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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Top 10 places to eat in Austin

Just in time for SXSW, here are some must visit restaurants for the out-of-towner that I have put together to get a taste of the real flavor, history, and uniqueness that is Austin.

Keeping this list short is a challenge, as there are so many. Here are a select few that have been around a long time, have great food, and lots of memorabilia to add to the atmosphere.

A city like no other, the live music capital that is Austin offers some real noteworthy eats that have stood the test of time:

1. Hula Hut, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd., Austin - menu - A festive blend of Polynesian and Mexican fare along the shores of Lake Austin. Their Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos are a must while enjoying a laid back atmosphere with surf boards and dinghys hanging from the ceiling.

2. Kerbey Lane Cafe, four locations -menu - Have a hankering for breakfast or a burger at 3 a.m.? This 24 hour cafe offers this and more. My menu favorite is Carl's Breakfast...

3. Threadgill's - 6416 North Lamar and 301 West Riverside Drive - menu - Down home Southern cooking and live music. Visit their original location at North Lamar which opened their doors in 1933 as a filling station and grew to become the first uniquely Austin restaurant. Janis Joplin was first discovered here as she waited on tables and sang.

4. Iron Works BBQ, 100 Red River St., Austin - menu - The Texas ribs and brisket are succulent. It is said that Jay Leno has Fed Ex orders from here regularly. You may just see a famous person in the line.

5. Stubb's Bar-B-Q, 801 Red River St., Austin - menu - Home of great Texas barbecue and famous Stubb's BBQ sauce, with live music and a Sunday gospel brunch.

6. Hill's Cafe, 4700 S. Congress Ave., Austin - menu - Great Texas brisket, steaks, and free live entertainment Tuesdays and weekends. Founded by the C.W. Goodnight family (founder of the chuckwagon).

7. Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto, Austin - menu - Heralded as the oldest business in Texas right here in Austin. Popular Texas dishes with a German twist. An interesting factoid: the owner's brother played the role of Sgt. Carter in the Hogan's Heroes TV show.

8. Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill, 303 Red River St., Austin - menu - Housed in the 2nd oldest house in the city (1840s), top rated buffet and Sunday brunch.

9. Mother's Cafe & Garden, 4215 Duval St., Austin -menu - This vegetarian favorite is back.

10. Chuy's, five locations - menu - Visit their first location at Barton Springs near Zilker Park. Tex-Mex with a heavy decoration of Elvis and Americana.
My all-time personal favorite place for chicken quesadillas and margaritas.

Some honorable mentions for Quick Bites:

Dirty Martin's Place, 2808 Guadalupe St., Austin - menu - Serving famous "kum bak" fresh burgers, onion rings, fries, and shakes since 1926,

Nau's Enfield Drugstore, 1115 West Lynn, Austin - menu - Providing a unique soda fountain experience since 1951. Try out their chocolate malt with a hamburger as you swing around in their orange swivel seats.

Avenue B Grocery, 4403 Ave. B, Austin - menu - Located in an old grocery store, get a sandwich, pick up an original Dr. Pepper (made with Imperial Pure Cane Sugar in Dublin, Texas).

We could go on and on about our hometown's great places to eat. There are many more...

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Coming up in April - Old Settler's Music Festival

Posted by Carl Burnham at 2:31 PM
Categories: Destinations, Restaurants