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Mar 21, 2013 07:50 PM

San Diegan's First Visit to Austin: Capitol Complex Area

Hello fellow Chowhounders,
I am a late 30 year-old pescatarian (fish is the only meat I consume) who will be staying alone in the Capitol Complex area. My trip will be brief, three days, with a focus on walking most places and enjoying the local food scene.

This will also be my first time dining alone so I'm a bit nervous of super trendy restaurants where I may stand out!

Can you recommend breakfast (light, perhaps crêperies or cafes), lunch, and dinner spots? Sone of my favorite cuisines involve Farm-to-Table vegetable and grain dishes. I also love salmon and pasta.

Also, any lunch and dinner spots with decent wine lists are a plus.
Many thanks in advance.


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  1. A walk to Blue Dahlia on E. 11th would be nice, and they have several veggie and fish options. It's simple—sandwiches, soups, and light meals. Best for lunch, sitting in the back garden.

    Might be far for a walk, but I think you'd be happy with dinner at East Side Cafe on Manor Road. They have a large garden adjacent the house/restaurant. Food is not so inventive, but fresh and consistent. They usually have pasta and salmon on the menu.

    Walk down to Easy Tiger (E. 6th, just W of I-35) for fresh baked goods and espresso. (Lunch and dinner are meat-centric.)

    Have a good trip!

    2 Replies
    1. re: storefronteats

      Their egg salad on nice whole wheat bread is fantastic. I've had none better.

      1. re: storefronteats

        storefronteats: I decided to rent a bike so could ride to a place like East Side Cafe.

        Easy Tiger sounds great for breakfast. Thanks for the recs!

      2. Not too far to Chez Nous on Netchez, just South of 6th Street. A small, French bistro that does fish very well. Been there for many years. Not the least bit trendy, nor does it care to be. Nice wine selection, albeit all on the low end (as befits a true bistro). Small and intimate. Service is very friendly. Still run by a couple of the four or five then young (not not so young, alas, as they are my age) French expats that started it. The service is casual, but the welcome is very warm and always sincere.

        The rec for East Side is a good one, though it's a bit more of a hike. Right down the alley that you've asked for. Very casual. You won't feel at all out of place alone, and they service is a bit mixed, but usually pretty friendly, if occasionally rushed.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Mike C. Miller

          chez nous is a great call. If they took reservations I'd be there all the time. can't beat their menu du jour for value

          1. re: Mike C. Miller

            C'est parfait. I can practice mon français while lunching at Chez Nous. I have that on my itinerary for my Thursday dinner. Merci!

          2. walk or cab the two to three miles over to west sixth to Clark's or to Perla's on South Congress for some of the best and freshest seafood oriented fare this town has to offer. Perla's has a great outdoor patio for a balmy dining experience and people watching. and if you're on the South Congress bridge around dusk you'll probably notice the crowds watching the bats leave out for the nightime insect feed. largest urban colony in the nation.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slowcoooked

              slowcooked: I saw an ad for Perla's featuring the patio and became intrigued based on the photo. That and SC seem like great people watching and dining spots. Thank you!

            2. What do you consider walking distance?

              Parkside is about 1/2 mile from the Capitol. Lots of great seafood options there.

              Also about 1/2 mile from the Capitol is La Traviata, which offers wonderful pastas.

              Wink is about a mile from the Capitol. They focus on local sourcing and should have plenty of pescatarian or vegetarian options for you to choose from.

              Also, Clark's Oyster Bar, which @slowcooked mentioned, it actually only 1.3 miles from the Capitol, according to Google Maps. So depending on where exactly you're staying, not out of the question as far as walking goes.

              In the other direction is the Carillon, which I love. Their menu is a little meat-heavy, but there are a few veg/pesc-friendly options - you can check out their menu and see if any of them appeal to you.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Optimista

                Optimista: I enjoy walking up to several blocks to cafés and restaurants. Wink seems like a great choice for a light lunch. La Traviata looks to have great wine options, perfect for a late afternoon stop. Thank you for the suggestions.

                1. re: globocity

                  Alas, Wink is not open for lunch...