Way up yonder, but worth a trek, this cafe’s unassuming exterior houses an enormous menu stuffed to the brim with your usual Chinese fare, plus a few little extra sumpin’ sumpin’s for the more adventurous eaters. Close your eyes and pick an item. You’re bound to love it.
8650 Spicewood Springs Rd. #115
Tarzan, Tippy, and Ah serve up some of the best seafood in Austin in this no-frills family restaurant. The menu betrays a variety of cultural influences, serving lemongrass fragrant tom yum and pleasingly funky green papaya salad alongside stuffed catfish and crawfish étouffée, all of it made with Gulf seafood so fresh that you almost expect something to splash you.
500 Parker Dr.
Garbo’s offers a delightfully unserious Texan take on Maine classics. They’re famous for their lobster rolls (with either butter or mayo, satisfying both camps), but the lobster grilled cheese might be the best thing on the menu, the sweet lobster balanced out by rich cheddar and smoked Gouda, smokier bacon, and the echoing sweetness of cherry tomatoes. There is tomato soup on the side to dip it in. Yes, please.
New York hospitality industry veterans Jessica and Gary Wu put a spin (or a bun) on Chinese-American cuisine by sandwiching classics such as General Tso’s chicken and black pepper beef between two slices of Easy Tiger’s fresh baked bread in traditional Southern po’boy style. In a way, you could say they’re fusioning fusion. Meta, dude.
11501 Rock Rose Ave. #152
Pizza and graffiti go together like tomatoes and cheese. Thin, crispy crust and oodles of topping and sauce options, plus a refreshing variety of sides and salads mean this isn’t your average parlor menu. Oh, and their beer and wine selection will give you major heart-eye emoji face.
7858 Shoal Creek Blvd.
The lunch buffet at Saffron might actually qualify as a wonder of the world. For just $10, you can fill up your plate with specialties from all over one of the most gastronomically diverse countries; southern, northern, Indo-Chinese, even some Nepalese momo thrown in for good measure.
3616 Far West Blvd.
The mere mention of the name Jack Gilmore conjures images of hearty portions of Texas fresh fare, and this addition to the empire is no different. Focused on the Gulf Coast’s seafood bounty, Salt Traders has got an excellent raw bar and a slew of entrées and sides so tasty they’ll have you en route to Round Rock on the reg.
2850 N I-35
Say a silent prayer for your taste buds before you sit down to one of the tastiest and spiciest meals you can get in Austin. We first fell in love with chef Thai Changthong’s fiery cooking from the food truck, but the Rock Rose brick-and-mortar offers an extended menu for even more hurts-so-good options. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you.
11601 Rock Rose #100
From the moment you spot the rows of roasting ducks hanging in the foyer, you know Din Ho is here to party. This northern mall Chinese favorite would earn their place in the hall of fame for their whole roasted pig alone, but, honestly, you can’t go wrong with the pea shoots either. Inducted in 2018.
8557 Research #116
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