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This past February, Grant and I moved out of our apartment in LA and moved in with my parents so we could be semi-nomadic until we move into our next place. We spent the month of April renting in Austin, and as you can imagine, much of our time spent involved eating.
I loved the food scene in Austin. Of course, we had our fair share of tacos, but we also branched out into different types of cuisines as well. It’s true that there is a lot of BBQ and meat-centric dishes in Austin, but it’s also a hub for vegan and plant-centric foods, so there was plenty of balance.
If you want the full list of my Austin eats, check out my story highlights. Otherwise, here are my top picks!
Of all the meals we ate in Austin, Loro stuck out to me the most. It’s no wonder that it’s so good: The famed chefs from both Uchi and Franklin Barbecue came together to create this Asian smokehouse. Like many Austin establishments, it’s nestled between oak trees, and we sat underneath one and drank a mango sake slushie while waiting to get seated.
We ordered the tomato and cucumber salad, the crispy potatoes, the coconut-scented rice, the Smoked Prime Bavette, and Malaysian Chicken Bo Ssam. My favorite was the smoked prime bavette. This is coming from someone who doesn’t really like red meat, so you know it’s gotta be good.
I know Veracruz All Natural is considered an Austin classic (and I included it in the runner-ups below), I was personally a bit more smitten with Tyson’s Tacos, maybe because I had already had been to Veracruz a few times already. We went once for dinner and once for breakfast, and I enjoyed every taco I had. The standouts: B is for Bacon, Wild Feminist, Diablo Shrimp.
This might be one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to, period. Jester King is a brewery and kitchen in the Texas Hill Country. It’s a 165-acre property where you can get craft beer, pizza, and play with goats! A dream… truly. At least my dream. The property was stunning, the beer was incredible (make sure to try their spontaneously fermented beer), and I got to pet a baby goat. Enough said.
So many people recommended Aba to me, and I understand why. We had to make a reservation far in advance to sit on their patio, but it was worth it to enjoy the Mediterranean food influenced by food from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece. We got the Smoky Garlic Hummus, the Whipped Feta, the Brussels Sprouts, and the Grilled Chicken Kebabs. I would suggest getting a bunch of small stuff to share and skipping the kebabs.
Better Half Coffee
We came to eat brunch at Better Half Coffee pretty early in the morning, but I loved the vibe of the outdoor seating, and there were plenty of items on the menu I was excited about ordering. We ended up with the Waffle Iron Hashbrowns and the Ricotta Pancakes, and I highly recommend both.
I’m not one to grab juice on the reg, but there was something about Juiceland that kept me coming back — maybe it’s the fact that it was half the price of a drink in LA? Ha. Either way, when you’re in the Texas heat/humidity, Juiceland will keep you refreshed. My favorite was the Peachy Green smoothie, but Grant got the Paradise Found, which was also flavorful.
If you’re looking for an upscale, Mexican meal, head to Suerte. I definitely recommend going there, but I found some dishes were more worth it than others. The dishes we had that were good were unbelievably good. Like, I would pay any dollar amount to eat. But a few of the dishes we had were a little less impressive (still really tasty, but definitely overpriced). We loved the Aguachile best, and we also loved the grilled sweet papas. We thought the Suadero Tacos were good, but not great.
If you like sushi, you will love Uchi. I enjoyed my meal, but I felt like it was a bit pricier than I would have liked. Also, coming from LA, I’m used to really good sushi, so it didn’t feel as essential to get some in Austin. That being said, we did the omakase, and it was a really fun experience. Everything was very fresh, flavorful, and innovative, but if I were to go back, I would probably just pick some dishes a la carte.
Veracruz All Natural
This is the place I got recommended the most, and it’s definitely somewhere you should go for tacos, breakfast or otherwise. There are many different locations across the city, so it’s easy to try. I don’t think there is a taco I’ve had from Veracruz All Natural that wasn’t good.
Bar Peached is another cute bar/restaurant with some nice outdoor dining. We got dinner and drinks from the “Asian-inspired comfort food” menu, and I liked everything we ordered. For our food, we got the Pesto Udon and the Mapo Bolognese.
As you probably know, I’m not much of a meat-eater, but when in Rome (Austin!!) you gotta try that barbecue. We went to Terry Black’s and got the brisket, pork ribs, potato salad, and macaroni and cheese. All of it was very well prepared — the brisket was my favorite. Hard to know if it was the best barbecue in the world, since I am definitely not a barbecue expert, but it came highly recommended.
This casual restaurant in East Austin is a great option for a laid-back brunch. I got a lavender latte and the Eggs Benedict. I loved how the restaurant feels like you’re in someone’s house/backyard.
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