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Plates of Mexican food on a blue-tiled table.
Dishes from Tamale House East
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Where to Eat and Drink in Austin's East Side

Barbecue, tacos, Mexican, and booze

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Dishes from Tamale House East
| Courtney Pierce/EATX

Austin’s East Side has seen continued to see a surge in bars and restaurants in the past couple of years, causing the area to become a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The highly walkable neighborhood is densely packed with food and drink hotspots, making it a dream for those who love to hop around from place to place.

Let’s talk drinks. Shangri-La is a popular dive bar, offering cheap drinks. Feeling fancy? Whisler’s has craft cocktails with ample patio space to spread out. Beer and coffee are a popular paired offering, with Wright Bros. Brew & Brew and Lazarus Brewing both serving espresso drinks along with ales and IPAs (the latter has a kitchen that turns out some great tacos, too).

Food on the east side runs the gamut from famous barbecue (La Barbecue) to one of the city’s best taco trailers (Las Trancas). Higher-end options include new Caribbean restaurant Canje, still-buzzy Mexican restaurant (Suerte), and a butcher-shop-slash-restaurant with massive steaks to share (Salt & Time).

For the purposes of this map, Austin’s East Side is considered between downtown and Holly, from I-35 to Robert Martinez Jr. Street, from East Cesar Chavez Street to East Seventh Street. Check out Eater Austin’s other neighborhood dining guides too.

As with all businesses right now, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Be sure to wear a mask, tip well, and, if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the restaurants themselves.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Shangri-La

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With an impressive menu of frozen drinks, a spacious patio, and a newly relocated slider truck Golden Castle out in the back, the casual bar is a popular place to hang out. The bar features indoor and outdoor areas.

Fukumoto

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The casual Japanese restaurant offers up a great and easy selection of yakitori and nigiri. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

Wright Bros. Brew and Brew

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Brew & Brew offers high-quality coffee and beer selections. The cafe and bar also offers sandwiches and items from popular local purveyors, like Swedish Hill pastries and bagels from Rosen’s Bagel Co. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Both kinds of brew at Wright Bros.
Both kinds of brew at Wright Bros.
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew/Facebook

Buenos Aires Café

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Fill up on Argentinian fare like empanadas with chimichurri and mixed grill plates. The restaurant also houses a tapas speakeasy, the Milonga Room, downstairs. Reservations are encouraged for that. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Empanadas from Buenos Aires Cafe
Empanadas from Buenos Aires Cafe
Buenos Aires Cafe/Facebook

The wine list at the fun and magnificent bar is perfectly curated, highlighting a strong selection of natural wines from around the world. The patio is all the better to enjoy glasses and bottles plus snacks. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Cisco's Restaurant

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With all the bars on the east side, a filling breakfast spot is essential. Cisco’s is known for its Tex-Mex menu with migas and diner favorites like biscuits, served all day long. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Salt & Time

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This butcher shop and grocery also has tables and a bar where people can enjoy its ever-changing menu. Try to snag one of the succulent large roasts to share, or go for the house-made pasta. There’s also the two-doors-down wine bar with its own patio.

The White Horse

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The honky-tonk is famous for its dancing two-stepping patrons and cheap drinks, which makes for great people-watching. The bar is open for indoor and outdoor services.

The Mexican restaurant is still one of the biggest hits of Austin, where its masa-obsessed menu features all sorts of inventive and fun tacos, tacos, quesadillas, tamals, etc. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Tacos at Suerte
Tacos at Suerte
Suerte/Facebook

Whisler's

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The odds of bumping into a friend at the giant patio at the popular cocktail bar are very high on weekends. The cocktail bar has fancy drinks and punch, while the mezcaleria upstairs is a more intimate setting. There are indoor and outdoor areas, plus on-site truck Golden Tiger.

Whisler’s
Whisler’s
Mark Weatherford

Lazarus Brewing Co.

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The brewery by day is a freelancer’s haven, with free Wi-Fi, a full espresso bar, and tasty tacos. By night, the focus turns to the beer selection, like the Amandus, a golden ale named for the patron saint of bartenders. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

East Side’s latest is this delightful Caribbean restaurant from the team behind Emmer & Rye. The jerk chicken is juicy and spicy, the flan sweet and creamy, and the doughy-flaky roti is perfection. There are indoor and patio dine-in services.

Apt 115

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The cozy wine bar on East Seventh is the place to go to explore all sorts of wines both familiar and unexpected. The new food menu means both a la carte dishes (including pork belly stew and cauliflower fondue), and a tasting menu. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Tamale House East

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Tamale House East is the embodiment of Austin Tex-Mex history from the famed Valera and Vasquez families, full of tacos, tamales, and good vibes. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Plates of Mexican food on a blue-tiled table.
Dishes from Tamale House East
Courtney Pierce/EATX

There’s more than just great coffee at this neighborhood spot. Breakfast tacos, sandwiches, and a strong selection of beer and coffee are available on the patio or inside the bright blue cafe. Bonus: the building also houses Paper Route Bakery, with cakes by the slice, scones, and other sweet treats. Takeout orders can be placed online. The cafe is open for indoor and outdoor services.

A dish from Cenote
A dish from Cenote
Cenote/Facebook

Las Trancas

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One of the city’s best taco trucks dishes up simple and cheap tacos from its giant trailer with patio on East Cesar Chavez, from the basics like pastor and asada to offal ones like beef tripe and pork stomach. Takeout orders can be placed in person. There are outdoor dine-in tables.

Taco from Las Trancas
Taco from Las Trancas
Las Trancas/Facebook

Shangri-La

With an impressive menu of frozen drinks, a spacious patio, and a newly relocated slider truck Golden Castle out in the back, the casual bar is a popular place to hang out. The bar features indoor and outdoor areas.

Fukumoto

The casual Japanese restaurant offers up a great and easy selection of yakitori and nigiri. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

Wright Bros. Brew and Brew

Brew & Brew offers high-quality coffee and beer selections. The cafe and bar also offers sandwiches and items from popular local purveyors, like Swedish Hill pastries and bagels from Rosen’s Bagel Co. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Both kinds of brew at Wright Bros.
Both kinds of brew at Wright Bros.
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew/Facebook

Buenos Aires Café

Fill up on Argentinian fare like empanadas with chimichurri and mixed grill plates. The restaurant also houses a tapas speakeasy, the Milonga Room, downstairs. Reservations are encouraged for that. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Empanadas from Buenos Aires Cafe
Empanadas from Buenos Aires Cafe
Buenos Aires Cafe/Facebook

LoLo

The wine list at the fun and magnificent bar is perfectly curated, highlighting a strong selection of natural wines from around the world. The patio is all the better to enjoy glasses and bottles plus snacks. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Cisco's Restaurant

With all the bars on the east side, a filling breakfast spot is essential. Cisco’s is known for its Tex-Mex menu with migas and diner favorites like biscuits, served all day long. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Salt & Time

This butcher shop and grocery also has tables and a bar where people can enjoy its ever-changing menu. Try to snag one of the succulent large roasts to share, or go for the house-made pasta. There’s also the two-doors-down wine bar with its own patio.

The White Horse

The honky-tonk is famous for its dancing two-stepping patrons and cheap drinks, which makes for great people-watching. The bar is open for indoor and outdoor services.

Suerte

The Mexican restaurant is still one of the biggest hits of Austin, where its masa-obsessed menu features all sorts of inventive and fun tacos, tacos, quesadillas, tamals, etc. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Tacos at Suerte
Tacos at Suerte
Suerte/Facebook

Whisler's

The odds of bumping into a friend at the giant patio at the popular cocktail bar are very high on weekends. The cocktail bar has fancy drinks and punch, while the mezcaleria upstairs is a more intimate setting. There are indoor and outdoor areas, plus on-site truck Golden Tiger.

Whisler’s
Whisler’s
Mark Weatherford

Lazarus Brewing Co.

The brewery by day is a freelancer’s haven, with free Wi-Fi, a full espresso bar, and tasty tacos. By night, the focus turns to the beer selection, like the Amandus, a golden ale named for the patron saint of bartenders. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

Canje

East Side’s latest is this delightful Caribbean restaurant from the team behind Emmer & Rye. The jerk chicken is juicy and spicy, the flan sweet and creamy, and the doughy-flaky roti is perfection. There are indoor and patio dine-in services.

Apt 115

The cozy wine bar on East Seventh is the place to go to explore all sorts of wines both familiar and unexpected. The new food menu means both a la carte dishes (including pork belly stew and cauliflower fondue), and a tasting menu. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Tamale House East

Tamale House East is the embodiment of Austin Tex-Mex history from the famed Valera and Vasquez families, full of tacos, tamales, and good vibes. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Plates of Mexican food on a blue-tiled table.
Dishes from Tamale House East
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Cenote

There’s more than just great coffee at this neighborhood spot. Breakfast tacos, sandwiches, and a strong selection of beer and coffee are available on the patio or inside the bright blue cafe. Bonus: the building also houses Paper Route Bakery, with cakes by the slice, scones, and other sweet treats. Takeout orders can be placed online. The cafe is open for indoor and outdoor services.

A dish from Cenote
A dish from Cenote
Cenote/Facebook

Related Maps

Las Trancas

One of the city’s best taco trucks dishes up simple and cheap tacos from its giant trailer with patio on East Cesar Chavez, from the basics like pastor and asada to offal ones like beef tripe and pork stomach. Takeout orders can be placed in person. There are outdoor dine-in tables.

Taco from Las Trancas
Taco from Las Trancas
Las Trancas/Facebook

Related Maps