clock menu more-arrow no yes
A plate of fried chicken and coleslaw.
Fried chicken at Fixe.
Fixe/Facebook

Austin’s 15 Most Underrated Restaurants

Seek out these hidden gems

View as Map
Fried chicken at Fixe.
| Fixe/Facebook

Everyone knows about the very best of Austin’s first-rate places to eat, from Franklin Barbecue to Uchi. Then there are those favorite neighborhood haunts and consistently reliable joints that rarely get the spotlight that deserve just as much attention.

Here is Eater’s updated guide to the city’s most underrated restaurants. This means New Jersey-style pizza from Little Deli, stellar yakitori and sushi from Fukumoto, barbecue from Stiles Switch BBQ and Brew, and others. This update adds Taquito Aviles, Fixe, Taco Joint, 1618, Vinaigrette, and Little Darlin’.

For other top-notch restaurants, check out Eater’s essential Austin restaurants, hot new ones, and classic spots.

As with all businesses, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant/truck 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/trucks 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.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Tomodachi Sushi

Copy Link
4101 W Parmer Ln Ste E
Austin, TX 78727
(512) 821-9472
Visit Website

This far north sushi restaurant has been turning out crowd-pleasing sushi both traditional and fusion for over 15 years. The friendly service in the small restaurant is also a major plus. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

2. Taquito Aviles

Copy Link
11218 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753
(512) 574-2708

The goat-based quesabirria de chivo taco at the North Austin taqueria truck is fantastic. Takeout orders can be placed in person and there are outdoor tables.

The quesabirria de chivo taco at Taquitos Aviles
The quesabirria de chivo taco at Taquitos Aviles
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

3. Bartlett's

Copy Link
2408 W. Anderson Ln.
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 451-7333
Visit Website

Bartlett’s gives classic American food — burgers, sandwiches, grilled fish, amazing marinated steak, etc. — the attention it deserves in an upscale but casual setting that is great for dinner with the family and friends. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A dish from Bartlett’s
A dish from Bartlett’s
Bartlett’s/Facebook

4. Little Deli & Pizzeria

Copy Link
7101 Woodrow Ave
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 467-7402
Visit Website

The pizzeria with two locations lives up to its name in terms of physical size, but the Jersey-style pizza is a big deal, and the subs are not to be trifled with, either. Vegetarians should turn to roasted eggplant. Sit outside for a taste of the old-school Austin vibe in this cloistered neighborhood spot. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

5. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

Copy Link
6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 380-9199
Visit Website

For those who don’t have a couple of hours to spend in line for barbecue, the Brentwood barbecue restaurant with a Cedar Park location is the destination of choice for smoked meats, local beer, and blessed indoor seating. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor dine-in services.

6. Workhorse Bar

Copy Link
100 N Loop Blvd E Suite B
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 323-5700
Visit Website

The beloved North Loop bar has cheap drinks and great bar food like thick burgers and fried pickles. With a convivial patio that has tree stumps for barstools, it’s a hidden gem that feels like old Austin. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A burger from Workhorse Bar
A burger from Workhorse Bar
Workhorse Bar/Facebook

7. Fixe Southern House

Copy Link
500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 888-9133
Visit Website

The fancy-ish downtown Southern restaurant offers really great biscuits, plus the entire menu is full of hits like the lobster and crawfish pot pie and the fried chicken. There are indoor dine-in services.

8. Fukumoto Sushi & Yakitori Izakaya

Copy Link
514 Medina St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 770-6880
Visit Website

The East Sixth Street Japanese restaurant whips up masterful sushi and yakitori from former Musashino chef Kazu Fukumoto, along with playful specials, like crisp river crabs. There are indoor dine-in services.

9. Garrison

Copy Link
101 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 524-4700
Visit Website

Hidden within the giant downtown hotel is an excellent fine dining destination. Garrison serves up skillfully prepared dishes from steaks to pastas to seafood with top-notch service, which all makes up for the fact that, well, yeah there’s a bit of a trek to the windowless dining room. There are indoor dine-in services.

Garrison’s kale paneer
Garrison’s kale paneer
Courtney Pierce/EATX

10. Taco Joint

Copy Link
134 E Riverside Dr
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 599-5144
Visit Website

Among Austin’s amazing taco providers, the East Riverside taco restaurant is a hidden gem. The breakfast tacos are super-stuffed in a not-annoying way, the lunch tacos flavorful, and the array of salsas perfect. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

11. Bento Picnic

Copy Link
2600 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 987-8767
Visit Website

Out-of-town visitors exhausted from Tex-Mex and barbecue? Direct them to the fresh fare at Bento Picnic and they’ll thank you. There are bento boxes, snacks, and a great wine selection from built-in natural wine shop Saba San’s, plus a large patio to hang out. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A bento box with chips and another with veggie sticks and other stuff on a blue tile circular table with white plates with chopsticks on them.
Bento boxes from Bento Picnic
Bento Picnic/Official

12. Aviary Wine & Kitchen

Copy Link
Food~Wine, 2110 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 916-4445
Visit Website

At this intimate South Lamar restaurant, classic wine-friendly foods like oysters, cheese, and a burger join exciting seasonal fare like crudos and cabbage wedges. (Chef Andre Molina is quietly one of the best in the city.) Then, the wine selections from Alex Bell are as much fun to hear about as they are to drink. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

13. 1618

Copy Link
1618 E Riverside Dr
Austin, TX 78741
(512) 462-9999
Visit Website

The wide-ranging menu of the pan-Asian Riverside restaurant offers well-made dishes for every craving, from dim sum to pho to curries. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

14. Vinaigrette

Copy Link
2201 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 852-8791
Visit Website

Fancy salads? Yes, fancy salads. The New Mexico import offers well-crafted salads chock-full of bright vegetables, sweet fruits, and substantial proteins. It doesn’t hurt that the space is also stunning, from the airy building to the tree-filled patio. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

15. The Little Darlin'

Copy Link
6507 Circle S Rd
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 814-0999
Visit Website

Okay, yes, it’s a bar, but it’s a bar with really great food. The burger is hefty, the baby lettuce salad makes for a perfect lunch, and the mac and cheese is stellar. The sprawling patio is just an added bonus. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Loading comments...

1. Tomodachi Sushi

4101 W Parmer Ln Ste E, Austin, TX 78727

This far north sushi restaurant has been turning out crowd-pleasing sushi both traditional and fusion for over 15 years. The friendly service in the small restaurant is also a major plus. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

4101 W Parmer Ln Ste E
Austin, TX 78727

2. Taquito Aviles

11218 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753
The quesabirria de chivo taco at Taquitos Aviles
The quesabirria de chivo taco at Taquitos Aviles
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

The goat-based quesabirria de chivo taco at the North Austin taqueria truck is fantastic. Takeout orders can be placed in person and there are outdoor tables.

11218 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78753

3. Bartlett's

2408 W. Anderson Ln., Austin, TX 78757
A dish from Bartlett’s
A dish from Bartlett’s
Bartlett’s/Facebook

Bartlett’s gives classic American food — burgers, sandwiches, grilled fish, amazing marinated steak, etc. — the attention it deserves in an upscale but casual setting that is great for dinner with the family and friends. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

2408 W. Anderson Ln.
Austin, TX 78757

4. Little Deli & Pizzeria

7101 Woodrow Ave, Austin, TX 78757

The pizzeria with two locations lives up to its name in terms of physical size, but the Jersey-style pizza is a big deal, and the subs are not to be trifled with, either. Vegetarians should turn to roasted eggplant. Sit outside for a taste of the old-school Austin vibe in this cloistered neighborhood spot. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

7101 Woodrow Ave
Austin, TX 78757

5. Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew

6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757, Austin, TX 78757

For those who don’t have a couple of hours to spend in line for barbecue, the Brentwood barbecue restaurant with a Cedar Park location is the destination of choice for smoked meats, local beer, and blessed indoor seating. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor dine-in services.

6610 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78757
Austin, TX 78757

6. Workhorse Bar

100 N Loop Blvd E Suite B, Austin, TX 78751
A burger from Workhorse Bar
A burger from Workhorse Bar
Workhorse Bar/Facebook

The beloved North Loop bar has cheap drinks and great bar food like thick burgers and fried pickles. With a convivial patio that has tree stumps for barstools, it’s a hidden gem that feels like old Austin. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

100 N Loop Blvd E Suite B
Austin, TX 78751

7. Fixe Southern House

500 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701

The fancy-ish downtown Southern restaurant offers really great biscuits, plus the entire menu is full of hits like the lobster and crawfish pot pie and the fried chicken. There are indoor dine-in services.

500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701

8. Fukumoto Sushi & Yakitori Izakaya

514 Medina St, Austin, TX 78702

The East Sixth Street Japanese restaurant whips up masterful sushi and yakitori from former Musashino chef Kazu Fukumoto, along with playful specials, like crisp river crabs. There are indoor dine-in services.

514 Medina St
Austin, TX 78702

9. Garrison

101 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
Garrison’s kale paneer
Garrison’s kale paneer
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Hidden within the giant downtown hotel is an excellent fine dining destination. Garrison serves up skillfully prepared dishes from steaks to pastas to seafood with top-notch service, which all makes up for the fact that, well, yeah there’s a bit of a trek to the windowless dining room. There are indoor dine-in services.

101 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

10. Taco Joint

134 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78704

Among Austin’s amazing taco providers, the East Riverside taco restaurant is a hidden gem. The breakfast tacos are super-stuffed in a not-annoying way, the lunch tacos flavorful, and the array of salsas perfect. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone or in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

134 E Riverside Dr
Austin, TX 78704

11. Bento Picnic

2600 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
A bento box with chips and another with veggie sticks and other stuff on a blue tile circular table with white plates with chopsticks on them.
Bento boxes from Bento Picnic
Bento Picnic/Official

Out-of-town visitors exhausted from Tex-Mex and barbecue? Direct them to the fresh fare at Bento Picnic and they’ll thank you. There are bento boxes, snacks, and a great wine selection from built-in natural wine shop Saba San’s, plus a large patio to hang out. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

2600 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702

12. Aviary Wine & Kitchen

Food~Wine, 2110 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

At this intimate South Lamar restaurant, classic wine-friendly foods like oysters, cheese, and a burger join exciting seasonal fare like crudos and cabbage wedges. (Chef Andre Molina is quietly one of the best in the city.) Then, the wine selections from Alex Bell are as much fun to hear about as they are to drink. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Food~Wine, 2110 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

13. 1618

1618 E Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741

The wide-ranging menu of the pan-Asian Riverside restaurant offers well-made dishes for every craving, from dim sum to pho to curries. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

1618 E Riverside Dr
Austin, TX 78741

14. Vinaigrette

2201 College Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Fancy salads? Yes, fancy salads. The New Mexico import offers well-crafted salads chock-full of bright vegetables, sweet fruits, and substantial proteins. It doesn’t hurt that the space is also stunning, from the airy building to the tree-filled patio. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

2201 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704

15. The Little Darlin'

6507 Circle S Rd, Austin, TX 78745

Okay, yes, it’s a bar, but it’s a bar with really great food. The burger is hefty, the baby lettuce salad makes for a perfect lunch, and the mac and cheese is stellar. The sprawling patio is just an added bonus. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

6507 Circle S Rd
Austin, TX 78745

Related Maps