Austin must have meals?
Will be in Austin for three days next week, staying downtown. Want suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We will have our 5 year old son with us, so nothing too fine dining, just want to know what are the must have meals. My wife is pregnant, so no sushi, but we like everything else.
Trudy's on Burnet is a fun place, great mexican food, and must try their mexican martini! Its the best in town. The chicken stuffed avacado is awesome, the beef fajita enchiladas with green chili sauce, and for vegetarian they have portabella mushroom fajitas that even I, a beef lover, enjoy!
For a meal when your kiddo wants to run a little bit I'd suggest Freddie's Place (S. 1st) and Phil's Icehouse (Burnet and 2222ish - this is north central), with the latter having better food. Both places have a playscape and always lots of kids there playing hard. I really enjoy the nachos at Freddie's and the chilicheeseburger and sweet potato fries at Phil's. Have fun!
Hmmm, some more suggestions. Most of these are more about the ambiance and fun factor than to die for food (although the food isn't bad). All are in or close to downtown so a short drive can get you there.
Whole Foods -- downtown store is the HQ flagship, so it's got more than most places, plus potentially fun to wander through with a 5 year old. Lot of food choices and place to eat outside.
Angie's (E. 7th) -- short distance from downtown, Tex-Mex, lots of families show up. Good food and fresh tortillas.
Cafe Mundi (E. 5th) -- a little further afield, funkier Austin, outdoor seating, good place for a kid to run around while you have coffee.
Casino El Camino -- burgers and fries, moderate dive bar, might be a bit too bizarre for a 5 year old. Depends on what they're showing on the TV and how tattooed/pierced the bartender is that day.
Chuy's on Barton Springs -- yes, touristy etc. but a fun place and very much part of Austin history. Combine it with a swim at Barton Springs and your son will probably think it's the best time to be had.
Amy's Ice Cream -- dessert only (obviously).
The Trailer Park on S. 1st. -- Choices from several different trailers (Torchy's & Shuggie's). All outdoor seating obviously.
Buenos Aires Cafe (E. 6th) -- very good empanadas and sandwiches. Nice sit down place with lots of space.
Would definitely favor Ruby's BBQ over the ones downtown.
If you're here on a Saturday morning, go to the Farmer's Market on 4th. Half is produce, the other half is to-go -- coffee, pastries, Oaxacan tamles, Brazilian snacks, breakfast tacos, etc. Lots of kids and dogs and a park right there to run around in.
An ABSOLUTE MUST would be the original Z'Tejas 6th Street. 1110 W. 6th Street Austin, Texas 78703. Phone: (512) 478-5355. It's to DIE FOR! Had one up here in Dallas once upon a time, but alas they left in the blink of an eye :-( Whenever I visit Austin, I just HAVE TO go there and get my "fix". The Fruit Infused Patron drink is heavenly! Be certain to save room for some of the outrageous dessert offerings, and consider choosing a warm one served sizzling on cast iron! Ooh, my mouth is salivating just thinking about it! Great art and photography by local artists hangs on the walls and is available for purchase.
Links to a couple of similar discussions (and further links within each):
For what it's worth, even most of the nicer options in Austin eschew the pretensions of fine dining one might find in larger cities. I should also note that the links above are already a bit dated-- new restaurants are still opening at a fairly rapid clip. Recent additions potentially not included (but searchable on this board) include Buenos Aires Cafe's new location, and the openings of Max's Wine Dive and Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar.