FIRST PLATES

Old West

West of Downtown, nestled behind Waterloo Records and extending west to MoPac is the Old West Austin district. Encompassing several residential areas, such as Clarksville and Treaty Oaks, this walkable, close-knit section of the city has deep roots despite being located only blocks away from the revolving doors of Downtown action. Prices have soared, and the demographics have largely changed since the neighborhood's late 19th century origin, but Old West Austin maintains an eclectic range of funky multi-person dwellings, renovated mansions, and cherished landmarks. An authentic soda fountain at iconic Nau's Enfield Drug balances relatively new dining hot spots such as Winflo Osteria and Clark's Oyster Bar to help bridge the gap between famed Sixth Street and the newly refurbished Jeffery's elite steak emporium. – Jessi Cape

John Anderson

Cafe Josie

More than a year into this neighborhood institution's new incarnation, chef Brandon Fuller continues creating eclectic seasonal magic, often Asian inspired. Winter's menu focuses on slow braises; red curry goat ribs are excellent. The intimate dining room and tiny bar provide calm, elegant places to dine, and the service is exceptional. – MM Pack

1200 W. Sixth, 512/322-9226

John Anderson

Clark's Oyster Bar

Clark's has got fresh seafood covered, from San Francisco cioppino to New England clam chowder, from caviar to Crab Louie. Owned by the same group as Jeffrey's, Clark's is pricey, but there's always happy hour. Plenty of bubbly and martini choices to pair with the dozen-plus oyster varieties on the raw bar. – MM Pack

1200 W. Sixth, 512/297-2525

Counter Cafe

You just gotta love this tiny, cozy, friendly diner that serves hearty organic breakfasts all day alongside the signature grilled quail, crab cakes, and hanger steak with fries. Oh, and $4 Bellinis and mimosas. "Local food/global love," indeed. Opens early, but closes at 4pm. – MM Pack

626 N. Lamar, 512/708-8800

Fabi + Rosi

Discreetly tucked into a residential side street, this could be Austin's most underappreciated fine-dining spot. It's a sophisticated, quietly romantic venue for grownups. German chef Wolfgang Murber prepares beautiful Eurocentric dishes, including astonishing escargot and perhaps the best schnitzel this side of Vienna. – MM Pack

509 Hearn, 512/236-0642

John Anderson

Jeffrey's/Josephine House

Jeffrey's, a signature fine-dining venue since 1975, got sold and revamped in 2013 and was promptly included in Bon Appétit's 10 Best New Restaurants list. Service remains superior, the menu now emphasizes steaks, and prices are stratospheric. Adjacent little sister Josephine is quaint and sweet, offering lunch, brunch, and snacks. – MM Pack

1601 Waterston, 512/477-5584
1204 West Lynn, 512/477-5584

Olive & June

The two-story, midcentury-modern structure wraps around a huge oak shading various outside dining spaces. Named for chef Shawn Cirkiel's grandmother and his wife's grandmother, the casual, Italian-inspired offerings include small plates, sharable nibbles, and house-made pastas; saffron ravioli is a standout. The prix fixe, family-style Sunday supper has become a popular tradition. – MM Pack

3411 Glenview, 512/467-9898

24 Diner

This is Old West Austin's 24-hour hot spot, but it ain't no greasy spoon. In the big, noisy space, chef Drew Curren offers hearty, well-prepared diner-esque fare like burgers, milkshakes, waffles, and hash, but there's an entire gluten-free menu, and local sourcing is impressive. Breads are courtesy of Easy Tiger Bake Shop, another restaurant from this team. – MM Pack

600 N. Lamar, 512/472-5400

John Anderson

Winflo Osteria

This latest addition to the burgeoning neighborhood scene is a Twenties bungalow stripped down to its polished wooden bones, surrounded by shady, tiered decks. A solidly Italian menu includes house-made pastas, wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, and hearty entrées. Sunday brunch runs the gamut from Italianate egg dishes to pizzas and paninis. – MM Pack

1315 W. Sixth, 512/582-1027

wink

In the small dining room and separate wine bar, chef/owners Stewart Scruggs and Mark Paul have provided casual fine-dining and interesting wines to a loyal clientele for 13 years. Cooking is both grounded and inspired; the menu changes nightly depending on what chef de cuisine/forager Eric Polzer supplies. – MM Pack

1014 N. Lamar, 512/482-8868
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