Somebody Help This Poor Girl: One Meal in Austin

I am going to Austin tomorrow night, and will be arriving right around dinner time. I’m not familiar with the area, and was wondering if anyone could recommend a fun, place with really good food? We aren’t looking for a pricey meal though, something mid-range would be best.

Didn’t we just do this? I thought so, but I can’t find it. Anywhoo, fill her up.


  • Cat

    Try Z Tejas, so good! Last time I went I had the Green Chile Barbacoa Enchiladas which were delish! Not that its important but I also saw Lance Armstrong dining there as well…..

  • Ranch 616, 616 Nueces Street, 512-479-7616
    Fun / lively atmosphere! Can be described as a step up from Z-Tejas (southwestern fare). Tequila Tuesdays! Salmon entrée with cucumber salsa is delish!

    Guero’s Taco Bar, 1412 S Congress Avenue, 512-707-8232
    Fab casual Tex mex! The best margaritas on the rocks in town! Has a huge list of options. Homemade corn tortillas. SoCo area.

    Botticelli, 1321 S. Congress Ave., 916-1315
    Brand NEW! Darling Italian restaurant. Small in front but there is outdoor seating in the back and live music! Delicious.

    Lambert’s, 401 W 2nd Street, 512-494-1500
    Spirited and lively! Not your typical, ‘Fancy barbecue’ located downtown near the new 2nd Street District. Great margaritas on the rocks and DELICIOUS appetizers. Fun bar/live music upstairs.


  • luniz

    Dona Emilia’s

  • aria

    Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
    303 Red River St.

  • OH Yum!!

    South Congress Cafe.

    I have gone at least three times (one even being after a UT game) and the service and atmosphere have been great! You see all types of people there, casual or dress up crowds.

    Prices decent, drinks a little overpriced for what they are, stick to wine.

    Some things are spicy so ask your server!

    (And if anyone cares, John Mayer ate there once when playing in town.)

    My other fav is:
    On South Congress also, yummy Italian and seafood.

    Have fun!!

  • SDM

    Hula Hut and The Oasis can be fun. Mexican Martinis at Trudy’s can be a lot of fun.

  • yeah, um.


    end of discussion…

  • Marci

    we NEVER go to Austin without hitting up Habanero’s on Oltorf. If you’re driving into Austin, take the oltorf exit…follow the street down a few blocks and the place will be on the left.

  • MNS

    Uchi is one of the best sushi restaurants in the country. It is an absolutely incredible experiance…they only take reservations before 7; otherwise plan to wait an hour or so. Not to be missed however.

  • Hula Hut or Torchy’s!

  • austin

    Vivo’s.. on Manor Road, east of 35. Amazing drinks and great mexican food. atmosphere is awesome and the ladies get a rose at the end of the meal.

    Z Tejas is always a good bet though. And Vespaio.

    Tubular tacos at Hula Hut aren’t that bad either!

  • stac

    Matt’s el rancho, z tejas, Trudy’s, Moonshine, Hula Hut, Shady Grove, maudi’s, etc.

  • Jed

    Get a sense of Central Texas, drive to Driftwood (20 minutes South) and go to The Salt Lick BBQ. Its BYOB too!!!

    Trudy’s Mexican Martinis are always great.

    Love the french fries at Hyde Park Grill. The soak them in buttermilk, fry them and serve with Romelaude. Its killer!!!

  • KRM

    If you want the best Austin seafood with a hip, sophisticated atmosphere downtown, I love Eddie Vs. If you want more casual and a younger party crowd, I love Guero’s.

  • Don in Austin

    What they said.
    For ‘que, Saltlick (now a new location next to ballpark in Round Rock) is decent but Louis Mueller’s in Taylor is outstanding. In the city I like Green Mesquite best. I haven’t tried Lambert’s but upscale ‘que is an oxymoron to me.

    The best basic Tex-Mex/enchiladas are at Maudies. Depends on if you want food or fun. Hula Hut is Chuy’s beach-Mex. No one mentioned Iguana Grill…on the lake but not enormous like Oasis.

    Have fun in our fair city. Its springtime!

  • Lisa O.

    Uchi is one of the best restaurants in Austin…Chef Tyson Cole was a winner of top chefs in American Food And Wine mag few years back.

    Also good is MARS on Congress. And Hula Hut on the lake for Mexican Martini’s.

  • Dani

    Thanks for all of the suggestions guys! We ended up going to Lambert’s for dinner. Had a mustard and brown sugar crusted ribeye that was amazing. Bartender was great, they had a couple of good microbrews on tap. We also hit up Smitty’s in lockhart for some great BBQ. All in all, a good weekend 🙂