Austin's restaurant scene boasts a number of certified stars, from Franklin Barbecue to Uchi. Meanwhile, beloved neighborhood haunts, remarkably delicious hidden gems, and other worthy dining destinations don't get the love they deserve. Here's Eater readers' updated guide to Austin's most underrated restaurants. See a favorite missing? Hit the comments or the tipline.Read More
Austin's 18 Most Underrated Restaurants, 2015
Break out of the hype rut.
1. Fabi + Rosi
This romantic little west side European restaurant consistently tops readers' recommendations for hidden gems. It's a collaborative effort between German-born chef Wolfgang Murber and his Austinite wife, Cassie.
Austin, TX 78705
Freedmen's is a more upscale take on the usual beers-and-brisket scene dominating Austin barbecue. Pitmaster Evan LeRoy is turning out quality meats along with smoked sides and even desserts at this West Campus joint, housed in a historic 19th century building.
3. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew
More barbecue? Yes please: Stiles Switch pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick doesn't yet have the immediate name recognition of a Franklin or a Mueller, but for those of us who don't have a couple hours to spend in line this summer, Stiles Switch is the destination of choice for barbecue, local beer and blessed indoor seating.
4. Andiamo Ristorante Italiano
Andiamo's the kind of neighborhood Italian restaurant that's as perfect for those milestone celebrations as it is a weeknight respite from the kitchen. The owner often consults with her mother in Italy when creating new recipes.
5. El Mesón
El Meson stands out in a city veritably teeming with Mexican options. Grab a breakfast taco from the Burleson Road location, or sit and stay awhile on South Lamar ... and don't skimp on eating all the salsa.
6. Texas French Bread
Texas French Bread is so much more than French bread: it's a fantastic sandwich stop at lunch, but dinner is where they shine. The restaurant has recently added a killer new patio, too.
7. Enoteca Vespaio
Austin, TX 78704
Many diners don't consider Italian food one of Austin's strong suits, but Enoteca Vespaio turns out top-notch pastas and classic Italian dishes on South Congress.
North Loop neighborhood bar Drink.Well focuses on American-made beer, wine and spirits, and their small but mighty menu compliments their crafty drinks perfectly.
Bartlett's gives classic American food—burgers, sandwiches, grilled fish and the like—the attention it deserves in an upscale but casual setting that's great for dinner with the family.
10. Little Deli & Pizzeria
Little Deli lives up to its name in terms of physical size, but their New York-style pizza's a big deal, and the subs are not to be trifled with, either. (Vegetarians: turn your attention to the roasted eggplant.) Sit outside for a taste of the old-school Austin vibe in this tucked-away neighborhood spot.
11. Cafe Malta
Austin, TX 78745
This South Austin Tex-Med restaurant has the feel of a European bistro, but the friendliness of a Texas diner.
12. Snack Bar
Austin, TX 78704
This South Congress diner is the ideal respite from an afternoon of shopping at the strip's vintage stores, and a brunch hotspot if you're hungry for some people-watching.
13. Tomodachi Sushi
This far north sushi restaurant has been turning out crowd-pleasing sushi both traditional and fusion for almost a decade. The friendly service in the small restaurant is a major plus.
From the outside it looks like a wine and cheese bar, but Henri's serves lunch, dinner, and brunch, plus a menu of afternoon snacks. The warm, inviting space is perfect for a casual meal with a great glass (or bottle) of wine. The space is temporarily shuttered because of a fire. [Photo: Henri's/Facebook
15. Billy's On Burnet
With all the change going down on the Burnet Road corridor, now is the prefect time to revisit Billy's. 30 taps of craft beer, burgers, and a serious vegetarian menu makes them an Austin classic. [Photo: Craft Austin]
Austin is awash in small plates, but few of them are actually traditional tapas. Barlata offers Spanish-style tapas and several paelas in a buzzy atmosphere.
17. Evangeline Cafe
This charming Cajun restaurant in South Austin is a hub of "truly legit" Cajun food according to one reader. They also offer lots of great live music. [Photo: Paul D./Yelp
18. Cafe Java
A certified crowd-pleaser in way north Austin, Cafe Java serves salads, sandwiches, and big heaps of pancakes to an appreciative neighborhood.