The week marks the end of the era where we frequently enjoyed dining at the Best Austin Restaurants. Why? Because our Austin kids, daughter Allison & son-in-law Mike, are MOVING BACK TO HOUSTON (that’s where we live) with my 3 month-old-grandson. We are so excited!
Allison & Mike moved to the Austin area 10 years ago when they left for college. They earned their degrees, started their careers, got married and had a baby. And all of that time we’ve made regular visits to see them that always included going out to great places to eat.
Austin is a town for foodies. It has every kind of restaurant you can imagine. It had food trucks way before food trucks were cool. Delicious Mexican food, spicy Thai food, food for vegans and those who only eat grass-fed, organic, antibiotic free, cage free, mountain roaming, fresh water swimming food, and the best Texas Barbeque. It’s all there.
Now, it’s not like we can never go to Austin again. It’s only a 2 ½ hour drive. But since our kids are “coming home”, we just won’t have the occasion to make as many trips. So as we say goodbye to frequent visits to this beautiful Central Texas city, here are 6 of my favorite Austin eateries. In no particular order….
Best Austin Restaurants – The Peached Tortilla
The Peached Tortilla, like so many Austin restaurants, started as a food truck and is housed in a re-purposed building. It looks like it might have been an old Firestone Tire Store. Their menu is Southern comfort food with an Asian flair. How’s that for a mash-up?
We’ve eaten there for dinner and Sunday brunch. Both are outstanding and moderately priced.
Some of the things we love are:
Charred Brussels – OMG – these will make a vegetable eater out of anybody. Brussels Sprouts charred and cooked with bacon jam, parmesan, and lemon oil.
BBQ Pork Buns – We split an order of these delightful buns stuffed with Vietnamese braised pork belly, green onions, cucumber and Chinese BBQ sauce. But I could eat a whole order of these for my entrée.
The JapaJam Burger – A 6 oz. burger topped with tomato jam, pepper jack cheese, fried egg, tempura onion strings & Chinese BBQ Sauce.
The Taco Trio – Pick from these selections – I always get one of each:
- Bahn Mi Taco – Vietnamese braised pork belly, Daikon pickled carrot, sriracha mayo
- BBQ Brisket Taco – Dry rubbed brisket, apple slaw, smoky roasted peach bbq sauce
- Crunchy Fish Taco – Crusted white fish, apple slaw, chili aioli & purple cabbage.
No matter what you get at The Peached Tortilla, you are guaranteed something delicious and original twist.
Best Austin Restaurants – Foreign & Domestic
Foreign & Domestic has a neighborhood vibe with a fine dining menu. Housed in part of an old strip center, this restaurant is ultra casual and only seats 47 people. Reservations are a must. They are famous for their Gruyere & Black Pepper Popovers, which were featured by Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. You have to try these as your appetizer!
The menu changes a bit, depending on what is in season. When we go for dinner, someone in the family usually orders one of their seafood dishes. The last time we went, I had a beautifully prepared Branzini. The Roasted Wagyu Beef Culotte with Diane Sauce is melt in your mouth delicious! And my husband frequently enjoys their burger with aged cheddar, green tomato jam, and pickled onion. Top it with a fried egg and you’ll be full for a week!
Best Austin Restaurants – Noble Sandwich Company
This is the place to get the best breakfast and lunch sandwiches in Austin. These are hand-crafted sandwiches made with bread and pickles that are made fresh on the premises. The ingredients are high quality and include locally sourced and sustainable items. All this adds up to some yummy, gourmet sandwiches.
One of my favorites is the Thai Chicken with jalapeno cabbage slaw and cilantro.
Other popular items include the Smoked Duck Pastrami (with the restaurant’s signature, made in-house rye pickles), the Creole Catfish, and the infamous Noble Pig Sandwich (which gathers spicy ham, pulled pork, provolone, and bacon).
Best Austin Restaurants – Chi’Lantro
Chi’Lantro is a Korean Barbeque inspired restaurant with a mix & match menu that allows you to customize your own salads, rice bowls, and noodle bowls. You start with your base, add your Korean BBQ inspired protein, greens, toppings and dressing.
My lunch selection on the day we ate at Chi’Lantro was a noodle bowl made with their famous sweet potato noodles, spicy chicken, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, cilantro, guacamole and topped with Chi’Lantro Magic Sauce! YUM!
Other Korean BBQ Inspired proteins include beef ribeye, spicy pork, and marinated tofu.
Best Austin Restaurants – Gourdough’s
Gourdough’s is housed in an Airstream and parked in a food truck park. At Gourdough’s they make HUGE, hot, fresh, made to order doughnuts. I swear, you have never had anything like this. And these aren’t any doughnuts. They come in the most interesting combinations with names you will not soon forget:
The Mother Clucker – Fried Chicken Strips Honey Butter
Fat Elvis – Grilled Bananas & Bacon With Peanut Butter Icing & Honey
Mama’s Cake – Yellow Cake Batter Filling With Chocolate Fudge Icing (husband & daughter’s favorite)
Son of a Peach – Peach Filling, Cinnamon, Sugar & Cake Mix Topping
Blackout – Brownie Batter, Fudge Icing & Chocolate Covered Brownie Bites (favorite of chocoholics like me!)
You could eat one of these creations yourself, but you’ll most likely want to split one with a friend. This is not some light dessert after a big meal!
There are SO MANY great places to eat in Austin. This post just barely scratches the surface. Are you an Austinite? Have you visited Austin? Where do YOU like to eat?
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