With its menu of Italian bistro cuisine and charming interior, Enoteca Vespaio offers a less expensive but still fresh and high-quality alternative to Vespaio, its sister restaurant next door. Enoteca boasts offerings like the mozzarella panino stuffed with housemade mozzarella cheese and roasted tomatoes, flat-crust pizzas, and rich pastas. Fresh ingredients are in abundance. The dessert case at the entrance offers a glimpse at their tarts, cookies and cannoli. Sunday brunch offers a selection of egg dishes and sweet breakfasts like pancakes and freshly made bread. The interior is small but welcoming, and the outdoor patio at Enoteca Vespaio allows diners to gaze at passers-by strolling down South Congress.
Serving chef-prepared cuisine inspired by the La Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City, La Condesa offers upscale street food and tweaked home-style dishes in an energetic, airy atmosphere designed by acclaimed architect Michael Hsu. The menu contains street favorites like tacos and elotes, whole corn cobs served on a stick with cotija cheese and chili powder, as well as composed dishes like a Sunday Chicken with potato gratin and a butternut squash-stuffed chile relleno. La Condesa focuses on using local ingredients whenever possible for the best flavor. At the bar, award-winning cocktails are mixed, and a selection of over 80 tequilas is available.
A break from the fried food, burgers and pizza near the downtown bars, Koriente offers fresh, healthy food in the heart of the Red River bar scene. Open late on weekends, the Asian-inspired restaurant has a diverse clientele, from health-conscious diners to late-night snackers. The menu features lots of fresh vegetables, noodles and spicy dishes like curries and bibambap. Snacks include summer rolls, tapioca wraps and edamame. To drink, Koriente offers an extensive tea list featuring greens, blacks, reds and herbals. Bubble tea, the chilled drink with delightfully chewy tapioca pearls suspended in it, is also available in a variety of fruit or yogurt flavors.
If you think that Bouldin Creek Coffee House serves only coffee and breakfast, then you're wrong. Boulder Creek serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the menu here is strictly vegetarian. For drinks, try the chai latte and the honey lemonade. Leslie Martin, the owner offers the best multi-cultural menu at reasonable prices.
Step inside this hacienda-style restaurant and find yourself whisked south of the border by the Mexican interior, where fine food is served in a charming colonial atmosphere. Chef Roberto Sabatinez has added his own creative dishes to the menu of old favorites, including a wonderfully imaginative chile relleno that employs an ancho chile rather than the usual poblano. Traditional dishes are well prepared and the desserts go beyond the flan usually offered at many Mexican restaurants. Brunch is not to be missed; especially for those who love the Mexican custom of making the late morning meal a long, leisurely affair.
Set in an attractive stone building, Clay Pit serves mostly North Indian food. The chef Maqbool Ahmed is the real McCoy, having served a stint at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi, and has brought his panache for the tandoor to Austin. A must eat at this restaurant is the tandoori platter bedecked with chicken, lamb, broccoli, tomatoes and even zucchini. As always, Indian restaurants are a haven for vegetarians and this is no exception, serving dahl, paneer and a lot of veggie curries.
After the success of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth, Chef Tim Worth has opened another flagship outlet in Austin. The restaurant offers a range of steakhouse classics like brisket, rump steak, pork sausages and ribeye steaks but has a couple of more innovative dishes as well. Along with the usual pork, beef, chicken and duck, wild game is also served including rabbit, quail and elk. Sides like grilled asparagus and Texas honey as well as zippy cocktails and wines complement the rich flavors of the meat perfectly. The classy ambiance of the restaurant and the fine New American touches to the dishes truly makes for a delightful dining experience.
Péché is French for 'sin' and this is definitely the place to go to for wickedly delicious cocktails. This locale offers fine French fare, with daily specials that include everything fromm quintessentially French soups and grilled veal porterhouse to lamb cassoulet and pork involtini. They have an envious drink menu that consists of its famous pre-prohibition cocktails like the classic Sazerac or the more contemporary ones like the fig Manhattan, not to mention it's Austin's first absinthe bar. Stop on by for a trip to the old world of classy cuisine at Péché
With 106 locations, Ruth's Chris Steak House is known across the United States for their USDA Prime-graded beef. The filets, T-bones, rib-eyes and porterhouses keep people coming back. The fish preparations are forced to play second fiddle but take a leap of faith and try the ahi-tuna stack, if nothing else. Even vegetarians have the grilled portobello mushrooms to look forward to. Add to this the bread pudding with whiskey sauce (Ruth's original recipe) or any other from the assortment of cheesecakes and ice cream freezes. The only words left for the diners are 'put a fork in me, I'm done!'
True to its name, Chi'Lantro features a fusion of Korean and Mexican cuisine with a mobile food service across Austin. Follow the schedule of their friendly food truck to sample their creative take on traditional flavors. As the inventors of kimchi fries, this dish is a must have with French fries topped with caramelized kimchi, seasonings and Korean BBQ. Other specialties include the Korean burger, spicy pork tacos, Seoul burrito and beef rice bowl. They also offer catering facilities for your parties and private events.
OneTaco, a food truck unabashedly advertising itself as An Urban Eatery decided to drop anchor at West 6th Street. Of the lunch & dinner options, the Traditional al Pastor tacos combine spicy marinated pork, onions, pineapple, and cilantro within corn tortillas. Customers can One Up their orders by choosing a side at an additional fee. Moreover, the Guacamole Selection brings together avocado, lemon juice, tomatoes, cilantro, and onions. You can opt to wash everything down with Austin's own Sweet Leaf Tea (Citrus Green is a fine choice). Additionally, the employees of bar Little Woodrow's have no problem if you bring in whatever you order from OneTaco.
When you get bored of peanut butter and jelly, visit the 2nd Street District's famous sandwich makers, Which Wich. One of seven Austin locations, this downtown version of the small and creative concept chain is always crowded and fresh. A favorite among Austin businessmen and busy families, Which Wich serves up warm, made-to-order sandwiches, house potato chips, frothy milkshakes and generously cut Rice Krispie treats. The real appeal of this legendary sandwich shop is the power it gives the patron– you create your sandwich by selecting ingredients that have been written on the face of a brown paper bag. Try the toasty Turkey Reuben, the vegetarian-friendly hummus and bell peppers, or the ever popular Tuna Salad.