10 Best Restaurants and Other Places to Eat in Austin

It’s no secret that Austin, Texas is known for outstanding food, exciting live music venues, and access to scenic outdoor activities. Out of the many things to do in Austin the choices of where you’d like to eat are endless. The day I moved here I was overwhelmed with all of the delicious eateries to choose from.

10 Best Places To Eat and Drink in Austin

Here’s a list of the Best Restaurant Spots that I have tried and have found myself visiting again. 

  1. Jinya Ramen Bar
  2. Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon
  3. Lucy’s Fried Chicken
  4. Magnolia Cafe
  5. Taquero Mucho
  6. Snooze A.M. Eatery
  7. LORO
  8. Elizabeth Street Cafe
  9. Home Slice Pizza
  10. UTea Pho

1 – Jinya Ramen Bar

Jinya ramen bar in Austin

Unlike most people who find themselves craving a burger or a slice of pizza, I am someone who will willingly eat a bowl of ramen any day I can. I find myself visiting Jinya Ramen Bar and some other restaurants located at The Domain. I enjoy their rich broth which has been slowly simmered for more than twenty hours and handmade noodles, both combined to make this authentic Japanese dish. 

The modern interior and comfortable seating arrangements make this dining experience one to remember. Whether you prefer high-top or low-top tables, Jinya has you covered. You’ll definitely want to take a picture of your food and even the background to show off the lovely interior. 

To start off, I ordered the Vegan Bun (plant-base bun, pea protein patty, guacamole, and cucumber with vegan mayonnaise) and Takoyaki (battered octopus over egg tartar topped with kewpie mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce, fresh cut green onion, and smoked bonito flakes). 

Both of these small plates did not disappoint. My favorite ramen dish to order is the Sprouting Up Ramen. This consists of rich pork and chicken broth, tender pork chashu, crispy brussels sprouts, thick noodles, and other delicious essentials. Next time you’re shopping at The Domain, take a lunch break and visit Jinya Ramen Bar!

2 – Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon

Fresa's Chicken al Carbon in Austin

Located at their South First location is the tasty Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon which offers dine-in seating, a full bar, a to-go window, and onsite events. I was fortunate enough to experience their beautiful outdoor patio filled with string lights, good music, and heat lamps. 

Before jumping into what food I would want to order, my roommates and I immediately requested the delectable Frozen Avocado Margaritas. I know what you’re thinking but I want you to erase whatever judgment you have and give this one a go. This frozen drink has a subtle lime flavor along with a creamy avocado addition and a classic salt rim that quenches any thirst. 

I then ordered the El Rey taco. This included beef brisket, cabbage, pickled jalapeno, chipotle mayo, and fire-roasted salsa filled inside a flour tortilla. But, that wasn’t enough to satisfy my hunger. Which is why I also got the El Santo taco filled with agave-lime chicken, avocado, jicama, carrot, jalapeno, chipotle mayo, and avocado Verde salsa wrapped in a corn tortilla.

Go enjoy some tacos and any of their frozen drinks on their outdoor patio to ensure a safe and yummy experience. 

3 – Lucy’s Fried Chicken 

Up next is the scrumptious and filling Lucy’s Fried Chicken located at their Burnet Road spot. After studying for hours at Monkey Nest Coffee, dinner time began to approach and the lit-up sign in front of this welcoming eatery caught my attention. It’s a good thing I had such a huge appetite! 

Right away I knew I was going to order the Chicken N’ Waffles. This consisted of Belgian style waffles, chicken breast, and thigh, topped with blackberries and honey butter and syrup on the side.

I have visited this place three times now and this is still the only item on the menu that I order. It fits perfectly for any time of the day whether I want it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But, it is definitely on my bucket list to branch out and order something new on their wide variety menu. 

4 – Magnolia Cafe

Magnolia Cafe in Austin

Through thick and thin and a whole 42 years later. Magnolia Cafe has stood its ground and remains open and ready to serve both new and life-long committed customers. Open every day of the week from 8 AM. to 10 PM.

It gives a chance for anyone to come and enjoy their range of food options such as breakfast, Tex-Mex, burgers, sandwiches, and more. Luckily, I’ve tasted items from both the brunch and Tex-Mex sections of the menu. 

The Royal Toast menu item comes with four triangles of French toast, two eggs any style you want, and your choice of fruit, bacon, or ham. A classic breakfast choice that gives you all of the necessary nutrients your body craves.

I also got to order the Tex-Mex Enchiladas which have corn tortillas stuffed with cheddar and jack cheese, topped with chili con carne sauce, diced onions, cilantro, and a side of Spanish rice and black beans. 

And, let’s not forget my on-the-house Magnolia Brownie that I received graciously from my server. This homemade rich chocolate brownie served with pecans, whip cream, and vanilla ice cream made my meal even more special. You also have the choice to enjoy your food indoor, outdoor, or pick-up curbside! 

5 – Taquero Mucho

Taquero Mucho in Austin

Can you picture a restaurant that has everything pink? Pink interior, pink seating, pink drinks, even pink tacos! That is the perfect and only description for Taquero Mucho founded by Gabriela Bucio who had the vision to create a place for women to feel empowered and celebrated. This taqueria has become Austin’s hot spot for Instagram-worthy pics and feminine-themed drinks and meals. 

Even reading the menu gives customers a fun experience where they are able to scout out which aesthetically pleasing item they are craving. I got to order the Fresa Frosé, a strawberry frozen rosé served in a fun pouch with a pink straw.

To share for the table, I enjoyed the Taquitos de papa con queso, lightly fried corn tortillas filled with soft potatoes, queso fresco, cabbage, Mexican crema, cotija cheese, and guacamole. 

For my main entree, I got two Carnitas tacos served with hot pink corn tortillas, rice, beans, and topped with pico de gallo and tomatillo salsa. Needless to say, I walked away with a full tummy and an urge to go back very soon. 

6 – Snooze A.M. Eatery 

Now what I ordered was probably the most filling breakfast item I’ve ever had, and it even resulted in me taking home leftovers. The Spuds Deluxe is an option that serves a big portion of hash browns, covered with melted cheddar and jack cheese, scallions, two cage-free eggs.

However, style you’d like, and your choice of two enhancements. Your choice of enhancements (26 different options) ranges from seafood, veggie, savory sauces, meats, faux meat, and cheese categories. 

Every now and then I get the sudden urge to treat myself and order brunch (it doesn’t help when my roommates are just as easily persuaded to do the same thing). I never had heard of Snooze A.M. Eatery until very recently when I decided to go after my morning Zoom class. We masked up and were led to an orange-colored booth away from other customers. 

There are three different locations in Austin so you surely will be able to find the one most convenient to you and indulge in some hearty breakfast dishes. Your choice of dine-in, ordering online, or even catering are all options readily available. 

7 – LORO Smokehouse

LORO smokehouse in Austin

This Asian smokehouse and bar has done nothing but satisfy my hunger whenever I want something light but also fill me up at the same time. I have only experienced Loro by ordering their food through Uber Eats and having it delivered. It tends to be a great late-night meal that I end up wanting about every weekend. 

The only things I have ordered from their menu are the rice bowls, filled with coconut rice, seasonal pickles, and Thai herbs. My go-to’s are the Oak Smoked Salmon rice bowl and the Malaysian Curry Chicken rice bowl. There is something about the coconut rice and the incorporation of the salmon or chicken with the seasonal pickles that make my tastebuds devour these bowls. 

8 – Elizabeth Street Cafe 

Elizabeth Street Cafe in Austin

Serving as both a Vietnamese cafe and French bakery, Elizabeth Street Cafe is a unique neighborhood restaurant found in South Austin. The aesthetic of the place gives off tea room vibes and an elegant garden patio to complete the theme. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner makes it simple for people to come and go as they please. 

I went with the classic Grilled Marinated Pork Bánh Mì. Served on a house-baked baguette with homemade mayonnaise, cucumber, daikon, carrot, sambal, cilantro, and jalapeno… who wouldn’t want to taste this? I have yet to try the Pho noodle soup and grab some French macarons from the bakery. You can see that you get the best of both worlds within this eatery so stop by and prepare to enjoy! 

9 – Home Slice Pizza

Home Slice Pizza in Austin

If you’re ever in the mood for some authentic pizza by the slice or pie, Home Slice Pizza is the place for you. These homemade and hand-tossed pies will leave your stomach content whether you choose to dine-in or carry out. The friendly service and authentic pizza kitchen atmosphere will make you want to order again and again. 

During a romantic dinner date, I was able to request the Antipasto, a generous plate of Italian meats and cheeses such as salamis, capicola, Provolone, imported Parmigiano Reggiano, mixed olives, house-roasted red peppers, and marinated artichoke hearts. What more could you ask for? For the main event, I got to enjoy the classic Pepperoni & Mushroom pizza, a simple yet mouthwatering choice. 

From salads and antipasti to calzones and pizzas, this pizzeria has you covered with whatever Italian craving you have. Alcoholic beverages, desserts, and cold subs are also available and ready to order. I was able to place my order via phone and pick it up at a time convenient for me so I was able to enjoy my meal while sitting outdoors at Auditorium Shores. 

10 – UTea Pho Restaurant

UTea Pho Restaurant in Austin

A big bowl of pho noodle soup sounds delightful during any time of the day, rain or shine. This healthy Vietnamese cuisine and bakery located in West Campus attracts the eyes and stomachs of many UT students. And it just so happens that UTea Pho is a five-minute walk away from my apartment. How convenient! 

I normally find myself ordering one of their starters such as the Shrimp Spring Roll, Veggie Pot Stickers, or my favorite Crab Rangoons. Each starter comes with the perfect amount of food in order to make sure you have room for a hearty bowl of pho.

The Brisket Pho is my favorite one to order because of the combination of rice noodles in beef broth, fresh bean sprouts, basil leaves, lime, and jalapeno. I also love to dip my brisket in a generous amount of Hoison sauce and Siracha. 

Let’s not forget the freshly baked handmade Cream Puff filled with vanilla whipped cream and strawberries and covered with a chocolate drizzle. The cream puff flavor possibilities are endless along with their smoothies, teas, and slushes. And don’t worry, if you’re not in the pho mood you can always choose from their rice plates, vermicelli, pad thai, and sandwiches! 

 

Fukomoto – Sushi & Yakitori Izakaya

About Fukumoto

Widely acclaimed as one of the best sushi spots in town, Austin’s Fukumoto serves a wide variety of classic and trendy tapa-style dishes. From their buttery Sake Toro salmon belly to their decadent Blue-fin Tuna Maki, the restaurant sources all their fish from an expert purveyor in Japan. In addition to their fresh sushi, Fukumoto is also well-known for their freshly grilled izakaya-style skewers and Japanese comfort food classics.

Fukumoto’s namesake, Kazu Fukumoto, also the owner and head chef, started with humble beginnings. He began his career as a dishwasher at Musashino Sushi Dokoro until he worked his way up the ranks to become the head sushi chef. After a decade of experience in the restaurant industry, he traveled back to Japan to study traditional Yakitori (preparation of skewered grilled chicken). In September of 2015, he reaped the fruits of his labor. He founded his own restaurant, Fukumoto: Sushi & Yakitori Izakaya, right off of Austin’s East 6th.

Fukumoto Menu

Image Credit - OTL

With seasonal items and a constantly-evolving menu, Fukumoto offers a fresh experience each time you visit. Here are some of our must-try favorite dishes:

Fukumoto’s Uni Pasta is a truly unique Japanese take on an Italian classic. The creaminess of the uni (sea urchin) combined with al dente spaghetti pasta creates the perfect comfort food dish. To top it all off, shredded nori and basil is added as the perfect garnish. If you want to try something new, this is definitely the dish to order!

Since Kazu Fukumoto specialized in learning traditional Yakitori in Japan, trying the Bonjiri Yakitori is an absolute must! The caramelized flavor and crispy texture delivered by the fresh grill adds to the dish’s deliciousness! On the inside, the chicken is juicy and definitely addicting. You can never go wrong with these skewers!

Fukumoto Restaurant Reservation

To reserve a seat at Fukumoto, call their phone number: 512-770-6880.
For a reservation of 6 or more, a credit card number is required.

Location and Hours of Fukumoto Austin

Image Credit - Austin Eater

Located at 514 Medina Street, Fukumoto is open from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm from Monday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the restaurant is open from 4:30 pm – 9:30 pm. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.

Fukumoto FAQs

Does Fukumoto offer any vegan options?

Yes, there is a wide variety of veggie skewers and side dishes to choose from!

Does Fukumoto accept American Express?

Yes! Fukumoto accepts American Express.

Conclusion

From Fukumoto’s humble beginnings washing dishes to making a name for himself in the Austin food scene, he has strived to set new standards of authenticity and customer satisfaction. With its lofty modern interior and traditional Japanese décor, Fukumoto delivers a unique experience and fusion of flavors that is sure to have your taste buds sing!

11 Spots to Sip in the Sunset in Austin

It’s seemed like the world has done nothing but change, and the first few weeks of 2022 have been no different. Kim Kardashian announced that she was filing for divorce from Kanye West, Olivia Rodrigo dropped her “driving license”, the first female Vice President was inaugurated – and throughout it all, the majority of the population has been trapped inside by the unwelcome remnant of COVID-19.

But what’s one thing that stayed constant through all the ups and downs, that hasn’t dulled or diminished even if we didn’t always come out of our homes to see it? If you said the sunset, you’re our lucky winner! Your prize, you ask? This list of the best ATX locations to take in that multicolored masterpiece of mother nature, in the hopes you never miss out on another one again. You’ll want to add these gems to your Austin things to do list – You’re welcome. 

1 – Covert Park at Mount Bonnell

At 775 feet, Mount Bonnell is generally considered to be the highest point in Austin. Nothing quite sets off that panoramic view of the skyline, lake, and rolling hills of ATX like the vibrant background of a good sunset. (Pro-tip: bring a date and some food for a romantic picnic!)

2 – The Oasis on Lake Travis 

If its reputation as the Sunset Capital of Texas isn’t convincing enough, you can Also get some pretty amazing tacos at this gargantuan Tex-Mex restaurant. Perched on a cliff 450 above Lake Travis, patrons of The Oasis can dig into a piece of Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cheesecake (ugh, I’m already jealous) as they wait for the Sunset Bell to begin soaking in the view. 

3 – Hula Hut

Since you’re already in the mood for some lakeside Tex-Mex, why not add in an island atmosphere and the Hula Hut’s distinct “surfer twist”? Order one of the restaurant’s signature Hu-La-La cocktails and take a seat on the patio to watch the colors change and refract off Lake Austin as the sun sinks behind West Lake Hills. And once you’re done, drop by Mozart’s for dessert! 

4 – Congress Avenue Bridge

This one is a classic. Whether you want to stand on the bridge itself, lounge on a nearby grassy hill, or go on the water in one of the kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards available for rent, the Congress Avenue Bridge provides an up-close look of the ATX skyline along with the sunset. And make sure to stick around for the double feature! Between the months of March and November, anyone enjoying the sunset here can turn to the east to watch the cloud of bats emerge from their colony beneath the bridge. 

5 – Pennybacker Bridge Overlook

If you’re up for a bit of a challenge, the view atop the Pennybacker Bridge Overlook Trail is DEFINITELY worth the trek. It’s a bit of a steep climb, but if I can make it in my sandals (a poor choice which I would not recommend), I 100% believe in you. Make sure you arrive a bit early to find a parking spot and leave time to get to the lookout point before sunset (to see both the bridge and the sunset, take the trail across the street from the parking), and sit back to enjoy one of the best views in Austin as the sun paints the sky. 

Lights on UT Tower to be turned off for construction

6 – The UT Tower

If you’re located in more Central Austin, head over to the UT Tower west observation deck to get a great view of this sunset. This is one that’s more uncommon, so it’ll most likely be a less crowded alternative. Be sure to make an appointment to get to the top, however. Enjoy this view of the sunset and the city, while also observing the bustling college campus.

7 – Tillery Kitchen and Bar

Tillery Kitchen and Bar is another great place to catch the gorgeous Austin sunset. Here, you can grab a delicious bite to eat, or a nice relaxing drink, while you watch the sunset. Check out their Mediterranean cuisine, which paired with a sunset, will make you feel like you’re in another world. At least, not Texas.

8 – The Long Center

A great place to watch the sunset with a view of the skyline is at The Long Center. The large, grassy hill that is located here makes the perfect viewing place. Come with a blanket and some food, and you have the perfect romantic picnic. Alternatively, bring a frisbee or some card games and have a fun night with friends. Either way, you’ll enjoy the beautiful Austin skyline to pair with the gorgeous sunset.

Austin Sunset

9 – Azul

If you’re looking for a nice place to get drinks and watch the sun go down, check out the Westin Hotel’s rooftop bar, Azul. This sleek place will make you feel straight out of a movie. It’s a great place to stop by to begin a night out with friends. Azul also offers some snack options to munch on, while you sit amongst the skyscrapers and watch the sunset.

Austin Sunset Boat

10 – On The Water

What better place to watch the sunset than on the water itself? Check out Sail Austin’s Sunset Sail, located in the Lake Travis area. The trip lasts 2 1/2 hours of a gorgeous Austin sunset. Book it with a group of friends, or for you and your significant other. This is a great alternative if you want to watch the sunset without the hustle and bustle of a restaurant.

11 – Zilker Park

Located in the heart of Austin, watch the sunset from Zilker Park. Here, you can even set up a sunset party with a large group of friends. Bring blankets, tables, food, whatever you’d like to watch from this iconic location. Be sure to bring a frisbee or volleyball, as they have courts provided for entertainment.

Austin Sunset FAQ’s

What time is sunset in Austin in November?

Yes, Around 5:30 pm.

What time does the sunset in Austin in September?

Yes, Around 7:30 pm.

What time is sunset in Austin in July?

Yes, Around 8:30 pm.

What time does the sunset in Austin in April?

Yes, Around 7:50 pm.

Conclusion

No matter where you choose, watching the gorgeous Austin sunset is a great way to reflect on this amazing city and all it has to offer.

5 Boba Tea Places in Austin TX

Honestly, it is getting hotter than tapioca balls here down south, especially in Austin, Texas. When I am craving a nice middle between tea and milk, my body instantly knows what it wants: Boba tea.

5 of the Best Bubble Tea Spots in Austin Texas

Here’s a quick list of the most popular Boba tea spots located around Austin, Texas.

  1. Gen Bobabee & Coffee House
  2. Teacup Boba House
  3. Sharetea
  4. Cocos Café
  5. K-Bop

1 – Gen Bobabee & Coffee House

gen bobabee and coffee house in Austin

Located in Chinatown Center, this boba filled delight is surrounded by delicious smells even before you walk through the door. Gen Bobabee offers various different drinks, from house coffee milk teas to smoothies, slushies, and a none tea special.

The place inside is very aesthetic (perfect for that insta pic!) including a wall covered in the prettiest painted flowers. My favorite drink to get here is their Taro Smoothie with Tapioca Pearls, less sweet!

Address: 10901 104 N Lamar Blvd A, Austin, TX 78753

2 – Teacup Boba House

teacup boba store in Austin

Located on Riverside Dr., Tea Cup Austin prides itself into caring about what goes into everyone’s cup of tea. The tea they use is loose leaf, instead of the usual artificial powders and tea bags, and use local milk sourced from Shamrock Farms. They offer out-of-the-ordinary drinks, such as an “Avalanche” and “Mangonada”, as well as classic brews and fruit teas.

My personal favorite is the Brown Sugar Milk Tea – any of their drinks can be made with almond milk upon request. Similarly, if you like to eat things made with brown sugar, then you should try sugar free desserts because it wouldn’t compromise your healthier lifestyle.

Address: 1725 E Riverside Dr unit b, Austin, TX 78741

3 – Sharetea

Sharetea store in Austin

Sharetea has various branches across the US, with all ingredients shipped directly from Taiwan. The Sharetea in Austin offers the classic milk teas, as well as creamas, moitos, ice blended, and even your own option of taking ½ gallon teas to go! A drink I have been dying to try is the Hokkaido Pearl Milk Tea – essentially caramel toffee. Who doesn’t love a perfect blend of crunchy and creamy all in one sip?

Addresses:

13343 US-183 #275, Austin, TX 78750

8557 Research Blvd Suite #118 Austin, TX 78757

4 – Cocos Café

CoCo's Cafe in Austin

Located on Guadalupe Street right across from the University of Texas, Coco’s is a locally owned business that is near and dear to my heart. Their menu extends from drinks to food as well, some of their most popular items being their curry fried tofu or a jasmine green tea + lychee jelly. My personal favorite is to get a coconut & taro smoothie w/ soy milk & tapioca pearls. Hits the spot every single time.

Address: 1910 Guadalupe St Austin, TX 78705

5 – K-Bop

k-bop in Austin

K-Bop Austin is an outlet right next door to Coco’s that offers authentic tasting Korean healthy food & bubble tea. They’re particularly known for their bulgogi – thin slices of beef prepared by marination and grilling.

Their drink menu varies from hot & iced milk, green, and smoothie teas, & their food menu offers ‘kimbops’ – a Korean style roll, as well as soups and bowls. My favorite is the Honeydew smoothie with the tofu kimbop – hold the mayo and egg. 

With so many unique milk tea options and areas, there is never a shortage of Austin things to do – especially when trying to crave that tea tooth. Next time you need to give into your boba craving, try out one of Austin favorites!

China Family Restaurant – Sichuan Food of Austin

As a lifestyle of quarantine gradually ends, so too has the return of dine-in restaurants come in waves. This is the case for China Family Restaurant, one of Austin’s most underrated spots for spicy Sichuan Chinese food.

Whether you are seeking takeout or a family-style experience, China Family has reopened its doors and is ready to serve up some of the best Sichuan Chinese food in Austin.

Regulars on the Drag may recognize the restaurant’s sister location, a takeout favorite for hungry college students. The Highland location’s greatly expanded menu and inclusion of more authentic Sichuan dishes is its greatest strength.

General Tso’s namesake dish can be found, but items on the specialty menu such as Chongqing Spicy Chicken and Sichuan Braised Pork Belly are where its really at.

History

Originally opening on February 1st, 2019, China Family enjoyed normal operations until COVID closed its doors for dine-in back in March of 2020. It has remained undefeated by the pandemic, recently returning to full service with its owners ready to share their recipes.

Many of the restaurant’s dishes are intended for sharing, as Family is at its core. Guests can often expect to leave with a full belly and a plate to take home for later.

China Family-Style Dining and More

I had heard of the portion sizes beforehand, so I brought a friend and an appetite for my visit. Though clearly meant for indoor dining, the restaurant does have a modest outdoor area. The service around noon was polite and quick to tend to our table’s needs. It was relatively busy, but not to the point where we had to reserve our places ahead of time.

Appetizers

One mark of the best Chinese restaurant is a great selection of appetizers, regardless of the region from which they hail. China Family did not disappoint in this regard as it served us up classics like Fried Dumplings, Crab Rangoon, and complimentary rice. The Dry Fried Green Beans were my personal favorite, a steaming hot heap of garlic-seasoned snaps with plenty to share.

I wanted to play it safe to some degree, unfamiliar as I was with Sichuan food, so I initially ordered the Orange Chicken. I remember being surprised at the little orange rind garnish, but much of my experience was with the Americanized version. That must be why they call it Orange Chicken. What I remember most was how crispy the breading was; even when doused in the sauce it didn’t get soggy. All of the vegetables were freshly steamed, as was the case with all of the entrees.

The Sichuan Chinese Food

More confident in the chefs’ talents after trying my first plate, I sought out items on the specialty menu which stood out. The sheer size and diversity of the menu can make it understandably intimidating to a first-time guest.

Chongqing Spicy Chicken

At the personal recommendation of the (super nice and helpful) manager, I ordered the Chongqing Spicy Chicken. A traditional dish, its use of chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns provided a dry, numbing heat to the breaded chicken. The liberal use of garlic and dry spices/peppers reminded me of Cajun fried chicken, though notably lacking in Cayenne. 

Specialty Menu

Many dishes on the specialty menu are brought out on a cast-iron plate so that the food can remain hot throughout the meal. I wanted to try another meat besides chicken, so I opted for the Sichuan Lamb on Iron. It was my favorite dish of the three that I sampled.

The presentation reminded me of going to a Mexican restaurant and ordering fajita meat off the skillet. A searing-hot griddle piled high with sizzling lamb, onions, and spicy peppers was brought out to me. The lamb was extremely juicy and tender, with each thinly sliced bite soaking up all of the flavors of the dish. I am normally used to chewy lamb chops, so this was a pleasant surprise! The sauce was very rich and goes great with their fried rice.

Conclusion

As much as I wanted to try everything, the overwhelming amount of food on the table meant that I would have to return for other traditional recipes like Sichuan Braised Pork Belly. It is very clear that the owners are passionate in sharing their recipes, a sign of a great restaurant.

Although not Austin’s only source for Sichuan Chinese food, it is this clear passion that grants China Family its authenticity. At the end of the day, they just want you to leave with a full belly and plenty of food. On that end, China Family Restaurant delivers some of the best Chinese Food in Austin.

Juliet Italian Kitchen: Austin’s Favorite Modern and Classic Restaurant

One restaurant in Austin that you have to check off your bucket list is Juliet Italian Kitchen located on Barton Springs near Austin’s favorite Zilker Park neighborhood (or their other location at the Arboretum located on Research Blvd).

Whether you are looking to enjoy a date night, lunch or a get-together with friends over the weekend, Juliet Italian Kitchen has you covered. Fancy decorations and five-star meals are included inside this friendly neighborhood dining spot that is a must on your top Austin dining list.

about Juliet Italian kitchen

Atmosphere

Juliet Italian Kitchen accommodates many guests and offers both indoor and outdoor seating that are equally as charming and comfortable. This popular establishment is able to seat and satisfy its customers who choose to walk-in or make reservations during both lunch and dinner hours. This local Italian restaurant also serves as the perfect place to celebrate special occasions. Is there anything they can’t do? 

The interior and exterior definitely do the restaurant justice in serving elegant looks that perfectly encompass the aesthetic of this Italian kitchen. From local art wall decor to table setting trinkets, every single item is placed just the right way to appeal to guests and represent Juliet Italian Kitchen in the best possible way.

Whether you choose to dine for a large celebration or prefer to dine in private, Juliet Italian Kitchen is committed to making your experience exceptional and catering to your every need. 

ambiance Juliet Italian kitchen

Convenience is a word that matters greatly to Juliet Italian Kitchen and it shows through their dedication and service towards its guests. If dining in is not the move for you, especially during this difficult time.

Juliet Italian Kitchen Menu

I was able to visit Juliet Italian Kitchen with two of my friends and I admit we went in with high expectations and left with those expectations met. For starters, we ordered the Caprese Bruschetta that consisted of melted mozzarella and tomato basil checca on top of perfectly toasted Italian bread.

Juliet Italian kitchen menu caprese bruschetta

Cheese Ravioli Dish

I continued to order the Cheese Ravioli as my entrée that incorporated ricotta ravioli covered in marinara, basil and parmesan cheese. The way that both of these menu items melted in mouth and had me finishing both plates had me realize just how spectacular this Italian kitchen truly was. 

Juliet Italian kitchen menu cheese ravioli

Dessert “Tiramisu”

As our server continued to accommodate our table and clear our plates we were eventually asked if dessert was a possibility. Without hesitation, we all nodded our heads and decided to split the Tiramisu. I admit it was my first time trying this bakery classic item but I was not disappointed. From the lady fingers dipped in coffee to the brandy layered with sweetened mascarpone and topped with cocoa powder, this fluffy and rich cake was gone in a flash. 

Juliet Italian kitchen dessert tiramisu

Outdoor Seating

It felt magical walking through their outdoor patio and looking up at the string lights carefully hung throughout the courtyard. We were seated at one of their indoor tables and I still felt just as fancy sitting at the high top table and beautifully cushioned seat. I definitely plan to visit again and hope to be able to try their Fresh Mozzarella, Chicken Parmigiana, or some delicious Cannolis

Juliet Italian kitchen outdoor seating

Order Online

you’re still able to enjoy this delicious food by ordering through Juliet’s website, Uber Eats, Favor, or Postmates.

Catering Options

Catering is also a popular option that includes many appetizing menu choices that you can choose to pick up or have delivered. 

Conclusion

The moment you step into this Italian eatery you will feel an immediate wave of elegance and hit of delicious smells. Go ahead and make your reservation or causally walk-in and be prepared to clear the plate of whatever you choose to order.

This fancy, but neighborhood friendly restaurant has and will continue to attract fellow Austinites and anyone else who has an Italian food craving! Once you check out Juliet Italian Kitchen, then don’t forget to visit North Italian to satisfy more of your Italian food cravings!

The Well Restaurant In Austin: Food Comes to Life

The Austin food scene used to be flooded with cheesy taco joints, smoky barbecue spots, and hole-in-the-wall bars that people only ever heard of through word of mouth. These are all still alive and well.

In recent years, ATX has been following in the footsteps of cities like Los Angeles and New York in adopting the ‘health food’ and ‘wellness’ trends. With some amazing results. 

The Well ATX is the newest in this installment, located on Second Street in Downtown Austin. Their website describes their mission as “blending top-tier nutrition, local and sustainable farming, and authentic flavors for a breakthrough culinary experience.”

My dining experience at the new spot was a pleasure the entire way through. We enjoyed refreshing drinks, flavor-packed dishes and welcoming, attentive service. From the second we sat down, the waitress was quick to answer our many questions and very accommodating with dietary restrictions.

The Well Menu

For two people, we ordered four dishes. While the portions were large and we couldn’t finish all of the food, it definitely payed off to taste the variety of flavors. Being a student in college, the experience of enjoying fresh, raw vegetables is few and far between.

The Appetizers

The crudite plate was a refreshing start to the meal. Drizzled with olive oil and sea salt with a side of a delicious mushroom dip, the crunchy vegetables really hit the spot, and will definitely be ordered again upon my return. 

Crudite

The crudite isn’t the only satisfying vegetable-based dish on the menu. One would think there isn’t much that could stand out about a tomato salad, but let me tell you, the tomato salad at The Well is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.

Despite leaving off the chickpea croutons due to an allergy, the salad was lacking in nothing. Fresh basil and a creamy chive-caesar dressing created a flavor profile I can only compare to a homemade Neapolitan pizza. Unexpected in its authentic taste, I enjoyed the strong basil notes and would highly recommend this dish to all tomato-lovers.

Tomato Salad

The Entrees

For the two main dishes, my friend and I ordered the Salmon Tartare and the Hemp Heart and Chickpea Falafel. The mouth-watering salmon tartare had nice touches from the pineapple and cilantro to balance out the richness of the fish. I suggest sharing with the table as an appetizer, instead of a main course, due to the large potion size. All in all, the dish wasn’t too heavy, but filling all the while.

Salmon Tartare

Though I didn’t personally taste the falafel, my friend, who is picky to say the least, had nothing but good things to say. With each bite moist and packed with flavor, she said it still felt like a light meal. Compared to the typical fast-food falafel she orders on a weekly basis, there was no question this is a treat.

Falafel Plate

The Drinks

The delicious drinks we ordered rounded out the already stellar meal. Being a ‘health’ restaurant, The Well doesn’t serve typical fountain sodas. Instead, they offer beautifully crafted cocktails that can be ordered with or without alcohol, as well as an assortment of gourmet, probiotic sodas.

I ordered a virgin “The Cure” cocktail. Though daunting in color with the activated charcoal giving it a black hue, I really enjoyed it. The lemon and cucumber taste come through with sweetness attributed to the maple. This being said, I didn’t taste much heat from the cayenne. I would’ve preferred a little bit more of a kick.

My friend ordered the raspberry probiotic soda, which arrived garnished with two adorable little roses. She loved it, and described the taste as “a bubblier Shirley Temple, with less artificial flavor.” 

Our drinks

Each and every dish and drink we ordered at The Well was thoroughly enjoyed. The laid back atmosphere made for a nice weeknight dinner. As a foodie who’s tried many Austin establishments, The Well is now high up there on my list of the best restaurant in Austin, and I can’t wait to go back.

Scholz Garten In Austin Texas – Detailed Restaurant Review

The mission statement of Scholz Garten could be handily summarized via the green wooden sign which sits outside its gate: “Kalt bier und gut bratwurst”. Perhaps it is the simplicity of the restaurant’s purpose that has helped to keep it open since 1866.

Its cold lager and delicious German smokehouse-style food has stood the test of time and established itself within the Austin community.

Beyond its merit as a restaurant, however, Scholz Garten operates as both the oldest bar in Texas and the oldest biergarten (or “beer garden”) in the United States! If you are in Austin, you gotta hit sup Scholz Garten!

History of Scholz Garten

Established by German immigrant and Civil War veteran August Scholz in 1866, both the menu and overall feel of the restaurant has remained largely consistent with the original concept.

As with other biergartens, guests are seated in the large outdoor area which features a stage, several shared tables (spaced appropriately), and a good deal of shade put off by the patio umbrellas and a local tree.

Atmosphere

scholz garten atmosphere

The atmosphere is inviting and encourages good conversation between friends and family, allowing people to discuss their days and plans just like those who lived 155 years ago.

Patrons can expect to be served Wednesday – Sunday from noon to 8:00 PM, with COVID currently cutting down on their occupancy limit to allow for safe distancing in seating. Scholz Garten does catering services to guests, as evident in the cute red electric truck parked outside most of the time.

In line with its history as a social gathering place, the biergarten continues to host its “Happy Appy” from 3-5 PM Wednesday – Friday in which starters for the table, cocktails, and wine are served for just $5. 

Scholz Garten Menu

scholz garten menu

While missing this deal by a day, my family decided we couldn’t go without trying one of Scholz Garten’s signature dishes: a giant Bavarian pretzel which serves 2-4 people. Considering my only experience eating a giant pretzel consisted of those tough and stale things they serve at the mall food court this blew my mind. Fresh, soft, and chewy, this colossus of a pretzel is served with special Dusseldorf mustard and Scholz Garten’s own Bier Cheese sauce.

Next on the appetizer list were the Sauerkraut Balls: a deep-fried mixture consisting of seasoned mashed potatoes and the item’s signature ingredient of pickled cabbage. As with all dishes we were served, the presentation and overall quality was top-notch. As an appetizer, it came served with Scholz Garten’s homemade mustard and a side of sour cream.

scholz garten appetizer from the menu

Our Favorites

For those who are lacking in experience with German food and wanting to dip their toes in the water (like myself), the Currywurst was especially delicious. As a common street food and one of their national dishes, this dish is perfect for picky eaters (it’s essentially just fries and saucy sausage…) or those wanting to try a taste of Deutschland.

our favorite dish from the menu of scholz garten

The Scholz Haus burger, as ordered by my grandmother, is an item on the menu which keeps things simple yet still finds a way to make itself unique. Featuring all of the toppings of a typical burger, the bier sauce and German-style mayo as well as the freshness of the angus beef patty elevated it to the next level.

scholz haus burger

Although the menu is large and encapsulates much of Germany, a great deal of it is a sausage fest with options ranging from rabbit & antelope to vegan wursts available for sale.

Pick a topping, pick a sauce, and pair it all with Scholz Garten’s crispy waffle fries whose addictiveness rivals that of a certain Chikin restaurant and you’ve got a recipe for success which has lasted over a century.

My aunt opted for the Vegan Wurst with caramelized onions and Dusseldorf mustard; having tried it I can say that it was almost indistinguishable from their meat-based sausages in taste and texture.

Conclusion

Since 1866, the owners of Scholz Garten have understood the establishment’s importance to its community as a place of friendly discussion and gathering. Apart from anything else, it is Scholz Garten’s identity as a venue for people to eat and laugh together that has allowed it to stay in business for over 155 years and counting; for the sake of good German food in the Austin area let’s hope for many more to come!

Address: 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701, United States

13 Best Restaurants in South Congress, Austin

Looking to find some of the best restaurants, shopping, and art in South Congress around Austin? Check out South Congress, the trendy neighborhood in South Austin that keeps getting better and better year after year. With new additions of luxury stores and delicious restaurants, the avenue is on its way up.

South Congress has everything from authentic tex-mex, with some of the best Queso in Texas at Güero’s Taco Bar, to fresh omakase sushi in a dark, moody atmosphere at Neighborhood Sushi. Mixing the new and the old, South Congress keeps the best of the best around.

Magnolia Cafe has been open and serving steaming hot pancakes to patrons since 1979. But, it also sits right next to The Salty Donut, a trendy new donut spot that was new to the neighborhood this past Fall.

South Congress is a mix of quirky and stylish, coming together into the perfect representation of Austin’s unique vibes.

List of the Best Restaurants in South Congress:

1. Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Address: 1400 S Congress Ave Suite A190, Austin, TX 78704

Hopdoddy is more than just your average burger joint. Offering a huge selection of beef, chicken, bison, fish, and plant-based burgers, the burger spot is definitely a people-pleaser. Personally, my favorite menu items are the many choices of French fries. Whether you’re craving crunchy sweet potato or rich truffle parmesan, there is a French fry for everybody.

2. Magnolia Cafe

Address: 1920 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Given the fact that Magnolia Cafe was the first restaurant I went to in Austin four years ago, it says something that I keep going back again and again. And surprisingly, I order something new each visit! The menu’s variety is vast, best known for the huge burgers, mouthwatering sandwiches, and countless breakfast options. The pancakes are to die for, gingerbread being a personal favorite.

3. Aba

Address: 1011 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

If you’re looking for a fancier sit-down dinner that won’t break the bank, Aba is the spot to hit. The atmosphere is beautiful, with an expansive patio filled with greenery. But the food is truly what makes Aba stand out. A tapas-style mediterranean restaurant, each plate is made to share, and there is no shortage of delicious flavor.  Some menu necessities: the whipped feta is salty, creamy goodness, balanced out by the warm, savory pita bread; the village salad is one of the best I’ve had, with chunks of crunchy cucumber, sweet tomato, and creamy feta; the brussels sprouts, drenched in harissa honey- go try it. Now.

4. June’s All Day

Address: 1722 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

A little piece of Paris right in downtown Austin, this eatery is a delicacy. June’s All Day serves light french fare all day long, keeping it classic with their Salade Verte and Steak au Poivre. You can’t go wrong with some of the more modern twists, specifically the HUGE Matzo Ball Caldo and rich Fried Chicken Sandwich. There’s really nothing better than sitting under an umbrella outside of June’s, sipping a crisp glass of rose and snacking on delectable French cheeses on a summer afternoon.

5. Neighborhood Sushi

Address: 1716 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Right around the corner from Junes, past an unassuming parking lot entrance, sits one of the best sushi spots in the city. Neighborhood Sushi serves some of the freshest sushi I’ve ever tasted in a comfortable setting, using simplicity to their advantage. Get a bunch of dishes to share, or try out the omakase- the chef decides what to serve you! Some of my personal favorites are the yellowtail tartare, kaluga caviar roll, sweet corn nigiri, and the spicy tuna roll.

6. Café No Sé

Address: 1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

A classic brunch and dinner spot in the South Congress Hotel, you can be sure your meal will be exactly how you like it! Though there’s sometimes a long wait due to the fact that you can’t make brunch reservations, Café No Sé is always worth it. The staff is attentive, giving the best recommendations, and no matter how many substitutions or changes you have for a dish, it will always come out just right. The cafe scramble and kale salad are my top choices, but I’ve heard some rave reviews about the avocado toast and quinoa bowl as well. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with anything on this menu!

7. Two Hands

Address: 1011 S Congress Ave Suite 170, Austin, TX 78704

Another great brunch spot that also offers dinner is Two Hands Restaurant. Founded in New York City with a focus on sustainable farming and healthy cooking, Two Hands brings SoHo, New York to SoCo, Austin. It’s a great spot to bring friends visiting the city. It’ll be great fuel for a day of shopping in the neighborhood. I would have to recommend the Brassicas Salad or the Salmon Quinoa Bowl. Definitely end the meal with the Banana Walnut bread, sweet and rich and topped with a delectable whipped espresso mascarpone.

8. Joanne’s Fine Foods

Address: 1224 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Head right across the street from Two Hands and you’ll find Joannes Fine Foods, a funky diner-style restaurant in the lobby of the iconic Austin Motel. Eating at Joannes feels like you’ve stepped back in time, with quirky 70s decor and authentic tex-mex menu options. Whether getting your night started there with their extensive cocktail list, or recovering from your night out with their large Mexican breakfast plates, Joannes will do the trick. After your meal, hit up the Austin Motel bodega. Their groovy selection of clothing and decor is unlike anything else you’ll find on the avenue.

9. Perla’s

Address: 1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

If you’re a seafood fan, Perla’s is made for you. With extensive brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, this idyllic seafood establishment is an amazing choice for any meal. The gorgeous beachy atmosphere makes for an enjoyable occasion, while the food choices are unmatched. For brunch, you can’t go wrong with the Crab Florentine. Hits the spot whether you’re craving breakfast or seafood. For lunch or dinner, the Cold Bar is always a pleaser, with everything from ahi tuna tartare to a vast assortment of oysters. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation at Perla’s, you won’t regret it.

10. Güero’s Taco Bar

Address: 1412 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Everybody from your toddler niece to your 80-year-old grandfather will love Güero’s Taco Bar. Sizzling hot fajitas, traditional tex-mex tacos, crave-worthy queso, undeniably delicious margaritas, and more, Güero’s has it all. Whether you sit inside in the main room, or outside on the rustic patio, your experience will be a good one. You definitely don’t want to miss out on the live music in their Oak Garden every Wednesday-Sunday! Check out their website for each week’s lineup.

11. Home Slice Pizza

Address: 1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Unlike great authentic tex-mex, one thing you definitely don’t expect to get in Texas is good pizza. But, Home Slice Pizza is here to change that stereotype! Being from Connecticut, I’ve had my fair share of unreal pizza (Frank Pepe’s is in New Haven, CT… I mean, come on!), and I can honestly say Home Slice stands up to some of the best. The classic red-and-white decor, glass coke and beer bottles, and marquee letter signs are reminiscent of New York City pizza joints. Plus, the pizza is really just as good. Grab a slice while you’re shopping, or bring a whole pizza home to the family. I know it may sound strange, but DEFINITELY try out the iconic eggplant pie. It’s like eggplant parm on a pizza!.

12. The Salty Donut

Address: 2000 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

I’ve got to admit, I’m a purist when it comes to donuts. I’ll always choose a classic glazed or powdered sugar donut when it comes down to it, and am typically wary of the trendy donut shops popping up all over. But, The Salty Donut exceeds all expectations, taking the innovative route but without overdoing it. Not only are the donuts unbelievable, with mouthwatering flavors including Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake, Brown Butter and Salt, and Cornflake Cereal Milk and Honey, but the coffee is also a must-try. The Cinnamon Cereal Milk Latte and Maple and Brown Sugar Cold Brew are flavorful and a great pick me up.

13. Jo’s Coffee

Address: 1300 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

I couldn’t compile a list of the best restaurants on South Congress without including Jo’s Coffee. I know what you’re going to say, a coffee shop isn’t a restaurant! Well, I beg to differ when it comes to Jo’s. Their delicious selection of breakfast tacos, sandwiches, and baked goods are the perfect snack to complement a day of shopping. But obviously, the bell of the ball here is their coffee. Known as the Iced Turbo, Jo’s signature drink is sweet and creamy with hints of both chocolate and hazelnut. After you grab your Iced Turbo and breakfast taco, don’t forget to snap a shot at the famous “I love you so much” street art on the side of the building! It’s an Austin must.

PhoNatic Vietnamese Cuisine

One rainy afternoon, I had the pleasure of visiting PhoNatic at their Cedar Park location. Upon entering, I was greeted by their warm and welcoming staff. Their menu features a wide variety of traditional Vietnamese dishes, all reasonably priced.

PhoNatic Vietnamese Cuisine Menu

They had a sauce bar with large, full bottles of everything you could possibly need for your pho or noodle dish; sriracha, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, and soy sauce were lined up next to an assortment of chopsticks, straws, and napkins.

During my visit, I got to try three different appetizers and two different entrees. Besides Cedar Park, PhoNatic currently has two other locations: Round Rock and Austin.

Shrimp Spring Rolls

Two fresh shrimp spring rolls with bean sprouts, lettuce, vermicelli noodles, and, of course, shrimp were beautifully displayed within a shiny piece of translucent rice paper. They were served with a house-made peanut sauce topped with finely chopped peanuts. They had great structural integrity and were a nice, fresh appetizer.

Pork Egg Rolls

The pork egg rolls were served on a bed of lettuce and thinly sliced carrots, and a side of fish sauce. What I loved about these egg rolls was how thin they were compared to traditional ones. They were lighter and acted as the perfect appetizer, allowing me to leave more room for the main entrees. 

“Bahn Mi” Sliders

Words cannot describe how good these “Bahn Mi” sliders were. Served in a fluffy bao bun, this slider was made of sliced charbroiled pork, cucumbers, pickled carrots, and jalapeno, and garnished with cilantro and house-made aioli. This was my favorite dish during my visit. Between the smoky flavors of the charbroiled pork and the melt-in-your-mouth fluffy bao buns, it was ultimately a match made in heaven.

Traditional Chicken Pho

All of their soups are made fresh daily, and you can definitely tell, the aromatics of the herbs alongside the bone broth paired perfectly with their vermicelli rice noodles. This traditional noodle soup came with thinly sliced red onion, green onion, chicken breast, and cilantro. On the side was a plate of bean sprouts, mint leaves, jalapenos, and two wedges of lime to complete the flavor profile of this wonderful chicken pho. If you enjoy spicier food like me, you can try adding sriracha and chili garlic sauce for even more of a kick.

Pat’s Plate

Another delicious dish was Pat’s plate, a PhoNatic special, consisting of steamed white rice, lettuce, and charbroiled pork topped with an over-easy fried egg, thinly sliced cucumbers, and carrots served with a pork egg roll, and a cup of fish sauce. Everything on this plate was seasoned to perfection, and the fresh cucumber complemented the smoky flavors of the charbroiled pork, balancing it out to create the perfect bite. 

The Best Vietnamese Food

PhoNatic serves some of the best Vietnamese dishes I’ve ever tried. From the incredible food to the excellent service, this is one restaurant you don’t want to miss. With their ample portions, fresh ingredients and use of aromatic herbs, I will definitely be coming back for more.