Based on guide compiled by the UT
Division of Rhetoric and Composition.
$ entrees under $10
$$ entrees between $10-15
$$$ entrees between $15-20
$$$$ entrees over $20
Cafe at the Four Seasons $$$$
98 San Jacinto
With a view of Town Lake, the Café at the Four Seasons
serves upscale food flawlessly twenty-four hours a day.
Particularly known for their prix fixe ($40) Sunday brunch
featuring breakfast breads and pastries, egg dishes,
breakfast meats, blintzes, savory appetizers, vegetable side
dishes, pastas, platters of fresh fruit, an omelet station,
prime rib carving station and a bagel station with smoked
salmon, chopped onions, boiled eggs, cream cheese spreads,
and caviar. It is 1/2 mile from the Driskill.
Castle Hill $$$$
1101 W 5th St , 476-0728
Superb and unusual food in an elegant but casual setting.
Definitely one of the best restaurants in Austin. Their
mission is to provide affordable fine dining, and they
manage it nicely. If you're a wine person, you'll find their
selections tasty and their prices surprisingly low. They
don't take reservations, so you might have to wait on a busy
night; but don't forget about them as a lunch option! 1 mile
from the Driskill.
Chez Nous $$$
510 Neches St., between 5th and 6th streets
Very nice French bistro on Neches between 5th and 6th, a
good prix fixe menu for around $25 plus wine and
coffee. Excellent food and service.
320 E. Second St.
Austin location of well-known, upscale steakhouse.
Hut's Hamburgers $
807 W 6th St.
Tasty burgers with great and varied fixin's, within walking
distance of the Congress Street bridge. There's always a
2-for-1 deal (you and another diner must order the same
burger), and the onion rings are large and peppery. Get a
malt, or a diner-style cherry or vanilla Coke to drink.
Iron Cactus Mexican Grill & Margarita
606 Trinity St.
Fabulous Mexican food, a great bar, live music, and
(according to Spirits and Cocktails magazine) it
was voted the 6th best tequila bar in the nation. Casual but
sophisticated atmosphere. Local owners.
Kyoto Japanese Restaurant $-$$
315 Congress Ave.
Excellent & elegant sushi selections. Stop by for a quick,
inexpensive lunch or visit at night for a relaxed meal in
the tatami rooms. Very close to the Driskill.
La Traviata $$$$
314 Congress Ave.
Italian, quite good, not nearly as pricey as Vespaio (listed
below). Expect to pay $30-35/person with wine.
Las Manitas $
211 Congress Ave.
Las Manitas serves delicious, fresh, creative and
inexpensive interior Mexican and Tex-Mex food. Las Manitas
is known for its lunch specials (especially the shrimp
enchiladas and fish tacos on Fridays) and serves a terrific
breakfast. Las Manitas serves many vegetarian and vegan
foods (soybean gluten chorizo, for example), as well as
fresh salads, rice milk (horchata) and watermelon juice
(agua fresca de sandia).
310 Congress Ave.
Just north of the river, Manuel's is a nice Mexican place
that has an excellent cheap happy hour. Try the queso con
hongos. Take advantage of half price appetizers at happy hour.
Mekong River $
215 E. 6th St.
Excellent and inexpensive ($5-10) Vietnamese and Thai food.
No beer or wine available, but you can bring in a bottle or
a six pack from the convenience store two doors down.
303 Red River St.
Restored old building, nice menu, nice wine list, very nice atmosphere.
Stubbs' Barbecue $$
801 Red River
This is one of our favorite restaurants because of its
variety of great sides. The serrano spinach is very yummy
and it bites back; the whipped yams are sweet and southern.
On Sundays, there's an all-you-can-eat gospel brunch!
300 Colorado St.
Austin location of well-known, upscale steakhouse connected
with Ringside at Sullivan's, a cigar and jazz lounge
featuring live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Z Tejas $$
1110 W 6th St.
For Austin atmosphere, seriously good casual food
(especially the chocolate Ancho pie!), and great margaritas.
Nice patio for outdoor dining. 1 mile from the Driskill.
UT Campus area
Amy's Ice Cream $
3500 Guadalupe St.
An excellent selection of freshly made, unique ice cream flavors!
Clay Pit $$
1601 Guadalupe St.
Not "authentic" Indian cuisine, but fusion-style food that
seems much healthier than your usual Indian fare. Great
lunch buffet specials on week days ($6 all-you-can-eat!), in
a classy but casual atmosphere.
East Side Café, $$
2113 Manor Rd.
Best described as Austin eclectic. Excellent food and
service at reasonable prices featuring a gardening shop and
an organic herb and vegetable garden. Particularly noted for
their salad dressings, soups and veggies.
2002 Manor Rd.
How Austin does down-home. Menu features such classic items
as chicken fried steak, southern fried pork chops, catfish,
barbequed pork ribs, macaroni and cheese, and garlic cheese
grits. Also open for breakfast on the weekend featuring
breakfast tacos, sweet potato pancakes, and biscuits and gravy.
Kismet Café $
24th and San Antonio
Large portions of good Mediterranean food—great garlicky
hummus and really savory chicken schwarma.
Madam Mam's Noodles and More $
2514 Guadalupe St.
Excellent, inexpensive Thai food on UT campus. We recommend
everything on the menu!
Ruby's BBQ $
512 W. 29th St.
Good and inexpensive BBQ; fast service, too. Buy some BBQ
sauce to take home!
Zen Japanese Fast Food $
3423 N. Guadalupe
Sushi and other good eats for cheap!
Elsewhere, but worth a drive
111 E North Loop Blvd.
Good Middle Eastern food in vast portions. Atmosphere is
nice if you like belly dancers. Bring your own wine.
Fonda San Miguel $$$-$$$$
2330 West North Loop
459-4121 or 459-3401
A 5-star interior Mexican restaurant; great for ambiance as
well as food. Tasty mango margaritas and wonderfully
aesthetic meals. Entrees range about $15-22. Their verde
sauce is amazing! If you have time Sunday, call ahead for
the fixed price ($30) all-you-can-eat brunch. It's well
worth it––beautiful, unique and delicious foods served by
the chef who prepares and garnishes them.
Green Pastures $$$$
811 W. Live Oak
Excellent French cuisine.
Little Deli $
7101 Woodrow Ave. Suite A
Delicious and unique sandwiches. Owners are friendly and
enthusiastic, and offer excellent conversations when you
order at the counter.
Tam Café and Deli $
8222 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite
Phenomenal French-influenced Vietnamese food. Choose from a
huge menu that includes noodle bowls ($6) delicious (and
large) sandwiches (grilled pork and egg/shrimp are our
favorites, $4), and fabulous appetizers. Take Lamar Blvd.
North all the way under the 183 highway; it's oddly located
in a characterless corporate strip mall, but the food is
wonderful and the owners are absolutely charming. Great for
vegetarians as well as meat-eaters.
South of the River
1728 Barton Springs Rd.
This is (one of) the infamous scene(s) of a famous
daughter's attempt(s) at underage drinking. Decent Tex-Mex
served in big portions. Décor is Austin-quirky and fun, and
you can buy some cool t-shirts.
614 E. Oltorf St.
Good and reasonably priced. You'll pay about $7-12 for an
entrée, and less for breakfast items. There are good
vegetarian options, and the molé sauce is superb! Great
breakfast tacos as well, for meat eaters and veggie-lovers
who want to try the Nopalitos tacos (filled with tasty
cactus stems!). Buy a souvenir pint glass for only $3.
El Sol Y La Luna $
1224 S. Congress Ave.
El Sol is a local, one-of-a-kind restaurant serving Latin
American cuisine. They serve breakfast and lunch every day
and dinner Wednesday-Saturday; they have a rotating art
exhibit featuring local artists; and they have Indian music
on Fridays, Cuban music on Saturdays, and various kinds of
music for Sunday brunch.
Green Mesquite $
1400 Barton Springs Rd.
Good and often overlooked BBQ. Cheap, too!
1412 S Congress Ave.
Has good, standard Mexican food in an old building that used
to be a feed warehouse. Offers particularly good breakfasts,
which sometimes feature live music and dancing. Be
forewarned, there's a long wait at peak times (dinner especially).
Jo's Cafe $
1300 S. Congress
Jo's is the ultimate south Austin people experience. It's a
small outdoor cafe (by cafe we mean kiosk with a bunch of
tables gathered around it) right on South Congress avenue.
Along with excellent people watching, Jo's has excellent
baked goods, and occasionally there is live music out back.
Jalisco Restaurant and Bar $-$$
414 Barton Springs Rd.
Reliably good interior Mexican food. Eat while listening to
live Mariachi bands that play there weekly.
Magnolia Café $-$$
1920 S. Congress Ave.
Magnolia is the quintessential Austin restaurant. it's been
here forever and is completely casual and very
unpretentious. It's open all night, serves good, big plates
of food (including breakfast all day), and has lots of
vegetarian options. As a bonus your server is bound to have
Shady Grove $
1624 Barton Springs Rd.
Fun place to eat and drink with such Austin favorites as
Frito Pie (served in the Frito's bag!) and the Hippie veggie
sandwich. Excellent patio seating, often featuring free live
music. The wait for a table can sometimes exceed 45 minutes,
but it's easy to pass the time by sitting in the outdoor
waiting area with a margarita or ice tea, on antique and
kitschy lawn furniture.
301 W. Riverside Dr. (Cross Street: Barton Springs Road)
An Austin standard! Once the hangout of Janis Joplin,
Jimmie Rodgers, Jerry Garcia, Bruce Springsteen and many
other musicians that made—and make—their way through Austin.
The restaurant features pictures and antiques that recall an
older Austin, while catering at the same time to a newer
music scene. The food is southern and delicious.
1610 S. Congress Ave.
Splendid "nouvelle" Italian. Expensive, but very very good.
There's usually a long wait, so plan ahead.