The lighter side of real estate

13 Foods Austin Does Better Than Your City… And Five It Doesn’t

Austin is the foodie’s capital of Texas. These 13 foods will make you want to move to the city… and the other five might make you reconsider.

Natalie Grigson

Staff Writer

155 articles, 0 comments

1. If Austin Had A Flavor, It Would Be Breakfast Tacos

Best Foods in Austin - Tacodeli

Source: Juan in a Million Facebook Page

1500B Spyglass Dr
(512) 732-0303
Yelp: 4.5 stars- 531 reviews

If each city had a flavor, Philly would be cheesesteak, New York would be pizza, Boston… beans, and Austin, well, Austin would taste like breakfast tacos. Specifically, Austin would taste like the Don Juan from Juan in a Million, or maybe the migas tacos from Tacodeli, or Torchy’s fried avocado tacos. Speaking of avocados…

2. Green Avocado Ice Cream Smooshed with Gummy Worms, Strawberries, and Chocolate Sauce? You Can Get It, But Should You?

Best Foods in Austin - Amy's Ice Cream

Source: Flickr user David Berkowitz

Amy’s Ice Creams
1301 S. Congress Ave.
(512) 440-7488
Yelp: 4 Stars-191 Reviews

This or any other combination really. Whatever you’re in the mood for, chances are Amy’s has it. Want chocolate sprinkles? Easy. How about bits of candy or peanut butter smooshed into your beer flavored ice cream? You got it. (Though seriously, why would you want it?)

3. Brisket So Good It Will Convert A Vegan PETA Member

Best Foods in Austin - Franklin Barbecue

Source: Flickr user Paul Lowry

Franklin Barbecue
900 E. 11th Street
(512) 653-1187
Yelp: 4.5 Stars- 1276 Reviews

Franklin Barbecue doesn’t have a line around the corner every day for no reason; it’s because of the brisket. The award-winning, critically acclaimed, mouthwatering brisket. If you don’t like it, you’re just wrong… because even a cow would.

4. Vegan Food So Good, It Doesn’t Taste Like Cardboard

Best Foods in Austin - Casa De Luz

Source: Casa de Luz Facebook Page

Casa De Luz
1701 Toomey Rd.
(512) 476-2535
Yelp: 4.5 Stars- 288 Reviews

Okay, not all vegan food tastes like paper; just most of it. But Austin happens to have found a way to make some of this board-like food actually taste delicious: Case in point, Mother’s, Casa De Luz, Conscious Cravings, and—ohmygosh—the vegan donuts at Red Rabbit. But if you’re looking for a real donut…

5. Bacon-Covered, Maple Syrup Icing-Drenched, Perfectly Puffed Donuts That Will Kill Your Diet at the Door

Best Foods in Austin - Gourdough's Speciality Donuts

Source: Gourdough’s Facebook Page

Gourdough’s Speciality Donuts
1503 S. First St.
(512) 707-1050
Yelp: 4.5 Stars- 1543 Reviews

In other words, the Flying Pig from Gourdough’s donuts. Warning: Not a vegan-friendly food.

6. Tiger’s Blood Snow Cones with Cream on Top. Sounds Gross, Tastes AMAZING.

Best Foods in Austin - Sno Beach Austin

Source: Sno-Beach Austin Facebook

Sno Beach Austin
801 Barton Springs Rd.
Yelp: 4.5 Stars- 133 Reviews

I have heard that people actually order other flavors from Sno Beach, although for the life of me I can’t imagine why.

7. A Giant Bowl of Melted Cheese, Black Beans, Avocado, and All Things (un)Holy at 3 A.M.

Best Foods in Austin - Magnolia Cafe

Source: Flickr user Rachel G. Goss

Magnolia Cafe
2304 Lake Austin Blvd.
(512) 478-8645
Yelp: 3.5 Stars- 133 Reviews

Would you like a bowl of cheese? Would you like it filled with beans? Would you like it with some chips? Would you like it as a dip? If you’re an Austinite, the answer should be a resounding yes. Yes, we love cheese, and we particularly love melted cheese filled with other stuff. We call this an appetizer. More specifically, we call it queso. And there’s only one place to get the best: Magnolia Cafe, especially at 3 a.m.

8. Miles of Texas, Miles and Miles of CHOCOLATE

Best Foods in Austin - Miles of Chocolate

Source: Flickr user beelerspace

Miles of Chocolate
617 C. Castle Ridge
(512) 632-3323
Yelp: 5 Stars- 12 Reviews

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Oh, I’m sorry, I started thinking about Miles of Chocolate and went into a sort of drooling stupor. Must have banged my head on the keyboard.

9. The Mightiest Cone of Them All

Best Foods in Austin - Mighty Cone

Source: Mighty Cone Facebook Page

Mighty Cone
2512 Rio Grande
(512) 383-9609
Yelp: 3.5 Stars- 300 Reviews

I’m not talking ice cream. The chicken avocado cone at Mighty Cone is pretty simple: It is a cone filled with a tortilla, filled with chicken, avocado, and magic (which, let’s be honest, looks a lot like grease).

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10. Maguro Sashimi, Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Seed Oil, and Fuji Apple. Boom.

Best Foods in Austin - Uchi Austin

Source: Uchi Austin Facebook Page

Uchi Austin
801 S. Lamar Blvd.
(512) 916-4808
Yelp: 4.5 Stars- 1149 Reviews

Unless you live in Austin, your city does not have this dish. And even if it did, there would be absolutely no possible way for it to be better than the dish served at Uchi. I dare you to challenge this.

11. Unleash Your Inner Carnivore at Hudson’s on the Bend

Best Foods in Austin - Hudson's on the Bend

Source: Hudson’s on the Bend Facebook Page

Hudson’s on the Bend
3509 Ranch Road 620 N
(512) 266-1369
Yelp: 4 Stars- 275 Reviews

Vegetarians, vegans, and cows who can read, if you couldn’t tell by this heading, you might want to avert your eyes. But for you carnivores out there, Austin is the place for wild game. Delicious, tender, wild game. There are several options, but Hudson’s on the Bend is king.

12. Smoked Duck Enchiladas that Will Melt Your Face Off and a Margarita to Cool you Down

Best Foods in Austin - Matt's El Rancho

Source: Flickr user Paul Lowry

Matt’s El Rancho
2613 S. Lamar Blvd.
(512) 462-9333
Yelp: 3.5 Stars- 425 Reviews

I will never forget the sad day when I learned that Tex Mex is not, in fact, a part of most American’s vocabulary, let alone diet. (I know, it’s right in the name; I was like six, okay?) Anyway, if you’re looking for Tex Mex that will melt your face off, get the smoked duck enchiladas from Matt’s (Famous) El Rancho. And for a uniquely Austin margarita, you’re going to want something shady: A Shady Thang from Shady Grove. What, did you think I was going to say Chuy’s? No. Absolutely not.

13. A Monte Cristo Sandwich That Will Have Your Mouth Watering and Arteries Screaming

Best Foods in Austin - Hey! You Gonna Eat or What

Source: Hey! You Gonna Eat or What Facebook Page

Hey! You Gonna Eat or What?
1318 S. Congress Ave.
(512) 296-3547
Yelp: 4.5 Stars- 206 Reviews

Once you try the Hey! You Gonna Eat or What? food truck’s Monte Cristo—a Shiner Bock beer-battered sandwich with pit-smoked ham, mesquite-smoked turkey, cheddar and provolone cheese, and a homemade cherry and fig jelly—you will know the answer. (It’s yes.)

Annnd These Five Foods… Well, These Five Foods Suck In Austin.

1. Mexican Food

Best Foods in Austin - Mexican food

Source: Flickr user william.neuheisel

Hey. HEY! Calm down. What I mean here is, Austin does really, really good Tex Mex food; it is famous for it. But as far as authentic Mexican food goes, well, there is Fonda San Miguel, and there’s… well, you can always go back to Fonda San Miguel.

2. Chinese

Best Foods in Austin - Chinese food

Source: Flickr user Amber De Bruin

Do not tell me “P.F. Chang’s.” I will chopstick you.

3. Italian

Best Foods in Austin - Italian food

Source: Flickr user benjieordonez

What about Vespaio, you ask? Yeah, it’s okay. But one decent Italian restaurant does not a variety make.

4. Seafood

Best Foods in Austin - Seafood

Source: Flickr user Daystar297

Sure, there are a few seafood names in the Austin game (Clark’s, Perla’s, uh… Clark’s again…), but Austin isn’t the best place for fish. In fact, neither is Texas, unless it is fried and of the catfish variety. Which is disgusting. You want good seafood? Head to the West Coast.

5. Scandinavian

Best Foods in Austin - Scandinavian

Source: Flickr user Jason Lander

There are absolutely no good Scandinavian food options in Austin. But seriously, did you really want Scandinavian food?

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posted on: March 10, 2014
17,105 views, 6 comments


  1. Alexis

    Why were the good stuff so specific yet the bad things were so broad? Austin had good everything…but with a twist

  2. Amanda

    I don’t agree with your #1 Austin sucks at Mexican food. I guess if you don’t know how to order in Spanish you wouldn’t try any really authentic places. If you are too gringo you probably wouldn’t know what to order anyway.

  3. malarkey

    Author has apparently never been to El Naranjo or La Condesa if they think Fonda San Miguel is the only choice for interior Mexican.

  4. ekimlenoco

    Very wrong about Mexican, Chinese, Italian, & seafood options. Obvious that you haven’t lived here long enough to be trusted by locals or you just get bribed to eat at these places. BTW, there is no German food here either but there is a short drive away both north and south. See if you can find them.

  5. bill

    Fried catfish is disgusting? Sorry but your opinion of seafood is worthless if you don’t get the deliciousness of fried catfish. On the other hand, fried catfish in Austin and most if Texas is terrible, but no matter, your opinion doesn’t mean anything since you obviously don’t know food. If you want great seafood forget the west coast, go to Louisiana.

  6. Aquaria

    I’m what’s known as a supertaster. In my case, I have double the taste buds of other people, and more sensitive ones at that.

    One of my food aversions is catfish and other bottom-dwelling fishes like flounder. I can eat nearly any other kind of fish, but something about fish that lives at the bottom of water tastes like rotten fish to me. It doesn’t matter if it’s in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi or any other place. Yes, I’ve tried it in all of those places, and it all tastes rotten to me.

    If you like it, good for you, but some of us pick up other tastes that nontasters like you don’t. Being petty and vituperative doesn’t change that fact.


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