Going to the ABGB feels a little bit like stepping inside a country song – not the kind where you cry over that cheating lout with a fifth of rotgut, but the kind where you invite all your rowdy friends over for a few dozen beers. Sure the South Austin staple might not be a roadhouse, but with live bands nearly every night of the week, a large selection of brews, and a seasonal pizza menu, you won’t miss those peanut shell places one bit.
1305 W. Oltorf
Though Delicious hasn’t been in town very long, the hefty sandwiches and loyal lunch crowd indicate that Delicious is here to stay. Located around the corner from the Alamo Drafthouse, Delicious is an ideal spot for grabbing a bite before a show or for discussing how you still don’t get Terrence Malick films after.
Chef Jacob Weaver does a bang-up job with Italian classics like house-made pasta and pizza, but his creativity and craft truly shine on the rotating features menu. A knowledgeable and warm bar staff helps navigate the 10-plus-page wine list, and they’ll effortlessly whip out a perfect egg-white sour. Classy but comfortable, Juliet has panache without pretentiousness, which is what makes it one of our favorites.
1500 Barton Springs Rd.
The stretch of South Lamar where chef Luke Bibby has set up camp has changed a lot in the past few years, but his trailer still feels like old Austin. Serving sandwiches and daily specials brimming with international ingredients, Luke’s is a testament to what our town has always been about: friendliness, creativity, and fierce individuality.
1109 S. Lamar
Odd Duck’s penchant for unique and adventurous flavor pairings has earned them a perpetual rep as one of Austin’s most visited and celebrated restaurants. Grab a spot at the bar lined with fermenting vegetables for a perfect view of the open kitchen, or bring a date and show off how adventurous you are as you confidently order a pig face carnitas pretzel.
1201 S. Lamar
Rich broth, melt-in-your-mouth chashu, and toppings for days, Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya “Tako” Matsumoto’s bowls of deliciousness will get you through the toughest Tinder dates. But we like it even better on the good ones where we can slurp the noodles – Lady and the Tramp style – all the way to a first kiss.
1234 S. Lamar
Chef Joe Anguiano likes to play with his food (appetizers stacked on pipettes, a menu section titled “Hooves”), and the bar program is also in on the joke (the scotch cocktail named Sweat Pants With Uggs, mint juleps on tap). But humor aside, the food and drinks at VOX exhibit a sophistication that’s immediately recognized when items hit the table – adding a few OMGs to our LOLs.
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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