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A dish at Peche
A dish at Peche
Peche/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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A dish at Peche
| Peche/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, where 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 its 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.

For the purposes of this guide, the map covers the area bordered by Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, I35, 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 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 themselves.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial 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. 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.

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

2. Mohawk Austin

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912 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 666-0877
Visit Website

For drinks and a music show, this Red River venue is the place.

A show at Mohawk
A show at Mohawk
Mohawk/Facebook

3. Cheer Up Charlies

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900 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 431-2133 LGBTQ
Visit Website

The LGBTW vegan bar often hosts concerts and dance parties while offering up fun drinks in a festive atmosphere.

4. 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.

Small Victory
Small Victory
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

5. Wu Chow

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500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 476-2469
Visit Website

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.

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

6. 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 surprisingly filling food menu. To-go and delivery orders can be placed online.

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

7. 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 at mezcal bar Las Perlas and taco truck Asador. Taco to-go orders can be placed online.

Mushroom tacos at Asador
Mushroom tacos at Asador
Asador/Facebook

8. 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.

Food at Parkside
Food at Parkside
Parkside/Facebook

9. 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).

10. 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-ish cuisine.

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

11. 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

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

12. Cuatro Gato

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310 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701

The relatively newer casual downtown cafe marries Mexican coffee and Peruvian-Filipino arepas and pastries from the Arepa Dealers. Takeout orders can be placed online.

The beef mechada from Arepa Dealers
The beef mechada from Arepa Dealers
Arepa Dealers/Facebook

13. Houndstooth Coffee

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

Coffee obsessives should head straight to this downtown cafe for a perfect cup of joe. To-go orders can be placed online.

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.

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

15. 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.

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

16. 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 dining room is also a prime location for bat-watching.

17. 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.

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

1. 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.

1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

2. 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.

912 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

3. Cheer Up Charlies

900 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701

The LGBTW vegan bar often hosts concerts and dance parties while offering up fun drinks in a festive atmosphere.

900 Red River St
Austin, TX 78701

4. 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.

108 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

5. 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.

500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701

6. 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 surprisingly filling food menu. To-go and delivery orders can be placed online.

307 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701

7. 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 at mezcal bar Las Perlas and taco truck Asador. Taco to-go orders can be placed online.

405 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78701

8. 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.

301 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

9. 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

10. 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-ish cuisine.

208 W 4th St
Austin, TX 78701

11. 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

607 W 3rd St #105
Austin, TX 78701

12. Cuatro Gato

310 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701
The beef mechada from Arepa Dealers
The beef mechada from Arepa Dealers
Arepa Dealers/Facebook

The relatively newer casual downtown cafe marries Mexican coffee and Peruvian-Filipino arepas and pastries from the Arepa Dealers. Takeout orders can be placed online.

310 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701

13. Houndstooth Coffee

401 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Coffee obsessives should head straight to this downtown cafe for a perfect cup of joe. To-go orders can be placed online.

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.

308 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

15. 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.

111 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701

Related Maps

16. 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 dining room is also a prime location for bat-watching.

111 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701

17. 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.

35 Brazos St
Austin, TX 78701

Related Maps