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Austin

324 expert recommended restaurants

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Franklin Barbecue

Barbecue 95 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Don't wait till you're hungry to find out whether it's worth the insane amount of hype. — Lonely Planet

If Central Texas is the hub of the state's best barbecue, then Franklin Barbecue is the gold standard. — Fodor's

America’s best BBQ—and the whole world knows it. — Bon Appétit

Originally a trailer, this brick-and-mortar BBQ joint in East Austin is "giving the big names a run for their money" with some of the "finest brisket in the entire state". — Zagat

Aaron Franklin's notoriety for his distinctive espresso barbecue sauce lags far behind the demand for his legendary brisket. — Tasting Table

Uchi

Sushi 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

World renown sushi restaurant in Texas, odd but true. — Not For Tourists

"Heaven" for sushiphiles, this Zilker jewel box (and its newer Montrose outpost) presents the "finest in forward-thinking Japanese" cuisine via chef Tyson Cole. — Zagat

Tyson and his team fly in fish from Japan every day, and uses only the freshest of ingredients as a foundation from which to build extraordinary Japanese food creations. — The Infatuation

This South Lamar restaurant has had them lining up for years for its foie gras nigiri and yellowtail with yucca chips. — Condé Nast Traveler

East and West collide beautifully at this top-notch South Austin sushi joint run by owner and executive chef Tyson Cole. — Lonely Planet

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue

Barbecue 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

All of a sudden, what was once known as “the warehouse district” filled with charming brick buildings has mostly vanished and been replaced by newer, sexier development — The Infatuation

On an up-and-coming block near City Hall, Lamberts draws businessmen, Web types, trenchermen, and foodies for its "fancy barbecue," aka stylish twists on Texas classics. — Fodor's

Upscale BBQ with a nice patio and live music upstairs. — Not For Tourists

"Fancy barbecue" is not an oxymoron. So shows this brother of the sister who owns the eminently popular Jo's Hot Coffee. — BlackBook

Exercise your taste buds at this self-described “fancy barbeque” restaurant that puts a modern twist on the old Texas staple. — Rough Guide

Justine's 1937

French 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

On a distinctly unromantic stretch of far East 5th Street, this intimate French brasserie is a romantic oasis, perfect for any first date or special occasion celebration. — Fodor's

EAT HERE. Thank us later. — Not For Tourists

Much of the concise menu is occupied by well-executed French classics. — Gayot

Tucked among the trees and humble houses of this quiet East Austin neighborhood, you'll find expertly executed French brasserie cuisine — Tasting Table

Super sexy late-night dining (with a side of steak frites). — Bon Appétit

Guero's Taco Bar

Mexican 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This is one of the main hangouts on South Congress. It occupies an old feed store that dates from the time when South Austin was a low-rent area at the margins of the city. — Frommer's

Tacos al pastor are a specialty (about $9) at this busy, sprawling restaurant located across the bridge, south of downtown. — Rough Guide

Guero’s is the rare tourist destination (especially among those who consider themselves in the know) that Austin locals still love, too — The Infatuation

Best margaritas / fish tacos in Austin, Quentin Tarentino wasn't wrong. — Not For Tourists

The epicenter of South Congress. Tourists take taxis straight here from the airport. The queso flameado and tacos al pastor have something to do with it. — BlackBook

Vespaio

Italian 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This cozy Italian restaurant gets high marks for its fresh, authentic, seasonal menus. — Lonely Planet

Sink your fork into a bowl of plump gnocchi bathed in garlicky tomato-arrabiata sauce, or nibble on a slice of classic Margherita pizza studded with garden-fresh basil. — Fodor's

It's quaint, it's local, it's delicious&;&. what else could you ask for? ! This laid back Bistro in South Congress will win you over with it's impressive cold cuts, desserts and... — Afar Magazine

Vespaio buzzes like a beehive. Prepare to wait for a table, because it's usually packed; wedge into the noisy bar for a splash of vino. — Gayot

Austin isn't really known for its Italian food, but when Austinites want Italian, this is their preferred destination. — Frommer's

Hudson's on the Bend

American 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

From start to finish, it'€™s an experience of indulgence at this Hill Country cottage by Lake Travis. — Gayot

The quintessential Austin experience... Chef-owner Jeff Blank wows foodies and good ol' boys alike with his inventive use of wild game. — Concierge

If you're game for game, served in a civilized setting, come to Hudson's. — Frommer's

“Exotic food” is the draw at this “innovative” “wild game”–focused veteran restaurant located in an old farmhouse in Lakeway. — Zagat

If you’re up for a bit of a drive (to the west) from Central Austin, this is one of the restaurants that started putting Austin on the food map. — Travel + Leisure

Salt Lick BBQ

89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

If, in your mind, Texas + food = barbecue, the Salt Lick is the place for you. — Concierge

World-Famous BYOB BBQ. 20 mins from downtown. — Not For Tourists

This “landmark” bastion of beef in Driftwood (with spin-offs in Round Rock and at the airport) provides a “quintessential Texas BBQ experience.” — Zagat

Barbecue isn’t just a food group. It’s an experience. And the single best overall BBQ experience in Austin (which isn’t actually in Austin) is The Salt Lick. There’s nothing better than... — The Infatuation

This smoky barbecue depot is about a 30-minute ride of town. On the way there you can admire classic Hill Country terrain. — BlackBook

Shady Grove

American 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

'Do you want inside or out?' Really, what kind of question is that? We came for the shady patio, like everyone else. — Lonely Planet

Take in some “authentic Austin” at this longtime Zilker American (think cheese fries and green-chile burgers). — Zagat

Hefty, but healthy, is the hippie sandwich layered with sauteed eggplant and chicken breast smothered in melted cheese, then loaded with all the greens you could ask for. — Gayot

Named for the expansive pecan trees lining this trendy section of Barton Springs Road, Shady Grove's patio area provides coverage from the hot Texas sun. — Travel + Leisure

If any one restaurant defines the laid-back, somewhat goofy Austin aesthetic, it's probably Shady Grove. — Fodor's

Fonda San Miguel

Mexican 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

It’s true south-of-the-border around here, from the homemade interior Mexican food to electric folk-art paintings. — BlackBook

In this striking hacienda, lush with towering foliage and Latin American art, you'll experience authentic interior Mexican cuisine. — Gayot

So worth the time/money- even the $40 (all in) brunch! — Not For Tourists

This was one of the first restaurants to introduce fine dining a la Mexicana to Texas. — Frommer's

The haciendalike Fonda San Miguel has been an Austin eating institution for over 30 years and is well worth the detour off South Congress. — Concierge

Odd Duck

Burgers 89 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Bryce Gilmore's brick-and-mortar version of Odd Duck, his food truck, showcases a seasonal menu featuring only ingredients sourced from local farms. — Gayot

This food truck turned brick and mortar was an early trailblazer of the city’s farm to table movement, thanks to chef Bryce Gilmore’s inventive take on locally sourced, modern American cuisine. — Fodor's

The food...is innovative and thoughtful... delivering appealing texture and flavor contrasts and combinations. — Austin Chronicle

Aesthetically, Odd Duck is an idealized version of all things Southern: friendliness, homey-ness, vintage-y decorations that definitely aren’t actually vintage — The Infatuation

Gourmet food served out of a funky trailer. BYOB. — Not For Tourists

Uchiko

Japanese 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The sweet and tart tomatillo perks up the buttery scallop as the crunch of house-made chips counters the soft meat. — Gayot

Uchi’s sister restaurant Uchiko is very similar in terms of cuisine, but different in that it feels less like a sushi restaurant and more like a farm-to-table spot — The Infatuation

The menu changes faster than the weather, but you can always bank on a selection of both hot and cool items that fuse traditional with progressive. — BlackBook

"Simply brilliant", this "whimsical" Rosedale sib to Uchi features Tyson Cole's "wildly creative" Japanese fare in "beautiful" presentations. — Zagat

Sister restaurant to Uchi, Uchiko offers a more rustic take on Japanese cuisine, while still serving several Uchi classics, like the bacon steakie, a version of seared pork belly. — Condé Nast Traveler

Barley Swine

American 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

In addition to chef Bryce Gilmore's 13-course tasting menu, à la carte dining is now offered to guests; indulge in unpredictable delicacies like pig skin noodles with shrimp dumplings. — Travel + Leisure

One of the "hottest" places in town, this "amazing" "locavore" American in South Lamar from chef Bryce Gilmore provides "truly memorable" small plates made for sharing. — Zagat

The strictly seasonal, locally-sourced daily specials blend the artistic style of Japanese sushi with the familiarity of Southern comfort food. — Fodor's

Small plates. Tantalizing flavors. Locally sourced. Changing menus. Snout-to-tail culinary creations. — Lonely Planet

Barley Swine has cornered most of the buzz in Austin these days, but locals will tell you it's all well-deserved...The menu? Offbeat and ever-changing. — Frommer's

Contigo Austin

American 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

East Austin’s favorite “ranch to table” outdoor restaurant. — Bon Appétit

Casual does not mean careless. Both the food and drinks are well-executed, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. — Austin Chronicle

That means a menu full of things like rabbit & dumplings, Texas okra, local chickens, and a big indoor outdoor space connected by a barn door. — The Infatuation

This "rustic" find in the new Mueller development takes its inspiration from the owners' ranch in South Texas with low-cost Eclectic fare that pairs with "seasonal cocktails" and beer. — Zagat

Contigo—the mostly-outdoor East Austin restaurant—is modeled after Contigo, the ranch in South Texas. — Travel + Leisure

Jeffrey's Restaurant

American 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Visiting celebrities, politicos and epicureans are spellbound by the innovative contemporary Texas cuisine that defines Jeffrey'€™s. — Gayot

Jeffrey's established itself as Austin's premiere fine dining venue in the Seventies, offering one of the city's first chef-driven, blackboard menus in a charming and historic setting. — Austin Chronicle

Serving delicious oysters, steak & chocolate cake for over 30 years. — Not For Tourists

The food is hard to categorize, with elements of Latin, Southwestern, and Continental cuisine. Some have called it "New Texan," but we simply call it tasty. — Concierge

Located in the quiet Clarksville neighborhood, this upscale New American restaurant is a longtime favorite of visiting celebrities and dignitaries. — Travel + Leisure

Olivia

French 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The appealing Italian-inspired menu is also a culinary gauntlet that challenges diners to expand their flavor palates with dishes such as the plump and savory lamb's tongue fricassee. — Fodor's

Olivia is far and away the brightest newcomer to Austin's fine dining scene. — Frommer's

Owner-chef James Holmes, who did stints in France and at Picholine and Craft in NYC, has crafted a fine blend of sophisticated French and Italian cuisines with down-home Texas products. — Gayot

A "lovely" modern space with "good buzz", this South Lamar spot boasts an "innovative" French-Italian menu that may "change your mind about sweetbreads, lamb tongue and other oddities". — Zagat

I could write pages of praise for chef Petty’s meltingly tender Wagyu Tri-Tip with roasted marrow mixed with butter. — Austin Chronicle

Elizabeth Street Cafe

French 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Fresh shrimp spring rolls, spicy pork meatball banh mi on a fresh baguette, and spicy beef and pork bun with thick, soft airy noodles are safe bets. — Fodor's

Elizabeth Street serves everything from baguettes, nice hot curries, coffee, and phở, to The New York Times and cold beer. — Frommer's

A sensory delight, Elizabeth Street Cafe is equal parts Vietnamese street food purveyor, New Orleans cafe and French bakery. — Gayot

File Under: Probably the cutest place you’re going to eat this year — The Infatuation

Stellar cuisine with grass-fed meats, eggs from pastured chickens, locally grown organic produce, and San Miguel Seafood fresh from the Gulf. — Austin Chronicle

Curra's Grill

Barbecue 86 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

If you're looking for authentic Mexican food at an affordable price (read: cheaper than Fonda San Miguel), then head to Curra's. — Fodor's

The line between interior Mexican and Tex-Mex blurs at this casual South Austin joint — Tasting Table

Curra’s is a perfect blend of interior Mexican cuisine and greasy Tex-Mex located just off the main vein of South Congress on Oltorf — The Infatuation

The frozen-avocado margarita is the most famous option at this consistently good Interior-Mexican spot in South Austin. — Travel + Leisure

"Where the locals go" for breakfast, this "dependable" Travis Heights cocina doles out "solid interior Mexican" cooking in a colorful, art-filled setting. — Zagat

South Congress Cafe

Cafés 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The curvy ceiling, open floor plan, and retro trim would make the Jetsons feel at ease. The menu is a fusion of Mexican, Southwestern, and seafood. — BlackBook

Upscale cafeteria style Continental fare; Pretty good cocktails, too. — Not For Tourists

A small, modern establishment in the heart of SoCo that caters mostly to South Austin's leisure crowd, the cafe opens for brunch and dinner. — Frommer's

The stylish side of Tex-Mex can be found at this hoppin' little cafe, which seamlessly combines a vintage space with modern architecture. — Lonely Planet

Consistent and popular since 2003, this spot is good any time of day. — Travel + Leisure

Ranch 616

American 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This Downtown "favorite" has "tons of character", from its setting loaded with Texana oddities to its "enticing" Southwestern menu. — Zagat

You can really taste the chipotle chilies in the tartar sauce that comes with some of the best crispy oysters this side of the Mason-Dixon line. — Frommer's

Ranch 616 is Texas diner-gone-designer with shiny black booths, a leather bar and funky Southwestern art. — Gayot

Texas style meat and two veg done right. — Not For Tourists

The interior is filled with Texan kitsch, such as taxidermy and colorful Mexican folk art, while the covered outdoor patio is decorated with a fire pit and cacti strung with miniature lights. — Travel + Leisure

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