Best of Eating Archives - 365 Things to Do in Austin, TX

If you follow along on Instagram, you know that I’m a diehard fan of MMH, more formally known as McGuire Moorman Hospitality, and known by food-obsessed people like me as the group behind Austin restaurants like June’s, Jeffrey’s, Elizabeth Street Café, Josephine House, Perla’s, Clark’s, and Lamberts. Whenever I walk into one of their places for the first time, I get the same feeling: It’s like they’ve hired Hollywood production designers to crawl inside our collective mind and create the restaurants we all aspire to hang out in. They’re dreamy and cinematic, but thankfully totally real and right here in Austin. Every detail from the appetizers to the server uniforms and the candles in the bathroom are perfectly thought out.

When I’m having a crappy day, happy hour at June’s never fails to cheer me up. It’s like therapy, only so much more fun. So when the opportunity to eat at ALL seven of their restaurants in 24 hours and document it was presented to me, I responded to the email with a record amount of speed and enthusiasm. Being such a devotee of this restaurant group, you would have thought that I would plan out every moment of the day from soup to nuts, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and wing it.

Here now is hour-by-hour account of the greatest food day of my life. (Editor’s note: You might want to read it with a snack.)

6 a.m.
Swim laps at the YMCA (I need to burn some calories to make room for all the buttery sauces I will ingest.)

7:14 a.m.
Barre class. Two workouts in one day. I am feeling like I can conquer the world, but also eat it—I am famished.

8:30 a.m.
And so it begins: Breakfast at Elizabeth Street Café

A little background on this place: Since opening in 2011, they’ve served up 85,311 macarons and 25,696 Singapore noodles. Both of those items are amazing, but I’m here for the breakfast of champions. I never think to go here, but breakfast at ESC is a hidden gem. As I mentioned before, I am hungry and “pacing myself” is the furthest thing from my mind. So I spend way to much time deciding what to order off their breakfast menu while nibbling on a chocolate croissant. Finally, I settle on the Breakfast Bahn Mi. That was the first perfect decision of my day.

I leave so full and content. Six restaurants to go. I head home to walk off breakfast with my dog, Brady.

11 a.m.
Early Lunch at Lamberts

Lamberts was the original MMH hotspot, and they are celebrating 10 years of slinging high-end barbecue and fabulous cocktails. In that time, they’ve sold 680,000 pounds of brisket and 84,500 gallons of beer. My friend and I walk in, look at each other, and have the same great thought at the same time: should we grab a drink at the bar? Why, yes! Yes we should. It’s the most non-Tuesday of Tuesdays. The first drink of the day slides right down as we head out to the patio. Surprisingly, breakfast has settled and I’m ready to tackle meal number two, lunch number one. We go with the Cripsy Wild Boar Ribs for the appetizer. Can I quit now? There is no way anything else we order today can top this. Amazing. We decide to share a meat plate and fries because we’re at Lambert’s and it would be a Texas crime not to.

1 p.m.
Late Lunch at Perla’s

Listen, I am full but I have never said “no” to Perla’s and I’m not about to start now. Besides, there is always room for oysters right? Apparently because since opening in 2009, this place has shucked 2,105,625 of the little guys. Perla’s does a rotating frozen cocktail and it’s August and I’m sitting on the their beautiful patio, so naturally I get the frozen cocktail. The Blue Hawaiian tastes like vacation. My friend and I decide that we really need to pace ourselves so we decide on a cool half dozen oysters to start. Those slide right down, and I still have room so we go for my favorite thing on their menu: The Grilled Octopus. They also just added Mexican Street Corn to the menu. I don’t claim to be an expert on a lot of things but I am picky when it comes to my street corn. This is easily, some of the best I’ve had.

Honestly, at this point I am ready to wave my white flag and move on. Our waiter insists that we get Salted Butterscotch Pot de Crème for dessert. Hesitant, I mull if over for a split second. Ok, I am getting the dessert. This is up there in the top three desserts I’ve had in my entire life. Now I am feeling full-er. The rest of the day seems kind of daunting, but I’m pretty sure I was born for this so I decide to go on a walk before happy hour number one.

4:00 p.m.
Happy Hour at Clark’s

This walk has me feeling like a new person. I’ve had some time to let the previous meals digest and now I am ready for a light bite and drinks at Clark’s. Since 2012, this cozy little joint has served 1,952 tins of Caviar and their happy hour is a stellar deal: Monday – Friday 3-6 p.m., you get half-off burgers, 50 cents off oysters, and $5 
martinis, oyster shooters and draft beers. Saturday and Sunday from 3- 6 p.m. 50 cents off 
oysters, half-off wine bottles, and $5 oyster shooters.

This is easy, a dozen oysters. We crush those. Then the debate starts: Should we or shouldn’t we get the Happy Hour Burger? For those who don’t know already, the fries at Clark’s are the jam. Ordering the burger (which Austin Monthly just named the best burger in town) means we’ll get those fries. So yes, one burger please. We split the burger, we’re still standing, and now we’re ready for happy hour number two.

5:30 p.m.

Happy Hour at Josephine House

This little cottage restaurant is the perfect prelude to Jeffrey’s. A cool glass of wine and a plate of burrata later, I am feeling like we are making all the right choices today.

6:30 p.m.

Dinner at Jeffrey’s

And now for the main event. Jeffrey’s has been a fixture in Austin since 1975. MMH bought and renovated it from top to bottom in 2013 and that same year, Bon Appetit magazine named it Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the US, along with Josephine House. Also, very importantly, you should know that since 2013 they’ve uncorked 35,956 bottles of wine.

This climax of my day is now somewhat of a blur, but here is what I can tell you: You will not get better service then this in Austin. Everything at Jeffrey’s is done right from the second you walk in the restaurant. Most people, me included, come here for very special occasions, which is a shame because you can enjoy their happy hour without breaking the bank. We went with the cheese plate, King Crab and Avocado Toast, Hamachi Carpaccio (MY FAVORITE), Tortellini, Pan Seared Bar Steak and somehow managed to sneak in a dessert. Those that know, know. Jeffrey’s is the best. If you want first-class dining in Austin, go here.

9:00 p.m.

Dessert at June’s All Day

Seriously, I have never been this full in my entire life. This is way beyond Thanksgiving full. But the show must go on, so a nightcap at June’s. Food & Wine named June’s one of 10 Best New Restaurants in 2017 in the entire country in May and Bon Appetit just named it one of their Top 50 Finalists for Best New Restaurants. They’ve been open less than a year, but they’ve sold 7,525 cups of coffee and 1,426 Monster Cookies.

Sadly, they are out of the Monster Cookie, so I have a Lemon Tart. June herself pairs the perfect dessert wine for me and I call it night.

There’s no need for anymore food for a while, maybe I’ll fast for a week. I’ve had the best of the best all day and I only have the one stomach.

 

Austin doesn’t have a shortage of delicious restaurants, and we like to take full advantage of that fact even when we’re busy writing or spending a night in. But our newest go-to for delivery is UberEATS, which now serves the full Austin-Round Rock metro and has grown like crazy, with hundreds of restaurant menus now available for delivery. Here are some of our go-to categories that you might not have considered for delivery:

FroYo and Ice Cream

The first time we had frozen yogurt delivered from UberEATS we were amazed that it was the perfect consistency when it arrived! They work with restaurants to deliver so quick that it doesn’t have the chance to melt. It’s now our go-to for late night cravings. Try Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, Moojo, Teo Gelato, or Amy’s Ice Creams.

Fancy Toasts

When you have Instagram-envy for what everyone else is eating for breakfast, get a fancy avocado toast or berry toast delivered to your door. Pair it with a Matcha latte or iced coffee for the perfect morning pick-me-up. Our favorites come from Irene’s, Seventh Flag Coffee, and Mour Cafe, and they look just as good as they do in these photos upon arrival.

Rainbow Bowls

Healthy rainbow bowls are the latest craze. They also take a lot of work. So, when we want a rainbow bowl chock-full of fresh fruits or veggies, we just get it delivered fresh made from Ola Poke, Cenote, Snap Kitchen, or Acai Hut.

You can also sort options in the UberEATS app by Gluten-free, Vegetarian or Vegan, and by price range, delivery time, or popularity, so being healthy within a busy schedule is easy-peasy.

Cheese Boards

When we’re throwing a party or wine night and spend our time on Pinterest rather than preparing, we let the appetizer trays come to us! Our favorite cheese plate is from Hillside Farmacy where the cheese, fruit, and even honey comes from local farms. If you’re wanting more of a beer-pairing board with soft pretzels, try Easy Tiger or Flying Saucer.

Off-Menu Exclusives

You don’t have to know the chefs to get the hookup. Award-winning restaurants like Olamaie have made their off-menu southern biscuits and lunch menu available exclusively for delivery. And if you haven’t gotten the chance to try the Omakase dinner at Kyōten Sushiko, you can taste an affordable weekday lunch version on UberEATS. Our go-to is the Chirashi Bowl.

We’d love to hear what your favorite delivery finds are!

Still haven’t tried UberEATS? Get Free Delivery on your first order with promo code: 365EATS

A friend duo hailing from Mexico had a vision to bring authentic tacos to Austin. Seven years ago, their vision came to life when they opened their first taco trailer called One Taco. You may remember their name from our Breakfast Taco Taste Off earlier this year where they took home 1st prize with the Jefe Taco. If there’s one arena in Austin that’s difficult to enter and come out on top, it’s the taco arena. But Tony Avila and Axel Beverido found a way to win over the taco loving appetites of Austin.

One Taco Al Pastor

Recently, their dream of opening a Brick and Mortar became a reality. And trust us, it’s a place where taco dreams really do come true. They kill it all day long serving breakfast, lunch and dinner tacos. From the “Big Kahuna” to the Gowalla Taco to the 5 de Pastor, you can’t go wrong. Our most recent visit even included the Pancake Taco. Yes, the Pancake Taco.

One Taco Pancake Taco

Whether you’re looking for a quick pick-up order, for a place to eat tacos and drink a few beers with your buddies, or a family-friendly hang out, do yourself this one favor. Check out One Taco.

Location:
Brick and Mortar
12200 Research Blvd. #400
Austin, Texas

One Taco – Container
6th & Nueces
Austin, Texas 78701

http://eatonetaco.com

Around these parts, melted cheese is serious business. Any great meal in Austin can and should begin with a velvety bowl of queso— locally, it’s one of our main food groups. A great queso recipe can not only put a new restaurant on the map, it can make it an institution.

Luckily Favor, your personal delivery assistant, understands that queso is the lifeblood of our fair city, and they are standing by to bring your favorite blend of queso straight to your door. With that in mind, here is a list of the quesos we can’t live without.

Use code ‘365Things’ to get your first Favor free!

#1 – Torchy’s Tacos

Their green chile queso may be even better than their tacos. That’s a major statement, but we stand behind it!

SHZpb-2pB0g0dZ6J8iC21NevitFbGvgYUEevvCi80js

#2 – Kerbey Lane

Save this one for a late night craving as this is queso is one you can enjoy 24 hours a day!

Kerbey

#3 – Matt’s El Rancho

 This classic Austin joint makes nearly every “best of” list for good reason. Bob Armstrong Dip is a truly heavenly version of queso. Just make sure you don’t go on Tuesday (they’re closed)!

matts el rancho

#4 – Chuy’s

Many moons ago, on a past Cinco de Mayo, we judged a blind queso tasting contest and this guy was the winner.

chuys

#5 – El Alma

El Alma gets bonus points for the homemade chips that come with its queso. It’s a stellar combo!

Photo Credit: Gabriel Campbell Photography

Photo Credit: Gabriel Campbell Photography

#6 – Maudie’s

This bowl of melted goodness has a distinctive flavor that keeps the queso connoisseurs coming back. Is it butter? Garlic? It’s AMAZING is what it is.

maudies

 

Favor_Postcard_PTerry

#7 – Magnolia Café

Another place where you can snag queso 24 hours a day, this one known as “Magnolia Mud” is dangerously addicting.

magnolia

#8 – Taco Deli

This white and peppery queso is rich and savory. It’s the perfect thing to distract you during those five looooong minutes you have to wait for their incredible tacos.

taco deli

#9 – Texas Chili Parlor

Don’t be fooled by its humble (and dark) appearance. This queso is worth the stop.

30702_123518581019072_3740762_n

#10 – Pelon’s

Melted cheese with hatch green chiles. Need we say more?

pelon's

#11 – Valentina’s / Violet Taco

The Vidal family’s food truck is famous for brisket, but their chips y queso are to die for as well.

Valentina's-Queso-1

#12 Santa Rita

This bowl is old-fashioned and devoid of trendy nonsense. You can’t go wrong.

santa rita

#13 – Posse East

Down and dirty bar food is one of life’s simple pleasures, and this queso is pure bliss.

Photo Credit: Meredith V. Yelp.

Photo Credit: Meredith V. Yelp.

#14 – Hula Hut

Queso with a view? You don’t have to ask us twice!

hula hut

#15 – Curra’s

This is all you need to know: Land O’Lakes extra melt with whole black beans, guacamole and pico.

Photo Credit: Christi K. Yelp

Photo Credit: Christi K. Yelp

#16 – Polvo’s

This queso comes standard with bonus ingredients. You’ll love every bit of melted American cheese topped with guacamole, ground beef, and pico de gallo.

Photo Credit: adi7anand instagam

Photo Credit: adi7anand instagam

#17 – Zocalo Cafe 

Cream cheese is the secret ingredient that sets them apart from the rest!

zocalo queso

Get any (or all) of the quesos above, delivered right to your door with the Favor Delivery app.

Once a novelty in Austin, food trailers have exploded onto the scene, cropping up in parking lots and behind bars all over town. With the plethora of new trailers opening every week, it’s often hard to keep up with it all. We’ve run down a list of our favorites to visit.

What was once a desert for really great brisket and sides—save for Franklin and a few scattered, older restaurants—Austin proper has now become a barbecue haven, largely in part of two food trailers known as Micklethwait Craft Meats and La barbecue.

1. Micklethwait Craft Meats

At 1309 Rosewood in the heart of East Austin, Micklethwait is notable for—beyond its juicy brisket—twists on classics (brisket frito pie with escabeche) and unusual smoked meats (pulled goat, available some Saturdays).

2. la Barbecue

Now settled in its fourth spot in town at Aztec Food Park on Cesar Chavez, la Barbecue is also serving some of the best barbecue in Central Texas. Meat plates are an obvious favorite, but I also recommend some of the sandwiches, including La Frito Loco, featuring a medley of pulled pork, chopped beef, jalapeños, cheese, chipotle slaw, and black beans.

la-barbecue

All the meats from la Barbecue

3. Via 313

Austin isn’t known for its pizza, but some of the tastiest pies I’ve ever had are made at VIA 313, a growing, Detroit-style pizza parlor with multiple locations in the city. It got its start as a food trailer in front of The Violet Crown bar on East Sixth Street, and is still the primo place to grab a pie or a couple of slices. Try the Detroiter, featuring two different kinds of pepperoni, and wash it down with an ice-cold Vernor’s, a classic Detroit ginger ale.

Detroit Style Pizza from VIA 313

Detroit Style Pizza from VIA 313

4. Veracruz All Natural

Whether you stop by the original location on Cesar Chavez, the one at Radio Coffee & Beer in South Austin, or the one in Round Rock, Veracruz All Natural is one of the best taco trucks in town. Opened by two sisters from Veracruz, Mexico, the food is some of the freshest you’ll find, and the tortillas and chips are handmade. The al pastor is my favorite offering, with just a touch of the fresh green salsa on top. It’s spicy, but delicious.

Breakfast Tacos from Veracruz

Breakfast Tacos from Veracruz

5. Violet Taco

More of a hybrid but still delicious taco experience is Violet Taco, a trailer at 600 West Sixth Street downtown. Featuring barbecue from its sister restaurant, the East Side’s Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, huevos rancheros tacos and the like are the vibe here, with tons of ingredients for hungry eaters. The Ultimate Bean and Cheese Taco is a twist on the simple classic, except this one has bacon and a choice of smoked brisket or pulled pork—three items that make any food order markedly tastier.

Violet-Taco-Austin-Two

A plethora of tacos from Violet Taco

6. Burro Cheese Kitchen

Grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food: It’s hearty, easy, and reminds us of a time when we were younger. At Burro Cheese Kitchen at 1221 South Congress Avenue, it’s that formula except on steroids. First you pick your bread, and we’re not talking wimpy Wonderbread here. You can choose from sourdough made at Easy Tiger, a Hawaiian bun, or a gluten-free option. Next, of course, is the cheese, and while an aged cheddar is on the menu, more adventurous eaters will find Danish Havarti, manchego, and aged blue cheese from Oregon. Then you get a sauce, with offerings like spicy maple bacon and balsamic apricot fig, plus veggies, smoked meats, and even a fried egg.

FullSizeRender 9

The Mac n’ Cheese Grilled Cheese from Burro

7. Hey! You Gonna Eat or What?

Similarly, Hey!…You Gonna Eat or What? subverts the classic sandwich into something even better. The Lonestar BLT features thick-cut applewood bacon, fried green tomatoes, and homemade poblano aioli on a ciabatta baguette. And their version of the monte cristo is beer-battered in Shiner Bock and comes with homemade cherry and fig jelly.

13173638_1069953379742345_3583473103397181692_n

The Monte Cristo from Hey You Gonna Eat Or What? Photo by Nick Bianco

Mother’s Day, which is Sunday May 8, requires a few things: flowers, a nice card, and most importantly, brunch. Fortunately, there’s a ton of different ways to do the latter in Austin. Show her the love by making a reservation at one of these fabulous restaurants. From omelet stations to pancakes and free-flowing mimosas, this day is basically the Olympics of brunching. Here is a list of places where you can really do it right:

The always amazing and over-the-top Jeffrey’s is kicking it up a notch on Mother’s Day, with truffle deviled eggs, lobster and caviar blinis, a carving station with wood-grilled tenderloin, and, the main attraction: a roving mimosa cart. Enjoy a relaxing meal with mom accompanied by Margaret Wright on piano in the lounge. Call 512-477-5583 for reservations. Price is $80 per person.

Of course, right next door to Jeffrey’s is the beautiful little cottage restaurant known as Josephine House, and it’s a fantastic place to take your mom. Seriously, all moms love this place. The decadent brunch here will include options like lemon ricotta pancakes with berries, maple syrup, and housemade cultured butter; and steak and eggs with a sunny side up egg, roasted fingerling potatoes, and avocado chimichurri. We’re drooling! Complimentary mimosas are also available upon request. $45 per person. Call 512-477-5584.

JoHo 2 - Casey Dunn

Goodall’s Kitchen is offering a three-course prix fixe brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., with a choice of an appetizer, main, and dessert. A quick scan of the menu, and the perfect order looks like: warm sugar and Nutella donuts, shrimp and grits, and strawberry cobbler with ice cream to finish. Get it all for $44. Call 512-628-4400 for reservations.

While not technically brunch, we still had to put this one on the list. If you want to treat the mother in your life to a classy affair, make a reservation for Mother’s Day Victorian Tea at The Driskill. Each afternoon from 3-5 p.m. starting on Thursday, May 5 until Mother’s Day, enjoy traditional tea service, including tea sandwiches, petite fours, French pastries, and champagne. Make a reservation by calling 512-391-7227. Prices are $46 for adults and $26 for children ages 12 and under on May 5 and May 6, and $56 for adults and $33 for children ages 12 and under on May 7 and 8.

For a delicious, buffet-style brunch for the entire family, try Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa’s Mother’s Day brunch, featuring everything from an omelet bar and shrimp bisque to coq au vin and braised short ribs. As a bonus, there will be chocolate-dipped strawberries for mom, and a buffet just for the little ones. Call 512- 329-7906 to make reservations. Prices are $66.95 for adults and $24.95 for children 6-12; children under 5 eat free.

Another great family friendly option is The Carillon between 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Featuring breakfast favorites like eggs benedict and berry pancakes, plus a cold seafood bar, a carving station with wagyu beef, and a children’s buffet. Adults pay $65, kids ages 6-12 are $25, and kids 5 and under eat free. To make a reservation, call 512-404-3655.

Lonesome Dove on Colorado, is the second location of Chef Tim Love’s famous western restaurant. They’ll be serving up a three-course brunch with highlights like Elk-Pork Feting Benedict with Roasted Red Pepper Hollandaise. The meal will kick off with freshly squeezed orange juice, a screwdriver, or a mimosa for Mom. Price is $56 and brunch runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call 512-271-2474 to reserve a table.

Last, but certainly not least, Central Standard Kitchen & Bar is doing their classic American thing with favorites like bacon fat cheddar biscuits, gulf shrimp cocktail, eggs benedict, and prime rib roast. Price is $45 per person with complimentary valet at South Congress Hotel. Reserve a table online or call 512-942-0823.

Above, from top: Central Standard Kitchen & Bar; Josephine House, photo by Casey Dunn

Just west of downtown Austin lies Clarksville, one of the most unique neighborhoods in the entire state of Texas. The area’s rich history began in 1871, when Charles Clark settled here after being freed from slavery. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Now almost frozen in time, Clarksville harkens back to the days of an older Austin, filled with historic homes, quirky restaurants, and mom-and-pop shopping. If you’re looking for the quintessential Austin experience, spend a day exploring this truly walkable neighborhood.

gregwalling-banner

Start your day at Sweetish Hill Bakery, an Austin institution since 1975. Grab a Texas Coffee Traders espresso to enjoy with a cinnamon roll or a schnecken, a traditional German sticky bun. Then take a fresh-baked baguette and a chocolate croissant (or two) to go.

One of Austin’s oldest gallery spaces Artworks, features original paintings, sculptures, glassworks, and more. Head over to the 5,000-square-foot space to take it all in.

Nau's-Enfield-Drug-Austin

Next, stop at Nau’s Enfield Drug, a no-frills soda pop shop that will transport you all the way back to the days when you could grab a flat-top cheeseburger and a chocolate malt in the back of a pharmacy. The prices are a bit higher than they were in 1951, when Nau’s opened, but not by that much.

Walk down to 6th and Lamar to Waterloo Records, open since 1982, when vinyl was still king. This megastore still carries new and special release vinyl records, used classic albums, and a large variety of films, books, shirts, and even toys and trinkets. Whoever said that the record store was dead surely hasn’t been here.

End your day at Jeffrey’s, opened in 1975 and revamped in 2013. It’s been named one of the top 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit magazine. Get there early and sit at the bar for some crispy fried oysters and a Hokkaido Highball, a Japanese twist on the classic cocktail. Stay for dinner, and try one of four cuts of Wagyu beef topped with one of eight different classic toppings, including the ultra-decadent foie gras butter—an amazing way to cap of the day.

Here is one of our favorite Real Estate listings in the neighborhood.

clarksville

For more information on Austin real estate contact Greg Walling of Moreland Properties

 

 

To Austinites, the act of sipping margaritas on a porch is serious business. It’s our way of life. With so much sunshine and dependably non-wintry weather, outdoor dining is one of the city’s biggest selling points. That we can happily say, “table for two on the patio please” in mid-February is probably the reason you moved here—or never moved away. April is the prime month for outdoor dining, so here are the five best outdoor spots to enjoy a cold beverage and a warm meal in Austin right now.

ContigoBeerGardenPeople_M40Photography (1)

Designed after the owner’s family ranch in South Texas, the space at Contigo was designed to exist almost entirely outdoors, and features an upscale bar-food menu. Think ox tongue sliders instead of boring, soggy White Castle knockoffs, and a fancy twist on classics, like pigs in a blanket, chicken wings, and white bean dip with duck fat.

Perla's 2 - Casey Dunn

Located in the heart of SoCo, Perla’s is a wonderful spot for date night or a top-notch brunch. It’s also one of the best outdoor happy hour places in town. Stop by after work for deals on oysters and signature cocktails, like Perla’s Frozen Delight. If you can snag a table on the front porch, there’s also some incredible people-watching to be done.

002_easytiger sm (1)

Part bakery, part beer garden, Easy Tiger is easily Sixth Street’s most interesting outdoor bar. If you want breakfast and coffee with the morning sun, try pairing a café au lait with a pan au chocolat. It’s also perfect for a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon. Start with a snack board, featuring two large soft pretzels, beer cheese, house mustard, beef jerky, and Chex mix, before moving on to a corned beef sandwich on a delicious house-baked baguette.

Don’t let the name fool you, Radio Coffee & Beer’s biggest draw might be the Veracruz food trailer parked right out front. Featuring an expansive beer list and an enormous, comfortable patio, head over for breakfast or lunch at the trailer for the freshest, tastiest tacos in town. Plus, every Monday night is bluegrass night, with live country music.

For a late night drink and meal under the stars, East Austin’s Justine’s is the best game in town. Also a magnificent date spot, this is where you go when the weather is nice and you feel like getting a little fancy. A bottle of champagne to split and some steak frites in the cool Austin breeze—it doesn’t get much better than that.

Above, from top: Contigo, courtesy M40 Photography; The porch at Perla’s, photo by Casey Dunn; Easy Tiger, photo courtesy Vanessa Escobedo Barba.

Only two short years ago, one could count pizza delivery options in Austin on two hands. The choices were those inedible national chains, or Gatti’s/Austin’s Pizza, and a few others (we still love you Conan’s).

Oh, how the times have changed. With Favor Delivery, pizza is a few clicks away from anywhere that offers take-out. In fact, a large pie from my favorite shop for thin-crust, East Side Pies, was the first Favor order I completed.

I included a few newcomers on the list, so hopefully there are a few places you haven’t tried. Take into consideration that your favorite spot might not be on the list purely because it’s not in the Favor delivery zone. Or it could be that we haven’t tried it! Feel free to hit us up on Facebook with your recommendations.

In no particular order:

9. Bufalina

When it first opened, one could expect to wait hours to get a table. They’ve recently (and quietly) begun to allow takeout orders. Take advantage. It’s the best neapolitan pie in the city.

Bufalina-Austin

8. Spartan Pizza

The trailer-turned-brick and-mortar on East 6th is open until 3am on weekends. Skip that Whataburger line and order from the safety of your own living room.

Spartan-Pizza-Austin

7. Lucky’s Puccias & Pizzeria

Known for his puccias (authentic wood fired Italian sandwiches), Lucky recently opened a brick and mortar on West 5th. The pizzas are as crave-able as his signature sandwiches.

6. The Backspace

Parkside’s sister restaurant serves up really great wood-fired pies. Pro-tip: Whatever you order, be sure to “put an egg on it.”

The-Backspace-Austin

5. 40 North

This South First Street newcomer has quickly climbed into our top ten. Try the Hot Honey if you’re into eating things that taste good.

4. East Side Pies

As mentioned above, if you’re a fan of thin-crust, look no further. ESP sources local ingredients whenever possible, and that extra level of care is reflected in the quality of their cracker-thin pies. (Why is this pizza on rocks? I don’t know either)

Eastside-Pies-Austin

3. Little Deli & Pizza

This Crestview neighborhood gem gets very little press considering it makes one of the best New York style pies in the city.

2. Homeslice Pizza

Loved by tourists and locals alike, no list would be complete without a nod to Homeslice. They also take the cake (pie?) for the most often Favor-ed pizza joint in Austin.

homeslice_margherita

1. Via 313

Before you say, “but I don’t like deep-dish pizza,” let me comment that I didn’t either until I tried Via 313. Furthermore, I haven’t met a person who has tried it that hasn’t fallen in love.

Via-313

Want to find out if you’re in Favor’s delivery zone? Check out the map.

With so many new food trucks popping up, it’s hard to know which are worthy of your appetite. Our friends at Austin Passbook are food truck experts, and they’ve gone out and tried many of the new trucks (there are so many!) and created a quick list of 5 you must try. If they’ve missed some great ones, let us know your new favorites in the comments below.

1. 40 North – The pizzas here are neapolitan style. With their handmade mozzarella, wood fired brick oven, and the perfect balance of chew, crunch, and airiness to their crust, you’re going to love these pies.

40-North

2. Uncle Bob’s BBQ – Thomas Claybar and Shawn Jackson are one of the newest BBQ trucks in town, and they’re doing it right. They’ve got a lot of BBQ options with Pork, Beef Brisket and Sausages smoked daily.

Uncle-Bobs-Smokehouse

3. Boteco ATX – Brazilian born owner Fernando Marri brings some authentic flavors to their new truck. Some of the ingredients can’t even be found in Austin. Grab some authentic food here and watch a soccer game on their truck mounted TV.

Boteco-ATX

4. Bistro Vonish – Owner and Chef Craig Vanis has created a new experience with this truck offering high-end vegan delights. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’ll find something to love on the ever changing menu.

Bistro-Vonish

5. TLocs Sonora Hot Dogs – Simply calling these creations hot dogs don’t do them justice. These Sonora Dogs, artfully crafted by owner Miguel Kaiser, are a guilty pleasure.

TLocs-Sonora-Dog

If you’d like to try these food trucks as well as 23 others, check out the Austin Passbook. It offers 2-for-1 deals on some of the best items at 28 of Austin’s best trucks. If you’re lucky, you can pick one up for only $15 during the pre-sale on the Summer edition until May 15th. Check it out here.

Red-Passbook