The SXSW Festival has come and gone, but I thought I’d wrap up this Austin series with more restaurant suggestions that I personally enjoy as a local food nerd.
I know some of you who attended the conference have fallen in love with our river city and will likely move here. It happens every year, especially when we have the fantastic weather we had this year. I overheard Kelly Willis say during her performance at South By San Jose, “This is the weather people move here for. You should all come back in August.” I couldn’t agree more.
I’ve put down roots here and I’m staying for a while, but if I hadn’t grown up in Austin, I don’t think I would have ended up here. The summer is just too hot for me.
My friend Kim and I taking a wine break on SXSW showcase day. (She’ll be doing a guest post on her SXSW experience!) Photo by Carlos Jackson
At least I’ve got more restaurants than I can handle to take my mind off the heat this summer.
Sway: Fair warning, there are no private tables here. All dining is communal. I find my favorite place to sit is at the chef’s table, which is a bar along one side of the kitchen. Delicious upscale Thai food.
Lenoir: Three course tasting menu (with options to purchase more courses at $10 each) for $38. My dairy allergy and limited diet doesn’t keep me from enjoying a full experience, including dessert. Reservations recommended.
Asti: Serving Northern Italian cuisine for more than a decade. My husband and I had our wedding rehearsal dinner here. The seafood risotto dish is a personal favorite. Reservations recommended.
Fino: Asti’s sister restaurant, serving Spanish cuisine. Tapas are the main focus, but there are full plates, pallela, and a list of unique cocktails. Check out their brunch on Sundays.
Now I’m just going to jump to the most affordable places I thoroughly enjoy…
Swad: I’m not sure what I get here, but lentils and potatoes are involved. If you eat dairy, there are many more options – it’s a vegetarian paradise! Still, there are vegan options, just ask when placing your order. Coconut water in the coconut is my drink of choice.
Dosa as big as your torso!
East Side King at Hole in the Wall: You might remember Paul Qui from Top Chef Texas. He’s been running the East Side King food trucks since his days at Uchi & Uchiko. Creative late night bar food with an Asian influence. This location is his first brick & mortar and the only location to serve Squid Ink Curry Ramen. Yes. Do it!
If you combine this list with my first list of local must-eat restaurants, you should have something for every price range!
What’s even better, they are ALL locally grown establishments.
As inspired locals continue to open unique restaurants with quality food, I will continue to explore my blossoming hometown.
What’s your favorite Austin spot?
May your journey be your muse,