Austin for 3 Nights - Lamberts, Parkside, Uchi. Correct or incorrect?
Going to Austin for 3 days (yes, SXSW) and setting up dinners at places with killer food and good atmospheres.
Aiming for Lambert's, Parkside, and Uchi. Is this the best course of action?
Any must hit lunch spots?
Without knowing where you are, and what you have available, I would just say to sub Parkside with East Side Cafe. Lambert's isn't the very best BBQ, but it is good and central and has a nice vibe. Uchi is incredible. Parkside is good, but there is nothing that defines it - it isn't ground breaking, or "Austin," or really sublime for what it does. East Side Cafe has a great old austin vibe, locally grown/sourced product - just seems more like a visitor's choice.
Uchi, absolutely- gotta have a reservation though.
Lambert's I would skip all together- if it has to be BBQ you'llget a ton of opinions on this board--Iron Works is better tasting that Lambert's in my opinion though I don't really care for either one. My preference is to drive to LLano for Cooper's or do something other than BBQ.
If you want the best, try Jezebel on Congress, but this is probably better for a romantic evening with no other activties so you can linger and enjoy.
Another option is Driskill Grill which is great service an very fancy, but if you do the Sunset Menu 5:30-7 you can get 3 courses for $45/$75 with wine pairings. Top notch service,
I've had hit & miss with Parkside and would go back for HH when prices are more in line with service, but not sure how that fits with your time tables.
yes to parkside!
yes to uchi! (try showing up a little before 5 to get in w/o a reservation)
the best deal with lambert's is to hit their weekend brunch buffet: all kinds of good bbq and breakfast treats to try... most of the egg items are made to order and delivered right to your table.
I'd say CORRECT
Lunch spots downtown are not going to be anything transcendent, but for better than average, check out WeFuse (asian healthy), Jackalope (divey delicious burger), Habana (cuban), and maybe Athenian Grill (greek).
personally, i like the places you listed.
some visitors from seattle just wrote about a disappointing experience at uchi, which then resulted in a bunch of rude comments and lots of moderation.
so, for uchi and any other of the higher-end places you think you'd like to try, i would strongly recommend looking at their online menus and then searching the boards a bit to figure out if it will be your thing or not.
a lot of people mention what is hit or miss at lambert's and uchi.
Thanks for all the tips. I'm a fan of Parkside, been a few times before and will be with a group of somewhat diverse eaters, and the menu is big enough for everyone to be happy. I'm also a bivalve fiend so the oysters are a big factor for me.
I've been to the Driskill, it's real good, but too "fine dining" for the dinners I'm planning.
Definitely psyched for Uchi, I saw that other thread - seems like there are some real Uchi backers.
Any bars that are a must hit? I've heard that the Longbranch Inn is supposed to be pretty wild and a quintessential "Austin" bar , but that the owners can get a little out of hand sometimes.
If the Longbranch ever becomes quintessential Austin I'm out of here.
Crude,unfriendly people run and work the bar. The "old" Longbranch used to be a good place to sit around in the afternoon and drink cheap beer.The new guys bought it a few years ago and it began plummeting downwards til it reached its' current pitiful state.
Foodwise:At closing time a guy in a Hyundai may pull up with a cooler full of tacos in his trunk.They are disgusting.If another guy is set up in a redcart nearby try a sausage wrap with grilled onions as they are decent enough.
if you are a bivalve fiend, eddy v's has a great happy hour with half price oysters (but there is only one variety for HH, and it's not like parkside where you can choose from a gajillion different kinds).
it's a white tablecloth kinda place with live piano music most of the time, so it's a good deal.
if you are interested in researching other happy hour options and/or deals around town, check out
and yelp has partnered with places for sxsw deals:
Yes to all 3 dinner spots-- these are all places we take our out of town guests. I'd do Lambert's on a Sunday when you can catch Ephraim Owens-- awesome show, just call ahead to ensure he's playing and that you can get a booth.
For bars I'd do Ginger Man- great backyard area, 219 West has a good happy hour, Key Bar is nice because its all open and they have great margaritas that come with a mini-popsicle (nice during this weather). You could also try Union Park or Ranch or Belmont for good patios and nice views.