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A plate of rice and shrimp.
Shrimp and red rice at Olamaie.
Olamaie/Facebook

Where to Eat and Drink in Downtown Austin

Find decadent dining, tacos, coffee, cocktails, and more all in the heart of the city

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Shrimp and red rice at Olamaie.
| Olamaie/Facebook

The epicenter of Austin is its downtown area. It’s where the stately Capitol building resides, marking the city’s political hub (it is the capital of Texas, after all), where office buildings, high-rise buildings, and hotels continue to open, where tourists flock and locals frequent their go-to spots.

Downtown Austin contains multitudes within itself: the entertainment districts of Sixth and West Sixth, the residential areas of the West End and North Side, the concert venue-filled Red River, and the lovely trails along the Colorado River. The neighborhood even connects to other nearby locales: (South Congress, East Side, Clarksville).

Eater presents this guide to the essential restaurants and bars of downtown Austin. This means drinks and snacks at Small Victory, soup dumplings from Wu Chow, casual pan-Asian dishes from Koriente, and tacos from Veracruz All Natural and Asador.

In the search of other vital Austin drinks and eats? Turn your attention to the Eater 38, restaurant heatmap, and essential bars.

For the purposes of this guide, the map covers the area bordered by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, I-35, and North Lamar Boulevard, and excludes Rainey Street (which is covered elsewhere). Check out Eater Austin’s other neighborhood dining guides too.

As with all businesses, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant/bar/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/bars/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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Olamaie

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1610 San Antonio St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-2796
Visit Website

Yes, the off-menu biscuits are great, and there are other modern Southern dishes to check out, like pressed chicken with bacon and bok choy, Gulf shrimp and red rice, butter beans, and more, alongside beautiful desserts and a strong cocktail list, all for dinner. The restaurant is open for indoor and patio dine-in services.

2. Texas Chili Parlor

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1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 472-2828
Visit Website

Texas Chili Parlor is a classic for a reason. Stick to the beanless chili bowls, simply labeled X, XX, and XXX, for levels of spiciness. Wash it down with a beer and repeat. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

Texas Chili Parlor’s chili
Texas Chili Parlor’s chili
Texas Chili Parlor/Facebook

3. Mohawk Austin

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912 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 666-0877
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For drinks and a music show, this Red River venue is the place. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

A show at Mohawk
A show at Mohawk
Mohawk/Facebook

4. Cheer Up Charlies

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900 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 431-2133 LGBTQ
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The LGBTQ vegan bar with plenty of outdoor space often hosts concerts and dance parties while offering up fun juice-based cocktails in a festive atmosphere.

5. Small Victory

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108 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

Tucked away above a parking garage entrance is Small Victory, one of the city’s best cocktail bars around. Owner and bar veteran Josh Loving is passionate about his craft and it shows with his classic drinks. Plus there are snacks. To-go orders can be placed online; the bar is open for indoor service.

Small Victory
Small Victory
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

6. Wu Chow

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500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 476-2469
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Soup dumplings and other modern Chinese dishes can be found over at Wu Chow for lunch, dinner, and Sunday dim sum. To-go orders can be placed online; the restaurant is open for indoor and patio dine-in services.

Chinese fare from Wu Chow
Chinese fare from Wu Chow
Wu Chow/Facebook

7. The Roosevelt Room

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307 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 494-4094
Visit Website

Satisfy the search for west downtown cocktails with this other stellar downtown bar, with a robust drink list and a surprisingly filling food menu (the grilled cheese is good). To-go and delivery orders can be placed online; the bar is open for indoor services.

Poet’s Muse at The Roosevelt Room
Poet’s Muse at The Roosevelt Room
The Roosevelt Room [Official]

8. Asador at Las Perlas

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405 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

Bars and food trucks are a tried-and-true Austin combination. The best downtown iteration of this can be found near Red River with mezcal bar Las Perlas and taco truck Asador. Taco to-go orders can be placed online. The bar is open for indoor ad outdoor services.

Mushroom tacos at Asador
Mushroom tacos at Asador
Asador/Facebook

9. Parkside

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301 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-9898
Visit Website

Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s New American restaurant offers up first-rate evening meals with great happy hour deals. To-go orders can be placed online; there are third-party deliveries as well. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

Food at Parkside
Food at Parkside
Parkside/Facebook

10. Koriente

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621 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 275-0853
Visit Website

Easy and heathy-ish pan-Asian fare can be found at the restaurant near the Red River district. The restaurant is only open for call-ahead takeout orders and third-party deliveries (Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash).

11. Péché

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208 W 4th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 495-9669
Visit Website

The absinthe bar mixes up thoughtful drinks and mighty hearty French cuisine. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

An onion tart at Peche
An onion tart at Peche
Peche/Facebook

12. Hestia

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

The higher-end downtown restaurant from the team behind Emmer & Rye focuses on live-fire dishes, alongside expertly crafted desserts. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A cabbage dish from Hestia
A cabbage dish from Hestia
Hestia/Facebook

13. Houndstooth Coffee

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401 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 531-9417
Visit Website

Coffee fans should head straight to this downtown cafe for a perfect cup of joe. To-go orders can be placed online. The cafe is open for indoor and outdoor services.

14. Mort Subite

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308 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 861-5044
Visit Website

The downtown beer bar is all about Belgian brews, with all sorts of drafts, bottles, and cans, including a strong Trappist selection. To-go orders can be placed online. The bar is open for indoor and outdoor services.

A beer at Mort Subite
A beer at Mort Subite
Mort Subite/Facebook

15. Fareground

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111 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 465-2107
Visit Website

The downtown food hall reopened with some of the city’s best chefs and restaurants, like Emmer & Rye’s fast-casual outpost Henbit, Israeli spot TLV, French chicken and baguette sandwich shop Austin Rotisserie, and Wu Chow’s dumplings and noodle stall, all making for an easygoing mix-and-match meal. Plus there are two bars with cocktails and wine. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person. The hall offers indoor and outdoor dining areas.

16. Veracruz All Natural

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111 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 665-2713
Visit Website

Yes, the city’s best taco restaurant can luckily be found in downtown Austin. Veracruz’s Congress Avenue location within the Line Hotel features its amazing menu of tacos (yes, get the migas), quesadillas, and weekend brunch. To-go orders can be placed online or in person. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Tacos and drinks at Veracruz All Natural in the Line Hotel
Tacos and drinks at Veracruz All Natural in the Line Hotel
Veracruz All Natural/Facebook

17. Arlo Grey

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111 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 478-2991
Visit Website

Top Chef winner Kristen Kish’s first solo restaurant landed in Austin with elegant dishes stemming inspired by her already-storied past. Its indoor dining room is also a prime location for bat-watching. There are indoor and outdoor seatings, the latter entails a different reservation system.

18. Forthright

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35 Brazos St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 387-3370
Visit Website

For easy, simple, quality breakfasts, lunches, and brunches, turn to this daytime American restaurant. To-go orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Fried chicken and waffles at Forthright
Fried chicken and waffles at Forthright
Forthright/Facebook

1. Olamaie

1610 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78701

Yes, the off-menu biscuits are great, and there are other modern Southern dishes to check out, like pressed chicken with bacon and bok choy, Gulf shrimp and red rice, butter beans, and more, alongside beautiful desserts and a strong cocktail list, all for dinner. The restaurant is open for indoor and patio dine-in services.

1610 San Antonio St
Austin, TX 78701

2. Texas Chili Parlor

1409 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701
Texas Chili Parlor’s chili
Texas Chili Parlor’s chili
Texas Chili Parlor/Facebook

Texas Chili Parlor is a classic for a reason. Stick to the beanless chili bowls, simply labeled X, XX, and XXX, for levels of spiciness. Wash it down with a beer and repeat. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

3. Mohawk Austin

912 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
A show at Mohawk
A show at Mohawk
Mohawk/Facebook

For drinks and a music show, this Red River venue is the place. There are indoor and outdoor areas.

912 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

4. Cheer Up Charlies

900 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701

The LGBTQ vegan bar with plenty of outdoor space often hosts concerts and dance parties while offering up fun juice-based cocktails in a festive atmosphere.

900 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

5. Small Victory

108 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
Small Victory
Small Victory
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Tucked away above a parking garage entrance is Small Victory, one of the city’s best cocktail bars around. Owner and bar veteran Josh Loving is passionate about his craft and it shows with his classic drinks. Plus there are snacks. To-go orders can be placed online; the bar is open for indoor service.

108 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

6. Wu Chow

500 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701
Chinese fare from Wu Chow
Chinese fare from Wu Chow
Wu Chow/Facebook

Soup dumplings and other modern Chinese dishes can be found over at Wu Chow for lunch, dinner, and Sunday dim sum. To-go orders can be placed online; the restaurant is open for indoor and patio dine-in services.

500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701

7. The Roosevelt Room

307 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701
Poet’s Muse at The Roosevelt Room
Poet’s Muse at The Roosevelt Room
The Roosevelt Room [Official]

Satisfy the search for west downtown cocktails with this other stellar downtown bar, with a robust drink list and a surprisingly filling food menu (the grilled cheese is good). To-go and delivery orders can be placed online; the bar is open for indoor services.

307 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701

8. Asador at Las Perlas

405 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
Mushroom tacos at Asador
Mushroom tacos at Asador
Asador/Facebook

Bars and food trucks are a tried-and-true Austin combination. The best downtown iteration of this can be found near Red River with mezcal bar Las Perlas and taco truck Asador. Taco to-go orders can be placed online. The bar is open for indoor ad outdoor services.

405 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

9. Parkside

301 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Food at Parkside
Food at Parkside
Parkside/Facebook

Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s New American restaurant offers up first-rate evening meals with great happy hour deals. To-go orders can be placed online; there are third-party deliveries as well. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

301 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

10. Koriente

621 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701

Easy and heathy-ish pan-Asian fare can be found at the restaurant near the Red River district. The restaurant is only open for call-ahead takeout orders and third-party deliveries (Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash).

621 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

11. Péché

208 W 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
An onion tart at Peche
An onion tart at Peche
Peche/Facebook

The absinthe bar mixes up thoughtful drinks and mighty hearty French cuisine. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in service.

208 W 4th St
Austin, TX 78701

12. Hestia

607 W 3rd St #105, Austin, TX 78701
A cabbage dish from Hestia
A cabbage dish from Hestia
Hestia/Facebook

The higher-end downtown restaurant from the team behind Emmer & Rye focuses on live-fire dishes, alongside expertly crafted desserts. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

607 W 3rd St #105
Austin, TX 78701

13. Houndstooth Coffee

401 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Coffee fans should head straight to this downtown cafe for a perfect cup of joe. To-go orders can be placed online. The cafe is open for indoor and outdoor services.

401 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

14. Mort Subite

308 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
A beer at Mort Subite
A beer at Mort Subite
Mort Subite/Facebook

The downtown beer bar is all about Belgian brews, with all sorts of drafts, bottles, and cans, including a strong Trappist selection. To-go orders can be placed online. The bar is open for indoor and outdoor services.

308 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

15. Fareground

111 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

The downtown food hall reopened with some of the city’s best chefs and restaurants, like Emmer & Rye’s fast-casual outpost Henbit, Israeli spot TLV, French chicken and baguette sandwich shop Austin Rotisserie, and Wu Chow’s dumplings and noodle stall, all making for an easygoing mix-and-match meal. Plus there are two bars with cocktails and wine. Takeout orders can be placed online or in person. The hall offers indoor and outdoor dining areas.

111 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

Related Maps

16. Veracruz All Natural

111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701
Tacos and drinks at Veracruz All Natural in the Line Hotel
Tacos and drinks at Veracruz All Natural in the Line Hotel
Veracruz All Natural/Facebook

Yes, the city’s best taco restaurant can luckily be found in downtown Austin. Veracruz’s Congress Avenue location within the Line Hotel features its amazing menu of tacos (yes, get the migas), quesadillas, and weekend brunch. To-go orders can be placed online or in person. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

111 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701

17. Arlo Grey

111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701

Top Chef winner Kristen Kish’s first solo restaurant landed in Austin with elegant dishes stemming inspired by her already-storied past. Its indoor dining room is also a prime location for bat-watching. There are indoor and outdoor seatings, the latter entails a different reservation system.

111 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701

18. Forthright

35 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
Fried chicken and waffles at Forthright
Fried chicken and waffles at Forthright
Forthright/Facebook

For easy, simple, quality breakfasts, lunches, and brunches, turn to this daytime American restaurant. To-go orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

35 Brazos St
Austin, TX 78701

Related Maps