Austin is one of the United States' trendiest major cities, noted for its unique fusion cuisine offerings, hip live music venues, artisan maker studios, and annual events such as the music and innovation-focused South By Southwest festival. Visitors can pay homage to a slice of Austin history at Taco Flats, named in honor of the historic live music venue of the same name that closed in the 1980s. Mexican fare takes stage at many restaurants, including ATX Cocina, helmed by Philadelphia Eagles star Nick Foles. When you're out seeing the city's sights and exploring its downtown district, many counter-service restaurants offer unique treats, including the boozy ice cream concoctions of Prohibition Creamery or the award-winning gelato of Teo, named as one of the world's best gelato joints. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Texas Farmer's Market
© Texas Farmer's Market
Texas Farmer's Market has been voted as Austin's favorite farmer's market by the Austin Chronicle for more than five years and counting, hosted each Wednesday and Sunday adjacent to the Browning Hangar at Mueller Central. The nonprofit market showcases a plethora of fresh artisan food and produce vendors, selling seasonal produce, meats, cheeses, and specialty baked and pantry goods. Regular vendors include Bouldin Food Forest, Chickamaw Organic Farm, Pure Luck Dairy, Texas Hill Country Olive Company, and Austin Honey. A wide variety of special artisan goods are also sold, ranging from craft kombuchas and tonics to soy candles, leather goods, and sterling silver jewelry. Each week, the best of Austin's food truck scene is showcased at the event, serving up a variety of international cuisine options.
4209 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78722, Phone: 512-953-7959
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Winebelly is a tasteful wine bar and tapas joint from the restaurant team behind popular area eatery Hai Ky, opened in 2013. The bar has been named as one of America's best wine bars by Food and Wine, Wine Enthusiast, and Decanter Magazine, repeatedly voted as the city's best wine bar by Austin A-List. More than 100 bottles of wine are showcased on the bar's carefully-curated wine list, with knowledgeable staff on hand to assist with food and wine pairing selections and tasting notes. Globally-inspired tapas are served up, including harissa vegetable skewers, Szechuan-fried quail, Wagyu beef sliders, and tempura eggplant fries.
519 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-487-1569
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© Prohibition Creamery
Prohibition Creamery is a hip East Austin ice creamery opened in 2016, known for its specialty liquor-infused ice cream flavors. The ice cream parlor crafts all of its ice cream flavors in small batches with the finest local ingredients, including local Austin milk, eggs, cream, and sugar. Boozy flavor concoctions include pecan-buttered rum, whiskey chocolate with boozy brownie bites, and vegan sangria sorbet. Specialty cocktail-style ice cream selections include the Green Fairy, which blends Versinthe absinthe and cacao nib crumbles, and the Black Magic, which pairs El Silencio mezcal with activated charcoal. CBD-infused flavors are also served, including the parlor's signature Afternoon Delight, which features red velvet ice cream with a cream cheese frosting swirl.
1407 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-992-1449
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© Caroline Restaurant
Caroline Restaurant is a hip all-day spot opened in 2017, serving up dine-in breakfast, lunch, and dinner specialties and to-go offerings. Hand-selected coffee blends are served up from Austin favorites Legendary Roaster, including Mexican-style iced coffees, Bulletproof Coffees, and golden milk lattes. At breakfast, diners can choose from superfood smoothies, breakfast sandwiches, or plates like huevos rancheros and sweet corn cake Benedicts. Cauliflower chorizo tacos, all-natural turkey burgers, and classics like chicken schnitzel take center stage at lunch, complemented by a selection of health-conscious salads and quinoa bowls. At dinner, diners can choose from selections like green chili and chicken enchiladas, Delmonico steaks, and prime cheeseburgers. Extensive drink menus feature craft margaritas, local draft beers, and a fine West Coast wine list.
621 Congress Ave Suite 101, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-982-6766
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© Malibu Poke
Malibu Poke is a casual concept restaurant from the owner of Dallas' hyped TJ's Seafood Market and Grill, co-owned by brothers Eric and Ben Kusin, known for their appearance on ABC's series Shark Tank. The restaurant, which is helmed by James Beard Award-nominated chef Jon Alexis, is known for its build-your-own poke bowls, which pair ingredients like ahi tuna, Atlantic salmon, cooked shrimp, and hamachi with selections like brown or cauliflower rice, kale, seaweed, and wasabi ponzu sauce. Specialty bowls include the Coconut Curry Hamachi, which is topped with Asian pear and mint, or the Tropical Chimichurri Shrimp, a Whole30-approved selection.
211 Walter Seaholm Dr LR 115, Austin, TX 78703, Phone: 512-609-8510
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© Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
Lenoir is one of Austin's most romantic dining destinations, helmed by married duo Jessica Maher and Todd Duplechan. The seasonally-focused restaurant specializes in what it classes as "hot weather food," which features minimal preparation and lighter ingredients geared toward cooking in hot weather conditions. Three-course prix fixe menus highlight field, land, and sea selections, including favorites like blue corn hushpuppies, antelope Andouille-stuffed quail, and whole roasted fish with goan crab curry. Wine selections are available to complement all tasting menus for an additional fee. A beautiful outdoor wine garden serves up a curated wine and beer list, complemented by shareable dips, cheeses, and charcuteries.
1807 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-215-9778
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© Red Ash
Red Ash is a lovely Italian dining destination housed within an industrial-chic dining space in downtown Austin, helmed by executive chef John Carver since 2016. The restaurant is inspired by the fine culinary traditions of Northern and Southern Italy, anchored around a custom-constructed wood-burning grill, oven, and plancha that releases red ash, giving the restaurant its name. Hearty handmade pasta offerings are served up throughout the day, including selections like pappardelle alla Bolognese, potato gnocchi gratinata, and frutti de mare spaghettini. Wood-grilled entrees range from boneless lamb steaks and beef bone marrow to osso buco Milanese and cold-water lobster tails prepared scampi-style. Old and New World wines complement all meals, featuring top selections from Italy, Argentina, California, and Washington.
Colorado Tower, 303 Colorado St #200, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-379-2906
Nightcap is a hip Old West Austin dessert bar and cocktail joint, opened in 2015 by Christin Rowan. Pop-heavy soundtracks play all throughout the night at the venue, which is lit by candlelight and features decor elements sourced from Dick Clark + Associates. New American fare is served up from the restaurant's bar, crafted by executive chef Matthew Goodrick, known for his work at Xiao Bao Bisciscuit in Charleston, as well as Fig and Boeufhaus as well as Entente in Chicago. Selections include grilled whole fish with summer squash and meyer lemon, housemade pretzels with whipped herb butter, and signature wagyu burgers with special sauce and housemade pickles. Delicious dessert offerings include the corn hub - corn pudding, corn cake, caramel corn, popcorn ice cream, and coffee ice cream affogatos.
1401 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703, Phone: 512-628-0144
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© ATX Cocina
ATX Cocina is a 100% gluten-free destination for modern Mexican fare, opened in 2017 by former Philadelphia Eagles star Nick Foles. The upscale Mexican restaurant produces all of its masa in house, sourcing heirloom corn produced on small family farms throughout Mexico. Delicious entree options include barbacoa beef short ribs, chili-roasted chicken with white mole sauce, duck carnitas tacos with citrus mojo, and coal-roasted prawns with salsa diablo. Classics like smoked refritos empanadas and lengua quesadillas are also served, along with unique vegetarian specialties like hibiscus falafel tacos with sunflower butter and pickled carrots. An unfathomable number of tequila and mezcal selections are also offered, prepared in signature cocktails or served by the shot.
110 San Antonio St Suite 170, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-263-2322
© La Volpe
La Volpe is an intimate dining destination in downtown Austin, opened by Heather and Steve Potts in 2018. The restaurant is known for its excellent and unexpected Italian-inspired offerings, which are crafted around seasonal ingredient availability by executive chef Will Eason. Delicious grilled fare includes rosemary maldon rack of lamb, herb-marinated swordfish with goat cheese, and wagyu strip steaks with liver compound butter. Diners can also enjoy hearty pasta entrees like chef's blend mushroom pappardelle, shrimp and artichoke risotto with Sardinian cheese, and goat cheese lasagna Bolognese. Clever spritzers and cocktails include the Blueberry Celeste, which pairs Deep Eddy Lemon with house-infused blueberry vodka and mint.
201 Brazos St Bldg B, Austin, TX 78701, Phone: 512-501-6713
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© Taco Flats
Taco Flats pays homage to the historic 1970s Austin institution of the same name, which offered stage space for legendary musical acts such as Townes Van Zandt, Blaze Foley, and Calvin Russell. Though the original shuttered its doors in 1981, a new incarnation was opened in 2014 by Simon Madera, located within Clarksville's former Zocalo Cafe space. Extensive taco menus feature a la carte selections crafted with vertical rotisserie al pastor, slow-roasted carnitas, beef tongue barbacoa, or chilango shrimp, served up alongside vegetarian options like the El Hippie, which pairs refried black beans and guacamole with grilled jack cheese and house escabeche. Tequila cocktails and regional craft beers are served up from the restaurant's bar, which has been named as one of the city's best beer bars by Zagat.
5520 Burnet Rd #101, Austin, TX 78756, Phone: 512-284-8352
© Phoebe's Diner
Phoebe's Diner is a delightful retro diner from the Winebelly restaurant team, opened in 2017 in collaboration with executive chef Camden Stuerzenberger, known for his work at Bess Bistro, Fork and Vine, and South Congress Cafe. The diner, which is named in honor of Stuerzenberger's daughter, serves up American classics all day, including hearty breakfast favorites like buttermilk flapjack stacks, deep-fried or carrot cake-style French toast, homestyle biscuits and gravy, and Nutella berry crepes. Savory diner burgers, chicken sandwiches, and crab cake patties are also served up, along with coffee-smoked brisket burritos, smoked beet hash, and hashbrown casserole. Extensive kids' menus are also offered, along with a full slate of beer, wine, and coffee beverages.
533 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704, Phone: 512-643-3218
13.Tumble 22 Hot Chicken
© Tumble 22 Hot Chicken
Tumble 22 Hot Chicken is a hip Austin restaurant serving up Nashville-style hot chicken entrees prepared by executive chef Harold Marmulstein. The restaurant, which was opened in 2018, serves up MSG-free chicken fried and coated in house blend spices and cayenne pepper. Diners can choose from bone-in fried chicken platters or classic chicken sandwiches, served at heat levels ranging from mild "Wimpy" spice to extreme "Cluckin' Hot" levels. Southern chicken thigh sandwiches are also served, along with chicken tenders platters and chicken oysters plates. Dipping sauces range from sweet chili yogurt and cilantro mint sauce to the restaurant's signature comeback sauce. A variety of local beers and regional wines are served, along with classic cocktails and margaritas.
7211 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757, Phone: 512-520-1998
© Austin Rotisserie
Austin Rotisserie serves up French comfort fare in a casual dining space located at the Infinite Monkey Theorem, founded in 2018 by restaurateurs Sophie Allard and Eric Nathal. It is known for its traditional rotisserie-roasted chickens, which are brined for 24 hours and then marinated in a blend of olive oil, sea salt, parsley, and pepper to maximize flavor. Diners can choose from whole, half, or quarter birds, served up with baby roasted Parisian-style potatoes cooked in chicken drippings. Chicken-stuffed baguette sandwiches are also served up. Dine-in and take-out service are available throughout the day.
702 Shady Ln, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-593-1123
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Intero is an elegant farm-to-table Italian dining destination helmed by married duo Ian Thurwatcher and Krystal Craig, opened in 2018 following a NextSeed crowdfunding campaign. The restaurant, which is named for the Italian word for "whole," is known for its sustainability-focused menus, which infuse contemporary Italian fare with fresh seasonal ingredients and whole animal products. Land and sea entrees include quail cacciatore, smoked beef neck, and seared Gulf snapper, paired with delicious hearty pasta selections like brown butter and roasted chicken gnocchi and duck ragu pappardelle. Family-style service options include braised pork short ribs or smoked beef brisket with cucumber panzarella. A chocolate counter pays homage to Craig's work at Crave Artisan Chocolate, serving up barks, truffles, and sipping chocolates.
2612 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-599-4052
16.Quality Seafood Market
© Quality Seafood Market
Quality Seafood Market has been an Austin institution since 1938, originally founded as a stall within Starr's Fruit and Vegetable Market on Congress Avenue. The market is known as the source of some of Austin's freshest fish selections, owned and operated by Carol Huntsburger since 2010. A full dining room space at the market serves up Maryland-style crab cakes, fried clam strips, Gulf shrimp dinners, and fresh catfish, all served golden fried to order. New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp dinners are also on the menu, along with classic po'boy sandwiches, seafood tacos, and East Coast, West Coast, or Gulf oysters on the half shell. A selection of domestic beers are available by the pitcher or by the draft, complemented by fountain drinks and house wines.
5621 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751, Phone: 512-452-3820
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17.Amanda Dear Jewelry
© Amanda Dear Jewelry
Amanda Dear Jewelry is the brick-and-mortar store for Austin-based designer Amanda Eddy, opened in 2017. The studio was named as one of Lucky Magazine's favorite Etsy designers, noted by fashion bloggers around the world for its affordable, creative jewelry offerings. Gorgeous fine jewelry selections include chokers, pendants, chain necklaces, drop earrings, and solitaire rings, crafted with fine metals to ensure quality. The company's flagship downtown Austin store doubles as Eddy's maker studio, housing a jewelry showroom in the front of the building and a studio in its back space. Custom engraving is offered while customers wait, along with private jewelry parties for small groups and special events.
501 N Interstate Hwy 35 Suite 115, Austin, TX 78702, Phone: 512-861-8956
18 Unique Things To Do in Austin This Summer
- Texas Farmer's Market, Photo: Texas Farmer's Market
- Winebelly, Photo: Winebelly
- Prohibition Creamery, Photo: Prohibition Creamery
- Caroline Restaurant, Photo: Caroline Restaurant
- Malibu Poke, Photo: Malibu Poke
- Lenoir, Photo: Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Red Ash, Photo: Red Ash
- Nightcap, Photo: Nightcap
- ATX Cocina, Photo: ATX Cocina
- La Volpe, Photo: La Volpe
- Taco Flats, Photo: Taco Flats
- Phoebe's Diner, Photo: Phoebe's Diner
- Tumble 22 Hot Chicken, Photo: Tumble 22 Hot Chicken
- Austin Rotisserie, Photo: Austin Rotisserie
- Intero, Photo: Intero
- Quality Seafood Market, Photo: Quality Seafood Market
- Amanda Dear Jewelry, Photo: Amanda Dear Jewelry
- Cover Photo: anthony herrera/stock.adobe.com
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