Where To Eat In Downtown Austin: 50 Best Restaurants (2024!)

Whether you’re visiting Austin or you’re a local here, you can probably agree that Downtown Austin is clearly where it’s at. It’s growing at an incredibly rapid rate, with towering high-rise condos, fortune 500 companies moving into office spaces, and lots of work/play/life happening within those city blocks. And with a lot of people come a lot of great downtown Austin restaurants, which leads us to the point of this: where are the best places to eat in downtown Austin? 

For starters, this list could definitely be a lot longer. Many of the best restaurants in Austin are located downtown, and again, that’s because there’s such a rapidly growing population within these city blocks. But since there’s a good chance you’re reading this as an Austin visitor and you want 2 or 3 great choices of places to eat and drink in downtown Austin during your stay, we’ll keep things pretty brief: the best restaurants in Austin for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. 

Where to eat in downtown Austin...

Please use the map below to find something near your hotel or residence, or read through the entire guide to see some photos and get a better feel of each of these Austin restaurants. 

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Where To Eat In Downtown Austin: 50 Best Restaurants

Olamaie

Good for: upscale dinner

Olamaie | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

Olamaie is an elevated southern food restaurant located in a chic, modern bungalow that’s been transformed into the most darling little restaurant. The chefs have frequently won James Beard Award semifinalist awards, and once you explore their locally-sourced menu of hushpuppies, homemade biscuits, local dayboat fish specials, and other southern favorites, you’ll see why: nothing here is exactly as it seems. 

Take, for instance, the roasted brassicas: you might expect a plate of cruciferous veggies, slightly charred and a bit smoky on the edges. But you’re not prepared for the tangy buttermilk whip, the slightly spicy XO sauce, and the perfect little pieces of Olamaie biscuit crumbs that come scattered throughout the dish. Every course at Olamaie surprises and delights the diner, and the lovely staff and restaurant ambiance round out the perfect restaurant trifecta. If you only have time to eat at one dinner restaurant during your stay in Austin, Olamaie is a good bet. 

WEBSITE | 1610 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78701

Walton’s Fancy and Staple

Good for: breakfast or lunch

WALTON’S FANCY _ STAPLE

Located inside a quaint, historic building in downtown Austin, Walton’s is a timeless treasure with breakfast staples, delicious lunch sandwiches, yummy salads, and plenty of coffee and pastry treats that you’ll want to take to go after your meal. 

WEBSITE | 609 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Roosevelt Room

Good for: late-night cocktails

roosevelt room cocktail bar in Austin

One of the best cocktail bars in downtown Austin is Roosevelt Room, a fun spot on West 5th street with craft cocktails, small bites, and an industrial-chic ambiance. 

Tables (and bar stools) can be hard to get on the weekends, so try to make a reservation in advance, if possible. 

WEBSITE | 307 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701

Wu Chow

Good for: lunch or dinner

Wu Chow Austin

There are a few restaurants in Austin that are famous for their soup dumplings, and Wu Chow is certainly on the list. If you dine at Wu Chow, your best bet is to start really hungry, dine with a group, and order everything you can. 

They source as locally as possible, so it’s the freshest, most delicious, farm-to-table Chinese food you can get in downtown Austin. The plates are small and meant to be shared, and the cocktails have a fun tiki vibe to them.  

WEBSITE | IBC Bank Plaza, 500 W 5th St #168, Austin, TX 78701

Garage Bar

Good for: speakeasy cocktails

Garage Bar Austin

If you’re looking for a fun speakeasy cocktail bar in downtown Austin, have you considered Garage? Yeah..it’s literally built into a parking garage in downtown Austin! You won’t necessarily see what you’re looking for from the outside…but just search for the line of people dressed who all seem to be waiting to get inside a parking garage, and you’ll know you’re in the right space. 

The mid-century-styled interior is classy and clean, and the craft cocktails are phenomenal. This is a 10/10 must-try cocktail bar in downtown Austin. 

WEBSITE | 503 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701

Asador

Good for - tacos

Asador Tacos | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

Let’s talk about the best tacos in downtown Austin, ok? There are plenty of options, especially if you’re considering breakfast tacos (One Taco, TacoDeli, Veracruz…), but if you want some AMAZING late-night tacos, head to Asador. 

We’re talking mind-blowing, best-damn-tacos-of-your-life, can’t-stop-thinking-about-them tacos. The tortillas are warmed and then slightly charred on one side, so they’re the perfect combination of softness + texture. The fillings are made from scratch daily and packed with the most flavor you can find (if there’s a mole taco on the menu when you visit, GET IT). 

Asador is a small taco stand located in the courtyard behind Seven Grand whisky bar.  Whether you’re going in for drinks or you just want to beeline to the taco stand in the back, Asador is a can’t-miss for some of the best food in downtown Austin. 

WEBSITE | 700 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Hestia

Good for: upscale dinner

Best Upscale Special Occasion Restaurants In Austin

There are a few downtown Austin restaurants that are completely worth the splurge, and Hestia is among them. From the Emmer & Rye hospitality group, Hestia is a live-fire restaurant named after the goddess of the hearth. 

The locally sourced, rotating, farm-to-table menu features cuisine that’s cooked over an open flame. You’ll get a lot of texture, smokiness, and absolute art placed on your table throughout the night. 

Note: the entrance to Hestia is a little bar called Kalimotxo. It’s worth visiting on its own for a few Pintxos and a glass of wine, but if you don’t have time to visit Kalimotxo and Hestia on separate visits, plan to get to your Hestia reservation 30 minutes in advance so you can enjoy a glass of wine at the bar before being seated. 

WEBSITE | 607 W 3rd St Suite 105, Austin, TX 78701

Diner Bar

Good for: a dinner date (or solo dining)

Diner Bar | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

From Mashama Bailey, a two-time James Beard Award-winning chef, comes Diner Bar: one of the most exciting and delightful places to dine in downtown Austin. The cuisine is familiar, yet new, with inspiration coming from the team’s hometown of Savannah, Georgia. 

Start with ice-cold martinis and caviar, and perhaps some deviled eggs with trout roe or a spicy scallop Crudo. Entrees are large and made for one person, but you’ll want to steal a few bites of whatever your date is trying: the shellfish & Carolina gold rice, day boat catch with crab butter, and seared quail with the most delicious hazelnut romesco are all worth trying.

WEBSITE | 500 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

Casino El Camino

Good for: late-night burgers

Casino El Camino | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

Downtown Austin’s famous “Dirty Sixth Street” has a lot of loud bars and less-than-lackluster places to grab late-night bites….but there’s a gem among them, and it’s Casino El Camino.

This dark, greasy, hole-in-the-wall restaurant has been slinging burgers since 1994.

The burgers are HUGE. We’re talking epic proportions of giant beef patties, delectable toppings, and big, soft burger buns. It’s the perfect place to soak up the booze after a night out in downtown Austin. 

WEBSITE | 517 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Houndstooth

Good for: morning coffee

where to eat during sxsw

At this point, you can find dozens of specialty coffee shops in Austin. But Houndstooth was one of the first cafes to put Austin on the coffee map, so to speak, and they’re still one of the most popular places to get a cup of coffee in downtown Austin. 

Every part of their coffee program, from sourcing the beans and training the baristas to create a lovely, comfortable cafe where you can sip your cortado quickly and be on your way to enjoying a long morning of work with your laptop, is executed at the highest quality. 

WEBSITE | 4200 N Lamar Blvd #120, Austin, TX 78756

Mort Subite

Good for: drinks (Belgian Beer Bar)

When you’re tired of cocktails and want to try something a bit different, head to Mort Subite. It’s one of the most unique bars in Austin, serving Belgian beers in a long, skinny bar space. Not a beer drinker? You can also enjoy gin and wine here. 

WEBSITE | 308 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701

Fareground Food Hall

Good for: lunch

Fareground Food Hall

Austin opened an incredible food hall right in the middle of downtown Austin. It’s a beautiful, bright indoor space with a sprawling outdoor patio and grassy hill. Yep! Right in the middle of downtown Austin. It’s great for kids because it’s protected from traffic, and adults are going to love the bar and the many food choices. Check out their website to see the various Austin restaurants that offer food booths at Fareground. 

WEBSITE | 111 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701

Irene’s

Good for: weekend brunch, all-day hangs

Irene's | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

Irene’s is a cute, casual spot with signature cocktails, draft beers, fun snacks, and epic sandwiches. They have a great little weekend brunch menu, and it’s an all-around fun spot to hang out for a bit (this is a good Austin restaurant for group dining.) 

WEBSITE | 506 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Swift’s Attic

Good for: a cozy dinner date

Tucked away on the second floor of a downtown Austin building, Swift’s Attic brings small shareable plates, craft cocktails, and local draft beer to a fun, retro space. Swift’s Attic is an excellent choice for a meal before a show (head downstairs to The Elephant Room for one of Austin’s best jazz clubs) or a late-night bite. 

WEBSITE | 315 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701

Taquero Mucho

Good for: girl's night out

Margarita at Taquero Mucho

Taquero Mucho is “that pink restaurant in Austin” with all the energy. It’s a female Latina-owned restaurant with strong drinks, pink tortillas, loud music, and delicious authentic Mexican food. Taquero Mucho has decked out in PINK everything, and it’s one of the most instagramable restaurants in downtown Austin. It’s the perfect place to book a dinner reservation before a night out in Austin. 

WEBSITE | 508 West Ave, Austin, TX 78701

ATX Cocina

Good for: happy hour and dinner

If you love modern Mexican cuisine and you want a beautiful restaurant, ATX Cocina is worth considering. It’s a chic corner restaurant on the ground floor of a downtown high-rise. Think neutral decor, a black marble bar top, and an incredible outdoor patio on Cesar Chavez. Their handmade corn tortillas are phenomenal, so plan on getting at least one order of tacos. There are just so many gems on the menu, though! Lobster pozole, sopes with cochinita pibil, and an impressive pork tomahawk.

PS: check out their happy hour menu. 

PSS: everything here is gluten-free!

WEBSITE | 110 San Antonio St #170, Austin, TX 78701

Moonshine

Good for: brunch

One of the last remaining all-you-can-eat buffets in Austin, Moonshine’s brunch is a must-try in downtown Austin! They offer 30 homemade southern favorites (+ drinks like mimosas), and it’s first come, first served…so expect a line! 

WEBSITE | 303 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701

Lambert’s - lunch

Good for: lunch

If you’re looking for an excellent barbecue in downtown Austin…head outside of downtown Austin. 😉 The best bbq spots in Austin are scattered around the city. But if you want a fun, more “upscale” bbq experience, Lambert’s is an excellent choice. The upstairs bar with live music is so much fun! 

WEBSITE | 401 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

Red Ash

Good for: dinner

Best Upscale Special Occasion Restaurants In Austin

Behold one of the most delicious (and most popular - it’s always packed!) Italian restaurants in Austin. Red Ash is going to be one of your new favorite spots for handmade pasta, authentic Italian cocktails, and grilled favorites. It’s a lively spot and will most likely be at full capacity on any given night (you might get lucky and be able to grab a bar stool), so plan on making reservations. 

WEBSITE | Colorado Tower, 303 Colorado St #200, Austin, TX 78701

Veracruz All Natural

Good for: breakfast tacos

East Austin Restaurants

Thank goodness Veracruz opened up at The Line hotel because downtown Austin needed more breakfast tacos! You can order from the walk-up window (it’s right next to the Austin bat bridge!) Or, if you’re staying at the hotel, you can order your tacos poolside and enjoy them with your view from the infinity pool overlooking Lady Bird Lake. 

These tacos have been featured on Food Network and are often considered some of the best breakfast tacos in the United States! Austinites agree…although Veracruz has multiple locations all over the city, every one of them is consistently crowded. 

WEBSITE | Multiple locations

Forthright

Good for: breakfast and brunch

Forthright Cafe

So you’re not in Austin on the weekend, but you still want a “brunch” experience? Head to Forthright! It’s a lovely space with bright white walls and tall ceilings, and they serve excellent coffee, scrumptious pastries, and elevated brunch favorites like brioche bread french toast, al pastor pork hash, and breakfast smash burger with bacon bourbon jam.  

They’re open every morning of the week (except Tuesdays) so you can brunch on a random Thursday morning like the queen that you are. 

WEBSITE | 35 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701

La Piscina

Good for: upscale dinner or pre-dinner drinks

The Best Restaurants To Celebrate A Birthday Dinner In Austin

A poolside restaurant on the 5th floor of The Proper hotel, La Piscina is an upscale Tex-Mex restaurant from the MML hospitality group. Gorgeous design, elevated cocktails, and tableside fajitas will simply take your breath away. It’s a splurge-y sort of restaurant, so great for a client dinner, a special date night, or a happy hour drink + snack on a sunny Austin day. 

WEBSITE | 600 W 2nd St 5th Floor, Austin, TX 78701

La Condesa - dinner

Good for: dinner

La Condesa | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

La Condesa has been in downtown Austin for more than 10 years, making it one of the longest-running restaurants in the area. (Truly!) They offer interior Mexico-city cuisine fueled by local produce and local farmers. Everything is fresh, modern, and absolutely delicious. 

WEBSITE | 400 W 2nd St A, Austin, TX 78701

Backspace

Good for: dinner

where to eat during sxsw

Although it’s a tiny restaurant with just a handful of tables and a few bar stools, these thin-crust pizzas, small plates, and craft cocktails are sure to win you over. It’s such a crowd-pleaser; they opened up a bigger space in north Austin. 

WEBSITE | Multiple locations

TenTen

Good for: a sushi dinner

top sushi restaurants in Austin

Where’s the best sushi in downtown Austin? TenTen is an excellent bet! Trendy and hip with delicious cocktails and elevated takes on traditional Japanese cuisine. 

WEBSITE | 501 W 6th St #100, Austin, TX 78701

J Carver’s Oyster Bar and Chophouse

Good for: a steakhouse dinner

Sometimes you just want a really good steak for dinner…and if you’re looking for the best steakhouse in downtown Austin, J Carver’s is it. It has all the glitz and glam you’d expect from a high-end restaurant, but there’s a cozy feel to it as well. 

The raw oyster bar, impeccable wine list, and upscale steakhouse cuisine are everything you want in a white tablecloth steak dinner in downtown Austin. 

WEBSITE | 509 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701,

Comedor

Good for: upscale dinner

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Comedor is more than just a restaurant…it’s a complete experience. It starts with the exterior of the freestanding building in downtown Austin, which looks like a black brick wall from the outside, but step inside, and you’ll enter an architecturally stunning building, flooded with light. Texas Monthly called it the best new restaurant in Texas in 2020. It has been one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Austin ever since it opened. (Make reservations!) 

The menu doesn’t offer many descriptive clues as to what you’re going to be eating, other than listing 4-5 ingredients used in the dish (“Grilled Octopus, Salsa Negra, Guacachile, Fennel, Orange” or “Mushroom Tamal, Salsa de Nogada, Fennel, Fresno, Mint”) and other than getting the very most basic idea of what will be brought to you, your imagination can only dream of what the chef has in mind. (Ask your server for more ideas if you’re unsure what to order!) 

PS: the bone marrow tacos are definitely worth trying. 

WEBSITE | 501 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701

Fixe

Good for: Upscale dinner

One of Austin’s favorite southern food restaurants, Fixe is dark, rich, and sultry. They have some of the best biscuits, seafood, and steak in town. 

WEBSITE | 500 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701

Emmer and Rye

Good for: Upscale dinner

21 Best Date Night Restaurants In Austin

Ever since it opened in Austin in 2015 and immediately snagged a spot on Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants list, Emmer & Rye has been wowing its eaters with attention to detail, creative food, and locally sourced ingredients. 

They stay true to their name (Emmer & Rye refers to heirloom grains) and use whole animal butchery and the entire portion of the plant. This means that there will be some clever, creative items on the menu that you might not have seen before. If you only have time for one great dinner out in Austin, Emmer & Rye is an excellent option. 

WEBSITE | SkyHouse, 51 Rainey St UNIT 110, Austin, TX 78701

Polvos

Good for: fajitas and margaritas

Polvos Mexican Restaurant

Need some really great Tex-Mex in downtown Austin? Head to Polvos! They have famous margaritas, excellent flour tortillas, and some of the best Tex-Mex staples in town. 

WEBSITE | 2004 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

Merit Coffee

Good for: morning coffee and pastries

Merit Coffee | Where To Get Coffee In Downtown Austin

Merit Coffee, originally from San Antonio, now has several locations all over Austin, including one in downtown Austin in the Seaholm district. Not only is their self-roasted coffee exceptional, but they also have some of the very best breakfast pastries in town. 

WEBSITE | Multiple locations

Wax Myrtle’s

Good for: drinks and dinner

Wax Myrtle's | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

Wax Myrtle's is an upscale and elegant bar and restaurant with indoor and outdoor venues. Their venue also has a pool deck with cabanas, a private hall with a stage and dining area, and a huge outdoor fireplace that is perfect for any type of event. It offers a modern American menu with local variations on traditional Mediterranean fare, including appetizers, shared dishes, and entrees.

WEBSITE | 506 San Jacinto Blvd Suite WM, 4th Floor, 506 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

One Taco

Good for: breakfast tacos

where to eat during sxsw

One Taco is a fun, casual counter-service restaurant that serves a curated menu of unique tacos and sides, as well as breakfast. They offer originally-made authentic Mexican tacos composed of quality-grade meat, freshly-picked avocados, and homemade corn tortillas.

WEBSITE | 12200 Research Blvd STE 400, Austin, TX 78759

JuiceLand

Good for: breakfast

27 Healthy Austin Restaurants For 2022

JuiceLand was developed in Austin near the rejuvenating waters of Barton Springs Pool, and it's one of the most popular juice bars in Austin. They serve cold-pressed fruit and vegetable juice as well as freshly crafted superfood smoothies.

WEBSITE | Multiple locations

Local Foods

Good for: lunch

Local Foods opens in Austin

With the finest regional ingredients Texas has to offer, Local Foods serves up incredibly fresh, hyper-seasonal, and just plain excellent dishes.

Their extensive menu includes yummy, sloppy sandwiches like delectable Gulf Seafood (shrimp and crab on ciabatta with a Green Goddess dressing) and Avocado BLT on toasted wheat, dripping with ripe tomato, a fried egg, and aioli. They also have soups, salads, and alcoholic beverages.

WEBSITE | 454 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

P6 At The Line

Good for: drinks

P6 Cocktail Bar | Where To Eat And Drink In Downtown Austin

This one is perfect for Downtown Austin drinks with a view. P6 is an old rooftop parking garage turned into an open-air rooftop cocktail bar situated on the rooftop of the LINE Austin Hotel and offering local meals with seasonal cocktails. Their delicious menus are partnered with great views of Congress Avenue, Lady Bird Lake Lake, and the Austin skyline.

WEBSITE | 111 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701

24 Diner

Good for: breakfast

casual restaurants in Austin

24 diner is an urban restaurant and bar open for 24 hours, serving large portions of local comfort food made from organically grown ingredients with classic beer and wines. Due to its popularity and quality-served food, it was repeatedly highlighted on Food Network and many other publications, both international and local.

WEBSITE | 600 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

The Peacock

Good for: upscale dinner

The Peacock is a classy eastern Mediterranean restaurant and lobby bar providing mezze platters and wood-grilled breakfast, lunch, and supper dishes at the Austin Proper Hotel. The menus are all inspired by the colorful culinary styles of Israeli and Turkish dishes.

WEBSITE | 600 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

Goldie’s Sunken Bar

Good for: late-night cocktails

Goldie's Sunken Bar is an intimate cocktail lounge bar that features an elegant garden-fresh, flowery, and eclectic local atmosphere with antiqued mirrors, rose tints, and Venetian plaster. Their extensive menu includes a small batch of food plates, spirits, craft beer, natural wines, and seasonal lite nibbles.

WEBSITE | 600 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

Sammie’s Italian

Good for: upscale dinner

Best Upscale Special Occasion Restaurants In Austin

Sammie's Italian is a relaxed but stylish, retro-designed upscale dining venue that provides a little touch of old Italy in downtown Austin. It honors the "red sauce" establishment, which was modeled after old illustrious Italian-American restaurants of the East coast. Be sure to try the lasagna!  

WEBSITE | 807 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

Qi Austin

Good for: a business lunch

QI AUSTIN

Qi Austin is a modern, upscale Asian restaurant Qi Austin serving enhanced Chinese food and dim sum from a farm-to-table menu. Chef Ling's influence from Beijing served as the foundation for the restaurant's entire idea. Make sure to try their dim sum brunch or sample the chef's well-known soup dumplings every weekend.

WEBSITE | 835 W 6th St Unit 114, Austin, TX 78703

Via 313

Good for: late-night bites

where to eat during sxsw

Via 313 wins the title of the Best Pizza in Austin!  They offer a thick-crust Detroit-style pizza with a chewy and crunchy exterior (oh, and a gluten-free pizza.) Its name Via 313 came from the word “via” meaning “by the way of” and 313 is Detroit’s area code.

WEBSITE | Multiple locations

Favorite Pizza

Good for: lunch or dinner

Favorite Pizza | Where To Eat In Downtown Austin

Favorite Pizza is a fantastic space with outside sitting, beer and food rails, and sit-down bars. In terms of ambiance, atmosphere, and menu, it pays respect to the neighborhood pizzeria. They offer full pies, on-hand slices, sandwiches, and salads in addition to beer on tap, wines by the glass and bottle, frozen drinks, and gelato. 

WEBSITE | 801 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

Wanderlust Wine Co

Good for: drinks

wine bars in Austin

Wanderlust Wine Co. is the world's biggest self-pour wine-on-tap winery in Austin that makes drinking wine more enjoyable, simple, and affordable by providing a wide selection of international wines at the most competitive pricing. Along with wines, they offer ciders, meads, sakes, and cocktails that can you can enjoy while watching a live entertainment and music event.

WEBSITE | 610 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78701

Seven Grand

Good for: drinks

Seven Grand Austin

Seven Grand is a carefully curated whiskey bar in the entertainment hub of Downtown Austin that offers 400+ different whiskey selections and an international wall of whisky from North America to Asia. It has a hunting lodge ambiance with pool tables. You can also explore and enjoy the stage, bar room, pool room, jukebox, and other features. You'll also find a space that's ideal for private whiskey tastings behind the whiskey wall.

WEBSITE | 405 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701

Intelligentsia

Good for: coffee

Intelligentsia | Where To Get Coffee In Downtown Austin

Intelligentsia is a high-end coffee bar franchise in Downtown Austin with a modern setup. They are known for their best freshly roasted brews. The Weathered Rock and The Brick Wall, two earthy interior components found in nearby swimming holes, served as inspiration for its design.

WEBSITE | 607 W 3rd St Suite 0110, Austin, TX 78701

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