10 Can't Miss Restaurants in Austin

Austin is one of the best places to grab a bite to eat in all of Texas. There is authentic Mexican, Thai, Creole, Vietnamese, and traditional American dishes to choose from. Austin has an incredibly large vegan community, so there are many vegan options to explore as well. All of those options can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help guide you through this culinary paradise. Here are ten of our favorite restaurants in all of Austin.

Curra's Grill

Curra's Grill is at 614 East Oltorf Street, less than a minute from I-35 and the lively and hip South Congress area. People in the Travis Heights neighborhood find Curra's Grill in dangerously close walking distance. They serve only the most authentic Mexican cuisine. Try Curra's patented avocado margarita or an authentic nopales cactus dish. Don’t forget to specify if you can't handle spice before you order. Everything here is affordable and extremely high quality.

Photo by LoneStarMike / CC BY-SA

Magnolia Café

One of the most well-established restaurants in all of Austin, Magnolia Cafe serves mostly traditional American food. There are currently two locations in Austin: South and West. The South Austin location is at 1920 South Congress Avenue and serves the Travis Heights and Saint Edwards neighborhoods. The Magnolia West location serves Downtown, one of the liveliest areas in all of Austin.

Dan's Hamburgers

Dan's Hamburgers has been in Austin since the beginning. It is a chain burger joint with three prime locations in the city. Calorie counters beware! They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The 5602 N Lamar Boulevard location serves the North Central Austin neighborhoods around North Loop. The 844 Airport Boulevard location serves the famous and funky East Austin neighborhood. The 4308 Manchaca Road location is in West Lake Hills, a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the city.

photo by Thai Fresh

Thai Fresh: Restaurant, Bakery, and Coffeehouse

At 909 E Mary Street, is one of the hippest coffeehouses and restaurants around. With plenty of space to spread out books and a laptop to study inside or on their patio, Thai Fresh offers the most amazing Thai food in all of Austin, as well as great coffee and beer. This Bouldin mainstay is surrounded by eccentric homes, venues, and even an herb bar for tinctures and other herbal remedies.

Texas Chili Parlor

At 1409 Lavaca Street, The Texas Chili Parlor calls the bustling Downtown neighborhood its home. They serve classic American and Tex-Mex cuisine and they’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Students and Downtown residents reportedly favor the Parlor for lunch and dinner.

Photo by The Clay Pit

The Clay Pit

With prime views of the Texas State Capital Building and The University of Texas at 1601 Guadalupe Street, this classic brick wall setting showcases traditional Indian food. Expect to see your favorite Indian dishes on the menu like Saag Paneer, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Tandoori. Don't worry, The Clay Pit has other options too. The Downtown neighborhood is full of life, class, and authenticity that is classic Texas.


Pappadeaux is an authentic Creole seafood chain with many locations throughout Texas. There are two restaurants in Austin. One is at 11617 Research Blvd, near the Hyde Park neighborhood, and the other is at 6319 I-35 N at 290, near the Windsor Park neighborhood.

Photo by Counter Culture

Counter Culture

Counter Culture in East Austin is part of the great vegan community in Austin. More and more people are demanding fresh, raw, and unprocessed foods, and Counter Culture aims to provide that. Located at 2337 East Cesar Chavez Street, this outdoor dining space is a sanctuary in the middle of the noisy city. They specialize in internationally inspired vegan comfort food.

Polvo’s Mexican Restaurant

Polvo’s is an authentic Mexican restaurant with a self-serve, impressively large salsa bar. There are amazing margaritas and appetizers too, including a Mexican shrimp cocktail. Serving the quickly growing neighborhood of Bouldin and part of an exciting South First Street environment, PolVos is a must visit at 2004 S 1st Street.

Photo by 24Diner

24 Diner

24 Diner is not your typical diner. It is famous among locals for its fried chicken and waffles dish. This diner takes pride in serving farm-to-table dishes as well as having a great wine selection. Residing at 600 N Lamar Boulevard, it serves the Downtown neighborhood with pride.

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