Zilker, Austin is known for its variety of outdoor activities, from running one of the many trails to swimming in Barton Springs. Whether you’re kayaking or playing frisbee in Zilker Park, you’re bound to get a little hungry. Here’s our guide to the 10 best restaurants in the scenic, adventurous neighborhood of Zilker.
Restaurant, Mexican, Vegetarian, $$$
Chuy’s, Barton Springs Road | Zach Copley/ Flickr
Located on Barton Springs Road you’ll find the original Chuy’s, a Tex-Mex chain restaurant that is now open in 12 other states. While all Chuy’s are similar, there’s really nothing like the original. From enchiladas and nachos to quesadillas and tacos, Chuy’s has perfected the Tex-Mex cuisine that all Austinites love.
In the shade of a tall pecan grove, Shady Grove serves a variety of great food like grilled chicken tacos, burgers, sandwiches, gumbo, and cheese fries. The restaurant also entertains guests with live music, so the seating inside is just as great as the outside patio.
Green Mesquite BBQ, Barton Springs Road | Ann Larie Valentine/ Flickr
This barbecue restaurant with outdoor seating is affordable and delicious. While the barbecue is the the most popular choice, Green Mesquite BBQ also offers po-boys, sandwiches, burgers, and sides like fried okra and onion rings.
If you’re looking for Italian food by Zilker Park, look no further. Juliet Ristorante prides itself on its delicious Italian cuisine, which combines modern and classic to create the traditional favorites. You can dine inside or outside on a shaded patio. Stop by for brunch and try the Beef Tenderloin Meatballs or call in for dinner and enjoy the Winter Squash Agnolotti, you’ll leave happy and satisfied.
Casa de Luz is an organic and gluten-free restaurant that serves delicious vegan food. Once you walk in, you pay a very reasonable fixed price, and seat yourself. It’s self-serve at the beginning: you can eat as much salad and soup as you like and enjoy a mug of herbal tea. Once seated, you will then be served your entrees by waiters. Every day has a different set menu — all delicious.
El Alma has been named one of Austin’s Best Mexican Restaurants. If you love margaritas, they have serve some of the best ones around. Try one of the many taco options, the Duck Enmoladas, or the Shrimp and Crab Relleno, everything on the menu tastes great and is made with fresh ingredients and tasty sauces.
Beer and slow-smoked Texas barbecue is the order of the day at Uncle Billy’s. It also boasts a huge shaded patio. There’s a variety of smoked barbecue options like brisket, pulled pork, chopped beef, and pork ribs to sandwiches like the Fried Oyster Po-Boy and the Billy Club. Uncle Billy’s also serves signature beers that are brewed from scratch.
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This Mexican restaurant, which is often called ‘Baby A’s,’ is a local chain with two other locations. Alongside their great Mexican cuisine, they also offer burgers and salads, and their margaritas are simply delicious. Be careful — they limit you to two drinks. After your first one, you will see why.
Big juicy burgers at a very affordable price — that’s what Sandy’s has to offer! You’ll also find delicious ice cream and root beer floats. If you’re not in the mood for burgers then try one of their delicious corn dogs. Guests can order at a walk-up window or the drive-thru, and if they’re on foot, they can then walk around to sit at one of the outdoor tables.
This contemporary Japanese and sushi restaurant is unlike any other. This restaurant has a lot of hype surrounding it, but it is well worth it. The menu is delicious: choose from options like sushi or try one of their hot dishes.