One of the first things your friends are likely to ask you when they visit Austin is, “Where are are the best restaurants?” To be honest, how can you blame them? This city is known for being a foodie destination, which is great for you as a student in an Austin culinary arts program – all of that “research” you’re doing for your degree is great when you get a chance to dine out.
Wondering which restaurants are the hottest places for food in Austin? Read below to see which places you might want to grab a reservation for as the summer rolls on:
1. Italic: You’ll be hard-pressed to find more authentic Italian fare, well … anywhere. Located downtown in the gorgeous Starr Building, Italic prides itself on antipasti (meat and cheese fans will be more than welcome here), fresh Mediterranean-inspired seafood dishes, Florentine steak, mouthwatering rustic pizzas and seasonal pastas. All of the wines on the list are Italian and selected by a master sommelier as well, so you know your pairings are going to be on point.
2. VOX Table: South Austin’s VOX Table is also getting a lot of buzz this summer, and with its focus on the farm-to-table movement, it’s safe to say there will be a lot of fresh, seasonal ingredients to work with this summer. The small plates here focus on a wide variety of culinary influences, including Spanish/Basque and French. VOX Table also boasts an award-winning beverage director – so be sure to grab a signature cocktail while you’re here.
3. Alcomar: It just wouldn’t be Austin without Latin-inspired cuisine, and Alcomar is definitely one of the newest and most impressive of the bunch. Seafood is the star here, especially the chef’s several versions of Gulf oysters. Traditional Latin American menu items here have a delightful and playful twist – such as grilled pastor octopus tostadas, tortilla-encrusted crab cakes, Bolivian potato soup with pecan-jalapeno pesto and Texas hanger steak with poblano and goat cheese enchiladas.
4. Launderette: If cafes are more your thing, brunch doesn’t get more complete than Launderette. The impressive snacks here would be featured on any high-end restaurant menu (we’re talking beef tartare with taro root and fresh crab toasts with avocado), but there is a decidedly laid-back atmosphere that can’t be beat. You can’t miss dessert – from chocolate ganache cake with black pepper marshmallow to a lemon curd tart with basil ice cream, the sweets here are fun and inventive.
5. Gardner: Stripped-down, elegant and streamlined food is what it’s all about at Gardner, a 6th Street establishment. They keep things simple here with a smaller menu, and many of the dishes only have two to three ingredients. However, there is beauty in the simplicity, from beet terrine with pistachio and dill to gnudi with morels and fava beans. The beverage menu is equally as impressive, with a selection of local beers, a creative cocktail list and several wines from France, Spain and California.