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Where to eat in Austin TX?


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#1 doorbell

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:24 AM

Where to eat in Austin TX?

#2 Zachary

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:07 PM

Doorbell,

Austin's a big city - care to give us some guidelines that might help us help you?

Thanks,

Zachary

#3 Shalmanese

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:00 PM

If you're going to be there March 9th - 18th, SXSW is on and the entire town is going to be a zoo. All the good restaurants and food trucks will have either been previously booked out or at least an hour wait the entire day but there's a ton of free food everywhere from various corporate sponsors.
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#4 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:46 AM

If you're going to be there March 9th - 18th, SXSW is on and the entire town is going to be a zoo. All the good restaurants and food trucks will have either been previously booked out or at least an hour wait the entire day but there's a ton of free food everywhere from various corporate sponsors.


Actually if you get out of walking distance of downtown you're pretty safe even then. Last year during SXSW I was working at Jeffrey's in Clarksville (west of DT) and we never really got crazy. A lot of the hipster joints in DT and south of the river will be insane but if you head north it shouldn't be too bad.
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#5 Dakki

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 12:49 AM

For BBQ try Franklin's on E 11th. It has been favorably compared to the "big three" in Lockhart.

Or just drive over to Lockhart, I guess?
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#6 Zachary

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:23 AM

If anyone wants to go to Franklin, you should get there by 9:30 or 10 AM at the latest. My last visit, we were there at 10 (an hour before they open), and there were 15 people ahead of us in line. By 11, the line was around 100-150. But if you go, get the brisket. It's atypical, but stunning.

Thanks,

Zachary

#7 LizD518

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 07:38 AM

I'm going to be in Austin the last weekend in April for a family wedding. The Austin Food and Wine Festival will be going on, but schedule and budget will not allow me to partake. I think I will have Saturday & Sunday breakfast and/or lunch to fill. We are staying in the Radisson, which is downtown, and will be without a car. Everyone is pretty adventurous and I would love to try some great Texas BBQ. Would love to go to Lockhart, but without a car and with limited time I don't think it is going to happen.

#8 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 08:23 AM

I'm going to be in Austin the last weekend in April for a family wedding. The Austin Food and Wine Festival will be going on, but schedule and budget will not allow me to partake. I think I will have Saturday & Sunday breakfast and/or lunch to fill. We are staying in the Radisson, which is downtown, and will be without a car. Everyone is pretty adventurous and I would love to try some great Texas BBQ. Would love to go to Lockhart, but without a car and with limited time I don't think it is going to happen.


Unfortunately if you don't have transportation and are limited to downtown, superlative BBQ is not really in the cards. But the other options are legion, you definitely won't go hungry.

For something fun and low-key, check out Frank on 4th street. Artisan hot dogs and one of the city's best coffee programs. Bar Congress for Cocktails. La Condesa for good Mexican (NOT Tex-Mex, like actual Mexican food). If you're stuck in downtown on a weekend though, there are going to be crowds everywhere in the evening so be prepared.

If you're willing to take along walk or short cab ride, you're on South Congress and a lot of other fun options.
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#9 rlummis

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 09:55 AM

For barbecue, Iron Works is less than a half mile from the Radisson, and is pretty good.

Franklin is a pretty good walk (1.3 miles by Google), but the barbecue is amazing. It's uphill going there from the Radisson, so it will help you work up an appetite. The remarks above about the wait on weekends are correct.

#10 jsmeeker

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 08:29 PM

For BBQ try Franklin's on E 11th. It has been favorably compared to the "big three" in Lockhart.

Or just drive over to Lockhart, I guess?



Franklin is better than all the places in Lockhart. Or Luling. Or Taylor. Or really, anywhere else in Texas. It's freaking fantastic. Seriously. You don't have to leave Austin and drive way down 183 to get superlative BBQ when visiting Austin anymore. And heed the suggestions about getting here early. If you aren't waiting on line, you aren't getting any. And even if you are, you still might not get any.

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#11 Zachary

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 10:59 PM

Woah now... let's not be hasty. While I'd certainly agree that Franklin has great brisket, their ribs and sausage were solidly good. I think that the ribs are better at Louie Meuller in Taylor, or Kreuz (love the cured aspect, almost bacony), or Smitty's. I think Black's has the best sausage (of the big 5), followed closely by Smitty's and Louie Meuller. But yeah, get a cab if you have to, and wait in line, but go to Franklin for the brisket!

Thanks,

Zachary

#12 Twyst

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:25 AM

The tipsy texan sandwich is where it is at when it comes to franklins IMHO!


I moved to austin a few months ago and have had some fantastic meals, Im loving it here! Also since the OP was not specific in what they wanted, I feel we should mention the obligatory uchi/uchiko and congress when it comes of places to eat in austin. Between franklins and those places I think that covers the most popular dining destinations Ive discovered here.

Edited by Twyst, 10 March 2012 - 07:26 AM.


#13 patrickamory

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:59 PM

John Mueller's truck on S. 1st offers superlative real Texas barbecue - brisket, sausages, prime rib - it's all wonderful.

I have not yet been to Franklin's. But have been to most of the well known out of town spots - Lockhart, Taylor, Llano, Elgin, Luling etc.

#14 Kent Wang

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 06:50 PM

I used to write for Fearless Critic Austin and can vouch for the reviews there. In addition to barbecue I think Nubian Queen Lola's is a must.

#15 kaszeta

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:02 AM

Woah now... let's not be hasty. While I'd certainly agree that Franklin has great brisket, their ribs and sausage were solidly good. I think that the ribs are better at Louie Meuller in Taylor, or Kreuz (love the cured aspect, almost bacony), or Smitty's. I think Black's has the best sausage (of the big 5), followed closely by Smitty's and Louie Meuller. But yeah, get a cab if you have to, and wait in line, but go to Franklin for the brisket!


jsmeeker isn't being too hasty... last year I went with him and some others to quite the assortment of central TX bbq joints (Kreuz, City Market, City Meat Market, Snows, Franklin's...). We had unanimous acclaim in our group for Franklin.

And yes, we showed up two hours early (due to a miscommunication about opening time), and while that guaranteed us the front of the line, by 1 hour out there was a small crowd, and by 30 minutes out a large one.

Next time I go, I might still show up at T-2, since we also got to talk to Franklin as he was finishing up the smoking... That was worth it.

#16 LizD518

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:24 PM

It sounds like Franklin is my best option - now I need to convince everyone else to get up Saturday morning and wait in line for an hour or so...

#17 Dakki

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:14 PM

I'm sure you'll love it. Enjoy Austin, it's a nice town all around.
This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

#18 eternal

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 10:29 AM

This turned into a BBQ thread, which I get, but I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions for a nice dinner. I plan on eating Franklins one day and Mueller the next so maybe a meat heavy dinner might be a bit much. Is there anybody doing something emphasizing local ingredients (that's not BBQ :)). I'm not interested in sushi or Asian food in general for this trip. I see WInk, Congress and the Driskoll grill get decent reviews on yelp and might fit the bill. Anything else you could suggest?

#19 justj4

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:44 AM

I saw this on some food show ,been wanting them ever since. hope to try. They are black pepper and Gruyere cheese popovers at Foreign and domestic. here is an article. There is a picture.

http://www.tastingta...as_newcomer.htm

#20 Baselerd

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:13 AM

I live in Austin, and while I love BBQ, Austin has really gotten swept up in the recent farm-to-table trend (which is awesome). Here are some of my favorites:

1.) Uchiko / Uchi; By far the most popular / trendy restaurants in Austin, likely due to the fact that the Chef of Uchiko (Paul Qui) was on Top Chef. With that said, these places are awesome and their menus have significant overlap. Think modernist Japanese tapas, with a lot of high-end flair. The desserts here are insane. Make reservations a week in advance, and be prepared to spend at least $60 per person if you want some alcohol.

2.) The Barley Swine. My personal favorite. Once again, a farm-to-table establishment with seasonal menus featuring 12 - 15 or so small plates, and a great draft beer selection. This place serves up their trendy foods like pork belly and foi gras with some exciting modern flair (foams, gels, etc.), all at a reasonable price ($8-$14 per plate is standard). It's worth mentioning that this place only offers bar or communal seating.

3.) The Carillion. Located within the University of Texas campus, this place serves farm-to-table food very interesting flavor combinations. Fairly expensive, but a three-course mix-and-match tasting menu can be had for $65 each. My personal favorite in Austin as far as food goes, but the atmosphere is a little too fancy-pants for me...

As you mentioned, the Driskill Grill is also an excellent choice, and I've never been to Wink but have heard only positive things about it. Congress is also supposed to be amazing, but I can't justify their pricing (they only offer multi-course pre-fixe menus starting at $75 ea).

Edited by Baselerd, 28 September 2012 - 09:16 AM.


#21 Alex

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:00 AM

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#22 patrickamory

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:38 PM

Have been back to J Mueller's a few times recently and if anything it's getting better.

Was not impressed with Uchi. Even if some of the dishes were good, the service, volume level and general attitude were unbearable. I do not want to get yelled at or oversold when ordering Japanese food.

However I did recently go to a sushi place up on Loop 1 that was excellent, even for this New Yorker. It might have been Musashino - not quite sure.

#23 eternal

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Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:46 PM

Im on the flight home from Austin and ended up eating at Franklins, jMueller, backspace and moonshine. The last two were because my friend arranged it and the other because she worked there.

Franklins - Arrived at around 11:30 and waited about an hour. When I left the line was probably only 15 minutes long and they still had meat. it was a wednesday. The brisket is seriously delicious and tender and tasty. It was worth waiting in line for. The pork ribs were also really good though a little too "fall off the bone" for me. Compared to the BBQ I'm used to where there's really a lot in the rub and sauce, the seasoning here accentuates the meat and doesn't play cloy with sweets. The sausage, well, I didn't actually like it. Sadly. Right now I have 2 pounds of brisket and ribs in my backpack along with sauce. I guess TSA thought the sauce was a toiletry :)

JMueller - After the meat fest the day before I cut back on my order and just got the beef short ribs. This was the best food of my trip. The rub seems to be mostly black pepper with some brown sugar and really. Short ribs?! Amazing. I'm going to try and replicate when I get home. Why isn't anybody else smoking short ribs?!

backspace - cool little italian pizza joint. Nothing particularly awesome but the restaurant week deal was pretty good. $54 for lamb and pork meatballs, a good pizza, awesome cheesecake in a mason jar and a bottle (yes, a bottle) of red. We had a good time.

moonshine - across from the convention center selling comfort food. yes, your meal comes with steamed broccoli and roasted carrots but the green chili cheese grits were outstanding and so was the pecan-crusted catfish with homemade hot sauce. I dug it

#24 et alors

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:30 PM

Any new-hot or classic-getting-better-all-the-time recos for this 2013 SXSW season?


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#25 malarkey

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:06 PM

Any new-hot or classic-getting-better-all-the-time recos for this 2013 SXSW season?

 

2nd Bar & Kitchen continues to make great food, Swift's Attic is awesome; both are all about small plates/sharing and local-seasonal stuff. I had a lovely meal recently at Clark's, a new seafood joint from the folks who also own Perla's, in fact I thought it was better than Perla's. I really like La Condesa as well, especially their small plates. Barley Swine is great as well, but its small and you will wait to get in there, especially with SxSW in town. And while I think the food is great I do think his prices are a bit steep (well, for Austin).

 

Carillon for getting on a fancy feast because wowie can Josh Watkins cook. Really great stuff. Trace has done some switching up of staff, and I haven't been since all that happened but I really liked my meal there. Parkside on 6th is great, also small plates & sharing oriented. Backspace is also Shawn's joint and it's gotten some good accolades as of late. 

 

The Rainey district will be crawling with peeps but if you want some real interior mexican you might want to hit up El Naranjo. 


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#26 mskerr

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:40 PM

Am spending some extended time in Austin. I don't call myself a foodie, but other people do. I have been living in the sticks the last couple years while reading all about food trends and drooling on my keyboard. I am also on a tight budget and am looking for food in the $5-10 range, of which there should be plenty in Austin. On a special occasion, I will consider spending more but I don't know that I've ever ordered something that costs more than $20, and hardly ever even $15.

I would prefer to eat from a trailer than brick and mortar.

 

Whatcha got?



#27 Baselerd

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:07 AM

Austin has tons of good food, although $5-10 is very restricting if you want the trendy food you've been reading about.

 

There's a ton of food carts in that price range - I would recommend East Side King, Tacos Selene, Chilantro, and Doc'n'Roll diner to name a few.


Edited by Baselerd, 17 April 2013 - 07:08 AM.


#28 Twyst

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:44 AM

The food truck scene in austin is very healthy and you could easily eat at a different truck every day for a month and still have fantastic food every day.  You should definitely make it a point to hit all the Eat Side King locations, chilantro and the peached tortilla as Baselerd said.    As far as brick and mortar places to try while here, if you want trendy you should hit Ramen Tatsuya for a bowl of ramen, and you should make the wait one day at franklins BBQ for some brisket.


Edited by Twyst, 17 April 2013 - 08:45 AM.


#29 Jaymes

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 02:04 PM

Paul Qui, recent Top Chef winner, was operating a food truck for a while.  Don't know if he still is.

 

But here's a good article by him: 

 

http://www.foodandwi...-guide-paul-qui



#30 Will

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 08:09 PM

Yeah, Paul Qui's current truck is called East Side Kings; there are a few different locations. I went recently, and the food was excellent (price is not the cheapest and portions are small, but certainly falls within the constraints mentioned above). Lots of great food trucks around, and most of them are clustered in little semi-permanent "trailer parks". I think most of the food I had from the trucks there was good to excellent, and I like the way the city has really helped to encourage, rather than stifle the whole food truck thing. I live in LA where the whole upscale food truck thing seemed to start taking off, but really, most of the trucks here aren't very good, and the city really doesn't do a lot to make it easier for them to operate. In contrast, Austin has really done a great job of creating an ecosystem where the barrier to entry isn't bad, and there's enough competition that the quality of the food seems to be fairly good.

 

If you've got the money, would really also suggest Uchiko / Uchi, the restaurant run by his former mentor. But definitely far above the price range you're talking about.