40 Restaurants to Try in Downtown Austin
Check off all your food goals without leaving the city center
Whether you're on a break, or you've designated time to indulge in a leisurely dinner, we've mapped out the Downtown restaurant scene to help you plan for any kind of meal. Spread across the city center, you'll find dining options from Lamar to I-35, and Cesar Chavez to 10th.
WHEN THE BOSS IS PAYING
Otoko1603 S. Congress, www.otokoaustin.com
A unique multicourse omakase experience hosted by chef Yoshi Okai will require reservations at this intimate 12-seat restaurant within the South Congress Hotel.
Red Ash303 Colorado, www.redashgrill.com
A modern Italian restaurant utilizing a wood-burning grill to create nuanced flavors in their wood-roasted vegetables, wood-fired pizza, and wood-grilled prime cuts of meat and seafood.
Garrison101 Red River, www.garrisongrill.com
The fancy Fairmont Hotel features a modern American grill with exquisitely designed plates, like shareable whole grilled branzino or 28-oz. prime porterhouse.
Lonesome Dove419 Colorado, www.lonesomedoveaustin.com
Chef & owner Tim Love designed a modern menu influenced by the flavors of the West packed with wild game and wood-fired cooking; savor rabbit ravioli or spit-roasted duck.
Ciclo98 San Jacinto, www.cicloatx.com
Effortlessly peer at the lake while fine dining at the Four Seasons Hotel. Ciclo offers an elegant indoor or outdoor dining experience and carefully crafted menu mixing local and Latin flavors.
UPSCALE TABLE FOR TWO
Geraldine's605 Davis, www.geraldinesaustin.com
Located in the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, this trendy rooftop restaurant and bar serves Southern-inspired dishes with staples like grilled quail and shrimp hush puppies.
Parkside301 E. Sixth, www.parkside-austin.com
A dinner-only, farm-to-table restaurant with a seasonally changing menu and raw bar, Parkside is currently serving up crab fritters, hamachi, and chicken roasted with brown butter crumble.
Chez Nous510 Neches, www.cheznousaustin.com
Authentic French cuisine has been shared in this Downtown bistro since the 1980s, including all things crepe, croque, and confit.
North Italia500 W. Second, www.northitaliarestaurant.com
An upscale Italian eatery using select ingredients to make mushroom arancini, prosciutto & fig pizzas, and Tuscan kale salads. Take a peek into the kitchen to watch pasta made daily.
Wu Chow500 W. Fifth, www.wuchowaustin.com
A fresh take on Chinese cuisine, offering modern versions of the classics using locally sourced ingredients. Tiki cocktails and house-made dumplings flow daily, with dim sum served on Sundays.
Le Politique110 San Antonio, www.lepolitiqueaustin.com
This gorgeous brasserie offers classic French cuisine; order steak frites, escargot, or daily made macarons.
Second Bar + Kitchen200 Congress, www.secondbarkitchen.com
Try their modern American small plates for sharing or larger plates to individually savor every bite of a Congress burger topped with shallot confit and Gruyere.
FUN, FLIRTY VIBES
G'raj Mahal Cafe73 Rainey, www.grajmahalaustin.com
Tasty Indian specialties in a haute bohemian atmosphere.
Swift's Attic315 Congress, www.swiftsattic.com
Inventive small plates influenced by global flavors; you'll find an ever-changing menu and a generous happy hour from 2-6:30pm every weekday.
Banger's79 Rainey, www.bangersaustin.com
They'll have limited hours for the public during SXSW; all other times it's your laid-back, sausage and beer slinging, chill outdoors at a picnic table while listening to live music, type of place.
Holy Roller509 Rio Grande, www.holyrolleraustin.com
American comfort food with attitude – Grilled Cheesus sandwiches, trash fries, and choco tacos.
Péché208 W. Fourth, www.pecheaustin.com
Absinthe bar proudly serving "sinful cocktails" along with classic French food within a Prohibition-era setting.
Backspace507 San Jacinto, www.thebackspace-austin.com
Intimate Neapolitan pizzeria which keeps the colorful antipasti and crisp Peroni flowing while baking brick oven-fired pies.
La Condesa400-A W. Second, www.lacondesa.com
Featuring a range of Mexican cuisine, the menu offers traditional tortas and more complex flavor profiles such as mole and ceviche.
Manuel's310 Congress, www.manuels.com
This staple restaurant specializes in mole, margaritas, and wild-caught sustainable seafood prepared with Mexican flair.
Austin Taco Project500 E. Fourth, www.austintacoproject.com
Your one-stop taco shop, featuring an eclectic array of tacos inspired by global flavors and pouring equally vibrant cocktails.
Polvos360 Nueces, www.polvosaustin.com
Polvos will satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings with copious amounts of enchiladas, flautas, fajitas, aguas frescas, and margaritas to fill your table and belly.
El Naranjo85 Rainey, www.elnaranjorestaurant.com
A sophisticated window to Mexican cuisine, their moles bring a special elegance to the menu, while their appetizers and smaller plates like the guacamole and empanadas bring the simple deliciousness.
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill303 Red River, www.moonshinegrill.com
Comfort food-centric with chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits, and signature skillet apple pie.
Gus's Fried Chicken117 San Jacinto, www.gusfriedchicken.com/austin-texas-location
This Memphis-born restaurant made it to Austin bearing the gift of fried chicken, mac & cheese, fried green tomatoes, and sweet potato pie.
Iron Works BBQ100 Red River, www.ironworksbbq.com
Practically unchanged since opening in the 1970s, Iron Works serves no-frills traditional barbecue in an old Austin setting.
Fixe500 W. Fifth, www.fixesouthernhouse.com
A Texan approach to Louisiana flavors and the place to wear your Sunday best, Fixe crafts Southern favorites with elegant presentation and ambience.
Stubb's Bar-B-Q801 Red River, www.stubbsaustin.com
The restaurant side of one of Austin's most popular music venues, serving barbecue that's just as popular. Don't miss the Sunday gospel brunch for a side of live music with your brisket.
Austin Java301 W. Second, www.austinjava.com
Coffee shop meets modern diner, serving a lengthy food menu to cover all of Austin's local flavors and food groups.
Jo's Coffee242 W. Second, www.joscoffee.com
Breakfast, burgers, and beer served all day, along with Intelligentsia coffee for fuel. There's outdoor seating for sunny days. (The original location is on South Congress – you know, with the "I Love You" mural.)
Walton's Fancy & Staple609 W. Sixth, www.waltonsfancyandstaple.com
A nostalgic American cafe with flavor-packed pastries, salads, sandwiches, and breakfast dishes to savor any time of day.
Cookbook Bar & Cafe710 W. Cesar Chavez, www.cookbookatx.com
Brightly lit indoor/outdoor cafe within the Central Library, featuring dishes and beverages inspired by acclaimed cookbooks and chefs from around the country.
40 North900 W. Tenth, www.40northpizza.com
Charming and delicious; this restaurant within a house specializes in Neapolitan pizza, along with a noteworthy burger, salads, and Italian desserts.
QUICK, HEALTHY MEALS
Fareground111 Congress, www.faregroundaustin.com
Austin's first food hall and Downtown dining hub features six local restaurants and a bar, with ample seating inside and a park-like setting outside.
Koriente621 E. Seventh, www.koriente.com
A family-owned restaurant serving Asian-inspired made-from-scratch dishes at affordable prices with the friendliest service.
Daruma Ramen612-B E. Sixth, www.darumaramen.com
Making healthier varieties of Japanese ramen by using chicken and veggie broth, as well as stocking Japanese beer and inventing unique flavors of soft serve.
Darna408 W. Eleventh, www.darnatx.com
Moroccan & Mediterranean salads, shawarmas, and baklava.
Malibu Poke211 Walter Seaholm #115, www.malibupoke.com
A touchscreen poke menu packed with options, from classic to spicy predesigned bowls, and à la carte ingredients to craft your own.
Flower Child500 W. Second #133, www.iamaflowerchild.com
Cheery, modern restaurant with wholesome foods including veggie-packed and protein-optional plates, salads, and grain bowls.
True Food Kitchen222 West Ste. HR100, www.truefoodkitchen.com
Featuring a seasonal menu that changes regularly to offer a variety of creative salads, bowls, and sandwiches.