Our Favorite Comfort Food Fixes in Austin

When it's someone else's turn to make the meal, these restaurants delivered comfort on a plate (or bowl)

Backdraft Pizzeria (Photo by John Anderson)

Since semi-retiring from the food scene, I've been less about discovering new dishes and more about enjoying the flavors that bring me judgment-free comfort. I mostly cook at home these days, and try to incorporate local goods, but these unranked beauts are in permanent rotation for days when it's someone else's turn to make the meal.

Madam Mam's Nothing sings "it's gonna be okay" louder than a big bowl of spicy tom kha with chicken, shrimp, and artichokes plus an order of tofu spring rolls or Thai gyoza.

L'Oca d'Oro Thank goddess these wizards reopened for inside dining because a three-course solo meal of fresh mozz, mafaldine, and Orobianco's gelato di bufala pairs perfectly with all wine.

H-E-B Meal Simple It's not a restaurant, but the grab-and-go stuffed salmon with asparagus has saved my mind on many a weeknight.

Rosen's Bagels They're the best in the city, hands down, especially the parmesan with sun-dried tomato pesto schmear.

Garbo's Maine Lobster At their new brick-and-mortar, I ate an entire lobster for my birthday, alongside smoked fish dip and at least a dozen raw oysters.

Vivo Therapy for a rough day might be the Cameron's Choice combo with tinga chalupa and verde enchilada, plus a cup of tortilla soup.

Easy Tiger at the Linc If you catch a 7pm flick at Galaxy, you're out in perfect time to chill on the patio with a baguette sammie and a seasonal salad.

The Silver Medal Do Jell-O shots count as a meal? Either way, this East Austin bar and grill also has a huge veg-friendly menu of burgers and dogs.

Backdraft Pizzeria So said Kevin McCallister, "An udder-ly cheesy pizza, all for me."

Honorable Mentions: In the "Not Local, but Sorta" category, shout-out to Kebab Shop (yes, they're California-born, but they brought their saffron-marinated grilled chicken only to Austin as fast as possible) and Lupe Tortilla (it's the lobster queso flameado and pollo espinacas for me at this Texas chain).

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Madam Mam's, L'Oco d'Oro, H-E-B Meal Simple, Rosen's Bagels, Garbo's Maine Lobster, Vivo, Easy Tiger, The Silver Medal, Backdraft Pizzeria, Top 10s 2021

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