With several new restaurants opening every month, there's no shortage of great places to eat in Austin. But because most of these new places typically charge $20 to $30 per entrée, it can be hard on both your stomach and your wallet to keep up. Don't feel too bad for us Austinites, though—there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there if you know where to look. Here are ten of our favorites!
Specializing in cupcakes, cookies, and bars, this old school Hyde Park bakery also successfully executes fancier desserts. One in particular stands out as a good choice for Austinites who don't want to cook on Valentine's Day: the Chocolate Ganache Cake.
Beef with horseradish is, of course, nothing new, and Épicerie's sandwich arrives on the plate looking modest, if a bit larger than you might expect. But let this be a lesson in judging sandwiches by their covers, because that banal appearance belies some major flavor.
Most tourists are too busy admiring the ornate pastel buildings of seaside Gdansk, Poland to visit the massive Market Hall just a few blocks away. Reminiscent of a nineteenth century train station, crowned with a wrought iron and glass roof, it houses an overwhelming selection of food vendors. You can fulfill your Polish food fantasies for paczki, herring, kabanosy sausages, and every variety of E. Wedel chocolate, all in one place.
The Trail of Lights is Austin's most beloved Holiday attraction. Once you're in, there's no turning back. All roads lead to the giant Zilker Holiday Tree at the end of the trail. Prepare to get "hangry" if you show up on an empty stomach. If you're just looking for dessert after dinner, however, there are plenty of options along the Trail.
At this time of year, Austin bakeries and ice cream shops are simply bursting with both peppermint and eggnog flavored sweets. You'll also find Christmas cookies galore along with plenty of seasonal cupcakes, but there are also cranberry blondies, cream puffs filled with gingerbread cream, and boozy ice cream.
Suddenly there are plenty of youthful, trendy food businesses popping up around Birmingham. The gourmet popsicles at Steel City Pops are for real. Their flavors are made from scratch using mostly local produce or ingredients, sugar, water, and/or local dairy. They carry between 20 and 25 flavors at any one time, and the creamy paletas are separated from the icey paletas in separate freezers, just like in traditional Mexican paleterias. Their Southern inspired flavors are truly noteworthy.
A. Blikle, the storied bakery located on the historic Nowy Swiat boulevard in Warsaw, is synonymous with pączki, or Polish doughnuts.
Austin bakers are getting creative as they gear up for Halloween. So why just have another pumpkin flavored treat when you can celebrate with creepy cupcakes, gingerdead men, wormy doughnuts, and more?
Talking shrimp, natural disasters, fishing and more with Wayne Hebert, a veteran seafood seller at Westwego Shrimp Lot, a no-frills seafood market outside of New Orleans.
"Most folks raised in North Alabama have firmly believed since childhood that barbecue sauce is white," writes pit master Chris Lilly in Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book, of the legendary barbecue joint. Barbecue chicken with white sauce is the area's regional specialty. While visiting Birmingham, I drove about an hour north to Decatur to taste the classic dish at its source. Back in the city, I tried BBQ chicken at five different restaurants, in a search for the best.
Don't believe anyone who says going to the 77 Flea Market in Brownsville is just like being in Mexico. Yes, it's located very close to the border, but the large selection of cowboy hats and boots and Rio Grande Valley delicacies like hot Cheetos smothered with queso should serve as a pretty good indicator that this particular market is distinctly Tex-Mex.
On Saturdays and Sundays, a cluster of vendors appear behind El Gran Mercado on Pleasant Valley Road in Southeast Austin. They huddle under a network of tents and tarps that just barely shields the compact market from the intense sunlight. Here, you'll find things like cowboy boots, phone cases, toys, and even used cars—and some of the best Mexican food vendors in town.
Here in Austin, there are seemingly endless frozen sweet treats to help us survive the triple-digit temperatures of August. Here are 8 more frozen desserts we love.
There's no shortage of pie in Austin—in fact you could probably call it the city's favorite dessert. From chess to fruit to cream, these six slices are the perfect finish to any meal.
This Austin burger chain specializes in burgers made with all natural, vegetarian-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free angus beef. They also offer several options for those avoiding red meat.
Vera's is the last commercial vendor in the country selling the traditional version of barbacoa, and something of a legend in the BBQ world. Located on the Texas-Mexico border, Vera's is the real thing—meat from the whole cattle heads are smoked over mesquite in an underground pit and served with fresh tortillas and salsa. We went behind the scenes with owner Mando Vera to find out more.
A barbecue trailer power vacuum has existed in Austin ever since Franklin Barbecue transformed from food truck to brick-and-mortar operation two years ago. In a city packed with food trucks of all varieties, who will take its place? Besides the classic Texas barbecue meat plates and sausages, even more choices are popping up. There are smoked carnitas, brisket tacos, and Cuban-inspired pulled pork sandwiches. Many of these barbecue trucks offer a party-style with live music and free beer on weekends. The city of Austin is clearly benefiting from all this barbecue drama.
After trying every restaurant in Chinatown Center, I'm convinced Austin has some legit contenders for good and authentic Asian food. There were even some unique finds like pâté en croûte, homemade durian ice cream, and barbecue beef tendon. I still wouldn't advise out-of-state visitors, or even Houstonians, to seek out Austin's Asian restaurants while visiting. But for those of us who live here, there are some excellent choices if you take the time to look.
Despite all the garish colors and signs on South Congress, the bright yellow Burro Cheese Kitchen container shines like a bright beacon obscuring it all. It all builds incredibly high expectations for Burro Cheese Kitchen's "artisan grilled cheese sandwich." I perused the small menu, and considered designing my own lunch from a wide variety of artisan cheeses, breads baked fresh at Easy Tiger, and custom blended sauces like chocolate syrup, dulce de leche, and almond pesto aioli. n the end, I left it up to the professionals and selected one of their six menu options. The Waylon & Willie($9.00)
There's a new truck in town, Melvin's Deli Comfort, assembling exquisite sandwiches from their house cured meats and homemade condiments. The delightfully greasy Croque-Monsieur, rich with melted Gruyère cheese, is the perfect hangover antidote, but their Pork Confit Sandwich ($9.00) stole the show.
There's a lot going on at Thai Fresh. This multipurpose Thai deli, grocery store, and cooking school serves about ten different dishes from its counter including the required Pad Thai. And there are sandwiches, too.
"We all come together with this common bond of barbecue in Texas," proclaimed writer Joe Nick Patoski, kicking-off Foodways Texas 3rd Annual Symposium entitled "Our Barbecue, Ourselves." The focus reached beyond the central Texas trinity of brisket, ribs, and sausage to include wild game sausages, pork belly, and Gulf Coast seafood. Even Alabama barbecue chicken with white sauce made an appearance!
Tacos have their own vocabulary that I never learned in Spanish class. Like what is barbacoa, exactly? It takes on different forms throughout Mexico, but the South Texas version most prevalent in Austin is rooted in ranching traditions. When a cow is slaughtered, the head is roasted in a pit dug into the ground and lined with hot mesquite coals and maguey leaves. Every bit of the head, from the eyes to the brains, is consumed. In the Rio Grande Valley, the velvety shredded beef is traditionally eaten on Sundays with fresh tortillas, cilantro, onion, and tangy salsa. I ate all over Austin to find the best barbacoa I could; here are the ten standouts.
Winfo Osteria produces Neapolitan-style pizzas and Italian meat and pasta dishes "based around something you would find in a house in Italy—dishes you would find in a home." A selection of antipasti, soups, salads, and an Italian-focused wine list complete the menu. But the massive wood-burning Forno Bravo oven is the heart of the kitchen.
Eggplant Parmesan sandwich from Mike's Deli. David Greco taught us to make the fresh mozzarella they use on their sandwiches....