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A dark gray plate of tinned sardines, a row of crackers, and a half-lemon on an orange table.
Tinned sardines, crackers, and a half-lemon at LoLo
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

Where to Indulge in Tinned Seafood in Austin

Sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and tuna galore

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Tinned sardines, crackers, and a half-lemon at LoLo
| Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

Tinned seafood: such a simple treat and yet so very great. Nothing beats excellent fish or shellfish served from an opened tin can — often marinated in delicious oils, salty brine, drenched in tomato sauce, or spiced with pickled peppers — paired with simple crackers and/or thick slices of baguettes. Squeeze some lemon, add a glass of wine, and you’re set.

With that in mind, here are the best Austin restaurants offering tinned seafood, from East Austin wine bar LoLo, barbecue joint La Barbecue, to Italian cafe Uncle Nicky’s. The tins themselves run the gamut of sardines to oysters to mackerel to tuna to octopus to cockerels, sourced from Portugal and Spain (where they’re referred to as conservas), France, coastal America, and elsewhere.

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 restaurant 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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Uncle Nicky's Italian Specialties

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The Italian cafe with two locations (the other on West 11th Street) features olive-oil cured sardines with Ritz crackers, with the option to add some focaccia (do it). Takeout orders can be placed online; both restaurants are open for dine-in services with outdoor areas available.

The East Sixth wine bar is the ideal location to nibble on tinned fish (often a choice of either tuna or sardines) with half-a-lemon and saltines plus a glass of preferably white natural wine of your choice. The patio is open for on-site services.

Salt & Time Wine Shop

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The East Austin butcher shop’s two-doors-down wine bar embraces the tinned fish-wine combination. Tinned fish — such as octopus or sardines — are paired with a charred half-lemon and green salsa. The patio is open for on-site services.

Tinned sardines in a blue container with fish on it on a wooden board.
Tinned sardines at Salt & Time Wine Shop.
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

La Barbecue

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The East Austin barbecue restaurant’s deli offers a fun twist to its tinned fish presentation. The tinned fish is paired with pickle relish, horseradish mayonnaise, mustard, a pile of dill, and a giant sleeve of Ritz crackers. Orders are placed in person; there are both indoor and outdoor seating available.

A tray lined with butcher paper with a tin of tuna, deli cups of white sauce, pickle relish, and yellow mustard, a sleeve of crackers, and a pile of green dill leaves.
The tinned fish board (with tuna) from La Barbecue.
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

The Meteor

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The South Congress cafe offers a build-your-own tinned fish adventure, where people can pick out their tinned seafood of choice (ranging from octopus, oysters, sardines, to tuna), and pair it with cheeses, crackers, olives, and sauces. To-go orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

Uncle Nicky's Italian Specialties

The Italian cafe with two locations (the other on West 11th Street) features olive-oil cured sardines with Ritz crackers, with the option to add some focaccia (do it). Takeout orders can be placed online; both restaurants are open for dine-in services with outdoor areas available.

LoLo

The East Sixth wine bar is the ideal location to nibble on tinned fish (often a choice of either tuna or sardines) with half-a-lemon and saltines plus a glass of preferably white natural wine of your choice. The patio is open for on-site services.

Salt & Time Wine Shop

The East Austin butcher shop’s two-doors-down wine bar embraces the tinned fish-wine combination. Tinned fish — such as octopus or sardines — are paired with a charred half-lemon and green salsa. The patio is open for on-site services.

Tinned sardines in a blue container with fish on it on a wooden board.
Tinned sardines at Salt & Time Wine Shop.
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

La Barbecue

The East Austin barbecue restaurant’s deli offers a fun twist to its tinned fish presentation. The tinned fish is paired with pickle relish, horseradish mayonnaise, mustard, a pile of dill, and a giant sleeve of Ritz crackers. Orders are placed in person; there are both indoor and outdoor seating available.

A tray lined with butcher paper with a tin of tuna, deli cups of white sauce, pickle relish, and yellow mustard, a sleeve of crackers, and a pile of green dill leaves.
The tinned fish board (with tuna) from La Barbecue.
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

The Meteor

The South Congress cafe offers a build-your-own tinned fish adventure, where people can pick out their tinned seafood of choice (ranging from octopus, oysters, sardines, to tuna), and pair it with cheeses, crackers, olives, and sauces. To-go orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dining areas.

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