Slideshow: 10 Must-Eats in Austin Right Now

Seared Beef Tongue Sandwich from Noble Pig Sandwiches
Seared Beef Tongue Sandwich from Noble Pig Sandwiches

You'll find Noble Pig Sandwiches in the Northwest reaches of Austin in an unassuming deli where almost everything—from the bacon to the bread to the pickles to the aioli—is made from scratch. The beef tongue sandwich ($8) is particularly delightful. Cured tongue between slices of freshly baked bread, lightly grilled and then slathered with aioli. Some smokey green onions and a tart red pepper relish brighten up the whole combination.

Noble Pig Sandwiches: 709 11815 620 North Suite 4, Austin, TX 78750 (map); 512-382-6248 ; noblepigaustin.com

[Photograph: YiMay Yang]

Barbacoa Taco at El Taco Rico
Barbacoa Taco at El Taco Rico
The two ladies at this little blue taco truck serve Texas barbacoa—shredded beef cheeks slow-cooked to tender perfection—wrapped in a tortilla and topped with onions, cilantro, and creamy green salsa. It's the perfect taco experience for $2. Their tortillas don't appear homemade, but hey, you can't get everything you want.

El Taco Rico: 810 Vargas Road, Austin, TX 78741 (map)

[Photograph: Meredith Bethune]

Miso-White Chocolate Semifreddo at Sway
Miso-White Chocolate Semifreddo at Sway
Pastry chef Laura Sawicki is already well-known for her exquisite Mexican influenced desserts at La Condesa. She's now experimenting with Asian ingredients at the restaurant group's new Australian Thai restaurant, Sway. The subtle sweetness of the velvety semifreddo is tempered by the salty miso, while the sesame garnish adds some crunch. A small scoop of tart mango-calamansi sorbet is served alongside the custard, nestled in a bed of coconut sticky rice.

Sway:1417 South 1st Street, Austin, TX 78704 (map); swayaustin.com.com

[Photograph: Melody Fury]

Pommes Frites at Hopfields
Pommes Frites at Hopfields
There are several places to pound some beers near the University of Texas at Austin, but recently opened Hopfields has added some down-to-earth sophistication to the bar scene. Hopfields' fries transport me back to Belgium: twice-fried in peanut oil, served warm, sprinkled with coarse salt and a little tarragon, and served with a side of house made aioli.

Hopfields:3110 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78705 (map); 512-537-0467; hopfieldsaustin.com

[Photograph: Meredith Bethune]

Tonkotsu Original at Ramen Tatsu-ya
Tonkotsu Original at Ramen Tatsu-ya
Visitors from other cities might ask if Austin's food trends have a five-year delay, and when it comes to ramen fever, yes, we are just catching on here. The arrival of Ramen Tatsu-ya made it worth the wait. Pork bones are slow-cooked for 60 hours to leach the milky marrow into the broth. It's garnished with a thin slice of crisp-tender pork belly, a marinaded soft boiled egg, scallions, sesame seeds, and wood ear mushrooms. You'll likely wait 30 minutes to an hour to try this sublime soup.

Ramen Tatsu-ya:8557 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758 (map); 512-339-0855; ramen-tatsuya.com

[Photograph: Meredith Bethune]

Brisket at Franklin Barbecue
Brisket at Franklin Barbecue
Aaron Franklin is living the Austin dream. His barbecue trailer developed such a rabid following that he was able to open a brick-and-mortar spot. Slow-smoking his brisket for up to 15 hours leads to barbecue on par with, and sometimes even better than, some of the storied Hill Country joints. It quite literally melts on the tongue as soon as you place it in your mouth. Earning the privilege to eat this brisket requires lining up at around 9am to get in the door when they open at 11am.

Franklin Barbecue:900 East 11th Street Austin, TX 78702 (map); 512-653-1187; franklinbarbecue.com

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Goat Consomme at Taco More
Goat Consomme at Taco More
Whether you eat in or take out, this humble soup from Taco Rico is served in a little styrofoam cup. But don't underestimate its powers simply based on its presentation. The silky red broth is boldly flavored with dried red chiles, shredded goat meat, chickpeas, cilantro and diced white onions.

Taco More:9414 Parkfield Dr, Austin, TX 78758 (map); 512-821-1561

[Photograph: Meredith Bethune]

Akaushi Picadillo Taco at Tacodeli
Akaushi Picadillo Taco at Tacodeli
All ground beef tacos should model themselves after this one. I never skip the Akaushi Picadillo when at Tacodeli. Even after trying all of them, this is my favorite. HeartBrand Ranch ground Akaushi beef is aggressively seasoned with garlic, and caramelized onions add a touch of sweetness.

Tacodeli:4200 North Lamar Boulevard Austin, TX 78756 and various locations (map); 512-419-1900; tacodeli.com

[Photograph: Meredith Bethune]