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May 2, 2010 09:22 AM

NJ Chowhound needs help for tonight.

I am in town for a family gathering and have no plans for this evening. We are staying close to intersection of 35 and 71. I would appreciate if anyone could offer any suggestions for tonight in the down town area or close to our location, we will be taking a taxi. Also because it's a sunday I was kind of hoping for a place that will still have a crowd later in the evening. We probally won't get their until 8:30 or 9:00. Had Parkside in mind but not sure if open on sundays.
Thanks in advance

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  1. Welcome to Austin, AC Captain!

    OK... Fancy restaurants, Downtown or Near South, in Austin that are usually still hopping on a late Sunday evening:

    Justine's is usually still hopping late on a Sunday and has fun, funky, hip Austin atmosphere. 4710 East 5th Street. About six miles one way. Print a map before you go -- your cab driver has only a 20% chance of knowing how to get to this place. Justine's has been heavily reviewed on Chowhound Austin; I can report a decline in deliciousness over my last few visits. I'm putting them first because I've been there late on a Sunday night and the place was absolutely hopping. I can't say that would be the case for you -- please don't hold me personally responsible if you get there and the place is nearly empty. The other problem is that unless you want to impound a vehicle in a tow yard or do some body work in a welding shop, the neighborhood doesn't offer much else.

    Parkside will be open as well, but late on Sundays will probably be just under half full. Open until 12:30 AM, a little over three miles from your hotel one way, and the cab driver should be able to find the address. Probably this is the best fit for what you're looking for. You'll also be downtown, so you can follow your meal with various misadventures.

    Uchi is amazing and open on Sundays until 10 PM. Going late on a Sunday might get you a table w/o a wait. If you go, have the cab wait until you check on whether you can even get a table w/ the hostess. Nearly five miles one way to South Lamar, and if your cab driver will be able to find it. Uchi is generally considered by the press (locally and nationally) to be the best restaurant in Austin. Don't go if you don't love raw fish. Don't go if you don't want to spend a lot of money. The area has a couple spots at Lamar and Barton that have opened up recently that you could walk to after your meal; I can't vouch for these places, their hours, or their fun quotient.

    Vespaio is Austin's best fancy Italian restaurant. You can get much better Italian in NJ, I would guess, but if you're craving it, you've got a three mile cab ride (one way). Open until 10 PM on Sundays and usually fairly crowded until the last hour. South Congress has a couple interesting spots for an out-of-towner to walk to as well (the Continental Club, for example) after your meal, if you so crave.

    Let us know where you end up! Good luck!

    Uchi Restaurant
    801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

    1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

    1 Reply
    1. re: tom in austin

      All of those recs from Tom are good, and I agree. I wasn't sure if you wanted upscale, hole in the wall, or what. A good alternative would be Azul Tequila - about 3 miles west on 71 from your location. Don't let the strip mall fool you: order from the mexican part of the menu (ie, not enchiladas) and you'll be happy).

      They stop taking orders at 10, but there's usually a good crowd there up until close. They have an excellent maragrita/drink menu.

      From there, you could walk to the Broken Spoke (albeit a 10 min walk down a busy street). There's no cover tonight. Take the cab from there back to your hotel.

      Azul Tequila
      4211 S Lamar Blvd Ste A2, Austin, TX 78704

      Broken Spoke
      3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704