Each week in Austin360, we offer a rotating list of places to eat right now. This week: A woman named Angela recently wrote me from St. Louis. She and eight girlfriends in their 30s are visiting Austin this weekend, and she wanted suggestions for group dinners and brunch.
“I want to have a good variety and not too expensive, but nice,” she wrote. “I know one dislikes seafood, but others love it … Nothing too crazy. Not too keen on French, but love great food.”
My edited response is here. Maybe these recommendations will come in handy for you sometime. For more, visit austin360.com/thefeed and for more restaurants by category, head to austin360.com/AustinRestaurants .
Guide on the go
Take Matthew Odam’s 2013 Dining Guide — a list of his top 50 restaurants — with you by bookmarking Austin360.com/diningguide2013 on your smartphone or tablet or visit austin360.com/odamtop50 from your desktop computer.
La Condesa. 400 W. Second St. 512-499-0300, lacondesa.com
Located in the heart of the 2nd Street District, this upscale Mexican restaurant offers good food and vibrant design in a very social setting. (Recommend: venison tacos, cochinita pibil, tuna tostadas, margaritas.)
Uchi. 801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4808, uchiaustin.com
Maybe the best restaurant in Austin. World-class sushi just south of downtown, and the fish-ambivalent can find other things they like. (Recommend: Everything.)
Second Bar + Kitchen. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2750, congressaustin.com/second
New American on Congress Avenue puts you right in the middle of downtown, and the patio is great for dining and people watching if the weather is decent. (Recommend: pepperoni soup; seared trout; fried pickles; seared scallops; cheeseburger; bleu cheese, pork belly and medjool date pizza.)
Café Josie. 1200 W. Sixth St. 512-322-9226, CafeJosie.com
A delightful little spot just west of downtown. It’s been around for almost 20 years but under new management and a new chef the last couple of years. (Recommend: grilled octopus and goat ribs.)
Olivia. 2043 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-804-2700, olivia-austin.com
Fancy at night, but down-home at brunch. Light pours in from the floor-to-ceiling glass, and the patio is nice if the weather isn’t out of control. (Recommend: Dandy Don goat chili pie with fried eggs, the Willie Nelson chicken fried steak, French toast.)
Enoteca. 1610 S. Congress Ave. 512-441-7672, austinvespaio.com
The little sister of one of Austin’s best Italian restaurants, the more casual spot serves a host of egg dishes, along with Italian sandwiches and salads. (Recommend: porchetta panino, any of the egg dishes.)
Trio at the Four Seasons. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-685-8300, triorestaurantaustin.com
Get treated like a fancy hotel guest even if you aren’t one. Pay $54 for omelets, pancakes, ceviche, smoked fish, crab claws, fried chicken and waffles, and more. (Recommend: Go big or go home.)
Fonda San Miguel. 2330 W. North Loop Blvd. 512-459-4121, fondasanmiguel.com
The diverse and beautiful brunch spread is famous at this Austin dining institution. (Recommend: Take your pick.)