Over the years, Austin has grown out of its love affair with smoky barbecue and cheesy Tex-Mex fare. While the city still offers incredible options in the two categories, folks in Austin really strive to keep things weird, bringing life to a maturing culinary climate where fine dining garners as much attention as the certified classics. It’s consistently ranked one of the fastest growing cities in the country with stylish hotels, quirky shops and cutting edge restaurants sprouting up at unprecedented rates. The eclectic dining scene is growing as quickly as its population with an extremely high food per capita ratio, so skip the decision-making anxiety and turn to this guide for every spot that’s worth your time. And with SXSW—one of the biggest events of the year for Austin—cancelled for 2020, it's important to not forget about the many exceptional restaurants and bars that need your support more than ever.
See also: A Food Lover's Guide To The World
Start the day at... Tamale House East
You wouldn’t be doing Austin justice if you didn’t begin at least one day with breakfast tacos, and locals would agree that Tamale House East is one of the best places to do so. The legendary Tex-Mex eatery is outfitted with a lush garden patio, mosaic-tiled tabletops and a fountain, transporting diners to a dreamy oasis where they can enjoy fully loaded tacos and steaming, stuffed tamales. To avoid making a tough decision, opt for the #5 taco, which covers all of the bases with the combination of fried potato, fluffy egg, bacon and cheese. Top the tacos off with the house special creamy green salsa and cool your mouth down with a cup of horchata cold brew.
1707 E 6th St, Austin, Texas, 78702; (512) 495-9504