16 of the Best Restaurants in Austin, Texas, Right Now
Austin might be known for keeping things weird and having the best tacos in the country, but there’s a whole lot more to Texas’ capital city than those two simple boasts. We like to think of it as an urban cowboy of sorts, being both true to its Tex-Mex roots and trailblazing in every corner of cuisine. Despite the city’s iconic staples, like a slow-cooked brisket sandwich from the legendary Franklin Barbecue and chorizo-topped queso fundido from the beloved Fonda San Miguel, newcomers make up the bulk of our list to try on your next visit.
If you’re visiting ATX, don't leave without first eating noodles at a Japanese hot pot joint, fruity pebble French toast at a cool new brunch place, and a patty melt oozing in raclette at a lunch spot entirely dedicated to cheese. Here are the best restaurants to try in Austin right now, from brunch to dinner, barbecue joints to pizzerias. And yes...tacos, too.
Best Brunch: Rosedale Kitchen and Bar
Four little words: Fruity pebble French toast. That’s just one standout brunch menu item you’ll find at Rosedale Kitchen and Bar. The charming neighborhood kitchen has something for everyone, whether you’re gluten-free, vegetarian, or an old-fashioned meat eater. Do yourself a favor, and get a batch of Granny’s Angel Biscuits and an order of Gun Powder Fries for the table. rosedalekb.com
Runner-Up: Mattie's; mattiesaustin.com
Best Barbecue: Franklin Barbecue
You’ve most likely heard about the legendary lines and wait times at this barbecue joint that’s been lauded by the likes of Anthony Bourdain, food editors, and even the James Beard Foundation. It’s a must-hit spot, just be ready to wait about two or three hours. Bring some mimosas, and you’ll make plenty of friends.
But don’t sleep on Aaron Franklin’s newest ventures, either. Loro is an Asian-inspired smokehouse with a fun outside deck, and his new food truck, Tacos & Coffee, serves up one of the best on-the-go breakfasts in town. franklinbbq.com
Runner-Up: La Barbecue; labarbecue.com
Best Lunch: Spread & Co.
A lunch spot that’s pretty much entirely focused on cheese? Don’t mind if we do. Think epic build-your-own cheese boards, patty melts with raclette, and a three-cheese grilled cheese that’ll make your mouth water (add prosciutto). You can also order one of their cheese-laden gift boxes or pick up catered charcuterie plates for a party. For now, this spot is only open for lunch—so get it while it’s hot and melty. spreadandco.com
Runner-Up: Otherside Deli; othersidedeliatx.com
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Best Tacos: Nixta Taqueria
This newly opened spot has quickly become quite the legend, from the beet “tartare” tostada to the duck carnitas taco. You might think paying $6 to $8 for a single taco feels extreme, but the superior quality of ingredients, ultra-hip atmosphere, and genius taco combinations make it worth a try. There are plenty of other delicious, cheap tacos to be had in ATX, once you’ve crossed off this place. nixtataqueria.com
Runner-Up: Fonda San Miguel; fondasanmiguel.com
Best Pizza: The Meteor
This Roman-style pizza joint, natural wine bar, and bike shop hybrid is newer to town, too. Come for the thick, sold-by-weight slices (sausage with ricotta bechamel, all the way) and stay for the surprisingly impressive brunch situation. If that didn’t have you sold, the retro storefront and the fact that they cut the pizza slices with giant scissors should do the job. themeteor.com
Runner-Up: Bufalina; bufalinapizza.com
Best Dinner: Vixen's Wedding
This place somehow has a menu that’s even more interesting than the name. It specializes in Goan cuisine, which is a super flavorful mashup of Portugese and Indian cuisines, and features menu items like steamed, puffy pork mini-buns and tangy piri-piri chicken. Though we will say, the desserts are so dang beautiful it’s worth going just for a lemon tart or slice of chocolate dosa cake. vixensweddingatx.com
Runner-Up: Emmer & Rye; emmerandrye.com
Best Asian: DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya
Try saying that one five times fast. This newest venture by popular ATX hotspot, Ramen Tatsu-Ya, is the most exciting dinner experience you can book for a group. It’s inspired by shabu-shabu, which is Japanese hot pot. Basically, each table is brought a ton of ingredients—meats, dumplings, vegetables, noodles, and more—to be cooked or warmed in a hot broth that infuses each item with the most delicious, aromatic flavor. Cooking your own dinner just took on a whole new meaning. dipdipdip-tatsuya.com
Runner-Up: Soursop; soursopaustin.com
Best Fancy Dinner: Il Brutto
This Italian restaurant is basically a weekend dinner or date night in the making. The setting is dark, moody, the opposite of stuffy, and the perfect home for all of the elevated Italian pastas on the menu. Between the perfect cacio e pepe and the out-of-the-box squid ink tagliolini, you’ll have to roll us out of there—but we’ll love every bite. Go here when you want to indulge in a fancy, high-carb affair. ilbruttoaustin.com
Runner-Up: Comedor; comedortx.com