Austin restaurants: Where would you eat your final meal in Austin?


Austin Land & Cattle. 1205 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-472-1813, alcsteaks.com. No pretense, just good steaks, a fun mood and a bar that serves strong drinks and excellent happy hour specials, such as a filling steak sandwich.

Barley Swine. 2024 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-394-8150, barleyswine.com. Chef Bryce Gilmore and his team create beautiful and delicious dishes sourced locally. You won’t find dishes with these same ingredients once you leave town.

Bouldin Creek Cafe. 1900 S. First St. 512-416-1601, bouldincreek.com. This fun and funky café delivers solid vegetarian and vegan dishes, along with a true taste of Austin.

Bufalina. 1519 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-2523, bufalinapizza.com. Pizza may be my favorite food, and if I’m leaving Austin, I want to have some of the best the city has to offer.

Casino El Camino. 517 E. Sixth St. 512-469-9330, casinoelcamino.net. Navigating the gruff staff, dark ambiance, and coarse-grind burgers at this Sixth Street bar is a rite of passage. I’d have to dip back in for one more burger smothered in cheese and peppers. And a whiskey.

Congress. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2760, congressaustin.com/congress. Saying goodbye to Austin would be bittersweet with dinner at chef David Bull’s restaurant, which features some of the finest service in the city.

Crown & Anchor Pub. 2911 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-322-9168, crownandanchorpub.com. One last double cheeseburger with bacon and a cold beer on the patio of this 28-year-old campus-area jewel would make me a happy man.

Dai Due. 2406 Manor Road. 512-524-0688, daidue.com. Love what these locavores do at every level of the game. It’s hard to think of a more quintessential Austin restaurant at the moment.

Franklin Barbecue. 900 E. 11th St. 512-653-1187, franklinbarbecue.com. Wherever I’m going, they don’t have barbecue like this.

Home Slice Pizza. 1415 S. Congress Ave. 512-444-7437, homeslicepizza.com. A healthy dose of nostalgia and some excellent New York-style pizzas would be a great way to say goodbye. And I could walk to the Continental Club or C-Boy’s afterward.

Jeffrey’s. 1204 W. Lynn St. 512-477-5584, jeffreysofaustin.com. A stroll down memory lane comes with some of the best steaks and one of the best bars in the city.

Kyōten. 1211 E. Sixth St. kyotenaustin.com. Where are you moving where you can get exceptional sushi from a food truck? Thought so.

Lenoir. 1807 S. First St. 512-215-9778, lenoirrestaurant.com. Chef Todd Duplechan will make you regret leaving town, as he takes local ingredients to replicate flavors of hot climates (Africa, Spain, Southeast Asia) from around the world.

Licha’s Cantina. 1306 E. Sixth St. 512-480-5960, lichascantina. You’re moving somewhere you can find Mexican street food like huaraches and tacos in a cute old shack that has ample outdoor seating? Didn’t think so.

Little Deli. 7101 Woodrow Ave. 512-467-7402, littledeliandpizza.com. The mid-century shopping center and New Jersey-style pizzas take me back in time every single time.

Luke’s Inside Out. 1109 S. Lamar Blvd. lukesinsideout.com. It’s not just the food I’d miss about Austin; it’s the people. A juicy burger and some juicy Old Austin stories from chef Luke Bibby would make for a fitting send-off.

El Naranjo. 85 Rainey St. 512-474-2776, elnaranjo-restaurant.com. Only a few cities around the country have restaurants that serve refined interior Mexican food like that prepared by Iliana de la Vega.

Odd Duck. 1201 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-433-6521, oddduckaustin.com. Eating here one last time would be like a final visit to your grandmother’s house, if she were a James Beard-nominated chef.

Olamaie. 1610 San Antonio St. 512-474-2796, olamaieaustin.com. No matter where you’re headed, you probably won’t find fresh, inventive and refined Southern cuisine like this.

Perla’s. 1400 S. Congress Ave. 512-291-7300, perlasaustin.com. I’ve probably spent more time on this patio than any other in Austin.

Polvos. 2004 S. First St. 512-441-5446, polvosaustin.com. The service can be a bit uneven, and the fajitas a little greasy, but it feels like home for this South Austinite. And that salsa bar …

P. Terry’s. Multiple locations. pterrys.com. I’ve had more burgers from the drive-thru on South Lamar Boulevard than any burger joint in Austin.

Qui. 1600 E. Sixth St. 512-436-9626, quiaustin.com. Other cities have award-winning chefs and great service, but this place feels uniquely Austin.

Salt & Time. 1912 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1383, saltandtime.com. You gotta say goodbye to the folks at your local butcher shop, especially when they make great sandwiches and charcuterie.

Tam Deli. 8222 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-834-6458, Some of my favorite people making my favorite Vietnamese food in town.

Top Notch Hamburgers. 7525 Burnet Road. 512-452-2181, topnotchaustin.com. Kill two birds with one stone: Visit a piece of Austin history and get a great chargrilled burger (or fried chicken).

Uchi. 801 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-916-4808, uchiaustin.com. Some of my favorite sushi in the country, a great vibe, and they’ve been neighbors for a decade. Hard to imagine this not being my final stop in Austin.

Veracruz All-Natural. Multiple locations. veracruztacos.com. If you’re moving somewhere that has better tacos than the migas at these trailers, more power to you.

Vespaio. 1610 S. Congress Ave. 512-441-6100, austinvespaio.com. Get the corner table and feel like a made man as you dine one final time on the best lasagna in town.

Via 313. Multiple locations. via313.com. Unless you’re moving to Detroit, you’ll have trouble finding better slices of thick, fluffy, cheesy pizza.

Wink. 1014 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-482-8868, winkrestaurant.com. The hospitable farm-to-table trailblazers in Austin have hosted me for several memorable meals over the years — why not one more?



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

Austin360 arts list, July 20-26
Austin360 arts list, July 20-26

Theater & dance “Alabama Story.” Southwest Theatre Productions presents this play, based on true events, in which a children’s book about a black rabbit and a white rabbit who marry creates racial tension in Montgomery, Ala., in 1959. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday through July 28. $15-$22. Trinity Street Playhouse, 901 Trinity...
Community Pizza and Beer Garden adds to Wimberley’s allure
Community Pizza and Beer Garden adds to Wimberley’s allure

When a town only has about 3,000 residents, a new restaurant opening is pretty big news. When the restaurant is as good as Community Pizza and Beer Garden , the latest addition to Wimberley’s dining scene, it’s pretty great news, as well. The husband-and-wife team of Michael and Morgan Mekuly opened the restaurant...
‘The Equalizer 2’ coasts on Washington’s charms
‘The Equalizer 2’ coasts on Washington’s charms

It seems every venerable actor of a certain age has got to have a trusty action franchise to fall back on these days. And for Denzel Washington, that’s “The Equalizer” films, based on the ’80s TV show about a former intelligence agent using his skills to help the less fortunate. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the 2014 film featured...
‘Eighth Grade’ is insightful portrait of growing up in Instagram age
‘Eighth Grade’ is insightful portrait of growing up in Instagram age

If you’ve ever wanted to relive the horror of your middle school days, look no further than Bo Burnham’s directorial debut “Eighth Grade.” Following Kayla (Elsie Fisher) during her last days of middle school, we experience her day-to-day struggles with loneliness and crushes. At school, she’s quiet and shy, but at home...
Sam Smith and free Hot Summer Nights among this week’s top music picks
Sam Smith and free Hot Summer Nights among this week’s top music picks

OUR TOP PICKS Friday-Thursday: Dan Stuart’s Tour of Austin. As leader of 1980s L.A. rock band Green on Red, Stuart played frequently in Austin and even lived here for a short while. He’s called Mexico home for the past eight years, but while visiting family in Tucson this summer, he carved out a week for a “tour of Austin” to...
More Stories