Mom deserves a special brunch every weekend. But, if you don’t step it on one weekend in particular, you may be the deserved recipient of a little bit of maternal side-eye. Mother’s Day is one of the biggest dining events of the year, and many Austin restaurants will roll out the red carpet for Mom on May 13, with prix fixe menus and specials like free bubbles.
For more Austin restaurants, including my Top 25 (most of which serve brunch), visit austin360.com/eats.
Apis Restaurant & Apiary. 23526 Texas 71, Spicewood. 512-436-8918, apisrestaurant.com. The Hill Country destination restaurant will serve a prix fixe brunch that includes choices like egg toast, Spanish octopus and a lamb tasting. Cost is $64 for adults and $25 for children.
Aviary Wine & Kitchen. 2110 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4445, aviarywinekitchen.com. The bistro will give all moms a free bottle of bubbles to accompany a brunch menu that includes steak and eggs, smoked fish toast and oysters.
Backyard at Waller Creek. 701 E. 11th St. 512-478-1111, backyardbaraustin.com. Let your kids cook for you. The al fresco restaurant at the Sheraton near the Texas Capitol will team mom’s little ones with a member of the culinary team to create a brunch of omelettes, waffles and more. Cost is $30 for adults and $15 for children.
Cafe Blue. 12800 Hill Country Blvd., G-115. 512-366-5230, cafebluetx.com. The restaurant at the Hill Country Galleria will service a brunch that includes shrimp cocktail, blueberry pancakes, migas and more. Cost is $39.95 for adults and $15.95 for kids 12 and younger.
Cannon & Belle. 500 E. Fourth St. 512-493-4900, cannonandbelle.com. The restaurant at the Hilton will serve a brunch buffet with options like an eggs Benedict station, charbroiled chicken, and red velvet cupcakes. The cost is $48 for adults, $19 for children ages 6-12, and free for kids under the age of 6. The restaurant will also offer a Bloody Mary Flight.
Carillon. 1900 University Ave. 512-404-3655, thecarillonrestaurant.com. The fine dining restaurant at the AT&T Hotel & Conference Center on the University of Texas campus will host a brunch buffet that includes shrimp campechana, grilled lamb chops and a prime rib carving station. Cost is $68 for adults and $30 for children. Kids 5 and younger eat free.
Chicon. 1914 E. Sixth St. 512-354-1480, contigotexas.com/chicon. The handsome sister restaurant to Contigo serves a three-course family-style meal that includes migas, pork Benedict and avocado toast. Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for kids.
Driskill Grill. 604 Brazos St. 512-391-7162, driskillgrill.com. The Austin classic serves a brunch buffet spread that includes salmon charcuterie, Texas waffle bar and a host of treats from the 1886 Cafe & Bakery. Cost is $89 for adults, $46 for children. Bottomless mimosas available for $20.
Duchman Family Winery. 13308 FM 150. 512-858-1470, duchmanwinery.com. The Hill Country winery will serve a family-style brunch that includes brie and spinach frittata, grilled beef tenderloin and bread pudding. Cost is $50 for adults and $15 for children.
Geraldine’s. 605 Davis St. 512-476-4755, geraldinesaustin.com. The restaurant that doubles as a music venue hosts a jazz brunch with a soul-inspired menu that includes pork and grits, a Cuban Benedict and honey bun.
Jeffrey’s. 1204 W. Lynn St. 512-477-5584, jeffreysofaustin.com. The luxe brunch spread includes seafood tower, prime rib-eye, truffled deviled eggs and more. Cost is $85 per person.
Josephine House. 1601 Waterston Ave. 512-477-5584, josephineofaustin.com. The prix fixe menu at Jeffrey’s kid sister includes huevos rancheros, cured salmon and avocado toast and a rice bowl. Cost is $50.
Juniper. 2400 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-220-9421, juniperaustin.com. Juniper has gotten out of the brunch game in lieu of Sunday dinner, but they will roll their brunch back out for this special holiday. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. the upscale Italian restaurant will serve a menu that includes lasagna; bombolini with milk jam, mascarpone, and lemon ash; and kolache with strawberry, ricotta and pistachio.
L’Oca d’Oro. 1900 Simond Ave. 737-212-1876, locadoroaustin.com. Chef Fiore Tedesco takes inspiration from his grandmother’s kitchen for this brunch themed “Just Like Someone’s Ma Used to Make.” The meal will be served from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a menu that includes meatballs marinara, crab bucatini and chicken parmigiana. Cost is $45 for adults and $20 for kids ages 3-12.
Lamberts Downtown Barbecue. 401 W. Second St. 512-494-1500, lambertsaustin.com. The downtown barbecue restaurant from McGuire Moorman Hospitality will serve a barbecue brunch buffet with options that include brown sugar-and-coffee-rubbed brisket, breakfast sausage and eggs to order. Cost is $50 for adults and $25 for kids=.
Native. 807 E. Fourth St. 512-551-9947, nativehostels.com. In addition to a new brunch with dishes like fried chicken eggs Benedict, duck confit with watermelon and herb salad, and peach French toast, the upscale hostel will also offer live music, flowers and massages for Mom between noon and 4 p.m.
Peached Tortilla. 5520 Burnet Road, No. 100. 512-330-4439, thepeachedtortilla.com. The restaurant that blends Asian and Southern flavors will serve a prix fixe menu for $40.
Second Bar + Kitchen Domain Northside. 3121 Palm Way, No. 101. 737-300-4800, sbkdomain.com. Chef David Bull’s restaurant serves a family-style brunch with options like roasted beet and citrus salad, rib-eye loin station and charcuterie bar. Cost is $48 for adults and $24 for children.
Vista Brewing. 13551 FM 150. 512-766-1842, vistabrewingtx.com. The Driftwood brewery celebrates its grand opening with brunch May 12-13, along with live music and pop-up shops from local vendors.
With the new year has come a spate of new restaurants in Austin. Dozens have debuted in the first quarter, offering everything from tacos to Italian. Here are 15 of the most notable openings so far.
Le Bleu. 9070 Research Blvd. #303. 512-770-1100, lebleuatx.com. Chef Tebi Nguyen already made the best bánh mì in Austin at his Saigon Le Vendeur trailer; now he has a brick-and-mortar location to expand his menu to include more Vietnamese sandwiches, noodle bowls, chicken wings and more.
Better Half. 406 Walsh St. 512-645-0786, betterhalfbar.com. The owners of the Brew & Brew have created an all-day restaurant that pays homage to some of their American favorites like the ham biscuit, hush puppies and a cheeseburger.
Brewer’s Table. 4715 E. Fifth St. 512-520-8199, thebrewerstable.com. The restaurant founded by longtime beer veteran Jake Maddux focuses equally on food and craft brewing, exploring the duo’s essential similarities and the ways in which wood influences both.
Il Brutto. 1601 E. Sixth St. 512-580-8779, ilbruttoaustin.com. The East Austin Italian restaurant from the New Waterloo group (Sway, La Condesa, South Congress Hotel) serves a menu that includes house-made pastas (ravioli, pappardelle, lasagna), pizzas baked in a Neapolitan wood-burning oven and entrees such as squid ink tagliolini with mussels and clams, beef tenderloin slow-cooked in Nebbiolo, and baby octopus with olives and capers
Cruzteca. 5207 Brodie Lane #125. 512-291-7726, cruzteca.com. The owners of popular Melizzo’s Tacos truck opened this restaurant in Sunset Valley that serves an assortment of tortas (fried avocado, pulled pork and blackened tilapia among them) as well as the tacos from the truck’s menu, including the Slowrider (braised beef), Bowman (roasted chicken) and Old School (one of the best crispy beef tacos in town).
Darna Mediterranean Cuisine. 408 W. 11th St. Unit 100. 512-220-9705, darnatx.com. Hummus, lamb and eggplant are a few of the staples at this Capitol-area Mediterranean restaurant that specializes in the flavors of Morocco.
Guild. 3800 N. Lamar Blvd. #170. 512-975-2626, guildaustin.com. The seafood-centric restaurant from the Chameleon Group (Wu Chow, Swift’s Attic) is helmed by former Uchiko executive chef Sterling Ridings.
Hank’s. 5811 Berkman Drive #100. 512-609-8077, hanksaustin.com. An evolution of the owners’ former wine bar, Henri’s, the casual Hank’s serves a selection of burgers, sandwiches (turkey and gruyere, prosciutto and brie) and salads (charred kale, trout and avocado), along with house-made pastas and entrees like fried chicken and wood-grilled salmon.
Hudson’s Hill Country. 3509 RM 620 N. 512-266-5644, hudsonshillcountry.com. This reboot of the Central Texas icon Hudson’s on the Bend serves a menu that includes Hudson’s wild and exotic game classics, original Hill Country-inspired dishes and vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Intero. 2612 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-599-4052, interorestaurant.com. This Italian restaurant features Texas ingredients, housemade pastas and handcrafted chocolates. Quite the trio.
Loro. 2115 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4858, loroaustin.com. Uchi founding chef-owner Tyson Cole enters the world of Japanese smokehouse cuisine with an assist from partner Aaron Franklin.
Mandala Kitchen & Bar. 1100 S. Lamar Blvd. #1125. 512-386-1038, mandalakitchenandbar.com. This restaurant located in the mixed-use development that is home to the Alamo Drafthouse serves a menu that bridges Vietnam and Thailand, with dishes like Viet-Cajun crawfish and a variety of curries.
Polvo’s. 310 Nueces St. polvosaustin.com. The downtown location of this South Austin favorite serves dinner nightly, with a menu that includes a roster of enchiladas, fajitas and seafood dishes for which the original Polvos on South First Street is known
Suerte. 1800 E. Sixth St. 512-953-0092, suerteatx.com. The hip Mexican restaurant from Odd Duck co-founder chef Sam Hellman-Mass sources heirloom Central Texas corn, which it nixtamalizes in-house for a menu that includes tlacoyos, tacos and tostadas.
Yoshi Ramen. 3320 Harmon Ave. 512-243-6161, yoshiramenaustin.com. Veggie Heaven owner Stacy Chen’s second concept was inspired by her grandmother’s ramen shop in Osaka and serves vegetarian, vegan and meat-based ramens.
Maybe work got cancelled due to weather. Maybe you have friends in from out of town. Maybe you’re playing hooky. Or maybe you’re just thirsty. Dip into one of these Austin restaurants for some day drinking on a weekday. (Because sitting in a restaurant drinking all day somehow seems more acceptable than sitting in a bar all day. Hypocrites.)
Beer Plant: Mitigate the guilt of working through the beer list with some vegan pub fare. Black Star Co-Op: Fish and chips and house brews. Boiler Nine: Fun wine list, great beer selection, superb cocktails and you can sit by the fire at the back chef’s counter. Bonhomie: Tuck into the back cocktail bar with a side of pommes rosti. Bufalina: Killer wine list, best Neapolitan pizzas in town. Cafe No Se: Rosè and pastries all day. Clark’s Oyster Bar: A bottle of minerally white and a dozen oysters to start. Dai Due: Large format Texas beers and locally sourced grub. Fresa’s: Margaritas and all the tacos at the sit-down South First spot. Hopfields: It’s like you discovers your own little pub during a wander around Ireland or France or somewhere magical. June’s All Day: Big bold French red and a great soundtrack. Kome: It’s never too early for Japanese whiskey. Right? La Condesa: Sip one of the cities best margaritas while watching the downtown minions scurry about. Launderette: Sit at the bar and pair the global fare with wine. Odd Duck: Burger and whiskey. Repeat. Perla’s: Bottle of white with some seafood or a bottle of red with beef. Or maybe just an extra dirty martini. Salt & Time: Ain’t it funny how time just slips away while eating a giant burger and sippin beer. Sway: Maybe a dry Riesling to go with all of those exuberant Thai flavors? Texas French Bread: So you dipped into a French red while the person next to you sunk into some soup. Let em judge. Trio at the Four Seasons: Imagine you’re a movie star or millionaire and maybe get boozed up enough to throw down your credit card for a room, so you can extend the royal treatment a little longer.
Baseball fans are superstitious. Like, the most superstitious. So, this morning, with my Houston Astros just hours away from competing in their second-ever World Series (it’s weird to even type that sentence), I thought that I needed some food from Houston to sustain me and stoke the baseball karma. Sadly, some of my first choices have left town. The Austin franchise of Houston’s La Crawfish (a Vietnamese crawfish restaurant) was short-lived at Northcross Mall, and my beloved James Coney Island, Ninfa’s and Antone’s Po’Boys shuttered long ago (though I think they could survive in Austin now if they found spots with reasonable rents). But there are still quite a few restaurants in Austin that have Houston ties. Some are owned by the restaurant group in Houston, while others are franchises, but they all got their start in Space City, the home of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Dallas Keuchel and the rest.
If you’re a die-hard Astros fan and are crazy enough to believe that eating food from a restaurant that got its start in the home of the Houston 9 will bring the team good luck, or if maybe you just need to stress-eat, then head on out to one of these places in the coming days for lunch or dinner.
Cyclone Anaya’s Tex-Mex Cantina. 3120 Palm Way Suite 170. 512-339-6277, catexmexcantina.com. A Mexican wrestling legend and a former Miss Houston married and started not only a family but a famous chain of Tex-Mex restaurants. Now there’s one in Austin.
Lupe Tortilla.701 Loop 360, 512-582-2205; 10515 N. MoPac. 512-582-2201, lupetortilla.com. This family-friendly Tex-Mex spot that opened in 1983 in Houston has outposts near West Lake and in far North Austin near the Domain.
McCormick & Schmick’s. 11600 Century Oaks Terrace, 512-836-0500, mccormickandschmicks.com; and Saltgrass Steak House, 10614 Research Blvd. 512-340-0040, saltgrass.com. Steaks and seafood from Landy’s Inc., which is owned by newly minted Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertita. That’s gotta count for something in the karma department, right?
Pappasito’s. 6513 N. I-35. 512-459-9214, pappasitos.com. They marinate their beef fajitas in a mixture of pineapple juice and soy sauce (or at least they used to), and the results are wonderful. This restaurant holds a special place in my heart, and not just because I worked at the Richmond Avenue location in 1998.
Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. 114 W. Seventh St. 512-474-6300, perryssteakhouse.com. The downtown Austin location is grand and Houstontatious, so are the steaks and the massive pork chop. You may even be able to get the piano player to play “Go Go Astros,” if you tip him enough.
Tiny Boxwoods. 1503 W. 35th St. 512-220-0698, tinyboxwoods.com. Wanna feel like a River Oaks socialite? This posh little spot in Bryker Woods has you covered.
Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House. 400 Colorado St. 512-482-9000; 10225 Research Blvd. Suite 4000. 512-794-8300, trulucks.com. Truluck’s originated in Houston in 1992, with the first Austin location opening in 2000. And, if I’m not mistaken, they used to advertise in and around Houston sporting events. Just eat a filet and some stone crab claws and you won’t really care.
Blue Dahlia Bistro. 1115 E 11th St. 512-542-9542, bluedahliabistro.com. The French-inspired bistro is sweetening its brunch offering of crepes, waffles and croissants by giving away an Easter basket with chocolate prizes by Maggie Louise Confections to guests who buy an entree. Kids under five eat free.
Brix and Ale. 1101 Woodlawn Ave. Georgetown. 737-444-2700, sheratongeorgetowntexas.com. The Sheraton Georgetown’s restaurant hosts brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with omelets and a buffet of hot and cold items including roasted salmon, quiche, shrimp cocktail and much more. Cost is $50 per person inclusive of tax, gratuity and a glass of sparkling wine or a mimosa. Cost is $25 for children six to 12 and free for children under 5.
Cannon + Belle. 500 E. Fourth St. 512-493-4900, cannonandbelle.com. The revamped restaurant at the downtown Hilton will serve a brunch spread from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.that includes omelet and oyster bars, a charcuterie table, prime rib carving station and more. Cost is $42, $16 for children seven to 14, and free for those six and under.
The Carillon. 1900 University Ave. 512-404-3655, thecarillonrestaurant.com. The fine dining restaurant on the University of Texas campus hosts brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The meal includes an omelet bar, ricotta cheese pancakes with strawberry fig syrup, cold seafood, Blue Point oysters, an assortment of sushi, a carving station and more. Price is $68 for adults. A special kids’ buffet will feature macaroni and cheese, pecan-crusted chicken tenders, and more for $30.
Chez Zee. 5406 Balcones Drive. 512-454-2666, chez-zee.com. The longtime Northwest Hills stape will serve a brunch that includes scallops two ways, smoked lamb chops, prime rib and more savory items, along with owner Sharon Watkins’ banana cream pie that she personally created for Jimmy Kimmel. And, for an interesting touch, a professional magician, non-scary clowns and more.
Dai Due. 2406 Manor Road. 512-524-0688, daidue.com. The bakery’s Easter menu includes challah, French bread, honey whole wheat loaves and rolls, buttermilk grits pie, lime pie with a cornmeal crust, pecan frangipane and candied orange pie, Mexican wedding cookies, and more. The butcher is advance selling a rabbit stuffed with a mix of cream, sweetbreads, bacon, mushrooms, brandy, thyme and breadcumbs ($24/lb.), a rack of lamb ($32/lb.), achiote-rubbed lamb shoulder ($19/lb.) and more.
Driskill Grill. 604 BrazosSt. 512-391-7162, driskillgrill.com. Austin’s grand dame will serve its lavish spread under the direction of new executive chef Christian Apetz for the first time. The three-course menu starts with pastries and includes foie gras torchon, confit rabbit benedict, chorizo and smoked cheddar pancakes, and more. Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $110, and an additional $12 for the mimosa bar.
Duchman Family Winery. 13308 RM 150 W. Driftwood. 512-858-1470, duchmanwinery.com. The Hill Country winery will serve brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The three-course meal costs $40 ($12 for kids 10 and under) and includes a spinach and arugula frittata and grilled quail.
Eden East. 755 Springdale Road. 512-428-6500, edeneast.com. The al fresco dining at Springdale Farms will serve a brunch with complimentary mimosas from 11 a.m.to 3 p.m. with smoked red fish, whole roasted pig, angel food cake and more. Cost is $90; $25 for kids 6-12; and kids five and under eat free.
Freedmen’s. 2402 San Gabriel St. 512-220-0953, freedmensbar.com. The campus-area barbecue restaurant is serving a special barbecue lamb gyro sandwich for $10.
Goodall’s Kitchen. 1900 Rio Grande St. 512-495-1800, hotelella.com. The restaurant at the Hotel Ella will serve brunch buffet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu includes an herb-crusted prime rib, deviled eggs, and ricotta hotcakes. The price is $68 and $25 per child 12 and under. There will also be a visit from the Easter Bunny and a petting zoo by Tiny Tails to You from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Greenhouse Craft Food. 1400 E. Old Settlers Blvd. 512-366-5567, greenhousecraftfood.com. Easter brunch at this Round Rock favorite includes roast beef mushroom demi and horseradish cream, ham with blackberry mustard sauce, fried chicken and biscuit, and more. Cost is $17.99 and $6.50 for kids 12 and under.
Hyatt Lost Pines. 575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd. 512-308-4860, lostpines.regency.hyatt.com. The restaurant at the Hyatt resort in Bastrop will serve brunch from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. Selections will include an omelet station,fresh seafood, a carving station, local cheese selections, chocolate fountain, and more. Cost is $62 and $28 for children ages six to 12. Children under six eat free.
Jeffrey’s. 1204 W Lynn St. 512-477-5584, jeffreysofaustin.com. Austin’s finest steakhouse gets decadent with a menu that includes pastries, truffled deviled eggs; terrine of foie gras; caviar service; a seafood tower; porchetta, prime rib, and more for $100. Cost is $50 for kids and free for kids seven and under.
Josephine House. 1601 Waterston Ave. 512-477-5584, josephineofaustin.com. Jeffrey’s polished kid sister will serve a three-course brunch for $55,with a menu that includes lemon ricotta pancakes, English pea and avocado crab toast, Belgian waffle with chicken sausage and more.
Lamberts. 401 W. Second St. 512-494-1500, lambertsaustin.com. The upmarket barbecue spot will run an Easter brunch buffet for $50. The spread includes prime rib from the carving block, brisket, pork ribs, and made-to-order items like French toast and breakfast Frito pie.
Lonesome Dove. 419 Colorado St. 512-271-2474, lonesomedoveaustin.com. Tim Love’s wild-game play on a steakhouse hosts brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $35, with selections like foie gras-huckleberry biscuit with rabbit-rattlesnake gravy, fettine Benedict with jalapeño hollandaise, lemon brioche French toast with raspberry-chipotle syrup and more.
Olamaie. 1610 San Antonio St. 512-474-2796, olamaieaustin.com. The $50 Easter brunch ($25 for kids) at this refined Southern restaurant will include dishes like pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and shrimp and grits.
Olive & June.3411 Glenview Ave. 512-467-9898, oliveandjune-austin.com. The special Easter menu runs from 11 a.m. through dinner and includes Italian easter bread stuffed with sausage and cheese topped with a soft boiled egg; grilled asparagus, hard boiled egg, and anchovy hollandaise;cavateli with sage pesto and summer squash; and grilled lamb leg. Cost is $39 per person and kids 12 or under eat free for dinner.
Pizzeria Sorellina. 23526 Texas 71. 737-222-6061, pizzeriasorellina.com. In addition to its regular menu of pizzas, charcuterie and sides, the pizzeria at Apis will serve a large-format wood-roasted lamb shoulder for four to six people available for pre-order. Call 512-436-8918 to place an order, $26 per person.
Revelry Kitchen + Bar. 1410 E. Sixth St. 512-322-5223, revelryatx.com. The brunch buffet at this East Austin restaurant runs from 11 a.m.to 3 p.m. features a carving station, chicken and waffles and more. Cost is $35 per person.
Salt & Time. 1912 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1383, saltandtime.com. The a la carte Easter brunch menu at this East Austin restaurant, butcher store and salumeria will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and feature a braised lamb empanada, steak and eggs, migas, pancakes, smoked pork chop and more.
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking. 2850 N Interstate Hwy 35. Round Rock. 512-351-9724, salttraderscc.com. Jack Gilmore’s seafood restaurant in Round Rock will serve crab cake Benedict, smoked salmon scramble and more, in addition to their weekend shrimp boil and $1 Gulf oyster specials.
Second Bar + Kitchen at Domain Northside. 3121 Palm Way #101. 737-300-4800, sbkdomain.com. The all-you-can-eat Easter brunch buffet at the North Austin location of chef David Bull’s bistro will be served from 9a.m.to 3 p.m. and include passed small bites, made-to-order individual plates and bowls. Cost is $38 per and $19 for children Kids four and under eat free.
TNT/Tacos and Tequila. 507 Pressler St. Suite 400. 512-436-8226, tacosandtequilatnt.com. The West End Mexican restaurant’s Easter brunch costs $22 and includes omelet stations, Belgian waffles with fresh fruit, eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros, a taco bar, carving station with brisket and ham, and more. Cost is $7 for children six-11, and children under five eat free.
Taverna Italian Kitchen. 258 W Second St. 512-477-1001; 3120 Palm Way. Suite 160. 512-356-9384, tavernabylombardi.com. The two locations of the Italian restaurant will serve an a la carte Easter menu that includes Italian wedding soup, parmesan-crusted lamb chops, shrimp and lobster lasagna and more.
Trace. 200 Lavaca St. 512-542-3660, traceaustin.com. The restaurant at the W Hotel Austin will serve a three-course brunch for $58 that includes options such as Gulf shrimp bisque, cold-smoked prime rib, and berry fruit tart.
Vox Table. 1100 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-375-4869, voxtableaustin.com. The modern restaurant in the Lamar Union will serve a three-course prix fixe brunch menu for $35 and $1 mimosas until 4 p.m.
Women (and allies) around the world will join tomorrow to acknowledge International Women’s Day, a day meant to raise awareness in hopes of cultivating a “more inclusive and gender-equal world.”
The organizers of the Women’s March are encouraging people to acknowledge the day by taking a day off of paid or unpaid labor; wearing red in solidarity of A Day Without A Woman; and not shopping, “except for small, women- and minority-owned businesses.”
In recognition of International Women’s Day, below is a list of restaurants owned and/or operated primarily by women in Austin. Of course, ownership and management teams are complicated, and the list doesn’t cover a host of husband-and-wife teams (Asti and Cantine, Baguette et Chocolate, Fabi & Rosi, Franklin Barbecue, Gourmands, Justine’s, Kome, Pieous, Poke Poke, Sawyer & Co. and Vince Young Steakhouse), family-owned restaurants (Tamale House East) and the many trailers (Tacos Guerrero, La Flor) run by women, but it is a good-faith effort. If we’re missing some, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
68 Degrees. 2401 Lake Austin Blvd. 512-766-6868, 68degrees.com. The Mediterranean sister to restaurant to La Traviata, here you’ll find Italian staples like homemade ravioli and bistro entrees like crispy duck and grilled trout. (Owners Marion and Joan Gillcrist)
ElAlma. 1025 Barton Springs Road. 512-609-8923, elalmacafe.com. Order a plate of sweet, gooey and savory Gringas (quesadillas of cheese, árbol salsa and al pastor with pineapple) and a skinny margarita on the rooftop patio and thank me later. (Chef-partner Alma Alcocer)
AndiamoRistorante. 2521 Rutland Drive. 512-719-3377, andiamoitaliano.com. Authentic Italian in North Austin with a family-owned vibe will set you at ease. So will the homemade ravioli. (Owner Daniela Marcone)
Amy’s Ice Creams. Multiple locations. amysicecreams.com. One of Austin’s leading entrepreneurs changed the way Austinites thought about ice cream and fast-casual service with a quirk and a smile. (Owner Amy Simmons)
BabyGreens. 1508 W. Anderson Lane. 512-770-6255, eatbabygreens.com. Salads and, for a couple of bucks less, wraps with familiar flavor profiles at this North Austin reboot of an old South Austin favorite. Bonus convenience points for drive-thru ordering. (Owner Sharon Mays)
BouldinCreekCafe. 1900 S. First St. 512-416-1601, bouldincreekcafe.com. One of Austin’s true temples to vegetarian and vegan fare. Even the most avid meat-eater will be impressed with dishes like portobello fajitas or the zucchini migas. Bonus points for best veggie burger in town. (Owner Leslie Martin)
Brentwood Social House. 1601 W. Koenig Lane. 512-362-8656, brentwoodsocialhouse.com. Coffee, tea, pies, quiches and more at this charming cafe and bakery in Brentwood. (Owners Suzanne Daniels and Sarah Olano)
Buenos Aires Cafe. 1201 E. Sixth St. 512-382-1189; 13500 Galleria Circle. 512-441-9000, buenosairescafe.com. This Argentine café serves excellent empandas (for meat-lovers and vegetarians) and make a fantastic chimichurri to go with their steaks (and steak sandwiches). (Chef-owner Reina Morris)
CapitalCityBakery. 2211 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-666-7437, capitalcitybakery.com. Individualized cakes, cookie sandwiches, brownies, cheesecake… and somehow it’s all vegan. (Chef-owner Kristen Davenport)
Casa Maria. 4327 S. First St. 512-444-8861, casamariarestaurant.net. Fatima Robles has been serving Austinites Northern Mexican cuisine for 20 years in South Austin. There are also now locations in San Marcos and Kyle. (Owner Fatima Robles)
ChezZee. 5406 Balcones Drive. 512-454-2666, chez–zee.com. Texas, Italy and France all play friendly at this West Austin bistro staple with a brunch featuring the popular and decadent creme brulee French toast. (Owner Sharon Watkins)
CounterCafe. 626 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-708-8800; 1914 E. Sixth St. 512-351-9961, countercafe.com. You can almost reach over the counter and into the galley kitchen to flip your own crab cake that comes with poached eggs and curried peanut and lemon aioli dipping sauces. (Owner Debbie Davis)
CounterCulture. 2337 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-1540, countercultureaustin.com. The gluten- and soy-free version of mac and cheese at this restaurant will make you a believer in vegan cuisine, as will a Reuben made with tempeh. Pizzas are made with organic cornmeal crusts and can be ordered gluten-free as well. (Owner Sue Davis)
Eastside Café. 2113 Manor Road. 512-476-5858, eastsidecafeaustin.com. Comforting dishes that take a light approach, relying on seasonal vegetables at this quaint house in East Austin. (Owner Elaine Martin)
EdenEast. 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. (Chef-owner Sonya Cote)
ElMeson. 2038 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-442-4441, elmesonaustin.wordpress.com. What started as a small taqueria near the airport expanded to this restaurant that carries on the original’s tradition of made-from-scratch interior classics. (Chef-owner Marisela Godinez)
Epicerie. 2307 Hancock Drive. 512-371-6840, epicerieaustin.com. This French-Louisiana 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. (Chef-owner Sarah McIntosh)
Fresa’s. 915 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-428-5077; 1703 S. First St. 512-992-2946; fresaschicken.com. Walk up or drive-thru at the original on Lamar Boulevard for healthy salad bowls, some of the best queso in town and complex tacos like the El Sancho, with chicken pastor, pineapple pico, jicama and tomatillo salsa. The South First location, which opened last year, includes larger format options like chimichurri grilled steak and aji shrimp, as well as a playscape for kids. (Owners Margaret Vera and executive pastry chef Laura Sawicki, partners with executive chef Rene Ortiz)
Garbo‘s. 14735 Bratton Lane. 512-350-9814, garboslobsteratx.com. The restaurant in Wells Branch expands its food truck menu to include fish spreads, grilled fish, a solid burger and more, in addition to the excellent lobster rolls. (Chef-owner Heidi Garbo)
HillsideFarmacy. 1209 E. 11th St. 512-628-0168, hillsidefarmacy.com. Pâtisserie and café in the morning, solid deli in the daytime and an evening menu full of bistro classics and oysters, this well-designed space has a little bit of something for everybody, including outdoor cafe tables. (Owners Jade Matthews, Mickie Spencer and chef-partner Sony Cote)
Home Slice Pizza. 1415 S. Congress Ave. 512-444-7437, homeslicepizza.com. A commitment to unflappable service, quality execution and ebullient spirit have as much to do with the pizzeria’s success as the toasty crunch of a large New York-style pie with rosy pepperonis and snappy green peppers (Owners Terri Hannifin and Jen Strickland, and Jen’s husband, Joseph)
Julio’s. 4230 Duval St. 512-452-1040, juliosaustin.com. Breakfast tacos, roasted chicken, enchilladas and more throughout the day at this Hyde Park staple since 1983. (Owner Estella Lucero)
La Barbecue. 1906 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-605-9696, labarbecue.com. Some of the best barbecue in Central Texas. Start with the brisket and hot guts sausage and go from there. (Owners LeAnn Mueller and Alison Clem)
Launderette. 2115 Holly St. 512-382-1599, launderetteaustin.com. This globe-trotting restaurant feels like a dinner party run by a whimsical chef who has a lot of ideas and no need for conformity or sitting still. (Owners Margaret Vera and executive pastry chef Laura Sawicki, partners with executive chef Rene Ortiz)
Lenoir. 1807 S. First St. 512-215-9778, lenoirrestaurant.com. This romantic bungalow restaurant uses local ingredients to replicate flavors of hot climates (Africa, Spain, Southeast Asia) from around the world, and the shabby chic design adds to the transportive feeling. (Owner Jessica Maher)
Lima Criolla. 6406 N. Interstate 35 frontage road, #1550. 512-323-5404, limacriolla.com. Lomo saltado Limeño, aji de gallina Limeño and many other traditional Peruvian dishes at this restaurant that graduated from a nearby mall food court to a stand-alone restaurant at The Linc. (Chef-owner Susan Osorio)
Matt’s El Rancho. 2613 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-462-9333,mattselrancho.com. Matt Martinez and his wife, Janie, opened their first restaurant in downtown in 1952. Home to sizzling fajitas and famed Bob Armstrong Dip, the restaurant is now owned and operated by Matt and Janie’s daughters, Gloria, Cecilia, and Cathy along with daughter-in-law Estella Martinez.
El Naranjo. 85 Rainey St. 512-474-2776, elnaranjorestaurant.com. Chef Iliana de la Vega explores the wonders of mole with the deep chocolate and toasted notes of mole negro, with its more than two dozen ingredients, and will likely introduce you to something new, maybe a light, herbal green mole. (Chef-owner Iliana de la Vega)
NubianQueenLola’s. 1815 Rosewood Ave. 512-474-5652. Soul food and service with a smile and a mission of service at this East Austin favorite. (Owner Lola Stephens-Bell)
LasPalomas. 3201 Bee Cave Road #122. 512-327-9889, laspalomasrestaurant.com. I like to order the house special (a relleno stuffed with ground beef and pork, raisins, almonds and pecans) served in a zippy tomato sauce at this reliable Westlake restaurant. (Owner MariCarmen Corona Dale)
LaPatisserie. 602 W. Annie St. 512-912-0033; 7301 Burnet Road Suite 102, 512-770-6442, lpaustin.com. No matter how you pronounce the word, the dozen or so macarons at this shop are amazing. (Owner and head baker Soraiya Nagree)
Parlor & Yard.601 W. Sixth St. 512-524-0466, parloryard.com. Slow-cooked meats like lamb and short rib make up the small menu at Carnal, serving out of this bar on West Sixth Street. (Owner Bridget Dunlap)
Picnik. 1700 S.Lamar Blvd. 512-293-6118; 4801 Burnet Road. 737-226-0644, picnikaustin.conm. There’s now a Central Austin restaurant to go along with the South Austin trailer that launched this paleo-friendly business that serves bone broth, butter coffee, pasta dishes made with vegetables and more. (Owner Naomi Seifter)
QualitySeafood. 5621 Airport Blvd. 512-452-3820, qualityseafoodmarket.com. The attached market at this longtime favorite means proximity to Gulf shrimp and ruby red and rainbow trout for the grill. (Owner Carol Huntsberger)
Sala&Betty. 5201 Airport Blvd. 512-645- 0214, salaandbettyatx.com. Former Aquarelle chef Teresa Wilson flexes her French muscles with steak frites and pan-roasted redfish, while dipping into the South with buttermilk fried chicken and more. (Chef-owner Teresa Wilson)
SichuanRiver. 4534 West Gate Blvd. 512-892-6699, sichuanriverchinese.com. Slurp away at a hot, oily bowl of spicy fish and you’ll feel warmed from the inside out. (Owner Cindy Zhao)
Spun Ice Cream. 1912 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1768, spunicecream.com. Liquid nitrogen ice cream with quality ingredients from sister team. (Owners Christina and Ashley Cheng)
TheSteepingRoom. 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Suite 112, 512-977-8337; 4400 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite 102, 512-467-2663; thesteepingroom.com. Healthy bowls, salads and a play on the BLT using tempeh give vegetarians and healthy eaters plenty of options at these two cafes. (Owner Amy March)
SugarMama‘s Bakeshop. 1905 S. First St. 512-448-3727; 2406 Manor Road. 512-220-7296, sugarmamasbakeshop.com. A host of daily specials and a small batch of regulars make this one of the best cupcake spots in town. The Banana Puddin’ (banana buttermilk cake filled with banana pastry cream and topped with fresh whipped cream and a miniature vanilla wafer) is one of the best birthday treats I ever received. (Baker-owner Olivia O’Neal)
Taste ofEthiopia. 1100 Grand Avenue Parkway, Pflugerville. 512-251-4053; 3801 S. Congress Ave. Suite 107. 512-814-3141; tasteofethiopiaaustin.com. Grab a handful of springy injera bread and scoop your doro wat or vegetarian platter with your hands at the two locations of this Ethiopian restaurant. (Chef owner Woinee Mariam)
ThaiFresh. 909 Mary St. 512-494-6436, thai–fresh.com. Lemongrass soup, chicken with panang curry, steak salad and vegan desserts are just a few of the attractions at this neighborhood spot. (Chef-owner Jam Sanitchat)
Titaya‘s. 5501 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-458-1792, titayasthaicuisine.com. Jungle curry brims with the heat of dried chilies and the floral breeze of lemongrass, and the fried catfish of pad cha and its crisp peppers will leave you grabbing for the water. (Chef-owner Titaya Timrerk)
La Traviata. 314 Congress Ave. 512-479-8131, latraviatatx.com. There’s a classic feel to this Italian restaurant that makes one of the best bolognese in town as well as homemade ravioli. (Chef-owner Marion Gillcrist)
Unit D Pizzeria. 2406 Manor Road. 512-524-1922, unitdpizzeria.com. Dai Due’s neighbor serves blistered pies full of crunch and chew with great toppings like Sweety Drop peppers, guanciale and bourbon-smoked pepper, and a few salads, like my favorite kale salad in town. (Owner Shalou Barth)
Veracruz All-Natural. Multiple locations. veracruztacos.com. This growing empire serves the best migas taco in town (and more). Try the quesadillas. And the tortas. Try it all. You may want to call in advance. They make good food, not fast food, as their sign reads. (Owners Maritza and Reyna Vazquez)
Vinaigrette. 2201 College Ave. 512-852-8791, vinaigretteonline.com/austin. One of the keys to the balanced salads at this airy and inviting restaurant: well-dressed greens, so every bite carries a flavorful sheen. Try the Kale Caesar. Bonus points for cocktails made with juice from fresh produce. (Owner Erin Wade)
Weather Up.1808 E Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-0464, weatherupnyc.com/austin-1/. Thoughtful small plates like mussels in coconut curry to accompany some of the best cocktails in town. (Owner Kathryn Weatherup and chef Kristine Kittrell)
Yard Bar.6700 Burnet Road. 512-900-3773, yardbar.com. A place for pups and peeps, the bar serves a wide selection of beers, wine and original cocktails and the food menu includes sandwiches, salads and snack plates. (Owner Kristen Heaney)
When the Texas Legislature is in session, the northern parts of downtown are swamped with lawmakers, staff, lobbyists, news crews and concerned citizens.
This list gives all of the above (and anyone else) within a mile of the Capitol.
Critic’s picks are marked by an asterisk. Don’t see one of your favorites? Email email@example.com.
Selections marked with a + are the same or shorter walking distance of the Texas State Capitol as the late great Las Manitas.
+*1886 Cafe & Bakery. 604 Brazos St. 512-391-7066, 1886cafeandbakery.com. Classic breakfast dishes, sandwiches made on housebaked bread and Texas comfort food make up the menu for this charming cafe in the Driskill that serves all day.
+Annie’s Cafe & Bar. 319 Congress Ave. 512-472-1884, anniescafebar.com. Omelets and French toast in the morning and an assortment of salads and prepared dishes like grilled salmon in vegetables later in the day at this cafe with sidewalk seating and a view of Congress Avenue.
+Athenian Bar & Grill. 600 Congress Ave. 512-474-7775, athenianbargrill.com. Mediterranean dishes like souvlaki chicken, gyros and mousaka are served at lunch (which includes a buffet option) and dinner here on weekdays.
*Austin Land and Cattle. 1205 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-1813, alcsteaks.com. The restaurant located in a strip mall that dates back to 1941 plays host to legislators and lobbyists, but you don’t have to be in a position of power to feel important or enjoy nicely seasoned and seared steaks or Buffalo lamb chops.
+*Backspace. 507 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-474-9899, thebackspace-austin.com. Neapolitan pies at Parkside’s sister restaurant that also delivers charcuterie and a nice roster of antipasti.
+Capital Grille. 117 W. Fourth St. 512-322-2005, thecapitalgrille.com. The Austin location of this national chain opened in 2014. Order the gorgonzola and truffle-crusted 14-ounce dry-aged sirloin with Cabernet reduction and add to the decadence with lobster mac ’n’ cheese.
+*Carillon. 1900 University Ave. 512-404- 3655, thecarillonrestaurant.com. The fine dining restaurant on the campus at the University of Texas may have chicken-fried quail one month and a rack of lamb the next, but you know you’re always getting quality and consistent execution.
Carmelo’s Italian Restaurant. 504 E. Fifth St. 512-477-7497, carmelosrestaurant.com/austin. Brick-lined walls, chandeliers, grand curtains and Italian food all add up for old-world romantic charm. (NOW CLOSED)
*Casino El Camino. 517 E. Sixth St. 512-469- 9330, casinoelcamino.net. All reds and blacks, this Sixth Street classic has a devilish attitude and serves up fat, aggressive burgers off the grill, like a backyard party along the River Styx.
Cedar Door. 201 Brazos St. 512-473-3712, cedardooraustin.com. Wings, tacos and burgers are some of the well-crafted bar food items you can order to accompany their famous and powerful Mexican martini at lunch or dinner.
*Chez Nous. 510 Neches St 512-473-2413, cheznousaustin.com. Some French class and an Old World vibe amid the boozy grumble and stumble of Sixth Street. Try the duck confit if it’s on the menu, and the housemade charcuterie.
+Chinatown. 107 W. Fifth St. 512-637-8888, austinchinatown.com. Lunch specials for under $10 include beef with broccoli and lemon chicken, while the dinner menu at the restaurant that also features a full bar and karaoke on weekends expands to include items like spicy Szechuan duck and steamed sea bass.
+*Clay Pit. 1601 Guadalupe St. 512-322-5131, claypit.com. Marrow infuses its primal richness into bone-in goat curry, tand lamb kabobs come out tender and rosy at Austin’s popular Indian stalwart.
Coast Bar & Kitchen. 360 Nueces St. 512-467-4621, coastaustin.com. A tight menu of seafood (seared scallops) and beef (NY strip) befits the intimate space that feels like a wine bar as much as a restaurant.
+Cooper’s Old-Time Pit BBQ. 217 Congress Ave. 512-474-4227, coopersbbq.com. Pork chops, prime rib and cabrito offer a change of pace from the standard barbecue offerings at this spinoff of the famed original in Llano. The large downtown spot serves lunch and dinner.
+*Counter 357. 315 Congress Ave. 512-291-3327, counter3fivevii.com. Expect elegance, intimacy and a ringside seat for the open kitchen at one of Austin’s best restaurants. The three-, five- and seven-course prix fixe menus have featured dishes like a zucchini tartlet, smoked and seared duck, Asian-inspired crudos and a chocolate tart with roasted apples and a coconut-herb sorbet.
*Counter Cafe. 626 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-708-8800, countercafe.com. You can almost reach over the counter and into the galley kitchen to flip your own burger or crispy crab cake (served with curried peanut and lemon aioli dipping sauces) at this throwback diner that serves breakfast and lunch.
*Daruma Ramen. 612 E. Sixth St. 512-369-3897, darumaramen.com. Pork averse? The ramen restaurant from the owners of Kome specializes in ramens made with whole chicken broth and eggless tapioca-based ramen noodles. They also serve a vegetarian option.
Dine. 111 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-478-2991, dineradissonaustin.com. Chef David Garrido’s restaurant overlooking Lady Bird Lake from the Radisson Hotel serves steaks, chops and an assortment of New American dishes. (NOW CLOSED)
+*Driskill Grill. 604 Brazos St. 512-439-1234, driskillgrill.com. One of Austin’s grand dames of fine dining, Start with wild boar chops and an iceberg salad before digging into a rack of lamb or dry-aged steak.
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. Proof that a pretzel and beer cheese can actually make a meal.
*Eddie V’s. 301 E. Fifth St. 512-472-1860, eddiev.com. This chain got its start in Austin and attracts folks not just with great steaks but also seafood options like a jumbo crab cake with spicy remoulade, lobster tacos and Texas redfish.
Fixe. 500 W. Fifth St. 512-888-9133, austinfixe.com. It may look slick, but Fixe has a Southern comfort heart, from deviled eggs to lobster and crawfish pot pie. Try the spicy honey-glazed fried chicken.
Forthright Cafe. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-433-6155, forthright.cafe. Waffle breakfast sandwiches in the morning and American classics like a turkey BLT at lunch make for an approachable and familiar menu at this cafe with an outdoor patio near Lake Lady Bird.
+*Frank. 407 Colorado St. 512-494- 6916, hotdogscoldbeer.com. Fancy dogs like the Jackalope (made with smoked antelope, rabbit and pork sausage, and topped with cranberry compote) and an abiding love of whiskey make for indulgent fun at this spot in the Warehouse District.
Franklin Barbecue. 900 E. 11th St. 512-653-1187, franklinbarbecue.com. The king of Austin barbecue. And with one easy slide of your fork through his red-velvet-cake-like brisket, you’ll know why. Carve out most of your day for the pilgrimage, but remember they also take advance online orders for pick-up.
Frank & Angie’s. 508 West Ave. 512-472-3534, hutsfrankandangies.com. Thin pies and Americanized pasta classics with a side of nostalgia.
*Fresa’s. 915 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-428-5077, fresaschicken.com. Walk up or drive-thru for healthy salad bowls, some of the best queso in town and complex tacos like the El Sancho, with chicken pastor, pineapple pico, jicama and tomatillo salsa.
The Grove Wine Bar & Kitchen. 800 W. Sixth St. 512-236-1440, grovewinebar.com. More than a dozen pasta dishes and pizzas give an Italian accent to this New American grill that also serves small plates and a large roster of salads and sandwiches. And, of course, plenty of wine.
*Gus’s Fried Chicken. 117 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-474-4877, gusfriedchicken.com. Golden-fried comfort with a Memphis pedigree.
Hillside Farmacy. 1209 E. 11th St. 512-628-0168, hillsidefarmacy.com. Pâtisserie and café in the morning, solid deli in the daytime and an evening menu full of bistro classics and oysters — this well-designed space has a bit of everything.
*Hoboken Pie. 718 Red River St. 512-477-4256, hobokenpie.com. New Jersey-inspired pies with large, gooey slices and hefty subs made on Sweetish Hill rolls are served at this small counter-service spot that also offers delivery.
Hut’s Hamburgers. 807 W. Sixth St. 512-472-0693, hutsfrankandangies.com. This nostalgia-packed restaurant not only serves up burgers made with Texas-raised beef but also make burgers with buffalo and longhorn meat, as well as chicken and veggie burgers. There’s also chicken-fried steak and taco salad on the list, because Austin.
+Il Forte. 800 Brazos St. 512-212-9797, ilforteaustin.com. Wood-fired panini and about a dozen pizzas share menu space with pasta dishes like spaghetti carbonara and both beef and vegetarian lasagna. (NOW CLOSED)
Irene’s. 506 West Ave. 512-298-0853, irenesaustin.com. Americana-inspired sandwiches at lunch and blue plate specials of pork chops, King Ranch chicken and more at dinner at this restaurant-bar that serves plenty of booze and runs late.
Iron Works BBQ. 100 Red River St. 512-478-4855, ironworksbbq.com. Barbecue with a creekside view and plenty of nostalgia at this big red building that was once an iron works shop before being converted to a hall of smoked meats in 1978.
*Isla. 208 W. Fourth St. 737-222-6906, islaaustin.com. Cocktails that nod to the islands and food that takes its cue from the worldly creole cuisine of Peru. (NOW CLOSED)
+Italic. 123 W. Sixth St. 512-660-5390, italicaustin.com. With the backing of their sibling bakery Easy Tiger, you know to expect solid pizza crust and sandwich bread at this Italian restaurant that also plays the hits when it comes to pasta (bolognese) and entrees (roasted chicken).
Jackalope. 404 E. Sixth. 512-472-3663, jackalopebar.com. Wings, dogs and some loaded burgers at this bar with a little irreverence and rock-and-roll attitude. Try the honey-jalapeno bacon cheeseburger.
*Jo’s Coffee. 242 W. Second St. 512-469-9003, joscoffee.com. Whether you’re a burger lover or veggie burger lover, there’s something for you at this coffee shop and cafe that offers plenty of sidewalk seating for people-watching.
+*JuiceLand. 1625 Barton Springs Road. 512-480-9501, juicelandaustin.com. Find grab-and-go vegan dishes packed with impressive flavors, from Mexican and Thai-inspired wraps to falafel and an assortment of snack packs.
Koriente. 621 E. Seventh St. 512-275-0852, koriente.com. Clean cooking and pan-Asian flavors are the hallmark of this restaurant that serves everything from bibimbap to vegetable curry.
*La Condesa. 400 W. Second St. 512-499-0300, lacondesa.com. This beautiful restaurant feels plucked from the leafy streets of cosmopolitan Mexico City and serves excellent tacos (try the alambres), vibrant tuna tostadas, the best margarita in town and more.
+*La Traviata. 314 Congress Ave. 512-479-8131, latraviatatx.com. There’s a classic feel to this Italian restaurant that makes one of the best bolognese in town as well as homemade ravioli.
+Lavaca Teppan. 1712 Lavaca St. 512-851-8963, lavacateppan.com. The grill gets a workout with beef, veggies, chicken and tofu at this Japanese restaurant that also serves udon bowls. One of the few places in the downtown area for sushi.
+*Leaf. 115 W. Sixth St. 512-474-5323, leafsalad.com. Choose from one of a variety of Leaf’s salad options, or make your own with a variety of ingredients, many of which are locally sourced.
+*Lonesome Dove. 419 Colorado St. 512-271-2474, lonesomedoveaustin.com. Chef Tim Love adds thoughtful flourishes to steakhouse fare, with options like fettines made with wild game or farro congee with kale pesto, pork cheek and cured egg, a modern cowboy dish with an Asian twist.
Mai Thai. 207 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-482-8244, maithaiaustin.com. Pad thai and about a dozen other noodle bowls, along with about a half dozen curries, are the standouts on the menu at one of the few Southeast Asian restaurants in downtown.
+*Manuel’s. 310 Congress Ave. 512-472-7555, manuels.com. This sophisticated Mexican restaurant in the heart of downtown has delivered bright, citrusy ceviche and chile rellenos since 1984.
Max’s Wine Dive. 207 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-904-0111, maxswinedive.com. It’s always the right time for fried chicken and champagne.
Moonshine. 303 Red River St. 512-236-9599, moonshinegrill.com. This restaurant that serves homespun comfort food helped lay the groundwork for a more mature downtown scene when it opened 13 years ago. Lobster corn dogs at brunch — enough said.
*Numero 28. 452 W. Second St. 512-494-5510, numero28austin.com. This Italian restaurant in the Second Street District serves wood-baked panini and about 20 different white and red-sauce pizzas, in addition to porchetta, pasta and more.
*Old Thousand. 1000 E. 11th St. 737-222-6637, oldthousandatx.com. The East Austin restaurant takes a modern approach to traditional Chinese, with dishes like jellyfish salad, honey prawns with pecans, mapo dofu, dan dan noodles with mushroom puree, brisket fried rice, and hot pot with pork belly and Chinese sausage.
+The Onion. 408 Brazos St. 512-476-6466, onionbaby.com. This longtime downtown favorite has made its name serving hot slices to late-night revelers, but as they say on their website, you don’t have to be drunk to enjoy their pizza.
Original Hoffbrau. 613 W. Sixth St. 512-472-0822. This throwback steakhouse opened by brothers Coleman and Tom Hamby has been around these parts longer than most Austinites, serving a dinner of fried potato wedges, a house salad and 17-ounce T-bone for less than other places charge for a 10-ounce sirloin.
+Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. 114 W. Seventh St. 512-474-6300, perryssteakhouse.com. Among the many offerings: chateaubriand, a sweet pork chop the size of your head with a side of applesauce and thick-cut steaks topped with herbed garlic butter.
+*P. Terry’s. 515 Congress Ave. #130. 512-473-8722, pterrys.com. Patrick Terry’s patty empire runs on humanely raised and antibiotic-free Angus beef and chicken. For the record, my order is a double with bacon, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, onions and jalapenos.
*Parkside. 301 E. Sixth St. 512-474-9898, parkside-austin.com. Texas bistro (charred pork chop and steak colored with salsa verde) meets East Coast raw bar (crudo and oysters) at this downtown spot with walls colored with the patina of time.
Peche. 208 W. Fourth St. 512-494-4011, pecheaustin.com. Prohibition-era cocktails go with Texas bistro fare like braised short ribs, duck confit and wild boar at this high-ceilinged Warehouse District bar-restaurant.
Pelon’s Tex-Mex. 802 Red River St. 512-243-7874, pelonstexmex.com. Queso, tacos, enchiladas and all of the other Tex-Mex staples at this restaurant that also serves breakfast.
Quickie Pickie. 1208 E. 11th St. 512-479-0136, quickiepickieaustin.com. Breakfast tacos in the morning and well-made sandwiches and salads all day at this upmarket bodega in East Austin.
Ranch 616. 616 Nueces St. 512-479-7616, theranch616.com. Fried oysters, chipotle-honey-glazed lamb and chicken-fried sirloin, chased with a mezcal mule or margarita, will leave no doubt that you are dining in the heart of Texas.
*Red Ash. 303 Colorado St. 512-379-2906, redashgrill.com. The founders of Eddie V’s are behind this urban-meets-rustic Italian grill and chop house that serves pasta and grilled meat with plenty of flavorful heft.
+Roaring Fork. 701 Congress Ave. 512-583-0000, roaringfork.com. Big Texas flavors in dishes such as tortilla soup, blackened redfish and beef short ribs at the restaurant at the bottom of the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel.
Russian House. 307 E. Fifth St. 512-428-5442, russianhouseofaustin.com. Part cultural anthropological study, part vodka party, this friendly and festive restaurant will introduce you to the flavors and customs of Russia. Try the borscht.
+Ruth’s Chris Steak House. 107 W. Sixth St. 512-477-7884, ruthschris.com. The parent company has retaken ownership of the Austin outpost of this chain that recently received a million-dollar facelift. New look, same buttery steaks served on plates you can’t touch.
+Searsucker. 415 Colorado St. 512-394-8000, searsucker.com/austin. Celebrity chef Brian Malarkey marries coastal cuisine with Texas flavors (drunken mahi and double-cut pork chops) at this massive restaurant on the edge of the Warehouse District.
*Second Bar + Kitchen. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2750, congressaustin.com. Upmarket New American that mostly plays it straightforward while still offering a few international twists, from the Thai-influenced salmon dish with nam pla to a chicken mole pizza. Some of the best pizzas and burger downtown.
+Slake Cafe. 120 E. Seventh St. 512-476-0060, slakecafe.com. This deli serves classic breakfast dishes in the morning and sandwiches made with house-roasted meats and fat burgers in the afternoon and evening.
Sophia’s. 500 W. Sixth St. 512-580-9990, sophiasaustin.com. The Italian supper club from Chicago brings pasta, pizza and some big-city swank to the subterranean space.
Stubb’s Bar-B-Q. 801 Red River St. 512-480-8341, stubbsaustin.com. Chopped beef sandwich and pork ribs are among the items to order at this restaurant and music venue that has carved out a special place in the hearts of many Austinites.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse. 300 Colorado St. 512-495-6504, sullivanssteakhouse.com/austin. Yes, there are Sullivan’s from Alaska to North Carolina. But did you know the downtown Austin location was the first in the country? It opened in 1996, back when the Warehouse District had a lot more warehouses in it.
+*Swift’s Attic. 315 Congress Ave. 512-482-8842, swiftsattic.com. Fusion cuisine features Asian influences for dishes like Brussels sprouts with nuoc cham and mushrooms with white pepper soy and bok choy. Also one of the best burgers downtown.
Taverna. 258 W. Second St. 512-477-1001, tavernabylombardi.com. The unique roster of a half-dozen risottos differentiates the local branch of this chain from other Italian restaurants.
*Teji’s. 2100 Guadalupe St. 512-215-0307, tejifoods.com. Fast-casual Indian draws students and locals with items like goat korma — a sweet and creamy dish with mild spice featuring tender bone-in goat.
+Texas Chili Parlor. 1409 Lavaca St. 512-472- 828. This Austin institution has been serving up bowls of comforting chili since 1976. And you can find more comfort knowing that the restaurant is open very late on most nights.
+*The Townsend. 718 Congress Ave. 512-887-8778, thetownsendaustin.com. One of the best cocktail bars in town also does sophisticated takes on bar classics, like the red miso mayo on a burger dripping in American cheese and the North African spices on a crunchy fried chicken served with semolina flatbread.
Trace. 200 Lavaca St. 512-542-3660, traceaustin.com. The sophisticated restaurant at the W Hotel Austin serves towering stacks of fluffy pancakes in the morning, crispy fish tacos at lunch, Texas-inspired bistro fare at dinner and more.
*Trio. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-685-8300, triorestaurantaustin.com. Get treated like a fancy hotel guest even if you aren’t staying at the Four Seasons. Steaks, Gulf seafood and a thoughtful wine selection make up the triumvirate of strengths at the restaurant with one of the best patio views of Lady Bird Lake.
Truluck’s. 400 Colorado St. 512-482-9000, trulucks.com. The Austin location of this Houston-born chain specializes in Florida stone crab claws and eye-popping views from its second-floor dining room. Also of note: a dedicated gluten-free menu.
*Turf N Surf Po’Boy. 407 Lavaca St. 512-276-2763, lavacastreet.com. Walk up to the window or eat inside the Lavaca Street Bar via this kitchen that serves salads topped with mahi mahi, snapper, tuna and other fish, as well as a juicy burger and tangy fried buffalo chicken sandwich.
Vince Young Steakhouse. 301 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-457-8325, vinceyoungsteakhouse.com. The dining room vibe has some swagger and bounce to it, just like its namesake. Try the charcuterie board while taking in a game on the television with a glass of whiskey at the bar.
*Walton’s Fancy & Staple. 609 W. Sixth St. 512-542-3380, waltonsfancyandstaple.com. Peruse the delectable case of baked goods and sweets after finishing some of the best sandwiches downtown — like my favorite, the turkey sweet, with white cheddar, bacon, onion-and-apple chutney and maple aioli.
*Wink. 1014 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-482-8868, winkrestaurant.com. A farm-to-table trailblazer, this restaurant has found a way to straddle the line between neighborhood favorite and special-occasion option based on the strength of friendly service and a menu that is sure to always feature scallops, foie gras and wild game.
*Wu Chow. 500 W. Fifth St. 512-476-2469, wuchowaustin.com. From the soup dumplings to the shrimp and pork shumai, pan-fried chicken bao and egg custard tart, the dim sum service here is one of the best ways to spend an early Sunday afternoon in downtown.
24 Diner. 600 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472- 5400, 24Diner.com. The late-night go-to gets going early with a special meal that starts at 10:30 a.m. The $29 Thanksgiving menu includes brined and roasted turkey breast, turkey leg confit, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie.
Apis. 23526 Texas 71, Spicewood. 512-436- 8918, apisrestaurant.com. This Top 5 restaurant from my dining guide will serve a three-course prix fixe meal with choices of appetizer (eg. charred Spanish octopus), entree (eg. heritage turkey and sourdough-crusted Icelandic cod), and dessert (eg. baked Pink Lady apples). Cost is $70 for adults and $20 for children.
Brix and Ale. 1101 Woodlawn Ave. Georgetown. 737-444-2750, sheratongeorgetowntexas.com. The restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel in Georgetown will serve a buffet of starters and plated entrees from noon to 7 p.m., with selections such as pumpkin soup, Waldorf salad, roasted turkey breast, lamb and ricotta manicotti, and pumpkin and pecan pies. The cost is $44.95 for adults. A kids’ (ages four to 12) menu is available for $15.95 and includes turkey with gravy, mac and cheese, and a cheeseburger.
Capital Grille. 117 W. Fourth St. 512-322-2005, thecapitalgrille.com. The downtown steakhouse serves a set lunch and dinner for $38. The meal includes turkey, green beans, cranberry pear chutney, and mashed potatoes. The cost is $38 for adults and $15 for children. Pumpkin cheesecake will run you an extra $10.
Carillon. 1900 University Ave. 512-404- 3655, thecarillonrestaurant.com. The fine dining restaurant at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center will serve a brunch buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Selections include an omelet and hash station, charcuterie, butternut squash bisque, carving station with turkey and prime rib, lobster ravioli, pumpkin cheesecake and much more. The cost is $65 for adults, and $30 for children.
Cru. 238 W. Second St. 512-472-9463; 11410 Century Oaks Terrace. 512-339-9463, cruawinebar.com. The two location of the wine bars will serve prixe fixe lunch and dinner from noon to 9 p.m. The $40 meal includes selections such as butternut squash bisque, roasted quail, pumpkin mascarpone ravioli, roasted turkey, grilled beef tenderloin and more. Kids 12 and under eat for half price.
Driskill Hotel. 604 Brazos St. 512-391-7227, thedriskillhotel.com. Austin’s grand dame is always a great place for the holidays, and this year their extensive Thanksgiving brunch runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The meal, which costs $79 for adults and $38 for children ages five to 12, includes slow-cooked turkey with pan gravy, house-made ham, butter-whipped potatoes and Texas corn bread stuffing.
Fleming’s.320 E. Second St. 512-457-1500; 11600 Century Oaks Terrace. 512-835-9463, flemingssteakhouse.com. The steakhouse will be open for the first time ever on Thanksgiving. A four-course prix fixe meal will be served beginning at 11 a.m. The meal includes roasted turkey breast with savory turkey gravy, sage and brioche bread stuffing, butter-mashed sweet potatoes, and more. The cost is $39.95 for adult and $19.95 for children. In addition to the special Thanksgiving meal, Fleming’s will also offer its regular menu.
Hyatt Regency.208 Barton Springs Road. 512-477-1234, austinhyattregency.com. The hotel on Lady Bird Lake serves lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The large buffet costs $65 and includes seafood, Texas-cured meats and cheeses, a carving station, herb-roasted turkey breast, candied sweet potato casserole, and more. Children between the ages of four and 12 are 50 percent off, and children three years of age and younger are free.
Hyde Park Bar & Grill. 4206 Duval St. 512-458-3168; 4521 West Gate Blvd. 512-899-2700; hpbng.com. The Austin institution hosts its 22nd annual Thanksgiving feast. The dinner costs $21.95 and includes oven-roasted turkey breast, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and more. A vegetarian meal, which offers more of everything except turkey, will be served for $15.95. The meal runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at both locations.
Moonshine. 303 Red River St. 512-236- 9599, moonshinegrill.com. The downtown Southern comfort restaurant serves an all-you-can eat buffet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The spread, which costs $26, includes prime rib, oven-roasted turkey, chicken-fried turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pancakes, and more.
The Park. 11601 Domain Drive. 512-478-7275; 4024 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-731-2077, thepark.us. The upscale sports bars in the Domain and South Austin will serve a Thanksgiving brunch buffet from noon to 3 p.m. for $17. The meal includes turkey, ham, stuffing, broccoli-rice casserole and more. Drink specials start at 4 p.m.
Sophia’s. 500 West Sixth St. 512-580-9990, sophiasaustin.com. The Chicago-born Italian newcomer to town is closed on Thanksgiving day but will do a Thanksgiving eve dinner from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., with family-style service for groups of eight or more that includes turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and the choice of pumpkin or apple pie.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse. 300 Colorado St. 512-495-6504, sullivanssteakhouse.com/austin. The downtown steakhouse will host a three-course Thanksgiving dinner for $39. The meal includes shrimp and lobster bisque, roasted turkey breast and sweet potato casserole. The full dinner menu will also be available.
Trace. 200 Lavaca St. 512-542- 3660, traceaustin.com. The sophisticated restaurant at the W Hotel will serve lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The three-course prix fixe meals feature choices like sweet potato soup, oysters Rockefeller, speck-wrapped turkey breast, smoked beef short rib and deconstructed pecan pie. The meal costs $57 per adult, while children ages 12 and under will have their own prix fixe menu for $17.95.
Trio at the Four Seasons. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-685- 8300, triorestaurantaustin.com. One of Austin’s grandest buffets returns from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The $90 meal ($35 for children) includes corn griddle cakes, blueberry-buttermilk pancakes, roasted turkey with shiitake gravy, crab claws, sushi, glazed ham and so much more.
Visconti Ristorante. 320 Loop 360. 512-306- 6400, granducaaustin.com. The Italian restaurant at the Hotel Granduca will serve a three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner from noon to 8 p.m. with options such as butter lettuce and acorn squash salad, slow-roasted turkey breast and cider-braised thigh with apple-sage cornbread stuffing, and pumpkin cheesecake. The cost is $65 per adult and $29 per child (12 years old and younger).
It is finally starting to feel like the sun is not acting out some sort of cosmic vendetta against us. We can once again enjoy a dinner (or, gasp, even lunch) outside. Fortunately, there are dozens of Austin restaurants ready for all your al fresco dining needs. Top picks are designated with *.
Don’t see your favorite? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, get outside and eat.
*Apis. 23526 Texas 71, Spicewood. 512-436-8918, apisrestaurant.com. Not many of the Top 10 restaurants in the Austin area offer outdoor seating. And only one that does has a view of the Hill Country.
Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. 1305 W. Oltorf St. 512-298-2242, theabgb.com. A casual, straightforward pizza-and-beer joint with a South Austin soul and an abundance of outdoor seating.
*Barley Swine. 6555 Burnet Road. 512-394-8150, barleyswine.com. Not only is the patio at Barley Swine’s North Austin location perfect for dinner, it’s also a great place to get discounted plates and drinks during the exceptional restaurant’s weekday Swine Time, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
*Bartlett’s. 2408 W. Anderson Lane. 512-451-7333, bartlettsaustin.com. This restaurant hasn’t changed much since its transition from Houston’s, and that’s not a bad thing.
*Black Star Co-op. 7020 Easy Wind Drive. 512-452-2337, blackstar.coop. The cooperatively owned brewpub offers a robust roster of house and guest beers, as well as a menu of thoughtfully crafted pub food and outdoor seats overlooking the Crestview MetroRail station.
*Blue Dahlia Bistro. 1115 E. 11th St. 512-542-9542, bluedahliabistro.com. The shady back patio is something of a secret garden; the menu is an ode to light French cuisine.
*Boiler Nine. 800 W. Cesar Chavez St. 512-220-9990, boilernine.com. This modernist industrial-looking restaurant in the Seaholm development offers multiple seating areas, the most serene of which is the outdoor space, which also is the one with claim to the best views.
*Bouldin Creek Cafe. 1900 S. First St. 512-416-1601, bouldincreekcafe.com. One of Austin’s true temples to vegetarian and vegan fare has a bustling patio out front that offers great people (and dog) watching.
Botticelli’s. 1321 S. Congress Ave. 512-916-1315, botticellissouthcongress.com. Intimate Italian dining on South Congress Avenue, with a patio out back for a relaxing glass of wine and maybe some tunes.
*Bullfight. 4807 Airport Blvd. 512-474-2029, bullfight-austin.com. The dining room spills out to walled-in patio seating protected from the harshest elements at this restaurant that focuses on Spanish tapas, wine and paella.
*Café No Sé. 1603 S. Congress Ave. 512-942-2061, cafenoseaustin.com. The outdoor area at this restaurant that will remind you of Southern California is set just below street level for some furtive dining off Austin’s trademark avenue.
*Cantine. 1100 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-628-0348, cantineaustin.com. The outdoor area at Emmett and Lisa Fox’s Mediterranean restaurant give front-row opportunity to watch people as they flow in and out of the Lamar Union mixed-use complex.
*Clark’s Oyster Bar. 1200 W. Sixth St. 512-297-2525, clarksoysterbar.com. Snag an outdoor table along the front windows for some oysters and bubbles al fresco.
*Contigo. 2027 Anchor Lane. 512-614-2260, contigotexas.com/austin. All wood, leather and wrought iron, Contigo’s crowd flows from its garage-size interior bar to a massive outdoor seating area featuring long picnic tables that make for a great communal vibe.
County Line. 6500 W. Bee Cave Road, 512-327-1742; 5204 FM 2222, 512-346-3664; countyline.com. This local barbecue behemoth has been cranking the ’cue for about 40 years at its original location. Both Austin locations offer excellent outdoor seating.
*Crown & Anchor Pub. 2911 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-322-9168, crownandanchorpub.com. Cheeseburgers and beers on the patio are a campus-area tradition at this spot that’s been open since 1987.
*Dai Due. 2406 Manor Road. 512-524-0688, daidue.com. You can have a regular dinner outside and savor their world-class pork chop, or rent the outdoor space for a party and roast a whole hog.
*East Side King. 2310 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-383-8382, eskaustin.com. The South Lamar location from co-founder Paul Qui’s demi empire features a nice little courtyard out back to enjoy your caramelized fried Brussels sprouts salad with basil, cilantro, mint and jalapeño.
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.
*El Alma. 1025 Barton Springs Road. 512-609-8923, elalmacafe.com. Order a plate of sweet, gooey and savory Gringas (quesadillas of cheese, árbol salsa and al pastor with pineapple) and a skinny margarita on the rooftop patio and thank me later.
*Elizabeth Street Café. 1501 S. First St. 512-291-2881, elizabethstreetcafe.com. This posh little spot dotted with outdoor tables serves Vietnamese classics and French pastries.
*Enoteca Vespaio. 1610 S. Congress Ave. 512-441-7672, austinvespaio.com/enoteca. Vespaio’s cute little sister, Enoteca makes very good pizza and piping hot pastas and offers patio seating just off South Congress Avenue.
*Épicerie. 2307 Hancock Drive. 512-371-6840, epicerieaustin.com. Chef Sarah McIntosh’s French café and grocery delivers well-constructed sandwiches and bistro dishes and a tranquil, shaded outdoor seating area.
*Freedmen’s. 2402 San Gabriel St. 512-220-0953, freedmensbar.com. Sophistication and smoke rub elbows at this barbecue joint in a rough-hewn historic building with a large courtyard near campus.
*Fresa’s. 1703 S. First St. 512-992–2946, fresaschicken.com. The addition of the South First Street location gives an opportunity for the kitchen to expand on its family-style service with chicken, steak and fish grilled over an open flame. Enjoy it at one of the many outdoor tables.
*Garbo’s. 14735 Bratton Lane. 512-350-9814, garboslobsteratx.com. A table full of lobster rolls on the deck will go a long way in convincing you you’re not in Wells Branch.
*The Hightower. 1209 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1448, thehightoweraustin.com. Let the cars rumble by on East Seventh Street while you enjoy flavorful dishes like mahi ceviche with scallion ash and fennel mojo.
Hillside Farmacy. 1209 E. 11th St. 512-628-0168, hillsidefarmacy.com. Pâtisserie and café in the morning, solid deli in the daytime and an evening menu full of bistro classics and oysters, this well-designed space has a little bit of something for everybody, including outdoor cafe tables.
*Home Slice Pizza. 1415 S. Congress Ave. 512-444-7437, homeslicepizza.com. Pizza party with pitchers of beer on the back patio at this South Austin staple.
Hula Hut. 3825 Lake Austin Blvd. 512-476-4852, hulahut.com. A little taste of the tropics on Lake Austin. Sit out on the lakeside bar or dine inside on dishes like fajitas with a sweet Polynesian plum sauce.
Juliet. 1500 Barton Springs Road. 512-479-1800, juliet-austin.com. Sure, you won’t be able to take in this stunner’s mid-century design if you sit outside, but you’ll be outside! And, there’s a really big bar out there, too, that makes you feel like you’re on vacation.
*Juniper. 2400 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-220-9421, juniperaustin.com. This elegant Italian restaurant will make you rethink what dining in East Austin can mean. Make sure to try the pasta.
*Justine’s. 4710 E. Fifth St. 512-385-2900, justines1937.com. Left Bank jazz club meets urban garden party at this super hip home to quality cocktails and French bistro fare.
*La Condesa. 400 W. Second St. 512-499-0300, lacondesa.com. This beautiful restaurant, with its walls of windows, perched bar area and colorful mural, feels plucked from the leafy streets of cosmopolitan Mexico City.
*Launderette. 2115 Holly St. 512-382-1599, launderetteaustin.com. With its wild eclecticism, chef Rene Ortiz’s East Austin restaurant feels like a dinner party, but you won’t feel left out of the fun even if you’re sitting on the front patio that runs the length of the dining room.
*Licha’s Cantina. 1306 E. Sixth St. 512-480-5960, lichascantina.com. Daniel Brooks’ restaurant specializes in Mexican street food such as huaraches and tacos and the kind of super laid-back vibe you’d find at a bungalow in an off-the-beaten-path Mexican village.
*Lucy’s Fried Chicken. 2218 College Ave., 512-297-2423; 5408 Burnet Road, 512-514-0664; 2900 FM 620 N., 512-297-2771; lucysfriedchicken.com. With a bucket of beer and a basket of fried chicken at the original location off Congress Avenue, you’ll feel like you’re dining on the patio of an old friend’s ranch. The latest location out west takes the party from ranch house to lake house.
Matt’s El Rancho. 2613 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-462-9333, mattselrancho.com. This beloved Austin institution, with its fountains and sprawling courtyard, has been around so long it’s almost old enough to collect Social Security checks.
No Va Kitchen & Bar. 87 Rainey St. 512-382-5651, novaonrainey.com. This Rainey District restaurant serves hearty bistro dishes and offers multiple outdoor seating areas both upstairs and down.
*Noble Sandwich Co. 12233 RM 620 North, 512-382-6248; 4805 Burnet Road, 512-666-5124; noblesandwiches.com. Artisan sandwiches at the picnic tables make for a refined picnic vibe.
*Odd Duck. 1201 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-433-6521, oddduckaustin.com. Bryce Gilmore’s energized yet homey farm-to-table restaurant features a nice side patio that enjoys open-air treatment during good weather.
Olive & June. 3411 Glenview Ave. 512-467-9898, oliveandjune-austin.com. Excellent small plates, quality cocktails and homemade pasta dishes at Shawn Cirkiel’s multi-tiered modernist treehouse restaurant with multiple outdoor seating areas.
*Perla’s. 1400 S. Congress Ave. 512-291-7300, perlasaustin.com. Oysters and steaks on a massive patio. Add in some excellent cocktails and people-watching — what more could you want?
*Pieous. 12005 U.S. 290 West. 512-394-7041; Facebook.com/pieous. Husband-and-wife team Josh and Paige Kaner of the pizza and pastrami-centric Pieous have pulled off quite the accomplishment: They created a restaurant equally loved by families and food-obsessives.
*Sa-Ten. 916 Springdale Road. 512-524-1544, sa-ten.com. There is something calming and cool about this glass-walled cafe in an industrial complex that is fittingly home to artists’ studios. If you eat your nori tama toast — topped with crumbled egg spread across the milky bread’s ivory expanse — outside, you’ll just have to admire the awesome wallpaper through the window.
Salty Sow. 1917 Manor Road. 512-391-2337, saltysow.com. Ranch-style dining at this sprawling restaurant includes homemade charcuterie, crispy chicken thighs and green eggs and ham.
*Salvation Pizza. 624 W. 34th St. 512-535-0076, salvationpizza.com. Enjoy thin, crunchy Connecticut-style pizzas at this restaurant that features a large deck out front.
Sazon. 1816 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-326-4395, sazonaustin.com. Sit on the patio enjoying mole and pipian enchiladas and you can almost watch South Lamar Boulevard evolving by the minute.
*Second Bar + Kitchen. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2750, secondbarkitchen.com. This New American spot 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.
Shady Grove. 1624 Barton Springs Road. 512-474-9991, theshadygrove.com. The family-friendly restaurant amid a grove of pecan trees keeps the crowds coming in with green chili hamburgers, chicken-fried steak and queso catfish.
Shoal Creek Saloon. 909 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-474-0805, shoalcreeksaloon.com. Who dat gonna serve you some Gulf oysters and a roast beef po’ boy on a creekside patio? You know who.
Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza. 13187 Fitzhugh Road. 512-900-9079, stanleysfarmhousepizza.com. Wood-fired pizzas in a natural setting on the edge of the Hill Country. Bonus points for being located at Jester King Brewery.
*Sway. 1417 S. First St. 512-326-1999, swayaustin.com. The most peaceful place at this restaurant to enjoy its flavorful dishes like the son-in-law and blue crab fried rice? The communal tables lining the interior courtyard.
*Tacodeli. 1500 Spyglass Drive, 512-732-0303; 4200 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-419-1900; 701 Loop 360, 512-347-8888; tacodeli.com. Tacodeli has survived and thrived since 1999 because of considered flavor layering, quality sourcing and smart growth. And, sure, there’s more inside seating now, but why would you sit inside if the weather’s nice?
Takoba. 1411 E. Seventh St. 512-628-4466, takobarestaurant.com. Great happy hour deals and well-executed favorites such as torta de carnitas and pozole rojo make this restaurant with multiple outdoor seating areas a popular East Austin destination.
*Vinaigrette. 2201 College Ave. 512-852-8791, vinaigretteonline.com. Tree House Grill left this location just off Congress Avenue, but the namesake tree remains, providing shade for the dozens of diners who sit outside eating well-dressed salads topped with an array of proteins.
Vox Table. 1100 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-375-4869, voxtableaustin.com. Share small plates with your dinner mates at the line of tables ringing the restaurant, as passersby shuffle to the Alamo Drafthouse for a movie or to Lick for some ice cream.
*Winebelly. 519 W. Oltorf St. 512-487-1569, austinwinebelly.com. This wine bar offers bar snacks as well as a menu of well-executed small plates such as fried quail and duck confit and a lovely back patio that seats a few dozen.
Winflo. 1315 W. Sixth St. 512-582-1027, winfloosteria.com. Partake of pasta and pizza beneath the umbrella of trees on this front patio that makes you think you’re out in West Austin, not just on West Sixth Street.
Z’Tejas. 1110 W. Sixth St. 512-478-5355, ztejas.com. The original treehouse on West Sixth Street opened about 30 years ago and built its reputation with Southwestern favorites like green chili pork nachos, red chili and mango steak salad and pepita-crusted chicken.
When rain threatens, consider one of these cozy restaurants. More restaurants broken down by category here.
Andiamo Ristorante. 2521 Rutland Drive. 512-719-3377, andiamoitaliano.com. Authentic Italian in North Austin with a family-owned vibe.
Austin Land & Cattle. 1205 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-1813, alcsteaks.com. No pretense, just good steaks, a fun mood and a bar that serves strong drinks and excellent happy hour specials, such as a filling steak sandwich.
The Backspace. 507 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-474-9899, thebackspace-austin.com. Neapolitan pies from Parkside chef’s small restaurant that also delivers charcuterie and a nice roster of antipasti.
Barlata Tapas Bar. 1500 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-473-2211, barlataaustin.com. About 10 variations of paella, two dozen hot small plates and a convivial atmosphere at this Spanish tapas restaurant owned by chef Daniel Olivella.
Bartlett’s. 2408 W. Anderson Lane. 512-451-7333, bartlettsaustin.com. This warmly lit restaurant has changed little since its transition from Houston’s, and that’s a good thing. You can still expect dishes like the popular French dip, am applewood-smoked pork chop and others.
Botticelli’s South Congress. 1321 S. Congress Ave. 512-916-1315, botticellissouthcongress.com. Intimate Italian dining on bustling South Congress. Try the homemade ravioli with butternut squash in a brown butter and sage sauce.
Buenos Aires Café. 1201 E. Sixth St., 13500 Galleria Circle in Bee Cave. 512-382-1189, buenosairescafe.com. A taste of South America in East Austin and out west at this charming café that started on South First Street years ago. The selection of empanadas (spinach, beef, chicken and tuna) are not to be missed. Neither is the steak sandwich with a vibrant chimichurri.
Chez Nous. 510 Neches St. 512-473-2413, cheznousaustin.com. A little bit of French class amidst the boozy grumble and stumble of Sixth Street. Try the duck confit or housemade charcuterie.
Easy Tiger. 709 E. Sixth St. 512-614-4972, easytigeraustin.com. A brick-lined subterranean hideout on the fringe of Sixth Street’s shot bars.
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 now up north, as well.
Jeffrey’s. 1204 W. Lynn St. 512-477-5584, jeffreysofaustin.com. A posh escape from the city and one of the coziest bar areas in town.
Lenoir. 1807 S. First St. 512-215-9778, lenoirrestaurant.com. Chef Todd Duplechan’s romantic bungalow restaurant takes local ingredients to replicate flavors of hot climates (Africa, Spain, Southeast Asia) from around the world.
Michi Ramen. 6519 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-386-1908; 3005 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-394-6350, michiramen.com. Enjoy a variety of ramens, including one for vegans, along with dishes like Chashu Don (burnt ends over steamed rice and topped with bonito flakes).
El Naranjo. 85 Rainey St. 512-474-2776, elnaranjo-restaurant.com. Tucked into the Rainey Street chaos is this exceptional example of interior Mexican food from chef Iliana de la Vega.
Olamaie. 1610 San Antonio St. 512-474-2796, olamaieaustin.com. This refined Southern restaurant feels like retreating into the comfort of a (wealthy) friend’s private manse.
Ramen Tatsu-Ya. 8557 Research Blvd. 512-339-0855; 1234 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-893-5561, ramen-tatsuya.com. Restorative soup will keep you cozy at these two locations that serve the best ramen in town.
Wink. 1014 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-482-8868, winkrestaurant.com. The hospitable farm-to-table trailblazers have created a restaurant that manages to feel like both a fine dining and neighborhood restaurant?