The burger at Second Bar + Kitchen is just one reason to stop into the New American restaurant on Congress Avenue.

Restaurant listings*

Each week in Austin360, we offer a rotating list of places to eat right now. This week: A woman named Angela recently wrote me from St. Louis. She and eight girlfriends in their 30s are visiting Austin this weekend, and she wanted suggestions for group dinners and brunch.

“I want to have a good variety and not too expensive, but nice,” she wrote. “I know one dislikes seafood, but others love it … Nothing too crazy. Not too keen on French, but love great food.”

My edited response is here. Maybe these recommendations will come in handy for you sometime. For more, visit and for more restaurants by category, head to .

Guide on the go

Take Matthew Odam’s 2013 Dining Guide — a list of his top 50 restaurants — with you by bookmarking on your smartphone or tablet or visit from your desktop computer.


La Condesa. 400 W. Second St. 512-499-0300,

Located in the heart of the 2nd Street District, this upscale Mexican restaurant offers good food and vibrant design in a very social setting. (Recommend: venison tacos, cochinita pibil, tuna tostadas, margaritas.)

Uchi. 801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4808,

Maybe the best restaurant in Austin. World-class sushi just south of downtown, and the fish-ambivalent can find other things they like. (Recommend: Everything.)

Second Bar + Kitchen. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2750,

New American on Congress Avenue puts you right in the middle of downtown, and the patio is great for dining and people watching if the weather is decent. (Recommend: pepperoni soup; seared trout; fried pickles; seared scallops; cheeseburger; bleu cheese, pork belly and medjool date pizza.)

Café Josie. 1200 W. Sixth St. 512-322-9226,

A delightful little spot just west of downtown. It’s been around for almost 20 years but under new management and a new chef the last couple of years. (Recommend: grilled octopus and goat ribs.)


Olivia. 2043 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-804-2700,

Fancy at night, but down-home at brunch. Light pours in from the floor-to-ceiling glass, and the patio is nice if the weather isn’t out of control. (Recommend: Dandy Don goat chili pie with fried eggs, the Willie Nelson chicken fried steak, French toast.)

Enoteca. 1610 S. Congress Ave. 512-441-7672,

The little sister of one of Austin’s best Italian restaurants, the more casual spot serves a host of egg dishes, along with Italian sandwiches and salads. (Recommend: porchetta panino, any of the egg dishes.)

Trio at the Four Seasons. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-685-8300,

Get treated like a fancy hotel guest even if you aren’t one. Pay $54 for omelets, pancakes, ceviche, smoked fish, crab claws, fried chicken and waffles, and more. (Recommend: Go big or go home.)

Fonda San Miguel. 2330 W. North Loop Blvd. 512-459-4121,

The diverse and beautiful brunch spread is famous at this Austin dining institution. (Recommend: Take your pick.)