South Lamar and Barton Springs

John Anderson

Your taste buds will road trip across our great state to explore a variety of influences, from chicken schnitzel for two to Gulf Coast seafood. Echoing the chic, updated-vintage elegance of its surrounding hotel, dishes nod to keeping it real, like hackleback caviar served with a bag o’ chips. End your flavor journey with a strawberry hand pie.

400 Josephine St.

There are many Thai joints in Austin, but none have made quite the splash that this plucky little food truck did when it popped up on the Eastside a few years back and started racking up accolades almost immediately for its Northern Thai street food, including pork skewers, spicy papaya salad, and cooling mango & sticky rice.

4204 Menchaca Rd.

photo by John Anderson

Photo by David Brendan Hall

They call themselves “a healthy, boozy place to eat, drink, and live well,” and we’ll be damned if that’s not exactly what they are. Well, yes – because the tasty menu is totes different, but this just-south-of-the-river venture is from the same team that brought us Kerbey Lane Cafe.


In typical Italian fashion, culture, cuisine, and camaraderie come together under one roof. Under this particular roof, owner and chef Al Fini literally brings back edible inspiration from his frequent trips to Northern Italy that he uses to fuse the Old World with the new one he’s created in his restaurant.

1500 S. Lamar #110

Courtesy of It's Italian Cucina

Photo by John Anderson

Sure, Juliet’s menu of scratch-made classic Italian-American fare includes treasures like cioppino, spaghetti Bolognese, and grilled octopus, but they also boast a solid $16 prix fixe power lunch with crowd-favorite chicken piccata. And yes, they’ve still got rosé all day for brunch – perfect for sippin’ on their poppin’ patio.

1500 Barton Springs Rd.

If Aaron Franklin’s chocolate and Tyson Cole’s peanut butter joined forces, Loro is the decadent peanut butter cup, combining the best of both local and international cuisines. From char siew pork belly to a brisket sandwich with papaya salad, the menu is a celebration of East meets Central Texas.

2115 S. Lamar

Photo by John Anderson

Photo by John Anderson

Although it started out as a trailer, Odd Duck has grown up to play a starring role in putting Austin on the U.S. foodie map. Ten years after it debuted, the restaurant continues to serve up vivid, inventive dishes that keep its reputation for a colorful palette intact.

1201 S. Lamar

Pinthouse’s pizza empire grew to three stores this year (welcome, Round Rock!) and, as is typical with anything these hop-prophets do, the masses went north along with it. Let’s face it, PHP could serve cold Domino’s on fancy Chinet and people would still flock there like migratory animals because their beer program is so ridiculously good. But bonus! Pinthouse’s pizza is, in fact, a downright excellent complement to any of the joint’s biting IPAs: fatty and cheesy with a generous portion of those little curled pepperonis filled with piping hot grease. Mmm, IPAs and cheese.

4236 S. Lamar

photo by John Anderson

P. Terry's

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

photo by John Anderson

John Anderson

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

South Congress and South First

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