- Fonda San Miguel's dining room, decorated with a rotating selection of authentic Mexican art curated by owner Tom Gilliland, is lively and inviting, lending a certain old-world gravitas to every meal.
- With architecture by Michael Hsu and decor from Joel Mozersky, Uchiko is an uberchild when it comes to Austin restaurant form and fabulousness, with diners moving seamlessly from the cozy outdoor patio to the welcoming bar to the warm dining room.
- Contigo is designed to embody the open-air, down-home friendliness of owner Ben Edgerton's family's Contigo Ranch in South Texas. The Contigo ethos is simple: "We like to sit outside. We like to drink beer... and margaritas," and there's no better way to
- Another achievement in Austin architecture from Michael Hsu, the Phil's Ice House/Amy's Ice Cream compound on Burnet Road was built to last through season after season of raucous Austin kids and their attendant parents, who have plenty of room to relax in
- The tiny Lenoir dining room seats just about thirty people, but it's got style enough for thousands. Austin's McCray & Co. has outfitted the room with glittering light installations and a white-washed aesthetic, opening up the room for maximum comfort.
- Austin designer and metalworker Mickie Spencer's eye for vintage aesthetics is nigh unparalleled in the city. She turned a former quinceanera shop into the East Side Showroom, a cozy 40's-meets-20's speakeasy-style upscale dive.
- The multi-tiered patio at the Spider House is probably the campus area's busiest patio, but it's not just for students. On nice days, Austinites from all walks of life gather to drink cold beers and hot coffee amid an eclectic mish-mash of tables and chai
- Swift's Attic embraces both its name and its locale via its decor: the approach is a carpeted staircase, and once diners arrive in the dining room, they'll certainly feel as if they've wandered into the world's most quaint place to drink classy cocktails
- The airy Olivia on South First is another Michael Hsu gig, featuring a Douglas Fir ceiling, open kitchen and modern-inspired corner window.
- Hillside Farmacy is another Mickie Spencer achievement--cute without being precious, Hillside honors its history as an actual Austin pharmacy while embracing the future of the space as an east side eatery. Teal accents, quirky wallpaper and cafe-style sea
- La Condesa is another gorgeous collaboration between Michael Hsu, architect, and Joel Mozersky, interior designer. A bare-bulb chandelier drapes down across the room, hanging from a sky-high ceiling; light pours in from surrounding windows, illuminating t
- Mann & Mann architects designed Jack Allen's Kitchen, creating a modern casual feel that's a little bit country, and a little bit city. Built to suit the huge variety of Jack Allen's Kitchen customers--everyone from families out to celebrate grandma's bir
- Another Mann & Mann architects project, the key to Barley Swine's dining room is the communal seating, which turns a small space into diners' own private dinner party with their favorite strangers.
- Austin's the kind of city where a bunch of picnic tables certainly does a dining room make, that is, when there's a village of food trucks to surround. The South Congress trailer park is perhaps Austin's best-known spot for trailer dining, with vibrant ta
As the Austin dining scene grows, local diners have become ever more worldly when it comes to their expanding palates, but so have they come to appreciate the talents of local interior designers and architects who've created spaces that are as lovely as the food is delicious.
We've already mapped out Austin's most iconic dishes and most iconic drinks, so today we're having a look inside some of Austin's most iconic dining rooms, from the veritable Mexican art museum inside decades-old Fonda San Miguel to airy new spaces like La Condesa and dining rooms that aren't walled at all, but clusters of picnic tables centered around Austin's finest food trucks.
[Photos: Fonda San Miguel/Facebook / Contigo/Official / La Condesa/Olivia/Amy's/Uchiko/Michael Hsu Office of Architecture / Lenoir/McCray & Co. / East Side Showroom/Facebook / Spider House/Hillside Farmacy/Jack Allen's Kitchen/Raymond Thompson/EATX / Swift's Attic/Patrick Michels/EATX / Barley Swine/Mann & Mann / SoCo Trailer Park/Madding Crowd]