While Austin is growing as culinary town due to many exciting new chefs and restaurants in the area, there are also many classic establishments that have helped build the city's reputable and tasty brand.

One such eatery is Eastside Cafe, a hyper-local hot spot on the east side of town. Housed in an adorably refinished bungalow, this cafe sports its own vegetable garden out back and regularly utilizes their produce, flowers and herbs as much as possible in their simple and clean brunch, lunch and dinner menus. Their cuisine is fresh, organic and vegetarian-friendly, and will make you feel like the cool yet casual friend when you throw this suggestion into the next whats for dinner discussion. Make sure to check out the patio over drinks!

Exterior of Eastside Cafe
Courtesy of Kari Sullivan.

I visited Eastside for a celebratory holiday dinner and my meal did not disappoint. After a lengthy discussion with our lovely waitress (if you don't already ask your server what they like to serve themselves, you are missing out), I selected the 6 oz. rosemary-skewered pork tenderloin, served with balsamic butter glaze, mashed potatoes, collard greens and cornbread. Despite half of my meal being filled with carbs, this dish was delicious, the meat perfectly crusted and tender and it was a fan favorite for my table. The wild mushroom crepes and artichoke manicotti were also big hits with my group, and all came with our choice of a salad, homemade soup or fresh side dish. We didn't have room for dessert, but only because we filled up on the house wine! Next time I'm leaving room for the bootsies buttermilk pie.

Add this to your list of must-eats if you want to see what down-to-earth Austin culture is all about! Be sure to be that person before you scarf down your dish and share your meal with us @VisitAustinTX or tag it with #TrueAustin.