Although the decor isn't elaborate, the food is lovingly crafted and incredibly good at this unassuming lunch spot. Among the options you'll discover are crisp salads, tasty homemade soups, and sandwiches made with fresh artisanal breads. Desserts, including pies, cakes, and cookies, make for a sweet cap.
This casual, friendly café specializes in Texas barbecue and American standards. Choices include smoked sausage, beef brisket, pork ribs, and smoked turkey. Plates come with delicious sides like Cajun rice, fried okra, and pinto beans. You'll also find chicken-fried steak or chicken, hamburgers, barbecue sandwiches, fried catfish, and for dessert, delicious homemade pies (pecan, peach, and blueberry, among them). Live bluegrass performances are a spring and summer treat.
To escape the raucousness of Sixth Street, duck into this cozy café, which has been in business for more than 30 years. Old World-style stone walls and wood floors await within an historic building, and entrees range from stuffed chicken breast to grilled steak – crepes and pastas satisfy lighter appetites. For a sweet cap to your meal, try kaffe mit schlag (coffee, cream, and kahlua), or treat yourself to a slice of Fat Chocolate Cake, which is just one option from their well-regarded dessert list. Banquet space (Heritage Room) is located at 310 E. 6th Street in Austin.
Threadgill's is one of Austin's most famous restaurants for several reasons: the then-gas station was awarded the city's first post-Prohibition liquor license in the 1930s, and Janis Joplin got her start singing here in the 1960s. Threadgill's still features live music along with tasty homestyle food. Meatloaf, garlic cheese grits, and Creole cabbage win raves, but chicken-fried steak seals Threadgill's reputation as a downhome favorite. Locals swear by the daily blue-plate specials, too – and seconds on sides are free!
Charming Eastside Café is much more than just a neighborhood restaurant. Situated in a former residence, the café has several small dining rooms, a lovely enclosed patio room, a gardening/cooking shop, and a garden. The latter provides fresh produce for many of the kitchen's best creations, such as pesto ravioli, grilled pork tenderloin with cranberry-port sauce and broccoli with lemon butter, and rich mushroom crepes topped with roasted tomato sauce. Weekend brunch is reliably filling and tasty.
Although it bills itself as a restaurant and closes a bit on the early side, Shady Grove is one of Austin's favorite drinking spots. In fact, it has what many consider to be the best patio in town (with both sunny and shady spots), and the selection of beverages is admirable. The place also offers movie nights and live "unplugged" nights when musicians like Shawn Colvin and Asleep at the Wheel entertain throngs of devoted fans. On the food front, you'll find creative sandwiches, burgers, and salads. The place is perennially popular, so on nice days (and balmy evenings), be prepared for a wait.
Stone walls, a fireplace, wooden floors and ceilings, and an abundance of down-home service combine to make Moonshine one busy restaurant. Sunday's brunch buffet practically buckles with a bounty of bodacious vittles, and lunch is a treat as well. It offers horseradish-crusted salmon, green chile macaroni with grilled chicken, a chicken artichoke BLT, a fajita steak salad, and broiled rainbow trout. If you visit for dinner, start off with the excellent corndog shrimp. Main dishes range from molasses-chile cured pork chops and buffalo meatloaf to chicken fried steak.
Southside Market, founded in the 1880s, is home to what most folks know as the Elgin Hot Sausage, a not-too-spicy beef link in a natural casing. Sample one for lunch, or partake of the casual place's tasty barbecued meats. They include pork ribs, brisket, chicken, and mutton and are sold by the pound or as a plate lunch, which comes with traditional sides like potato salad, cole slaw, pickles, onions, and white bread. A solid choice for lunch!