“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf
After spending so much time in Austin, I must say that some of the best meals of my life to date have taken place in this fabulous foodie town. With that being said, I have yet to even put a dent in my constantly-growing list of places to dine in this city. I am plugging along though, and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite spots so far.
If you live in the area, I am sure that you will agree. If you don’t- but you ever plan on visiting ATX- be sure make a stop at one (or all) of these amazing eateries when you are in town. You will thank me later!
Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile.
Blown away every time. Jacoby’s is hands down my number one favorite place to dine in Austin. There is not a burger in town that can hold a candle to Jacoby’s. They not only offer some of the most fresh and delicious menu items around, but also a super unique and charming atmosphere that is full of character. Guests can choose to be seated indoors, but my go-to spot is outside on the open-air patio at one of their beautiful picnic tables. They have the most simple yet beautiful place settings-think upscale sea glass blue colored mason jars and rustic signage.
The outdoor area overlooks a beautiful ranch-like setting and is complete with globe string lights throughout the property. The quaint setting is only the tip of the iceberg. All of the meats available on the menu come directly from the Jacoby Family ranch and are locally raised. Their ‘half-pound cheeseburger and fries’ is the best I have ever had. The chicken fried steak and Mac and Cheese dish are must tries as well. Oh, and their T-Bone Steak and Fried Brussels Sprouts = to die for. I am literally getting hungry just writing about this place. The drinks are insanely good too! The owner, Adam Jacoby is one of those owners who is always present and makes sure to stop by each table to say hello while ensuring that everyone is happy with their experience. And believe me, we are always more than happy. Don’t forget to check out the mercantile shop where they sell everything from their own beef to locally made trinkets.
Elizabeth Street Cafe.
Quaint, Delicious, Charming: three words that immediately come to mind when I think of this next favorite of mine, Elizabeth Street Cafe. This spot (part Vietnamese restaurant, part French Bakery) is nestled inside of an old house and has quickly become one of my absolute favorite places to stop for lunch. Here you will find a wide variety of Vietnamese fare such as your typical Pho and curry dishes. Some of the dishes that I order on repeat are ones that have all of the amazing traditional flavors but come with a modern twist (such as the Pork or Flank Steak Spring Rolls and the Short Rib Bun Bowl.) If you have a little sweet tooth, the chefs in the bakery whip up some mean pastries and macarons. Be sure to try one of their popular almond croissants for dessert (or even as your breakfast with a cup of Vietnamese coffee.) But be warned, they are a hot commodity. I highly recommend ordering your croissant as soon as you sit down because these don’t last long.
Can you say WOW factor? This place really has it. The most recent addition to my list is this high-end spot that serves some insanely amazing Thai cuisine. The atmosphere is sleek, modern, super upbeat and definitely lives up to the hype that surrounds it. After just one bite of my food, I could tell that the whole experience was going to be phenomenal. Sway is the perfect place to go for a nice group dinner with friends. They offer family-style seating, so know that you will most likely be joined by other parties. You can not leave this place without feeling ready for a night on the town. The energy is strong and vibrant with the music setting the tone for a fun night at this trendy, must-dine spot. If you are like me, and you like your food extra spicy, you’re in luck. Many of the dishes are served HOT. HOT. HOT. (I am sure most of the dishes are available in milder versions as well, so just be sure to ask.) For dinner, I ordered a delicious dish called the “Son in Law” which I highly recommend. (This dish included some amazing flavor combinations such as a crispy farm egg and soy-braised pork shoulder.) Also on the menu are a wide variety of curries, wok noodle bowls and stir frys galore. Do yourself a favor and go check this place out!
Launderette is an amazing new spot and is perfect if you are looking for a great place for a nice dinner out with friends. The reimagined washateria boasts a contemporary dining room complete with modern Windsor-style chairs around wooden tables. The layout has a long, curved bar and an open kitchen. The menu is full of all kinds of seasonally-appropriate Mediterranean dishes-but this is not your grandmother’s cooking.These dishes are all served with a side of modern and edgy flair. Unfortunately they don’t take reservations, so be prepared to have a bit of a wait if you plan to go on a peak night. But I promise you, it’s worth the wait! The Plancha Burger was TO. DIE. FOR. The Crispy Pork Ribs, Sticky Brussels Sprouts, Chicken Thighs and Crispy Pork Ribs (all of which I tasted!) were all definite winners in my book as well. The dessert did not disappoint either. We ordered apple pie with cheddar cheese (yes, you read that right!) , Sage Ice Cream, and last but certainly not least, a Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwich. I felt like I had died and gone to dessert heaven.
Stay tuned as my never-ending list of restaurants grows. I also plan on discussing my favorite wineries, hiking trails and happy hour spots in some of my future posts. Do you have a favorite restaurant in Austin? If so please share it below!