Sure, we love the bánh mì-esque Lucy done up as tacos and the Baby Buffalo as a hearty salad, but the sammies at ADP are the real deal, served up on rolls from La Mexicana Panaderia and Sweetish Hill Bakery – and the jalapeño hush puppies always have us barking for more. Plus, anywhere with "Free Beer Fridays" has a permanent place in our hearts.
1900 E. MLK
Come for the award-winning burger, stay for an outdoor film screening. It may bill itself as a coffeehouse, but Cherrywood is more like a community hub, satisfying the yogi, budding artist, videophile, live-music lover, coffee snob, and foodie in all of us. No wonder there is always a line at brunch.
1400 E. 38th½
Boasting one of Austin's best outdoor spaces – modeled after its namesake ranch – and a creative assortment of Texas tapas, this is a pitch-perfect happy hour spot. It fills up fast with the neighborhood crowd, but you can sip an El Pepino, crunch popcorn and olive bar snacks, and throw horseshoes while you wait.
Most Austin restaurants are concerned with sustainability, but few walk the walk as thoroughly as chef/owner Jesse Griffiths. From Gulf seafood to locally sourced yaupon tea and loquats foraged across town, everything about Dai Due is seasonal and local (not to mention delicious). If there is such a thing as a wholly Austin cuisine, this is it.
2406 Manor Rd.
So much has been written about Aaron Franklin and the restaurant that bears his name – the James Beard award, the lines, the religious experience of the brisket – that chiming in now really seems unnecessary. So instead, we'll just say one thing: It really is that good.
900 E. 11th
Embodying the idea that simplicity is a marker of sophistication, the made-to-order fresh pasta is one of our favorites in town. Open for dinner, the unassuming food truck in the Butterfly Bar courtyard boasts house-made ricotta, local veggies and eggs, and dishes designed around time-honored family flavors. The Pomodoro's roasted romas and garlic confit is worth a weekly trip.
2307 Manor Rd.
The craveworthy menu offers Neapolitan pizza topped with fresh ingredients ranging from classic to creative, but it isn't just about pizza at Unit-D. The chic ambience and excellent local beer and wine selection pair well with the 27-year-old sourdough starter, charcuterie, wood-fired olives, lovely Caesar salads, and quietly innovative desserts.
Pull up a chair and savor the moment with strangers. At Blue Dahlia, tables are arranged so that diners brush elbows while they enjoy a midmorning tartine or fill up on French classics like ratatouille. The idea is to create community around a baguette. After all, that’s what breaking bread is all about. Inducted in 2018.
There once was a little house on Manor Road that served the best artichoke manicotti in all the land, but carrot pasta and sun-dried tomato cream sauce were only the beginning of the story. It’s a tale with plenty of romance (those sparkling limosas) and some very deep drama (the chocolate almond torte), perfect for all our happily-ever-afters. Inducted in 2017.
We’ve been loving those brisket burnt ends since Aaron Franklin’s trailer was located not far from the Chron offices near I-35, way back in 2009. The smoke signals at the now Eastside restaurant are nationally recognized – an Obama fist bump, a James Beard award, and even bad boy Bourdain’s unabashed obsession. Even the notorious hours-long lines can’t deter the steady cult following. But when it comes down to it, Franklin Barbecue has earned its crown because the food comes first, and it’s always delicious. Inducted in 2018.
900 E. 11th
It’s the chicken-fried chicken, y’all. Many of the Southern comfort food pleasures on the menu at Hoover’s Cooking, a two-decades-and-counting Manor Road eatery, have made it an icon: their enormous and delicious pepper-fire soaked and smoked chicken wings, sweet potato coffee, banana pudding, and a side of broccoli that looks like one of the tree people from Lord of the Rings (yeah, we know, they’re called Ents). While the Smokehouse options (Jamaican jerk ribs!) compete with the best of ’em, it’s that chicken-fried chicken, paired with mashed potatoes and a side of jalapeño creamed spinach, that offers something equivalent to the culinary version of a long hug from an old friend. Inducted in 2019.
2002 Manor Rd.
You’ve seen their quirky, quintessentially Austin sign and enjoyed their fun-loving approach to social media, but did you know that this family-owned and -operated business has been around since 1990? Founders Aurelio and Rosa Torres opened their 10-seat Tex-Mex restaurant serving hella good tacos, and over the years made so many loyal fans that the business expanded to occupy the entire corner, plus some. Now owned and operated by Torres’ son and daughter-in-law, Edgar and Christina Torres, the menu also boasts burritos, platos fuegos (mole enchiladas! carne guisada!), and your new favorite drink menu. (If you imbibe, don’t you dare skip the mango chamoy margarita.) The Torres crew also owns nearby School House Pub and not-so-secret speakeasy Techo Mezcaleria & Agave Bar. And if there’s one good thing about the last year, it might just be to-go margs from this truly beloved Manor Road staple. Inducted in 2021.
2201 Manor Rd.
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