For all you fans of our Favorite Austin Eateries – Volume 1, this list will be a nice addition and should keep you busy eating delicious food until we get around to Volume 3! Maybe next we’ll list our favorite food trucks, or dives, or perhaps the best coffees in town…too much awesomeness to choose from. Below are additional restaurants we are currently crushing on. In no particular order other than they all deserve to be numero uno, depending on what vibe you’re are feeling. Hope you enjoy!
It is relatively easy to find Easy Tiger’s bread around Austin, but one must come for the full experience of what can best be described as a bakeshop and a finely curated beer garden. The hip downtown location which shares an outdoor space with Waller Creek is the perfect spot to get your carbohydrate game on. We love the house-made pretzels and mustards as well as the “Boards.” Our favorite is the Texas Hill Country with venison, wild boar and apple terrine. The owners recently opened a much bigger space just north of downtown, which houses its commercial bakery, dining room (with windows allowing patrons to see production areas, including baking, fermenting and sausage and charcuterie spaces), beer garden (obviously) with ping-pong tables and an outdoor stage.
The Vazquez sisters moved from Veracruz, Mexico to Austin in 1989 and started their food empire with a very modest fruit and sno-cone stand. Less than ten years later, Maritza and Reyna are dominating the Austin food scene with their delicious recipes that have been passed on for generations. We can say that they serve the best migas taco we have EVER eaten. And it’s not just our palates; the migas have earned national media attention among food writers, chefs and celebrities, most recently, GP. The lines can be long, so grab an aqua fresca and be prepared to mingle.
‘All Ways Welcome. So Close Yet So Far Out.’ From two hospitality powerhouses, Bunkhouse Group (St. Cecelia, San Jose, etc.) and Mcguire Moorman Hospitality (Clarks, Jeffreys, June’s, etc. etc) come this 60s-mod patio bar and restaurant housed in the original Austin motel. With unparalleled people watching views, Joann’s has everything from Tex-Mex (green enchiladas were among our favorite), colorful salads, ceviches to classic breakfasts, desserts and a very impressive Mezcal selection, which can easily be sipped alone or enjoyed as a sangrita, using unexpected ingredients like tomatillo and tomato.
If you find yourself wondering around SoCo, find yourself here.
“Laid back sophisticated neighborhood cafe & wine bar inspired by Spanish tapas bars, Parisian cafes, and hipster NYC wine bars.” Need we say more?! There is so much to love about this SoCo spot. We could spend the entire day here, beginning with breakfast chalupas and picture perfect pastry spreads and then onto matzo ball soup for lunch (this is our go-to, with a Texas twist including cilantro, avocado and jalapenos). Sometime in the afternoon we would choose a glass of wine from the very smart and engaging wine list from master sommelier June Rodil (she is one of 24 in the country, Austin peeps!). And then finish off with either the fried chicken sandwich or the bone marrow bolognese. June’s is everything and more.
The acclaimed team from Ramen Tatsu-Ya (see Volume 1) blends Japanese and Texan influences (Japanese roots and Texas ties) in every aspect of this casual eatery. Hybrid dishes like ramen with brisket, crunchy octopus balls with beef chili and poke with guacamole, this restaurant is playful, eclectic and in-line with “Keeping Austin Weird.
This tiki bar and burger stand sits between Deep Eddy, the iconic swimming hole and, not to be confused with, Deep Eddy Cabaret, which is not a swimming hole but rather a dive bar that has been serving up cocktails since 1951.
Again, brain-child of MMH, Pool Burger is one of the many reasons why we love Austin. Gourmet burgers grilled in an Airstream trailer. Walk-up bar replete with palapa-style grass. Maitais, hurricanes and rose. Wagyu beef. Soft-serve & Junior Mints. The feeling of summertime year round. Check!
Housed inside a converted laundromat, now a polished and chic, retro space, Launderette is one of our most favorite restaurants on the East Side. The menu is American/Mediterranean and intended to share. Some of the standouts – Asian flavored pork ribs lacquered with black garlic sauce, crab and avo toast, hangar steak with yucca fritter, and the sticky brussel sprouts are our absolute favorite. Launderette opened well over five years ago and judging by our last wait time, there is no slowing down here. Grab a glass of rose, and patiently wait to be wowed. PS. They are famous for their birthday cake ice cream sandwich – Don’t miss it.
Like most coveted Austin restaurants that get their start from trailers, G’raj Mahal is no different. One of the best Indian restaurants in the city and all the while maintaining a neo-Austin legit ambiance, G’raj Mahal tops our list in many ways. From the tented patio space and authentic vibe just off the hustle of Rainy Street, to the food which is authentic, inviting and warm. We love the samosas, dipped in various chutneys, garlic naan, seafood coconut curry, tikka masala, vindaloo…basically you can’t go wrong here.
In a city that has extremely high standards for great barbeque, La Barbeque has certainly been able to hold their own. La Barbecue, we think, is just as good as Franklin’s, and while you still have to wait in line at both places, hopefully you won’t be ‘hangry’ when it is finally time to order. Owned by the grandaughter of smoked meat legend, Louis Muller, coupled with pit master formerly of Franklin’s, this joint has some of the best briskets, ribs and house-made sausage we’ve tasted. Tiny tip: you can skip the line if you pre-order. You’re welcome.
El Chipiron is a Spanish restaurant focused on creating dishes that showcase classic Spanish flavors with a modern flair. The menu centers around ‘pinchos,’ which are small bites from Northern Spain. The ‘tapas’ are all delicious and Tuesday evenings are reserved for Paella. The Gin & Tonic is the most ubiquitous beverage in the country and at El Chipiron, they are prepared exactly as you would find them in Spain. Trip to Europe without the airfare…or jet lag.
This list would not be complete without a Mexican suggestion. Enter Suerte. Suerte is a restaurant founded on the sole principle of ‘masa.’ As the chefs point out, “Masa is so simple. it’s just dried corn that has been cooked with water and calcium hydroxide”—the latter is what turns it into masa instead of cornmeal mush—“but you can do so much with it. You can make tortillas, tamales, pupusas, tostadas, huaraches, sopes, tlacoyos, tetelas, tlayudas, gorditas . . .” “Masa is nothing less than the backbone of Mexican cuisine.”
Our favorites include the carnitas tlacoyo, quesadilla del tule and suadero tacos. You will not go thirsty either. The menu has an extensive list of
Oaxacan whiskey and rum, ancho verde and tamarindo as well as less common agave-derived spirits like sotol, raicilla and bacanora. An added bonus, the instagrammable entry door will take your feed up a notch!
We Get to Know is a media company specializing in PODCAST creation, original & shared content, and short form interviews. We are interviewing your favorite creatives, innovators, business owners, influencers and bloggers from a variety of industries. As always, we welcome your comments and guest recommendations.