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Sep 18, 2013 09:24 AM

Downtown Austin for a week

I have already posted about BBQ on another thread, but I wanted to get info about some other restaurants.I have a some must haves while in Austin, but right now, my list of potential restaurants is pages long.

While I am okay with taking cabs for a few meals, for the most part, I would like to be able to get to things on foot (staying a couple of blocks south of the Capitol). I am looking for some feedback to guide my food trip. I am pretty flexible about cuisines, prices, etc.

Happy hours: it is a vacation for me to do at least a few happy hours while on vacation. These are ones that I would definitely like to try to keep downtown unless I happen to be else. What are some of your favourite places for happy hour downtown?

Tex-Mex: There are many, many options for this, so it seems hard to narrow down. Are there restaurants downtown that are just as good as anywhere I could cab to? Are there places I should definitely cab to/should not be missed?

Food trucks: Same questions as I had for Tex Mex.

Pizza: I know it isn't exactly quintessential to Austin, but I do love a good thin crust pizza.

I am also trying to narrow down the places that I should cab to: Barley Swine, Foreign and Domestic, Uchi/Uchiko, Qui, Perla, Chez Nous, Hopdoddy... the list goes on.

Places I am considering closer to home base: La Condesa, Searsucker, Texas Chili Parlour, Parkside, Second...

Also, can anyone suggest a good, quick place to eat on campus? I plan to go check out the LBJ Library one day.

I am also open to any other suggestions for any other category of food, as I will have many meals during my trip.

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  1. Parkside, Backspace and La Condessa for Happy Hour.

    Backspace for great pizza.

    Don't miss Uchi or Barley Swine - Uchi happy hour is great, get there at 4:45 and request sushi bar seating, eat everything on the Sake Social menu.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SlickTheCat

      Cafe Josephine for lunch. Just ate there and it blew my mind :) What do you guys think of Lamberts?

      1. re: lavendula

        i like lamberts but I am not a picky bbq person

    2. Iron Works will be the most walkable decent "Q"

      1. Home Slice on South congress is good pizza. It's NY syle, and i think the best pizza in town*. I'm pretty sure that it is the best pizza within a reasonable distance to you. There are 2 homeslices, next to each other. One a more formal, sit down at a table with a waiter. The other is for take-out or walk up and get a slice of the 4 or so types ready that day, and a beer or a soda.

        *I'm not from NY, but i've had what is supposed to be some of the best pizza there, and i think Home Slice compares favorably.

        16 Replies
        1. re: TroyTempest

          Spartan trailer over on east sixth is pretty fabulous.. and there is a hip club over there called the Violet Crown Social Club ( I have heard talk of)

          1. re: girloftheworld

            You can Detroit style Pizza at Via 313, while you are at Violet Crown. Same parking lot.

            1. re: TroyTempest

              what is "detroit" style? Spartan is NY by the by Gonzos is over there and Eastside kings

                1. re: carolinadawg

                  sounds like "french bread" pizza and the polar reverse of New York style

                  1. re: girloftheworld

                    It's not as thick as French Bread. I don't know if Via 313 is authentic Detroit Style, since it is the only pizza i've had that claims to be Detroit style. But, it is darn good pizza, especially with some Violet Crown brews.

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      Ill have to try it.. the pizza..cant get into Violet as delightful as the stories have been.

                      i don't like Chicago style

                      1. re: girloftheworld

                        Definitely different than Chicago Style

                        1. re: girloftheworld

                          I guess you didn't have the iron whip slushy with an extra shot of vanilla vodka to make it a really nicely adult form of a dreamcicle?

                          1. re: slowcoooked

                            nawww got wait a bit for that lovely sounding concotion... i was lucky i got to to sssssiiiiiiip the trapist ale i helped brew.

                            1. re: girloftheworld

                              oh my darn low carb diet has taken me away from homebrewing. it's a must, unfortunately. maltose is not a good sugar for folks needing to watch carbs :-( I went from making altbier ala Ayinger Altdunkel to drinking Michelob Ultra when I just had to have a beer of any type.

                              The whip is fun though - even if I am only allowed a couple sips. Might make nicer your Violet Crown impression.

                              1. re: slowcoooked

                                lol....the reason I am not allowed is I am 13 I cant even get in Violet Crown I only know about it from the guys at work

                      2. re: girloftheworld

                        To me, it's like Pizza Hut pan pizza, only really good. The crust is thick, spongy, and rich, and the burnt cheese on the edges is phenomenal.

                          1. re: hlk

                            They also don't overcook the tomato sauce either.. It's a very good sauce. If they aren't slammed they'll tell you all about it.

                            1. re: hlk

                              That's a good description. Ditto on the burnt cheese.

                2. Qui-
                  I also love Sway

                  1. Skip the Chili Parlor IMO. A couple of blocks from there some folks like the Clay Pit, good but definitely Westernized (in an ok way) Indian food. I'd grab a cab to get some real Tex-Mex. Near downtown I'd vote for Angie's for the carnitas tacos or Dario's for cheese enchiladas. Cisco's for breakfast, although some like Juan in a Million. If you have access to time travel, Las Manitas (sigh). I hadn't thought of the Iron Works in a while, but it is not a bad choice if you aren't into lines, but if you can handle lines, Franklin is actually worth the wait. For a nice slice of the daytime scene and some great panini choices and first class baristas, I like Royal Blue Grocery on Congress. Not too Far East on 11th I like Blue Dahlia, Sagra, and Hillside Farmacy, although I liked Sagra way better in its old digs and have heard smack about service. Trio down at the Four Seasons when you want something a little more upscale, plus being on the lake (River) at dusk you can watch the bats emerge. Awesome.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: tim irvine

                      I love ciscos for breakfast!!! I know it is not hip and shiny...but the history and tradition beat any tacodeli annnnnyday

                      1. re: girloftheworld

                        Agree - the best migas and biscuits in town.

                      2. re: tim irvine

                        I disagree about Chili Parlor. I like their Chili, and burgers, and the Mad Dog Margaritas are stuff of legend.

                        1. re: TroyTempest

                          Central Texas has had a long, loving relationship with chili. It's the official state dish after all.
                          The Chili Parlor serves a great Pedernales style chili in a cool atmosphere and I would give it a thumbs up for anyone visiting Texas. Bonus points if you watch Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" before your visit.