- Anna Carruth
Founded by Top Chef winner and Austinite Paul Qui, qui is one of Austin’s most most sought-after restaurants. Located just outside of downtown on E 6th Street, qui is a chic, airy space offering a tasting menu, cocktails, and also a cheaper pulutan menu consisting of delicious Filipino favorites such as pork kabobs or a cheddar cheese ice cream sandwich. The tasting menu with beverage pairings goes for a cool $115 per head, but qui’s great service, funky atmosphere and phenomenal food make it worth experiencing at least once.
qui, 1600 E 6th Austin, TX USA, +1 512 436-9626
Jeffrey’s was founded in 1975 and recently renovated by Austin chef Larry McGuire. It sits in Austin’s historic Clarksville neighborhood and serves American cuisine and fine wines in a classy setting. Dinner at Jeffrey’s ranges from caviar priced at $140 to a locally sourced porterhouse steak for $155. Even the bar fare is high-end and can be pricey. However, Jeffrey’s does offer a daily happy hour on bar fare, cocktails, and wine, so don’t be afraid to give it a try.
Jeffery’s Restaurant, 1204 W Lynn St, Austin TX USA, +1 512-477-5584
Wink is a beloved local farm-to-table restaurant on N. Lamar whose menu changes daily, based on what fresh ingredients the restaurant has in stock from local farms and purveyors. The menu is arranged from smallest to largest portions to encourage multiple courses and also offers a chef’s five- and seven-course tasting menu.
Wink Restaurant, 1014 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX USA, +1 512-482-8868
Olivia on S. Lamar is a high-end yet casual French eatery offering dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch on the weekends. Its airy setting and charming atmosphere give it an expensive feel without feeling too pretentious, despite its prices. Olivia’s dinner has a general menu featuring classics such as steak frites and gnocchi, and it also offers a six- or 10-course tasting menu. Olivia’s brunch is a blend of French and Southern cuisine, with items such as a brisket omelette and carnitas Benedict alongside a la carte items and drinks specials.
Olivia, 2043 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX USA, +1 512-804-2700
Vince Young Steakhouse
The Vince Young Steakhouse, founded by the University of Texas’s famous quarterback, is a stylish chophouse with a Southern spin, located in downtown Austin. As the name suggests, Vince Young Steakhouse’s main attraction is its steak, including a wonderful filet mignon and a porterhouse for two. The Steakhouse also offers various entrees such as lobster and roasted lamb chops, along with a la carte sides, which range from classic steakhouse fare like mashed potatoes to Southern dishes such as bacon macaroni and cheese.
Vince Young Steakhouse, 301 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX USA, +1 512-457-8325
From Chef Tyson Cole comes Uchi, a sophisticated sushi restaurant located on South Lamar near Zilker Park. Uchi has a daily menu featuring daily specials, an everyday sushi and sashimi menu, and a hot and cold tasting menu comprised of creative and innovative Japanese dishes. Prices are on the high side, but don’t let that deter you; Uchi’s food is truly fantastic and worth every cent. Uchiko, an offshoot of Uchi on N. Lamar, offers similar fare.
Uchi, 801 S Lamar St, Austin, TX USA, +1 512-916-4808
The Driskill Grill
The Driskill Grill is part of the historic Driskill Hotel, which dates back to 1886 and is located in downtown Austin. The Driskill Grill itself has been operating since 1926, making it a dining landmark in Austin. The Grill offers seasonal entrees such as a cast-iron seared duck breast, dry aged steaks, and a five- or seven-course tasting menu. The Driskill Grill also boasts one of Austin’s most diverse wine lists, so don’t be afraid to pay extra for the wine selection.
The Driskill, 604 Brazos St, Austin TX USA, +1 512-391-7162
Hudson’s On The Bend
Hudson’s On The Bend is a New American steakhouse located on the bend (unsurprisingly) of the Colorado River in West Austin. It offers a variety of steaks and American dishes, including innovative dishes such as the Espresso-Chocolate-Chili rubbed Smoked Elk Back Strap. Hudson’s ‘small bites’ menu also offers a variety of interesting choices, including a wild boar quesadilla and smoked rattlesnake sausage.
Hudson’s On The Bend, 3509 Ranch Rd 620 N, Austin, TX USA, +1 512-266-1369