It can be difficult for Austinites to show friends, family, and visitors around the city without falling prey to tourist traps, those places that locals try to avoid at all costs. Is there good food downtown after watching the bats fly out of the South Congress bridge? (Yes.) Is Franklin Barbecue really worth the wait? (A resounding yes.) This guide highlights Austin’s tourist-friendly restaurants that are actually great, from old-school joints to James Beard award-winning restaurants to places with worthy lines.
Barbecue is a top request of out-of-towners, and Franklin Barbecue and Salt Lick certainly provide experiences. Tex-Mex is an essential pit stop for visitors, and Matt’s El Rancho and Chuy’s are long-standing Austin institutions for a reason. For some of Austin’s famous breakfast tacos, try Juan in a Million or Torchy’s. The city has its finer-dining spots as well, where Uchi, The Driskill Bar, and Odd Duck work for a fancy night out. Finally, after all that indulgence — Texas is not exactly known for its light fare — the flagship Whole Foods Market is truly a sight to behold.
For more comprehensive looks into essential Austin dining, scope out Eater’s city guide and Eater 38 map.
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