UPDATED JULY 2017
**Another year, another list of 100 things you need to eat this summer in Austin. I created this guide in 2013, and it’s been one of my most popular blog posts to date. This list is freshly updated every summer to remove restaurants that closed and restaurants that no longer make the cut.
This is the ultimate guide to the best eats this summer. A humble compilation of food and drink personally tasted tested and approved. I picked a mix of favorites and bests – a list that will help you navigate Austin in all its gastronomic glory.
Dig in – the first reader to complete the list wins a heart attack and boasting rights.
Last time so many people asked me for a printer friendly version to put on their fridges so sign up below and I’ll send it to your email!
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1. UBE AFFOGATO AT SA-TEN
Japanese coffee shop, Sa-Tén, just added a new dessert to their menu: ube affogato. If you’ve never had ube before, it’s a sweet Japanese purple yam. Try their Japanese fusion menu while you’re there!
2. BRUNCH AT BUFALINA
PSA: Bufalina has weekend brunch from 11am to 4pm at both locations.
3. BEER + THAI FOOD AT SOURSOP
Located at St. Elmo Brewing Company, Soursop is my idea of a perfect Friday night. Tour the brewery, grab a couple brews, and indulge in Southeast Asian cuisine.
SEE ALSO: BEST THAI FOOD IN AUSTIN
4. COCKTAIL + JAPANESE SMALL BITES AT KEMURI TATSU-YA
You can easily spend three hours on Kemuri Tatsu-Ya’s patio drinking cat & puffer fish cocktails.
SEE ALSO: Best Patios In Austin To Wine & Dine
5. BRISKET CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE ICE CREAM SANDWICH AT LEROY & LEWIS
Try saying that 5 times fast. The brisket chocolate cookie ice cream sandwich is the kind of cookie you’ll get up in the middle of the night for.
6. FRIED CHICKEN + THAI CHILE CHICKEN WINGS AT CULINARY DROPOUT
Culinary Dropout is one of my favorie spots to hang out with friends – play ping pong, cocktails, and stuff my face with fried chicken and Thai chile chicken wings.
7. SEAFOOD FEAST AT SALT TRADERS
“Where can I go for seafood in Austin?” you ask. Well, go to Salt Traders Coastal Cooking for the best seafood in Austin.
8. MIGAS TACOS AT VERACRUZ
Austin bucket list item? Migas tacos at Veracruz. If it’s too hot for you to sit outside, Veracruz has a brick & mortar in Round Rock. No excuses here.
9. DRINKS WITH FOOD AT BACKBEAT
Drinks with food? Take me to Backbeat on South Lamar. Happy hour is Monday through Friday from 4-7pm with $2 off all bar snacks and $7 classic cocktails.
10. BRUNCH AT EBERLY
Eberly is the most beautiful restaurant in Austin ATM but it comes with a hefty price tag. Opt for brunch instead of dinner – avocado toast and fried chicken and waffles are delicious.
11. MODERN MEXICAN AT ATX COCINA
Austin gets another modern Mexican restaurant that’s sure to impress anyone that dines there. Loved the el hefe, crab tostada, and pawns. If you have a party more than 4, ask for the watermelon tiki punch. It comes packed with tequila, rum, and vodka!
110 San Antonio St, Austin, TX, atxcocina.com
12. PRICKLY PEAR MARGARITAS AT FRESA’S
Bring your furry friend to Fresa’s for prickly pear margaritas, elotes, and Brussels sprouts. They’re dog friendly!
13. HAPPY HOUR AT AH SING DEN
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into ancient Asian at Ah Sing Den in East Austin. Head to the patio and enjoy cocktails while hanging out with their resident rooster.
14. HAPPY HOUR AT GRIZZELDA’S
Queso, ceviche, tacos, and frozen margaritas in a Insta-worthy space – need I say more?
15. COCKTAILS AT KITTY COHEN’S
Cocktails while hanging in the pool with my doughnut floatie? You bet I’ll be at Kitty Cohen’s this entire summer.
16. MAPO EGGPLANT AT OLD THOUSAND
If you ask me where the best Chinese food is in Austin, I’ll say, “Old Thousand.” The mapo eggplant is gently fried and then tossed in a savory black bean sauce that’s incredible over a bowl of rice.
17. BOOZY ICE CREAM AT PROHIBITION CREAMERY
Three words: boozy ice cream.
18. VEGAN BAR FOOD AT THE BEER PLANT
Buffalo cauliflower with bleu cheese, chorizo cheese nachos, and mac & cheese – pssst it’s all vegan and soo good.
19. HEALTHY LUNCH AT FORTHRIGHT
If you live and work in downtown Austin, you need to grab lunch at Forthright. The avocado toast, veggie burger, and super food bowl are my favorites.
20. COCKTAILS & FRIES AT JUNE’S ALL DAY
If you ask me for coffee, I’m going to say, “cocktail and fries at June’s?”
21. REVOLVING SUSHI AT KULA
? Conveyor belt sushi is finally here at Kula Sushi!
22. MATCHA LATTE AT THE FACTORY
Matcha lattes in the cutest coffee shop in Austin but there’s a catch. No wi-fi.
23. ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT EXPERIENCE AT CAFE JOSIE
All-you-can-eat small plates for $40 a person every evening at Cafe Josie is one the best deals in Austin!
24. WINE & APPETIZERS AT LENOIR
Lenoir’s outdoor happy hour in their wine garden is Tuesday through Sunday from 5 – 6:30 with a smoked fish salad, roasted squash, cornmeal hush pups, taco of the day and kazu sesame bread.
25. HOT HONEY PIZZA AT PS 35
Scoot over IKEA Swedish meatballs, the hot honey pizza at PS 35 makes the trip to IKEA worthwhile.
26. TACOS AT VELVET TACO
Spicy tikka chicken, Cuban pig and ahi poke – these are not your typical tacos at Velvet Taco. Be sure to order the red curry coconut queso and red velvet cake too.
Pommes rosti means “crisp and golden” and Bonhomie has 6 different pommes rosti for you to choose from. The lox and dill is my favorite. Don’t forget to order the banana split profiteroles and café mille feuille.
28. TINY BOXWOODS
The chocolate chip cookies are worth the hype. That’s all you need to know.
29. TOWER OF POWER AT JT YOUNGBLOOD’S
Hungry? JT Youngblood’s tower of power comes with 21 pieces of fried chicken, rolls, & pickles ? .
30. MY NAME IS JOE
Iced matcha latte and Moroccan joint tartine with hazelnut hummus, pickled beets, and fresh herbs. My Name Is Joe is a charitable trailer that helps support those in the service industry who are looking for new life from drug and alcohol addiction. Drink coffee, eat good food, and help support a good cause.
31. WAFFLE FRY NACHOS AT NATIVE
Waffle fry nachos with queso, tomato, serranoes, sour cream, and then topped with brisket. The cocktails at Native are also pretty killer. If you get food coma and can’t make it home, rooms are only $69 a night.
32. RAINBOW RICE BOWL AT KINDA TROPICAL
Who knew a rice bowl could be so good? Obsessed with the rainbow rice bowl at Kinda Tropical in East Austin – kale, cucumber, radish, cabbage, carrots, herbs, and gomasio.
33. SOUTHERN BRUNCH AT MATTIE’S
The iconic Green Pastures estates has reopened with its own restaurant called Mattie’s serving a laid-back Southern vibe, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits on the brunch menu with classic cocktails.
SEE ALSO: 19 Spots With The Best Brunch In Austin
34. STEEL CITY POPS
All-natural pops made with local ingredients served up at the Picnic food trailer park.
35. FINE FOODS
Hang out at Austin Motel’s Fine Foods from 3 to 6 pm for $1 off drafts and well drinks, and half-off punches. If you like old fashioneds, you’ll love their cold fashioned!
1220 S Congress Ave
36. THAI FOOD AT DEE DEE
The pad kapow with spicy stir-fried pork and Thai basil, steamed jasmine rice, chili fish, cold cucumber and a fried egg at Dee Dees is so good.
37. EL CHIPIRON
? We have a new Spanish tapas spot in Austin! Salpicón de pulpo & the tinto de verano were soo good.
The pincho has also become associated with Basque gourmet cuisine, and many top Michelin-starred chefs across the region are pushing boundaries with flavours and ingredients, bringing the pintxo fully into the 21st century. – The Culture Trip
2717 S Lamar Blvd #1085, elchipironaustin.com
38. TEX-MEX AT CHUY’S
? Tex-Mexing at Chuy’s – chicken enchiladas with boom boom sauce, steak fajitas, chile relleno, & frozen watermelon margaritas!⠀
39. COLD COOKIE CO
There’s a new ice cream truck in town and that’s Cold Cookie Co serving up freshly baked cookies and locally made ice cream.
40. WINE + CHEESE TOULOUSE CAFE
After a long day of shopping at Domain NORTHSIDE, treat yourself to wine and cheese at Toulouse.
41. BISCUITS AT FIXE
Come for the biscuit but you’ll want to stay for the deviled eggs, fried chicken, and ribeye.
500 W 5th St, austinfixe.com
42. ROSÉ + FRIES AT EASTSIDE TAVERN
And when I say fries, I’m talking about loaded fries topped with pulled pork, cheddar, pickled onions and house bbq.
43. THAI ICE CREAM AT ICE SCRAPERS
Cool off this summer with Thai rolled ice cream – I got strawberry s’mores at Ice Scrapers!
44. POKÉ AT OLA POKE
Build-your-own poke bowls at Ola Poke! My go-to is salmon and ahi tuna with seaweed salad, avocado, corn, white rice, masago, furikake, and spicy mayo.
45. GREEN LIGHT SOCIAL
Wednesdays are Sake Social at Green Light Social – poke bowls, sake flights + bombs, punch bowls, live music & more.
Try a new cuisine this summer like Ethiopian food at Habesha. The combination vegetarian platter is only $14.95 – pick a vegetarian dish with humus fit fit, salad, butters, and azifa.
47. TRUE FOOD KITCHEN
Crudité + rosé, it’s all about balance right? ??⠀
48. SPRINKLES ATM
The sweetest ATM machine ever is a cupcake ATM and you’ll find it at Sprinkle’s in Domain NORTHSIDE.
49. LATE NIGHT AT SECOND BAR + KITCHEN
Second Bar + Kitchen is open until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights if you’re hungry. No more pizza delievered.
50.MARGHERITA + TOPO CHICO AT HOMESLICE
Let’s go back to the basics: hot slice of margherita pizza at Homeslice and cold bottle of Topo Chico ✌?
51. BREAKFAST TO-GO FROM BOUGIE’S DONUTS
I’d like a dirty horchata latte + berry donut to-go.
5400 Brodie Ln Unit #930, Sunset Valley, TX, bougiesdonuts.com
52. BREAKFAST AT EDEN EAST
Breakfast this Saturday? Let’s go to Eden East! Check out their Instagram for the rotating menu.
53. CAFE NENA’I
Take a trip to Latin America without your passport at Cafe Nena’i. Cafe Nana’i serves Paraguayan & Argentine pastries like empanadas, cafecitos, arepas, chipa, chipaguazu, and medialunas y vigilantes.
54. HOT CHICKEN AT TUMBLE 22
Nashville-style hot fried chicken is here in Austin! Tumble 22 is parked at Star Bar on West 6th Street – come grab a spicy dinner before heading out for drinks.
600 W 6th St, tumble22.com
55. DINOSAUR RIBS AT TERRY BLACK’S
Smokey meats + southern sides at Terry Black’s – let’s call it a day after one of those dinosaur ribs.
56. PORK MILANESE AT TEXAS FRENCH BREAD
We’re all guilty of not visiting the restaurants in Austin that have been open since back in the day. The pork milanese at Texas French Bread is ??.
57. GONG FU CHA AT THE STEEPING ROOM
Get a drink with the friends and by drinks I mean afternoon tea at The Steeping Room. The gong fu cha is an sensory experience of Asia that uses pu’er tea from Taiwan/China.
58. BEIGNETS AT EPICERIE
Since I can only go to NOLA once a year to Cafe Du Monde for beignets, Epicerie feeds my fix with their fluffy beignets.
59. FAMILY MEAL AT WU CHOW
Soup dumplings, steamed whole fish, Sichuan tofu, honey pecan gulf pawns – family meal is encouraged at Wu Chow and trust me you’re going to want one of each dish on the menu.
60. BAO’ED UP
Juicy pork buns, bbq pork buns, veggie buns, and egg cream buns.
61. HALAL GUYS
Two words: Halal Guys.
62. HAPPY HOUR AT UNIT D PIZZERIA
Happy hour at Unit D is Monday, and Wednesday – Friday from 5 – 7pm. Loved their new Indian inspired happy hour menu with fried green tomatoes and harissa buttermilk ($5), chaat chicken ($5), and white bean puree with warm bread ($5). 1/2 off select bottles of wine, $5 glasses of wine, $5 cocktails, and $5 beer drafts!
2406 Manor Rd D, unitdpizzeria.com
63. MEDITERRANEAN LUNCH AT MEZZEME
Mediterranean for lunch? I’m so excited to have more lunch spots in Austin! Start by choosing your base – a pita pocket, salad greens, crazy grains, or basmati rice. Beef & lamb, doner, chicken doner, braised lamb, kofte balls, or falafel. Be sure to get one or two of the feta puff pastry and you’ll thank you.
4700 West Guadalupe Street #9, The Triangle, Austin, TX, mezzeme.com
64. DETRIOTER AT VIA 313
Mmmmm… smoked pepperoni, cheese, and Via 313’s thick crispy crust.
65. ICED GOLDEN MYLK AT SOUP PEDDLER
PSA: Soup Peddler has iced golden mylk made with Curcuma turmeric paste! Pro tip: ask for a splash of Stumptown coffee for a buzzy kick.
66. VEGAN MAC & CHEESE BISTRO VONISH
Before you say, “ew, really vegan mac & cheese?” There’s something about the chewiness, nuttiness, and crispiness of the mac & cheese that I can’t get enough of.
SEE ALSO: 25 Best Spots For Vegan Food In Austin
Scratch-made Neapolitan pizza, homemade pastrami, and the biggest chocolate chip cookies that are worth the drive.
2005 US-290, Austin, TX
68. JASMINE GREEN DESSERT AT UCHIKO
Uchiko’s happy hour includes temaki, takoyaki, and bacon onigiri. Sadly the Brussels sprouts are no longer on happy hour but full price on the dinner menu. Be sure to order the Jasmine green dessert – ask for the gluten-free version, the puffed quinoa is so much better than the graham cracker crust.
4200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX, uchikoaustin.com
69. RICE BOWLS AT CHI’LANTRO
Everyone’s had the kimchi fries at Chi’lantro but have you had their rice bowls?
70. HAPPY HOUR AT LUCKY ROBOT
Grab your friends and catch up over sushi, Brussels sprouts (one of fav in town), and nomnomiyaki.
71. GELATO + COCKTAILS AT GEMELLI’S
Housemade gelato with local incredients and smooth cocktails to finish off a long summer day.
72. DRINKS AT AZUL ROOFTOP BAR + POOL
Take a dip in Austin’s tallest rooftop bar + pool.
73. LIQUID NITROGEN AT SPUN ICE CREAM
You can now get Spun at Domain NORTHSIDE next to Whole Foods in their adorable shipping container daily from 12:30-10 pm.
74. AVOCADO TOAST AT JUICE SOCIETY
? toast and fresh juices in a clean, sleek space.
75. LICK ICE CREAMS
5 scoops of ice cream goodness at Lick Ice Creams! Lick has 3 locations in Austin – South Lamar, Burnet, and Mueller.
76. CAFE NO SE
Healthy grain bowl with a poached ?, quinoa, fried chickpeas, ?, & pumpkin seed pesto – just what I needed after weeks of traveling!
77. BLENDER & BOWLS
Fuel up on colorful Amazonian superfruit açaí bowls at Blender and Bowls. The bowls can be customized with gluten free, vegan or paleo options accommodating all dietary preferences.
78. SUNDAY BRUNCH BUFFET AT FONDA SAN MIGUEL
All-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet from 11am – 2pm for only $39. You can have all the queso, cochinita pibil, ceviche, and mole that you want.
79. QUESO FLAMEADO AT ALCOMAR
PSA: happy hour is every day from 3 – 6pm
SEE ALSO: Alcomar, Austin’s Seaside Escape
80. SUPPER AT JACOBY’S
Did I just stay supper? Deviled eggs, stuffed yeast rolls, beef boudin balls, 1/2 lb cheeseburger & fries, chicken fried steak, and wood roasted chicken at Jacoby’s counts as supper.
81. BREAKFAST AT PAPERBOY
You can now get breakfast from Paperboy in two locations in Austin: East Austin and South Austin’s Radio Coffee & Beer.
82. BURGER + FRIES AT CLARK’S OYSTER BAR
Best burger in Austin goes to the pan seared burger at Clark’s Oyster Bar with a tower of shoestring fries.
83. BREAKFAST HILLSIDE FARMACY
Sunnyside up eggs, bacon, coffee, and a side of fries, please.
84. BEEF RIBS AT LA BARBECUE
No more sitting outside in the heat at La Barbecue, the barbecue trailer has moved in with Quickie Pickie on East Cesar Chavez.
85. COW TIPPING CREAMERY
I love the simple swirl of soft serve in a freshly baked waffle cone with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Check Cow Tipping Creamery’s Instagram for specials like the donut cones.
86. HELADOS DE LA CASA AT LA CONDESA
Come for the margaritas and guacamole and stay for the helados de la casa (housemade ice creams and sorbets).
87. AL FRESCO DINNER AT CONTIGO
Enjoy the good ol’ Texas outdoors at Contigo. The dinner menu features 5 different charcuterie options, rabbit & dumplings, and burger & fries.
88. SUSHI AT KOME
If I’m craving sushi, I go to Kome. It’s fresh, simple, and done right.
89. GELATO AT DOLCE NEVE
7 scoops of gelato at Dolce Neve and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
90. STEAK FRITES NIGHT AT JOSEPHINE HOUSE
Mondays are steak frites night at Josephine House from 5 – 10pm. Choose from wedge salad, chicken meatball soup, or chicken liver mousse (my choice) for your first course. Prime 7 oz tenderloin filet, prime 11oz New York strip, prime 13 oz ribeye, gulf shrimp, or prime tenderloin beef tartare for your entree. And for dessert, nutella mousse cake, funnel cake, stinky cheese, or scoop of ice cream.
91. THAI COFFEE AT HOLLA MODE
Thai style ice cream rolled up because that’s how we roll.
92. PEACHED TORTILLA
Ask for the Koko Special at Peached Tortilla – Belgian fries + pickled strawberry & goat cheese salad. And a side of kimchi queso ?
93. MOTHER CLUCKER AT GOURDOUGH’S
Oldie but a goodie. I added Gourdough’s to this list because I haven’t been to the air stream in 3 years until recently. The Mother Clucker and Miss Shortcake are still just as good I remembered it.
94. ROOFTOP HAPPY HOUR AT BOILER NINE
Head up to Boiler Nine’s observatory bar for a panorama of downtown Austin while snacking on beer bread, cumin tostadas, fried cauliflower, and streak fries.
95. LIQUID NITROGEN ICE CREAM AT SCIENCE CREAM
Creamy ice cream made with liquid nitrogen right before your eyes on SoCo.
96. TOAST + SOFT SERVE AT IRENE’S
Irene’s has the best toasts in Austin IMO – avocado toast and nutella toast are soo good. Grab a soft serve with sprinkles on your way out.
97. CAMPFIRE CHURROS AT CHURRO CO.
Best churros I’ve ever had. The Campfire has churros tossed in graham cracker sugar, topped with Mexican chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and torched marshmallows.
98. STEAK FRITES AT JUSTINE’S
My favorite meal in Austin? Steak frites with the house red at Justine’s with their chocolate cake to end the night.
99. LIGHTBULB DRINKS AT MANGO 8
At Mango 8, you can get your bubble tea and fruity drinks in a fun lightbulb cup. They also have a cute panda shaved ice!
100. SNOWBALLS AT CASEY’S NEW ORLEANS SNOWBALLS
Cool off from Austin’s 100+ temperatures with a snowball at Casey’s snowball stand. Pro tip: ask for a scoop of ice cream in the middle.