7 of the Most Unique Restaurants You Will Find in Austin

December 11, 2020
GiftYa
jason wolfe

Austin is a vibrant, up-and-coming city in Texas. This bustling city boasts an impressive art scene, plenty of recreational activities, and a wide variety of restaurants and bars. It’s no wonder so many young people are flocking to this city. 

Austin Mural Art

Speaking of its food scene, Austin features a number of fun and unique restaurants. In our latest article, we’re featuring our 7 favorite restaurants in Austin that offer a unique dining experience. Check them out now! 

Are you still scrambling to find the perfect birthday gift for your best friend? Have you decided to start Christmas shopping early this year? Surprise your loved ones with a virtual GiftYa card! GiftYa cards can be applied to a number of different restaurants around Austin, including all of the places we featured below. Your friends and family members can take these virtual cards with them wherever they go. They never have to worry about losing them. Before you send the card, make sure you add a custom message to make it extra special! 

1. Salty Sow

Laidback, contemporary restaurant known for its fun dishes and creative cocktails

Pictured above are the Duck Fat Fries, Chicken Liver Mousse Pate, and Cocktail Flight. Image courtesy of Yelp.

1917 Manor Rd. | Austin | saltysow.com 

If you’re looking for some of the best cocktails in Austin, you’ll need to head to Salty Sow. Inside this popular American gastropub, you will find a fun and vibrant atmosphere perfect for enjoying a cocktail or two with friends. Not sure which cocktail to try? Order a flight! From the Charlotte’s Web to the Rosemary's Piglet, all of the cocktails at the Salty Sow are filled with a fresh blend of ingredients. 

Make sure you stop by the Salty Sow for Happy Hour. Held everyday from 4pm to 6pm, Salty Sow’s Happy Hour offers $2 off draft beer and craft cocktails as well as small apps priced $5 to $7. Speaking of food, Sally Sow offers delicious meals including the Crisp Chicken Thighs, Candied Pork Belly and Petite Bone-In Filets. The Butterscotch Budino and Banana Fosters Beignets are also perfect dessert options for finishing your meal. 

“I ordered the Slow Cooked Beef Shoulder, which was some rich southern comfort food served in a pan. The meat falls apart as soon as you dig into it, and it sits on a bed of mashed potatoes with sweet, glazed carrots also in the pan. The dish is doused in a rich gravy. Order this dish with an appetite--it's delicious!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Salty Sow. 

2. Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill 

Contemporary restaurant in Downtown Austin known for its delicious comfort food

The Chicken & Waffles are always a great choice! Image courtesy of Yelp.

303 Red River St. | Downtown | moonshinegrill.com 

Located in Downtown Austin, the Moonshine Grill is a popular restaurant known for its hearty Southern comfort food and satisfying cocktails. Brunch, lunch, Happy Hour, and dinner are all offered at this popular bar. On the menu, you’ll find appetizing meals like the Seared Rainbow Trout and Center Cut Pork Chop. Lighter options like the Backyard Chicken Sandwich and Cornflake Fried Chicken Salad are also popular among guests. If you managed to save enough room for dessert, we recommend trying the Dark Chocolate Cheesecake or Peanut Butter Mousse Pie. 

“One word- WOW. This place is incredible- from the building itself, to the waitress, to the service, and to the food and drinks. When you sit down, they give you ice water and popcorn- the popcorn was good and was a nice treat. I had the chicken fried steak with chipotle cream gravy, and the baked macaroni. I was not that hungry and scarfed the whole thing down.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill. 

3. Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Popular restaurant that serves some of the best ramen in Austin

The Tsukemen is a popular dish at Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Image courtesy of Yelp

8557 Research Blvd, Suite 126 | Austin | ramen-tatsuya.com

If the only ramen you’ve ever tried came from a styrofoam cup, you’re really missing out. At Ramen Tatsuya, you can find a fine selection of creative and delicious ramen bowls. The Tonkotsu Original, for instance, is filled with wood ear mushroom, scallion, and chashu. The Ol’ Skool, which is another popular ramen bowl, is filled with white onion, nori, and pepper. Want to add extra toppings? Goma pork, narutomaki, tofu, and more are available for sprucing up your ramen! 

“The Mi-So Hot with added Brussel Sprouts and a Fire in a Bowl bomb are my go-to. The broth in the Mi-So Hot is very rich and a little thicker than the Original and combined with the brussel sprouts it's just so delicious.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Ramen Tatsu-Ya. 

4. Odd Duck

Fun, contemporary restaurant known for its farm-to-table approach

Try the Cornstarch Fried Quail! Image courtesy of Yelp.

1201 S Lamar Blvd | Bouldin Creek, South Lamar District | oddduckaustin.com

At the Odd Duck, you can find a delightful array of New American dishes. This sustainable farm-to-table restaurant is known for both its savory small plates and contemporary interior. Whether you order a grilled goat kefta sandwich for brunch or a TX Wagyu burger for dinner, you are sure to be satisfied with your meal choice. As for the drinks, you can’t go wrong with a Manhattan or a glass of cider. 

“We ordered just about everything on the menu. Fried quail tacos, melon salad with fish sauce, crab Benedict with perfectly fluffy biscuits, Dutch baby pancake with peaches and feta, burger with PIG'S FACE jam (it was sooooooooooooo amazing) and the pork belly bowl.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Odd Duck. 

5. Whip In

Gas station–turned-convenience-store-turned-gastropub serving up delicious comfort food

Pictured above is the Mughlai Burger with a side of spicy curried fries. Image courtesy of Yelp

1950 S Ih 35 | South Austin | whipin.com

Since 1986, Whip In has served as an Austin icon for Indian food and drinks. Throughout its lifespan, Whip In has gone from a neighborhood corner store to a full gastropub. While Whip In still offers a fine convenience grocery selection, it is also known for offering 70+ beers on tap, a full wine list, and delicious meals made from scratch. 

Not sure what to get? We recommend starting off with a plate of samosa or house fries. Whip In also offers a wide selection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees. Some of their most popular dishes include the Chana Masala, Chicken Fried Rice, and Gyro Wrap. If you’re coming with a group, you can also order the Whip In Family Pack. This popular pack, which feeds four to five people, offers:

“This spot is my permanent new Sunday brunch spot. For $12 you get access to their Indian brunch buffet from 11am-3pm plus the lovely sound track of a jazz band. I can't imagine a better deal than that. All I can say is that my wallet was not ready for this place because I will definitely be a regular.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Whip In. 

6. Péché

French restaurant known for its comfort food and craft cocktails

The Mac-n-Cheese makes a great start to your meal! Image courtesy of Yelp

208 W 4th St. | Warehouse District, Downtown | pecheaustin.com

The second you step into Péché, you are greeted with a charming New Orleans-esque space. Some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes include the Duck Confit, Beef Tenderloin, Ranch Lamb Ragout, and Bones & Frites. A wide selection of cocktails is also available. From Vodka Amours to Adult Milkshakes, Péché offers everything you could want in a bar. 

“My boyfriend and I went to Péché last night. It was our first time going for dinner and it was the best meal either of us have had in months. Rob (the owner) checked on us a couple times throughout dinner and he was so pleasant and made some excellent recommendations for drinks.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Peche. 

7. Roaring Fork

Downtown restaurant that offers an upscale and upbeat atmosphere

Enjoy a cocktail or two before your meal! Image courtesy of Yelp.

701 Congress Ave. | Downtown | roaringfork.com 

Located in Downtown Austin, the Roaring Fork offers a bold and upbeat atmosphere for its guests. Inspired by the simple cooking of the Old West, the Roaring Fork prepares all of its meat and fish dishes by a wood fire rotisserie, open flame grill, or wood oven roasting. Some of its most popular dishes include the Roaring Fork “Big Ass” Burger, Cedar-Planked Salmon, and Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin. An extensive wine, beer, and cocktail list is also available. 

“Came here with a big group and it didn't disappoint.   From the cute decor, to the great service to the delish food, everything was pretty spot on. It's one of those meals where nothing stands out because it was so darn consistent.” - Yelp Review

Purchase a GiftYa card for Roaring Fork. 

You can find a wide variety of fun and unique restaurants in Austin. That’s just one of the many things that people love about this Southern city. Where do you plan on heading for your next dinner out? Tell us in the comments below!

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