Must Eats

Where to Eat When You Visit Austin, TX!

Tourist Guide to Must Eats in Austin, TX


As a lifelong resident of Austin, I often receive inquiries about the best dining options for visitors and tourists. Having witnessed the remarkable transformation of our city over the years, I must say that my recommendations for food vary greatly depending on where individuals are from. For instance, unless someone hails from a small town lacking Italian or Asian cuisine, I generally wouldn't suggest seeking out those types of food in Austin. However, there are a few exceptional establishments in Austin, Texas that stand out.

Austin excels in barbecue, fusion cuisine, Tex-Mex, food trucks, and breakfast tacos, surpassing many other cities I've explored worldwide. A weekend trip or three days is usually sufficient to savor the essence of this vibrant city. Without further ado, let's delve into the list, encompassing both touristy spots and my personal opinions on them.

Here is my Instagram.


Interstellar BBQ (My Favorite Spot) 

This is my absolute favorite BBQ spot in Austin, TX. It's situated slightly north, away from the main tourist areas, but trust me, it's worth the visit despite the potential 2-hour wait in line. Let me explain why: I've been championing this place as the best BBQ joint in Austin for years, and recently, Texas Monthly recognized them as the second-best BBQ in the whole of Texas. As a result, the wait time has increased from zero on weekends to an average of about 2 hours.

However, if you can make it on a weekday, the line is considerably shorter, although you can still expect to wait for about an hour. Nevertheless, it's well worth the wait. I highly recommend trying their mouthwatering brisket taco, delectable pork belly bites, succulent pork ribs, flavorful seasonal sausages, and don't miss out on their off-menu specialty, the delicious frito pie. As an added bonus, their beans are complimentary! Click their website here.


Micklethwait is renowned in town for being one of the top BBQ spots that typically doesn't have a long wait. However, as word has spread about this hidden gem, you can now expect a wait of around 40 minutes to an hour on weekends. What truly distinguishes Micklethwait is their outstanding selection of sides. While their BBQ is above average, I personally prefer Interstellar. Although not listed on their online menu, I highly recommend trying their flavorful Brisket Nachos and indulging in their scrumptious Frito pie. Click their website here.

LA Barbecue

LA Barbecue is a great choice for anyone craving a delicious barbecue sandwich. The quality of their BBQ is on par with Micklethwait, but personally, I find the pickles at LA BBQ to be even more enjoyable. Additionally, their sides are truly delectable. However, it's important to note that you can expect to wait for about an hour here. Typically, I opt to drive to both Micklethwait and LA Barbecue and decide based on the shorter wait time between the two. Click their website here.

Terry Blacks

This particular BBQ spot can also be found in Dallas, but it has quickly become one of the most popular destinations in Austin, TX, located on Barton Springs. One of the great things about Terry Blacks is that even though the lines can be long, they move incredibly fast, and people are constantly leaving their busy parking lot. On a busy Saturday, you can expect a wait time of around 20 minutes. The only slightly stressful aspect is finding an available clean table to sit at.

I highly recommend trying their sausage, beef rib, and brisket. Personally, I'm a big fan of their creamed corn and mac and cheese sides. While it may not be the absolute best BBQ in the world, Terry Blacks maintains a high level of consistency. It's the perfect choice if you're looking to avoid long waits and simply want to experience authentic Texas BBQ.Click their website here.

Other Options


I have yet to personally endure the 3-4 hour line at Franklins, but I have tried their BBQ as takeout and also at food festivals. They have gained quite a reputation for their brisket, which I find to be good, but not something I would personally wait hours for. If you plan on getting takeout from Franklins, be prepared to order well in advance. However, in my personal opinion, I believe Interstellar offers a superior BBQ experience. Click their website here.

Breakfast Tacos/Tacos

Cuantos Tacos

Cuantos is fantastic. If someone says that their favorite tacos are from Cuantos, you know they know their stuff. The tacos themselves are smaller in size and served on nixtamalized tortillas. I recommend trying one of each to experience all the flavors. However, I must admit that some of the fillings can taste similar. Regardless, it's one of my top spots to visit in Austin.

Here is their instagram. Click their website here.

Veracruz/ Veracruz Fonda

When it comes to breakfast tacos, Veracruz Tacos is the go-to spot. Their migas tacos are incredibly popular, and they have conveniently located branches throughout Austin. They've recently expanded with a new location called Veracruz Fonda in the Mueller Area, offering a sit-down brunch experience. As a tourist, you can't go wrong here. Additionally, I highly recommend trying their Concha, which is also quite enjoyable. Click their website here.

Grannys Tacos

Veracruz Tacos was started by the parents of the current owners. However, when it comes to breakfast tacos, Granny's Tacos is my top pick. What sets them apart is their delicious corn tortillas. Although I'm not usually a huge fan of mole, I found their RICO tacos with chicken mole and rice to be incredibly delicious. The most popular taco here is probably their chilaquiles taco, but personally, I was a big fan of their homemade tortillas. The only downside is that it can take a while for your food to be prepared, but trust me, it's definitely worth the wait. Click their website here.


Discada is tied for my favorite taco spot in Austin. They serve a single type of taco with discada filling, which is a mixture of meat and veggies that they slow-cook on discs. The tacos here are also smaller in size, and I can easily eat 5-10 of them in one sitting. The pink salsa they provide packs a lot of heat, but I love how it complements the savory meat along with the bits of pineapple and onion.

Here is their instagram. Click their website here.

Un Mundo De Sabor

Un Mundo De Sabor is tied for my favorite taco spot in Austin. What I love about Un Mundo is their consistency, and how all their tacos are delicious. If I had to recommend the best taco, I would say it's their carnitas tacos. The carnitas are cubes of tender pork that they fry until crispy. The pickled onions add a nice touch and they also include some avocado. Their vegan mushroom tacos are no joke either. Trust me, you won't go wrong with anything here!

Here is their instagram.

Tex Mex

ELDorado Cafe (My Favorite)

Let me share a personal secret with you. I've never been a big fan of Tex Mex, having tried numerous spots in Austin that all seemed to blend together with their tortillas filled with ground meat and smothered in queso sauce. However, everything changed when I discovered ElDorado! After years of anticipation, I finally had the pleasure of trying their enchiladas and Tex Mex-style cuisine, and I must say, they are the best in Austin. Every dish is cooked to perfection with fresh ingredients.

I highly recommend the Dartbowl enchiladas, featuring cheese enchiladas topped with short rib chili, jack cheese, queso, red onions, fried egg, and jalapeños. The flavors are decadently delicious. I also tried their Joes Happy plate, Salsa Sampler, and ElDorado Burrito, which were all fabulous. ElDorado also offers an impressive breakfast menu, and I particularly enjoyed their Glorias Chilaquiles, topped with fried egg, chile verde, jack cheese, queso fresco, and sour cream. Don't miss their famous smoky Salsa X!

To avoid long wait times, it's advisable to make reservations online. Otherwise, be prepared for a one-hour wait during peak times. Click their website here.

Tamale House

Tamale House is a go-to spot for me in Austin, especially when I have visitors. The beautiful patio garden offers a great opportunity for memorable photos. While I must admit that the food here doesn't reach the same level of deliciousness as ElDorado, its prime location on East 6th Street makes it a popular choice if you're looking to experience Tex Mex and capture some great pictures. I highly recommend trying their tamales, particularly the chicken with mole sauce or chili sauce. Additionally, their Enchiladas Verde are quite enjoyable. Click their website here.

Fancy options

Odd Duck

Odd Duck in Austin, TX, is a culinary gem that redefines traditional dining. With a farm-to-table approach and a focus on local and seasonal ingredients, this restaurant offers a unique and creative menu. From inventive small plates to expertly crafted dishes, each bite is a delightful surprise. The ever-changing menu reflects the seasons, ensuring a fresh and exciting dining experience. With a warm ambiance and carefully curated drink selection, Odd Duck is a must-visit destination that embodies Austin's innovative food scene. Click their website here.


Jeffrey's is the perfect place to take your date if you're looking for an unforgettable experience or celebrating a significant milestone like a 10-year anniversary. It's truly a special spot. The food may come with a hefty price tag, but the porterhouse steak they serve is unparalleled and will likely be the best you've ever tasted. Securing reservations at Jeffrey's isn't too challenging either. Additionally, I highly recommend trying their seafood risotto—it's absolutely delightful. Click their website here.

Diner Bar Austin

An exquisite Southern French fusion spot, opened by the talented Chef Mashama Bailey, offers a unique culinary experience. The menu features a delightful array of dishes that blend the flavors of the American South with the elegance of French cuisine. Standout dishes include the impeccably fresh Day Boat Catch, which showcases the best of local seafood, and the indulgent Foie with Grits, where the rich flavors of foie gras harmonize with creamy grits.

For those seeking a lighter option, the Hamachi Crudo is a must-try, offering delicate slices of hamachi adorned with vibrant accompaniments. And to satisfy your sweet tooth, the Chess Pie is an absolute delight—a quintessential Southern dessert with a refined twist.

This Southern French fusion spot truly elevates traditional cuisine, taking it to new heights of flavor and creativity. It's a destination that promises a memorable dining experience, blending the soulfulness of the American South with the sophistication of French culinary techniques. Click their website here.

Lutie's Garden Restaurant

Lutie's is a stunning restaurant located on an estate, offering a beautiful setting for a memorable dining experience. The must-try dishes include the petit aioli, Kouign Amann Ice Cream, Estate Bread, and the flavorsome delta blues rice. It's best to avoid the steak. Keep in mind that securing reservations at Lutie's can be challenging due to its popularity. Click their website here.


Located in East Austin, this spot offers a seasonal menu and a charming counter service experience. It's the perfect place for a romantic night out, especially if you're a fan of fantastic pasta dishes. While there are a couple of downsides, such as the counter service format and the need to wait in line before ordering, Birdies compensates with its exceptional food. Additionally, the wait can be quite long due to the sampling of their wine pairings before ordering, but once you taste the food at Birdies, you'll understand why it's worth the wait. Click their website here.

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

This establishment offers a unique blend of Japanese and Texas BBQ fusion cuisine, creating a vibrant and flavorful dining experience. The drinks and eats here exude an energetic and lively vibe. Personally, I enjoy the yakitori and street corn, which are both delicious options. If available, the chili cheese Takoyaki is always a crowd-pleaser. In comparison to other Tatsuya spots, I find this particular location to be my preferred choice, thanks to its distinctive Japanese fusion dishes that truly set it apart. Click their website here.


Uchiko is a must-visit spot known for its solid menu and delicious food. The Hama Chili combines Japanese and Texan flavors for a memorable experience. The Foie Gras is a rich and indulgent dish that melts in your mouth. Don't miss their Happy Hour bites for a variety of delightful treats. Uchiko guarantees an exceptional dining experience with impeccable service. Click their website here.

Fonda San Miguel

Located in Austin for years, this elevated Mexican food spot is not only beautiful but also renowned for its culinary offerings. It has gained quite a bit of fame, and many claim that their fajitas are the absolute best in town. While I haven't tried their fajitas yet, I have had the pleasure of indulging in their remarkable brunch buffet, which left me thoroughly impressed. The restaurant's enchanting ambiance, coupled with their delectable food, makes it a must-visit destination. Click their website here.

Intero Restaurant

Located in Austin, TX, this contemporary Italian restaurant is nothing short of fabulous. It left me mesmerized and ranked among the city's best. Make sure to try their delightful focaccia, flavorful bucatini, and irresistible brown butter cake. With its impeccable cuisine and inviting ambiance, it's a must-visit for an unforgettable dining experience. They are sustainable and farm to table with a rotating menu. Click their website here.

Other Stellar choices

Dee Dee ATX

Dee Dee Food Truck has truly won my heart with their exceptional Pad Kaprow, which can easily be argued as the best in Austin. This delectable stir-fried ground pork dish, infused with the aromatic flavors of holy basil or Thai basil, is an absolute must-try. Served with rice and topped with a fried egg, it creates a perfect harmony of flavors. While their dishes offer a spicy kick, it remains enjoyable and approachable. In addition to their fantastic Pad Kaprow, Dee Dee's papaya salad and moo ping are also exquisite. If you're lucky, you might even get to savor their delightful seasonal mango sticky rice. All in all, Dee Dee is a food truck that should not be overlooked

Here is their instagram. Click their website here.

Spicy Boys

I must confess, my love for Spicy Boys runs incredibly deep. I've been utterly obsessed with them ever since they were known as SourSop. With multiple locations, Spicy Boys has solidified its place in my heart with their remarkable OG sandwich. Packed with flavors like sweet chili honey, papaya relish, and Thai basil ranch, it undeniably stands as the best chicken sandwich in Austin. Yes, I said it, and I stand by it. And let's not forget about their irresistible tots - they're truly heavenly! When it comes to Spicy Boys, I would go to great lengths to defend their incredible creations.

Here is their instagram. Click their website here.

Ramen Del Barrio

Experience a unique fusion of Mexican and Japanese flavors at this hidden gem in Austin. Despite its offbeat location, it's a must-visit spot for their remarkable fusion ramen, such as the delectable carnitas shoyu and seasonal ramen specials. Don't miss out on their irresistible karagge, a crispy Japanese-style fried chicken. Prepare to embark on a culinary adventure that combines the best of both worlds. Click their website here.

JewBoy Burgers

In my opinion, Jewboy Burgers is an ideal spot to bring visitors. With ample outdoor seating and a dog-friendly patio, it offers a welcoming environment for all. The portions are generous, and a must-try is their shareable queso. While the burgers are undeniably solid, the real hidden gems are their flavorful burritos. Take a look at their menu, but keep in mind that they don't take reservations. Click their website here.

The Thicket Austin

The Thicket has earned its place on my list as the ultimate food truck park in Austin. Boasting a diverse range of food options, it's the perfect destination to gather a group of friends and embark on a culinary adventure. With numerous food trucks representing various cuisines, there's something to satisfy every palate. While all the food trucks deliver exceptional fare, I have a special affinity for Song la, Un Mundo De Sabor, Arti Pasta, and Brooklyn Breakfast Shop – they have become my personal favorites. Whether you're seeking a savory delight or a breakfast indulgence, The Thicket is the go-to spot for an unforgettable food truck experience. Click their website here.

Webberville Food truck Park

If you're visiting Austin, you absolutely must visit this food park that is home to multiple food trucks. It's a must-visit culinary destination. One standout is Desnudo Coffee, offering the best coffee in town that will satisfy any coffee lover's cravings. Another must-try is Kerlaches, serving the most amazing kolaches that are sure to delight. Additionally, since this food park is owned by Veracruz, you can also likely order their signature tacos here, adding another layer of deliciousness to your visit. With its diverse offerings and renowned food trucks, this food park is a must-explore for a memorable culinary experience.

1618 Asian Fusion

I have a special love for 1618! This place is ideal for gathering with large groups, offering fantastic drinks and delightful food. I highly recommend visiting with friends and trying their standout dishes such as the whole red snapper, the duck curry, the tom kha fried rice, and the soup dumplings – each one bursting with incredible flavors. To add a touch of spectacle, make sure not to miss their flambeverest cheesecake, which they artfully set on fire right at your table. Don't forget, you can conveniently make reservations via Yelp to secure your spot at this wonderful establishment. you can find their menu here.

Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

Better Half is the perfect place to relax and enjoy time with friends. With a spacious outdoor area and a solid food menu, it's an ideal hangout spot. Their burger has gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the best in town, and they also offer a selection of cocktails, wine, and beer to complement your meal. Additionally, I highly recommend trying their mouthwatering chicken sandwich for a flavorful and satisfying experience. Head to Better Half for a great time and delicious eats! You can find their menu by clicking here.


Loro is an excellent choice for large groups, offering ample outdoor seating and a welcoming atmosphere for families with kids. This fantastic spot combines the flavors of BBQ and Asian cuisine, resulting in a delightful fusion of eats. Don't miss out on their tasty corn fritters, which are sure to please your palate. Additionally, keep an eye out for their seasonal specials, adding a touch of excitement and variety to their already impressive menu. Whether you're dining with friends or family, Loro is the perfect destination for a memorable culinary experience Here is the menu.

Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden

Cosmic has specialty-brewed coffee, beer, and live music. Oh, and they're dog-friendly so feel free to bring your dogs! Click here for the menu. Parking is a madhouse on weekends, but they have tons of outdoor seating and food options. It's also home to the really popular BBQ spot, Leroy and Lewis.

Sign Bar

While not primarily known for its food, this spot serves as a nostalgic collection and memorial for old Austin, allowing visitors to browse through signs from classic establishments and those that have sadly closed over the years. While they currently offer food trucks, they have plans to expand and introduce additional food options. Click their website here.