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Hands picking up slices of brisket.
Franklin Barbecue’s brisket.
Nick Solares/Eater

Austin's 24 Most Iconic Dishes

Eat your way through the city's culinary essentials

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Franklin Barbecue’s brisket.
| Nick Solares/Eater

Austin is 182 years old, and in that time, certain dishes have stood out amongst the fray as the best, most delicious representations of the city. To help figure out those must-eat meals, Eater put together a handy guide to Austin's most iconic dishes.

The city’s defining dishes range from a mix of old and new. There are quesos from Matt’s El Rancho , migas plates from Cisco’s, Franklin Barbecue’s world-famous briskets, tacos galore, and much more. This update includes the pancakes at Kerbey Lane Cafe and barbecue klobasniky from Kerlackes.

For more defining Austin eats, check out the city's most classic restaurants, iconic meat dishes, barbecue, tacos, burgers, and pizzerias.

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.
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Roast Duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ

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The roast duck has always been the right move at this Chinese barbecue favorite. Takeout orders can be placed online and Uber Eats deliveries are available. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Tonkotsu Ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya

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Few (non-barbecue) dishes have captured Austin diners' attention like Ramen Tatsu-ya's lovingly prepared ramen, turning these noodle soups into instant craveable classics. Takeout orders for all locations can be placed online. All locations feature indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Popcorn Tofu Po’ Boy at Wheatsville Food Co-Op

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Yes, it’s a food co-op, but its deli dishes up one of the city’s best vegetarian sandwiches. The popcorn tofu po’ boy comes dressed up in cashew-tamari dressing, a bunch of vegetables, and dill pickles on a French roll. Takeout orders for both locations (the other on South Lamar) can be placed online.

Chicken Fried Steak at Hoover’s Cooking

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Classic dishes just taste better in classic restaurant spaces. The chicken fried steak slathered with cream gravy at chef/owner Hoover Alexander’s restaurant is a perfect example of just that. Takeout orders can be placed online. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Crispy Fried Gulf Oysters at Jeffrey's

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A dish that is so iconic it stayed on the menu even after the restaurant got a serious revamp by now-owners Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman. The fried Gulf oysters are dabbled with a fruity apple-cider sauce, spiced leeks, and chervil, now served on the shell. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Biscuits at Olamaie

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After years of being a secret item, the famous fluffy biscuits at Olamaie, which come with honey butter, have earned its rightful place on the menu. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Biscuits at Olamaie
Biscuits at Olamaie
Katie LeSeuer

Steak at ALC

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Formerly known as Austin Land & Cattle, ALC is your best bet for a classic, laid-back steak dinner. Takeout orders can be placed online. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Steak at ALC
Steak at ALC
ALC Steaks/Facebook

Chili at Texas Chili Parlor

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The beauty of a classic restaurant devoted to chili is how many ways chili can be enjoyed. As Frito pie? On a hot dog? A burger? Baked potato? Just on its own? You do you, and get it as spicy or mild as you want it. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Cauliflower Tots at Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

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How does the Better Half team get the cauliflower so crispy? The all-day casual restaurant’s cauliflower tots served with a side of really good beet ketchup are a work of culinary magic. Takeout orders. can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Brisket at Franklin Barbecue

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Austin's most talked-about and craved dish, Aaron Franklin's magically delicious brisket has come to define the city across the country and world. Advanced pickup orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Monster Cookie at Henbit

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The fast-casual stall at downtown food hall Fareground is known for its massive Monster Cookie laden with chocolate chips and pecans. It was created by pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph of the Emmer and Rye group. Takeout orders can be placed online, and national shipping via Goldbelly is available. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Migas at Cisco's Restaurant

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Soak up Austin's political history and very filling breakfast in one fell swoop at the East Sixth restaurant with the migas paired with either tortillas or biscuits (why not try both?). There are indoor dine-in services.

Migas Taco at Veracruz All Natural

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The migas taco has been around long before Veracruz opened over 14 years ago, but sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez behind this trailer phenomenon took an Austin classic to the next level. Takeout orders for all locations can be placed online. There are on-site dine-in services and areas available, many with outdoor areas.

Brisket Kobasniky at Kerlaches

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While the Kerlin BBQ truck is now officially closed, its famous barbecue-stuffed klobasniky live on with its off-shoot and still-open East Austin truck Kerlaches. There’s brisket and cheddar cheese; sausages, pickled jalapenos, and cheddar; and typically a vegetarian option, all stuffed into soft pastries. It was created by co-owner Amelis Kerlin. Takeout orders can be placed in person, and there is outdoor dining available. (While Kerlin calls the item “kolaches,” the term usually refers to the sweet version of the pastry. klobásníky refers to the meat-stuffed iteration.)

Butcher’s Burger at Salt & Time

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The butcher shop burger at Salt & Time is very special and unique: it’s made up of whatever steak trimmings are available that day, plus mayonnaise and sour pickles on a brioche bun. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Hama Chili at Uchi

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The Japanese restaurant’s classic bright and citrusy hama chili dish has yellowtail, Thai chilis, and citrusy ponzu. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Ice Cream Sandwich at Launderette

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Though its originator Laura Sawicki is no longer at the Holly restaurant, her oh-so-fun birthday cake ice cream sandwich is still thankfully on the menu. The dessert has become so iconic that Launderette faked everyone out by pretending to take the dessert off the menu for April Fools’ Day once. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Two ice cream sandwich squares with colorful sprinkles and birthday candles that are lit.
Launderette’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiches.
Launderette

Mexican Vanilla Ice Cream at Amy’s

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Go super-classic at this Austin ice cream institution chain, and don’t skimp on the toppings. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online.

A Slice of Pizza at Home Slice Pizza

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Home Slice ushered in a pizza revolution in Austin when it opened over 16 years ago, and the New York-style pies still garner serious loyalty. Takeout orders can be placed in person. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's El Rancho

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The Bob is queso's perfect form, with taco meat and guacamole. Takeout orders can be placed online. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A person holding up a big bowl of yellow melted cheese with a clump of ground meat and guacamole in the middle.
The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s El Rancho.
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

Pancakes at Magnolia Cafe

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The city’s quintessential no-longer-all-hours-sadly diner is known for its fluffy stacks of pancakes, especially the buttermilk ones. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Al Pastor Taco at Rosita’s

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The Riverside restaurant and food truck is a key place to start your pastor education for pastor from a genuine tromp. Takeout orders can be placed in person. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Avocado Margarita at Curra's Grill

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The creamy boozy avocado margarita from both locations of Curra’s (the other in Hyde Park) is another pinnacle of Tex-Mex achievement in Austin. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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It’s impossible to have too many tacos, and Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ proves that point with its perfect melding of Austin’s deep true loves, barbecue and Tex-Mex with the trailer’s breakfast-ready Real Deal Holyfield. Opt for brisket with a fried egg, beans, bacon, and tomato serrano salsa. Takeout orders can be placed in person. There are outdoor dining areas.

A taco with a brisket slice and egg and sauce in a cardboard tray on a blue table.
The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina’s.
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

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Roast Duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ

The roast duck has always been the right move at this Chinese barbecue favorite. Takeout orders can be placed online and Uber Eats deliveries are available. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Tonkotsu Ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya

Few (non-barbecue) dishes have captured Austin diners' attention like Ramen Tatsu-ya's lovingly prepared ramen, turning these noodle soups into instant craveable classics. Takeout orders for all locations can be placed online. All locations feature indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Popcorn Tofu Po’ Boy at Wheatsville Food Co-Op

Yes, it’s a food co-op, but its deli dishes up one of the city’s best vegetarian sandwiches. The popcorn tofu po’ boy comes dressed up in cashew-tamari dressing, a bunch of vegetables, and dill pickles on a French roll. Takeout orders for both locations (the other on South Lamar) can be placed online.

Chicken Fried Steak at Hoover’s Cooking

Classic dishes just taste better in classic restaurant spaces. The chicken fried steak slathered with cream gravy at chef/owner Hoover Alexander’s restaurant is a perfect example of just that. Takeout orders can be placed online. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Crispy Fried Gulf Oysters at Jeffrey's

A dish that is so iconic it stayed on the menu even after the restaurant got a serious revamp by now-owners Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman. The fried Gulf oysters are dabbled with a fruity apple-cider sauce, spiced leeks, and chervil, now served on the shell. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Biscuits at Olamaie

Biscuits at Olamaie
Biscuits at Olamaie
Katie LeSeuer

After years of being a secret item, the famous fluffy biscuits at Olamaie, which come with honey butter, have earned its rightful place on the menu. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Biscuits at Olamaie
Biscuits at Olamaie
Katie LeSeuer

Steak at ALC

Steak at ALC
Steak at ALC
ALC Steaks/Facebook

Formerly known as Austin Land & Cattle, ALC is your best bet for a classic, laid-back steak dinner. Takeout orders can be placed online. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Steak at ALC
Steak at ALC
ALC Steaks/Facebook

Chili at Texas Chili Parlor

The beauty of a classic restaurant devoted to chili is how many ways chili can be enjoyed. As Frito pie? On a hot dog? A burger? Baked potato? Just on its own? You do you, and get it as spicy or mild as you want it. The restaurant is open for indoor dine-in services.

Cauliflower Tots at Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

How does the Better Half team get the cauliflower so crispy? The all-day casual restaurant’s cauliflower tots served with a side of really good beet ketchup are a work of culinary magic. Takeout orders. can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Brisket at Franklin Barbecue

Austin's most talked-about and craved dish, Aaron Franklin's magically delicious brisket has come to define the city across the country and world. Advanced pickup orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Monster Cookie at Henbit

The fast-casual stall at downtown food hall Fareground is known for its massive Monster Cookie laden with chocolate chips and pecans. It was created by pastry chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph of the Emmer and Rye group. Takeout orders can be placed online, and national shipping via Goldbelly is available. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Migas at Cisco's Restaurant

Soak up Austin's political history and very filling breakfast in one fell swoop at the East Sixth restaurant with the migas paired with either tortillas or biscuits (why not try both?). There are indoor dine-in services.

Migas Taco at Veracruz All Natural

The migas taco has been around long before Veracruz opened over 14 years ago, but sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez behind this trailer phenomenon took an Austin classic to the next level. Takeout orders for all locations can be placed online. There are on-site dine-in services and areas available, many with outdoor areas.

Brisket Kobasniky at Kerlaches

While the Kerlin BBQ truck is now officially closed, its famous barbecue-stuffed klobasniky live on with its off-shoot and still-open East Austin truck Kerlaches. There’s brisket and cheddar cheese; sausages, pickled jalapenos, and cheddar; and typically a vegetarian option, all stuffed into soft pastries. It was created by co-owner Amelis Kerlin. Takeout orders can be placed in person, and there is outdoor dining available. (While Kerlin calls the item “kolaches,” the term usually refers to the sweet version of the pastry. klobásníky refers to the meat-stuffed iteration.)

Butcher’s Burger at Salt & Time

The butcher shop burger at Salt & Time is very special and unique: it’s made up of whatever steak trimmings are available that day, plus mayonnaise and sour pickles on a brioche bun. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Related Maps

Hama Chili at Uchi

The Japanese restaurant’s classic bright and citrusy hama chili dish has yellowtail, Thai chilis, and citrusy ponzu. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Ice Cream Sandwich at Launderette

Two ice cream sandwich squares with colorful sprinkles and birthday candles that are lit.
Launderette’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiches.
Launderette

Though its originator Laura Sawicki is no longer at the Holly restaurant, her oh-so-fun birthday cake ice cream sandwich is still thankfully on the menu. The dessert has become so iconic that Launderette faked everyone out by pretending to take the dessert off the menu for April Fools’ Day once. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Two ice cream sandwich squares with colorful sprinkles and birthday candles that are lit.
Launderette’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiches.
Launderette

Mexican Vanilla Ice Cream at Amy’s

Go super-classic at this Austin ice cream institution chain, and don’t skimp on the toppings. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online.

A Slice of Pizza at Home Slice Pizza

Home Slice ushered in a pizza revolution in Austin when it opened over 16 years ago, and the New York-style pies still garner serious loyalty. Takeout orders can be placed in person. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's El Rancho

A person holding up a big bowl of yellow melted cheese with a clump of ground meat and guacamole in the middle.
The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s El Rancho.
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

The Bob is queso's perfect form, with taco meat and guacamole. Takeout orders can be placed online. The restaurant is open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

A person holding up a big bowl of yellow melted cheese with a clump of ground meat and guacamole in the middle.
The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s El Rancho.
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

Pancakes at Magnolia Cafe

The city’s quintessential no-longer-all-hours-sadly diner is known for its fluffy stacks of pancakes, especially the buttermilk ones. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Al Pastor Taco at Rosita’s

The Riverside restaurant and food truck is a key place to start your pastor education for pastor from a genuine tromp. Takeout orders can be placed in person. It’s open for indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Avocado Margarita at Curra's Grill

The creamy boozy avocado margarita from both locations of Curra’s (the other in Hyde Park) is another pinnacle of Tex-Mex achievement in Austin. Takeout orders can be placed online. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

A taco with a brisket slice and egg and sauce in a cardboard tray on a blue table.
The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina’s.
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

It’s impossible to have too many tacos, and Valentina’s Tex-Mex BBQ proves that point with its perfect melding of Austin’s deep true loves, barbecue and Tex-Mex with the trailer’s breakfast-ready Real Deal Holyfield. Opt for brisket with a fried egg, beans, bacon, and tomato serrano salsa. Takeout orders can be placed in person. There are outdoor dining areas.

A taco with a brisket slice and egg and sauce in a cardboard tray on a blue table.
The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina’s.
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin

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