Lovers of literature and film will flood the streets of downtown Austin this weekend, as the Texas Book Festival and Austin Film Festival take place simultaneously.
While an energy bar might sustain you between panels, if you want to take time out of your busy day or evening to grab a bite at one of Austin’s locally owned restaurants, we’ve got you covered. All of the restaurants listed below are within a half-mile walk of either the Texas Capitol or the Driskill Hotel, the de facto centers of the two respective festivals.
For a complete list of the best restaurants in Austin, visit austin360.com/eats.
Backspace. 507 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-474-9899, thebackspace-austin.com. Neapolitan pies from Parkside chef’s small restaurant that also delivers charcuterie, sandwiches and a nice roster of antipasti.
Casino El Camino. 517 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9330, casinoelcamino.net. Grab yourself a fat burger off the grill with a side of whiskey and attitude at this Sixth Street staple. Kitchen is open until 1 a.m.
Chez Nous. 510 Neches St (512) 473-2413, cheznousaustin.com. A little bit of French class amid the boozy grumble and stumble of Sixth Street. Try the duck confit if it’s on the menu, or housemade charcuterie.
Contigo at Fareground. 111 Congress Ave. contigotexas.com/fareground. The owners of Contigo serve their popular burger and a couple of takes on rotisserie chicken in Austin’s first food hall.
Clay Pit. 1601 Guadalupe St. 512-322-5131, claypit.com. Try the bone-in goat curry that carries the essence of that gamy animal, palak paneer-stuffed naan or lamb kabobs at this Indian staple a few blocks from the Capitol.
Comedor. 501 Colorado St. 512-499-0977, comedortx.com. One of the best restaurants to open in Austin in 2019, this modern Mexican stunner serves beautiful and flavorful raw fish dishes, rich moles and the best pork chop in town.
Dai Due Taqueria at Fareground. 111 Congress Ave. daiduetaqueria.com. One of the city’s best restaurants now has a taqueria (think wild boar al pastor on homemade tortillas) in Austin’s first food hall.
Daruma Ramen. 612-B E. Sixth St. 512-369-3897, darumaramen.com. Four variations of ramen, including vegetarian ramen, from the folks behind Airport Boulevard Japanese restaurant Kome.
Dean’s One Trick Pony. 111 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-473-1570, thelinehotel.com/austin. The casual spot at the Line hotel on Lady Bird Lake serves a burger smothered with queso. Uh huh.
Driskill Grill. 604 Brazos St. 512-391-7162, driskillhotel.com. Fitting that old cattle money was responsible for the founding of this legendary beauty in 1887. The dining options have seen many iterations over decades of changing management, but the Driskill Grill maintains an undeniable sense of Texas history.
Easy Tiger. 709 E. Sixth St. 512-614-4972, easytigeraustin.com. A bake shop, beer garden and outdoor oasis just on the fringe of Sixth Street’s shot bars.
Fixe. 500 W. Fifth St. 512-888-9133, austinfixe.com. It may look slick, but Fixe has a Southern comfort heart, from deviled eggs to fried chicken and crawfish pot pie.
Gus’s Fried Chicken. 117 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-474-4877, gusfriedchicken.com. Golden-fried comfort with a side of mac and cheese.
Holy Roller. 509 Rio Grande St., 512-502-5119, holyrolleraustin.com. The contemporary and irreverent restaurant puts its spin on diner classics with dishes like fried Brussels sprouts with apple butter; a fried chicken and egg biscuit; and nostalgia-inspiring yellow cake pancakes topped with soft serve.
Jackalope. 404 E. Sixth St. 512-472-3663, jackalopebar.com. The stars of the show here are the fat burgers. Try the honey jalapeno bacon burger or the Chupacabra (goat barbacoa).
Jo’s. 242 W. Second St. 512-469-9003, joscoffee.com. Good coffee, breakfast sandwiches, burgers, salads and pastries in the 2nd Street District.
JuiceLand. 120 E. Fourth St. 737-300-2120, juiceland.com. Find organic juices, smoothies and grab-and-go vegan dishes packed with impressive flavors, from Mexican and Thai-inspired wraps to falafel and an assortment of snack packs.
La Condesa. 400 W. Second St. 512-499-0300, lacondesa.com. This beautiful restaurant feels plucked from the leafy streets of Mexico City’s hip Condesa neighborhood and serves excellent tacos, smart entrees and one of the best margaritas in town.
Leaf. 115 W. Sixth St. 512-474-5323, leafsalad.com. Choose from one of Leaf’s salad options, or make your own with a variety of ingredients, many of which are locally sourced.
Lonesome Dove. 419 Colorado St. 512-271-2474, lonesomedoveaustin.com. Chef Tim Love adds thoughtful flourishes to the steakhouse vernacular with dishes like fettines made with wild game, rabbit ravioli and elk loin.
Parkside. 301 E. Sixth St. 512-474-9898, parkside-austin.com. Executive chef Jennifer Nguyen guides a menu that pays tribute to the seasons (plump shrimp and scallops with summer succotash) and delivers Texas bistro classics with considered touches (scarlet New York strip with charred endive and onion soubise).
P. Terry’s. 515 Congress Ave., No. 130. 512-473-8722, pterrys.com. Patrick Terry’s patty empire runs on humanely raised and antibiotic-free Angus beef and chicken. For the record, my order is a double with bacon, cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, onions and jalapenos. Open late.
Roaring Fork. 701 Congress Ave. 512-583-0000, roaringfork.com. Texas bistro classics including a Southwestern burger with a naughty name that features poblano peppers, cheddar and smoked pepper bacon.
Second Bar + Kitchen. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2750, secondbarkitchen.com. The Platonic ideal of elevated-yet-approachable New American cuisine. With a raw kale salad topped with grilled shrimp, a savory burger juicy with brisket fat, creative pizzas and complex seafood dishes, there’s something for everyone.
Swift's Attic. 315 Congress Ave. 512-482-8842, swiftsattic.com. Head to this upstairs gastroclub for small New American plates with fusion elements featuring Korean, Mexican and Vietnamese flavor profiles.
Tacodeli. 301 Congress Ave. 512-601-6631, tacodeli.com. Mexico City-inspired tacos with thoughtful flavor profiles and quality ingredients. Lunch only.
TLV at Fareground. 111 Congress Ave., 512-608-4041, tlv-austin.com. The chefs from Emmer & Rye and food truck Hummus Among Us teamed for this Fareground spot that serves a menu inspired by the vibrant street food of the Middle East.
Torchy’s. 110 San Antonio St. 512-792-5909, torchystacos.com. The folks who started a cult based on the strength of creations like a fried chicken taco with green chili queso now have a location downtown.
Turf N Surf Po'Boy. 407 Lavaca St. 512-469-0106, facebook.com/turfnsurfpoboy. The mahi mahi, snapper, tuna and other fish that top salads and fill tacos and sandwiches taste like they were pulled from the water the day before. And you can't go wrong with a big, juicy burger or a fried buffalo chicken sandwich oozing with bleu cheese at this food operation located inside a sports bar downtown.
Walton’s Fancy & Staple. 609 W. Sixth St. 512-542-3380, waltonsfancyandstaple.com. Avocado toast, challah French toast and shrimp and grits at breakfast and some of the best sandwiches at lunch and early evening are a few of the calling cards at this historic charmer owned by Sandra Bullock.