A few months ago, I posted Part One recommendations of Austin restaurants that I felt were staples to the city (aka a place that as a tourist or a local, you should try). However, although I started writing this post at the same time that I wrote SXSW Edition Part One, for a variety of personal reasons, I was unable to finish it until today. What follows is a list of newer establishments that are worthy of becoming staples in the city or are generally just really good places to make a pit stop. While Austin is a foodie’s paradise, these may not be the fanciest of establishments but I believe your belly will thank you later. Enjoy!
Started as a food truck, Franklin’s is one of those restaurants that people rave about so much, you can’t help think: is this just hype? Let me tell you. It’s not. The meat is amazing. The brisket melts (that’s right, MELTS) in your mouth. The ribs fall off the bone. Of course, there are a few catches to any crazy popular restaurant in Austin. Franklin’s serves until it runs out of meat. Which means that you have to get there early and there is always a line. The last time I went to Franklin’s, I waited four hours to get inside and order. So, when you go, make it a good visit – get food to eat there and get some to go. The second catch, I’m personally not a huge fan of the side dishes. BUT – go for the meat and you won’t be disappointed.
As with any BBQ place, it’s easy to let your eyes be bigger than your stomach. You may just want to expect that this will either be your only meal of the day or you are going to have the meat sweats like no other. If you’re just in town for a short amount of time, and want to try all that Franklin’s has to offer, I actually recommend the Tipsy Texan sandwich. It includes brisket and sausage with loads of sauce – and don’t forget to ask for the cole slaw on top. (As a bonus, Texas Monthly recently ranked this as Franklin’s as the top BBQ restaurant in the world…so you know, it’s gotta be good.)
Comfort Food: Gordough’s
Yet another restaurant that started as a food truck, Gordough’s is definitely a place for comfort food with a twist. Most of what you find at Gordough’s is actually created with homemade donuts. Keep in mind, this isn’t just a donut shop. Imagine getting your sandwich made with a garlic donut instead of a roll. That’s what you’re going to find at Gordough’s – delicious dishes with a creative twist!
Food Truck: East Side King
I am a huge Top Chef fan and I’ve been dying to try Top Chef: Texas winner Paul Qui’s group of food trucks East Side King. If you’re looking for asian street food, I’ve heard that East Side King is a must. The location I read about most recently was at the Shangri-La but you can also find these trucks at the Liberty Bar, the Grackle and the Hole in the Wall. If you’ve ever attempted to go to a Top Chef contestant or winner’s restaurant, you know that it can be incredibly difficult but it’s usually worth the wait. Since I haven’t personally tried East Side King food or been to a location yet, I can’t guarantee that you won’t have a wait but I’ve always been under the impression that food trucks are more accessible. So if you’re looking for something a little different, East Side King is where it’s.
American: Black Sheep Lodge
Located on South Lamar, Black Sheep Lodge has been a frequent lunchtime stop when I’ve visited Austin. It’s got a laid back atmosphere and definitely gives you the feeling of one of those great neighborhood bars. But it’s not the beer selection that caught my heart. It was the food. I love good fried pickles (slices not spears) — and Black Sheep doesn’t disappoint when it comes to this delicious treat. In addition, you’ll always find delectable sandwiches or burgers, which get an extra star for the option of tots on the side. Black Sheep is definitely an All American food locale where you can find your favorite variety of burgers or sandwiches always cooked to perfection.
What do you think? Any restaurants that you would recommend be added to this list or disagree with any included? Leave a message in the comments section.