Chef Josh Watkins' menu of pristinely fresh ingredients and innovation draws in the crowds to this cavernous space. A little fancy-pants for the average student, but quite reasonable for high-class delicious fare of this caliber. Watkins' tasting menu is a culinary tour de force. – Mick Vann
1900 University Ave.
The Singh boys have built up a loyal following with their contemporized Indian fare. The space is old, stone, and gorgeous, the crowd is watchworthy, and the food delish. Ask for desi-hot (the kitchen thinks we're all pansies!). The daily lunch buffet packs them in, as does the bar. – Mick Vann
Serving fresh, handmade burgers, fries, and onion rings since 1926, "Dirty's," as it is affectionately called, is a campus mainstay. It's the perfect spot to suck down a cold beer, ogle the opposite sex, watch some TV sports, and bite into a juicy burger. Be sure to say "hey" to Wesley! – Mick Vann
Wonderchef Paul Qui's home on the Drag features favorites from the ESK trailers that have wowed the Eastside, and it's easy on the wallet. Creative and unique, fresh and loaded with flavor, and located in one of the best funky watering holes around. – Mick Vann
Mixed Mediterranean cuisine from Lisa and Emmett Fox: Madrid to the Maghreb, and circling around the coast. Enjoy smart service, an open and comfortable space, and fresh ingredients prepared authentically, whether it's shanks and paella or tapas with a drink from the intelligent bar list. Don't miss happy hour on the wrap-around patio. – Mick Vann
Open since 2006, Fricano's has built a reputation for serving only high-quality meats, in big portions, on freshly baked breads, at fair prices, with a healthy dose of sass. Among the best sandwiches in town, and now, even closer to Campus. Terrific weekday specials and happy-hour pricing. – Mick Vann
Crazy-good craft brews paired with creative sandwiches, intelligent noshes, and a burger and frites twofer worth the trip alone. All of this bundled into a cozy space that masquerades as a nondescript office. Hopfields appeals to those who can appreciate the quality it offers. – Mick Vann
Mam's is the go-to spot near Campus for a Thai food fix. Thai food fanboys love the joint for its authenticity, its spice level, and the value-to-price ratio. The menu explores all corners of the nation and uses fresh ingredients. Ditch the pad thai and explore more of the menu. – Mick Vann
Neapolitan-style thin-crust dough brings the aficionados to this old house remade into a pizza joint. All of the ingredients are made fresh daily and then piled on top. The patio out front makes a cozy spot to suck down an icy brew while downing a tasty pie. – Mick Vann
624 W. 34th
Ben and Murph, the Willcott boys, are doing farm-to-table Cali-Med food at night, out of the family's bakery. What started as a supper club has grown into a full-fledged bistro with limited menus that change frequently. Solid fare, and ideal for the neighborhood. – Mick Vann
2900 Rio Grande
Vegetarians and spice lovers rejoice when they walk into the sumptuous, aromatic interior of the Clay Pit. Although sticklers for authenticity may disagree, this restaurant has elevated Indian cuisine for Austin. If you’re around for lunch, make sure to check out their buffet, where you can indulge for a very economical price. Inducted in 2018.
The Detroit Tigers may be in a rebuilding phase this season (fingers crossed!), but this Detroit-style pizza has enraptured Austin since the Hunt brothers’ first trailer opened in 2011. The cheesy, crunchy, thick signature squares topped with just the right amount of marinara are to credit for their now legendary winning streak, but the thinner bar-style pies will also have you happy-heckling the kitchen. Don’t skip their bonkers pizza collaborations featuring special toppings like Garbo’s lobster, la Barbecue’s cold-smoked ham, and Michi’s ramen. And if you don’t end up with meatballs on your pizza (do it), grab the appetizer version before you succumb to all the cheese. Bonus points for a seriously solid gluten-free crust. Inducted in 2019.
3016 Guadalupe #100
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