Austin's restaurant scene is as hot as its notorious summers. With a posse of star chefs (Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko; David Bull at Congress; Bryce Gilmore at Barley Swine; James Holmes at Olivia and Lucy's Fried Chicken), there are ample opportunities to swill and chomp in style. Barbecue groupies camp out at Franklin Barbecue, Aaron Franklin's shrine to brisket. Top chef Paul Qui is poised to open his first brick and mortar restaurants early next year. An increasingly bustling strip on South First Street provides modern ethnic (Elizabeth Street Café for French Vietnamese, and Sway, a new Thai restaurant from Rene Ortiz and the La Condesa team), and smart bistros. Austin's hip East side serves up artisan bread, pretzels, and craft beer (at Easy Tiger), East Asian food trucks, urban farm dinners, and cocktail shrines like Weather Up, Hillside Farmacy, and East Side Showroom. Add live music at every turn, tacos galore, and lethal margaritas and you'll see why locals are smitten with Austin's indie style.
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