clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Restaurant Experts Pick Austin’s Best Dining Neighborhoods of 2015

North, south, east, west?

Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Since the end of 2015 is near, Eater asked a group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past year. The annual survey spans eight questions from dining surprises, best dining neighborhoods, to restaurant grievances. All answers will be revealed as the week rolls on—cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Readers, add your answers in the comments below. Fourth up:

What was the best dining neighborhood in 2015?

Anastacia Uriegas, contributor of Thrillist
The east side, obviously.

Brandon Watson, food editor of Austin Chronicle
It's still the East. Salt & Time's burgers, Kyōten's mackerel, Buenos Aires' empanadas, Juniper's puffy potatoes, Gardner and Qui's everything. I don't do much drinking on the east side anymore (with the exception of Whisler's), but for dinner my Lyft is almost always heading across the highway.

Dan Gentile, staff writer at Thrillist
South Lamar.

Jane Ko, editor of A Taste of Koko
East Austin—new pizza joints, sushi bar, and dessert shops. East Austin has everything!

Jolène M. Bouchon, critic for Austin Monthly
What probably no one else but me refers to as "The Lower East Side": Launderette, Monger's, Juniper, Fukumoto... It goes on.

Kathy Blackwell, editor in chief of Austin Way
South Lamar.

Katie Friel, editor of Tribeza
South Lamar. You have everything you could possibly want within a few blocks plus an Alamo Drafthouse. That being said, the way things are going, I'm sure my answer next year will be East Cesar Chavez.

Melanie Haupt, freelancer writer and contributor of Eater Austin
Airport or East 6th.

Melody Fury, freelance food writer, blogger at Gourmet Fury, and contributor of Eater Austin
Downtown, including Rainey Street (to my pleasant surprise).

Patricia Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
It’s still the east side (from Cesar Chavez to East 7th).

Sofia Sokolove, assistant editor of Tribeza and contributor of Eater Austin
South Austin can satisfy any craving in a pretty small radius, especially now with Veracruz Tacos and Shake Shack in the 'hood.

Tom Thornton, food and drinks editor of CultureMap Austin
East 6th/7th, South Lamar. (Sidebar: Still can't believe so many are ignoring far South and SW Austin. It's a goldmine of opportunity—look at Jack Allen's.)

Veronica Meewes, editor of Zagat Austin
Downtown/central Austin really exploded with restaurants this year: Italic, Lonesome Dove, Fixe, Wu Chow, Geraldine's, Emmer & Rye, Counter 3.Five.VII, Cooper's Barbecue—and just east of I-35, we gained Spartan Pizza, Spun Ice Cream, Launderette, Juniper, Fukumoto, Counter Cafe, Mongers, Paperboy and more. Similarly, we've gained more great cocktails bars (like The Townsend and The Roosevelt Room) in a region once rife with dollar shots and "you-call-'em" specials. In my ten years in Austin, downtown has become more and more of a culinary destination and I think we can only look forward to seeing it further develop.

Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
South Lamar is getting better: Shake Shack, In-N-Out Burger, Vox Table, Ramen Tatsu-ya, Odd Duck, Uchi, East Side King, and more. And next year will bring even more options, including cocktail bar Backbeat, which is something the stretch really needs. Downtown Austin is really booming too, with The Townsend, Roosevelt Room, Wu Chow, Fixe, Counter 3.Five.VII, and more.

Spartan Pizza

1007 E 6th Street , Austin, TX 78702 512 484 0798 Visit Website

Odd Duck

939 South 2nd Street, , WI 53204 (414) 763-5881 Visit Website


1914 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78762 Visit Website

Salt & Time

1912 East 7th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 524-1383 Visit Website

Vox Table [Closed]

1100 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78704 (512) 375-4869 Visit Website

In-N-Out Burger

3701 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78704 (800) 786-1000 Visit Website

Buenos Aires Cafe

1201 East 6th Street, Austin, TX 78702

Ramen Tatsu-ya [Research Boulevard]

8557 Research Blvd, #126, Austin, TX 78758 (512) 834-8810 Visit Website

Wu Chow

500 West 5th Street, , TX 78701 (512) 476-2469 Visit Website


4119 Guadalupe Street, , TX 78751 (512) 215-8972 Visit Website

Kyoten [Closed]

1211 East 6th., Austin, TX 78702 (512) 888-7559 Visit Website

Shake Shack [Austin]

1100 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78704 Visit Website

The Roosevelt Room

307 West 5th Street, , TX 78701 (512) 494-4094 Visit Website

Veracruz All Natural [Manchaca Road]

4204 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Counter Cafe

603 West 29th Street, , TX 78705 (512) 383-5451 Visit Website


2115 Holly Street, , TX 78702 (512) 382-1599 Visit Website

Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

419 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 271-2474


8490 Sunset Boulevard, , CA 90069 (424) 281-1890 Visit Website

Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

217 Congress Avenue, , TX 78701 (512) 474-4227 Visit Website

Uchi [Austin]

801 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78704 Visit Website

Qui [Closed]

1600 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (512) 436-9626 Visit Website

The Townsend [CLOSED]

718 Congress Ave Ste 100, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 887-8778

Emmer & Rye

51 Rainey Street, , TX 78701 (512) 366-5530 Visit Website


1816 East 6th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 480-0781 Visit Website


123 West 6th Street, , TX 78701 (512) 660-5390 Visit Website


315 Congress Ave Ste 100, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 291-3327

East Side King

2310 South Lamar Boulevard, , TX 78704 (512) 383-8382 Visit Website


514 Medina Street, , TX 78702 (512) 770-6880 Visit Website


605 Davis Street, , TX 78701 (512) 476-4755 Visit Website

SPUN Ice Cream

1912 East 7th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 524-1768 Visit Website