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Experts Agree: East Austin Is Still Austin’s Best Dining Neighborhood

Austin’s top dining experts also found gems downtown and outside of city limits

Justine’s Brasserie
Justine’s Brasserie
Justine’s Brasserie/Facebook
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

As is the tradition as we near the end of 2019, Eater asked a trusted group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past culinary year in Austin. The annual survey spans eight questions, from dining surprises to best food neighborhoods and disappointing meals. All answers will be revealed as the week rolls on — cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Question number four:

What was the best dining neighborhood of 2019?

Jolène M. Bouchon, critic at Austin Monthly
Happily, there wasn’t one. Sure, the east side is still happening, but I was happy to see new spots popping up in lots of other areas of town — including outside of Austin proper.

Pat Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
It’s still the East Sixth Street corridor, which includes a couple of blocks on either side. But things are moving north, toward Twelfth.

Robert Jacob Lerma, photographer for Eater Austin and others

Jane Ko, blogger, A Taste of Koko
East Austin — 15 new restaurants opened in Austin and it’s a diverse mix!

Raphael Brion, former Eater editor and Texas Editor of The Infatuation
Like grackles drawn to H-E-B parking lots, I was powerless and constantly found myself on the East Side (mainly for the tacos).

Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
As a Northwest Austinite, I am acutely aware of how often I travel east for a night out. However, I will say that the once-meh downtown scene is gaining some solid dinner options with Hestia, Kalimotxo, and Comedor.

Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
Downtown is still growing strong with more and more options (Comedor, Austin Proper options, Hestia). Next year, I’m going to be fully obsessed with the Highland neighborhood, especially all of the forthcoming restaurants set for the Crescent strip, like Sazan Ramen and Steamies.