East Austin is a mixture of longstanding history, brand-spanking-new development, and hip haunts. It’s also home to some of Austin’s best and buzziest restaurants. From acclaimed and influential Texas barbecue to fresh takes on traditional Mexican cooking techniques, East Austin is a vibrant and exciting place to explore. We suggest doing it one delicious bite at a time. 

people dining family style around table at suerte in austin texas
Courtesy of Suerte.

Suerte

East Sixth’s Suerte does modern Mexican food with local Texas ingredients and fresh daily masa for their ridiculously good corn tortillas. “What’s good?” You’ll get a resounding, “Get the suadero tacos!” The fresh corn tortillas filled with tender confit brisket, zesty guacamole and “magic” oil are among the best tacos you’ll ever have.

skewers and sushi at Fukumoto in Austin Texas
Courtesy of Fukumoto.

Fukumoto

Japanese izakaya Fukumoto serves a lengthy menu of familiar and specialty sashimi, nigiri and sushi rolls but their specialty is yakitori—skewers of meat grilled over charcoal—aka Japanese comfort food. Order sake by the cup or bottle along with grilled king salmon and other comforting goodies like fried karaage chicken.

Plastic tray covered in butcher paper topped with slices of different barbecue meats and traditional sides.Franklin BBQ. Credit Arts+Labor.

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue is touted as the best BBQ in America, and quite possibly the planet. Pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s legendary melt-in-your-mouth brisket—dry-rubbed USDA Prime brisket that’s smoked for 12 hours over native post oak—may be the main attraction but don’t sleep on the supporting cast. Try the juicy pulled pork and house-made sausage that has just the right amount of “snap.”

Steak on plate with utensils at Salt and Time restaurant in Austin Texas
Courtesy of Salt & Time.

Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Restaurant

Salt & Time isn’t just a convenient place to pick up artisanal salumi and butcher cuts of local meat, it’s an all-day restaurant serving steaks and burgers (obviously) alongside lighter fare and a nicely curated wine and beer list.

Spread of colorful Carribean food on neutral plates. Jerk chicken and roti sit alongside whole dragon fruit and pineapple.Courtesy of Canje. 

Canje

From the team behind Emmer & Rye, Canje serves up savory Carribean food. The jerk chicken is juicy and covered in delicious spices, plated alongside a wild garlic chutney for dipping. Don't skip on dessert... their black cake with cream cheese, rum and raisin is to die for. 

Exterior of Kemuri Tatsu ya restaurant at night in Austin Texas
Kemuri Tatsu-ya. Credit Julia Keim.

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

Texas izakaya Kemuri Tatsu-ya is known for its playful take on classic Japanese pub fare. Dishes rotate seasonally, and the menu gives a Texas tip of the hat to Japanese eats, such as the octopus fritters topped with Texas chili, cheddar and smoked jalapeño. Be sure to sample a sake.

Plancha burger with fries and three side sauces at Launderette in Austin Texas
Launderette. Credit Robert J Lerma.

Launderette

Housed in a former coin-operated launderette, this chic cafe is East Austin’s go-to for brunch with friends, happy hour, and date nights. Launderette menu favorites include the plancha burger (with frites, of course), wood-grilled octopus and the Funfetti-inspired birthday cake ice cream sandwich.Multiple menu items and dishes from Old Thousand in Austin Texas
Courtesy of Old Thousand.

Old Thousand

Old Thousand's  “dope Chinese” is crazy delicious--plain and simple. Dishes like the Szhchuan-spiked mala fried chicken and xiao man noodles with its chili oil kick jump off the plate as well as the brisket fried rice. And they have a killer cocktail program! Try the iron monkey, a rum-based tiki drink perfect for cooling down tingling tongues.

Hand holding a large barbecue sandwich close to the camera.
la Barbecue. Credit Hilary Bodiford.

la Barbecue

la Barbecue is owned and operated by two badass women, including LeAnn Mueller, the granddaughter of Louis Mueller and daughter of Bobby Mueller (two Texas ‘cue legends). A trip to la’s must include slices of fatty brisket (which, dare we say... rival Franklins'), and a side of the queso shells and cheese. 
Dai Due Patty Melt with beer in tulip glass
Dai Due. Credit Jody Horton.

Dai Due

Nothing is wasted at butcher shop and restaurant, Dai Due. But the restaurant’s conscious ethos never overshadows the incredible locally-sourced food. Try the current steak offering, over-the-top double Wagyu cheeseburger or Sunday-only fried chicken.

Server carrying three plates of open faced tacos at Nixta TaqueriaNixta Taqueria. Credit Arts+Labor.

Nixta Taqueria

Nixta Taqueria is impossible to miss; just look for the tiny cobalt building with a mural depicting a caricature of the ancient Aztec god of maize. Nixta’s take on tacos starts always with fresh corn tortillas that are then topped or filled with colorful ingredients that burst with flavor. Order the super popular beet “tartar” tostada—roasted beets, lime-spiked avocado crema and salsa macha aïoli on a crispy corn tostada.

Contributed by Anastacia Uriegas.anastacia uriegas headshot
Anastacia Uriegas is an Austin-based freelance writer, designer, and photographer and serves on the board of directors for the Austin Dames d’Escoffier. When she’s not exploring natural wines and rare mezcals, she hanging out with her dog babies, Peanut and Olive, who bear a striking resemblance to Ewoks​.