Are you tired of staying inside all day? Then take a day trip to Downtown Austin! Located by the Colorado River, Downtown Austin offers a bustling and vibrant restaurant scene for locals. Thanks to the area’s thriving art and shopping scene, it is a popular destination among both visitors and locals. Whether you’re in need of some retail therapy or you just want to admire some beautiful pieces of art, you’ll love everything that Downtown Austin has to offer.
Since you will probably be pretty hungry after walking around the downtown area, you’ll want to plan for a food stop. Thankfully, Downtown Austin offers a wide selection of fun restaurants to try out. If you aren’t sure where you want to go yet, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Check out our top restaurant picks in Downtown Austin now!
Looking for the perfect gift to surprise your loved ones with? Treat them to a virtual GiftYa card! Within seconds, you can send them a gift card to their favorite restaurants in Austin. Order one for your friends and family members today!
400 Colorado St. | Warehouse District, Downtown | trulucks.com
If you’re looking for a new date night spot or an upscale destination for special get-togethers, you need to add Trulucks to your restaurant bucket list. This elegant restaurant is known for its fresh seafood dishes and stunning dining room. On warm, sunny days, guests can also eat outside on the porch. However, if you’d rather eat at home, you can use the restaurant’s curbside service to pick up some food.
On the dinner menu, you can find a wide selection of cold appetizers, hot appetizers, small plates, seafood classics, and prime steaks. Fresh Florida Stone Crab Claws are occasionally offered as well. Some of our favorite plates include the North Atlantic Salmon and New England Pan-Seared Scallops. Vegetarian meatballs and vegan bolognese are also available for people with special diets.
“The whole experience at Truluck's seafood was beyond spectacular! The service is first rate. When you walk through the door the staff greet you by name. They are so careful with the Covid regulations you almost forget that there is a pandemic. The servers were absolutely the most professional and thoughtful. The food was absolutely delicious!” - Yelp Review
1610 San Antonio St. | Downtown Austin | olamaieaustin.com
As the name implies, Little Ola’s Biscuits serves some of the most delicious flaky biscuits in the city. Right now, Little Ola’s dining room is temporarily closed. However, guests can still enjoy the restaurant’s famous biscuits from the comfort of their homes.
Along with their signature biscuits, Little Ola’s also offers biscuit sandwiches, pantry dishes, and cocktails. Everything from the Fried Chicken Biscuit to the Smoked Cabbage is sure to leave you filled and satisfied. Craving something sweet? Little Ola’s offers delicious desserts such as freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies and biscuit cinnamon rolls.
“I impulsively ordered from Olamaie a while back as I was leaving work and it appears I was so excited I forgot to check in on Yelp HA. That fried chicken biscuit was UNREAL; super messy but 1000% worth it. The plain biscuits were also perfect and were great alone but I'm sure they would also be fantastic to use to build your own sandwiches!” - Yelp Review
1409 Lavaca St. | Downtown Austin
Texas Chili Parlor is a popular no-frills bar located in Downtown Austin. The rustic bar offers a creative selection of chili dishes that come with crackers, onions, and jalapenos. White pork chili, black bean, beef, and sausage chili, and more inventive chili bowls can be found on the menu. If you’re aren’t in the mood for chili, don’t worry. Texas Chili Parlor also serves enchiladas, tamales, burritos, and tacos. While you wait for your meal, don’t forget to order a cold glass of beer or cocktail.
“Texas Chili Parlor is a) iconic, b) must for visitors, c) damn good chili, or d) all of the above. You are correct about all of the above. It is the ultimate dive and the atmosphere and character to prove it.” - Yelp Review
900 Red River St. | Downtown Austin | cheerupcharlies.com
Life during the pandemic has been rough. Cheer yourself up by heading to Cheer Up Charlie’s! This popular queer bar is open to everyone. Outside, people can mingle and chat with friends while enjoying some kombucha or an orange juice-blend cocktail. If you’re hungry, you can order a vegetarian dish from the nearby food truck, Arlo’s.
Cheer Up Charlies also hosts regular live music, making it the perfect destination for fun nights out with friends. As if you didn’t need further incentive to come, Cheer Up Charlies is dog-friendly! That’s right, you can bring your four-legged friend to this popular venue. Count us in!
“This cute little bar is one of my current favorite live music spots on Red River. They have a small stage inside and a large outdoor stage that backs up to a rock wall and makes for great music acoustics in the open air. Cover charges and drink prices are reasonable, and there's a full bar inside. We've seen some fun local bands there.” - Yelp Review
303 Colorado St. | Warehouse District, Downtown | redashitalia.com
Located in the Warehouse District, Red Ash offers some of the finest Italian food in Austin. Many of the restaurant’s dishes are inspired by culinary traditions from Northern and Southern Italy. One of the highlights of the restaurant is the custom-build wood-burning grill and plancha that its top chefs use to cook its savory dishes.
Speaking of the food, you’ll find a fine selection of handmade pastas, fresh seafood, and locally-sourced meats that have been cooked on the wood-burning grill. Our favorite dishes include the Thick Cut Bone-In Beef Filet and South African Lobster Tails. Both dishes are cooked over the restaurant’s signature wood burning grill and oven. As you dine on your meal, you can also enjoy a glass of wine or a fresh cocktail.
“We sat at the bar and Tate was our bartender, server, and hero. Sippin' on Macallan 18, we ordered the Osso Bucco and as a side the Coal Toasted Sweet Potato. The Osso Bucco was tender and delicious - unbelievable flavors and the sweet potato provided a nice contrast - outside a little char and inside perfectly cooked, moist and delicious. Absolute foodgasm.” - Yelp Review
310 E 5th St. | Downtown Austin | stellasanjac.com
Looking for a new brunch spot? Head to Stella San Jac! The second you step inside, you will be impressed by the restaurant’s bright, contemporary interior. The food is also pretty good. Beef Short Rib, Chorizo and Potato Tacos, and other delicious plates await you at this popular restaurant. The restaurant’s cocktail selection is equally as impressive as its food menu. From crafted cocktails like the Blood Orange Margarita to classic draft beers, Stella San Jac’s menu has something for everyone.
“Every single item that we ordered (classic breakfast, grapefruit parfait, chicken and waffles, Stella burger) was not only delicious, but also beautifully presented! The hashbrowns in the American breakfast - the best I've ever tasted! And just look at this beautiful yogurt parfait (see the pics). The service was impeccable at all times.” - Yelp Review
Downtown Austin offers a wide selection of interesting and fun restaurants. Which ones do you plan on visiting next? Let us know in the comments!