It’s hard to believe, but not everybody in Austin will be attending South by Southwest, which starts next week. In fact, some people will avoid it like the plague. Looking for a meal at a restaurant you can get to without brushing up against the SXSW madness? I’ve got you covered. More restaurants at austin360.com/austinrestaurants.
(*This is not a comprehensive list. Don’t see one of your favorites below? Send me an email at email@example.com and I will add it to our online listings.)
Andiamo Ristorante. 2521 Rutland Drive. 512-719-3377, AndiamoItaliano.com. Authentic Italian in North Austin with a family-owned vibe. Try the homemade ravioli.
Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar. 4800 Burnet Rd. 512-371-1600, apothecaryaustin.com. Well executed seasonal fare at this neighborhood wine bar.
Asia Café. 8650 Spicewood Springs Road. 512-331-5788, AsiaMarketAustin.com. This restaurant was too good to be contained to the back of the Asia Market, so it took over the neighboring space, serving dishes such as whole spicy fish and jade chicken.
Asiana. 801 E. William Cannon Drive #205, 512-445-3435, asianaindiancuisine.com. Hit the lunch buffet to get a sampling of the wide array of offerings, including chicken tikka masala and aromatic lamb rogan josh.
Asti. 408 E. 43rd St. 512-451-1218, astiaustin.com. Neighborhood Italian with a sophisticated touch in the middle of Hyde Park. Get the rigatoni and add sausage.
Bartlett’s. 2408 W. Anderson Lane. 512-451-7333, bartlettsaustin.com. This restaurant has changed little since its transition from Houston’s, and that’s a good thing. You can still expect dishes like the popular French dip, applewood-smoked pork chop and more.
Café Malta. 3421 W. William Cannon Drive. 512-853-9584, CafeMaltaAustin.com. A nice surprise in South Austin, this neighborhood restaurant does brisk happy hour business with wine specials at its bar and serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes.
Chen’s Noodle House. 8650 Spicewood Springs Road. 512-336-8889. Hand-cut noodles from Mr. Chen at this tiny spot that serves a delicious noodle soup overflowing with pork, tofu, egg and a host of vegetables.
Chez Zee. 5406 Balcones Drive. 512-454-2666, chez-zee.com. Texas, Italy and France all play friendly at this West Austin bistro staple with a brunch featuring the popular and decadent crème brûlée French toast.
Drink.Well. 207 E. 53rd St. 512-614-6683, DrinkWellAustin.com. Refined bar food like smoked mushroom macaroni and cheese, a spicy kimchi Reuben and one of the best burgers at this smart little North Loop bar that makes exceptional cocktails.
Epicerie. 2307 Hancock Dr. 512-371-6840, EpicerieAustin.com. Chef Sarah McIntosh’s French bistro delivers well-constructed sandwiches, comforting entrees, and one of the city’s best burgers. Don’t forget one of the sublime macaroons or salted chocolate chip cookie on your way out.
Estancia Churrascaria. 10000 Research Blvd. 512-345-5600, EstanciaChurrascaria.com. How much meat can you eat? That question gets answered at this temple to steak, pork and chicken. And, yes, there is salad.
Evangeline Café. 8106 Brodie Lane. 512-282-2586, EvangelineCafe.com. Take a trip to the bayou with gumbo, po’ boys and music by the likes of Charles Thibodeaux and the Austin Cajun Aces.
Fonda San Miguel. 2330 W. North Loop Blvd. 512-459-4121, fondasanmiguel.com. The diverse and beautiful brunch spread is famous at this Austin dining institution. (Recommend: Todo.)
Foreign & Domestic. 306 E. 53rd St. 512-459-1010, fndaustin.com. Creative and soulful food from this restaurant that feels just as comfortable with beef tongue as beets.
Hudson’s on the Bend. 3509 RM 620 N. 512-266-1369, HudsonsOnTheBend.com. Enjoy exotic game, excellent steaks and attentive service in this unique and lovely setting out by the lake.
Jack Allen’s Kitchen. 7720 Texas 71. 512-852-8558; 2500 Hoppe Trail, Round Rock, 512-215-0372, JackAllensKitchen.com. Farm-to-table comfort food such as bacon-wrapped quail and crispy salmon, as well as a massive weekend brunch, have made this place a hit down south and now up north, as well.
Kin & Comfort. 1700 W. Parmer Lane, 512-832-7870, This small stand in the Hana World Market puts a Southern comfort twist on Thai flavors with dishes like panang curry mac and cheese and shrimp and grits in tam kha soup.
Kome. 4917 Airport Blvd. 512-712-5700, Kome-Austin.com. Nigiri sushi, a variety of traditional and fusion rolls and a range of Izakaya dishes that include grilled fish and fried chicken from the couple who started with a humble trailer.
Mother’s Café. 4215 Duval St., 512-451-3994, motherscafeaustin.com. Hyde Park’s original hippie cafe weathered a fire and still draws steady crowds with dishes like their spinach-mushroom enchiladas.
Musashino. 407 Greystone Drive. 512-795-8593. musashinosushi.com. You get the sense you’re eating on an old wooden ship at this sushi restaurant that’s full of character. And if you don’t like raw fish, they also serve a pretty nice tempura-fried chicken.
Noble Sandwich Co. 12233 RM 620. 512-382-6248; 4805 Burnet Rd. 512-666-5124, noblesandwiches.com. Fresh-baked breads and meats smoked and cured in-house make Noble one of the best sandwich joints in town. Get the duck pastrami and the homemade Italian sausage and peppers with gooey mozzarella.
Pieous. 12005 U.S. 290 W. 512-394-7041, Facebook.com/Pieous. Family-owned and family-friendly pie place serves chewy Neapolitan pies and massive slices of pie, along with quality homemade pastrami.
Quality Seafood Market. 5621 Airport Blvd. 512-452-3820, Qualityseafood.Wordpress.com. Great fried shrimp, grilled catch of the day and Gulf oysters are some of the keys to the staying power of this restaurant-market.
Ramen Tatsu-Ya. 8557 Research Blvd., 512-339-0855, ramen-tastsuya.com. Deep, rich, sumptuous bowls of fatty soup draw lines out the door.
Rice Bowl Café. 11220 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-835-8888, ricebowlcafeaustin.com. From the pan-fried green onion pancakes to springy salt-and-pepper squid, it’s hard to go wrong at this Chinese restaurant.
Sap’s Fine Thai Cuisine. 4514 Westgate Blvd. 512-899-8525, SapsThai.com. A comprehensive menu of Thai food, from soups to noodles, stir-fried specials and curries.
Satay. 3202 W. Anderson Lane. 512-467-6731, SatayUsa.com. This North Austin restaurant brings together Thai and other South Asian cuisines for an eclectic menu that ranges from duck curry to Filipino egg rolls.
Szechuan House. 11005 Burnet Rd. 512-832-8989, szechuanhouseaustin.com. Ignore the Americanized offerings and head for the Szechuan specialties like wonton in red oil and spicy fish. The lamb with cumin will taste familiar to fans of Mexican food.
Siena Ristorante Toscana. 512-349-7667, SienaAustin.com. A taste of central Italy in Central Texas at this massive Texa-terranean style manse in West Austin. Try the tagliatelle alla Bolognese or the pappardelle with Chianti-braised wild boar. When in Siena …
Stiles Switch. 6610 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-380-9199, stilesswitchbbq.com. Fatty brisket, snap-case sausage and banana pudding without the wait you’ll find at some of Austin’s most famous joints.
Swad. 9515 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-997-7923. A flavorful (and at times spicy) way to get your vegetables.
Tarka Indian Kitchen. Multiple locations. 512-892-2008, TarkaIndianKitchen.com. Fast-casual Indian cuisine from the Clay Pit founders, with a nice balance of both nontraditional and popular items.
Texas French Bread. 2900 Rio Grande St. 512-499-0544, TexasFrenchBread.com. Mild-mannered sunlit bakery by day, Texas French Bread turns down the lights and puts on some cool music at night for a bistro that feels almost like a dinner party, which is how dinner service here originated.
Titaya’s. 5501 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-458-1792, titayasthaicuisine.com. The crowds come early for the papaya salad, pad Thai and spicy fried catfish at this restaurant that was renovated last year.
Tomodachi Sushi. 512-821-9472, 4101 W Parmer Ln. Find traditional sushi dishes at this North Austin restaurant, along with cooked dishes like Chilean sea bass and non-traditional items like mushroom caps stuffed with shrimp, crab and cheese.