March 1, 2021
City Guides

Best Restaurants and Food in Austin

Austin stands out among Texas cities for its unique culture and arts scene. Like many iconic cities, Austin is also known for its food. As you might expect, Tex-Mex cuisine and barbeque are popular choices, but don’t count other cuisines out. Brunch places feature fantastic New American twists on classic breakfast foods, and perhaps surprisingly, food bloggers praise the sushi options in this landlocked town.

What Food is Austin Known for?

Tacos and barbeque are probably the two types of foods you hear about most often when people talk about Austin. Remember, though, that the motto “Keep Austin weird” is dearly held by locals, so don’t be surprised to see some delicious spins on traditional favorites. For example, Austin claims to be the city that invented the breakfast taco.

What to Expect from Austin Restaurants

Austin’s restaurant scene is incredibly diverse, and its food community has a reputation for being amazingly supportive. While there is competition between eateries, the chefs, servers, and purveyors have an Austin-first mentality and are quick to cheer each other on. The result? The development of some fantastic restaurants and food trucks that are themselves candidates for offering the best food in Austin.

We mention food trucks specifically because Austin is known for its music venues: Food trucks are a mainstay of hungry concert-goers, and it is said that the city’s food truck culture is one of the most unique and established in the world.

Best Restaurants in Austin

When Austin locals head out for a meal, they expect seriously good food. Here are some favorite picks for the best food in Austin: 

Better Half Coffee & Cocktails: Better Half’s cauliflower tots, served with a homemade beet ketchup, have helped this establishment develop a cult following.

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ: Located in South Austin, Valentina’s is a permanent trailer that offers traditional mesquite BBQ Tex-Mex dishes.  Valentina’s is highly regarded for its brisket-filled breakfast tacos and for the fact that it carefully sources its meats and other ingredients from respected purveyors.

Kerlin BBQ: Remember how we said that Austin likes to keep things weird? On Sundays, this otherwise traditional barbecue (slicing up beef brisket until they run out) sells homemade brisket and cheddar kolaches (a type of pastry, also a Texas favorite).

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