May 28, 2015
taco with beef and vegetables

taco with beef and vegetables

As students of culinary schools in Texas already know, the Lone Star State provides some of the best dishes in the South, or perhaps in all of America. Whether it’s the storied tradition of barbecue home cooking that you’re enjoying or a fine meal out at a restaurant, you’re bound to come away with some fond memories and great experiences. Largely, this is due to the fact that the burgeoning culinary scene in Texas is constantly expanding, with new restaurants popping up each year. Now, as we reach the halfway point of 2015, foodies can pause and look back at their culinary bucket lists to see what meals and restaurants they’ve tried and what’s still left to complete. If you’re looking for some motivation to get out and try something new, take a look at this compilation list of restaurants to eat at in Texas in 2015.

Shake Shack
Admittedly, Shake Shack isn’t exactly what comes to mind when someone begins to think of must-see restaurants in Texas. Nonetheless, the fast casual burger joint recently expanded to Austin, according to The Texas Monthly. The Austin opening marks the first foray into the Texas landscape for the popular chain, and locals are already loving it. There’s not much mystery when it comes to what to order here, as the name of the establishment somewhat gives it away. Still, if you’re looking for a great take on the classic burger, fries and shake combo that Americans know and love, you can’t do a whole lot better than a trip to Shake Shack. Kid-friendly and relatively inexpensive, as well, all Austinites should be sure to make a trip here before the year is out.

While Arro opened before 2015, it’s beginning to gain more hype than it has ever had before. The restaurant was recently named to The Austin Chronicle’s list of ‘First Plates’ – a grouping of restaurants that is released annually and said to be defining the Austin culinary experience that given year. Arro offers French cuisine, predominantly, but does so without the typical pomp and circumstance that one would come to expect from that niche of the culinary industry. Located at 601 West Sixth Avenue, the restaurant caters to the heart of downtown, serving up classic dishes such as steak frites. Even better, the establishment is the sister restaurant of the Easy Tiger bakery, which is already known and loved in the downtown Austin area. Pair great French food with phenomenal bread from Easy Tiger and what do you get? An absolutely can’t-miss dining experience.

El Naranjo
As those who have even briefly visited the Austin area know, the culinary scene is absolutely jam-packed with phenomenal options when it comes to Mexican cuisine. With this in mind, it can be easy to write off Mexican food as a sort of omnipresent staple. That is, until someone comes in and offers a brilliant new take on it. Enter El Naranjo, another mainstay on the 2015 Austin First Plates list. The restaurant is located in the Rainey district, making it a perfect option for those looking to grab a great meal before a night out at the bars. Iliana de la Vega, of some repute already in Austin, serves as the head chef of the establishment and runs a tight ship when it comes to innovative and authentic Mexican food. No matter what you order here, you’re bound to leave full, satisfied and itching to recommend the place to your friends.