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UT College Visit restaurant suggestions by Embassy Suites Town Lake and by campus

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Our family (me, dh, 17 yo, 12 yo, 10 yo) are coming to Austin next month so the oldest child can tour UT. We are staying at the Embassy Suites on Town Lake (it will always be Town Lake to me). Any walking distance restaurant recommendations for dinner? The kids are good restaurant patrons and pretty flexible for cuisines.

We also need a lunch suggestion within campus walking distance. The tour is in the morning and he is meeting with an admissions counselor after lunch so we need to stay close. Something around the Drag is preferable.

It has been 20+ years since DH and I have spent any meaningful time in Austin so suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. Dirty Martin's, Kerbey Lane, Torchy's Tacos are all on the drag and popular with students. There's also Player's on MLK right there also. All are good and cheap.

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    Torchy's Tacos
    2809 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

    1. Welcome back to Austin!
      Y'all have plenty of choices for great food - here are a few of my suggestions.
      On the Drag - Madam Mam's, some of the best, if not THE BEST, Thai food in Austin.
      Flying falafel and po-boy is on the drag just south of Dobie Mall, serving up good po-boy's, Cajun and Lebanese food.
      You may remember Ruby's Bar-B-Q and Milto's Mediterranean from when you were here. They are both still thriving at 29th and Guadalupe.
      Just south of campus on 16th St. is Clay Pit Contemporary Indian cuisine. Their lunch buffet is small, but tasty.

      A little too far to walk, but a very short drive (or bus ride) will get you to the Manor Road restaurant row where your best choices would be Hoover's Cooking for southern favorites like chicken fried chicken or smothered pork chops, and East Side Cafe with their onsite organic garden.
      A short drive north on Guadalupe will take you to Mandola's Italian Market, the casual spot opened by Damian Mandola of the PBS cooking show.

      There are so many fine choices within walking distance of your hotel - South Congress, the food trailers, 2nd Street district - I'll leave those recommendations to others.

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      Madam Mam's Noodles & More
      2514 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

      East Side Cafe
      2113 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

      Mandola's Italian Market
      4700 W Guadalupe St # 12, Austin, TX

      Hoover's Cooking & Catering
      2002 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

      Clay Pit
      1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701

      1. Hai Ky on the drag (Guadalupe and 20th) serves really delicious Vietnamese food and pho. I'm addicted to their noodles (especially the magical 101). There are lots of great places to walk and eat near your hotel. Threadgills is really close. It gets mixed reviews on this board, but I've eaten some tasty meals there and the atmosphere is fun for visitors, especially those who appreciate Austin's musical history. After walking/shopping your way up South Congress, I highly recommend Enoteca Vespaio. Have fun!

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        Threadgill's Restaurant
        6416 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752

        Enoteca
        1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

        1. Do you know a faculty or staff person at UT? That includes a lot of people. The reason I ask is that the Carrillon , about a block south of the campus is open for lunch but restricted to faculty and staff. It would the ideal place for lunch, imo, if someone at UT could make the reservation for you, with you as their guest.

          OTW, there are cafeterias on campus, or at least there were when I was there. That might be a good experience for the future Longhorn, to see something of the daily routine of the typical UT student. Dobie has a food court and at one time the pizza there got a good rating. There used to be a faculty/staff dining room in the union that, years upon years ago, served pretty decent food. Again, I don't think it would be any problem for a staff member to get you in.

          Good luck and welcome to UT.

          1. Kerby Lane Cafe now has a branch on the drag. Just south of 27th. Dirty's is still there and is still a quintessential college burger hangout. I haven't personally eaten there, but I've heard good things about the Torchy's Tacos, which is around 27th and the drag.

            Looking at a map, the Embassy Suites town lake isn't too far from Threadgill's new (at least to me) location where the Armadillo (more or less) used to be. All sorts of places in the newish hot spots west of Congress between 1st and 4th Streets. I can't speak to any of them, but you can't stir the folks down there with a stick at night. My personal favorite place to eat in downtown Austin is Chez Nous (501 Nechez). Bistro style French food that is way better than it has any right to be. Very casual and friendly service. If you ate there 20 years ago, very little has changed -- still good and still a good value for the quality of the food.

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            Chez Nous
            510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701