If you’re anything like us, you know that living in a city with as much culinary excellence as Austin is both a blessing and a curse. Out of all the cities in the U.S., Austin was ranked number 2 for having the most exciting food scene, second only to L.A. (ok we’ll give you that, Californians). That means an endless list of options, guaranteed to infinitely delight and – at some point – strike you with the cruel plague of indecision.
To prepare for those moments of analysis paralysis and to remind all the foodies which spot they still need to hit, we’ve compiled a list – not just of our favorite spots, but a list of which restaurants work best for certain occasions. Date night coming up? Last-minute happy hour? Business meeting? Unexpected visitors in town? You now have your very own consultant to guide you to the perfect restaurant: The Ultimate Guide to Austin’s Best Restaurants for Every Occasion.
Over three years ago this post was published. And Austin, like the rest of the world, has experienced some change since. Now, this list is an up-to-date, ‘post-pandemic‘ edition. Obviously, we were sad to see some of our favorites go. However, we’re lucky to say most persevered. Now, let’s go and support them.
Rise & Shine:
Breakfast & Brunch | $11-30 | North Austin: 5811 Berkman Dr Ste 100 Austin, TX 78723
Spacious, aesthetic, modern typical Sunday morning brunch spot. Lots of natural light make for a pure white interior for the Instagram-loving foodies. Smaller bakery section for those looking for a cute study spot.
Breakfast & Brunch | $3-19 | East Austin: 1203 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Beloved South Austin food truck upgraded into beautifully designed Eastside brick-and-mortar. Incredible espresso and coffee from Merit Roasting Co. The cocktails, menu, and roof-top seating will not disappoint.
Tacos | Under $10
South Austin: 134 E Riverside Dr. Austin, TX 78704
North Austin: 2809 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78705
A UT Austin classic, known for its sizable breakfast and lunch tacos, crunchy tortillas, and comfortable atmosphere. Perfect for an everyday breakfast! (P.S. their street taco is an HMG favorite!)
American | $11-30 | South Congress: 1600 S Congress Ave Austin, TX 78704
Cute, busy brunch spot in the center of SOCO district. Offers a useful “call ahead” list for shorter wait times, great for a Sunday brunch and shopping down South Congress street. Also offers a complimentary corn muffin basket at the beginning of your meal!
American | $11-30 | South Congress: 1920 S. Congress Ave Austin, TX 78704
Retro, artsy, eclectic vibe with a wide range of menu options. Diner-esque ambiance with late-night hours, the perfect place to appease late-night breakfast cravings. Friendly staff that is dedicated to bringing back the traditions of the good ol’ days. You’ll definitely feel at home here!
Breakfast & Brunch | $11-30
South: 1700 S Lamar Blvd Suite 301, Austin, TX 78704.
East Austin: 1109 E 5th St Suite 180, Austin, TX 78702
A hip, modern restaurant with a few locations. Well-known for being the prime breakfast and brunch spot, famous for gluten-free pancakes with a wide range of wacky, delicious flavors. Watch out for a long wait (we recommend planning ahead, seriously).
Breakfast & Bakery | $11-30 | Campus: 2900 Rio Grande St Austin, TX 78705
Located at the edge of UT Campus, visit a cute, aesthetic, Instagram-worthy bakery and cafe. Perfect spot for those “treat yourself” mornings, lots of natural light, quality food.
Southern | $11-30
North West Austin: 3600 North Capital Of Texas Hwy Bldg D Austin, TX 78746
North Austin: 3010 W Anderson Ln Suite D, Austin, TX 78757
Oak Hill: 7720 State Hwy 71 West, Austin, TX 78735
Large, spacious restaurant with outdoor patio space and bar, a great place for fancy/casual group meetings and lunch, large, delicious portions, notable for their Sunday brunch buffet. P.S. we heard this was Matthew Mcconaughey’s fav spot! (Also an HMG personal favorite!).
Breakfast & Brunch | $11-30 | East Austin: 1209 E 11th St Austin, TX 78702
Described as an Instagrammer’s dream, a savvy, vintage restaurant with cute, aesthetic ambiance and detailed decor at every turn. Great indoor/outdoor seating with lots of plants. Delicious, fresh food makes for the perfect breakfast/brunch spot!
Mexican | Under $10 | Downtown Austin: 314 W 17th St Austin, TX 78701
A truly hidden gem tucked underground to reveal a retro, hip, spacious, Austin spot. Perfect spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch, friendly staff that makes you feel like part of the family. May even have some fresh baked cookies!
Coffee & Brunch | $2-12 | East Austin: 1115 E 11th St. Austin TX, 78702
A great spot to quickly grab brunch and coffee, hang long enough to catch each day’s live DJ. The food is to-par with local brunch eateries, with everything from tortillas to sourdough being made fresh in-house, daily. A great spot that supports and collaborates with local artists, and creators. Sit inside or on either the front or back patio. (One of HMG’s personal favorites!)
Coffee & Drinks | $2-12 | East Austin: 2427 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX 78702
East Austin Coffee shop with outdoor space to work or chill while enjoying a hand-crafted caffeinated drink. With a food truck park a block away, this is a great spot to hang in the mornings.
24/7 Coffee | Under $10
South Congress: 515 S Congress Ave Austin, TX 78704
East Austin: 2001 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78702
Owned and operated by an Austin family, notable for being open 24/7, a great place to study or work at all hours of the day. Famous for their cold brew awarded as being one of the best in town.
Coffee & Baked Goods | $2-10
North Austin: 4615 N. Lamar Blvd. Ste. 303A. Austin, TX 78751
Downtown Austin: 222 West Ave. Suite #120, Austin, TX 78701
South Lamar: 1105 S. Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
Started in San Antonio, Merit Coffee is known for its incredible baked goods from Bakery Lorraine (come early before they run out), retail beans, and flavorful coffee. A great place to meet up with friends, coworkers, or work solo.
24/7 Coffee | Under $10
North Austin: 221 W North Loop Blvd Austin, TX 78751
Northwest Austin: 3900 Far W Blvd, Austin, TX 78731
A funky, artsy coffee shop that captures Austin’s vibe. 24/7 study spot for those that like a dimly lit work environment with an abundance of outlets. We heard they also got the best playlist in town!
Coffee | Under $10
Downtown Austin: 401 Congress Ave #100c, Austin, TX 78701
East Austin: 2823 East MLK Blvd, Ste 101, Austin, TX 78702
North Austin: 4200 N Lamar Blvd STE 120, Austin, TX 78756
A more upscale coffee shop, not the ideal place for a long stay (not many outlets or seating) but perfect if you’re looking for a meeting or reading spot. Great, aesthetic vibe with tasty signature coffee drinks.
Coffee & Breakfast Tacos | Under $10
South Austin: 3115 S 1st St Ste 1B Austin, TX 78704
Southwest Austin: 3201 Bee Cave Rd #163, Austin, TX 78746
Truly woodfired coffee made from a scratch-made roaster, known for their famous “moon milk” making a sweeter, smoother coffee. Great place to study, modern vibe, offers breakfast tacos in the mornings. Recommend getting half or quarter moons if you don’t have a big sweet tooth!
Coffee & Desserts | $5-15 | Lake Austin: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd Austin, TX 78703
An “Austin Original,” the first coffee shop to roast in-house, offer free wifi, and serve bottomless drinks. Looks over Lake Austin for the ideal study, meeting, or date spot. Look out for celebrities hanging here during SXSW or ACL!
Mexican & Tamales | $5-16 | East Austin: 1707 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
Operated by the Vasquez family since 1958. Tamale House East is an Austin classic you won’t want to miss. Low-key, relaxed vibe with a spacious outdoor patio and delicious plates.
Barbecue | $11-30 | East Austin: 900 E. 11th, Austin, TX 78702
Local vibes started by Aaron Franklin in Austin, TX from a small food truck, now renowned as Texas Monthly’s “best barbecue in the known universe.” Get there early (8am) before they run out!
Tex-Mex | $11-30 | Lake Travis: 6550 Comanche Trl Austin, TX 78732
Known as the “Sunset Capital of Texas,” enjoy spectacular views of Lake Travis while dining on traditional American Tex-Mex dishes, great for special events and large party reservations. Visit at sunset for breathtaking sights!
Coffee, Tacos | Under $10
South Congress: 1300 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78704
Downtown Austin: 242 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701
Home of the famous “I love you so much” wall. An iconic Austin outdoor-only spot located on the South Congress strip, the go-to spot for information on local Austin events/causes, especially those involving animals! Always serving hot ‘n ready breakfast tacos and specialty coffee drinks. Don’t forget to bring your dog!
Breakfast & Brunch | $11-30
Downtown Austin: 2606 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
South Austin: 3003 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
North Austin: 3704 Kerbey Ln, Austin, TX 78731
East Austin: 2200 Aldrich St STE 100, Austin, TX 78723
Old school, cozy, diner-esque ambiance, 100% family-owned started from a small house located on Kerbey Lane, now an Austin-classic serving home-style breakfast food 24/7 from 8 locations.
Pizza | $11-30
South Congress: 1415 S Congress St Austin, TX 78704
North Austin: 501 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751
A casual, dive-like atmosphere for Austin’s neighborhood NY-style pizza joint, known for oversized pizza and a-rockin’ back patio. The Margherita pizza is the way to go!
Visitors in Town
Southern Food | $31-60 | South Austin: 811 W Live Oak St, Green Pastures, Austin, TX 78704
19th-century South Austin antique farmhouse delicately serving rustic American comfort food fused with gourmet French. Catch a wedding in the event space, weekend brunch on the porch, or a colorful peacock roaming the serene green pastures.
Southern Comfort Food | Under $10 | Downtown Austin: 117 San Jacinto Blvd Austin, TX 78701
Based on a family recipe from 1953, a famous casual dining spot specializing in hot and spicy fried chicken. Perfect for those craving some good ol’ fashioned comfort food.
Tacos & Breakfast | Under $10
East Austin: 1704 E Cesar Chavez St Austin, TX 78702
South Austin: 4208 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704
North Central: 2401 Winsted Ln, Austin, TX 78703
Downtown Austin: 111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701
Now, with multiple locations as demand continues to grow across the city. Vera Cruz captures the essence of Austin food truck culture in the form of homemade, breakfast tacos. Great outdoor spots that cater to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Austinites.
Japanese Smokehouse | $11-30 | East Austin: 2713 E 2nd St Austin, TX 78702
Unique, Japanese pub-style dining experience featuring an array of unique dishes. An innovative fusion of Japanese food, BBQ, and Tex-Mex perfect for casual dining with friends and family.
Asian Fusion | $11-30 | South Lamar: 2115 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Asian smokehouse, the brainchild of Uchi and Franklin Barbecue chefs. A busy, energetic atmosphere in a swanky indoor mess-hall or outdoor barn-like patio. Austin-worthy chill vibes for date night, office happy hour, birthdays, or famous Franklin brisket without the wait.
Barbecue | $11-30 | Driftwood: 18300 Fm 1826 Driftwood, TX 78619
World-renowned barbecue in the scenic Texas Hill Country, smoked on an open-fire pit using family recipes from the 1800s and served on casual picnic benches. Prep for long waits, big crowds, and the ultimate Texas BBQ feasting experience.
Greek | $11-30 | South Austin: 2050 S Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
Family-owned coffee and wine bar offering Greek comfort food, local brews, and live music on cozy red couches or outdoor picnic benches under lighted oaks.
Coffee & Drinks | $2-12 | South Austin: 4204 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Coffee shop in the a.m. and beer garden by sunset. Great spot for bountiful outdoor seating, food trucks, and live music and events to keep you entertained. Check out their calendar to find the next Bluegrass night!
Mexican | $11-30 | South Congress: 1412 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Old cantina-style taco bar with over 30 years of Austin history bringing locals and visitors together. Serving hand-shaken margaritas, authentic Tacos Al Pastor, and Mexican beer of every kind in an outdoor Oak Garden featuring live jams Wed-Sun.
Breakfast & Brunch | $31-60 | Downtown Austin: 605 Davis St Austin, TX 78701
Towering over Rainey with sophistication from the 4th floor of Hotel Van Zandt, with shareable plates highlighting Austin’s finest Southern-contemporary cuisine. Catch skyline views from the rooftop lounge at swanky Sunday jazz brunch or nightly concert.
Barbecue | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 801 Red River St Austin, TX 78701
BBQ + Music for Austin’s best, all in one. A legendary local hickory pit at the heart of Austin’s music scene, with an outdoor amphitheater known for world-class live shows including B.B. King and Willie Nelson. Don’t miss the weekly Sunday Gospel brunch!
Breakfast & Brunch | $31-60 | Downtown Austin: 111 E Cesar Chavez St. Austin, TX 78701
Both whimsical and moody in a stylish setting that boasts sweeping views of Town Lake. Join out-of-towners and locals alike for unique dishes inspired by chef Kristen Kish’s French and Italian travels.
Sustainable Italian Fare | $9-26 | North Austin: 1900 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723
Classic and sustainably sourced Italian fare, located in Mueller. Offering fresh, housemade pasta and cheese daily. Thoughtfully curated food and drink menu, located in delightfully airy space, perfect for sharing with a special someone.
Breakfast & Brunch | $11-30 | East Austin: 2115 Holly St Austin, TX 78702
Retro-chic ambiance in a converted laundromat, now bursting with Mediterranean flavor and acclaimed desserts. Tucked away on a quiet East Austin corner for an intimate dining experience.
Breakfast & Brunch | $11-30 | Cherrywood: 2406 Manor Rd. Ste A, Austin, TX 78722
Farmer’s market stall to chic supper club, the perfect carnivore’s galore in a cozy setting. Features meaty options from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Italian | $11-30 | East Austin: 1601 E 6th St. Austin, TX 78702
Neighborhood spot with multi-regional hearty, Italian classics including homemade pasta, bread, and pizza. Crafted in an open-concept wood-fire brick oven bringing you the most authentic flavors of Italy.
Argentine | $11-30 | East Austin: 1201 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
Boutique family-owned restaurant celebrating Argentinian heritage with flavors and decor straight from the eclectic streets of Buenos Aires. Dine-in dim lighting beneath muraled walls to enjoy Argentine specialties like chimichurri, empanadas, and organic meat de la parilla.
Sushi | Above $61 | South Lamar: 801 S Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
Culinary innovation brought to historic South Austin with a non-traditional approach to Japanese. Classy dining with dynamite flavor using high-quality, fresh ingredients flown in daily from Japan.
New American | $31-60 | South Austin: 1807 S 1st St. Austin, TX 78704
Artesanal culinary delights made from local farm ingredients, offering a seasonally-focused fixed daily menu. Get swept away in the vintage-chic indoor space or magical backyard wine garden with lush creekside views.
American | Above $61 | Clarksville: 1204 W Lynn St. Austin, TX 78703
New American flavors and locally sourced products providing an upscale fine-dining experience in a Clarksville neighborhood cottage. Popular for its lively bar and posh vibes.
Interior Mexican | $11-30 | Allandale: 2330 W North Loop Blvd. Austin, TX 78756
Authentic interior Mexican fare for high-end, sophisticated dining in a central Austin neighborhood, popular among locals. Recipes by Abuela including Austin’s best mole, cochinita pibil, and sweet flan served in a colorful, elaborate hacienda showcasing original Mexican art.
Fresh Sushi | $125 | East Austin: 2600 E Cesar Chavez St Austin, TX, 78702
Private and intimate 17-course Omakase sushi from chef Phillip Frankland Lee, specializing in spicy fried chicken and new wave nigiri. Only 10 spots are available per night, and reservations windows are released at 10 am on the 1st of every month.
Formal Business Meeting
Thai | $11-30 | West Lake: 3437 Bee Cave Rd, West Lake Hills, TX 78746
Modern Thai eatery uniquely displaying an open kitchen and communal seating in a lively atmosphere. Ideal for big group gatherings at locations north or south.
American | $31-60 | South Austin: 1201 S Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
Food truck success launched into a hip, ethnic approach to Southern traditions. Now upscale casual in a contemporary setting with small plates that promote sharing. Try it for a killer happy hour with half-off select entrees.
American | $11-30
Downtown Austin: 701 Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701
North Austin: 10850 Stonelake Blvd, Austin, TX 78759
A superb dining experience in downtown Intercontinental Hotel boasting bold American cuisine and wood-fired rugged flavors. An inviting and energetic escape, perfect for sophisticated business lunch or elegant dinner.
Pizza & Brewpub | $11-30
South Austin: 4236 S Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
North Austin: 4729 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756
Voted Austin’s best brewpub for the last 5 years, serving handcrafted, artisanal pizza at communal tables that welcome large groups and casual hangouts. Pair a tasty shared meal with award-winning craft beer for the perfect neighborhood pub experience.
Tex-Mex | $11-30
South Austin: 1728 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78704
North Austin: 10520 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753
Fun and funky Tex-Mex with South Texas flavors, fresh ingredients, and a colorful dining room. Now a nationally-known chain but started with humble roots on Barton Springs Road in 1982.
Vegetarian & Vegan Fare | $8-18 | East Austin: 2337 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
An East Austin staple, enjoy wine or beer with a wholesome vegan meal. Choose from outdoor seating or the calming blue dining room, an ambient environment.
Barbecue | $11-30 | South Austin: 1003 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704
Casual spot for some good ol’ Texan barbecue. Be prepared for some long lines (don’t worry, they’re nowhere near Franklin’s!), the prime go-to barbecue place for Austin locals who are looking for quality barbecue.
Burgers | Under $10 | Allandale: 5400 Burnet Rd. Austin, TX 78756
Fast-casual, family-friendly burger patio created for fellowship, fun, and the whole family. Top off fresh beef patties and homemade sauces with a milkshake or try a salad or chicken options for the more health-conscious. Locations in neighborhoods across Austin.
American & Beer Bar | $11-30 | Sunset Valley: 5207 Brodie Ln. Ste 100, Sunset Valley, TX 78745
The ultimate Texas backyard experience – shuffleboard, corn hole, TVs to catch the game, and a play area for the kids. Dotted with bright red umbrellas to relax under while enjoying a wide selection of Texas drafts along with burgers, tacos, and all-day breakfast.
Burgers | Under $10
Allandale: 5620 Burnet Rd. Austin, TX 78756
South Austin: 2901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Best place to grab a good, simple burger for an uber-casual meal with the fam. Creative burgers with local inspiration and Austin flavors, plus a playscape to keep the kids busy, and shuffleboard, movies, and music for the rest. Grab some ice cream at Amy’s Ice Cream Shop after!
Comfort Food | $11-30
South Congress: 2218 College Ave, Austin, TX 78704
North Austin: 5408 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756.
Local homegrown favorite showcasing classic Southern comfort – oysters, fried pickles, and not-your-average fried chicken. Served in a casual, kid-friendly atmosphere ideal for the whole family.
Friday Night with the Crew
German Beer Garden | $11-30
North Austin: 6406 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd Suite 1100, Austin, TX 78752.
East Austin: 1501 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
South Austin: 3508 S Lamar Blvd Suite 200, Austin, TX 78704.
Upstairs bakery, downstairs beer garden, and deck patio stretched creekside under the shadow of downtown skyscrapers. Ping pong tournaments await – fueled by a whiskey bar, boutique draft beers, and German-style pastries and pub fare.
Tex-Mex | $11-30 | South Austin: 2613 S Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
Made-from-scratch, family-owned Mexican cooking with fresh ingredients. In-house tortilla factory, seating for over 500, and limey Margs make the perfect equation for an animated spot for fun gatherings and special occasions.
Burgers | $11-30
North Austin: 4615 N Lamar Blvd Suite 307, Austin, TX 78751
South Congress: 1400 S Congress Ave. Ste A190, Austin, TX 78704
East Austin: 1011 E 5th St Suite 180, Austin, TX 78702
Growing Austin-born chain with impossibly good handmade burgers and buns, ready to be devoured if you’re ready to commit to the line permanently wrapped around the building. Add a milkshake, seasoned fries, craft beer, or house-made liqueur for the perfect weekend cheat meal.
Mexican | $31-60 | East Austin: 1800 E 6th St. Austin, TX 78702
A taste of interior Mexico with succulent spirits, homemade masa, and mouth-watering brisket tacos, ready for any fiesta. Award-winning Oaxacan flavors served on small plates intended to share in a boisterous environment with subtle earthy surrounds.
Chinese (Dim Sum) | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 500 W 5th St. #168 Austin, TX 78701
Authentic Chinese representing 8 styles of regional cuisine, serving Sichuan flavors fresh from the farm with a modern appeal. Fun for a Friday night out downtown but don’t miss Dim Sum and tiki cocktails for Sunday brunch!
Japanese Ramen & Curry | $11-30
East Austin: 1600 E 6th St Austin, TX 78702
South Austin: 1234 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
A modern, Japanese-inspired ramen shop dedicated to bringing Japanese soul food to Austin. As an Austin favorite, you can expect a packed house all hours of the day.
Mexican | $11-30 | South Austin: 1025 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704
Cozy, neighborhood restaurant serving up fresh Mexican food. Gluten-friendly with a great outdoor patio as well as indoor seating. Definitely a unique and adventurous menu selection!
American | $31-60 | South Lamar: 615 S Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
Intriguing, ornate restaurant and event space, rich with history and a legacy of revolutionary undertones. High-quality contemporary American cuisine available in a cozy study, rooftop patio, luxe dining rooms, or the legendary Cedar Tavern bar, transported from New York’s Greenwich Village.
Brewery | $11-30 | 13187 Fitzhugh Rd Austin, TX 78736
165 acres of a pure, authentic brewery experience. Complete with wooden barns, multiple bars, and wood-fired pizza, the way a true brewery should be. Enjoy a farm tour (with goats!), games, and a brewery tour on a nice day out!
Mexican | $11-30 | East Austin: 105 Tillery St Austin, TX 78702
Cozy, fun, hip interior perfect for a fun date or special occasion. Gorgeously decorated interior that makes for a great Tex-Mex experience. Don’t forget to bring your camera for this one!
American | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 616 Nueces St Austin, TX 78701
A perfect blend of Texas, Mexican, and classic ranch-style food in a rustic-styled spacious venue. A fun, casual place to grab drinks, good food, and enjoy the nice weather near lively West 6th. Make sure you try out their famous Ranch Waters!
Pizza & Brewery | $11-30 | South Austin: 1305 W Oltorf St Austin, TX 78704
Bringing the Austin community together through their love of beer, pups, live music and pizza! An overall great outdoor/indoor experience for friends or family. Truly, has an Austin vibe!
Small Plates (Tapas) | $31-60 | Downtown Austin: 51 Rainey St Austin, TX 78701
Cozy, modern interior with subtle decor accents the use of local ingredients, a constantly-changing menu of small, delectable small plates appropriate for each season. Great for those who enjoy a variety of foods with their dining experience.
Mexican | $11-30
South Austin: 1703 S 1st St Austin, TX 78704
Downtown Austin: 915 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
A spacious, beautiful, and fun outdoor patio perfect for any occasion. The go-to spot for delicious Mexican food and drinks with family, friends, or coworkers. Stop by and try their famous Yucatan spiced chicken, we hear it’s to die for!
Italian | $31-60 | Central Austin: 3411 Glenview Ave. Austin, TX 78703
Formal yet friendly, sophisticated yet elegant Southern Italian cuisine and culture. Linger for a meal under a 200-year-old oak tree with 4 dining areas for special occasions from date night to weddings.
Patio for Food
Seafood | $31-60 | South Congress: 1400 S Congress Ave. Ste B100, Austin, TX 78704
Chill, coastal vibes serving fresh oysters and fish daily. Hang out here for a front-row seat to the South Congress buzz under striped umbrellas.
American-European Fare | $9-27 | North Austin: 306 E 53rd St, Austin, TX 78751
North Austin gem with rotating seasonal menus and American-European fare. Farm-to-table dedicated menu, supporting local farmers and featuring local meat and produce. Wine and craft beer in a funky, relaxed atmosphere.
Italian | $11-30
South Austin: 1500 Barton Springs Rd. Austin, TX 78704
North Austin: 10000 Research Blvd Building C, Austin, TX 78759.
Traditional Italian-American cuisine and live jazz in a sophisticated modern ambiance suited for special family-style group outings, charming happy hours, or date night.
Vegetarian & Vegan | $11-30 | South Austin: 1900 S 1st St. Austin, TX 78704
Bohemian vibes with a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu for a laid-back breakfast or lunch in a lively, dog-friendly atmosphere.
Vietnamese & French | $11-30 | South Austin: 1501 S 1st St. Austin, TX 78704
Delectable bakery treats and flavorful Vietnamese dishes, perfect for a cozy indoor brunch spot or a sunny afternoon on a quaint patio.
American Fare | $5-19 | 406 Walsh St. Austin, TX 78703
Excellent coffee with an extensive beer menu highlighting drafts from the neighboring brewery, Hold Out Brewing. Enjoy high-quality American classics on one of the patios that encircle the establishment.
Mexican | Under $10
Southwest Austin: 1500 Spyglass Dr. Ste B Austin, TX 78746
Downtown Austin: 301 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701.
North Austin: 4200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756.
Best place to stop by after a long hike on Green Belt, a hustle-bustle taco joint serving the famous tacos you see in every Austin coffee shop. Known as one of the best taco joints in Austin!
Mexican & Tacos | $5-15 | East Austin: 2512 E 12th St, Austin, TX 78702
Authentic Mexican tacos, featuring their homemade tortillas and fresh ingredients. A relaxed, counter-service taqueria with ample outdoor seating and large picnic tables.
For the Pups:
American Fare & Tacos | $7-18 | South Lamar: 2027 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
This one fits the description on more than one occasion. A great outdoor gathering place for large groups or casual work happy-hours. Dog-friendly yard bar with food trucks, pickleball courts, and yard games. Coupled with canopies, misters, and a wading tank to keep you cool.
Coffee & Beer Garden | Under $10 | South Austin: 121 Pickle Rd. Austin, TX 78704
Authentic South Austin vibes in a nationally recognized wildlife habitat embracing permaculture and sustainability and serving craft cocktails, Texas brews, and locally roasted coffee. Showcases local arts, music, and crafts in its outdoor garden at kid-friendly, pet-friendly events.
American & Bar | $11-30 | Allandale: 6700 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Dog park, bar, and restaurant in one for a chill after-work or weekend spot to bring the pups and mingle with friends. Relax under shady oaks while dogs run free in an off-leash backyard setting. Membership is required for the dog park but the dining patio is open to the public.
Sports Bar | $11-30
Downtown Austin: 520 W 6th St. Austin, TX 78701
North Austin: 5425 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756
“Sports-watching HQ” and watering hole (aka patio bar) in downtown Austin, the perfect afternoon or late-night spot to meet the gang for drinks, catch your favorite team and some sun and make some furry friends. Dog-friendly patio, also home to One Taco truck, hosting events like “Dog Spa Day.”
For the View
Tex-Mex | $11-30 | Lake Austin: 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
“Traditional Tex-Mex with a Polynesian twist” – a colorful display of Hawaiian spirit with bamboo walls, luau-esque decor, and a breezy pier stretching out over Lake Austin. Equipped for big groups, afternoon drinks, or casual dinner with the fam.
Burgers & Beer | $5-15 | Lake Austin: 2905 Pearce Rd, Austin, TX 78730
A historic Austin classic, originating from 1954, Ski Shores Cafe has been serving up burgers, tacos, and beer ever since. The cafe boasts a beautiful view and a relaxed ambiance. There is an additional location on Barton Springs Road in Austin, however, the Lake Austin location is best suited for nature views.
Southern | $31-60 | East Austin: 3235 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Family-operated ranch-to-table experience with farm-fresh ingredients and a vintage-y mercantile shop. Nestled up to the Colorado River in a versatile, indoor/outdoor setting with rustic-chic character.
Barbecue | $11-30 | Lake Austin: 5204 Ranch Rd 2222, Austin, TX 78731
Good ol’ mouthwatering Texas barbecue, slow-roasted and served up in a lodge right on the edge of Lake Austin. Features a rustic redwood deck, views to impress tourists, and a homey space for large events.
American Fare & Cocktails | $15-30 | 12525 Bee Cave Parkway, Bee Cave, TX 78738
Meridian 98 is a rooftop terrace bar that delivers incredible views of Texas Hill Country. With cocktails, spruced up American fare, and a view worthy of the drive.
Great for Drinks:
Asian Fusion | $11-30 | Allandale: 5520 Burnet Rd. Ste 100, Austin, TX 78756
Modern brick and mortar eatery with food truck roots, innovating southern comfort food with an Asian flair. Bright, clean aesthetic and welcoming space for any casual occasion. Happy vibes and deals for a truly happy hour.
Mexican | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 400A W 2nd St. Austin, TX 78701
Modern Mexican from locally sourced ingredients with downtown sophistication and energy. M-F happy hour from 5-7pm with half-off drink specials and discounted snacks, plus the largest blue agave tequila collection in Austin.
Sushi & Bar | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 206 Colorado St. Austin, TX 78701
2nd Street District swanky sushi is a go-to for fresh sushi, Maki rolls, and Sashimi items, fun for after work or late nights out. M-F happy hour from 3-7pm, Th/F reverse HH 10pm-12am, and all-day HH Sunday means delicious sushi at an unbeatable price.
Seafood | $31-60 | Downtown Austin: 301 E 6th St. Austin, TX 78701
Austin’s first gastropub dishing out high-quality, bold, farm-to-table American fare in a casual contemporary atmosphere, known for its raw oyster bar. Happy hour includes half off full menu food, beer, cocktails & wine every day 5-6pm, and half-price oysters & bubbles on Wednesdays.
Patio for Drinks
Cocktails | $11-30 | South Congress: 1316 S Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78704
Bungalow-style boutique hotel tucked away on South Congress Ave, welcoming visitors and locals into an ultra-modern getaway with lavish garden courtyards. Recline poolside to enjoy mellow tunes, light fare, and happy hour specials 12-5pm, M-Th.
Patio Bar | $11-30 | East Austin: 2211 Webberville Rd. Austin, TX 78702
Relaxing Palm Springs patio bar with 1970s retro aesthetic, flaunting bright umbrellas and summery cocktails in an East Austin poolside haven. Bask under palm trees for culinary pop-ups and events that bring out your inner rebel.
Asian Fusion | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 1315 W 6th St. Austin, TX 78703
Clarksville neighborhood bar in a quaint white house with daily “Social Hour” on its wraparound porch from 4-6:30 pm. Cocktails/drinks, tacos, and Asian-inspired snacky comfort food for under $6.
American & Bar | $11-30 | East Austin: 2027 Anchor Ln. Austin, TX 78723
Bringing the ranch to Austin with al-fresco dining where friends can hang out at picnic tables, drink beer and margs, and enjoy fresh, quality bar food. Dishes like rabbit and dumplings or okra introduce true ranch vibes under the open Texas sky.
Outdoor Day Drinking
Breakfast & Brunch | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 79 & 81 Rainey St Austin, TX 78701
Popular Rainey Street beer garden committed to creating good vibes and the full Austin experience. Enjoy 200+ craft beers, quality food made from scratch including 30 varieties of homemade sausage, and a backyard concert setting with weekly live shows and a Sunday big band brunch (10am – 4pm).
German Sports Bar | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 1607 San Jacinto Blvd. Austin, TX 78701
Historic beer garden adjacent to UT stadium and popular pre-game hub for football games. The oldest operating business in Texas (est. 1866), serving traditional German fare and a variety of local and imported beers. Outdoor garden and patio embracing live music shows, large gatherings, and meetups.
Brewery | Under $10 | 1615 Crozier Ln. Del Valle, TX 78617
Locally-owned microbrewery and haven for loyal beer drinkers, serving lagers and ales crafted in old-world brewing style and resulting in regional and national acclaim. Family-friendly taproom and Biergarten with German food trucks, artisan markets, and local events/parties.
Tacos & Coffee | Under $10 | East Austin: 1902 E 6th St Austin, TX 78702
A hip, cool, industrial look makes for a very spacious spot perfect for the post-work drink with coworkers or by yourself. Enjoy a nice selection of beers (mostly focused on English/Belgian beers) with some of their delicious tacos!
Tacos & Bar | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 621 Congress Ave Austin, TX 78701
A covered rooftop makes for a spacious, gorgeous, hang-out spot that combines outdoor scenery with a modern vibe. Perfect for hanging out with friends while getting some casual eats and playing oversized Jenga and other games.
Cocktails | $8-18 | Downtown Austin: 701 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Cocktails and view of the capital from Stephen H’s outdoor terrace. Chic space with a fruitful wine list, and specialty cocktails.
Rooftop Bar & Live Music | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 412 Congress Ave D, Austin, TX 78701
Old school vibe, live bands, and retro games. Complete with a small bowling alley, shuffleboard, darts. Huge place offering a variety of music for each room, great place to check out for a more chill night!
Mediterranean | $31-60 | Downtown Austin: 111 E Cesar Chavez St Austin, TX 78701
Beautiful, chic, fancy interior with plenty of space decorated with a soft color palette. Great view overlooking Towne Lake, known for serving Mediterranean small plates and cocktails.
Late Night Eats
American | $11-30 | Downtown Austin: 506 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Funky, vintage dining at this early morning/late night gem just off West Sixth Street, transporting you to a classic American dive bar with sass, flair, and true Southern hospitality. Comfort dishes, coffee, and fruity cocktails are offered on an Instagram-worthy backyard patio under pecan trees overlooking Shoal Creek.
French | $11-30 | East Austin: 4710 E 5th St. Austin, TX 78702
1937 bungalow-turned-restaurant with a nostalgic, unique aesthetic serving edgy French cuisine. Indulge in rich fare and a sense of joie de vivre during very late-night dining.
Detroit Style Pizza | $11-3o
Downtown Austin: 600 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Rainey: 96 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
Always an excellent choice, but the perfect late-night go-to. With many locations, refer to the two listed for the latest hours among locations. Perfectly situated downtown, catch these two locations 6 nights out of the week until midnight or later.
American | $11-30 | North Austin: 3121 Palm Way #101, Austin, TX 78758
Refined experience in the Second Street District offering craft cocktails, small plates, and contemporary dishes featuring seasonal flavors and local ingredients. Classy but casual downtown spot, open till midnight for late-night dining.
American | $11-3o
South Lamar: 2700 S Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78704
South Austin food truck: 1503 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Sinfully delectable donut treats and fried indulgences incorporated into every recipe, with punny dishes like Big Baller Burger and Mother Clucker chicken biscuit. Open late for a heavenly nightmare of fried options. Not for the faint of heart.
Gelato | Under $10
South Austin: 1713 S 1st St Austin, TX 78704
East Austin: 1109 E 5th St Suite 170, Austin, TX 78702
Located in a cute, aesthetic gelato shop that’s definitely Instagram-worthy, good array of unique flavors as well as cookie/brownie sandwiches.
Icecream, Wine & Beer | $3-10 | East Austin: 1814 Harvey St, Austin, TX 78702
A spin on a New Zealand classic and originally founded in Portland, Zed’s is serving up crazy delicious ice cream. Get your ice cream to stay and hang on the outdoor patio. Grab beer or wine if your sweet tooth is out of commission.
Ice Cream | Under $10
North Austin: 3500 Guadalupe St Austin, TX 78705
East Austin: 2002 Manor Rd suite a, Austin, TX 78722
South Austin: 2901 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Downtown Austin: 1012 W 6th St B, Austin, TX 78703
South Congress: 1301 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Fun, Funky, and just about as “Austin” as ice cream can get. Known for its funky flavors and fun workers, it is a great place to take the family for a sweet treat. Workers will usually do tricks with your ice cream! What’s better than that?
Gelato | Under $10 | Domain: 11700 Rock Rose Ste 176 Austin, TX 78758
Awarded for being one of the “best gelatos in the U.S.,” hidden on the corner of Domain Northside, offers an assortment of flavors comparable to a real Italian Gelato shop, a go-to if you’re looking for quality, authentic gelato. (One of HMG’s personal favorites!)
Ice Cream | Under $10
North Austin: 6555 Burnet Rd #200, Austin, TX 78757
East Austin: 1905 Aldrich St Suite 150, Austin, TX 78723
South Austin: 1100 S Lamar Blvd Bouldin Creek
A truly “honest” ice cream shop notable for using pure ingredients from family-owned farms, acclaimed for making unique flavors such as “goat cheese and thyme,” taste good. Opt for lighter ice cream with many options for dairy-free or vegan flavors. (Another HMG personal favorite!)
Ice Cream | Under $10 | East Austin: 1009 E 6th St Austin, TX 78702
Cute, quiet, and quaint gelato shop that offers unique flavors such as Vietnamese coffee and earl grey. Dimly lit, romantic, and perfect for a romantic first date!