by A. T. Campbell, III and Carol Campbell
Welcome to the annual dining guide. Our inspirations were the dining guides written by sf writers George Alec Effinger (for the New Orleans WorldCon) and Lawrence Person (for ArmadilloCon 10 times). This guide focuses on good places to eat near the convention hotel. For each place, we list its number on the map, name, distance from the hotel, address, hours, and price range. Dollar ratings are $ inexpensive, $$ moderate, $$$ pricey, $$$$ extravagant.
Asian & South Asian
43. 888 Pan Asian Restaurant (2.6 mi, 2400 E Oltorf St, M-Sa 11a-2a, Su 12-11:30p, $) Good Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.
62. Asiana (2.7 mi, 801 E William Cannon Dr, Tu-Th 11a-2p, 5-9p, F 11a-2p, 5-10p, Sa 12-3p, 5-10p, Su 12-3p,5-9:30p, $$) Authentic Indian restaurant with food from several regions of India. Excellent lunch buffet.
51. Bamboo Garden (3.0 mi, 625 W. Ben White, M-Su 11a-9:30p, $) Austin’s oldest Chinese restaurant. Extensive menu with not only the expected dishes, but also ones less common.
50. Buffet Palace (4.1 mi, 46008 West Gate Blvd, M-Th 11a-9:30p, F 11a-10p, Sa 11:30a-10p, Su 11:30a-9:30p, $$) Good Chinese/Japanese/Korean buffet.
17. Elizabeth Street Café (3.7 mi, 1501 S 1st St, Su-Th 8a-10:30p, F-Sa 8a-11p, $$) Atmospheric Vietnamese/French spot. Good banh mi, pho, bun, and French pastries, serves breakfast. Nice selection of coffee, tea, and spirits. Try the macaron of the day.
55. JeonJu Korean Grill See Food Trucks.
37. Kim Phung (3.3 mi, 2237 E Riverside Dr, M-Su 11a-9p, $$) Vietnamese restaurant serving tasty pho, vermicelli bowls, and egg rolls.
12. Lucky Robot (3.6 mi, 1303 S Congress, M-Th 11a-10p, F 11a-10:30p, Sa 10:30a-10:30p, Su 10:30a-10p, $$) Japanese restaurant serving ramen, bento boxes, sushi, dumplings, and edible flowers. Colorful murals and swing seats.
11. Ramen Tatsu-Ya (4.4 mi, 1234 S. Lamar, M-Su 11a-10p, $$) Popular local noodle shop. Serious about the craft of ramen. Try the Gyoza. Peak times might find a line.
53. Soursop See Food Trucks.
14. Sway Modern Thai (3.7 mi, 1417 S 1st St, Su-W 11a-10p, Th-Sa 11a-11p, $$) Upscale Australian-style Thai food. Try the tom yum, jungle curry, salt-and-pepper prawns, and son-in-law. Highly recommended.
10. Uchi (4.8 mi, 801 S Lamar Blvd, Su-Th 5p-10p, F-Sa 5p-11p, $$$$) Contemporary Japanese restaurant featuring out-of-this-world sushi. Chef won James Beard Award. Ask your editor to take you there.
32. Whip In (2.7 mi, 1950 S IH 35, Su-Th 11a-11p, F-Sa 11a-12a, $$) Eclectic restaurant/convenience store featuring Indian/Southern fusion menu, beer, and live music.
1. Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que (4.5 mi, 217 Congress Ave, M-Su 11a-10p, bar open till midnight, $$) Austin location of historic Llano BBQ joint loses nothing in the translation. Large selection of delicious meats to choose from including brisket, chicken, and pork ribs to die for. This place even has four kinds of cobbler for cryin’ out loud.
44. Leroy & Lewis BBQ See Food Trucks.
7. Terry Black’s BBQ (4.4 mi, 1003 Barton Springs Rd, Su-Th 11a-9p, F-Sa 11a-9:30p, $$) BBQ spot from sons of the Lockhart restaurant family. All their smoked meats are tasty, especially the pork ribs. Great side dishes.
45. Texas Ranch BBQSee Food Trucks.
25. June’s All DaySee Cafes.
33. Kerbey Lane CaféSee Cafes.
61. Krispy Kreme.See Sweets.
28. Magnolia Café. SeeCafes.
26. G’s Dynamite Deli (3.1 mi, 2312 S 1st St, M-Sa 11a-9p, Su 12p-5p, $) Deli serving good sandwiches, salads, and soups. Popular items include the Reuben, muffaletta, and chicken salad, but the Hot Mess is a tasty thing of beauty. Very limited indoor seating.
16. Hopdoddy Burger Bar (3.5 mi, 1400 S Congress Ave, Su-Th 11a-10p, F-Sa 11a-11p, $$) Burger place with creative menu options including lamb, bison, ahi tuna, mushroom, hot chicken, and impossible veggie burgers. Try the truffle fries and shakes.
48. McDonald’s (1.0 mi, 710 E Ben White, Open 24/7, $) National burger chain.
8. Sandy’s (4.2 mi, 603 Barton Springs Rd, M-Su 10a-10:30p, $) Austin classic with fine burgers, fries, frozen custard, and thick shakes. Drive thru and outdoor seating only.
56. Subway (0.4 mi, 1931 E Ben White Blvd, M-F 7a-10p, Sa 8a-10p, Su 9a-10p, $) National sandwich chain.
42. Whataburger (2.2 mi, 2305 Burleson Rd, Open 24/7, $) Great burgers, chicken strips, and fries. Breakfast has Southern items like biscuits & gravy.
55. JeonJu Korean Grill (0.6 mi, 1005 E St Elmo Rd, W 5-10p, Th 5-11p, F 3-11p, Sa 1-11p, Su 1-10p, $) Food truck serving a small number of Korean dishes with a modern flair.
44. Leroy & Lewis BBQ (1.6 mi, 121 Pickle Rd, W-Su 11a-9p, $$) BBQ truck featuring rotating selection of meats. Highlights include brisket, pulled pork, quail, wagyu burnt ends, beef cheeks, chorizo cheese grits, and smoked pecan pie.
53. Soursop (1.1 mi, 440 E St Elmo Rd, Tu-Th 4-11p, F 12p-12a, Sa 11a-12a, Su 12-10p, $$) Popular food truck offering Pan Asian Fusion: Soup dumplings, pho-tine, poke, Thai spicy chicken wings, and lots of vegetarian options. Credit cards only!
45. Texas Ranch BBQ (1.7 mi, 3632 S Congress Ave, M-Su 11a-5p, $$) New BBQ food truck getting rave reviews.
15. Home Slice Pizza (3.4 mi, 1415 S Congress Ave, Su-Th 11a-11p, F-Sa 11a-3a, $$) Serves arguably the best NY-style pizza in town. Continually ranked as one of Austinites’ favorite spots.
38. Toss Pizzeria (2.6 mi, 2901 S 1st St, M-Tu 5-11p, W-F 5p-12a, Sa 11a-12a, Su 11a-11p, $$) NY-style pizzas that are tasty and huge (20”). Indoor dining area has extensive beer selection. Outdoor dining area is friendly for kids and pets.
22. Vespaio (3.3 mi, 1610 S Congress Ave, Su-M 5-10p, Tu-Sa 5-10:30p, $$$) Upscale authentic Italian (pasta, pancetta, pizza). Great wine selection and service.
47. Cabo Bob’s (1.0 mi, 500 E Ben White Blvd, M-Sa 10:30a-9p, $) Fast casual restaurant serving burritos and tacos. Fresh flour tortillas made for you as you go through line.
6. El Alma (4.5 mi, 1025 Barton Springs Rd, M 11a-9p, Tu-Th 11a-10p, F 11a-11p, Sa 10a-11p, Sun 10a-9p, $$) Interior Mexican food featuring great ceviche and mole, plus unusual meats like duck, fish, and lamb. Wonderful treehouse dining area, and an upstairs patio great for summer evenings.
19. Fresa’s (3.5 mi, 1703 S 1st St, M-Su 8a-10p, $$) Mexican restaurant specializing in wood-grilled chicken, skirt steak, and shrimp. Full bar.
18. Guero’s (3.4 mi, 1412 S Congress Ave, M-W 11a-10p, Th-F 11a-11p, Sa 8a-11p, Su 8a-10p, $$) Tex-Mex restaurant serving standard tacos/enchiladas/fajitas. Also has good traditional Mexican breakfast.
36. Torchy’s Tacos (2.7 mi, 2809 S 1st St, M-Th 7a-10p, F 7a-11p, Sa 8a-11p, Su 8a-10p, $) Austin chain with creative taco menu. Standout tacos include Democrat (beef barbacoa), Republican (jalapeño sausage), and Independent (veggie).
57. Catfish Parlour (1.2 mi, 4705 E Ben White Blvd, M-Th 11a-9p, F-Sa 11a-10p, Su 11a-9p, $$) Good family-friendly seafood restaurant. Specialties include fried catfish, seafood gumbo, shrimp, and oysters. Try the hushpuppies, and the cobbler!
13. Perla’s (3.5 mi, 1400 S Congress Ave, M-Th 11:30a-10p, F 11:30a-11p, Sa 10:30a-11p, Su 10:30a-10p, $$$) Seafood restaurant featuring lobster, shrimp, crabs, oysters, and fresh fish. Brunch includes shrimp & grits, lobster omelet, and po’boys.
41. Poke-Poke (1.9 mi, 3100 S Congress Ave, M-Su 11a-9p, $$) Popular Hawaiian eatery serving poke (dressed raw fish, tofu, or veggies over rice) and acai bowls (sorbet, fruit, and granola.)
3. Gus’s Fried Chicken (4.3 mi, 117 San Jacinto Blvd, M-Th 11a-9p, F-Sa 11a-10p, Su 11a-9p, $) Hot & spicy Memphis-style fried chicken with variety of good sides. All the food here is amazing, but try going off-times as there could be a wait at lunch and dinner. Make sure to leave room for pie!
58. Patsy’s Cowgirl Café (1.5 mi, 5001 E Ben White Blvd, M-F 11a-9p, Sa 11a-10p, $$) Southern home-style cooking and live music venue.
34. Phoebe’s Diner (3.1 mi, 533 W Oltorf St, M-Su 7a-3p, $$) Retro-themed classic American diner with breakfast and Southern cooking. New and hot.
9. Threadgill’s (4.0 mi, 301 W Riverside Dr, M-Th 11a-10p, F-Sa 11a-10:30p, Su 10a-9p, $$) Southern comfort food and live music. Standout menu items include fried green tomatoes, chicken fried steak, meatloaf, and more vegetable sides than Cracker Barrel.
4. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (4.3 mi, 320 E 2nd St, M-Th 5-10p, F-Sa 5-11p, Su 5-9p, $$$) Fine downtown steak and seafood restaurant.
2. Fogo de Chao (4.3 mi, 309 E 3rd St, M-Th 11a-2p, 5p-10p, F 11a-2p, 5p-10:30p, Sa 2p-10:30p, Su 2p-9p) Brazilian steakhouse with huge salad bar and wonderful never-ending grilled meats. Go hungry. Very hungry.
21.Dolce Neve (3.5 mi, 1713 S 1st St, Su-Th 12-10p, F-Sa 12p-12a, $) Ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt.
61. Krispy Kreme (2.2 mi, 701 E Stassney Ln, M-Th 6a-11p, F-Sa 6a-12a, $) National chain serving outstanding donuts and coffee.
27. Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop (3.4 mi, 1905 S 1st St, Tu-Sa 10a-8p, Su 10a-6p) Dessert-only bakery serving cupcakes, cookies, pies, and cakes.
23. Bouldin Creek Café (3.4 mi, 1900 S 1st St, M-F 7a-12a, Sa-Su 8a-12a, $) Vegetarian restaurant. Menu highlights include fresh bagels, zucchini migas, portabello fajitas, and the veggie royale burger. Great patio.
5. Casa de Luz (5.1 mi, 1701 Toomey Rd, M-Sa 7a-8:30p) Vegan macrobiotic food in a charming oasis environment.
29. The Flying Carpet (3 mi, 504 W Oltorf St, Tu-Sa 6-10p) Moroccan food. Order from the trailer in back, then eat in the air-conditioned dining room.
52. Full English (4.0 mi, 2000 Southern Oaks Dr, W-Th9a-5p, F 9a-9p, Sa 9a-5p, Su 10a-5p, $) Serves British breakfast fare all day, except for fish and chips on Friday only, 6-9p. Menu items include bangers, back bacon, fried egg sandwiches, pasties, pancakes, scones, and of course, tea.
39. Habana (2.1 mi, 2728 S Congress Ave, Su-Th 11a-10p, F-Sa 11a-11p, $$) Cuban/Caribbean restaurant. Authentic Cuban food, including sandwiches and stews. Arroz con pollo is a specialty. Seafood paella on Friday & Saturday.
46. Taste of Ethiopia (1.5 mi, 3801 S Congress Ave, M-Su 11a-10p, $$) African restaurant serving spicy stews and wonderful veggie dishes. Great service. Note: food is served family style and you must eat with your hands.
35. Winebelly (3.0 mi, 519 W Oltorf St, Su-W 4-11p, Th-Sa 4p-12a, $$) Spanish-Mediterranean tapas and wine bar.
Cafes, Casual & Elegant Dining
40. Café Crème (2.2 mi, 1834 E Oltorf St, M-F 7a-6p, Sa-Su 8a-6p, $) Neighborhood coffee shop plus tea, wine, and local craft beer. Serves breakfast tacos and sandwiches in the morning, crepes for lunch, and baked goods.
31. Gourdough’sPublic House (4.2 mi, 2700 S Lamar, M-F 11a-12a, Sa 10a-1a, Sun 10a-12a, $$) Pub and restaurant serving donuts, donut burgers, and donut entrees.
60. Hideaway Kitchen and Bar (0.5 mi, 4323 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, M-Su 6:30a-10p, $$) Comfort food restaurant serving breakfast, sandwiches, salads, and large plates.
49. Hyde Park Bar & Grill (4.0 mi, 4521 West Gate Blvd, Su-Th 11a-10:30p, F-Sa 11a-11p, $$) Bright and contemporary city favorite for Texan comfort food, chicken-fried steak, burgers, brunch 11-3 Sat. & Sun. Be sure to get fries for the table.
25. June’s All Day (3.2 mi, 1722 S Congress Ave, M-Sa 8a-11:30p, Su 8a-10:30p, $$) French/American restaurant with cute décor. Known for brunch, sandwiches, and desserts.
33. Kerbey Lane Café (4.2 mi, 3003 S Lamar Blvd, Open 24/7, $$) Local 24-hour chain beloved by many Austinites. Large menu including all-day breakfast. Many swear by the gingerbread pancakes.
24. Lenoir (3.5 mi, 1807 S 1stSt, Tu-Sa 5-10:30p, Su 5-9p, $$$) American fine dining with 3-course prix fixe, seasonal menu, and elegant dining room.
28. Magnolia Café (3.1 mi, 1920 S Congress Ave, Open 24/7, $) All-night diner known for breakfast, Tex-Mex, and traditional American food.
59. Onion Creek Grill (0 mi, in the Omni Southpark, M-Su 6:30a-2p, 5p-10p, $$) Hotel restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
20. South Congress Café (3.4 mi, 1600 S Congress Ave, M-F 10a-10p, Sa-Su 9a-10p, $$) Southwestern restaurant known for brunch, burgers, and carrot cake.
54. Spokesman (1.1mi, 440 E Saint Elmo Rd, M-Th 7a-11p, F 7a-midnight, Sa-Su 8a-midnight, $) Coffee shop serving sandwiches and salads.
30. Vinaigrette (2.9 mi, 2201 College Ave, M-Su 11a-9p, $$) Serves fine fresh food including salads, soups, and sandwiches in a greenhouse setting.