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Please review restaurant recommendations near downtown Austin conference

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I'm helping organize a conference in Austin next month that's at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown (E 5th and I-35) and am putting together a diverse list of places within walking distance of the hotel for attendees. As a DC chowhound, I'm in need of some assistance from my local Austin chowhounds to help guide me!

Here's what I have so far -- please let me know if I've missed some obvious choices, or if any places on my list should be reconsidered. I've tried to include a variety of cuisines and price ranges ($ to $$$) to select from:

Carmelos $$$
Delish $
Eddie V's Edgewater Grille Downtown $$$
El Sol y La Luna $
Iron Cactus $$
Iron Works Barbecue $$
Koriente $
Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill $$
Ranch 616 $$
Roy’s Restaurant $$$
Uncorked Tasting Room and Wine Bar $$
Texas Embassy $

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  1. I don't have time for a long reply at the moment but two things:

    - I would drop Carmelos, I think the place is plain awful, the food , the service, and even the atmosphere

    - Ranch 616 is great but not walking distance to the convention center, if this is a distance you are considering, then you are missing some great jems in between

    1. I agree with moosy on dropping Carmelo's; it's just not very good. Same goes for Iron Cactus - it's third-rate Tex-Mex. El Sol y La Luna is better, and closer to where you're staying.
      Only been to Koriente a couple of times, and was not impressed; not bad, but not really worth going back.

      I actually prefer Finn and Porter in the Hilton (not the Hilton Garden Inn - the taller Hilton a couple of blocks away) to Eddie V's for $$$ seafood, though Eddie's isn't bad - more of a scene, if that's what you're looking for.
      Iron Works is passable barbecue, but by no means the best in town, not to mention out of town. Probably the best within walking distance, though.

      Haven't been to most of the other places (never even heard of Texas Embassy...)

      But if you want a good burger in a bar, there's Casino El Camino, and Jackalope, both just up 6th St. And Chez Nous for good French Bistro food, probably mid- ($$) price range.

      1. I love Moonshine and El Soy y La Luna. Both are good food and service and comfortable atmosphere. I would say Uncorked is more a wine bar than a restaurant. It's a good 'starter' place, but I wouldn't go there hungry. Iron Cactus is over-priced and mediocre at best.... although, it is consistent in it's horrible service in my experience. Eddie V's is good but expensive for what you get... very much a place to see and be seen.

        Could add in Peche (French, Mediterranean type food, absinthe bar and killer full bar) and Truluck's (chain seafood place, full bar)... those are moderately priced and on 4th street.

        Much luck, and enjoy Austin!

        1. I would 100% through in Parkside at 6th and San Jacinto. www.parkside-austin.com. Also agree about eliminating Carmelo's.

          1. you could add Frank's. it's about a block west of Congress. it's a hot-dog/speciality dog place that also serve's bacon infused cocktails $-$$

            not local but there is a McCormick& Schmidt's on Congress maybe at 4th or 5th

            also a new sandwich/salad place called Apple Annie's. i've never been, heard mixed reviews but it's a nice looking space, probably $-$$