Austin has such an amazing food scene with so many places to eat! So if you’re looking for where to eat, we’re dishing out 15 best restaurants in Austin from food trucks and BBQ to fine dining in this food guide.
I was so impressed when I visited for the first time for the Austin Food Trip with Bold Food Tour. In the four days of food trip, I was literally full the entire day every day!
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Austin and Greater Austin Best Restaurants, Food Trucks, BBQs
When people think Texas, they think BBQ. And I strongly believe Austin is one of the best places to eat BBQ. Though BBQ and Food Truck culture here are so prominent, Austin also has strong fine dining restaurants offering farm to table dining and modernist cuisines.
During my time there, I got the chance to try a wide range of food in different restaurants, which were some of the best restaurants, food trucks and BBQ in Austin and in Greater Austin, including Elgin and Taylor!
Best Restaurants in the City of Austin
Here are some of the best Austin restaurants in alphabetical order. Please note that specific dishes and pricing mentioned are at the time of dining at the restaurants.
A farm-to-table restaurant, Barley Swine is one of the best restaurants in Austin and was my favourite meal during my trip.
The tasting menu with wine pairing at Barley Swine was such a unique experience showcasing creative seasonal dishes based on the availability of ingredients like this pig skin noodles with hot sauce, almond and shrimp.
Website / Location: 6555 Burnet Rd #400, Austin, Texas 78757, USA
Must-Try Food at Barley Swine: Tasting Menu
Boteco Food Truck
Boteco Food Truck is one of the best food trucks in Austin for Brazilian food. The steak from the Picanha Grelhada was tender and perfectly cooked.
The combination of all the ingredients was just mindblowing – the crunch from farofa, sourness from the pico de gallo, the sweetness of caramelized onions and the bite of rice and beans.
Website / Location: 1403 E 7th St, Austin, Texas 78702, USA
Must-Try Food at Boteco Food Truck: Picanha Grelhada
East Side King
Where to eat in Austin for food truck fare mixed with alcohol? East Side King has got you covered.
Did you know? This Asian-inspired food truck is located inside a bar, The Liberty.
The pork belly is melt in your mouth tender and so flavourful. With the Meshi, the touch of furikake and spicy chili paste just elevated the pork, and goes so well with beer!
The steamed buns in the Poor Qui’s Buns soak up that delicious pork belly juices, which combined with the hoisin sauce and cucumber kimchi taste gives a unique flavour profile.
The Fried Kimchi was very unique as I’ve never had it fries. It goes amazing with beer and the million dollar sauce that comes with it is so good!
Website / Location: 1618 E. 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78702 USA
Must-Try Food at East Side King: Pork Belly Meshi, Poor Qui’s Buns, Fried Kimchi
Looking for the best BBQ restaurants in Austin? Franklin Barbecue is considered not just the best BBQ restaurant in Austin but in the world!
Did you know? The only time Franklin Barbecue allowed someone to bypass the line was for President Barack Obama. They even declined line bypass to popular singer Kanye West.
Indeed, the brisket at Franklin Barbecue was the best quality I’ve ever had. It was very fatty and melt-in-your-mouth tender just how I like them.
The pork ribs were also very juicy and well seasoned.
Website / Location: 900 E 11th St, Austin, Texas 78702, USA
Must-Try Food at Franklin Barbecue: Brisket and Pork Ribs
Gourdough’s. Big. Fat. Donuts
One of the best places to eat desserts in Austin is Gourdough’s, and it’s also a popular food truck!
The donuts at Gourdough’s are just plain amazing and, as their description says, Big. Fat. The dough had the perfect combination of crispy on the outside, and soft and moist on the inside.
The Miss Shortcake has a great combination of sweet and fruity with generous amounts of fresh-cut strawberries. The strawberries were great in balancing the sweetness.
The ODB is fun bite-sized snacks. It uses doughnut holes instead and the bite from coconut flakes added more to the fun.
Website / Location: 1503 S 1st St., Austin, Texas 78704 USA
Must-Try Food at Gourdough’s: Miss Shortcake and ODB Doughnuts
Look up where to eat BBQ in Austin and you will surely find La Barbecue as one of the best places to eat.
I found La Barbecue had the most flavourful brisket. Smoked perfectly, it’s very addicting because you just want the smokey flavour lingering in your mouth forever.
The pulled pork at La Barbecue is one of the best I’ve had: moist, fatty and very savoury. It’s also not the tough stringy ones that get stuck in between your teeth.
Website / Location: 1906 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, Texas 78702, USA
Must-Try Food at La Barbecue: Brisket and Pulled Pork
Lucky’s Puccias and Pizzeria
One of the best restaurants in Austin for a quick Italian fare is Lucky’s Puccias and Pizzeria.
It was my first time having Puccia, which are Italian sandwiches where the bread is made in the traditional fashion using wood fired oven.
The bread was just amazing: freshly made, crispy crust and light and airy on the inside with smoky flavour.
Mix that with the fresh prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, arugula, chipotle aioli and you get one memorable sandwich at Lucky’s Puccias and Pizzeria.
Website / Location: 1611 W 5th St #175, Austin, Texas 78703, USA
Must-Try Food at Lucky’s Puccia and Pizzeria: Lucky’s Puccia
Olamaie Southern Food Restaurant
Considered as one of the best fine dining restaurants in Austin, Olamaie is a farm-to-table restaurant specializing in Southern Food.
The first thing you’ll hear about this place is their biscuits. Seriously, Olamaie has the best buttermilk biscuits I’ve had: perfectly flaky and buttery outside with moist, airy and soft inside.
It comes with a side of honey butter with sea salt, which you have to try as well as it just elevates the biscuit even more.
Another eye-opener for me at Olamaie was the use of Carolina Gold Rice in both FL Red Snapper and Hush Puppies. I’ve never had them before, and they were amazing.
It was the first American-made rice and has a unique flavor. For the FL Red Snapper, the fish was delicious and cooked to perfection.
But what really won me over in this dish is the herb fumet and the hickory-smoked roe mixed with the Carolina Gold Rice.
Now imagine that in a deep-fried ball. The hush puppies were an amazing starter to highlight the Carolina Gold Rice.
After that crunchy hush puppy exterior is the gummy bite of flavourful Carolina Gold Rice, which goes so well with the charred garlic and chive onion dip.
Website / Location: 1610 San Antonio St, Austin, Texas 78701, USA
Must-Try Food at Olamaie: Buttermilk Biscuits, FL Red Snapper, Carolina Gold Rice Hush Puppies, Kil’t White Button Mushrooms, Strube Ranch 16oz Wagyu Ribeye
Austin is quite a hot city and you’ll need to cool off with some ice cream. One of the best places to eat ice cream in Austin is Prohibition Creamery.
With the “Prohibition” in its name, they really mean boozy here.
The Tiramisu Ice Cream is boozier in taste than it is sweet. It is very creamy and had a strong taste of rum without overpowering the tiramisu flavour.
Website / Location: 1407 E 7th St, Austin, Texas 78702, USA
Must-Try Food at Prohibition Creamery: Tiramisu Boozy Ice Cream
Where to eat great American fare in the heart of downtown Austin? Known for wood ovens and open flame grills, Roaring Fork is conveniently located downtown inside the Intercontinental Stephen F Austin Hotel.
Be sure to get the pork shoulder carnitas, which was very soft and moist like a fall-off-the-bone ribs. The salsa verde on top goes so well with it and helps to balance the fat.
Website / Location: 701 Congress Ave, Austin, Texas 78701, USA
Must-Try Food at Roaring Fork: Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder Carnitas
Terry Black’s Barbecue
Known for being one of the best BBQ restaurants in Austin, Terry Black’s Barbecue is consistently good in just about everything they offer.
The moist brisket at Terry Black’s Barbecue was maybe the fattiest from all the briskets I had in the trip. It just melts in your mouth.
The pork ribs were perfectly seasoned, juicy and falls of the bone, and so was their beef ribs!
Website / Location: 1003 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, Texas 78704, USA
Must-Try Food at Terry Black’s Barbecua: Brisket, Pork Ribs and Beef Ribs
You’ll be surprised to learn that Torchy’s is known for the best Mexican food truck for chips and salsa in Austin.
And it’s true! Their homemade chips and salsa are a must-try and is one of the best I’ve had. The salsa is very fresh and addicting.
Website / Location: 1311 South First St., Austin, Texas 78704 USA
Must-Try Food at Torchy’s Tacos: Chips and Salsa
One of the best Mexican food trucks in Austin, Veracruz Tacos is known for their Fish Taco Especiales, which tasted very fresh.
The grilled tilapia was cooked perfectly and tasted very flavourful with the grill taste.
The Migas Tacos at Veracruz Tacos was the best I had with its warm fresh tortilla, crunchy tortilla chips, moist melting Monterey jack cheese and fresh avocado.
Website / Location: 1704 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, Texas 78702, USA
Must-Try Food at Veracruz Tacos: The Fish Taco Especiales and Migas Tacos
Best Restaurants in the Greater Austin area
Here are some of the best restaurants in Greater Austin, including Taylor and Elgin. Please note that specific dishes and pricing mentioned are at the time of dining at the restaurants.
Louie Mueller Barbecue
Definitely one of the best BBQ Restaurants outside Austin for beef ribs I’ve had is at Louie Mueller, located in Taylor.
The beef ribs were massive, fall of the bone, well-marbled and melt-in-your-mouth tender with a perfect balance of flavour and seasoning.
I loved the Jalapeno Sausage at Louie Mueller Barbecue because it was very meaty and juicy… and spicy! I love spicy foods and I found theirs was the spiciest out of the BBQ places in this list.
Website / Location: 206 W 2nd St, Taylor, Texas 76574, USA
Must-Try Food in Louie Mueller Barbecue: Beef Ribs and Jalapeno Sausage
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Southside Market & Barbeque
One of the best restaurants for BBQ sausages and lamb ribs outside of Austin is Southside Market & Barbeque.
There’s a reason why they sell 3 million pounds of these Homemade Elgin Sausages per year.
These spicy sauges are simply amazing: very meaty, juicy and well seasoned! And I love the spicy kick.
Perfectly seasoned, very tender and fatty, the lamb ribs are a must-eat at Southside Market & Barbeque, especially since lamb ribs are not commonly found in other BBQ joints even in Austin.
Website / Location: 1212 US-290, Elgin, Texas 78621, USA
Must-Try Food at Southside Market & Barbeque: Homemade Original Elgin Hot Sausage and Lamb Ribs
MAP: Best Restaurants in Austin and Greater Austin
Here’s a map with all the best restaurants in Austin featured in this Texas food guide.
Hope this food guide gives you an idea where to eat in Austin, Elgin and Taylor! Since I loved the food scene, I can’t wait to be back and try more places to eat in and around Austin.
I’m always looking for restaurant recommendations so please let me know what you find are the best restaurants in Austin and Greater Austin to try for my next visit.