Foraging Near Zilker
Fri., Oct. 5, 2012
1) Chuy's With hubcaps, colored lights, and a velvet Elvis, this is Austin-style Tex-Mex at its tacky, funky best. It's almost always busy, but the chips and creamy queso are worth the wait. 1728 Barton Springs Rd.
2) Baby Acapulco South Great enchiladas and multiflavored margaritas that should come with warning stickers: "Muy bueno!" 1628 Barton Springs Rd.
3) Juiceland This friendly and popular juice bar near Barton Springs offers fresh juices, smoothies, froths, and nondairy ice cream. You'll feel better on the way out than you did going in. 1625 Barton Springs Rd.
4) Shady Grove Take advantage of the beautiful outdoor seating area and hot dogs all year round in a family friendly setting. We're partial to the green-chile cheeseburgers with mountains of onion rings. 1624 Barton Springs Rd.
5) Austin Java Cafe & Bar Beyond the morning cup o' joe, Austin Java offers an array of sustenance plus luscious desserts. 1608 Barton Springs Rd.
6) Flipnotics Coffee Enjoy baked goods, sandwiches, and friendly service on the terraced decks out back – a 2009 "Best of Austin" Critics Pick for Best Outdoor Seating. 1601 Barton Springs Rd.
6) Yum Yum Frozen Yogurt A convenient stop on the way to and from Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool, this place rotates eight tart and sweet flavors every week with an array of toppings to spice things up. 1601 Barton Springs Rd.
7) Uncle Billy's Brew & Que The barbecue sauce is outstanding on their tender sausage and ribs. After a day at Zilker Park, enjoy great service and cold house-brewed beers on tap. 1530 Barton Springs Rd.
8) Green Mesquite Barbeque & More One of Austin's favorite barbecue dives – it may look seedy, but the menu is extensive and the food is terrific. 1400 Barton Springs Rd.
9) P. Terry's Burger Stand Burgers fashioned from hormone- and antibiotic-free Black Angus beef, Buddy's natural chicken, fresh-cut fries, and milkshakes. Sit at a picnic table on the patio. Dogs get a free biscuit. 404 S. Lamar.
10) Hugo's Restaurant y Tequila Bar This restaurant with an attached cocktail bar boasts a Latin fusion menu with items such as duck cigars, bacon s'mores, and tequila bread pudding. After we've teetered out of the cocktail lounge behind a few Orange Chinacos (cousin to the mojito, it mixes tequila, orange juice, and mint), we'll be fighting over the Dueling Enchiladas. 300 S. Lamar.
11) Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Enjoy sandwiches, pastries, and free wi-fi at this Zilker-area coffeehouse. 221 S. Lamar.
12) Paggi House The motto here is "Nothing you expect, everything you want." An eclectic interpretation of American regional cuisine in a sophisticated, revamped setting makes this old favorite a Downtown destination. 200 Lee Barton.
13) El Alma Cafe y Cantina Chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas' take on casual Mexico City cuisine is approachable, affordable, and delicious. Brunch includes Huevos Franceses, made with eggs and spinach resting on corn pudding; or her version of migas, Huevos Revueltos. Throw down a Mimosa Feliz and don't miss the cochinita pibil or the gorgeous views from the upstairs patio. 1025 Barton Springs Rd.
14) Sandy's Hamburgers Some say the corn dogs and fries are the tastiest in South Austin, and others say the burgers are the best buy in town. We're mostly interested in the frozen custard, malts, and soft-serve. 603 Barton Springs Rd.
15) Threadgill's World HQ is just a shout away from the former Armadillo World Headquarters. The menu is packed with solid home-cooking options, and there's a brunch buffet on Sundays. 301 W. Riverside.
16) Zax Restaurant & Bar American bistro cuisine here: fluffy crab cakes, classic Caesar salads, and meaty burgers with bleu cheese. Try the make-your-own Bloody Mary at brunch. Then, if you can still read the menu, go for steak au poivre or pan-seared duck breast. 312 Barton Springs Rd.
17) Aussie's Grill & Beachbar In addition to great appetizers and pub fare, Aussie's offers big-screen TVs and beach volleyball courts out back. 306 Barton Springs Rd.
18) Southwest Bistro Located on the second level of the Hyatt Regency's atrium, this place draws raves. Maybe it's SWB's commitment to local produce and meats that makes it a local favorite. 208 Barton Springs Rd.
19) Uchi The sushi ranges from fresh scallops, tuna, and seafood to negitoro rolls, seaweed, and chicken salad, and all are highly rated. Reservations recommended. 801 S. Lamar.
20) Casa Garcia's Breakfast tacos and fresh flour tortillas are coming out of the kitchen all day, and the daily lunch specials are terrific. 1000 S. Lamar.
21) The HighBall With a dynamite view of Downtown, this eclectic pleasure palace from the masterminds of the Alamo Drafthouse offers appetizers, comfort food entrées, and desserts for dinner and late-night dining. Plus, how can you go wrong with bowling, karaoke, and Skee-Ball? Don't miss the classic cocktails. 1142 S. Lamar.
22) Sazón With a grade of "A" for the chile relleno, you should feel adventurous for the rest of the menu. For fans of dishes made with the corn fungus huitlacoche, this place is a must. 1816 S. Lamar.
23) Austin's Pizza This local upstart takes aim at the big delivery chains by offering pizzas – with gourmet ingredients and good crust – for practically a steal. 1817 S. Lamar.
24) Barley Swine This popular gastropub offers small plates of skillfully prepared seasonal and local foods. 2024 S. Lamar.
24) Henri's By day, this cheese shop has some serious food mojo bubbling forth. Culinary Institute graduate Andy Means has flair, which is obvious from the spot-on wine and cheese/charcuterie pairings, and from the originals emerging from the kitchen. 2026 S. Lamar.
24) Lick Lavender, Salted Caramel, and Caramelized Carrots and Tarragon are just a few flavors at this all-organic, all-Texas ice cream parlor. 2032 S. Lamar.
25) Opa! A canopy of trees protects this dog-friendly open space. Play bocce ball, table tennis, or just relax and enjoy Greek treats such as spinach pie and moussaka. 2050 S. Lamar.
26) Olivia Excellent American regional cuisine based on what's fresh from local farmers and ranchers, paired with a full bar. For dessert, try the duck egg creme brùlée with huckleberry. 2043 S. Lamar.
Find more great places to eat, even farther away from ACL Fest, at austinchronicle.com/restaurantguide.