Arro. 601 W. Sixth St. 512-992-2776, ArroAustin.com. The folks behind Easy Tiger and 24 Diner bring comforting French dishes such as steak frites and croque monsieur to West Sixth Street. Try the frog legs in brown butter.
Barley Swine. 2024 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-394-8150, barleyswine.com. Bryce Gilmore’s restaurant serves imaginative farm-to-table dishes on a tasting menu as well as an engaging selection of beer and wine.
Bufalina Pizza. 1519 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-2523, BufalinaPizza.com. The best Neapolitan pizza in the city and a great Italian wine list at this little East Austin restaurant make the wait worth it. Also try the hand-pulled mozzarella and charcuterie plate.
Congress. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2750, congressaustin.com. One of Austin’s best chefs, David Bull presents fine dining on a level with few equals in town.
Contigo. 2027 Anchor Lane. 512-614-2260, ContigoTexas.com/Austin. All wood, leather and wrought iron, Contigo spills from its garage-size interior bar to a massive outdoor seating area featuring long picnic tables. Menu features comforting dishes, excellent housemade charcuterie and one of the city’s best burgers.
Counter 357. 315 Congress Ave. 512-291-3327, counter3fivevii.com. The restaurant that opened this year offers prix-fixe menus of three, five and seven courses (hence the name). The open kitchen serves as the restaurant’s centerpiece, with 26 counter seats encircling the kitchen.
Dai Due. 2406 Manor Road. 512-524-0688, daidue.com. Part butcher shop, part restaurant, Dai Due epitomizes the seasonal, farm-to-table ethos with well-executed dishes full of flavor, from French toast with cajeta in the morning to grilled pork chops at night.
Easy Tiger. 709 E. Sixth St. 512-614-4972, EasyTigerAustin.com. A bake shop, beer garden and outdoor oasis just on the fringe of Sixth Street’s shot bars.
Eden East. 755 Springdale Road. 512-428-6500, edeneastaustin.com. Hard to get more farm-to-table than Sonya Cote’s bucolic al fresco restaurant at Springdale Farm.
Epicerie. 2307 Hancock Drive. 512-371-6840, EpicerieAustin.com. Chef Sarah McIntosh’s bistro delivers well-constructed sandwiches like an open-faced cured salmon with cream cheese and egg on toasted rye, as well as heartier dishes like boudin. Don’t forget one of the sublime macaroons or salted chocolate chip cookie on your way out.
Fixe. 500 W. Fifth St. 512-888-9133, austinfixe.com. The new restaurant from executive chef James Robert delivers Southern flavors on dishes like quail and grits, fried chicken and, of course, biscuits.
Foreign & Domestic. 306 E. 53rd St. 512-459-1010, fndaustin.com. Creative and soulful food from this restaurant that feels just as comfortable with beef tongue as beets.
Gardner. 1914 E. Sixth St. 512-354-1480, gardner-austin.com. The new restaurant from the Contigo owners lets vegetables be the star (without sacrificing big flavor). And there’s a cool bar tucked away from the main dining room.
Italic. 123 W. Sixth St. 512-660-5390, italicaustin.com. More than a dozen pasta dishes, roasted meats, Florentine steaks, Italian cocktails and Negroni on tap are just a few of the offerings from this restaurant from the group responsible for Arro, Easy Tiger and 24 Diner.
Jack Allen’s Kitchen. 7720 Texas 71. 512-852-8558; 2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock, 512-215-0372; jackallenskitchen.com. Farm-to-table comfort food such as bacon-wrapped quail and crispy salmon, as well as a massive weekend brunch, have made this place a hit down south and up north, as well.
La Barbecue. 1200 E. Sixth St., 512-605-9696, labarbecue.com. Some of the best barbecue in Central Texas. Start with the brisket and spicy sausage and go from there.
La Condesa. 400 W. 2nd 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. (Recommended: venison tacos, cochinita pibil, tuna tostadas, margaritas.)
LaV. 1501 E. Sixth St. 512-720-8112, saylavaustin.com. An elegant addition to the scene from wine director Vilma Mazaite and chef Allison Jenkins, both veterans of Aspen’s Little Nell, LaV serves rustic, French and Mediterranean-influenced cuisine and an impressive wine list.
Lenoir. 1807 S. First St. 512-215-9778, lenoirrestaurant.com. At this charming and elegant bungalow, chef-owner Todd Duplechan prepares what he calls “hot weather food,” using local and seasonal ingredients to create flavors that echo hot weather locales like Southeast Asia, India and Africa. One of the city’s best restaurants.
Lucy’s Fried Chicken. 2218 College Ave. 512-297-2423; 5408 Burnet Road. 512-514-0664; LucysFriedChicken.com. In addition to trademark fried chicken, try the grilled oysters and boudin blanc.
Noble Sandwich Co. 12233 RM 620. 512-382-6248; 4805 Burnet Road. 512-666-5124; noblesandwiches.com. Fresh-baked breads and meats smoked and cured in-house make Noble one of the best sandwich joints in town. Get the duck pastrami and the homemade Italian sausage and peppers with gooey mozzarella.
Odd Duck. 1201 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-433-6521, oddduckaustin.com. Chef Bryce Gilmore came to attention with his trailer of the same name that focused on farm-to-table dining. This window-wrapped restaurant serves refined rustic food, and the focus remains on local and seasonal ingredients with dishes like grilled lamb with green chili hummus and goat heart tacos.
Olive & June. 3411 Glenview Ave. 512-467-9898, oliveandjune-austin.com. Small shared plates and fresh pasta are major draws at this gorgeous multi-tiered restaurant.
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.)
Parkside. 301 E. Sixth St. 512-474-9898, parkside-austin.com. A raw bar, hearty entrees like duck cassoulet and a solid bar menu (toplined by one of the city’s best burgers) make this bistro a blend of Central Texas and the coast.
Peached Tortilla. 5520 Burnet Road. 512-330-4339, thepeachedtortilla.com. This Southern-Asian fusion spot started as a popular food truck.
Qui. 1600 E. Sixth St. 512-436-9626, quiaustin.com. The tasting menu at Paul Qui’s eponymous restaurant delivers flavors from the Philippines, Japan, Spain and more. Bonus points: Wonderful cocktails and exceptional service.
Ramen Tastu-ya. 8557 Research Blvd. 1234 S. Lamar Blvd. ramen-tatsuya.com. The ramen masters draw long lines at both locations on the strength of their deep, restorative bowls of soup.
Ranch 616. 616 Nueces St. 512-479-7616, theranch616.com. Fried oysters, grilled shrimp, crab-topped tenderloins and icy cocktails … this West Sixth spot has been in the Texas-cuisine game longer than most in town.
Red Star Southern. 1700 E. Sixth St. redstarsouthern.com. Southern comfort food like fried chicken and pulled pork sandwiches from a chef who also oversees the pastry program for the Parkside family.
Salt & Time. 1912 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1383, saltandtime.com. This butcher shop sells sandwiches with fresh, quality meat cured or smoked in-house. One of the best Italian grinders in town.
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. (Recommended: pepperoni soup; seared trout; fried pickles; seared scallops; cheeseburger; bleu cheese, pork belly and medjool date pizza.)
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew. 6610 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-380-9199, stilesswitchbbq.com. Pit boss Lance Kirkpatrick doesn’t brag about his time at Louie Mueller, but his beef rib (a Mueller staple) does plenty of talking.
Sway. 1417 S. First St. 512-326-1999, swayaustin.com. Exotic and alluring, both in design and menu, Sway likely introduced many Austinites to the concept of Australian Thai – a sweet and fresh spin on classic Thai. Get the blue crab fried rice, son-in-law, jungle curry and salt-and-pepper shrimp.
Swift’s Attic. 315 Congress Ave. 512-482-8200, swiftsattic.com. The kitchen at Swift’s Attic, helmed by Mat Clouser, defies classification. You may get a raw fish dish with Asian influences that reference the chef’s time at Kenichi, but you’re just as likely to find warm Texas-inspired dishes like Lockhart quail with pungent blue cheese grits.
Uchi. 801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4808, uchiaustin.com. Consistently exceptional both in cuisine (fish and non-fish dishes alike) and service, Uchi permanently changed the fine dining game in Austin more than a decade ago. (Recommended: Everything.)