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Oct 21, 2013 08:29 PM

Downtown Austin dinner during film fest

Hey everyone. I'm looking for a restaurant rec for this Friday night, some place near the Austin Film Festival venues and the Driskill Hotel. I'll be in town for just a few days from L.A., never been to Austin (or anywhere else in TX) before.

I'm assuming it'll be tricky to get a reservation at the best of the best since there are a lot of people in town for the event, and I've waited awhile to make a dinner plan. Where would you recommend that you think I may still be able to score a table for two, around 8:30pm?

And any recs for after-dinner drinks within walking distance?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. The Driskill bar is really nice. Good for HH if you can work it.
    There are several places in walking distance there including Roaring Fork.

    The Driskill grill is upscale and takes reservations.

    8 Replies
    1. re: amykragan

      Great advice . Bar food is excellent. The other hotel the Austin hotel has great bar food too. I've found I ddont have enough time to go far between workshops. Max's wine dive is good if you have time and screenings at the convention center.

      1. re: Rptrane

        "Austin hotel has great bar food too." - That would be the Roaring Fork, right?
        It's been a while, but i remember them having a pretty good HH.

        1. re: TroyTempest

          No the actual hotel serves food on the second floor. Very good. I rapped with Elvis Mitchell after eating there during the fest one year. People might disagree but I also like Austin Land and Cattle on Lamar. Good steaks and KILLER happy hour.

          1. re: Rptrane

            I've had many great steaks there, in particular the big filet and cowboy ribeyes medium rare. I've also had a few that were undercooked with cold centers - but I tolerate that with good beef. Low lights and one particularly flamboyant server makes for a nice evening when the kitchen is on its grill A-game.

              1. re: TroyTempest

                The hatch chili burger is one of my favorite burgers in town. It's outstanding.

                1. re: Rptrane

                  I'll have to try that. I've just had the regular burger, which was great, as I recall.

        2. For dinner, look up congress or wink if you can get in/have an expansive budget.
          Manuel's, la condesa are decent Mexican options downtown.
          Lamberts is not great BBQ, but pretty much your only option if you want BBQ for dinner downtown. I recommend you skip it and eat at la BBQ or John muller meat co during the day.

          For drinking, bar congress is great and nearby. Firehouse lounge is a stones throw away from the Driskill and fabulous as well, but the crowd trends a bit younger. It may be too late, but check if you can get a reservation at midnight cowboy for drinks; Speakeasy style, reservation only cocktail bar oasis in the middle of sixth street craziness.

          1. if you like raw oysters, go to Parkside. very close to driskill on 6th street.

            1 Reply
            1. re: slowcoooked

              I've yet to have a bad meal at Parkside. Definitely great oyster selection, plus everything else tends to be pretty damn tasty. I always enjoy the sweetbreads. Plus a generally good vibe, loud and active feel (don't go if you want a hushed steakhouse atmosphere), good service.

            2. ok not a driver the others will chime in if I am sending you out of the way...but I think Seersucker is over in those parts..and it is pretty good...