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A red snapper dish from Hestia
A red snapper dish from Hestia
Hestia/Facebook

12 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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A red snapper dish from Hestia
| Hestia/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 lush ambiance of new hotel restaurant Lutie’s. 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 Lenoir’s prix-fixe menu, or, if that’s too much, some of these picks — like Jeffrey’s and Uchi — have great happy hours where you can get a taste of the good life. This update includes Garrison, DipDipDip Tatsu-ya, Sushi|Bar ATX, El Naranjo, Hestia, and Lutie’s.

As with all businesses, 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. 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; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial 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.

1. DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya

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7301 Burnet Rd Ste 101
Austin, TX 78757
(737) 701-6767
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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.

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

2. Barley Swine

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6555 Burnet Rd #400
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 394-8150
Visit Website

Of chef Bryce Gilmore’s three restaurants, it is the Brentwood restaurant that offers up more experimental seasonal dishes, like the duck breast paired with pickled peached or the chamomile buttermilk pie. Get a little bit of everything through the multi-course chef’s tasting menu at $105.

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

3. Lutie’s Garden Restaurant

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4100 Red River St
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 675-2517
Visit Website

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 seabass, and kouign amann ice cream.

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]

4. Jeffrey's

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1204 W Lynn St
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 477-5584
Visit Website

This Clarksville fine dining institution was reimagined by the entrepreneurs at McGuire Moorman Hospitality in 2013, 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]

5. Comedor

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501 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 499-0977
Visit Website

The downtown restaurant serves up Mexican fare with playful modern takes while paying homage to the country’s roots, all found in a sleek, stylish, and very unique space in downtown Austin. Masa is the main start of the menu from tortillas to chochoyotes to tamals. Plus there are decadently rich bone marrows served with tortillas, tostadas topped with charred beets or a rich array of seafood, as well as intricate desserts.

Seafood tostadas at Comedor
Seafood tostadas at Comedor
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

6. Hestia

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607 W 3rd St #105
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 333-0737
Visit Website

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.

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

7. Garrison

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101 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 600-2000
Visit Website

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

8. Uchi

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801 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 916-4808
Visit Website

Uchi’s modern take on Japanese cuisine has rightly earned it 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 chock-full of flavorful adornments to one-of-a-kind desserts. Takeout orders are available.

Sushi from Uchi
Sushi from Uchi
Uchi/Facebook

9. Sushi|Bar ATX

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2600 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702
(415) 919-8300
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This intimate Holly omakase is a great way to go all-out on dinner. Many pieces come with small, creative touches like fresh-grated wasabi, fresno chili, or sea salt from Bali. The drink and sake pairings are also excellent.

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

10. Otoko

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1603 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX

Shrouded in exclusivity, the 12-seat Japanese restaurant located at the South Congress Hotel offers a 22-course omakase-style ticketed dinner, which incorporate influences from Kyoto's kaiseki and Tokyo’s sushi traditions. At $175 per person, the unforgettable multi-course journey from chef Yoshi Okai is one of Austin's most expensive dinners — but it's a steal when compared to similar experiences in other cities.

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

11. Lenoir

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1807 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 215-9778
Visit Website

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 recently changed formats switching from its typical prix fixe menu to a la carte dishes and its take on a tasting menu for $58 a 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. All dining takes place in the outdoor wine garden for now, and takeout orders are available.

Fried quail at Lenoir
Fried quail at Lenoir
Lenoir/Facebook

12. El Naranjo

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2717 S Lamar Blvd STE 1085
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 520-5750
Visit Website

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.

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

1. DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya

7301 Burnet Rd Ste 101, Austin, TX 78757
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.

7301 Burnet Rd Ste 101
Austin, TX 78757

2. Barley Swine

6555 Burnet Rd #400, Austin, TX 78757
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, like the duck breast paired with pickled peached or the chamomile buttermilk pie. Get a little bit of everything through the multi-course chef’s tasting menu at $105.

6555 Burnet Rd #400
Austin, TX 78757

3. Lutie’s Garden Restaurant

4100 Red River St, Austin, TX 78751
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 seabass, and kouign amann ice cream.

4100 Red River St
Austin, TX 78751

4. Jeffrey's

1204 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703
Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s [Official]

This Clarksville fine dining institution was reimagined by the entrepreneurs at McGuire Moorman Hospitality in 2013, 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.

1204 W Lynn St
Austin, TX 78703

5. Comedor

501 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701
Seafood tostadas at Comedor
Seafood tostadas at Comedor
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

The downtown restaurant serves up Mexican fare with playful modern takes while paying homage to the country’s roots, all found in a sleek, stylish, and very unique space in downtown Austin. Masa is the main start of the menu from tortillas to chochoyotes to tamals. Plus there are decadently rich bone marrows served with tortillas, tostadas topped with charred beets or a rich array of seafood, as well as intricate desserts.

501 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701

6. Hestia

607 W 3rd St #105, Austin, TX 78701
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.

607 W 3rd St #105
Austin, TX 78701

7. Garrison

101 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
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.

101 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

8. Uchi

801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Sushi from Uchi
Sushi from Uchi
Uchi/Facebook

Uchi’s modern take on Japanese cuisine has rightly earned it 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 chock-full of flavorful adornments to one-of-a-kind desserts. Takeout orders are available.

801 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

9. Sushi|Bar ATX

2600 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
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. Many pieces come with small, creative touches like fresh-grated wasabi, fresno chili, or sea salt from Bali. The drink and sake pairings are also excellent.

2600 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702

10. Otoko

1603 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX
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 22-course omakase-style ticketed dinner, which incorporate influences from Kyoto's kaiseki and Tokyo’s sushi traditions. At $175 per person, the unforgettable multi-course journey from chef Yoshi Okai is one of Austin's most expensive dinners — but it's a steal when compared to similar experiences in other cities.

1603 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX

11. Lenoir

1807 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
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 recently changed formats switching from its typical prix fixe menu to a la carte dishes and its take on a tasting menu for $58 a 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. All dining takes place in the outdoor wine garden for now, and takeout orders are available.

1807 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704

12. El Naranjo

2717 S Lamar Blvd STE 1085, Austin, TX 78704
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.

2717 S Lamar Blvd STE 1085
Austin, TX 78704

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