50+ Restaurants to Try in Downtown Austin

Want a bite in the heart of the city? We’ve got you covered for any mood, group, or time of day.

Arlo Grey (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Whether you’ve found yourself in Austin despite the big cancellations or you’re a true local, now is the time to spend big dollars at our local restaurants in the heart of Austin. These excellent eateries ought to cover just about any craving, but there are certainly even more out there. While you’re dining out, please remember to order a few extra bites and drinks, and above all, please tip your servers/bartenders more than just the minimal 20%. Our Downtown hospitality community is hurting, and we can help mitigate tremendous financial losses with generous patronage. – Jessi Cape

Feelin’ Fancy

Red Ash
303 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.

98 San Jacinto, www.cicloatx.com
Effortlessly gaze 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.

605 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.

301 E. Sixth, www.parkside-austin.com
A dinner-only, farm-to-table restaurant with a seasonally changing menu and raw bar currently serving up crab fritters, hamachi, and chicken roasted with brown butter crumble.

507 San Jacinto, www.thebackspace-austin.com
This tiny restaurant makes up for limited seating with plenty of bold flavors on their thin-crust Neapolitan pies and paninis made with Easy Tiger ciabatta.

Devil May Care
500 W. Sixth #100, www.devilmaycareatx.com
Billed as a “mischievous lounge with modern Mediterranean fare,” it’s soft lighting and delicious bold flavors in drinks and dishes.

Chez Nous
510 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 Italia
500 W. Second, www.northitalia.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 Chow
500 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 Politique
110 San Antonio, www.lepolitiqueaustin.com
This gorgeous brasserie offers classic French cuisine; order steak frites, escargot, or daily made macarons.

Arlo Grey
111 E. Cesar Chavez, www.thelinehotel.com/austin
Enjoy the view of Town Lake while savoring Top Chef winner Kristen Kish’s recipes.

208 W. Fourth, www.pecheaustin.com
Absinthe bar proudly serving “sinful cocktails” along with classic French food within a Prohibition-era setting.

500 W. Fifth, www.fixesouthernhouse.com
A Texan approach to Louisiana flavors and a place to wear your Sunday best, Fixe crafts Southern favorites with elegant presentation and ambience.

Sunday Brunch

301 Congress, www.tacodeli.com
Don’t judge – the (mashed) potato, egg, and cheese is killer. Just what you want after a late night out.

Le Cafe Crêpe
200-A San Jacinto, www.cafecrepeofaustin.com
The brother and sister who own this unassuming cafe are French natives, and it shows. Get the classic with ham, Swiss, and bechamel and then top it off with a sugar butter crepe for dessert.

101 Red River, www.revueatx.com
Epcot meets a movie set: Revue offers French, Asian, and Italian cuisines. Brunch is where the real deal is, though. Come hungry for egg-and-herb fried rice, then pop by the raw oyster bar. Don’t leave without grabbing a macaron or tart from the pastry table.

Swift’s Attic
315 Congress, www.swiftsattic.com
Inventive small plates influenced by global flavors – try the shakshuka for a delicious change of pace.

Austin’s Favorite Food Group

Comedor (Photo by John Anderson)

501 Colorado, www.comedortx.com
This celebrated newcomer serves up modern Mexican fare with exciting twists on old favorites, like goat barbacoa or bone marrow tacos.

310 Congress, www.manuels.com
This staple restaurant specializes in mole, margaritas, and wild-caught sustainable seafood prepared with Mexican flair.

Austin Taco Project
500 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.


360 Nueces, www.polvosaustin.com
Polvo’s will satisfy your Tex-Mex cravings with copious amounts of enchiladas, flautas, fajitas, aguas frescas, and margaritas to fill your table and belly.

Taquero Mucho
508 West, www.fb.com/taqueromuchoaustin
This new taqueria has already made a splash with their all pink interior, tasty tacos, and inventive cocktails.

ATX Cocina
110 San Antonio, www.atxcocina.com
Modern takes on Mexican classics – like the lengua quesadilla – will leave you surprised and satisfied.

Hangover Lunch

Holy Roller
509 Rio Grande, www.holyrolleraustin.com
American comfort food with attitude – Grilled Cheesus sandwiches, Trash Fries, and Holy Donuts.

Dean’s One Trick Pony
111 E. Cesar Chavez, www.thelinehotel.com/austin
Hit this place up for a bomb burger and hair-of-the-dog cocktails.

Iron Works BBQ
100 Red River, www.ironworksbbq.com
Practically unchanged since opening in the 1970s, Iron Works serves no-frills traditional barbecue in an old Austin setting.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
303 Red River, www.moonshinegrill.com
Comfort food-centric establishment with chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits, and signature skillet apple pie.

123 W. Sixth, www.italicaustin.com
Bring a couple of people and order small plates – you’ll want to try all of these rotating Italian dishes. If you’re ready for a drink, definitely grab one here.

Classic Cafes

Austin Java
301 W. Second, www.austinjava.com
Coffee shop meets modern diner, serving a lengthy food menu to cover all of Austin’s local flavors.

Jo’s Coffee
242 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 & Staple
609 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 & Cafe
710 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 North
900 W. 10th, 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

621 E. Seventh, www.koriente.com
A family-owned restaurant serving Asian-inspired, made-from-scratch dishes at affordable prices with the friendliest service.

Daruma Ramen (Photo by John Anderson)

Daruma Ramen
612-B E. Sixth, www.darumaramen.com
Making healthier varieties of Japanese ramen by using chicken and veggie broths, as well as stocking Japanese beer and unique flavors of soft serve.

408 W. Eleventh #100, www.darnatx.com
Moroccan & Mediterranean salads, shawarmas, and baklava.

Malibu Poke
211 Walter Seaholm #115, www.malibupoke.com
A touch-screen poke menu packed with options, from classic to spicy predesigned bowls, and à la carte ingredients to craft your own.

Late Night Eats

Easy Tiger
709 E. Sixth, www.easytigerusa.com
Grab a pretzel with house-made beer cheese and a bratwurst, then come back in the morning for pain au chocolat. This bar-meets-bakery does not disappoint.

506 West Ave., www.irenesaustin.com
You want a delicious breakfast sandwich at midnight on a Thursday? You’re in luck.

Casino el Camino
517 E. Sixth, www.casinoelcamino.net
Can’t go wrong with a late-night Casino el Camino burger and another drink.

Via 313
700 W. Sixth, www.via313.com
Delicious Sicilian-style pizza. Come ready to eat, as Sicilian means lots of dough, and you’ll definitely want more than one piece.

Bring Everybody

79 Rainey, www.bangersaustin.com
It’s your laid-back, sausage-and-beer-slinging, chill-outdoors-at-a-picnic-table-while-listening-to-live-music type of place.

La Condesa
400-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.

G’Raj Mahal Cafe & Lounge
73 Rainey, www.grajmahalaustin.com
Tasty Indian specialties in a haute bohemian atmosphere.

111 Congress, www.faregroundaustin.com
Austin’s Downtown food hall features six local restaurants and a bar, with ample seating inside and a park-like setting outside.

501 W. Sixth, www.tentenaustin.com
New on the scene, this modern Japanese kitchen features hand rolls, traditional sushi, and fantastic cocktails.

310 Colorado, www.papadomaustin.com
This little spot specializes in scratch Indian fare like tandoori jhinga, vindaloo, mattar paneer.

Venture Just East of Downtown

1800 E. Sixth, www.suerteatx.com
Go for Nana’s Pozole and chilaquiles for brunch, or hit the “lucky hour” from 5 to 6pm for a great deal on cocktails and “snackcidents” like beef tartare sopes.

Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts
75 ½ Rainey, www.littlelucys.com
Head here at the end of the night for some killer create-your-own mini donuts and choose toppings from a giant list of combinations named after doggos. We like the Schnauzer – pistachio, lavender, and vanilla.

1511 E. Sixth, www.ciscosaustin.com
Churning out delicious Tex-Mex since 1950, this spot offers not-to-be-missed breakfast tacos, lunch enchiladas, and dinner plates.

Licha’s Cantina
1306 E. Sixth, www.lichascantina.com
One of our favorites, this little house-turned-eatery boasts kickass Mexican soul food, a rowdy patio, and pitchers of paloma.

Buenos Aires Cafe
1201 E. Sixth, www.buenosairescafe.com
This longtime eatery offers lovely Argentinian food in a cozy atmosphere, and they’re big fans of Malbec.

Vixen’s Wedding
1813 E. Sixth Street, www.vixensweddingatx.com
A unique restaurant featuring dishes inspired by Goa, India, Portugal, and Central Texas, all served in a colorful space filled with macramé and bold prints.

1209 Rosewood Ave., www.rosewoodatx.com
It smells like vintage leather and smoked goodness inside this revamped house serving local, seasonal ingredients, with an in-house butcher and full bar.

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  

MORE Austin restaurants
The Take-Out
The Take-Out
To be real

Brandon Watson, Sept. 25, 2015

More by Zelly Martin
Hope Coffee Collaborative Creates Unique Blend to Fund Relief
Hope Coffee Collaborative Creates Unique Blend to Fund Relief
Local coffee roasters are chipping in to fight the pandemic

June 23, 2020

Support Black-Owned Restaurants in Austin
Support Black-Owned Restaurants in Austin
We’ve put together a list of more than 60 great spots

June 2, 2020


Austin restaurants

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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