With the rising number of hotels in Austin, there is no shortage of new and interesting dining options. From landmark restaurants to tried-and-true options and exciting newcomers, these properties offer comfortable, stylish dining rooms and exciting menus that locals consider essential dining destinations.
Arlo Grey. Courtesy of Sydell Group.
The very first restaurant from Top Chef winner Kristen Kish reflects her bubbly personality, attention to detail, and passion for cooking, all wrapped in a lovely lakeside locale. The seasonal menu at Arlo Grey changes constantly, and includes dishes full of childhood nostalgia reimagined with a modern, healthy approach, executed with the best ingredients available. Items are quirky, fun, and beautifully presented. For Mediterranean small plates and killer cocktails with a perfect view of the famed Congress Avenue Bridge bats, head upstairs to the lovely P6 Bar and Lounge.
Named after the Texas-born working dog breed, Blue Lacy, this eatery serves an all-day menu in a modern, diner-inspired environment. Early risers will love the Hippy Cowboy Hash with duck fat potato confit, chorizo, veggies and a sunny side up egg topped with avocado crema. Blue Lacy also serves up classic diner food all day long, like their diner burger with all the toppings. Next time you're hanging out in the Mueller district, stop in for a quick bite, or fill up for the rest of your Austin adventures.
After an incredible remodel in 2018, this perennial favorite upped the ante with the spectacular Live Oak bar and Texas-centric Ciclo restaurant. Both showcase locally inspired flavors and ingredients with a Latin influence and a focus on seasonality. Grilled meats, fabulous seafood, inventive cocktails, and a patio with spectacular views of Lady Bird Lake make them must-visit destinations.
A Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winner and AAA Four-Diamond rated restaurant, Garrison at the Fairmont Austin downtown offers high-end luxury at its best. Low lit and romantic, it is the perfect place for a special occasion. The open kitchen concept features Texas Post Oak grilled entrees, inspired by local, seasonal ingredients, and the bar serves outstanding cocktails, both classic and signature.
Geraldine's. Credit Ismael Quintanilla III.
If you are looking for a spot with great food, fantastic cocktails and local live music, Geraldine’s is your best bet. Here you will find a menu of contemporary Austin fare and creative libations to match, in a Texas-style elegant atmosphere with a view of the pool deck and bar. Nightly curated local music sets the mood for a complete Austin experience.
Located on Hotel ZaZa’s pool deck, this artful restaurant is both a laid-back oasis to gather with friends over signature cocktails, and a stylish dining room for date night. The simple, all-day menu comprises American favorites with international accents, from sharable starters to burgers and sandwiches, and a varied selection of entrees with many healthy and veggie options. The bar matches nicely, with a small but well curated list of wines and local brews.
Laurel brings the Italian countryside to Austin with a mix of Mediterranean flavors and Texas Hill Country ingredients. The menu is simple, yet sophisticated and mirrors Austin's love for traditions and creativity in its menu. When the weather is nice, opt for the patio and escape to an Italian villa just fifteen minutes away from downtown.
Lutie's Garden Restaurant. Credit Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection
Gorgeous Lutie’s in one of Austin’s newest hotel restaurants, located at the recently opened Commodore Perry Estate. The menu is creative and fresh, in a style that may be described as contemporary farmhouse, with lots of plant-based options to match the lovely garden-like setting. Lutie’s only opens for dinner, so plan accordingly. Be sure to save room for dessert, as pastry queen Susana Querejazu co-owns the restaurant with her husband chef Bradley Nicholson.
This SoCo fixture is home to three restaurants and two bars. Maie Day is a "community chophouse" with inventive takes on steakhouse classics and casual, yet exciting items like pineapple cornbread muffins and loaded fries. For something exclusive head to Otoko, a Japanese omakase restaurant tucked behind the hotel on the 2nd floor. Chef Yoshi Okai, an Uchi alumni, entertains guests on a 12-seat counter with no set menu- he will create your meal from the best ingredients available each day. For bar bites, tiki-inspired cocktails and an impressive collection of Japanese whiskeys, visit the adjacent Watertrade lounge.
Beautiful Trace is known for its simple preparations featuring locally sourced meats, vegetables, fruits and cheeses. From small bites to salads, flatbreads, and entrees like roasted chicken and vegetable ragout pasta, the menu has something for everyone. And for those attending events at ACL Live Moody Theater, Trace is the perfect spot to enjoy al fresco happy hour and craft cocktails.
Courtesy of The Driskill Hotel.
The Driskill Grill is an iconic Austin restaurant, even serving as the site of President Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson's first date in 1934. The restaurant led by Executive Chef Mark Dayanandan, serves refined American cuisine in an authentically Austin, historic dining room complete with fine leather booths and a Texas Longhorn adorning the wall. Perfect for celebrating a special occasion, stop in and experience the mouthwatering three-course pre-fixe offerings that will not disappoint.
Chef Nic Yanes, owner and executive chef of Juniper and Uncle Nicky’s, is behind this Mediterranean-inspired locale on the ground level of the Canopy by Hilton on W. 6th Street. The open kitchen, with its wood-burning hearth, opens to a plant-filled courtyard for al fresco dining on seasonal items from sea to land and garden. Inside, a comfy ample bar serves craft cocktails, local beers on tap, and a thoughtful wine list.
Contributed by Claudia Alarcón
Mexican by birth, Austinite by choice, Claudia has been immersed in the city’s food and beverage scene since her arrival in 1984. After years of working in restaurants she started writing about them in 2000, and has seen the growth transformation of the dining scene from the beginning. In her sparse spare time, she watches futbol, tends her garden, and is an active dog rescue advocate. She lives in South Austin with her fur babies, Benji and Eddie.