21 Best Restaurants in Austin – A Newcomer’s Guide

Are you a newcomer looking for the best restaurants in Austin? Stop right here because you are in the right place. We’ve made a list of the Texas capital’s must-visit dining spots, from the most famous and established ones to the latest additions suitable for every budget. And trust us: you’ll get hungry just by reading about them. Let’s get started (and Bon appetit!).

The capital of Texas takes pride in a diverse and vibrant culinary scene.

Best Mexican Diners in Austin

A lot of people think that Mexican food sums up to enchiladas, tacos, and margaritas. However, those living in Austin know how vibrant, diverse, and beautiful this cuisine is. From traditional and Tex-Mex to modern flavors, the ATX’s culinary scene covers it all. For all the newcomers moving to Austin, these are the spots you should not miss.

Mi Tradicion

A recipient of the award for the Best Mexican Bakery, Mi Tradicion is a piece of heaven for all those with a sweet tooth. However, this acclaimed bakery with two locations in the north and south cranks out more than just desserts. The lunch menu is as authentically Mexican as it gets, offering tortas, tacos, and blue corn quesadillas. If you are interested in tasting something fabulous and unusual, try their delicious sweet tortillas.

Fonda San Miguel

While many older eateries in town rest on laurels of nostalgia, Fonda San Miguel in North Loop neighborhood has never gone out of style. With the reputation of being one the places with the most pampered brunch buffets in the city, Fonda San Miguel continues to promote Mexican Cuisine in its entirety, from the broiled fish of Vera Cruz to the cochinita pibil of the Yucatan.

Suerte

At one of ATX newest spots – Suerte, chef Fermin Nunez makes magic by using local heirloom corn to craft his delicious meals. For a fantastic gastronomic experience, don’t miss to try Nunez’s goat rib barbacoa with handmade tortillas and tetela al cabron. Also, this place in the eastern part of the city offers a sizable tequila and mezcal many, as well as a delicious cocktail program.

Mi Tradicion, Fonda San Miguel, and Suerte are some of the most popular Mexican-style places in the capital of Texas.

Italian Restaurants in ATX You Should Check Out

Pizzas, pasta, lasagnas, and wines – Austinites love Italian dishes. Lovely eateries inspired by Italian cuisine are scattered all over the city, and we are happy for that; these are our favorites.

Andiamo Ristorante

Owned by Daniela Marcone, Andiamo Ristorante is an authentic Italian diner located in North Austin’s NorthPoint Center shopping mall. Everything here is handmade, from the lasagna and risotto to incredible tasty pasta.

Taverna

If you want to have dinner in a warm and welcoming place, choose Taverna. This diner with two spots in the city has won the hearts of Austinites with serving some of the most exquisite meals from northern Italy. Besides delicious risotto, the menu includes bay scallops, pesto pasta, truffle oils, sea bass, and prosciutto.

Gusto

This restaurant and bar is mostly famous for working with community partners and producers, offering fresh takes on classic Italian meals. For those craving indulged and comforting snacks, Gusto is the place to be. Everything from freshly crafted pasta and handmade pizzas to dishes with farm-fresh meats will put back a smile on your face.

Pizza, pasta, lasagna: Italian eateries in the capital of Texas have it all.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya and Other Popular Japanese Restaurants in the River City

Have you ever been to Japan? If your answer is no, but you are moving to Austin, you will have the chance to visit some of the most popular Japanese restaurants in the country, and experience all the beauty of this cuisine from the Far East. We suggest the following.

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

This Texan izakaya concept, created by Takuya Matsumoto and Tatsu Aikawa, combines barbeque-inspired Asian meals with a variety of beer, Japanese whiskey, sake, shochu, and cocktails. When you come here, it is advisable to start with snacks, including chili cheese takoyaki and a take on Hot Pocket. Go on with a kushiyaki, yakitori, and a menu of smoked items such as BBQ Boat. Don’t forget to order a dessert – brisket Raman.

Loro

Aron Franklin and Tayson Cole, restaurant rookies, have combined forces and opened a Texas-Asian smokehouse. Dishes like Thai green sausage, Malaysian chicken bo ssam, and smoked beef brisket with chili gastrique will blow your mind. Besides the tasty dishes, you will fall in love with their beautiful patio.

Komé

The first thing you’ll hear when you come to Komé in North Loop is – Irasshaimase! It is a customary Japanese welcome greeting, announced in unison by the staff for every guest that comes in. This place’s sushi and sashimi plates are excellent lunch deals in the city, and on top of all, you’ll be amazed by the taste of their sunshine roll with fresh mango, chicken kara-age, and Shiso greyhound.

Some of the most famous Japanese eateries in the US are in the capital of Texas.

Some of The Most Famous Chinese Restaurants in ATX

The River City’s culinary scene is proud of various Chinese restaurants that have been growing stronger in the last few years. So, if you are craving noodles, mapo tofu, and dumplings, these are the spots to check out.

Julie’s Noodles

Started as a food truck, Julie’s is now a full sit-down eatery. Located in Research Boulevard, it is famous for its handmade noodle soups and dumplings. This place is perfect for those who want to try the classic Chinese specialties, from chow mein and fried rice to wontons and spicy meals.

New Fortune Chinese Seafood Restaurant

Located in the Chinatown Center, this place is one of the most popular Chinese dining options in the area – you can dine in or order take out. It also has a large banquet area, a perfect spot to enjoy wonton appetizers or tasty soup dumplings.

Chinatown

Chinatown has three spots in various parts of the city, including North Austin, Westlake, and downtown. Restaurant’s owner, Ronald Cheng, has been serving Chinese specialties in ATX for more than 25 years. A friendly atmosphere and delicious dumplings are what makes this place so special and loved.

The tastiest noodle soups and dumplings you can eat in ATX.

Beloved Vegan Spots in ATX

If you are a vegan relocating to ATX, you will be glad to know that the city has many meat-free eateries. You will have the chance to try some of the tastiest veggie-burgers in the country, meals made of 100% fresh ingredients, and fantastic vegan cocktails.

Mr. Natural

The essential quality of Mr. Natural, one of the earliest vegetarian places in town, is that all meals are 100% meet-free. Here is where you should come if you want to try the number one veggie burger in the city. It is an old fashioned burger, piled with “bacon,” topped with a tasty medley of sautéed onions and spinach, Monterey jack cheese and avocado, and loaded with barbecue sauce. If you would like to try a little bit of everything, the first Sunday of every month is reserved for the all-vegan brunch buffet.

Mother’s Cafe and Garden

Located in one of the best neighborhoods in Austin, Hyde Park, this place has been serving meatless meals for over 30 years. Although it is entirely vegetarian, meals don’t fit comfortably in any specific culinary category. Their menu includes traditional lunch staples, like soups, sandwiches, and salads, but also Tex-Mex fares like nachos, burritos, and enchiladas. If you are craving some Italian dishes, Mother’s Cafe and Garden serves pasta. Also, their omelet-taco-and-pancake-packed weekend brunch will make you get up earlier.

Citizen Eatery

Citizen Eatery in Rosedale is a modern cafe that serves vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-only meals. Their menu includes vegan Bolognese, “pulled-plant” sandwiches, and parsnip waffles with BBQ. Plus, breakfast is served all day. Citizen Eaters is also famous for its organic wine and cocktails made with a cold-pressed juice.

Visit Oseyo on East Cesar Chavez Street and Get a Glimpse of Korea

With a pastoral but at the same time contemporary ambiance, Oseyo features Korean cuisine which draws inspiration from the home cooking of owner Lynn Miller’s mother and brought to reality by chef Mike Diaz. While Diaz has cooked at Dui Due Taqueria, Olamaie, and McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group, the owner, Mr. Miller, has “cooked” his skill at the New York Palace Hotel. 

When you first come to Oseyo, you’ll see a rustic yet modern interior with tchotchkes filling the shelves and dozens of seagrass baskets dangling above a large community table, along with simple wooden assets. The highlights of Oseyo’s menu are a marinated short rib known as kalbi, and the bossam carefully prepared with slow-roasted pork belly.

Elsewhere, a hot dish of warm sweet potato noodles stir-fried with veggies called japchae will melt your heart. Cocktails are the specialty of this place. Therefore, don’t miss to try Doenjang Daiquiri, created from a combination of two rums, lime, coconut liquor, and pine nut-miso orgeat. Delicious!

The menu of Oseyo offers wood-grilled kalbi, a marinated short rib, and the bossam

Mum Foods Deli est. 2019

Before officially opening in 2019, at the location of the former Elaine’s Porks and Pies in Cherrywood, Mom Foods’ pastrami could only be found at the Farmers Market. And that is if you get up early.

The owners Mattison Bills and Geoffrey Ellis plan to stay just for one year, so hurry up to try their incredible pastrami sandwiches as well as a classic deli menu including a mouthwatering pimento cheese sandwich.

Don't miss to try pastrami sandwiches at Mum Foods Deli.

Soursop, South Congress

When you’re in the mood for some Asian street food, stop by Soursop. Inspired by the Cuisine of Southeast Asia, its fare will make you feel like you are in the middle of Thailand, Malaysia, or Vietnam. Soursop’s menu includes dishes of melted cheese, waterfall slaw, and Thai basil ranch. The highlights of this place are sweet and tard pork ribs, while the bright beers wonderfully go with all the restaurant’s flavors.

Come to Soursop and try the tastiest pork ribs.

Pitchfork Pretty Is One of the Best Restaurants in Austin

Located on East Cesar Chavez Street, Pitchfork Pretty is a place you must visit if you want to taste dishes inspired by Texan, Mexican, and German cuisines. What a mixture! Chef Max Snyder is a real food visionary, always ready to surprise with unusual and unexpected flavors.

It’s good to know that their most popular dish is Korean-style fried chicken, served with pickled daikon and spiced red chili. However, this place has so many must-trys, including the flower-shaped pasta with shishito pesto, gouda and eggplant, and the red snapper crudo – a real flavor explosion.

Even their cocktails are enough to make you come again (and again, and back). Livin Easy, made of rosé syrup, West 32 soju, orange blossom, and soda, is a must-try. Taking your loved ones to this Korean’ish prix fixe dinner is one of the better things to do in Austin with kids.

In Pitchfork Pretty, meals are a combination of American, Mexican, and German cuisine.

Coffee, Pastry, and Smoked Meats – Where?

Are you looking for a place suitable for both coffee breaks and dining? If that’s so, head to 1814 E Martin Luther King Blvd because there’s your place – Sour Duck Market!

The History of Sour Duck Market, Austin TX

Owned by the family that brought us Odd Duck and Barley Swine, Sour Suck Market is a casual concept for everyday diner. Here, you can enjoy coffee, bread, sandwiches, and pastries all made in house. This place is attractive for its beautiful backyard while cocktails, wines, and beers perfectly complement the menu.

Coffee, pastry, and Smoked Meats. American style in Sour Duck Market.

Picnic

Picnic is most famous for being paleo-friendly, and for having the best butter coffee in town. Founded by Naomi Seifter, serves meals made with the best ingredients, including wild-caught fish, conscious meats, and pasture-raised eggs. The dishes are ideal for those intolerant of soy, corn, peanuts, and gluten.

Each day, until 3 pm, two trailers on South Lamar and Cesar Chaves are open if you want to grab a butter coffee and a brick-and-mortar on Burnet Road open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and delicious craft cocktails.

The highlights of this place are Gluten-free breakfast tacos, salted caramel banana pancakes made with cassava batter, cashew queso and chicken tenders made with rice flour. You’ll also love turmeric-crusted cauliflower steak and Thai red curry with grass-fed steak.

Picnic is most famous for being paleo-friendly, and for having the best butter coffee in town.

Welcome to the City of Flavors

Whether you are moving to a city alone or with a family, once you’ve decided to move to ATX, you’ve probably looked for the best housing options in different parts of the city, such as Austin suburbs, and thought about the cost of living in Austin TX. Food is rarely one of the reasons for moving, but knowing that ATX has an amazing culinary scene will make you wonder why you didn’t move here earlier.

But, before you start exploring all beautiful diners the Texas capital has to offer, start looking for reliable Austin long-distance movers near you. For a stress-free relocation, consider hiring professionals who provide the best moving and packing services.

Written By: Joan Stivens