Monday, March 10, 2014

Austin Eats Roundup 1

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 decided it was worth mentioning a few of my favorites. I'm a new Austinite, so these are the places I've tried so far and really enjoyed--not necessarily a "local's POV" just yet, but I'm kind of a foodie and definitely on a budget, so you might find my suggestions helpful :)

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.

Tex Mex

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!

Torchy's Tacos are great if you want a quick taco that tastes gourmet. They also have perfected the art of the breakfast taco--if I had my choice I'd do breakfast here and lunch/dinner at Chuy's every single day. There are multiple locations with the hovering devil baby logo looming over the entrance. I am in love with their street corn, and often just get this and nothing else. I suggest the street corn (duh.), the Wrangler (breakfast) and the Ranch Hand (lunch). Plus their sodas are local and natural, so that's always a plus!

...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 :)

Food Trucks

Gotta give some love to Fried and True, always. Check out my full review on my first Austin roundup. Arielle is lovely and hilarious, and happens to be from the same neck of the woods (Western Massachusetts!) as me :) Get the corn dog with deep fried oreos for dessert and know what heaven is.

Also much love to Ms. P's Electric Cock. Did a full review recently, check it out. Basically: Best fried chicken in the city.

Chi'lantro is a drunchie paradise (drunchies = munchies + drunk). Located near the infamous Dirty 6 (6th Street) the line is endless once the bars let out. Thankfully, I got to try their famous kimchi fries while sober, so I could fully enjoy them and not have to wait in line. The orange sauce is so delicious I want to freaking BATHE in it. Eat quickly, as the fries will get soggy, and definitely share with friends because the portion is huge. My friend got the Quesadillas and while she saved me a triangle, after the fries I couldn't handle anything else. She says they were as good as they looked, though.

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.

"Fast Food"

P. Terry's or In-n-Out. I'm sure there's more, but if you're from anywhere that doesn't have either of these heavenly burgers, you need to check them out. I am an In-n-Out loyalist and nothing can compare to me, but P.Terry's has a location closer to me, so when I'm craving burgers they typically win. Honorable mention to Mighty Fine Burgers for having a gluten free bun!


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.

Rudy's is definitely more accessible, a little less expensive, and just as delicious if not moreso. You can find them off most of the major highways in town. Look for the gas stations with Rudy's but don't worry--this isn't your typical gas station quality food. You pay by the pound and get served on parchment paper. The sides are a little underwhelming (I get the cole slaw, it's decent) but the perfectly smoked meat more than makes up for it. Top with the BBQ sauce from the table and it's just out of this world.


  1. My favourite thing in the world - chips. Mouth is watering!!

  2. This is an awesome roundup. I definitely have to get my butt to Austin soon (although preferably after the SXSW madness is over), if only for the food!

  3. Hey girl, I'm loving your blog. Your writing style is fantastic-- witty, honest and welcoming! I'm so glad to hear that you joined the AFBA! Welcome! I hope to see you at this month's happy hour. Also, we gotta get you to some real BBQ places.... lol

    1. LOL, definitely! I'm still learning, my New England tastebuds haven't acclimated to the southern way of things just yet I guess ;)

      I can't make it to this month's happy hour, but I'm definitely going to try to make the next one! Can't wait to meet all of you!

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