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A two-level tray of ice with chilled seafood.
A seafood tower at Simar.
Simar Seafood.

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Where to Find Refreshingly Cool Dishes in Austin

Ceviches and crudos and sashimi galore.

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.

It’s a fact that doesn’t need to be said: Texas summers are hot. To help Austinites cool off, Eater put together this guide highlighting the best refreshingly cooking dishes throughout the city. From ceviches to cold noodles to seafood towers to tartare, here’s where to find excellent cold dishes at Austin’s best restaurants and food trucks, listed in alphabetical order by dish name.


Mexican seafood truck El Marisquero is all about chilled dishes, including stellar aguachiles — the Mexican raw marinated shrimp dish — with either a red (spicer) or green (comparatively milder) sauce. And then, for a physical restaurant, among coastal Mexican seafood spot Simar Seafood Cocina’s menu are three aguachiles. One is a red-sauced traditional, another is made with spicy jalapenos and serranos, and the other is made with scallops and a black sauce. (Marisquero: 31 North I-35, East Cesar Chavez; Simar: 9503 Research Boulevard, Unit 400, Gateway, takeout orders can be placed online)


The Peruvian dish of citrusy marinated raw fish is delightful in these hot times. Therefore, a Peruvian spot is Austin’s best bet. Food truck Ceviche7’s ceviche de pescado is made with mahi mahi fish mixed with bits of corn both steamed and crispy, bell peppers, and onions paired with lettuce and boiled sweet potatoes. Then there’s the Peruvian restaurant Lima Criolla with a wider ceviche menu spanning ceviche mixto with a bunch of fish and seafood to the tiradito, a Japanese-Peruvian take made with tilapia and corn. (Ceviche7: 502 West 30th Street, North Campus; Lima: 6406 North I-35 Frontage Road, Suite 1550, the Linc, takeout orders can be placed online)

A bowl of diced pink fish in broth with a corn on the cob.
Ceviche from Lima Criolla.
Lima Criolla

Cheese Boards

Cheese is fantastic and importantly not hot, and Spread & Co. does the dairy product proud with its various cheese boards. For these purposes, forgo the charcuterie and just load up on all sorts of cheeses such as chevres, pave du nords, blues, and more, plus condiments, nuts, fruit, almonds, and crostini. (1601 West 38th Street, near Oakmont Heights and Rosedale; takeout orders can be placed online)

Chilled Soups

Of course, soup slingers Soup Peddler often has cold soups on the menu, such as the Green Detox jammed with all sorts of green veggies or gazpacho. (multiple locations, takeout orders can be placed online)


The Mexican shrimp cocktail — where the cooked crustacean is doused in tomato sauce and vegetables — is another nice way of cooling off. There’s a nice array at seafood truck Ceviche Love, including the classic camaron as well as versions made with octopus, a mix of kinds of seafood, as well as variations on size. (9110 Farm to Market Road 812, Pilot Knob)

Cold Meats

Naturally, butcher shop/restaurant Dai Due prepares an excellent and oft-changing cold meats board, featuring potential items like chicken liver mousse dressed with pickled blueberries, wild boar summer sausage, plus bread and condiments. (2406 Manor Road, Cherrywood, takeout orders can be placed online)

A white plate with beige trim full of noodles and shredded chicken and greens.
The cold sesame noodle dish at Noodle Alley.
Noodle Alley

Cold Noodles

There is something soothing about slurping down chilled noodles. Premier noodle mini-chain Xian Sushi and Noodle offers lovely cold sesame noodles paired with steamed chicken and a bunch of vegetables including cucumbers. Pan-Asian restaurant Noodle Alley offers a spicy take on cold sesame noodles mixed with chili oil and Sichuan peppercorns, plus cucumbers. The highly coveted liangpi (spicy cold skin noodles) at West Campus truck Chef Hong is perfect, but remember to place your order ahead of time as the dish is only available in very limited quantities. (Xian: multiple locations, takeout orders can be placed online; Noodle Alley: 1201 North Bell Boulevard, Suite 100, Cedar Park, takeout orders can be placed online; Chef Hong: 907 West 24th Street, West Campus)


For raw fish in the Italian and/or Spanish way, crudo is the answer, where the uncooked seafood is paired with various dressings and seasonings. Texas seafood restaurant Salt Traders Coastal Cooking offers a daily crudo with toppings and seasonings depending on the fish, so you know it’s fresh. (2850 North Interstate Highway 35, Round Rock & 1101 South Mopac Expressway, Zilker)


Martin Short’s character in Only Murders in the Building knows what he’s talking about: dips make for easy cold meals. For hummus, check out the bakery and deli Peace. For hummus and baba ganoush, scope out the Mediterranean food truck Abo Youssef. For labneh, hummus, AND baba ganoush, the Mediterranean restaurant Kismet Cafe is the destination. For sikil p’aak, a pumpkin seed dip, the Mexican restaurant Nixta Taqueria offers a nice one. (Peace: 11220 N Lamar Boulevard, North Austin; Abo Youssef: 2101 Manor Road, Cherrywood; Kismet Cafe: 1000 East 41st Street, Hancock, takeout orders can be placed online; Nixta: 2512 East 12th Street, Chestnut, takeout orders can be placed online)


For a perfect ice-cold oyster-and-martini combination, go to the Thompson Hotel restaurant Diner Bar, where, especially for happy hour, there’s a rotating selection of sweet and briny oysters plus a choose-your-own vodka or gin martinis (make it dirty). (Thompson Hotel, 501 Brazos Street, downtown)


The wonderful Hawaiian dish of cut-up marinated raw fish served with greens and/or rice and other seasonings fits the bill of this guide. For the best iteration in Austin, stop by Poke-Poke with spicy tuna poke, shiso salmon, yuzu hamachi, and more. (multiple locations, takeout orders can be placed online)


For the thinly sliced Japanese fish minus the rice, fine dining restaurant Uchi offers a nice array of various tuna, salmon, flounder, yellowtail, sea bream, and mackerel. For a more casual sashimi destination, go to Kome for a slightly wider range of options, including more tuna plus striped bass and octopus. (Uchi: 801 South Lamar Boulevard, Zilker, takeout orders can be placed online; Kome: 5301 Airport Boulevard, North Loop, takeout orders can be placed online)

Seafood Towers

There are few things more decadent and chilly than a seafood tower, and, luckily, there are two options over at seafood restaurant Shore Raw Bar & Grill. The smaller Bay Tower comes with oysters, ceviche, and chilled Gulf shrimp; the larger Shore Tower adds dressed Gulf oysters and crudo. (8665 Highway 71 West, Suite 100, Oak Hill, takeout orders can be placed online)

Shrimp Cocktails

The simple appetizer is a nice way to begin a meal. A great version can be found at the newer cocktail lounge/restaurant Holiday, made with Gulf shrimp and accompanied by a lemon slice and two slices. Round it out with one of the perfect cocktails, especially that frozen Mexican martini. (5020 East Seventh Street, Govalle)


One of the city’s best ground raw steak dishes can be found at wine restaurant Birdie’s, where the meat is studded with pecans and paired with a giant crispy carta di musica. Pair it with one of the colder wines on the list. (2944 East 12th Street, Chestnut)


The tomato-zucchini salad at the barbecue restaurant Interstellar BBQ is bright and zingy and refreshing. For something different, try the more interactive chilled artichoke at wine restaurant June’s, served with a dijon vinaigrette. (Interstellar BBQ: 12233 Ranch Road 620 North, far northwest Austin; June’s: 1722 South Congress Avenue, Bouldin Creek)

Kome [New Location]

5301 Airport Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78751 Visit Website


1722 South Congress Avenue, , TX 78704 (512) 416-1722 Visit Website

Peace Bakery and Deli

11220 North Lamar Boulevard, , TX 78753 (512) 386-1152 Visit Website

El Marisquero Seafood

31 N Interstate, , TX 78702 (737) 770-1067

Xian Sushi and Noodle

3906 Gattis School Road, , TX 78664 (512) 382-0193 Visit Website

Dai Due

2406 Manor Road, , TX 78722 (512) 524-0688 Visit Website

Kismet Cafe

1000 East 41st Street, , TX 78751 (512) 236-1811 Visit Website

Nixta Taqueria

2512 East 12th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 551-3855 Visit Website


502 West 30th Street, , TX 78705 (512) 679-1694 Visit Website


2944 East 12th Street, , TX 78702 Visit Website

Shore Raw Bar & Grill

8665 W State Highway 71, , TX 78735 (512) 618-6400 Visit Website

Poke Poke

3100 S Congress Ave, Austin, Texas Visit Website

Abo Youssef

2101 Manor Road, , TX 78722 (512) 815-6804

Lima Criolla

6406 North Interstate 35 Frontage Road, , TX 78752 (512) 323-5404 Visit Website

Simar Seafood Cocina

9503 Research Boulevard, Unit 400, Austin, Texas 78759 Visit Website


5020 East 7th Street, , TX 78702 Visit Website

Shore Raw Bar and Grill

8665 Highway 71 West, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78735 Visit Website

Uchi [Austin]

801 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78704 Visit Website

Interstellar BBQ

12233 Ranch Road 620 North, , TX 78750 (512) 382-6248 Visit Website


1601 West 38th Street, , TX 78731 (512) 814-2002 Visit Website

Noodle Alley

1201 North Bell Boulevard, , TX 78613 (512) 528-5127 Visit Website

Salt Traders Coastal Cooking

1101 South MoPac Expressway, , TX 78746 (737) 484-0095 Visit Website

Soup Peddler

2801 South Lamar Boulevard, , TX 78704 (512) 444-7687 Visit Website

Chef Hong

907 West 24th Street, , TX 78705 (678) 687-1167

The Diner Bar [Austin]

501 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Visit Website

ceviche love

9110 Farm to Market Road 812, , TX 78719 Visit Website
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