Five Restaurants Every New Austinite Needs to Visit
By: Molly O'Connor, summer intern
As soon as I realized I’d be living in Austin for the summer, I immediately took to starting my list of where I needed to eat. A city chock-full of vegan selections, food trucks, and Texas-sized desserts, Austin offers food options for every taste palette out there. Now three weeks in, I’m cruising full speed ahead with a fork and knife in hand. Listed below are five of my favorite restaurants where I’ve overstuffed myself, and I strongly suggest you do the same:
Sneak away from the hustle and bustle of South Congress and tuck into this modern rustic restaurant to enjoy a fruity cocktail, freshly made meal, or unique dessert. You’ll fall hard for not only the dreamy interior, but also the one-of-a-kind dishes that are sure to have you coming back for more. The shredded kale salad is a great option when you’re searching for something healthy before diving into their desserts, which I assure are something you will not want to pass up.
You’ll want nothing more than to get as comfortable as possible at Irene’s and start the meal out strong with their “snacks.” Be careful not to go too crazy, as their menu items only seem to grow more desirable as you go on. I can’t say enough complimentary words about the dirty shells and cheese in addition to the strawberry cake, and to say I’m still dreaming about the avocado toast is an understatement.
Visit this navy house for a delicious meal in a comfortable, chic setting in the Clarksville area of Austin. The white marble countertop will have you swooning, while the outdoor setup will make you never want to leave. I suggest ordering the burger, but have heard the rice bowl is highly praised as well.
Don’t be intimidated by the size of these big fat donuts, for the savory or sweet sandwich and burger creations are nothing to fear and everything to love. I once thought meat and donuts should never mix, but Gordough’s pairs all of their ingredients together impeccably and now I’m forever changed. If you want more of a selection of savory and sweet donuts minus their meal menu, visit the Gordough’s food truck! You’ll never yearn for just another plain, glazed donut again.
I booked it to this restaurant before knowing what type of cuisine was here mainly for its vibrant turquoise and pink décor. A Vietnamese café and French bakery, Elizabeth Street café seems to be a hot spot that continually has a line, so be prepared to wait for your banh mi sandwich or macaroon. And get your cameras ready, because everything about this place just screams Instagram-worthy.
My stomach is growling just thinking about these meals. Have you been to any of these restaurants? I’ve got a few more weeks to go in Austin and can’t wait to try as many new places I can. I’d love recommendations! Tell me where your favorite Austin food spots are below!