clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
A black plate of black rice and round seafood and green peas and yellow dollops.
Paella from El Raval.
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

The 21 Best Dishes Eater Austin Editors Ate in 2023, Mapped

The year’s favorite dishes, from pani puri to paella to chicken/rice/broth to the perfect chicken panino

View as Map
Paella from El Raval.
| Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

As editors of Eater Austin, people often ask us (aka Nadia Chaudhury and Erin Russell) where we’ve been eating in the city. We share these answers with our semi-regular series dubbed Something for the Weekend. And every year, we collect our absolute favorite bites and drinks of the year and put them into a handy map. The 2023 edition includes Indian street food from food truck Bombay Street Food in North Austin, Spanish tapas and paella from El Raval on South Lamar, perfect meals at Odd Duck, the rightfully hyped dishes of P. Thai Khao Man Gai, and much more.

Along those lines, elsewhere Eater Austin is looking back at 2023’s dining year, including best restaurant meals and saddest closures.

Read More
Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Bombay Street Food

Copy Link

Before seeing a movie up in far-from-us North Austin, we decided to grab food from the Indian chaat truck, and it was so good. We got the pani puri, which was wonderful crispy bursting round bites; the vada pav, which was so spicy without the thoughtful addition of fresh green chiles; and the ragda pattice, essentially a potato patty with chickpeas and sev drenched in chutneys in a soup-like format. Everything was rounded out by a steaming hot cup of chai. Everything was so wonderful and flavorful and I need to go back to try the rest of the wide menu. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are outdoor dine-in tables. —Nadia Chaudhury

Ramen del Barrio

Copy Link

I had the opportunity to check out Ramen Del Barrio during a preview test and, my god, it’s fantastic. My party ordered all three of the yaki-tacos, and the skewered meats were so tender and juicy, perfectly blanketed by the soft corn tortillas. I opted for the mole tsukemen, where the thick ramen noodles were served separately from the rich and spicy bowl of soupy mole with thick chunks of chicken karaage, and it is hands down one of the best things I’ve eaten this year and in a long time. The spice builds in a lovely way, the lime squeeze adds a nice bit of acid to the dish, and, even better, it worked wonderfully for leftovers the next day. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor dine-in areas —Nadia Chaudhury

P. Thai Khao Man Gai

Copy Link

The hype is real. P. Thai Khao Man Gai only makes one dish — fried or steamed chicken with rice and broth — but he does it perfectly. I got the combo with both fried and steamed chicken and even so soon after opening, chef Changthong has created an “all hits, no skips” version of the food. The chicken fat rice is complex and floral, the chicken is rich and tender (I prefer the crispy fried version, although this is probably because I’m from Texas), and the pale golden broth has new depth with every sip. Brilliant. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Choo Sando

Copy Link

Thanks to a nearby haircut, I was able to grab one of those really fantastic-looking sandwiches from Choo Sando. There were so many sandwiches to choose from, but I went with the tamago because egg salad sounded good for lunch. The sandwich — cut into three sections — is sturdier than it seems, with a really thick but also nicely light egg salad seasoned with pepper and anchored with a nicely hard-boiled egg. The bread was sweet and thick and pleasant. It’s honestly one of the best lunches I’ve had in a while. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Nadia Chaudhury

Bamboo House Austin

Copy Link

For a recent-ish friends dinner, we went to the popular Austin location of the also-popular Houston Chinese restaurant to partake in its famous Beijing duck. We ordered the half portion because it was just the three of us (full duck orders are only available for larger parties), among other dishes (spicy and crispy chicken, bok choy). The duck was fantastically prepared — cut into easy-to-manage portions with such tender meat and crispy-sweet skin. It comes with accouterments like very thin spring pancakes, sliced crunchy vegetables, sauces, and the such. There’s also the very rich giant bowl of duck broth soup which comes with bits of tofu and duck meat, which I wanted to sip like a drink because it was that good. We got there early, too — 5 p.m. — to make sure duck was still available, and soon after we were seated, the restaurant filled up fast. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Gelatoro

Copy Link

I fully admit I am an ice cream fiend but I have been mostly saved from gluttony by not having any shops within walking distance of my house. That has changed with Gelatoro, which makes lovely gelato, conveniently located just a block away from the swimming pool at Shipe Park. There are indulgent flavors like chocolate and honey almond but there are also bright fruit flavors like blackberry chip and, my favorite, kibana (kiwi and banana gelato — the kiwi’s sharpness is made mellow and creamy with the banana). Gelatoro also has coffee drinks so it’s very possible I will be posted there from morning through the afternoon. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. — Erin Russell

Bureau de Poste

Copy Link

Fall means French food for me personally, so I was very excited to check out the new restaurant from Jo Chan. My friend and I ordered a lot, and everything was great. My personal highlights included the pommes dauphine, which I adored. The somehow light and fluffy potato croquettes were topped with dollops of creme fraiche and trout roe. And then the duck leg cassoulet is just one of the warmest richest dishes I’ve had in a long time. The tarbais beans were hearty, the duck meat was tender, the venison sausage spicy, and the resulting broth was so luscious, I wanted more bread to sop it up. I do love that little complex, especially being able to buy a book at First Light beforehand, and browsing and buying random cheeses and canned coffees at Tiny Grocer after our dinner. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Soup Peddler

Copy Link

When there’s gross weather, I rely on one of my go-to comforting food spots; Soup Peddler. With smoothies, grilled cheese sandwiches, and soups under one roof, it has basically everything I need to stay warm and keep my immune system in tip-top shape for a pretty reasonable price. I usually go for the classic chicken soup with rice, although if you see the mulligatawny soup on the menu, grab it. There are multiple locations throughout Austin, pickup and delivery orders can be placed online; there are typically outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Vaquero Taquero

Copy Link

Vaquero Taquero has some of my favorite breakfast tacos in Austin, for one main reason: that cheese. The tacos are big and filling, both the flour and corn tortillas are well-made, and the melty, crispy costra de queso (griddled cheese) puts them on another level. These are a great way to recover after a night of one too many. There’s a second location in downtown Austin. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone, in person, or online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Goldy’s

Copy Link

Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of Cookie Rich, so I couldn’t wait to try the team’s savory food as well. Goldy’s is a great spot for lunch — Littlefield’s is surprisingly cool and pleasant, even in this ungodly weather. But more importantly, the food is great. I loved the chicken panino (I will love most sandwiches on focaccia) and the melon salad, but my absolute favorite item was the ham and cheese roll. Made in the style of a cinnamon roll but with savory ingredients, the soft roll is spiked with salty ham and cheese. I tried it after I’d already had a panino and still had to eat the whole thing. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Birdie's

Copy Link

I am a big fan of Birdie’s normally, but this is the first time I’ve tried their Italian-American pop-up, Aiello’s. First of all, four (filling!) courses for $65 is a pretty good deal for Austin these days, and from the second you walk into the transformed restaurant — complete with red-and-white checked tablecloths and vintage bottles of Chianti as vases — you’ll get the vibe. The main course of fusilli alla vodka is transcendent, with a sauce of creamy tomato, meaty umami from guanciale, and subtle spice. I honestly wish it came in a vat-sized to-go container. Then, you have the opportunity to end your meal with that perfect vanilla soft-serve — and what could be better? There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Erin Russell

Cosmic Saltillo

Copy Link

Looking for great coffee and/or tacos while surrounded by holiday decor? That’s what awaits you at Cosmic Saltillo right now. It’s a great spot to enjoy the gorgeous weather, have a latte (or a margarita), and grab some tacos, too. I loved the tender arrachera steak on great corn tortillas, and my frozen strawberry hibiscus agua fresca with a tajín rim had everyone at the table jealous. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Palm Pizza

Copy Link

As a big fan of Bufalina and a born-and-raised New Yorker, I was very, very, very excited to check out the restaurant’s new pizzeria. We ordered the namesake Palm, a simple red-sauce pie with stracciatella and mozzarella cheeses. It was a great, simple, and mega-flavorful pizza. All pies are topped with a mess of Parmesan, basil, Sicilian oregano, and extra virgin olive oil for a bit more oomph. And I’m normally not a crust fan, but I did enjoy their’s. The accompanying wine list is great too, focusing on American wines, but don’t miss out of Texas’s own Lightsome’s newest vintage, which is a sparkling mourvedre made with Texas grapes (!!!). Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Nadia Chaudhury

Soto South

Copy Link

It’s easy to forget that Soto has a location on South Lamar — especially when Uchi is nearby — but the Japanese restaurant is quite good and probably a good bet when you’re looking for a last-minute sushi trek. I went there for a solo lunch recently and ordered a bunch of nigiri under the recommendation of the very knowledgeable server and I wasn’t steered wrong. The kinki and the managatsuo — idiot rockfish and Japanese butterfish — were fantastic unexpected bites, and, I’m always a sucker for uni, especially when it’s from Hokkaido. It was the perfect albeit pricey lunch. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Odd Duck

Copy Link

Odd Duck has been around for over a decade and it is still turning out creative flavors not seen anywhere else (quite frankly, every time I visit, I think Bryce Gilmore has been robbed by the James Beard Foundation — seven times). Like, what else could you possibly want from a restaurant: the servers are knowledgable pros ready to accommodate any allergy, the restaurant is bright and welcoming, and virtually every dish is a home run. My favorites from a recent trip were broccoli with mole spice and apple gastrique (truly, I wish to meet the wizard who dreamed up that flavor combination) and a sunchoke cacio e pepe with carrot salsa macha. I also enjoyed watching each diner at the bar successively order the excellent cornbread, influenced by smell alone. Odd Duck is always worth your time. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Erin Russell

For a dinner out, we decided to check out the new Israeli restaurant under the Emmer & Rye umbrella. During this very, very, very hot heat, we ordered a bunch of vegetable and fruit-based dishes, which was the right call. The spring tomato comes with a delightful acidy mess of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes that are either plain, dried, or pickled, plus big chunks of urfa-spiced crotons and this nice refreshing fill vinaigrette. I wanted to drink up the resulting broth honestly. And then there were the smashed cucumbers, which came on top of this bed of fantastic smoky labne (which is really another one of those excellent hot weather foods) and this nice pickled mango sauce. It was exactly what I needed to eat this Texas summer. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

El Raval

Copy Link

We went to the former Barlata-now El Raval under new owner and chef Laila Bazahm, and it really was great. There’s an upbeat vibe to the menu and space. Of the dishes, the red snapper ceviche with leche de tigre and corn puffs was texturally fun and I could’ve drank up the juices; the setas al carbon with savory mushrooms mixed with a very runny cured egg yolk and sunchoke-miso hummus was great, especially when paired with the flaky paratha; and especially the paella with squid ink, a condiment made of ’nduja, and fantastic plops of uni for this salty touch. The accompanying cocktails were amazing too, especially the frothy Tangier Fizz with white chocolate, cream, and yogurt (!!!) with citrus and mint flavors. I want to explore the rest of the menu ASAP. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Underdog

Copy Link

After hearing Underdog co-owner Richard Hargreave talk up the ebi burger at his and Claudia Lee’s new restaurant, I knew I had to try it myself. The patty consists of shrimp chunks formed into a loose-yet-intact disc in between a really nice fluffy bun topped with black sesame seeds, and layered with a slaw. It’s a nice little dish where the shrimp flavor shines in a bright way, feeling like summer in food form. What made the burger even better was the glass of champagne I had, plus the really nice white. We also ordered the caviar set and I was particularly taken with the little pandan pancakes, which went great with the caviar and this pink peppercorn sauce. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. — Nadia Chaudhury

Kelly's Irish Pub

Copy Link

A friend and I wanted an easy hang and I know she had been to the South Austin Irish bar a bunch of times, so we decided to go there again. We headed straight to the back bar (her favorite spot), grabbed bar stools, and placed our orders. Again, because it was an Irish pub, I went for the fish and chips and pints of Smithwick’s Ales (sorry, Guinness is just too heavy for me). The food was classically prepared and just want I wanted. The large strips of fish had a crispy exterior and tender meat inside, the chips were hefty, thick steak-style fries. Plus it came with a little bowl of mushy peas which was delightful and I could’ve eaten a larger portion of. We were surrounded by solo diners and groups of people catching up, and the bartender was very pleasant. The meal itself was very carby, comforting, filling meal (perfect for someone who was about to travel a bunch), and I can’t wait to go back and try out the rest of the menu. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Casper Fermentables

Copy Link

I’ve already sung my praises for croissant sandwiches, so when I saw that this farmers market stand-turned-deli offered focaccia sandwiches, considered me intrigued. We ordered the spicy turkey sandwich and the kimchi tuna melt. The turkey one was actually really spicy in a good way; the kimchi in the tuna melt added a nice sourness. The bread itself was springy and worked well for sandwich purposes. We ended the meal with a delightful rugleach too. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Nadia Chaudhury

Taqueria Peloncitos

Copy Link

Everybody knows that the actual best tacos can be found at your nearest taco truck. After a lengthy trip home for most of July, I came back to Austin wanting tacos. So for dinner that day we ordered tacos from Taqueria Peloncitos, a little truck parked at the Chevron gas station. I have generally shared my deep love for barbacoa tacos, and the truck’s version is so tender and moist with a nice balance of fattiness and meats, brightened up with the excellent salsas. It was a nice welcome back. —Nadia Chaudhury

Bombay Street Food

Before seeing a movie up in far-from-us North Austin, we decided to grab food from the Indian chaat truck, and it was so good. We got the pani puri, which was wonderful crispy bursting round bites; the vada pav, which was so spicy without the thoughtful addition of fresh green chiles; and the ragda pattice, essentially a potato patty with chickpeas and sev drenched in chutneys in a soup-like format. Everything was rounded out by a steaming hot cup of chai. Everything was so wonderful and flavorful and I need to go back to try the rest of the wide menu. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are outdoor dine-in tables. —Nadia Chaudhury

Ramen del Barrio

I had the opportunity to check out Ramen Del Barrio during a preview test and, my god, it’s fantastic. My party ordered all three of the yaki-tacos, and the skewered meats were so tender and juicy, perfectly blanketed by the soft corn tortillas. I opted for the mole tsukemen, where the thick ramen noodles were served separately from the rich and spicy bowl of soupy mole with thick chunks of chicken karaage, and it is hands down one of the best things I’ve eaten this year and in a long time. The spice builds in a lovely way, the lime squeeze adds a nice bit of acid to the dish, and, even better, it worked wonderfully for leftovers the next day. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor dine-in areas —Nadia Chaudhury

P. Thai Khao Man Gai

The hype is real. P. Thai Khao Man Gai only makes one dish — fried or steamed chicken with rice and broth — but he does it perfectly. I got the combo with both fried and steamed chicken and even so soon after opening, chef Changthong has created an “all hits, no skips” version of the food. The chicken fat rice is complex and floral, the chicken is rich and tender (I prefer the crispy fried version, although this is probably because I’m from Texas), and the pale golden broth has new depth with every sip. Brilliant. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Choo Sando

Thanks to a nearby haircut, I was able to grab one of those really fantastic-looking sandwiches from Choo Sando. There were so many sandwiches to choose from, but I went with the tamago because egg salad sounded good for lunch. The sandwich — cut into three sections — is sturdier than it seems, with a really thick but also nicely light egg salad seasoned with pepper and anchored with a nicely hard-boiled egg. The bread was sweet and thick and pleasant. It’s honestly one of the best lunches I’ve had in a while. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Nadia Chaudhury

Bamboo House Austin

For a recent-ish friends dinner, we went to the popular Austin location of the also-popular Houston Chinese restaurant to partake in its famous Beijing duck. We ordered the half portion because it was just the three of us (full duck orders are only available for larger parties), among other dishes (spicy and crispy chicken, bok choy). The duck was fantastically prepared — cut into easy-to-manage portions with such tender meat and crispy-sweet skin. It comes with accouterments like very thin spring pancakes, sliced crunchy vegetables, sauces, and the such. There’s also the very rich giant bowl of duck broth soup which comes with bits of tofu and duck meat, which I wanted to sip like a drink because it was that good. We got there early, too — 5 p.m. — to make sure duck was still available, and soon after we were seated, the restaurant filled up fast. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Gelatoro

I fully admit I am an ice cream fiend but I have been mostly saved from gluttony by not having any shops within walking distance of my house. That has changed with Gelatoro, which makes lovely gelato, conveniently located just a block away from the swimming pool at Shipe Park. There are indulgent flavors like chocolate and honey almond but there are also bright fruit flavors like blackberry chip and, my favorite, kibana (kiwi and banana gelato — the kiwi’s sharpness is made mellow and creamy with the banana). Gelatoro also has coffee drinks so it’s very possible I will be posted there from morning through the afternoon. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. — Erin Russell

Bureau de Poste

Fall means French food for me personally, so I was very excited to check out the new restaurant from Jo Chan. My friend and I ordered a lot, and everything was great. My personal highlights included the pommes dauphine, which I adored. The somehow light and fluffy potato croquettes were topped with dollops of creme fraiche and trout roe. And then the duck leg cassoulet is just one of the warmest richest dishes I’ve had in a long time. The tarbais beans were hearty, the duck meat was tender, the venison sausage spicy, and the resulting broth was so luscious, I wanted more bread to sop it up. I do love that little complex, especially being able to buy a book at First Light beforehand, and browsing and buying random cheeses and canned coffees at Tiny Grocer after our dinner. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Soup Peddler

When there’s gross weather, I rely on one of my go-to comforting food spots; Soup Peddler. With smoothies, grilled cheese sandwiches, and soups under one roof, it has basically everything I need to stay warm and keep my immune system in tip-top shape for a pretty reasonable price. I usually go for the classic chicken soup with rice, although if you see the mulligatawny soup on the menu, grab it. There are multiple locations throughout Austin, pickup and delivery orders can be placed online; there are typically outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Vaquero Taquero

Vaquero Taquero has some of my favorite breakfast tacos in Austin, for one main reason: that cheese. The tacos are big and filling, both the flour and corn tortillas are well-made, and the melty, crispy costra de queso (griddled cheese) puts them on another level. These are a great way to recover after a night of one too many. There’s a second location in downtown Austin. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone, in person, or online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Goldy’s

Everyone knows I’m a huge fan of Cookie Rich, so I couldn’t wait to try the team’s savory food as well. Goldy’s is a great spot for lunch — Littlefield’s is surprisingly cool and pleasant, even in this ungodly weather. But more importantly, the food is great. I loved the chicken panino (I will love most sandwiches on focaccia) and the melon salad, but my absolute favorite item was the ham and cheese roll. Made in the style of a cinnamon roll but with savory ingredients, the soft roll is spiked with salty ham and cheese. I tried it after I’d already had a panino and still had to eat the whole thing. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Birdie's

I am a big fan of Birdie’s normally, but this is the first time I’ve tried their Italian-American pop-up, Aiello’s. First of all, four (filling!) courses for $65 is a pretty good deal for Austin these days, and from the second you walk into the transformed restaurant — complete with red-and-white checked tablecloths and vintage bottles of Chianti as vases — you’ll get the vibe. The main course of fusilli alla vodka is transcendent, with a sauce of creamy tomato, meaty umami from guanciale, and subtle spice. I honestly wish it came in a vat-sized to-go container. Then, you have the opportunity to end your meal with that perfect vanilla soft-serve — and what could be better? There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Erin Russell

Cosmic Saltillo

Looking for great coffee and/or tacos while surrounded by holiday decor? That’s what awaits you at Cosmic Saltillo right now. It’s a great spot to enjoy the gorgeous weather, have a latte (or a margarita), and grab some tacos, too. I loved the tender arrachera steak on great corn tortillas, and my frozen strawberry hibiscus agua fresca with a tajín rim had everyone at the table jealous. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Erin Russell

Palm Pizza

As a big fan of Bufalina and a born-and-raised New Yorker, I was very, very, very excited to check out the restaurant’s new pizzeria. We ordered the namesake Palm, a simple red-sauce pie with stracciatella and mozzarella cheeses. It was a great, simple, and mega-flavorful pizza. All pies are topped with a mess of Parmesan, basil, Sicilian oregano, and extra virgin olive oil for a bit more oomph. And I’m normally not a crust fan, but I did enjoy their’s. The accompanying wine list is great too, focusing on American wines, but don’t miss out of Texas’s own Lightsome’s newest vintage, which is a sparkling mourvedre made with Texas grapes (!!!). Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Nadia Chaudhury

Soto South

It’s easy to forget that Soto has a location on South Lamar — especially when Uchi is nearby — but the Japanese restaurant is quite good and probably a good bet when you’re looking for a last-minute sushi trek. I went there for a solo lunch recently and ordered a bunch of nigiri under the recommendation of the very knowledgeable server and I wasn’t steered wrong. The kinki and the managatsuo — idiot rockfish and Japanese butterfish — were fantastic unexpected bites, and, I’m always a sucker for uni, especially when it’s from Hokkaido. It was the perfect albeit pricey lunch. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Odd Duck

Odd Duck has been around for over a decade and it is still turning out creative flavors not seen anywhere else (quite frankly, every time I visit, I think Bryce Gilmore has been robbed by the James Beard Foundation — seven times). Like, what else could you possibly want from a restaurant: the servers are knowledgable pros ready to accommodate any allergy, the restaurant is bright and welcoming, and virtually every dish is a home run. My favorites from a recent trip were broccoli with mole spice and apple gastrique (truly, I wish to meet the wizard who dreamed up that flavor combination) and a sunchoke cacio e pepe with carrot salsa macha. I also enjoyed watching each diner at the bar successively order the excellent cornbread, influenced by smell alone. Odd Duck is always worth your time. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Erin Russell

Related Maps

Ezov

For a dinner out, we decided to check out the new Israeli restaurant under the Emmer & Rye umbrella. During this very, very, very hot heat, we ordered a bunch of vegetable and fruit-based dishes, which was the right call. The spring tomato comes with a delightful acidy mess of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes that are either plain, dried, or pickled, plus big chunks of urfa-spiced crotons and this nice refreshing fill vinaigrette. I wanted to drink up the resulting broth honestly. And then there were the smashed cucumbers, which came on top of this bed of fantastic smoky labne (which is really another one of those excellent hot weather foods) and this nice pickled mango sauce. It was exactly what I needed to eat this Texas summer. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

El Raval

We went to the former Barlata-now El Raval under new owner and chef Laila Bazahm, and it really was great. There’s an upbeat vibe to the menu and space. Of the dishes, the red snapper ceviche with leche de tigre and corn puffs was texturally fun and I could’ve drank up the juices; the setas al carbon with savory mushrooms mixed with a very runny cured egg yolk and sunchoke-miso hummus was great, especially when paired with the flaky paratha; and especially the paella with squid ink, a condiment made of ’nduja, and fantastic plops of uni for this salty touch. The accompanying cocktails were amazing too, especially the frothy Tangier Fizz with white chocolate, cream, and yogurt (!!!) with citrus and mint flavors. I want to explore the rest of the menu ASAP. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Underdog

After hearing Underdog co-owner Richard Hargreave talk up the ebi burger at his and Claudia Lee’s new restaurant, I knew I had to try it myself. The patty consists of shrimp chunks formed into a loose-yet-intact disc in between a really nice fluffy bun topped with black sesame seeds, and layered with a slaw. It’s a nice little dish where the shrimp flavor shines in a bright way, feeling like summer in food form. What made the burger even better was the glass of champagne I had, plus the really nice white. We also ordered the caviar set and I was particularly taken with the little pandan pancakes, which went great with the caviar and this pink peppercorn sauce. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. — Nadia Chaudhury

Kelly's Irish Pub

A friend and I wanted an easy hang and I know she had been to the South Austin Irish bar a bunch of times, so we decided to go there again. We headed straight to the back bar (her favorite spot), grabbed bar stools, and placed our orders. Again, because it was an Irish pub, I went for the fish and chips and pints of Smithwick’s Ales (sorry, Guinness is just too heavy for me). The food was classically prepared and just want I wanted. The large strips of fish had a crispy exterior and tender meat inside, the chips were hefty, thick steak-style fries. Plus it came with a little bowl of mushy peas which was delightful and I could’ve eaten a larger portion of. We were surrounded by solo diners and groups of people catching up, and the bartender was very pleasant. The meal itself was very carby, comforting, filling meal (perfect for someone who was about to travel a bunch), and I can’t wait to go back and try out the rest of the menu. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services. —Nadia Chaudhury

Casper Fermentables

I’ve already sung my praises for croissant sandwiches, so when I saw that this farmers market stand-turned-deli offered focaccia sandwiches, considered me intrigued. We ordered the spicy turkey sandwich and the kimchi tuna melt. The turkey one was actually really spicy in a good way; the kimchi in the tuna melt added a nice sourness. The bread itself was springy and worked well for sandwich purposes. We ended the meal with a delightful rugleach too. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas. —Nadia Chaudhury

Taqueria Peloncitos

Everybody knows that the actual best tacos can be found at your nearest taco truck. After a lengthy trip home for most of July, I came back to Austin wanting tacos. So for dinner that day we ordered tacos from Taqueria Peloncitos, a little truck parked at the Chevron gas station. I have generally shared my deep love for barbacoa tacos, and the truck’s version is so tender and moist with a nice balance of fattiness and meats, brightened up with the excellent salsas. It was a nice welcome back. —Nadia Chaudhury

Related Maps