Looking for the best places to eat in Austin right now? Our curated list of new and essential restaurants to sample will almost certainly have whatever you’re craving, from fall-off-the-bone barbecue to elevated Mexican eats and upscale sushi experiences. Eat up y'all!
Gati. Courtesy of Jam Sanitchat.
New Restaurants in Austin
From brand-new concepts to welcome expansions by established eateries, Austin’s local food scene is keeping it fresh.
For a creative take on ground beef, try the mashup of cultural Jewish food and Tex-Mex border cuisine at JewBoy Burgers. Burgers and latkes make a surprising but delicious combination.
Texas barbecue and Vietnamese cuisine come together in brisket banh mi and pork belly sliders at casual eatery Smokin Beauty. Try one of their unique cocktails with your meal, like the Viet Tex Martini with Thai basil, cilantro and jalapeño-infused olive brine.
For upscale farm-to-table Chinese food and dim sum, visit Qi Austin: Modern Asian Kitchen by the dumpling experts behind the popular Lin Asian Bar. Visit for dinner and cocktails, or start your day with their Dim Sum Brunch.
Southern seafood and New Orleans-approved sides are on the menu at eco-friendly Gullah-Geechee kitchen LE Meals. Try the shrimp and grits topped with spicy Creole sauce.
New to Austin by way of Georgia are Grey Diner Bar and Grey Market at the downtown Thompson Austin hotel. Helmed by James Beard Award winner Mashama Bailey, Grey Diner Bar features sandwiches, charcuterie and cocktails, while Grey Market’s Southern-style bodega has grab-and-go sandwiches and boxed lunches.
Enjoy a bit of old Texas glamour at Lutie’s Garden Restaurant at the Commodore Perry Estate. The New American menu emphasizes fresh and locally sourced ingredients in a stunning historic mansion.
For something sweet, don’t miss Gati for vegan ice cream and gluten-free baked goods. Their revolving flavors of coconut milk ice cream have included standouts like Thai tea and black sticky rice horchata.
Nixta Taqueria. Credit Jacob Lerma.
Essential Austin Restaurants
These tried-and-true favorites are some of the locals’ prime dining spots for barbecue, tacos and everything in between.
For some good ol’ by-the-pound Texas barbecue or chopped meat sandwiches, visit la Barbecue. This woman-owned brisket and sausage joint focuses on savory rubs for their ‘cue. Check out their new location in East Austin.
Intimate farm-to-table neighborhood restaurant Foreign & Domestic has held true to its “nose-to-tail” spirit and focus on local farms. The menu changes seasonally, so you can return over and over again for tasty, new delights.
Modern Mexican restaurant Comedor serves updated tacos and tostadas in a chic industrial interior. The bone marrow tacos are a must at this Austin Monthly 2019 Restaurant of the Year.
For a more casual Mexican meal, sample the house-made tortillas at Nixta Taqueria. The team here uses corn from Oaxaca to create their own masa daily in a bright, charming taco joint. Favorites include the duck carnitas tacos and yellowfin tuna tostada.
Interior Mexican spot El Naranjo also makes their own heirloom corn tortillas, but their menu is more traditional. Look for flavorful moles, rotating ceviches and dry-rubbed carne asada.
Get your ramen fix at Ramen Tatsu-ya. Their rich pork broth and chewy noodles introduced Austin to truly slurp-able “fancy” ramen. Customize your bowl with a bomb — a ball of extra spice and flavor — to make your soup just how you like it. For unfussy, home-style Japanese sushi and ramen, is the place to be. Beyond the sushi standards are their popular grilled mackerel and octopus dumplings.
When you’re looking to splurge, head for award-winning sushi restaurant and longtime Austin favorite Uchi. This converted house on South Lamar serves perfect nigiri, plus appetizers like hot rock wagyu beef and grilled branzino. Check the Toyosu menu for market-fresh specialty fish.
Critically and locally acclaimed Emmer & Rye highlights heirloom grains and in-house fermentation. Order from the daily menu, but save room for treats off the rolling cart that will make several stops at your table.
The team’s second restaurant concept, Hestia, features a custom 20-foot hearth as the culinary centerpiece of their live-fire New American grill house. Halibut, lion’s mane mushrooms and wagyu ribeye all get the open-flame treatment.
Elegant restaurant Olamaie puts a modern spin on Southern cuisine, adding freshness to a food style that can tend to heaviness. Their flaky biscuits are so beloved, the owners gave them their own spin-off — Little Ola’s Biscuits. This casual shop serves sandwiches like fried chicken or ham and pimento cheese on their legendary biscuits.
Via 313. Credit Stephanie Rogers.
Top Food Trucks, Tacos & BBQ
Try the spicy laab moo and pungent papaya salad from Dee Dee Thai food truck. Via 313’s cheesy, square Detroit-style pizza is a local darling. Plant-based Mexican street food from Lick It Up has no meat but extra flavor. The Bearded Baking Company's savory desserts include decadent chicken fried bacon gateau.
Authentic street tacos and fruit smoothies grace the menu at Veracruz All Natural. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner from Tacodeli’s expansive taco menu. For wood-grilled chicken tacos, try Fresa’s Chicken Al Carbon. The al pastor taco at Vaquero Taquero is sweet, fresh and savory all at once.
Bring a chair for the line at Franklin Barbecue. The wait is worth it for their can’t-miss brisket. Try the carnitas tacos or pork ribs at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ. LeRoy and Lewis specializes in unusual styles, like beef cheeks and Akaushi wagyu brisket. Austin landmark Sam’s Bar-B-Que serves old-school mutton ribs in East Austin.
Discover more dining options at visitaustin.org/food