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A Canadian food writers first time to Austin- Best places to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

I will be in Austin February 22nd-27th, travelling solo on business. Can anyone tell me the must eat places? Cheap, expensive, creative, hole in the wall, you name it. The only must is DELICIOUS food. I am open to try anything.


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  1. First, try the Cafe Apostrophe. Judging from the headline, looks like it could be a first!!!!! Writers should love it!!!! Should is the operative term here....

    That aside, have you done ANY research on CH? The Austin board is clearly one of the most active in the USA (I live in the PNW and for 2-3 states, our board gets far fewer posts) and is a great place for tips on places new, old, traditional, not so traditional.

    I'll be in Austin for part of that time from feb 12. I won't miss: Asia Cafe, La Michoacana Carneceria, a series of taco trucks, Backstage, Sunflower, Madam Mam, Justine's, Smitty's BBQ (in Lockhart), Sam's BBQ, Mueller's (in Taylor). Might have to hit Amaya's Taco Village for their wacky-fresh corn tortillas which I first ate 35 years ago, or the offshoot, Angie's, can't miss the chicken sandwich at Phoenicia Bakery (the original location on S. Lamar), maybe the bigass burger at happy hour at the Rolling Fork, Tâm's Deli for great Viet food made by great people, the Pak-Indo food at Shalimar. Did I mention Sichuan at Asia Cafe? Oh, more Viet at Sea Dragon (don't listen to nay sayers on this one, they clearly don't know), and a handful of new places I've learned about...guess where???? On CH.

    Have fun, and do digest that chow at the Apostrophe. Your eds will appreciated it,

    1 Reply
    1. re: sambamaster

      Samba, perhaps you should proofread your own posts before razzing other posters' typos! And while you're at it, have a go at scrumptiouschef's epic avoidance of the space bar!

      Anyhoo, I would like to recommend Frank, which is a fancy hotdog place downtown. My husband and I went there on a night we were graced with a babysitter and are eager to get back. Avoid the poutine, though; it was nasty.

      We like Homeslice for pizza, Curra's for interior Mexican, and I have a soft spot for Vivo on Manor for Tex-Mex. Flip Happy Crepes for an example of a good food cart, and Sugar Mama's for an excellent cupcake.

      On my To Do list are Justine and Olivia, which I've heard almost uniformly positive things about.

    2. i'd visit Flip Happy Crepes, Rosita's El Pastor, Buenos Aires Cafe and Justine's. maybe Lulu B's for lemongrass tofu banh mi
      old school institution type burger joint: Top Notch burgers
      Hill's Cafe is kind of a cool place to check out -heavy southern style food and free range steaks. i've only had the burger there but was impressed by the decor, don't know if it all falls under 'delicious food' though

      1. Definitely research the board, but here are my three recs, and places I would take a friend from out of town to.
        Dan's Hamburgers for breakfast (Southern breakfast done better than many of the fancier joints)
        Amaya's Taco Village for lunch (old-school Tex-Mex with not a hint of irony or cuteness)
        Parkside for dinner (excellent upscale bar food and small plates).
        Pretty sure you can find all the menus online. Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: gilintx

          I'd take a pass on Dan's. Biscuits and gravy are ok, but the bkfst. really isn't anything you can't get in 1000 places in the country.

        2. Fonda San Miguel has good interior Mexican food. Sunday brunch is probably the most recommended meal. Bring your wallet.
          I'll second parkside for seafood, especially.
          Take a road trip to Lockhart for BBQ. Search this board. There is much info on that.
          Never been, but Uchi gets a lot of love on this board.

          1. Thank you for your responses- much appreciated. A recent development has now extended my trip to include several days in Houston. I'll be sure to review the boards to get a better idea of where the best food in Texas is hiding. Now if only someone can point me to the weather complaint department- I'll be all set. What is with the cold weather there? I hope it warms up!

            1 Reply
            1. re: gourmetnista

              I have to say, if you are going to Houston, stop by Niko Niko's for some great greek food. I particularly love their Avgolemono soup, and their greek salad with a slab of marinated feta. Also if your pocketbook is willing, Mark's American Cuisine is my wife's and my favorite restaurant, which we try to go for anniversaries. Yes, we drive 2 and 1/2 hours to go have dinner, and its soooo worth it.

            2. hmmm...so many places to choose from. a few of my tops include:

              * House or Eastside Pies for thin-crust pizza
              * Eastside Cafe for something authentically Austin (they have their own garden!) and consistently delicious.
              * i'm with bookgrrl on Olivia and Justine's...they are on my must-do list as well.
              * for total indulgence, get your wallet out for the slow-braised colorado lamb shank with pomegranate-tamarind glaze at Restaurant Jezebel. *swoon* they have an amazing wine list too.
              * ming's cafe for great, no-frills chinese - the spinach stir-fry is to die for!

              happy eating!

              1. Austin...Swad Vegetarian Indian, Tam Vietnamese Deli, El Zunzal for Central American, Las Delicias Taqueria for authentic barbacoa, Cisco's for straightforward Tex-Mex and a slice of local color, Ray's BBQ in Montopolis, Shuck Shack for an oyster poboy, Phoenicia Bakery for any sandwich (especially the chicken), but go at a peak hour or it might be dry, Fonda San Miguel for Mexican, Wink for locally-sourced haute cuisine...

                Houston...La Mexicana for Northern Mexican, Tex-Chick for Puerto Rican, Kim Son for Chinese & SE Asian, Texture and Mark's for haute cuisine, Kahn's Deli for a Reuben...

                ¡buen provecho!

                1. Breakfast at Taco Shack for their breakfast tacos ; Upper Crust Bakery for their pastries.
                  Sunday brunch at La Fonda San Miguel
                  Brunch at Blue Star Cafeteria on the weekend
                  Lunch at Garrido's (awesome tacos); House Pizzeria (Margerita extra, sausage&mushroom, and new meatball pizzas are our favorites)
                  Lambert's for delicious BBQ in Austin and Cooper Old Time BBQ in Llano for the classic
                  Dim Sum anytime at GetSum; DinHo & Asia Cafe for inexpensive chinese
                  Madras Pavilion for south Indian lunch buffet
                  The Carillon (at the UT campus AT&T center) is the best deal in high quality fine dining (chef Josh Watkins creates perfection)
                  Uchi can't be missed (chef Tyson Cole is so very talented)
                  Restaurant Jezebel (go during dinner when chef Parind Vora will be there)
                  Healthy fare can be found at Somnio's in south Austin and at the cafe at Lake Austin Spa

                  1. Forgot to mention Trio at the Four Seasons and Asti Restaurant in the Hyde Park neighborhood which are among our favorite dinner spots