Dining Around the South: Austin

Bold regional flavors and top-notch fruits of the vine grace the Texas capital city.
Scott Jones

Chez Zee Restaurant & Bakery: Don't miss the Aztec Corn & Shrimp Bisque or Jalapeño-Stuffed Chicken Breast at this late-night eatery. This lively café is also known for it's laid-back brunch and scrumptious baked goods. 5406 Balcones Drive; (512) 454-2666.

Roaring Fork, The InterContinental Hotel: This is cowboy cooking dressed in a suit and tie. Don't miss the Green Chile Pork Stew With Buttered Tortillas or Smoked Salmon With Cucumber Salsa & Chipotle Cream Cheese. Corner of Seventh and Congress; (512) 457-0000.

Santa Rita Tex-Mex Cantina: Folks flock to this eatery for the in-house rotisserie, which slow-roasts lime-marinated chicken and pork. They also visit for the relaxed family-friendly atmosphere. 1206 West 38th Street; (512) 419-7482.

7: Here you are the master of your own culinary adventure from the sea--choose your fish, your sauce, and your preparation. In addition, you order fish by the ounce, so there's plenty of opportunity to sample tasty gems from all over the menu. 1716 South Congress; (512) 383-8877.

VIVO Cocina Texicana: VIVO shows that Tex-Mex food can be healthful without sacrificing the true essence of Mexican fare. Menu standouts include Tortilla Soup, Puffy Tacos, and a variety of enchiladas. Whatever you choose, don't miss the salsa. 2015 Manor Road; (512) 482-0300.

Ztejas: Southwestern specialties such as Catfish Beignets With Jalapeño Tartar Sauce grace this local favorite. The menu is also packed with in-house delights such as Wild Mushroom Ancho Horseradish Sauce, Blackberry Wasabi Sauce, and the not-to-be-missed Jalapeño Margarita. 1110 West Sixth Street; (512) 478-5355.