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The Top 10 Restaurants in Austin, TX

The Top 10 Restaurants in Austin, TX

 Are you a food enthusiast, aka a foodie? Then welcome to The Foodie Channel, home for food enthusiasts from around the world!  Today, we’re going on a trip to the ATX. Yes, Austin, Texas.  In addition to being the state capital of Texas, this city is also home to the legendary South By Southwest, the world famous 6th Street, the Texas Longhorns, amazing parks, a vibrant downtown, and a beautiful skyline.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Austin is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan cities in the US, with nearly 2.3 million people as of 2021?
  • Austin is known as The Live Music Capital of the World.
  • This city attracts over 20,000,000 visitors per year.
  • And Austin, Texas, has one of the fastest-growing food truck industries in the country.

And here’s another little fun fact, Austin is home to the largest urban bat colony in North America.  You’d be surprised at the size of the crowds that show up at the Congress Avenue Bridge to view these spectacular creatures at sunset!

Well, now that we’ve given you a brief tour of the city, let’s talk about the food!

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Restaurants in Austin, Texas!

  

#10 Franklin Barbecue

By the time we reviewed this restaurant towards the end of 2021, we were fully aware of their famously long lines, so we decided to come early before they opened at 11AM on a Wednesday morning.  When we arrived, we spoke to one of the customers, who filled us in on what a special place this is. She placed her food order online several weeks in advance and drove in from out of town on this day to pick it up. According to her, they have tons of customers from out of town that do that same thing. Yup, in our minds, the bar was set pretty high!  

The staff was very friendly. They gave us instructions on how to go online to do a ‘same day order’ from the items that were still available. We were able to grab some brisket, pork ribs, and sausage. Foodies, Franklin Barbecue is the real deal. It’s far more expensive than your average barbecue establishment. But we must say that it’s some of the best barbecues we’ve had, period.

#9 Home Slice Pizza

If you want a restaurant with that ‘Austin Texas’ vibe, Home Slice is the place. They’re known for their classic New York-style pizzas.  Their pepperoni pizza literally transported me to New York. The pies are well made, with quality cheese and excellent ingredients. Outstanding!  

The house salad is impressive. And if you’re looking to switch things up, go for the Italian Assorted Sub sandwich. We tried it at the recommendation of our server, and we’re glad we tried it. The assortment of meats, the cheese, and the bread all come together beautifully.  

For those keeping scores, we’ve got Home Slice as the 2nd best pizza spot in the ATX.

 

#8 Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

We dined here on a weeknight at 8:30PM. This place looks pretty cool at night. Kemuri is a fusion between Texas and Japanese cuisine. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. One particular server was kind enough to educate us on the variety of Japanese Whiskeys.

We asked the staff to give us a variety of their most popular dishes. The night’s highlights were the Watermelon Tostada, the Chili Cheese Takoyaki, and Kara-Age 2.0 (made of fried chicken, egg salad, and koji hot sauce). But the star of the night is the Brisket Bento Box. The brisket was so well prepared and flavorful.  

At Kemuri, they try to switch up the menu quarterly, priding themselves on what’s fresh and “in season,” so the menu can and will change.

 

#7 Contigo

This is a beautiful establishment with plenty of seating inside as well as a well-designed outdoor patio. Contigo has a nice ambiance and friendly staff. The customers here feel very relaxed, very much at ease.  

 Let’s discuss the food. The appetizers were excellent, especially the cheesy mushrooms. The highlight was the Contigo burger. I added cheddar cheese and bacon. With the first bite, I was floored. The bread and the well-seasoned beef were exceptional.

#6 Clark’s Oyster Bar

Great atmosphere and great food here at Clark’s. We arrived on a beautiful Austin day and decided to sit outside. This place has a nice vibe with the laid-back music playing over the speakers.  We ordered two rounds of oysters. The presentation was outstanding as the server told you which location each individual oyster is from. The red snapper plate was excellent; no fishy taste at all.

Clark’s is also known for their burger. I have to admit that it’s a bit smaller than I expected, but I have to tell you, within the first bite, I knew that I was eating one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. You’ve got to check it out!

#5 Bufalina

There are two locations in Austin. We dined at the location known as Bufalina Due at 6555 Burnet Road. It’s a remote location at the end of a strip mall. But Foodies, don’t let the outside fool you.  Once inside, you’ll enjoy the music, vibe, friendly staff, and most importantly, the food.

They have a nice variety of appetizers. We tried the Burrata, a roasted butternut squash, apple relish, thyme oil, and house focaccia. Very interesting, a nice combination of flavors. But Bufalina made their name on their brick fire oven pizzas and a nice selection of wines. The size of the pizzas is typically small enough so that each person should order their own unless you’re just there for a snack and you decide to split it. We ordered the roasted mushroom, the pepperoni, and the Calabrese pizzas. All were excellent, but the Calabrese was in its own class. If you’re still keeping score, we’re calling Bufalina the best pizza in Austin!

#4 Odd Duck

We arrived when they opened at 5PM on a weekday, and it didn’t take long for Odd Duck to reach full capacity. So we strongly recommend that you make a reservation. But on to the food. We sampled many items on their menu, and they delivered so many winners we lost track.

The Red Ceviche, the smoked Butternut squash with Apple Salad, the chicken carnitas nachos, and the Wagyu sirloin were just a few stand-out dishes. Odd Duck, we’re impressed!

 

#3 Josephine House

On first impression, this restaurant puts you at ease. You feel like you’ve been invited to a warm home, and you’re preparing to eat an amazing meal. Time can really fly by here!

Between our research and suggestions from our server, we were prepared to sample some of their most famous plates. The shrimp and grits .. excellent! The lemon ricotta pancakes. A revelation! The rice bowl with chicken. Exceptional! The chicken was moist and flavorful, and the dish was full of fresh ingredients, cooked perfectly.

Josephine House delivered an amazing dining experience!

 

#2 Emmer & Rye

Emmer & Rye is located near downtown Austin. We arrived at our reservation at 9:30PM on a weeknight, and it was packed! Clearly, the locals and the out-of-towners recognize Emmer & Rye as one of the top restaurants in the city.

Here, multiple servers work as a team to deliver world-class service. And we noticed that each server is passionate about the food here. We love to see that!  

After trying multiple items from the menu, we were impressed with the freshness of the ingredients, the combination of flavors, and the overall creativity. Among the amazing dishes we sampled, we have to shout out to the Texas Wagyu, Chicken Thighs with Corn Pudding, and the Blue Crab. So good!

 

#1 Uchi

There are two locations in Austin. We dined at the location located at 801 S. Lamar. We were impressed the second we walked in the door by the smells, the ambiance, and the energy. Why is Uchi top on our list? It’s because of the number of ‘wow moments’ we had as we sampled several items from the menu.

Simply put, several items blew us away. The Machi Cure, the crispy rice cake with pork belly, the Okoro Gunkan, and the Sake Tom Khajust to name a few. The interesting combinations of flavors and ingredients were superb.

And the plating was outstanding, truly artistic. The goal must be to make every plate look like art. The service from the staff was top-notch.

It was close between Emmer & Rye and Uchi, but Uchi takes the top spot as the number one restaurant in the ATX!

  

This list was not easy to compile. There are so many amazing restaurants to choose from. Here are a couple more that made our Honorable Mentions list:

Honorable Mention

  • LA Barbecue - In our opinion, this is the 2nd best barbecue spot in Austin. All respect to this very Austin is very unique local barbecue restaurant.
  • Fonda San Miguel - Diverse Mexican Cuisine, outstanding decor, and atmosphere.  
  • Veracruz All Natural - Located near downtown Austin. They specialize in tacos, with a nice variety. Excellent salsa. A well-known Austin establishment for locals and tourists.

 Question: Have you ever visited this Texas gem affectionately known as the ATX? If not, check it out. You’ll see what the fuss is all about! And by all means, discover why we call Austin, Texas, a Foodie Destination.

 The variety and quality of food in this city are exceptional. Hopefullyour Top 10 list gave you a few options to consider.

If you'd like to watch our video highlighting the Top 10 restaurants in the ATX then click here: https://youtu.be/ruT5c6xw6Y0

Thank you for joining us on a tour of this incredible Foodie Destination, Austin, TX!

Want to enjoy more Foodie-related content? Then head over to thefoodiechannel.com.  The Foodie Channel, if it’s delicious, we’re there!

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