal reign supreme in customizable flights.
A bakery by day and beer (garden) by night, (also open during the day), Easy Tiger's bake shop features artisanal breads, pretzels, and housemade meats. A combination not often explored, the downstairs barroom allows you retire from your morning coffee and croissant to a night of exploring over 30 local craft brews under a canopy of lights in the outdoor beer garden.
Located the second floor of the historic (and now defunct grocery store) Swift's Premium Food Co. building on Congress Avenue, the appropriately named Swift's Attic serves up eclectic small plates and creative cocktails for hipstered out Austinites. Among a brunch Bloody Mar bar and generous daily happy hour deals, Swift's offers sophisticated meats, seafood, snacks, and cocktails. Must trys are Korean BBQ flank steak, squid "fries," and the Pop Rocks charred edamame.
78702 food-truckers ESK from Paul Qui and Moto Usonomiya are slinging an array of Asian-fueled goodness, like sausage-filled steamed buns like the beefy Gyu Bao (curry cabbage, Kewpie mayo, potato chips, green onion) and the pigged-out Bao Boy (bacon, chicharrones, kimchi, grilled pine nuts).