I meet a lot of tourists on Tinder. I know that’s a weird thing to admit, but I find it entertaining. I can’t open that ridiculous app without seeing 200 new messages from: Australians on road trips, British businessmen, touring musicians, or software engineers from out of town throwing a bachelor party. For a while, I would share my nightlife guide of where to go out (which I still recommend), but more often than not I get asked about where to eat. Well, guy-likely-holding-up-some-animal-he-killed-in-his-profile-photo, here’s your guide:
Everyone wants to know where they ‘have to’ go. That’s subjective, since you may have a certain price range, or food style that you want. I am seasoned enough to know that everyone wants tacos, and barbecue when they come. Fair enough! I get it. Tacos are amazing.
I would definitely start at Torchy’s Tacos. Get the queso. Don’t question me. Just get it. President Obama ate there, and he didn’t get the queso. It broke my heart. Also, it’s best to go to the truck on South 1st. BYO? You know it. I’d say Mellizoz, and Taco Deli are also great in their own right, but Torchy’s is special. Ask for some diablo sauce, and if you ask for anything to be made ‘trashy’ they remove the lettuce, and add queso. Another great stop is Veracruz All Natural which is just up the road from La Barbecue.
I will not name names, but I cringe when tourists consistently tell me they have been to _________ Barbecue, and loved it. No! That is not good barbecue. Why do you all go there?! Who is spreading lies that you should go to this place?! WHY!? Again, I’ll never tell you which place it is, but if you feel compelled to go there, and it’s not Franklin or La Barbecue, then definitely reconsider what you’re about to do. Yes, the rumors about the Franklin line are true, but it’s part of the charm. You bring a bunch of booze, show up around 8 in the morning, and proceed to get hammered for the next 3 hours. La Barbecue is going to be a lot easier to get into, and there’s a lot of debate about which one is best.
In my last guide, I talked a lot about the food trucks you can find on East 6th. There’s some incredible Asian food, and a very famous pizza truck connected to one of my go-to dive bars. If that appeals to you, and it should, refer back to that.
Now, onto my favorite part: FANCY FOOD. Don’t get scared yet! I know the touring musicians just clicked away from this page, but the British businessmen with company cards know what I’m talking about. (Also, I totally will tell you when the happy hour is, so don’t panic – if I can afford it, you can too).
Austin is home to the number one sushi restaurant in the country. That’s right. Yes, I know we’re not near water, and you’re not the first person to inform me of that. I get it. You’re surprised. Uchiko has got to be my favorite place on earth, and their daily happy hour is 5-6:30. Sit at the bar, and prepare to be blown away. They’re fresh, inventive, and worth it. If you’re reading this, and want to take me there? You should. #rly #yarly #srsly
Another incredible spot is Odd Duck, and if you’re looking for a life-changing brunch, this is the spot for you. They also have a happy hour, and happen to be next to Uchi, the sister restaurant to my beloved Uchiko. If you’re situated on the east side (like me!) then I highly recommend Launderette.
Now, keep in mind that there are hundreds and hundreds of other restaurants around, but these are the ones that I like, and for good reason. I would say Uchiko is my ‘must,’ but this is your trip, and you do you! There are many other wonderful restaurants that specialize in specific food types such as: Barlata for tapas, Clark’s Oyster Bar/Perla’s for incredible seafood, and the renowned Ramen Tatsu-Ya for, well… that’s obvious. I’m sure that I left a lot out, but this is a good guide to get you started. I hope it helped out, and yes, you can buy me a drink.