The 16 Restaurants You Must Visit In Austin

I fell in love with Austin almost instantly when I first visited on the #CarnivorrRoadtrip. My mom and I packed a lot into our two-day stop, but it was not nearly enough time to explore everything I wanted to see (and eat). So, naturally, I jumped at the chance to visit again when Thrillist invited me to fly out and spend a weekend with them in Texas! They planned a lot of fun events around the city with some of the best food in town (more details to come!), and in between their insane #HotelThrillist parties I squeezed in some other restaurants I’d been dying to try.

Here are the 16 restaurants you must try in Austin:

Barbecue:

1.     Franklin Barbecue – Okay, let’s get this out of the way. You’ve heard the rumors, and I’m here to answer some of the FAQs. Yes, people really line up at 5am to get the best brisket in the world. Yes, Franklin really does sell out by 2pm. Yes, it really is THAT good. Just try it - this barbecue is worth the wait.

2.     La Barbecue – Helmed by two badass women (#girlpower!), this barbecue spot is slinging out some of the finest meat in Texas. I dove face first into their brisket (proof below) and didn’t look back. Can’t wait for them to open in LA this year!

3.     Black’s BBQ – I went to their OG location in Lockhart on my first trip (so cool!!!), but they also have an Austin location! All their meat is delicious, but my favorite thing is their beef rib. HUGE. MEATY. MAGIC.

Tacos:

4.     Torchy’s Tacos - We tried the beef, jerk chicken and fried avocado taco (my personal favorite). We loved their green chile queso as well!

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5.     Veracruz All Natural – Get the “Migas taco,” loaded with scrambled eggs, veggies, cheese, and avocado. Love your life. Best breakfast taco I’ve ever had!

Drinks:

6.     Rainey Street – If you’re looking to go out in Austin, this is the spot! Historic Rainey Street is lined with adorable old houses (porches and all) that have been converted into bars. Some of them have backyards with games to play (shout out to Lustre Pearl), some have dance floors (hit up the Container Bar!), and all of them have alcohol (isn’t that why you’re there?).

7.     Easy Tiger – This biergarten/bake house right off of 6th street is lined with picnic tables on the river where you can sit and eat the craziest charcuterie platters I’ve ever seen. We tried all kinds of meats (venison cheddar hot link, wild boar rillette, duck), funky cheeses, pickles, and also some delicious sandwiches, including one stuffed with butternut squash!

8.     Irene’s – Super cute, trendy bar with communal tables, outdoor seating, and string lights. True, I could be describing pretty much any Austin bar, but I really loved this one!

9.     Azul Rooftop – The tallest rooftop in Austin, with the most gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the city! Cabanas, firepits, DJs, an incredible bar with insane cocktails (one is served in a watermelon!), and delicious poolside food (acai bowls, pork belly, etc.). This rooftop is why I will keep staying at the Westin Austin Downtown!

Ice Cream:

10. Lick Honest Ice Creams – Delicious, handmade ice cream made with only what’s in season! We tried some delicious and super unique flavors like roasted beet, coconut key lime, and candied pecan & bourbon. Love this spot.

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11. Prohibition Creamery – Three words: BOOZY. ICE. CREAM. ‘Nuff said. Get ice cream wasted.

Brunch:

12. Launderette – Perhaps my favorite meal on my trip was at this old laundromat-turned-restaurant in East Austin. I love brunch so much, and this one was KILLER! We started with a cinnamon roll, really enjoyed some savory entrees (asparagus benny, Turkish egg, pastrami hash), but my favorite by far were the buttermilk pancakes. Some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life.

13. Stella San Jac – Located in the lobby of the Westin, Stella San Jac serves up a totally insane brunch that will cure any hangover. My favorite is the blueberry French toast, but we also loved the buttermilk biscuits, strawberry donuts, and short rib grilled cheese!

Dinner:

14. Salty Sow – If you’re looking to go whole hog, look no further than this snout-to-tail Austin hotspot. Yum!! The crispy brussel sprouts are completely addicting, the wagyu bone marrow custard was out of this world, and we loved the petit bone-in filets and the slow-cooked beef shoulder. Save room for dessert!! You must try the Bananas Foster beignets.

15. Emmer & Rye – This adorable restaurant on Rainey Street serves dim sum-style small plates – they literally have a cart that rolls around the restaurant and you can pick which dishes you want to try! We loved the smoked beet dip, the short rib carnitas, the roasted sweet potato with mole, the cacio e pepe, and the agnolotti with lamb, eggplant, and chickpea sauce (our favorite!).

16. Uchi – Last, but certainly not least, Uchi! One meal here and it was clear why it’s the most awarded restaurant in town – Chef Tyson Cole’s inventive seafood dishes are unlike any I’ve ever had. Some highlights for me were the salmon dashi rice porridge, the pork rib, the sushi rolls, and the yellowtail with yucca crisp, marcona almonds, and Asian pear (my absolute favorite!). And DEFINITELY save room for the peanut butter semifreddo!

Following along on Instagram? See more pics from the trip at #CarnivorrTravel