Dining del Lago

It's Not Just About Beer and Nachos Anymore

Dining del Lago

Lakeside Dining Guide

1. HEB Grocery, northwest corner Hwy. 71 W. and Bee Caves Road (see "Liquid Assets").

2. Calame's Canyonside Dining, 3595 S. RR 620, 263-4205: Calame's is a comfortable dinner house with a spectacular second-story view of the lake to the west, a reliable Sunday brunch, and Mystery Dinner parties by reservation.

3. Hansen's Wines & Spirits, 2300 Lohmann's Crossing, #122, 263-7130 (see "Liquid Assets").

4. Pao's Mandarin House, 2300 Lohmann's Crossing, #130, 263-8869: Well-loved for its spicy dishes marked with stars and its sizzling platters, this Pao's location will now be a destination for fans of the recently closed downtown outlet.

5. LemonGrass Asian Bistro, 1310 S. RR 620, 7-A, 263-2221: Chef Ped Phommavong's pan-Asian cuisine has been such a hit, he's already expanded this restaurant and is opening a second outlet on West Sixth in the near future.

6. Flores Mexican Restaurant, 1310 S. RR 620, 263-9546: Affordable lunch specials keep this local chain outlet packed at lunch. Their grilled items, such as the Pollo Caliente, are great for dinner. The margaritas are some of the best in the area.

7. Cafe Lago, 120 Lakeway Drive, 261-8141: This friendly little coffeeshop cafe in the heart of Lakeway offers fresh, delicious breakfasts and lunches, smoothies, shakes, coffee drinks, and sweets.

8.The Travis Room at the Lakeway Inn, 101 Lakeway Drive, 261-6600: Though it primarily serves Lakeway residents and guests at the Inn, this casual fine dining restaurant is reliable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a pleasant view of the lake.

9. Shades Cafe, 18200 Lakepoint Cove, 267-1845: Shades is known for the consistency of its friendly, efficient service, good simple food and margaritas, and the convenience of the water taxi from the Lakeway Marina for those of us who don't own boats.

10. Sam Hill Waterfront Grill, 16405 Marina Point Road, 266-2811: Sam Hill is the kind of place meant to be enjoyed with a rowdy group of sun-parched friends after a day on the lake with loud, live music and big signature bar drinks.

11. Paradise Ice Cream, 900 S. RR 620, 263-0363: Former engineer Mark Alsup went into the ice cream business to be around happy people, and his handmade premium ice creams certainly do the trick.

12. Mulligan's, 900 S. RR620, 263-3305: Though it's a pool hall, Mulligan's is just this side of elegant, with a comfortable full-service bar and restaurant, big-screen TVs always tuned to sports, and separate pool rooms for smokers and non-smokers alike.

13. The Vineyard, 900 S. RR 620, 402-9855: See review and "Liquid Assets."

14. China Pacific, 107 S. RR 620, #107, 266-9328: This secluded little Chinese spot hasn't changed much in years and still does a big takeout business selling reliable Americanized Chinese specialties to lake-area dwellers.

15. Sandy's Hamburger Hut, 113 N. RR 620, 266-1524: This great neighborhood staple harkens back to the days when burgers, fresh-cut fries, and hand-battered onion rings were sold in little drive-through Mom 'n' Pop operations. Same as it ever was, and we love it.

16. Buster's Bar B Cue, 303 N. RR 620, 266-3926: We can't say enough good things about the wonderful dry-rubbed pork chops, smoked stuffed pork loin, and Carolina-style pulled pork sandwiches. Go for the pork!

17. Iguana Grill, 2900 N. RR 620, 266-8439: Fans love the drinks, the "Lake-Mex" cuisine, and the multiple award-winning homemade salsas at this place which also sports a pretty fair sunset-viewing deck.

18. Hudson's on the Bend, 3509 N. RR 620, 266-1369: Proprietor Jeff Blank is still "cooking fearlessly" after all these years and his devoted clientele are mighty glad about it. See "Liquid Assets" for updated info on the wine list here.

19. Hill Country Pasta House, 3519 N. RR 620, 266-9445: Wood-oven pizzas, fresh focaccia, and good Italian-American menu items keep the neighborhood regulars and newcomers alike very satisfied. See "Liquid Assets" for new info on their wine list.

20. ZZ's Gourmet Pizza, 3612 N. RR 620, 266-3335: ZZ's boasts the reputation of the best pizza delivery in the lake area, an inviting menu of tasty appetizers, and professional baristas pulling espresso as early as 6:30am for those with a serious caffeine jones.

21. Chita-Rita and the Chimp's, 4919 Hudson Bend Rd., 266-6919: This longtime Hudson Bend neighborhood hangout used to change owners pretty often, but Deborah Reid's menu of monstrous ribeye Philly cheesesteaks and live music is into its second busy year.

22. The Taylor House, 6400 Hudson Bend Rd., 266-6246: Successful caterer Sharon Taylor was lured out of retirement to provide the food for this lakeside residence that's been turned into a restaurant and event facility. Taylor's "down-home cooking with a gourmet flair" is served from a buffet in the downstairs dining room and the upstairs rooms are available for events and parties.

23. Carlos 'n' Charlie's Bar & Grill, 5917 Hiline Rd., 262-3764: Another popular waterside party palace, CnC packs 'em in with big drinks, live music, and robust portions of full-flavored party food. Everything about this place says party!

24. Oasis Cantina del Lago, 6550 Comanche Trail, 266-2441: The self-proclaimed "Sunset Capitol of Texas" offers sunset viewing on multiple decks that spill down the cliffs toward the water, well-known margaritas, and perfectly good Tex-Mex and Texas cafe menu items.

25. The Boat House Grill, 6812 N. RR 620, 249-5200: Proprietor Tracy Collins inherited good cooking genes from both sides of her family and it shows. The only thing this excellent Texas roadhouse cafe needs is more dining room space.

26. Smokey J's Bar B Cue, 7008 N. RR 620, 331-4888: A definitive Texas country BBQ joint with a smoking pit out back, window service, and a screened-in set of picnic tables where you can chow on down. Meats by the plate, the sandwich, and/or the pound.

27. Sundowner Grill at Volente Beach, 16107 FM 2769, 258-5109: Always call ahead before making the drive to the Sundowner Grill because our experience is that hours and levels of service can vary widely.

28. Cafe Bleu, 8714 Lime Creek Rd., 401-6669. See review and "Liquid Assets."

29. HEB Grocery, northeast corner of RR 2222 & N. RR 620. See "Liquid Assets."

  • Dining del Lago

    For years, eating out near Lake Travis was pretty strictly limited to burger joints, Tex-Mex places, fish shacks, and typical Texas roadside cafes. The update to our lakeside dining guide illustrates that all that may be steadily changing.
  • Cafe Bleu

  • The Vineyard

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle