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The best way to travel like a local, is to ask a local. In this series of travel guides, we ask creatives and insiders from our global community to show us their city, their way

At just five years old, Kristen Kish would watch Great Chefs of the World on Discovery Channel, which piqued her interest in food and cooking. Fast forward just under 20 years later, and the world watched as Kish became the second woman to win Top Chef. 

Now, the tables have turned as Kish is a co-host on Netflix’s revival of Iron Chef, the famed Japanese cooking competition series. Off screen, Kish is a steady force in the culinary world with several successful cookbooks and her own restaurant, the impossibly Arlo Grey, at The Line Hotel in Austin. 

When it comes to navigating a city's restaurant scene, there's no one better to ask than its chefs. So we asked Kish to share her picks for the her favourite restaurants, bars and places to hang out in Austin, Texas.


One of my favourite restaurants, not only because of the food but the hospitality, storytelling, and general friendship the chef owner and team has shown over the years. Michael, the chef owner, is an advocate for good and change. He has taught me a lot over the years and consistently shares his wealth of knowledge. The food and service is top notch with a full story to tell.

Little Ola’s Biscuits

This was born out of Covid-19 by the Olamaie team. Olamaie has always served the greatest flakiest and decadent biscuits at their more “formal” restaurant. During the closure of so many restaurants, they took this beloved product and made it into its own causal grab and go takeout business. The yummiest biscuits and biscuit sandwiches you will ever have!


Owned by two sisters with a few locations, one of which in the same hotel as my restaurant (lucky me), has always pumped out some of the best tacos in Austin, and beyond. Austinites and visitors take the tacos scene very seriously and Reyna and Maritza Vasquez are on the top of list of “must eats”. They do great things for the city, champion Austin to its fullest, and activate ways to raise money for the city in times of need.


Old Thousand

Chinese food that just plain delicious. I ordered from here the evening before we re-opened Arlo Grey as we emerged from being closed for 8 months due to the pandemic. The kitchen team and I had a great family meal that night.

See Also: Editors’ Picks: The Best Hawker Dishes in Singapore and Where to Get Them

Hausbar Farm

Dorsey welcomed me to Austin the moment she knew I was opening a restaurant. Not only does her farm produce great products for us at Arlo Grey, she allows people to come in for tours, hold baby bunnies, and shares what she knows about urban farming with the industry. She is a beacon of light within the community, and everyone knows her! 

Round Top

Antiquing, shopping, and a fun day trip to explore just outside of Austin.

Zilker Botanical Gardens

During the season you can wander the gardens. It’s minutes from downtown and a great place to be outdoors and soak in some beautiful scenery.

UMLAUF sculpture garden

Outdoor activities in Austin are all over the place and this place is unique. Sculptures all around the grounds to wander through. If you work up a sweat with the weather, hit up a local spring pool, Barton Springs or Dripping Springs are very popular.

See Also: An Artists’ Guide To Melbourne’s Best Restaurants, Galleries and More


Austin is known for its music scene; Mohawk is a venue that is a great place to investigate for events and a great place to start if you want to find out more.

South Congress

Just over the bridge, over the river, is an area that has shopping, restaurants, and on some occasions – outdoor markets of local makers.

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