It's SXSW here in Austin, which means a huge influx of people to our little big city. Lots of people returning for the fest, lots of newbies, and I'm sure EVERYONE is wondering where the best places to eat are!
I might also do a round up of the more "splurge" ish joints I've been to, keep an eye out! You also may have seen some of these in my past Austin Roundups.
I am a die-hard Chuy's addict. I've heard mixed reviews from locals, but to me, it just has everything: fun and funky atmosphere, extensive menu with many options in a range of prices, tasty food, and free chips. Plus, it's the best queso I've ever had (and I've been judging places pretty harshly based on queso options). I've never had a bad meal here, and I've been about five times since moving to Austin. I know I need to try more places to get a better informed opinion, but the bottom line is: if you want an Austin experience, tasty Tex Mex, and free chips, this is your place. I suggest getting a side of creamy jalapeno dressing with your chips and trying the Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom enchilada. You won't be sorry. Arrive early for Happy Hour, when margaritas are $3.50!
...and if any Austinites are reading this and want to direct me towards your favorite Tex Mex place, PLEASE leave it in the comments! I've only tried a few others but these are still my winners :)
Also much love to Ms. P's Electric Cock. Did a full review recently, check it out. Basically: Best fried chicken in the city.
Picknik is a paleo food truck. I've only been here once, but the soup was so delicious it's definitely worth a mention. And since I do my own half-assed paleo thing most of the time, it's nice to know there's a place I can go and get a Paleo meal. It's expensive, but delicious. And worth a try whether you're on the diet or not. The bulletproof coffee gets stellar reviews but I was more of a fan of the Yeti coffee "milkshake." The offerings change daily.
I haven't tried Franklin's yet, because I haven't had a free Saturday to waste 3 hours waiting in line. However, these are my faves so far.
Salt Lick in Driftwood (previous review here) is the place we take out-of-towners. It's delicious BBQ and a pretty fun experience. It's a long, scenic drive, and an even longer wait if you come on a busy weekend night. However, they offer lemonade and popcorn to ease the wait, and usually have live music playing. Plus there's a little place next door where you can taste wine and buy beer to go with your meal. I've never had a bad meal here.