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Where to Eat in Austin – a food and dining guide

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Austin boasts a proud food culture that ranges from top-of-the-range establishments to funky food trucks serving mouthwatering takeaway. There are 2 main types of cuisine in Austin - Mexican and Barbecue. In fact, there's a city-wide frenzy over spicy Mexican cuisine in all its variations - from authentic regional dishes to delectable Tex-Mex specials. Lovers of American-style home-cooking won’t need to look any further than the raft of barbecue, grill, and steakhouse restaurants.
Typical dishes



Pick up a takeaway hand-rolled, fully-filled burrito, bursting with fresh salsa, coriander and spicy rice. For decadent dining, dig in to slow-smoked ribs and lean brisket.



Downtown Austin is the city’s never-sleeping central hub, which resonates with round-the-clock neon-washed energy. With hip underground jazz clubs and rocking live music bars, there’s no shortage of electrifying after-dinner entertainment. Along 6th Street - Downtown’s nightlife mainline - stop at Chupacabra for some inexpensive, no-fuss Tex-Mex or Americana cooking. Enjoy cheesy enchiladas or hearty, classic burgers, and wash it down with a range of artisan and craft beer, or a crushed-ice margarita. For a cool, family-owned setting, where the walls are lined with local art, head to East Side Show Room and dig into a plate of coffee-cured pork ribs.


• Chupacabra, 400 E 6th Street, Austin; Tel: +1 512 7034 628

East Side Show Room, 1100 E 6th Street, Austin; Tel: +1 512 4674 280


South Congress


South Congress - known as SoCo - is a trendy alternative area south of central Austin. The low-rise buildings and wide open streets are home to quirky independent boutiques, flea markets and bars. For some trendy sit-down dining, head to the chilled out, rustic ambience of the Snack Bar, an artisan eatery with a strong focus on locally sourced produce. Enjoy the classic sandwich menu, or branch out and try the spicy Korean fried chicken. For some late-night budget eats at a tried-and-true local favorite, head to Magnolia Cafe, where huge portions of Tex-Mex tacos and quesadillas will keep you going all night.


• Snack Bar, 1224 S Congress Ave, Austin; Tel: +1 5124 452 626

Magnolia Cafe, 1920 S Congress Ave, Austin; Tel: +1 512 4450 000


Rainey Street


Situated southeast of Downtown, Rainey Street is a historic district full of early 20th century bungalow-style buildings. The area has a chilled out, small-town vibe, thanks to the huge, arching leafy trees and picket fences. Many of the old world bungalows have turned into bars and restaurants, and the area is now an Austin hotspot. Head to Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden for indulgent dining. The enormous German-themed hotdogs come with dozens of internationally-inspired toppings, and the bar boasts over 100 artisan and craft beers on tap. For authentic, home-cooking Mexican fare, try the traditional dishes at El Naranjo.


• Banger’s, 79 Rainey Street, Austin; Tel: +1 512 3861 656

El Naranjo, 85 Rainey Street, Austin; Tel: +1 512 4742 776


West Lake Hills


West Lake Hills is Austin’s affluent residential area, set aside from the buzzing city center, bordering the green-washed Zilker Park to the south, and the wild Texas Hill Country to the west. For a family-friendly, relaxed restaurant, head to Marye’s Gourmet Pizza, a welcoming West Lake Hills establishment. For 20 years Marye’s has been serving southwest, barbecue, and - of course - Italian-style gourmet pizzas in an understated pub-café setting. If you’re after some stellar fine dining, take a drive north of West Lake Hills and discover Hudson’s On The Bend, a swanky establishment set on the Colorado River banks, serving subtly spiced exotic game.


• Marye’s, 3663 Bee Caves Rd, Austin; Tel: +1 512 3275 222

Hudson’s On The Bend, 3509 Ranch Road 620 N, Austin; Tel: +1 512 2661 369