Barlata stands out from the rest by staying faithful to the Spanish love of seafood, emphasizing the paella, squid, mussels, shrimp, fish, and scallops that dominate Iberian cuisine, while also delivering the de rigueur roasted vegetables, olives, cured ham, fried potatoes, and chorizo tapas. – Kate Thornberry
Chef Bryce Gilmore has always been at the vanguard of fresh and local sourcing and has made a career of inventing intriguing dishes that highlight the natural flavors of real food. Barley Swine is a gastronomist's delight; it's also graced with an array of the very finest craft beers as well. – Kate Thornberry
6555 Burnet Rd. #400
World-famous chef Paul Qui and his partners invented the dishes sold at the East Side King trailers, and this newest addition to the fleet has all the Qui hallmarks of his sublime, heartrending Japanese/Thai/Texan fusion cuisine in a bright shop accented with Peelander Yellow murals. – Kate Thornberry
2310 S. Lamar #101
The multi-tiered patio, brightly colored decor, and rock waterfall would be reason enough to come to El Alma, if it weren't for the fact that the food is even more spectacular. Chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas brings her Mexico City roots and personal style into play, transforming classic dishes into a bold, fresh take on Mexican cuisine. – Kate Thornberry
1025 Barton Springs Rd.
Aside from signature dishes like the ancho relleno with goat cheese and tomatillo relish, this authentic SoLa spot now serves the best, most affordable Interior Mexican brunch south of the river – which includes healthy breakfast items, homemade pozole and paella, and an outstanding smoky Bloody Mary made with mezcal. – Claudia Alarcón
2038 S. Lamar
This micro cheese and charcuterie shop also serves sandwiches and salads for every taste, affordable wine by the glass or bottle, and craft beers with a local slant. Eat a hearty lunch or an early evening bite in the cozy quarters, or take out for a fine picnic or party. – Claudia Alarcón
It lives! Bryce Gilmore's first foray into Austin's culinary world is back, in a shiny, ultramodern brick-and-mortar to match the adventurous, farm-to-table cuisine that made his eponymous truck a national sensation. As expected, the wine, beer, and cocktail list are superlative, designed to match the whims of Gilmore's daily changing menu. – Claudia Alarcón
1201 S. Lamar
Chef James Holmes continues serving outstanding fare while strongly supporting local farmers, ranchers, and producers. Happy hours are easy on the wallet, with specials on some of their excellent wines. Sit on the patio for a lovely view of where many of the veggies on your plate grow. – Claudia Alarcón
This tiny taqueria from the owners of Azul Tequila serves inexpensive Mexican street fare – tacos, tortas, tostadas, and other simple yet delicious antojitos – with plenty of vegetarian options. Try the Tortas de Coliflor with guajillo sauce, avocado, and queso fresco for a taco that combines traditional flavors with trendy aesthetic. – Claudia Alarcón
2803 S. Lamar
Interior Mexican gem, owned by graduates of Le Cordon Bleu Austin, who serve flawless renditions of dishes from Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, Veracruz, and Mexico City. Try the silky cream of corn soup and the earthy puerco en chile cascabel, washed down with a fresh lime margarita or refreshing michelada on the patio. – Claudia Alarcón
1816 S. Lamar
The granddaddy of the "unusual" taco trend, these guys manage to keep prices reasonable and an evolving menu with lots of vegetarian options without compromising tradition. Their ceviche, only available on Fridays, is one of the tastiest in town, and the puerco verde taco is not to be missed . – Claudia Alarcón
Despite fierce competition from sibling Uchiko, Tyson Cole's first restaurant remains the standard for sushi, sashimi, and other Japanese-inspired fare, blending traditional and modern techniques to perfection. Artful presentations, exotic flavors, excellent service, and lovely surroundings make for a special evening. Be sure to make a reservation to avoid a long wait. – Claudia Alarcón
801 S. Lamar
If you’re wondering how a burger drive-through earned a spot in our Hall of Fame, you haven’t earned your Austin stripes. Everyone recognizes the infamous Golden Arches, but thanks to Patrick and Kathy Terry, alongside architecture guru Michael Hsu, the futuristic aesthetic of this Central Texas mega-chain – more than 21 locations and counting – is also recognizable from the highway … but for way better food and business practices. Since 2005, when they opened the original location on Barton Springs, it’s largely been the same simple menu, and the ingredients are real: 100% Angus beef and ground chicken breast, Mrs. Baird’s special buns, fresh-cut Idaho potatoes, house veggie patties, and more – all at “fast food” prices. They welcome customizing your combo (say yes to jalapeño and grilled onions), offer breakfast sammies, and frequently surprise us with monthly milkshake specials and their staff with birthday cakes. As if we couldn’t fall any more in love, in 2021, a year of turmoil, P. Terry’s executives raised the minimum wage for all employees to $15 per hour. Heroes? We think so. Inducted in 2021.
404 S. Lamar
Many of us became obsessed with noodles thanks to an affection for Eighties and Nineties Asian crime dramas: In almost every film, there is a scene of a meal shared between cohorts, cops, or often just regular people. And they slurp those noodles, and they spoon that broth, and we’re like, “That looks like the most amazing combination of ingredients in the universe!” Restaurants like Ramen Tatsu-ya effortlessly expand all of our palates, and we are lucky they chose Austin to become a ramen mecca, now with a family of offshoots like Domo Alley-Gato Tatsu-ya, Kemuri Tatsu-ya, DipDipDip Tatsu-ya, and Tiki Tatsu-ya. Despite (and because of) the pedigree of minds – like chef Tatsu Aikawa – behind these delightful bowls of wonder, it all comes down to the noodles. Slurping them here is a singular experience. Inducted in 2019.
1234 S. Lamar
South Lamar’s Uchi has been setting the gold standard for Austin cuisine for years, and shows no signs of slowing down. James Beard Award winner chef Tyson Cole continues to serve intricate and exquisite renderings of Japanese cuisine that will be the most worthwhile, treat-yourself splurge you make all month … maybe even all year. Inducted in 2017.
801 S. Lamar
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