Welcome to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance's 2015 City Guide for Austin! We've come together to bring you the best of the best in Austin, and here's my entry for the best restaurants north of 183!
I live basically on the Pflugerville town line, that is how far north I am. While many of Austin's star restaurants are downtown, there are a handful of hidden gems in my part of the city that are definitely worth a mention. Here's my roundup of the best restaurants north of 183, the "far north" of the city!
Best Austin Restaurants North of 183
NXNW Brewery–I'm still dreaming about the Smoked Pork Tenderloin I had here my first week in Austin. Absolutely mouth-gasm-worthy. This is the ultimate spot for a date night that won't break the bank. The menu has a variety of tasty options, the service is quick and friendly, plus there's a plethora of tasty beers brewed on site. The one caveat is that it's a bit loud, but I tend to be too busy chowing down the food to notice. NXNW Brewery is open Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Friday 11am-11pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm.
Crawfish Shack & Oyster Bar–This tiny, unassuming strip mall location might seem like an unlikely place for sea and river food (crawfish are "river food" not "seafood" right??) but trust me. Trust. Me. Venture inside and you'll be treated to tasty, buttery crawfish all year long! The mudbugs come in three degrees of spice, swimming in butter with corn, sausage, and potato included if you order 2lbs or more. Crawfish purists chide Crawfish Shack for their use of butter, but it's insanely delicious and I'm sure they'd honor a request for no butter if asked. For those who aren't crawfish fans, try the shrimp or crab--my fiancé also says their steak is decent and great for the price. If you're going to go for a side, get the cajun spiced french fries, but I definitely prefer the potato cooked in the crawfish spice. The beers are cheap and the service is quick. This place is a must-visit whether it's your first time trying this Southern staple (I had my first crawfish here!) or your 100th. Crawfish Shack & Oyster Bar is located at 2013 Wells Branch Parkway in Austin and is open Mon-Thurs 11am-2pm and 5pm-10pm, Fri-Saturday 11am-2pm and 5pm-11pm, and Sunday 12pm-2pm and 5pm-10pm.
The Goodnight–Karaoke, bowling, cornhole, pool, and board games? You have my attention already. Add to that an incredibly tasty menu, and you have one of my favorite hangout spots in the city. This is another spot in Austin I frequent because I've never had a bad meal here. I didn't even know how kick ass their brunch was (complete with $1 mimosas!) until just a few weeks ago. For brunch, I suggest the steak and eggs or chicken-fried wild boar, and for any time I love the fries, tomato soup, and any of the burgers. Plus their cocktail menu is awesome and named after Austin landmarks! The Goodnight is located at 2700 West Anderson Lane and is open Sun-Thurs 11am-12am and Fri-Sat 11am-2am.
|From the food truck... but it's the best picture I have ;)|
Garbo's–Their website boldly states,"PROUDLY SERVING NEW ENGLAND CUISINE
WITH AN AUSTIN TWIST," so you know it's right up this New England ex-pat's alley! The Garbo's brick and mortar was a much-anticipated opening by anyone who knows what good lobster is. As a New Englander, I feel like I'm a good judge of this. The food truck always provided a decent roll, as well as a tasty clam chowder that was prepared the CORRECT way (as in, NO TOMATOES). The restaurant's menu boasts a number of seafood options, but their roll is definitely the star of the show. You can even have it Maine style (arguably the "correct" way) or Connecticut. Most Austinites I know prefer the latter, but it's really up to you! Garbo's is located at 14735 Bratton Lane and is open Mon-Thurs 11am-2pm and 5pm-9pm, Friday 11am-2pm and 5pm-10pm, and Sat 5pm-10pm.
New Fortune Dim Sum–Full disclosure: much like Crawfish Shack, New Fortune was actually my FIRST Dim Sum experience. But friends tell me that it's your best bet for Dim Sum in Austin, so I trust that my experience there was on par with what was expected. Get there early, by 11am the place is packed and there's a line out the door. Start slow with some wonton soup or a pork bun, and take your time (though devouring everything in sight IS tempting!) because the more unique items will definitely pass by when you're too full to fit them in if you're not careful! The staff is super friendly and knowledgable about the food, and the management stops by often to check in on how you're doing. "We weigh you when you get in, and then we weigh you when you get out--that is how you pay!" The manager joked after I confessed it was my first time. I wouldn't be surprised! My favorite dishes are the pork-filled buns and the crispy garlic shrimp. I missed out on the soup dumplings, but I'm told they are a can't-miss item. Don't forget to save room for the dessert cart! New Fortune Dim Sum is located in Chinatown Center on North Lamar and is open Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-3pm.
Kin & Comfort–One of the most unique new Austin restaurants, and it's only minutes from my apartment, score! Nearly hidden in the Hana World Food Court, it's a bit out of the way for most Austinites but definitely worth the trip. Be sure to bring cash, as it's cash-only, but totally worth it. Kin & Comfort is the perfect blend of Thai and Southern comfort food. Menu items are inexpensive, so bring friends and share as many of them as you can! Son-in-Law Deviled Eggs, Home-Fried Chicken Thigh, and Panang Mac and Cheese are the must-tries, but the entire menu is solid. Kin & Comfort is located at the Hana World Market at 1700 West Parmer Lane and is open daily 11am-8pm, closed Tuesdays.