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A large bone-in steak that is sliced next to a pile of green vegetables in a black cast-iron pan.
The tomahawk steak at Garrison.
Fairmont Austin/Facebook

13 Restaurants to Splurge On an Upscale Dinner in Austin

Where to go big for a special occasion, or for no reason at all

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The tomahawk steak at Garrison.
| Fairmont Austin/Facebook

While Austin is more often recognized for its taco joints and barbecue spots than its high-end restaurants, there are still quite a few pricey places that fit the bill for super special occasions. These restaurants range from a once-in-a-lifetime omakase sushi experience at ultra-cool Otoko to the always-creative tasting menu from Barley Swine. With this guide, you’ll find a fine-dining establishment for every occasion, from group dinners in luxe and modern spaces to charming and cozy choices for two. (Find a wider variety of date night solutions here).

And not all break the bank if you keep it simple. Check out the dinner options from James Beard Award-winning chef Iliana de la Vega’s El Naranjo, or visit during happy hour, when some these picks — like Jeffrey’s and Uchi — have the same great food for much less.

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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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya

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Opting for special occasion hot pot may sound a little odd, but DipDipDip Tatsu-ya is definitely an experience. At beautiful, intimate tables, diners can choose high-quality cuts of meat like A5 wagyu ribeye from Japan and browse the daily cart offerings for noodles and more. Or, pick an omakase to sit back and enjoy. Don’t miss the Keep Austin Dipping sauce — a take on queso. There are omakase options ranging from $95 to $125, allowing you to sample a little bit of everything.

The hot pot setup at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
The hot pot setup at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
DipDipDip Tatsu-ya/Facebook

Barley Swine

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Of chef Bryce Gilmore’s three restaurants, it is the Brentwood restaurant that offers up more experimental seasonal dishes through its multi-course chef’s tasting menu for $115. Expect items like the duck paired with glazed sweet potatoes and bok choy or the caramelized fennel ice cream. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Lutie’s

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Planning ahead is essential at this tiny restaurant at the Commodore Perry Estate. Verdant Lutie’s, from lauded Austin chef couple Bradley Nicholson and Susana Querejazu, has dishes like chickpea and green corn salad, whole roasted black sea bass, and kouign amann ice cream. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

The grand aioli features fresh vegetables including some cut into rosettes with poach shrimp and boiled eggs on a tower made from marble. A white plate with a single English muffin sits off to the side along with a crystal dish of dip and a clear stemless glass of white wine.
Grand aioli at Lutie’s
Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection [Official]

Jeffrey's

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This Clarksville fine-dining institution was reimagined by the entrepreneurs at McGuire Moorman Hospitality in 2013 (now McGuire Moorman Lambert), turning it into a near-perfect spot for special occasions. The ingredient-driven menu changes daily and is centered on dry-aged steaks. (Go all in with a bone-in ribeye.) Oohs and aahs are guaranteed thanks to both the martini and cheese carts, Petrossian caviar service, and top-notch service.

Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s [Official]

Olamaie

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The modern Southern restaurant in downtown Austin is back, under executive chef Michael Fojtasek and new chef de cuisine Amanda Turner. The menu focuses on expertly executed Southern faves, some smoked cabbage with an Alabama barbecue sauce, red rice with Gulf shrimp and Tabasco sauce, and grilled pork chops. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Named after the Greek goddess of the hearth, the downtown restaurant centers around live-fire cooking. That means dishes like a scallop with beef tallow, dry-aged steaks, and lion’s mane mushroom with blackened koji and charcoal. Hestia comes from the much-lauded team of Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph, whose creative desserts are absolutely not to be missed. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

A potato, creme fraiche, and caviar dish at Hestia
A potato, creme fraiche, and caviar dish at Hestia
Hestia/Facebook

Garrison

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Though the ambiance at Garrison may not be to everyone’s taste, the kitchen is doing everything right. The menu rotates frequently, and ranges from super fancy tater tots with black truffle and aerated gruyere to caviar with johnnycakes to a 32-ounce dry-aged tomahawk steak. Expect five-star fine dining service as well.

Garrison’s whole grilled branzino
Garrison’s whole grilled branzino
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Uchi’s modern take on Japanese cuisine has rightly earned its national acclaim. While you can’t go wrong with the exquisite a la carte menu, choose the adventurous omakase menu to truly experience the chefs' expertise with fresh cuts of fish with flavorful adornments to one-of-a-kind desserts. Takeout orders are available. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

A brown board with three pieces of sushi on it.
Sushi from Uchi
Uchi/Facebook

Sushi|Bar ATX

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This intimate Holly omakase is a great way to go all-out on dinner. Chef Ambrely Ouimette turns out creative bites precisely adorned with ingredients like marigold flowers or fermented peppers.

A piece of sushi topped with roe on a bamboo mat
Sushi from Sushi Bar ATX
Sushi Bar ATX/Facebook

Shrouded in exclusivity, the 12-seat Japanese restaurant located at the South Congress Hotel offers a multi-course omakase-style ticketed dinner, which incorporate influences from Kyoto's kaiseki and Tokyo’s sushi traditions. At $250 per person for classic omakase, the multi-course journey from chef Yoshi Okai is one of Austin's most expensive dinners — but it’s unforgettable.

Chef Yoshi Okai at Otoko
Chef Yoshi Okai at Otoko
Otoko/Facebook

There's a lot to love about this imaginative South Austin restaurant, from the romantic vintage chic look to the beautifully balanced dishes. While the restaurant features a la carte dishes and a chef’s tasting menu for $70 per person. Everything is centered on umami-rich "hot weather food" (think acidic, citrusy, brothy, and spicy), all to be paired along with the impressive wine list. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Fried quail at Lenoir
Fried quail at Lenoir
Lenoir/Facebook

El Naranjo

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James Beard Award semifinalist chef Iliana de la Vega serves dishes from Oaxaca, with dishes like duck breast served in mole negro, tlayuda oaxaquena, and ensalada a la jamaica. Most all dishes in the restaurant are gluten-free. Takeout orders are available. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Ceviche at El Naranjo
Ceviche at El Naranjo
El Naranjo/Facebook

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants - Cedar Creek

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The original chefs at Sushi|Bar split and opened their own sushi restaurant, Sushi by Scratch Restaurants at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Cedar Creek. The $165 omakase serves greatest hits from their time at Sushi|Bar, like pieces topped with fresno chili and an excellent sake and cocktail pairing. Another option for fine dining is sibling restaurant Pasta|Bar on East Sixth, which features a set menu of Italian dishes.

DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya

The hot pot setup at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
The hot pot setup at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
DipDipDip Tatsu-ya/Facebook

Opting for special occasion hot pot may sound a little odd, but DipDipDip Tatsu-ya is definitely an experience. At beautiful, intimate tables, diners can choose high-quality cuts of meat like A5 wagyu ribeye from Japan and browse the daily cart offerings for noodles and more. Or, pick an omakase to sit back and enjoy. Don’t miss the Keep Austin Dipping sauce — a take on queso. There are omakase options ranging from $95 to $125, allowing you to sample a little bit of everything.

The hot pot setup at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
The hot pot setup at DipDipDip Tatsu-ya
DipDipDip Tatsu-ya/Facebook

Barley Swine

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Of chef Bryce Gilmore’s three restaurants, it is the Brentwood restaurant that offers up more experimental seasonal dishes through its multi-course chef’s tasting menu for $115. Expect items like the duck paired with glazed sweet potatoes and bok choy or the caramelized fennel ice cream. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Lutie’s

The grand aioli features fresh vegetables including some cut into rosettes with poach shrimp and boiled eggs on a tower made from marble. A white plate with a single English muffin sits off to the side along with a crystal dish of dip and a clear stemless glass of white wine.
Grand aioli at Lutie’s
Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection [Official]

Planning ahead is essential at this tiny restaurant at the Commodore Perry Estate. Verdant Lutie’s, from lauded Austin chef couple Bradley Nicholson and Susana Querejazu, has dishes like chickpea and green corn salad, whole roasted black sea bass, and kouign amann ice cream. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

The grand aioli features fresh vegetables including some cut into rosettes with poach shrimp and boiled eggs on a tower made from marble. A white plate with a single English muffin sits off to the side along with a crystal dish of dip and a clear stemless glass of white wine.
Grand aioli at Lutie’s
Commodore Perry Estate, Auberge Resorts Collection [Official]

Jeffrey's

Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s [Official]

This Clarksville fine-dining institution was reimagined by the entrepreneurs at McGuire Moorman Hospitality in 2013 (now McGuire Moorman Lambert), turning it into a near-perfect spot for special occasions. The ingredient-driven menu changes daily and is centered on dry-aged steaks. (Go all in with a bone-in ribeye.) Oohs and aahs are guaranteed thanks to both the martini and cheese carts, Petrossian caviar service, and top-notch service.

Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s [Official]

Olamaie

The modern Southern restaurant in downtown Austin is back, under executive chef Michael Fojtasek and new chef de cuisine Amanda Turner. The menu focuses on expertly executed Southern faves, some smoked cabbage with an Alabama barbecue sauce, red rice with Gulf shrimp and Tabasco sauce, and grilled pork chops. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Hestia

A potato, creme fraiche, and caviar dish at Hestia
A potato, creme fraiche, and caviar dish at Hestia
Hestia/Facebook

Named after the Greek goddess of the hearth, the downtown restaurant centers around live-fire cooking. That means dishes like a scallop with beef tallow, dry-aged steaks, and lion’s mane mushroom with blackened koji and charcoal. Hestia comes from the much-lauded team of Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph, whose creative desserts are absolutely not to be missed. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

A potato, creme fraiche, and caviar dish at Hestia
A potato, creme fraiche, and caviar dish at Hestia
Hestia/Facebook

Garrison

Garrison’s whole grilled branzino
Garrison’s whole grilled branzino
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Though the ambiance at Garrison may not be to everyone’s taste, the kitchen is doing everything right. The menu rotates frequently, and ranges from super fancy tater tots with black truffle and aerated gruyere to caviar with johnnycakes to a 32-ounce dry-aged tomahawk steak. Expect five-star fine dining service as well.

Garrison’s whole grilled branzino
Garrison’s whole grilled branzino
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Uchi

A brown board with three pieces of sushi on it.
Sushi from Uchi
Uchi/Facebook

Uchi’s modern take on Japanese cuisine has rightly earned its national acclaim. While you can’t go wrong with the exquisite a la carte menu, choose the adventurous omakase menu to truly experience the chefs' expertise with fresh cuts of fish with flavorful adornments to one-of-a-kind desserts. Takeout orders are available. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

A brown board with three pieces of sushi on it.
Sushi from Uchi
Uchi/Facebook

Sushi|Bar ATX

A piece of sushi topped with roe on a bamboo mat
Sushi from Sushi Bar ATX
Sushi Bar ATX/Facebook

This intimate Holly omakase is a great way to go all-out on dinner. Chef Ambrely Ouimette turns out creative bites precisely adorned with ingredients like marigold flowers or fermented peppers.

A piece of sushi topped with roe on a bamboo mat
Sushi from Sushi Bar ATX
Sushi Bar ATX/Facebook

Otoko

Chef Yoshi Okai at Otoko
Chef Yoshi Okai at Otoko
Otoko/Facebook

Shrouded in exclusivity, the 12-seat Japanese restaurant located at the South Congress Hotel offers a multi-course omakase-style ticketed dinner, which incorporate influences from Kyoto's kaiseki and Tokyo’s sushi traditions. At $250 per person for classic omakase, the multi-course journey from chef Yoshi Okai is one of Austin's most expensive dinners — but it’s unforgettable.

Chef Yoshi Okai at Otoko
Chef Yoshi Okai at Otoko
Otoko/Facebook

Lenoir

Fried quail at Lenoir
Fried quail at Lenoir
Lenoir/Facebook

There's a lot to love about this imaginative South Austin restaurant, from the romantic vintage chic look to the beautifully balanced dishes. While the restaurant features a la carte dishes and a chef’s tasting menu for $70 per person. Everything is centered on umami-rich "hot weather food" (think acidic, citrusy, brothy, and spicy), all to be paired along with the impressive wine list. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Fried quail at Lenoir
Fried quail at Lenoir
Lenoir/Facebook

El Naranjo

Ceviche at El Naranjo
Ceviche at El Naranjo
El Naranjo/Facebook

James Beard Award semifinalist chef Iliana de la Vega serves dishes from Oaxaca, with dishes like duck breast served in mole negro, tlayuda oaxaquena, and ensalada a la jamaica. Most all dishes in the restaurant are gluten-free. Takeout orders are available. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Ceviche at El Naranjo
Ceviche at El Naranjo
El Naranjo/Facebook

Sushi by Scratch Restaurants - Cedar Creek

The original chefs at Sushi|Bar split and opened their own sushi restaurant, Sushi by Scratch Restaurants at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa in Cedar Creek. The $165 omakase serves greatest hits from their time at Sushi|Bar, like pieces topped with fresno chili and an excellent sake and cocktail pairing. Another option for fine dining is sibling restaurant Pasta|Bar on East Sixth, which features a set menu of Italian dishes.

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