La Condesa - best restaurant in Austin


Ultimate Guide to the Best Downtown Austin Restaurants

March 09, 2020

Updated March 2020

Best Restaurants In Downtown Austin

COVID-19 update: some restaurants in downtown Austin have not reopened for dine-in and most are only doing takeout at this time. Please call ahead before visiting.

This is your ultimate guide to navigating the best downtown Austin restaurants for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, happy hour, and late-night munchies.

SXSW 2020:

Welcome to SXSW 2020! Jane here from A Taste of Koko, Austin’s top food and travel blog, where I share the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @atasteofkoko to keep up with me during SXSW. If you’re a brand or agency that’s interested in working together on an SXSW activation, please email me at

If this is your first time to Austin, we’re all about local restaurants, smokey barbecue, craft cocktails, and breakfast tacos. Please enjoy the city while you’re here, but please don’t move here. ☺

SEE ALSO: 45 Top Things To Do In Austin


Lunch at Forthright Cafe


Patika Luncheonette

The local favorite South Lamar coffee shop also has a new location on Congress Ave, inside the lobby of the 100 Congress building. Stop in for coffee (they sell their retail line of Superthing!), and enjoy their healthy menu built for on-the-go dining, think stellar breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos, Salmon Stuffed Avocado, Avocado Toast, and pastries, as well as lunch sandwiches and salads. 



Austin’s first food hall, Fareground, located off of Cesar Chavez has 3 breakfast options: Henbit, Dai Due Taqueria, and Contigo.

111 Congress Ave,


Blender & Bowls

Start your day with a healthy bowl of acai with fresh fruit!

206 E 4th St, Austin, TX 78701,


Stella San Jac

Hungry and need a bite to eat near the Austin Convention Center? Stella San Jac is just a couple of blocks away.

310 E 5th St,


Caffé Medici

Not only does Caffé Medici serve the best coffee in Austin, but they also have the best breakfast tacos in Austin (aka Tacodeli).

200 Congress Ave,


Jo’s Coffee

Breakfast tacos, and 6 different egg dishes – welcome to Austin.

242 W 2nd St,


1886 Cafe & Bakery

Morning meeting? Head to 1886 Cafe & Bakery inside the historic Driskill Hotel for a quiet breakfast filled with baked goods.

604 Brazos St,

RELATED: 23 Best Breakfasts In Austin Worth Waking Up For


Austin Java

An Austin staple for over 20 years, The coffee cafe’s City Hall location is conveniently set in the heart of downtown, right across the street from ACL Live at The W. Serving house-roasted coffee, wine & beer and a full food menu, it’s the perfect place for a pick-me-up

301 w 2nd st,


Biderman’s Deli

Jewish-inspired deli in a cozy downtown setting. Offerings include breakfast bagel sandwiches, classic deli sandwiches like pastrami, corned beef and chopped liver, schmear and lox. Biderman’s also offers catering and online ordering if you seek convenience in the SXSW crowds.

800 Brazos Street,

Le Politique in Austin, TX


Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Sunday brunch buffet filled with plenty of moonshine – bourbon, whiskey, single malt scotch, tequila, Texas vodka, and gin.

303 Red River St,


Second Bar + Kitchen

For American food, check out the Texas benedict, black truffle pork belly confit pizza, and steak & eggs – there’s something for everyone!

200 Congress Avenue,


Swift’s Attic

Brioche french toast, peanut butter, house-cured bacon, salted caramel bananas – try and say that 7 times fast. But really, Swift’s Attic is a top pick for Sunday brunch.

315 Congress Ave,


Lambert’s Downtown BBQ

Looking to indulge? Lambert’s all-you-can-eat brunch features brisket, pork ribs, prime rib and more.

401 W 2nd St,


Le Politique

Enjoy a French brunch at Le Politique with fresh croissants, omelettes, croque madame, and les fromages.

110 San Antonio St,

SEE ALSO: 24 Spots With The Best Brunch In Austin 

Caffe Medici


Houndstooth Coffee

Out of town coffee snobs will love Houndstooth Coffee’s premium coffee. And I mean this in a nice way because the coffee is really good. For a cold option, try their Japanese iced cold brew.

401 Congress Ave,


Caffé Medici

Needing a pick me up to kick start a long day of panels? Head to Caffé Medici for one of the best cups of coffee in Austin! They’re famous for their cortados.

200 Congress Ave,



Want something sweeter? Halcyon has a fine selection of flavored iced frappes or even a coffee martini. Network over Halcyon’s tabletop s’mores.

218 W 4th St,


Alta’s Cafe

Get away from the crazy crowds at the convention center and escape to Alta’s Cafe. The balcony overlooking Lady Bird Lake has one of the best views of the lake.

74 Trinity St,


Jo’s Coffee

Necessary coffee stop when you’re in Austin that’s loved by the locals and celebs. Head to Jo’s South Congress location for the iconic “I Love You So Much” wall.

242 W 2nd St,

SEE MORE: Best Coffee Shops In Austin

La Condesa - restaurants downtown austin


Wu Chow

Who doesn’t love dumplings with tiki cocktails?

500 W 5th St #168,


Swift’s Attic

One of the hottest power-lunch scenes with it’s business lunch special. Choose from a snack, soup or salad and pair it with a sandwich for $15.

315 Congress Ave,


La Condesa

Order me the house margarita and guacamole sampler at this modern Mexican restaurant and I’ll be ready to sign any deal.

400 W 2nd St,


Second Bar + Kitchen

Solid food with shareable plates. I took the CEO of NatureBox here last year and he loved it.

200 Congress Avenue,


P. Terry’s Burger Stand

For those needing a quick lunch – grab the burger and fries at P. Terry’s.

515 Congress Avenue,


Le Politique

Fancy French spot in downtown Austin is the perfect business lunch spot.

SEE ALSO: 27 Best Options For Lunch In Downtown Austin TX



This fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant is conveniently located at 6th & Congress. 

Italic Restaurant in Austin



With 6 restaurant concepts at Fareground, there’s something for everyone to eat in the same space. Farm fresh from Henbit, tacos at Dai Due Taqueria, chicken at Contigo, cheese at Antonelli’s, and ramen and sushi from Ni-Kome.

111 Congress Ave,


Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

No frills at Gus’s, just good ol’ Southern friiiied chicken.

117 San Jacinto Blvd,



One of Austin’s finest restaurants for a plate of freshly shucked oysters and head upstairs to the best view of 6th Street.

301 E 6th St,



On this list of best restaurants in downtown restaurants for a quick lunch, Backspace is my fav. Neapolitan-style pizza with thin-crisp crusts blistered in the giant woodfire Italian brick oven. I love the Bianca pizza – it’s a veggie pizza.

507 San Jacinto Blvd,



Prosciutto pizza, spaghetti carbonara, negronis, and floating mezzanine filled with 100% Italian wines at Italic.

123 W 6th St,



If you’re wanting a healthier lunch, Koriente is a small Asian restaurant that’s family-owned. Popular items include the miso honey-glazed mahi-mahi but they also have vegan bowl options. 

621 E 7th St

La Condesa



Top dinner option in downtown Austin – head up to the rooftop for free 6th street entertainment during SXSW 2019.

301 E 6th St,


Taquero Mucho

This pink Instagrammable restaurant is by the owners of Gabriella’s in East Austin. You can get queso here!


La Condesa

La Condesa does get pretty packed for dinner so enjoy a tequila cocktail or two at the bar before heading to your table. Don’t miss their homemade ice cream for dessert. 

400 W 2nd St A,


ATX Cocina

Out of all the downtown restaurants, ATX Cocina is a popular spot for it’s modern Mexican with a focus on corn and seafood. The restaurant is also 100% gluten-free too!

110 San Antonio St Suite 170,


Red Ash

Northern and Southern Italy come together at Red Ash with the wood-burning grill and oven.

303 Colorado St #200,



Craving pizza and really good wine? Parkside’s sister restaurant, Backspace, is my favorite.

507 San Jacinto Blvd,



Comedor is the newest modern Mexican restaurant to downtown Austin with a spacious outdoor patio – crowd favorites include the bone morrow tacos and sweet and savory chocolate tamal.


Driskill Grill

Austin’s oldest and finest institution serves up a killer steak that’s comparable to any steakhouse in downtown Austin in a sophisticated fine dining experience.

604 Brazos St,


Wu Chow

Best Chinese food in Austin? Wu Chow, and they have tiki drinks.

500 W 5th St #168,

SEE ALSO: Wu Chow Serves Up Best Dim Sum In Austin


Emmer & Rye

Looking for a fine dining option on Rainey Street? Emmer & Rye boasts a curated, weekly shifting menu with innovative craftsmanship that pays homage to local farmers. You can order off a menu that changes weekly or partake in the evening’s seasonal small plates passed on circulating carts.

The menu features a wide range of flavors and ingredients through dishes such as handmade pasta, bread, and empanadas featuring heritage grains milled fresh daily

51 Rainey St #110,



If you want Tex-Mex for dinner, head to Polvos on Red River Street.

SEE ALSO: Best Restaurants With Private Dining Rooms In Austin

Le Politique Burger


Le Politique

Le Politique’s happy hour is Monday through Friday from 3pm – 6pm. Highlights include drink specials, 25% off seafood, and a dozen oysters + half-bottle of select sparkling wine for $35.

$2 off wines by the glass, $2 off house cocktails, $1 off beer, 25% off fruits de mer, and $35 for Douzaine et Demi (12 assorted oysters + half-bottle of select sparkling wine).

110 San Antonio St,

SEE ALSO: Best Happy Hours In Austin


ATX Cocina

Happy hour is 4:30pm to 6:30pm every day with $3 off cocktails, wine & draft beer, and $4 off select menu items.

110 San Antonio St Suite 170,


Swift’s Attic

Happy Hour starts at 2pm and ends at 6:30pm, Monday through Friday, with $6 specialty cocktails, $5 select wines, $2 bud lights and mickey’s (yes mickey’s) and $1 off domestic drafts.

315 Congress Ave,



1/2 off all pizzas, free focaccia, $1 off all draught beers, $4 glasses of wine, $8 house negroni, and $3 wells.

123 W 6th St,


La Condesa

Happy hour is Monday to Friday from 5-7pm with 1/2 drinks and $3 to $12 select appetizers.

400 W 2nd St,


Easy Tiger

Pretzels, beer cheese, local beer, and ping pong in the backyard beer garden.

709 E 6th St,

Tiki Drinks at The Townsend



Tucked inside a parking garage, Garage is a hidden gem in downtown Austin with solid craft cocktails!

503 Colorado St,

SEE ALSO: 7 Top Austin Speakeasies & How To Get Into All Of Them


Firehouse Hostel and Lounge

Nestled in the heart of downtown Austin, our craft cocktail lounge is located in the city’s oldest standing fire station, built in 1885. Discover speakeasy charm in the Firehouse Lounge, accessible through a hidden bookshelf in the hostel lobby. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, further heightened by our selection of craft cocktails, prohibition-era drinks, and timeless attention to detail.

605 Brazos Street,


Midnight Cowboy

Reservation-only speakeasy-style luxury cocktail lounge with quality drinks.

313 E 6th St,



Austin’s first absinthe bar with French comfort food and craft cocktails in downtown’s Warehouse District for over a decade.

208 W 4th St,


Small Victory

Intimate cocktail bar with killer drinks.

108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701,


The Roosevelt Room

Industrial-chic cocktail bar with over 70 different mixed drinks categorized by era. The bar has over 80 different mixed drinks!

307 W 5th St,

Voodoo Doughnuts


Voodoo Doughnuts

Needing something sweet? Voodoo Doughnuts are available 24/7.

212 E 6th St,


Second Bar + Kitchen

Want a sit-down spot? Second Bar + Kitchen is open Friday & Saturday until 1 a.m.

200 Congress Avenue,


Casino El Camino

This dive bar is the spot for ultimate late-night food – trust me, the 3/4-pound burgers is what you need after a night of drinking.

517 E 6th St,

SEE ALSO: 13 Best Burgers In Austin, Ranked


Chi’Lantro BBQ

Two words: KIMCHI FRIES. (see below).

SEE ALSO: Best Spots For Late Night Food In Austin

AFBA CityGuide 2020

This guide is part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s 2020 City Guide. Check out more of the best eats in Austin, curated by Austin food bloggers, on the full list of guides.



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Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.


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