Austin's 10 Best Restaurants, including some newcomers

It’s no secret that Austin has become quite the culinary hotspot in recent years. In the last decade, the Austin restaurant scene has transformed from cooking up great Tex-Mex to major player in the international culinary scene, with talented chefs all over the Capital City of Texas. Austin was named the 6th best food city in the U.S. by Thrillist in December 2014, while Travel + Leisure singled it out as America's next great food town. Some big names have moved in and opened up successful restaurants, while still maintaining Austin’s unique flavor; as well as local star chefs who have expanded with new hotspots around town. The city has proved to be an excellent canvas for a young chef and some of the most creative culinary names in the country can be found working in unassuming converted bungalows, downtown warehouses and even food trucks. The city is also a haven of healthy living, and food is no exception. With the rise in popularity of urban farming, local foods and farm-to-table eating, many of Austin's restaurants focus on local ingredients and sustainable, organic deliciousness. There is much to be found for vegetarians, gluten-free eating and other dietary needs in these picks as well.



As the first gastropub in Austin, this sophisticated spot is devoted to sustainable cooking in a playful, ever-evolving manner. Vegetarians will be happy as well; Executive Chef Nathan Lemley loves his veggies and delights in creating...  Read More

University Area
Goodall's Kitchen


Goodall's Kitchen features classic American bistro fare and handcrafted cocktails that can be enjoyed in the restaurant's relaxed bistro-style atmosphere or on the idyllic veranda overlooking the Hotel Ella front lawn. The renovated dining room...  Read More

Fonda San Miguel


Located in a quiet neighborhood in north-central Austin, Fonda San Miguel offers an interior and food that are nothing short of extraordinary. The decor transports you to an Old World Mexican hacienda, decorated with colonial Mexican antiques,...  Read More

Stella San Jac


Stella San Jac, an Austin-American inspired restaurant located on the corner of San Jacinto Boulevard and Fifth Street, serves an eclectic Southern menu inspired by the local community. The 150-seat restaurant features an open kitchen and lounge...  Read More

Buenos Aires Cafe


The mother/daughter team of Chef Reina Morris and Paola Guerrero Smith opened Buenos Aires in 2005 with the goal of bringing a piece of their homeland, Argentina, to Austin. Fueled by popular demand, after moving the first Buenos Aires Café...  Read More



Located on the very happening East Side, where new restaurants are constantly opening, Launderette was an instant favorite. Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki have perfected the modern cafe, with a menu of modern Southern comfort food with...  Read More



Arguably the most authentic Italian restaurant in town, Daniela Marcone's restaurant serves bistro comfort-food dishes inspired by her own family recipes growing up in Naples. The entire experience, from the décor and service to every bite of...  Read More

South Austin
Odd Duck


Lead chef Bryce Gilmore is at the helm of this well known Austin eatery and has taken the Odd Duck to undreamt of heights. Gilmore is still responsible for creating the daily menu, and is dedicated to serving innovative dishes using 100% local...  Read More


Meet Shelley Seale

Shelley Seale is a freelance journalist and author in Austin who has written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian and Texas Monthly, among others. She loves yoga, indie movies,...  More About Shelley