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Austin's 17 Favorite Greasy Spoons, Mapped

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To kick off Greasy Spoons Week 2013, Eater Austin is proud to present a map of the city's finest greasy spoons: restaurants, often open late night or very early, that offer cheap, hearty meals at affordable prices. Diners? Of course. Noodle houses? Absolutely. Late-night Mexican bakeries? Perfectly acceptable.

From the classic Night Hawk Frisco Shop to the Pho Danh noodle house to soul food excellence at the East 12th Kafe, find seventeen of Austin's best greasy spoons, compiled from reader suggestions and staff favorites.

Spot an egregious omission? Let us know what we've forgotten by e-mailing us down the tipline.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Night Hawk Frisco Shop

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6801 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 459-6279
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The scene: the last bastion of Austin's Night Hawk diner chain of the mid-20th century, the Frisco is a snapshot in timelessness. Most regulars eat at the counter (the easier to select your signature Frisco dessert), while everyone else is accommodated by the Frisco's unfailingly pleasant waitstaff in the hangover-friendly dim dining room. What to order: "decorated eggs," with Night Hawk chili and pinto beans, along with a $2 Bloody Mary, because why not?

2. Star Seeds Cafe

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3101 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 478-7107
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The scene: this is a 24-hour diner that most out-of-towners haven't yet discovered, so take your passel of adorable children with last name first names elsewhere (to Kerbey Lane). Star Seeds is attached to a sketchy Days Inn and caters to the kind of folks who don't wait until the weekend to cut loose. What to order: the A-Baum, an unapologetic pile of English muffins, queso, sausage and scrambled eggs.

3. The Omelettry

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2203 Post Rd
Austin, TX
The scene: good-natured silliness (check out the ridiculous mural, like really stand there and contemplate it), combined with old-fashioned service and gargantuan breakfast plates have made the Omelettry an Austin icon. What to order: Oh, come on. It's in the name.

4. Magnolia Cafe

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2304 Lake Austin Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 478-8645
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The scene: everybody knows the Magnolia Cafe, and with good reason. Both the Lake Austin and the South Congress locations serve high-quality diner food 24 hours a day, but expect a wait during peak dining hours. What to order: the Magnolia omelette, drizzled with lemon sour cream sauce.

5. Kerbey Lane Cafe

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13435 N Highway 183
Austin, TX 78750
(512) 258-7757
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The scene: finding Austinite who hasn't dined at one of Kerbey Lane's five locations is as rare as spotting the University of Texas' storied albino squirrel—especially now that the little guy's reportedly moved on to the great campus in the sky. The original central location's great for dining with a friend, but head northwest, to campus or down south if you've got a large party and plenty of time to wait on a table at breakfast or brunch. What to order: the Kerbey queso is legendary, but if you catch the tomato pie on their seasonal menu, don't pass it up.

6. 620 Café & Bakery

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910 Round Rock Ave
Round Rock, TX 78681
(512) 244-1009
The scene: it's a bakery, it's a diner, it's where Round Rock goes for a skillet breakfast. As in, all of Round Rock: the 620 clientele is as diverse as its menu, which stretches from Mexican plates to po' boys to carrot cake. What to order: has anyone on earth ever been able to say no to chicken fried bacon? Don't be the first.

7. East 12th Kafe

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4140 E 12th St
Austin, TX 78721
(512) 926-4140
The scene: find killer soul food at this little family-owned spot at 12th and Springdale comes courtesy of one of the friendliest staffs in town. What to order: the thoughtful, fresh menu would stand out anywhere, but it's particularly striking in a part of East Austin dominated by fast food joints. Get the catfish.

8. La Mexicana Bakery

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1924 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 443-6369
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The scene: this all-night panaderia and Mexican spot is a rite of boozy passage for anyone doing a little (or a lot of) drinking in South Austin. What to order: Enchiladas rojas.

9. Jim's Restaurant

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9091 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 837-1119
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The scene: Jim's feels like a postcard from a mid-century road trip, and while the food isn't going to blow anyone's hair back, it's a great family spot. What to order: keep it simple with a breakfast sandwich.

10. Pho Danh House of Noodle

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11220 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753
(512) 837-7800
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The scene: decor-wise, Pho Danh is somewhere between strip mall nail salon and Vegas buffet, but that's all part of the charm at this stellar Vietnamese spot on North Lamar. What to order: pho, of course ... served lighting fast.

11. Stallion Grill

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5201 Airport Blvd Austin, TX 78751
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 380-9433
The scene: this is classic blue-collar dining. The Stallion's the kind of place where the outside marquee regularly advertises a "PORN CHOP" and no one seems to mind one bit. What to order: the beef tips over rice.

12. Hill's Cafe

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4700 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 851-9300
The scene: Hill's has recently undergone a reinvention, hoping to stick around South Austin for another sixty or so years. The crowd's half folks who grew up eating at the place, and half folks who've heard great things about the epic Hill's burger. What to order: the aforementioned Hill's burger is always a fine choice, but take a friend so you can order the skillet enchiladas, too.

13. Thanh Nhi

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9200 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753
(512) 834-1736
The scene: a fluorescent-lit hole in the wall where the lack of decor's a good thing—these folks are putting all their effort into the food, with spring rolls you'll want to write home about. What to order: don't leave without those spring rolls, but you'll want to get two hands around the Thanh Nhi banh mi, too.

14. Dart Bowl

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5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 452-2518
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The scene: this a diner-slash-bar in the corner of the Dart Bowl alley that's as likely to be filled with grey-hairs arguing over the Statesman's sports coverage as teenagers making eyes over diet Coke refills. What to order: Dart Bowl enchiladas, in a skillet ... and put an egg on it.

15. Cisco's Restaurant & Bakery€Ž

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1511 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 478-2420
The scene: this east side cafe has grown ever more popular over the years as East Sixth drinkers take blurry note of its location after a night at Shangri-La or Violet Crown, returning in the morning for a restorative plate of hangover-curing goodness. What to order: migas and coffee.

16. Austin Diner

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5222 Burnet Rd, Ste 550
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 467-9552
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The scene: the Austin Diner may have moved from its original funky Burnet Road location, but the spoon is as greasy as ever in this updated space with a throwback feel. What to order: a classic home-style breakfast plate.

17. EZ's Restaurant

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3918 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 302-1800
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The scene: families love the not-for-the-faint-of-eardrum EZ's for their kid-friendly menu and bright, 50's-gone-wild decor. What to order: skip the pizza and burgers and go for the rosemary chicken.

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1. Night Hawk Frisco Shop

6801 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
The scene: the last bastion of Austin's Night Hawk diner chain of the mid-20th century, the Frisco is a snapshot in timelessness. Most regulars eat at the counter (the easier to select your signature Frisco dessert), while everyone else is accommodated by the Frisco's unfailingly pleasant waitstaff in the hangover-friendly dim dining room. What to order: "decorated eggs," with Night Hawk chili and pinto beans, along with a $2 Bloody Mary, because why not?
6801 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757

2. Star Seeds Cafe

3101 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78722
The scene: this is a 24-hour diner that most out-of-towners haven't yet discovered, so take your passel of adorable children with last name first names elsewhere (to Kerbey Lane). Star Seeds is attached to a sketchy Days Inn and caters to the kind of folks who don't wait until the weekend to cut loose. What to order: the A-Baum, an unapologetic pile of English muffins, queso, sausage and scrambled eggs.
3101 Interstate 35 Frontage Rd
Austin, TX 78722

3. The Omelettry

2203 Post Rd, Austin, TX
The scene: good-natured silliness (check out the ridiculous mural, like really stand there and contemplate it), combined with old-fashioned service and gargantuan breakfast plates have made the Omelettry an Austin icon. What to order: Oh, come on. It's in the name.
2203 Post Rd
Austin, TX

4. Magnolia Cafe

2304 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
The scene: everybody knows the Magnolia Cafe, and with good reason. Both the Lake Austin and the South Congress locations serve high-quality diner food 24 hours a day, but expect a wait during peak dining hours. What to order: the Magnolia omelette, drizzled with lemon sour cream sauce.
2304 Lake Austin Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

5. Kerbey Lane Cafe

13435 N Highway 183, Austin, TX 78750
The scene: finding Austinite who hasn't dined at one of Kerbey Lane's five locations is as rare as spotting the University of Texas' storied albino squirrel—especially now that the little guy's reportedly moved on to the great campus in the sky. The original central location's great for dining with a friend, but head northwest, to campus or down south if you've got a large party and plenty of time to wait on a table at breakfast or brunch. What to order: the Kerbey queso is legendary, but if you catch the tomato pie on their seasonal menu, don't pass it up.
13435 N Highway 183
Austin, TX 78750

6. 620 Café & Bakery

910 Round Rock Ave, Round Rock, TX 78681
The scene: it's a bakery, it's a diner, it's where Round Rock goes for a skillet breakfast. As in, all of Round Rock: the 620 clientele is as diverse as its menu, which stretches from Mexican plates to po' boys to carrot cake. What to order: has anyone on earth ever been able to say no to chicken fried bacon? Don't be the first.
910 Round Rock Ave
Round Rock, TX 78681

7. East 12th Kafe

4140 E 12th St, Austin, TX 78721
The scene: find killer soul food at this little family-owned spot at 12th and Springdale comes courtesy of one of the friendliest staffs in town. What to order: the thoughtful, fresh menu would stand out anywhere, but it's particularly striking in a part of East Austin dominated by fast food joints. Get the catfish.
4140 E 12th St
Austin, TX 78721

8. La Mexicana Bakery

1924 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
The scene: this all-night panaderia and Mexican spot is a rite of boozy passage for anyone doing a little (or a lot of) drinking in South Austin. What to order: Enchiladas rojas.
1924 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704

9. Jim's Restaurant

9091 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
The scene: Jim's feels like a postcard from a mid-century road trip, and while the food isn't going to blow anyone's hair back, it's a great family spot. What to order: keep it simple with a breakfast sandwich.
9091 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78758

10. Pho Danh House of Noodle

11220 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753
The scene: decor-wise, Pho Danh is somewhere between strip mall nail salon and Vegas buffet, but that's all part of the charm at this stellar Vietnamese spot on North Lamar. What to order: pho, of course ... served lighting fast.
11220 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753

11. Stallion Grill

5201 Airport Blvd Austin, TX 78751, Austin, TX 78751
The scene: this is classic blue-collar dining. The Stallion's the kind of place where the outside marquee regularly advertises a "PORN CHOP" and no one seems to mind one bit. What to order: the beef tips over rice.
5201 Airport Blvd Austin, TX 78751
Austin, TX 78751

12. Hill's Cafe

4700 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78745
The scene: Hill's has recently undergone a reinvention, hoping to stick around South Austin for another sixty or so years. The crowd's half folks who grew up eating at the place, and half folks who've heard great things about the epic Hill's burger. What to order: the aforementioned Hill's burger is always a fine choice, but take a friend so you can order the skillet enchiladas, too.
4700 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78745

13. Thanh Nhi

9200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753
The scene: a fluorescent-lit hole in the wall where the lack of decor's a good thing—these folks are putting all their effort into the food, with spring rolls you'll want to write home about. What to order: don't leave without those spring rolls, but you'll want to get two hands around the Thanh Nhi banh mi, too.
9200 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753

14. Dart Bowl

5700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756
The scene: this a diner-slash-bar in the corner of the Dart Bowl alley that's as likely to be filled with grey-hairs arguing over the Statesman's sports coverage as teenagers making eyes over diet Coke refills. What to order: Dart Bowl enchiladas, in a skillet ... and put an egg on it.
5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756

15. Cisco's Restaurant & Bakery€Ž

1511 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
The scene: this east side cafe has grown ever more popular over the years as East Sixth drinkers take blurry note of its location after a night at Shangri-La or Violet Crown, returning in the morning for a restorative plate of hangover-curing goodness. What to order: migas and coffee.
1511 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702

Related Maps

16. Austin Diner

5222 Burnet Rd, Ste 550, Austin, TX 78756
The scene: the Austin Diner may have moved from its original funky Burnet Road location, but the spoon is as greasy as ever in this updated space with a throwback feel. What to order: a classic home-style breakfast plate.
5222 Burnet Rd, Ste 550
Austin, TX 78756

17. EZ's Restaurant

3918 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
The scene: families love the not-for-the-faint-of-eardrum EZ's for their kid-friendly menu and bright, 50's-gone-wild decor. What to order: skip the pizza and burgers and go for the rosemary chicken.
3918 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756

Related Maps