Texas Chili Parlor
1409 Lavaca, 512/472-2828
Since 1976, the kitchen's been serving good burgers, sandwiches, Tex-Mex, and, of course, chili in many varieties to satisfy all tastes, even vegetarian. Tarantino devotees will note TCP as a Death Proof filming location.
At this counter-service eatery located in the Austin Central Library, Chef Drew Curren of ELM Restaurant Group uses recipes from inspirational cookbooks, with a focus on the South and Mexico. The menus change seasonally and often incorporate local farm-to-table ingredients.
710 W. Cesar Chavez, 512/487-5166
Southern food’s humble building blocks – buttermilk, black-eyed peas, grits, and salt pork – are refreshed through a combination of molecular gastronomy and just plain ingenuity.
500 W. Fifth, 512/888-9133
As the first Texas outlet of a famous Memphis fried-chicken chain, this newcomer comes in strong. The simple menu includes chicken by the plate or individual piece. Plates come with a choice of two or three pieces: white, dark, or the "half chicken" option – one piece of each. Plates come with baked beans and slaw, but substitutions are allowed for 50 cents extra. Start with a couple of cans of Austin Beer Works brew and a plate of the best fried green tomatoes ever.
117 San Jacinto Blvd., 512/474-4877