Austin, the capital of Texas, is known for its dynamic music scene, vivid nightlife, and divine cuisine. The city’s culinary culture mixes different flavors, styles, and fixings, making it a top objective for foodies worldwide. From exemplary Tex-Mex dishes to innovative fusion cuisine, Austin’s eatery scene has something for everybody.
Here are ten must-try restaurants in Austin:
- Odd Duck
Odd Duck is a must-try restaurant in Austin that offers inventive and seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes frequently, but you can always expect bold flavors and creative combinations.
- Salty Sow
Salty Sow is a farm-to-table gastropub serving elevated comfort food in a cozy atmosphere. The menu features hearty dishes made with high-quality ingredients, from bacon-wrapped quail to slow-cooked pork shoulder.
Suerte is a modern Mexican restaurant showcasing central Mexico’s flavors and traditions. The menu features handmade tortillas, creative salsas, and inventive takes on classic dishes like chiles, rellenos, and mole.
- III Forks
III Forks is an upscale steakhouse that offers prime cuts of meat, fresh seafood, and classic sides. The elegant dining room and extensive wine list make it an excellent spot for a special occasion.
- Kemuri Tatsu-ya
Kemuri Tatsu-ya is a Japanese Texas smokehouse that combines traditional Japanese flavors with Texas barbecue. The menu features dishes like smoked brisket ramen and sake-glazed pork ribs, as well as creative cocktails and a fun atmosphere.
- True Food Kitchen
True Food Kitchen is a health-conscious restaurant serving flavorful and nutritious dishes made with fresh, whole ingredients. From quinoa bowls to grass-fed burgers, the menu has something for everyone, including plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
- Barley Swine
Barley Swine is a farm-to-table restaurant that offers a multi-course tasting menu featuring seasonal ingredients from local farms. The creative and beautifully presented dishes impress foodies and anyone looking for a memorable dining experience.
- Dai Due
Dai Due is a butcher shop, and restaurant specializing in locally sourced, seasonal meat and produce. The menu changes frequently based on what’s available, but you can always expect high-quality ingredients and expertly prepared dishes.
Juniper is an Italian-inspired restaurant that offers handmade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and creative cocktails. The charming and intimate space is perfect for a romantic date night or a night with friends.
Hestia is a wood-fired restaurant focusing on high-quality ingredients and inventive cooking techniques. The menu features dishes like grilled octopus and bone-in ribeye, creative cocktails, and an extensive wine list.
Iconic Texan Dishes That Every Foodie Must Try
Texan cuisine is a vibrant melting pot of flavors influenced by Southern, Mexican, and cowboy cooking. It offers an eclectic array of dishes, from smoky BBQ to spicy Tex-Mex, which are worth sampling. Here are some iconic Texan dishes that every foodie should try:
Texans are obsessed with BBQ, and they take it very seriously. Beef brisket is the king of Texas BBQ, but pork ribs, sausage, and chicken are also popular choices. The meat is seasoned with a dry rub, smoked over wood for several hours, and served with a tangy BBQ sauce.
Tex-Mex cuisine is a fusion of Mexican and Texan flavors. It’s famous for breakfast tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas. Try a breakfast taco with fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, and salsa. Fajitas are another classic Tex-Mex dish featuring sizzling beef or chicken strips, peppers, and onions, wrapped in a tortilla.
- Chicken Fried Steak
Chicken Fried Steak is a comfort food classic that originated in Texas. It’s made by pounding a thin steak, coating it in seasoned flour, and frying it until crispy. It’s served with creamy gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans.
- Pecan Pie
The South’s staple dessert is Pecan Pie, and Texans love it. The pie is made with a flaky crust, a gooey filling of brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and pecans, and baked to perfection.
Why Austin Become a Popular Destination for Food
Over the past few years, Austin has become a top destination for food lovers. The vibrant Texan city has a diverse and thriving food scene, attracting visitors worldwide. Here are some reasons why Austin has become a popular destination for food:
- Diverse Food Scene
Austin’s food scene is incredibly diverse, offering a wide range of cuisines and dining experiences. From Tex-Mex and BBQ to farm-to-table and vegan, Austin has something for everyone.
- Food Trucks and Trailers
Austin is home to a thriving food truck and trailer scene, which offers a unique dining experience. You can find everything from gourmet burgers and tacos to artisanal ice cream and doughnuts in the city’s food trucks and trailers.
- Locally Sourced Ingredients
Austin’s chefs and restaurateurs are passionate about using locally sourced ingredients in their dishes. You can enjoy fresh and flavorful meals while supporting local farmers and producers.
- Craft Beer and Cocktails
Austin is known for its vibrant bar scene, which features a wide range of craft beers and cocktails. Many restaurants also offer carefully curated wine lists to complement their dishes.
- Creative And Innovative Chefs
Austin’s chefs are known for their creativity and innovation, which has helped to put the city on the culinary map. Many chefs are experimenting with new flavors and techniques, pushing the boundaries of Texan cuisine.
Tips For Exploring Austin’s Food Scene Like a Local
Exploring the city’s food scene is a must-do if you’re planning a trip to Austin. Austin’s food culture is vibrant and diverse, with many hidden gems only locals know about. Here are some tips for exploring Austin’s food scene like a local:
- Research Ahead of Time
Before you arrive in Austin, do some research about the city’s food scene. Look up local food blogs, review sites, and social media accounts to learn about the city’s best restaurants, food trucks, and bars.
- Venture Beyond Downtown
While downtown Austin has many great restaurants and bars, some of the best food in the city can be found in its neighborhoods. Head to East Austin, South Congress, and the Domain to taste the city’s diverse food scene.
- Try The Food Trucks
Austin is famous for its food trucks offering a unique and affordable dining experience. Try some of the city’s most popular food trucks, like Veracruz All Natural for tacos, Chi’Lantro for Korean BBQ, and East Side King for Asian fusion.
- Order The Local Specialties
When dining out in Austin, order local specialties like BBQ, Tex-Mex, and breakfast tacos. These dishes are iconic to the city’s food culture and are must-try for any visitor.
- Ask Locals for Recommendations
Be bold and ask locals for their favorite food spots in Austin. They may recommend hidden gems you need help finding on your own.