Lower East

John Anderson

The pizza expert here offers a frequently rotating menu for some of the very best wood-fired pizza in town and inventive Italian starters. Look for a delicate pie with cremini mushooms, caramelized onions, and thyme, or one loaded with the likes of caviar and paddlefish. Local beer and nice wine list; always busy. – Gracie Salem

1519 E. Cesar Chavez
512/524-2523
www.bufalinapizza.com

This is one of our favorite feel-good trailers, proving that health and flavor can harmonize in the right hands. Love the veggie burger and the lamb and feta meatballs. The brunch menu is delightful. – Gracie Salem

4204 Menchaca Rd.
512/769-9560
www.cazamance.com

photo by John Anderson

photo by John Anderson

As much about craft cocktails as the creative, locally sourced menu, the Show Room has been pleasing the Eastside set for years and now has a new chef, plus a monthly guest chef dinner series. The small menu hits high notes with Southern-style quail and tender short ribs. Also, look out for beets roasted in corn husks. This place is a delight for all the senses. – Gracie Salem

CLOSED

Quintessentially farm-to-table, Eden East is both beautiful and charming. The inimitable Sonya Coté changes the menu weekly to provide the most seasonal and sustainable fare, direct from local farmers. Tucked away on Springdale Farm, dine al fresco at community tables among towering pecan trees under suspended crystals and twinkling lights. Yes, please. – Anna Toon

755 Springdale
512/428-6500
www.edeneastaustin.com

Photo by John Anderson

Photo by David Brendan Hall

At the west end of the Seventh Street H-E-B parking lot, a cozy little gem has long resided under the radar. Since the neighborhood renaissance, it is a secret no more. This neighborhood hole-in-the wall offers an excellent selection of Mexican and Salvadoran specialties. Rejoice in the tamale elotes, pupusas, and fried plantains. Wash it down with a 32-ounce beer. – Anna Toon

642 Calles
512/474-7749
www.facebook.com

The legend moved to the yard behind Kelly's Place on East Sixth last year, turning out his famous brisket, smoked turkey, beef ribs, and sausage as well as sandwiches and traditional sides. Undaunted by barbecue controversy, Mueller does what he was raised to do: smoke meat. Lines queue up at 10:30am until it's all gone. – Gracie Salem

CLOSED

photo by Mick Vann

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Still one of the hippest, busiest destinations on the Eastside, Justine's offers simple French fare with understated service and one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Butter lettuce salad with lardons and the steak tartare are must-haves. With honest cocktails, a good wine list, and a magical outdoor space, Justine's continues to amaze. – Gracie Salem

4710 E. Fifth
512/385-2900
justines1937.com

Here is the classic story of a wildly popular trailer finding a permanent home and well-deserved recognition for the best kebab in Austin. Traditional beef/lamb combo or chicken are the standards, but the super-loaded Spoiled Brat has it all, literally, and the 12-inch king size will take you down. Be sure to add the fiery red sauce. – Gracie Salem

1311 E. Seventh
512/394-6562
www.kebabalicious.com

John Anderson

photo by John Anderson

A relative newcomer to the Austin barbecue landscape, Kerlin BBQ promises a transcendent brisket experience without the Franklin-esque wait. Word on the street is that Bill Kerlin also makes a mean blue cheese coleslaw. – Melanie Haupt

1700 E. Cesar Chavez
512/412-5588
www.kerlinbbq.com

This Eastside transplant recently landed on Chronicle writer Mick Vann's Top 10 Austin Barbecue Joints, and for good reason. Leading with delectable sausage and excellent smoked meats, the El Sancho Loco sandwich will drive you wild: pulled pork and chopped brisket on top of house-made sausage with red onion slaw. – Anna Toon

2401 E. Cesar Chavez
512/605-9696
www.labarbecue.com

photo by David Brendan Hall

qui

Likely the most anticipated restaurant opening of 2013, Paul Qui's eponymous restaurant is a celebration of creativity, from cuisine to ambiance. The innovative daily menu of surprises (dinuguen and squid ink pasta make the cut sometimes) pairs beautifully with his renowned staples, such as the whimsical Rabbit 7 Ways, to reinforce our hometown hero's star power. – Anna Toon

CLOSED

An artisan butcher shop offering craft beer along with lunch, dinner, and brunch service, Salt & Time is where nostalgia meets ingenuity. Whether you take a basic hog butchery class, join the goat revolution, or put your name on the list for a butcher box, everyone agrees this place is offal-ly good. – Anna Toon

1912 E. Seventh
512/524-1383
saltandtime.com

photo by John Anderson

At Takoba, relishing in the beauty of aesthetic bliss is of equal importance to experiencing the bursting flavors of Interior Mexican cuisine. Choose from an extensive mezcal list and dive into their signature Chile Relleno en Nogada. Once you make yourself at home on the backyard patio, sign up for tango lessons. – Anna Toon

CLOSED

From the migas to the inexpensive breakfast tacos to the ample parking options: Be still our beating heart, Tamale House East. Operated by Carmen Valera (granddaughter and namesake of Tamale House founder Carmen Vasquez) and her siblings, the Tex-Mex hot spot hosts pop-up dinners and a diverse selection of events. Enjoy an agua fresca on the expansive outdoor patio. – Anna Toon

1707 E. Sixth
512/495-9504
www.fb.com/tamalehouse.east

John Anderson

With an emphasis on organic, local, and non-GMO, this trailer isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Made-from-scratch, cruelty-free sandwiches, tacos, and chalupas await even the most virulent of meat lovers. For instant karma, hit up the Freeto Burrito. – Anna Toon

2324 E. Cesar Chavez
www.theveganyacht.com

Cuddled up to the Violet Crown Social Club, Via 313 doles out four square "corner" slices per pie in styles like the Cadillac, with gorgonzola, fig, prosciutto, Parmesan, and a balsamic glaze. Pizza bakes in steel pans originally used on automotive assembly lines from the Motor City. – Gracie Salem

CLOSED

Patio trees throw shade over picnic tables and twinkling lights at this haven near the railroad tracks. Boasting a healthy balance of hard rock and hipster, YJSC is perfect for beer and whiskey. It's not your average bar menu, either, with a variety of excellent cheese plates and charcuterie. Be healed with kickass Bloody Marys and Sunday brunch. – Anna Toon

1704 E. Fifth
512/480-9572
www.yellowjacketsocialclub.com

Classic. Legendary. Iconic. It doesn’t get more Hall of Fame-worthy than this East Sixth staple. Since 1953, when founder Rudy “Cisco” Cisneros opened his restaurant in a former meat-packing plant, Cisco’s has been slinging Tex-Mex dishes like enchiladas and migas to the masses. Folks even credit Cisco’s with making staples like huevos rancheros famous – so much so that it’s literally written on Cisneros’ tombstone. His grandson Matt Cisneros, and partners, bought the property several years ago and gave it a well-deserved makeover; in 2019, the city of Austin granted historic designation. It’s open later these days and offers a bar full of cold beer, but those beloved recipes haven’t changed a bit. If you love Austin’s enormous Tex-Mex scene, be sure to stop by Cisco’s and pay homage to the OG. Inducted in 2021.

1511 E. Sixth
512/478-2420
www.ciscosaustin.com

Photo by John Anderson

Since 1961, the Avila family has been providing Austinites with some of the best greasy spoon Tex-Mex in the 512, with homey takes on classics like huevos rancheros, breakfast tacos, and, of course, their infamous hangover-busting menudo. Make sure to stop by the bakery out front for a concha after breakfast. Inducted in 2018.

2305 E. Seventh
512/472-0017
www.joesbakery.com

 
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