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The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s El Rancho
The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's El Rancho
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Austin's 24 Most Iconic Dishes

Eat your way through the city's culinary essentials

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The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's El Rancho
| Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Austin is nearly 180 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’s the classic pancakes at Kerbey Lane Cafe, the migas plate from Cisco’s Restaurant Bakery and Bar, the sturdy salad from Mother’s Cafe and Garden, Franklin Barbecue’s world-famous brisket, tacos galore, and much more. This update includes the chicken fried steak at Hoover’s Cooking, the burger at Salt & Time, and the cauliflower tots at Better Half.

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

If we missed your favorite quintessential Austin dish, do show it some love in the comments or send us an email.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Roast Duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ

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8557 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 832-8788
Visit Website

The roast duck has always been the right move at this Chinese barbecue favorite.

The roast duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ
The roast duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ
Alice L./Yelp

2. Tonkotsu Ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya

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8557 Research Blvd, #126
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 834-8810
Visit Website

Few (non-barbecue) dishes have captured Austin diners' attention like Ramen Tatsu-ya's lovingly prepared ramen, turning these noodle soups into classics for years to come.

The tonkotsu ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
The tonkotsu ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen Tatsu-ya/Facebook

3. Enchiladas at the Dart Bowl

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5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 452-2518
Visit Website

The greasy enchiladas are legendary at this unassuming bowling alley.

Enchiladas at Dart Bowl
Enchiladas at Dart Bowl
Christine A./Yelp

4. Pancakes at Kerbey Lane Café

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3704 Kerbey Ln
Austin, TX 78731
(512) 451-1436
Visit Website

Do right by the sweet breakfast dish by ordering up fluffy stacks from the city’s quintessential diner, especially the gingerbread ones.

Pancakes from Kerbey
Pancakes from Kerbey
Kerbey Lane [Official]

5. Garden Patch Salad at Mother's Cafe & Garden

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4215 Duval St
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 451-3994
Visit Website

Take a trip back to a simpler, groovier time in Austin history with the vegetarian and vegan establishment, and eat some vegetables while you're there, with some sunflower sprouts.

The garden patch salad at Mother’s
The garden patch salad at Mother’s
Katie O./Yelp

6. Popcorn Tofu Po’ Boy at Wheatsville Food Co-Op

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3101 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 478-2667
Visit Website

Yes, it’s a food co-op, but the deli dishes up one of the city’s best vegetarian-friendly sandwiches. The popcorn tofu po’ boy comes dressed up in cashew tamari dressing, a bunch of vegetables and pickles on a French roll.

The popcorn tofu po’ boy at Wheatsville
The popcorn tofu po’ boy at Wheatsville
H. J./Yelp

7. Chicken Fried Steak at Hoover’s Cooking

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2002 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 479-5006
Visit Website

Classic dishes just taste better in classic restaurant spaces. The chicken fried steak at chef/owner Hoover Alexander’s restaurant is a perfect example of just that, slathered of course with gravy.

Hoover’s chicken fried steak
Hoover’s chicken fried steak
Hoover’s Cooking/Facebook

8. Crispy Fried Oysters at Jeffrey's

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1204 West Lynn
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 477-5584
Visit Website

A dish so iconic it stayed on the menu even after the restaurant got a serious revamp by now-owners McGuire Moorman Hospitality. The fried oysters are dabbled with a fruity apple-cider sauce, leeks, and herbs, all served atop yucca root chips.

Crispy fried oysters at Jeffrey’s
Crispy fried oysters at Jeffrey’s
Carmela S./Yelp

9. Biscuits at Olamaie

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

Everyone already knows to order the already-famous off-menu biscuits at Olamaie, which come with honey butter.

Biscuits at Olamaie
Biscuits at Olamaie
Katie LeSeuer

10. Steak at ALC

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1205 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 472-1813
Visit Website

Formerly known as Austin Land & Cattle, ALC is your best bet for a classic, laid-back steak dinner.

Steak at ALC
Steak at ALC
ALC Steaks/Facebook

11. Chili at Texas Chili Parlor

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

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.

Chilis at Texas Chili Parlor
Chilis at Texas Chili Parlor
Mike F./Yelp

12. Cauliflower Tots at Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

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406 Walsh St
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 645-0786
Visit Website

Already the all-day casual restaurant’s cauliflower tots served with a side of really good beet ketchup is a new classic in Austin.

13. Brisket at Franklin Barbecue

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900 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 653-1187
Visit Website

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.

Brisket from Franklin Barbecue
Brisket from Franklin Barbecue
Sammy K./Yelp

14. Migas at Cisco's Restaurant

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1511 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 478-2420
Visit Website

Soak up Austin political history and a hangover-killing breakfast in one fell swoop.

A migas plate from Cisco’s
A migas plate from Cisco’s
Kami H./Yelp

15. Butcher’s Burger at Salt & Time

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1912 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 524-1383
Visit Website

The butcher shop burger at Salt & Time is very special and unique: it’s made up of whatever steak trimmings are available that day.

Salt & Time’s burger
Salt & Time’s burger
Salt & Time/Facebook

16. Migas Taco at Veracruz All Natural

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1704 East Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 981-1760
Visit Website

The migas taco has been around long before Veracruz opened over ten years ago, but sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez behind this trailer phenomenon took an Austin classic to the next level.

The migas taco from Veracruz
The migas taco from Veracruz
Veracruz All Natural [Official]

17. Uchi

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1509, 801 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 916-4808
Visit Website

The Japanese restaurant brings its with the classic bright and citrus hama chili with yellowtail and Thai chilis.

Uchi’s hama chili
Uchi’s hama chili
Uchi/Facebook

18. Launderette

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2115 Holly St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 382-1599
Visit Website

The oh-so-fun birthday cake ice cream sandwich is so iconic that the Holly restaurant faked everyone out by pretending to take the dessert off the menu for April Fools’ Day once.

Launderette’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiches
Launderette’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiches
Launderette [Official]

19. Mexican Vanilla at Amy’s Ice Cream

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1301 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 440-7488
Visit Website

Go super-classic at this Austin ice cream institution, and don’t skimp on the toppings.

The Mexican vanilla ice cream at Amy’s
The Mexican vanilla ice cream at Amy’s
Kallista S./Yelp

20. A Slice of Pizza at Home Slice Pizza

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1415 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 444-7437
Visit Website

Home Slice ushered in a pizza revolution in Austin when they opened over ten years ago, and the New York-style pies still garner serious loyalty.

A slice of pizza from Home Slice
A slice of pizza from Home Slice
Home Slice/Facebook

21. Rosita's Al Pastor Taco

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1911 Old East Riverside Drive
Austin, TX 78741

One of the few restaurants serving pastor off a genuine trompo, Rosita's is a key place to start your pastor education

Al pastor tacos from Rosita’s
Al pastor tacos from Rosita’s
Lily P./Yelp

22. Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt's El Rancho

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2613 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 462-9333
Visit Website

The Bob is queso's perfect form, with taco meat and guacamole, and has spread across the country.

The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s
The Bob Armstrong Dip at Matt’s
Matt’s El Rancho/Facebook

23. Avocado Margarita at Curra's Grill

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614 E Oltorf St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 444-0012
Visit Website

The creamy boozy avocado margarita from Curra’s is another pinnacle of Tex-Mex achievement in Austin.

The avocado margarita at Curra’s
The avocado margarita at Curra’s
Jaimie M./Yelp

24. The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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11500 Manchaca Rd
Austin, TX 78748
(512) 221-4248
Visit Website

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.

The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina’s
The Real Deal Holyfield at Valentina’s
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

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1. Roast Duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ

8557 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758
The roast duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ
The roast duck at Din Ho Chinese BBQ
Alice L./Yelp

The roast duck has always been the right move at this Chinese barbecue favorite.

8557 Research Blvd
Austin, TX 78758

2. Tonkotsu Ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya

8557 Research Blvd, #126, Austin, TX 78758
The tonkotsu ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
The tonkotsu ramen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen Tatsu-ya/Facebook

Few (non-barbecue) dishes have captured Austin diners' attention like Ramen Tatsu-ya's lovingly prepared ramen, turning these noodle soups into classics for years to come.

8557 Research Blvd, #126
Austin, TX 78758

3. Enchiladas at the Dart Bowl

5700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756
Enchiladas at Dart Bowl
Enchiladas at Dart Bowl
Christine A./Yelp

The greasy enchiladas are legendary at this unassuming bowling alley.

5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756

4. Pancakes at Kerbey Lane Café

3704 Kerbey Ln, Austin, TX 78731
Pancakes from Kerbey
Pancakes from Kerbey
Kerbey Lane [Official]

Do right by the sweet breakfast dish by ordering up fluffy stacks from the city’s quintessential diner, especially the gingerbread ones.

3704 Kerbey Ln
Austin, TX 78731

5. Garden Patch Salad at Mother's Cafe & Garden

4215 Duval St, Austin, TX 78751
The garden patch salad at Mother’s
The garden patch salad at Mother’s
Katie O./Yelp

Take a trip back to a simpler, groovier time in Austin history with the vegetarian and vegan establishment, and eat some vegetables while you're there, with some sunflower sprouts.

4215 Duval St
Austin, TX 78751

6. Popcorn Tofu Po’ Boy at Wheatsville Food Co-Op

3101 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
The popcorn tofu po’ boy at Wheatsville
The popcorn tofu po’ boy at Wheatsville
H. J./Yelp

Yes, it’s a food co-op, but the deli dishes up one of the city’s best vegetarian-friendly sandwiches. The popcorn tofu po’ boy comes dressed up in cashew tamari dressing, a bunch of vegetables and pickles on a French roll.

3101 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

7. Chicken Fried Steak at Hoover’s Cooking

2002 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722
Hoover’s chicken fried steak
Hoover’s chicken fried steak
Hoover’s Cooking/Facebook

Classic dishes just taste better in classic restaurant spaces. The chicken fried steak at chef/owner Hoover Alexander’s restaurant is a perfect example of just that, slathered of course with gravy.

2002 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722

8. Crispy Fried Oysters at Jeffrey's

1204 West Lynn, Austin, TX 78703
Crispy fried oysters at Jeffrey’s
Crispy fried oysters at Jeffrey’s
Carmela S./Yelp

A dish so iconic it stayed on the menu even after the restaurant got a serious revamp by now-owners McGuire Moorman Hospitality. The fried oysters are dabbled with a fruity apple-cider sauce, leeks, and herbs, all served atop yucca root chips.

1204 West Lynn
Austin, TX 78703

9. Biscuits at Olamaie

1610 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78701
Biscuits at Olamaie
Biscuits at Olamaie
Katie LeSeuer

Everyone already knows to order the already-famous off-menu biscuits at Olamaie, which come with honey butter.

1610 San Antonio St
Austin, TX 78701

10. Steak at ALC

1205 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
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.

1205 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

11. Chili at Texas Chili Parlor

1409 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701
Chilis at Texas Chili Parlor
Chilis at Texas Chili Parlor
Mike F./Yelp

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.

1409 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701

12. Cauliflower Tots at Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

406 Walsh St, Austin, TX 78703

Already the all-day casual restaurant’s cauliflower tots served with a side of really good beet ketchup is a new classic in Austin.

406 Walsh St
Austin, TX 78703

13. Brisket at Franklin Barbecue

900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Brisket from Franklin Barbecue
Brisket from Franklin Barbecue
Sammy K./Yelp

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.

900 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702

14. Migas at Cisco's Restaurant

1511 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
A migas plate from Cisco’s
A migas plate from Cisco’s
Kami H./Yelp

Soak up Austin political history and a hangover-killing breakfast in one fell swoop.

1511 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702

15. Butcher’s Burger at Salt & Time

1912 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
Salt & Time’s burger
Salt & Time’s burger
Salt & Time/Facebook

The butcher shop burger at Salt & Time is very special and unique: it’s made up of whatever steak trimmings are available that day.

1912 E 7th St
Austin, TX 78702

Related Maps

16. Migas Taco at Veracruz All Natural

1704 East Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702
The migas taco from Veracruz
The migas taco from Veracruz
Veracruz All Natural [Official]

The migas taco has been around long before Veracruz opened over ten years ago, but sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez behind this trailer phenomenon took an Austin classic to the next level.

1704 East Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78702

17. Uchi

1509, 801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Uchi’s hama chili
Uchi’s hama chili
Uchi/Facebook

The Japanese restaurant brings its with the classic bright and citrus hama chili with yellowtail and Thai chilis.

1509, 801 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

18. Launderette

2115 Holly St, Austin, TX 78702
Launderette’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiches
Launderette’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiches
Launderette [Official]

The oh-so-fun birthday cake ice cream sandwich is so iconic that the Holly restaurant faked everyone out by pretending to take the dessert off the menu for April Fools’ Day once.

2115 Holly St
Austin, TX 78702

19. Mexican Vanilla at Amy’s Ice Cream

1301 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
The Mexican vanilla ice cream at Amy’s
The Mexican vanilla ice cream at Amy’s
Kallista S./Yelp

Go super-classic at this Austin ice cream institution, and don’t skimp on the toppings.

1301 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704

20. A Slice of Pizza at Home Slice Pizza

1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
A slice of pizza from Home Slice
A slice of pizza from Home Slice
Home Slice/Facebook