If you only had one weekend in Austin, where would you eat? We teamed up with two Austin locals, Shaun & Sabrina Rothery for an insider's guide to the best restaurants in Austin, TX. Oysters and dim sum? Yep, this list may surprise you!
With locally sourced ingredients and seafood flown in daily from the Fukuoka and Tsukiji markets in Japan, it’s no wonder Uchi has grown to become one of the top fine dining restaurants in Austin. James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole trained under sushi masters from Tokyo to New York, and opened Uchi in 2003 to offer Austin an upscale marriage of global ingredients and traditional Japanese flavors. Uchi’s menu features time-honored sushi and sashimi preparations, daily selections with the fresh fish of the day, and an impressive list of sake, cocktails, beer and wine with which pair with your unforgettable meal.
Located in a chic West Austin neighborhood, Clark’s is known as the “little brother” of Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar. “I feel like we’re transported to the Hamptons,” says Sabrina, “and of course I love the Tiffany blue color throughout their décor.” Clark’s offers the perfect blend of fresh seafood, vintage touches, east coast atmosphere and lively libations. The perfect place to go for everything from New England clam chowder served with house-baked sourdough and overflowing lobster rolls, to a curated raw bar and of course, a solid selection of oysters.
“The pretzels and sausages are amazing – homemade. And they have a ton of beer,” explains Shaun. While yes, it’s easy to determine what Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden is known for, one look over the menu may make your meal choices even harder. Opt for housemade mustards, salted butter or smoked gouda for dipping your pretzels. Decide from 5 different types of meat for your sausage (note, there is also a vegetarian.) And then of course, try to find the perfect beverage from the 33 beers on tap. “We just have to keep going back to try it all.”
A trendy coffee shop, located in East Austin, Cenote is a local and visitor favorite for breakfast and lunch. Cozy up to this neighborhood hot spot for an unforgettable breakfast burrito or a perfect iced coffee and make sure to look around - the house was built in 1887 and carefully preserved to be adapted into one of the city's most treasured cafes.
To say this place offers some of the best Chinese cuisine in Austin may be an understatement. Rated as a “2015 Most Anticipated Restaurant” by Zagat before it even opened, Wu Chow offers an incredible dim sum service on weekends, traditional staples and seasonal specials. The spicy eggplant and soup dumplings top Shaun and Sabrina's favorites, and they love the "modern look and feel."
Executive Chef, James Robert, brings inspiration from Louisiana to this upscale eatery. Known for its romantic atmosphere and creative spin on seafood and steaks, Fixe is a must-dine restaurant to celebrate a special occasion or splurge on great Southern cuisine. "You feel like you've been invited into someone's home," explains Sabrina, "I love the ambiance, the design ... and of course, the cocktails are great too!"
Located in the Aztec Food Park, La Barbecue is small food truck, open from 11am to 6pm (or until they are sold out) Wednesday through Sunday. Arrive early and try the pulled pork sandwich, sausage made in house, ribs or the Javiachi (a Chicago style hot dog with dill relish, onion, tomato, mustard, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt).
This rustic and Southern ranch-to-table restaurant is located in East Austin (Cesar Chavez St.) on the Colorado River, founded by the Jacoby family offering their own brand of Texas-bred, naturally raised beef. Jacoby's is a local favorite for brunch, "supper" and happy hour. Shaun raves about the “spicy” Melvin Mule, named after the owner's family cafe in Melvin, Texas. “My favorite appetizers are the pimento cheese, hush puppies, and deviled eggs… really, you can’t go wrong.”
He comes for the oysters. She comes for the great patio. Together, this makes Perla's one of Shaun & Sabrina's favorite spots, located on South Congress, just outside of downtown Austin. With a laid back vibe, open kitchen and some of the best fish and oysters in Austin, we're adding this to our weekend list too.
"It's worth the hype," Shaun says, "but prepare to wait in line." Credited as having the best brisket in Austin, Franklin's is a local hot spot for great barbecue. In 2009, owner and James Beard Winner, Aaron Franklin, launched the restaurant in a trailer. His restaurant has sold out of brisket nearly every day since opening.
Photo: Food Network
30 house made sausages and over 100 beers on tap make this restaurant a foodie's favorite. If you love country music, check their website for days they offer live music. "We love to bring our dog Lucy with us to Banger's," says Sabrina. It's true. This Austin restaurant loves dogs and welcomes them of all shapes and sizes.