The question of where to eat is going to crop up and potentially be a topic of debate whenever they come in town, whether your parents live nearby or are only able to visit once every couple of years. Sure, Austin is well known for tacos, barbecue, and food trailers — and you should definitely visit some, if not all three categories — but sometimes, mom and dad just want to enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant. Nothing too loud. Or too dark. Or too niche. Something with good service, delicious food, and not too much flash.
With those criteria in mind, Eater curated the following 13 spots — all of which are certain to please even the most discerning parent. From safe spots like Italian-focused Vespaio and Southern spot Fixe, to a few restaurants slightly outside the comfort zone, such as Odd Duck and Uchi, all of these places are ready to charm your parents. There’s a range of price points, lots of understated options, and many that are intertwined with Austin’s history. Some will give them plenty to talk about too (e.g. expect at least one of your parents to comment on Snow’s uniquely successful business model). This update adds Southern spot Olamaie and Top Chef winner Kristen Kish’s Arlo Grey.
Sometimes mom and dad are willing to spend more to celebrate a special occasion, so for those dinners, we’ve included a few suggestions such as Mattie’s. And if you need more inspiration, check out Eater's picks for the city's high-end restaurants and wine bars and restaurants.
Have a spot you fall back on when your parents are in town? Let Eater know on the tipline or over in the comments.
With updates by Nadia Chaudhury.Read More