Where To Eat Near University of Texas (Splurge $$$ and Save $)

I remember being a student at UT back in the day, and there were about…5 good places to eat near the University of Texas. Ha. Fortunately, as Austin grows and more and more fantastic restaurants come into this city, the food options for students are also growing!

Where to eat near University of Texas

If you’re looking for some of the best restaurants near UT, look no further. Use the map below to find your place in Austin for brunch, lunch, happy hour, or dinner. And since sometimes you’re a broke student paying for your own meal and sometimes you’re getting your parents to pay for your meal for you, there’s a Splurge $$$ and Save $ option next to each restaurant so you can indulge accordingly. 

Here are the best restaurants near the University of Texas. 

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The Best Restaurants Near University of Texas

1. Aster’s Ethiopian ($ SAVE)

Aster's Ethiopian

You know that blue building by I35? (No, really…people call it “that blue building by I35.”) It’s a tiny family-run Ethiopian restaurant where you can indulge in a delicious lunch buffet for a very low price. They have authentic Ethiopian cuisine like tender lamb stew, lentil salad, beef cubes in Berbere sauce, and plenty of that spongy, tangy Injera flatbread to soak it all up. 

Aster's Ethiopian

The interior is very no-frills, with just a few tables indoors + a covered porch that’s been converted into more interior seating. So don’t come here for ambience necessarily… But if you want delicious food, an all-you-can-eat lunch in Austin, and an exciting food experience if Ethiopian cuisine is new to you, definitely try out Aster’s. It’s one of my very favorite restaurants near the University of Texas. 

WEBSITE | 2804 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78705,

2. Hopfields ($$$ SPLURGE)

Hopfields

This French-American gastropub could certainly be a low-cost meal if you stopped by for a single beer or cocktail. But the best way to experience it is to indulge in a full meal of nicoise salad, steak frites, and a few craft cocktails. 

Hopfields

Hopfields is a dark and cozy spot that’s been located on Guadalupe near the University of Texas for more than a decade. It has one of the best burgers in Austin, a phenomenal beer list, and a friendly staff. One of the best parts about it is the selection of small rooms and mismatched furniture. It feels romantic and quaint, and the food is always good.  

WEBSITE | 3110 Guadalupe St #400, Austin, TX 78705

3. Crown and Anchor Pub ($ SAVE)

Crown and Anchor Pub

Open since 1987, Crown and Anchor Pub is a favorite for UT professors and students for a cheap $4 pint and a good classic cheeseburger and fries. 

Crown and Anchor Pub

The dog-friendly patio is a great spot to gather with a group for a happy hour drink in the Austin sunshine. And since Crown and Anchor Pub is open 24/7/365 days a year, it’s popular for students who need a place to go on weekends, holidays, and other random days in Austin when everything else is closed. Hopfields is a dark and cozy spot that’s been located on Guadalupe near the University of Texas for more than a decade. It has one of the best burgers in Austin, a phenomenal beer list, and a friendly staff. One of the best parts about it is the selection of small rooms and mismatched furniture. It feels romantic and quaint, and the food is always good.  

WEBSITE |  2911 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78705

4. Musashino ($$$ SPLURGE)

The best sushi near University of Texas (and one of the best sushi spots in all of Austin!) can be found at Musashino. This place is responsible for training some of the biggest sushi stars to come out of Austin, including Tyson Cole, the mastermind behind Uchi. 

Musashino serves traditional Japanese cuisine. Make a dinner reservation and enjoy rolls, fresh fish flown in daily from Tsukiji, Japan’s biggest fish market. They focus on tradition and authenticity, so don’t expect any special tricks or fancy modern cuisine here…Musashino is just about really good, classic sushi and excellent sake. If you’re a sushi traditionalist and you want the best of the best, Musashino is one of the best places to eat near UT for a phenomenal sushi experience. 

WEBSITE | 2905 San Gabriel St Suite 200, Austin, TX 78705

5. China’s Family Restaurant ($ SAVE)

The best sushi near University of Texas (and one of the best sushi spots in all of Austin!) can be found at Musashino. This place is responsible for training some of the biggest sushi stars to come out of Austin, including Tyson Cole, the mastermind behind Uchi. 

Musashino serves traditional Japanese cuisine. Make a dinner reservation and enjoy rolls, fresh fish flown in daily from Tsukiji, Japan’s biggest fish market. They focus on tradition and authenticity, so don’t expect any special tricks or fancy modern cuisine here…Musashino is just about really good, classic sushi and excellent sake. If you’re a sushi traditionalist and you want the best of the best, Musashino is one of the best places to eat near UT for a phenomenal sushi experience. 

WEBSITE | 1914 Guadalupe St b, Austin, TX 78705

6. Olamaie ($$$ SPLURGE)

Olamaie

If you’re looking for a fancy restaurant near the University of Texas where you can indulge in a memorable, upscale meal, book a table at Olamaie. It’s a James Beard Award Semifinalist restaurant on the northern edge of downtown that serves elevated southern cuisine in a beautifully renovated historic bungalow. 

The food is always sourced locally and it rotates with the seasons, and you can expect playful takes on southern and Texan favorites. This is definitely a fine dining restaurant - prepare to splurge, dress up, and enjoy a few drinks! 

WEBSITE | 1610 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78701

7. Kerbey Lane ($ SAVE)

Kerbey Lane Pancakes

Back in the day this popular Austin diner chain used to be open 24 hours a day. You weren’t a real UT student until you had been to Kerbey Lane at 3 in the morning for their famous queso. 

These days it’s still open pretty late, but most importantly it’s the best place to go for MASSIVE pancakes that start at five bucks. You can also get dinner/lunch/breakfast whenever (because the pancake and bacon craving is just as valid at 7 pm as it is at 7 am), and they still have some of the best queso in Austin. 

WEBSITE | 2606 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

8. Bureau de Poste ($$$ SPLURGE)

Bureau de Poste

French food inside a renovated historic post office? Ooh la la! From Top Chef contestant Jo Chan, Bureau de Poste is an outpost inside the darling Tiny Grocer in Hyde Park. Sure, Hyde Park isn’t quite a walking distance from the University of Texas, but it’s still a great place to go if you want a fun restaurant near Bass Concert Hall. It’s a great option if you want a dinner idea before or after a show.

WEBSITE |  4300 Speedway suite 100, Austin, TX 78751

9. Dirty Martin’s Place ($ SAVE)

Dirty Martin's Place

They’ve been making their burgers and hand-cut onion rings the same way since 1926…if it ain’t broke, you know?

In addition to being a cherished historic restaurant in Austin, Martin’s Place is an awesome place to pregame for a UT football game. Load up on nachos, fries, burgers, and milkshakes with a big crowd of people. You can even order drinks here (try their “Longhorn Iced Tea”) and watch the game on their multiple big-screen TVs in the back room.

WEBSITE | 2808 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

10. Honey Moon Spirit Lounge ($$$ SPLURGE)

Looking for one of the best restaurants near the University of Texas for a fun meal out? Honey Moon Spirit Lounge has ALL the vibes! Beautiful patio seating, creative craft cocktails, and a wide variety of food from around the globe like red Thai curry mussels, hot and fluffy buttermilk biscuits, scallops and grits in XO sauce, and of course their famous 7-ounce Koji dry-aged hanger steak with miso mustard butter. 

There’s a little bit of something for everyone here, so it's a wonderful spot for dinner outdoors on a warm evening or a sophisticated happy hour in the afternoon.

WEBSITE | 624 W 34th St, Austin, TX 78705

11. Vaquero Taquero ($ SAVE)

Vaquero Taquero

Every UT student needs to know where to get the very best tacos near the University of Texas, and the answer is right here at Vaquero Taquero. These are little street-style tacos, and their speciality is tacos al pastor, shaved fresh off the trompo and garnished with a flick of pineapple and some spicy salsa. Be sure to order them on their in-house corn tortillas. 

But if you’re stopping by for breakfast tacos, you’re in luck again! Their $4-5 breakfast tacos are served on hot and fresh flour tortillas and packed with fluffy eggs, beef machacado, rajas, and other scrumptious breakfast taco fillings. 

WEBSITE | 104 E 31st St, Austin, TX 78705

12. Goodall’s ($$$ SPLURGE)

Located on the historic Hotel Ella property near the University of Texas, Goodall’s Kitchen is a New American restaurant with an emphasis on Southern cuisine. Seeing as it’s a hotel restaurant, Goodall’s is open for all-day eating, starting around 7 am each morning and extending into the evening hours. 

It’s a beautiful restaurant with a gorgeous ambiance, farm-to-table cuisine, and delicious drinks. While I wouldn’t put it quite on par with an award-winning southern restaurant like Olamaie, it’s a solid option when you want a sophisticated lunch spot near UT or a pretty place to dine with your parents. 

WEBSITE | 1900 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705

13. Texas Chili Parlor ($ SAVE)

This is a low-ceilinged, kitschy little restaurant in northern downtown Austin that’s been open since 1976. The interior feels a bit more like a saloon/bar than a restaurant, but the menu will tell you otherwise. 

Choose from a selection of X types of chili, including no-bean chili, only-bean chili, white pork chili, and pretty much every other version of chili you can imagine. They also have burgers, Tex-Mex favorites like enchiladas and burritos, specialties like pork chop dinner, steak, and gumbo. 

The drinks are cheap, you can get a big bowl of chili for less than $10, and (most importantly) you get to enjoy all of the Old Austin vibes, which are getting harder and harder to find. 

WEBSITE | 1409 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701

More Great Restaurants Near University of Texas

These are neither in the SPEND more SPLURGE category. For instance, you could share some BBQ at Black’s with a friend and spend $10 per person, or you could get a few pounds of brisket there and be set back $100. It’s all up to you, what you order, and how hungry you are. 

However, all of these restaurants near UT are worth mentioning. They’re local favorites, great for UT students, and very close to the University of Texas. 

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Foodheads

The sandwiches here are NEXT-LEVEL amazing. I mean it. People don’t talk about Foodheads as much as they should! Their specialty sandwiches are epic. (Try the grilled roast beef and brie sandwich on a toasted ciabatta - yum!)

WEBSITE | 616 W 34th St, Austin, TX 78705

Counter Cafe

Counter Cafe

Counter Cafe is a farm-to-table Austin diner with the BEST burger. Seriously. It even got 2nd place on Texas Monthly’s list of the 50 Greatest Hamburgers in Texas. But beyond burgers, Counter Cafe is a wonderful spot for bendicts, fluffy pancakes, and other upscale diner favorites.  

WEBSITE |  603 W 29th St, Austin, TX 78705

Via 313 Pizza

Via 313

This Detroit-style pizza mini-chain started in Austin and has now expanded around the country…and they have a location near UT!

Detroit pizza is a deep dish pie that’s cooked in a rectangular pan. The edges get deliciously crisp and the middle is soft and fluffy. There’s a reason why this pizza has grown SO popular in Austin! To me, there’s no better late night meal than a slice of pepperoni Via 313 Pizza and a pint of pale ale.  

WEBSITE | 96 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701

Black’s BBQ

Blacks' BBQ

This is an Austin location of the original Black’s BBQ from Lockhart, TX. They’re legendary! Stop by for sliced smoked brisket, “dinosaur” beef ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and all the sides. Literally. All of ‘em. (Black’s is famous for their sides and desserts!) 

WEBSITE | 3110 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Clay Pit

For classic Indian food near UT, be sure to stop by Clay Pit for a delicious meal of samosas, butter chicken, and Goan-style coconut curry. It’s located in a historic 2-story brick building near campus and their daily happy hour is excellent!

WEBSITE | 1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701

Scholz Garten

Scholz Garten

This historic German Biergarten opened in 1866 by a German immigrant and Civil War veteran…and it’s still a popular spot to eat near UT! In fact, this is probably the very best place to pregame for a UT football game. They have brats and beer, live music, and tons of burnt orange Longhorn energy.

WEBSITE | 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701

Sip Pho

Sip Pho

This light-filled restaurant near UT serves all types of Vietnamese Pho: chicken broth, beef broth, and various types of protein choices to add to your bowl of steaming noodles. 

Sip Pho

WEBSITE | 512 W 29th St, Austin, TX 78705

Juiceland

Juiceland

Sure, this juice chain is ALL OVER Austin, but if you’re looking for the best healthy restaurants near UT, be sure to stop by the location on the Drag. They have so much more than just cold-pressed juices and fresh smoothies, too. I love their plant-based pre-made meals, grab-and-go snacks, kombuchas, and desserts. 

WEBSITE | 2828 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Nori

This Japanese restaurant is 100% vegan! They serve rolls, nigiri, sashimi, dumplings, and all sorts of other delicious Japanese cuisine…made without any animal products at all. 

WEBSITE | 3208 Guadalupe St B, Austin, TX 78705

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