Welcome to AFM’s guide to some of the most iconic restaurants in Austin. If you’re new to this city, the first thing you’ll learn is that Austin is foodie heaven, bursting with restaurants new and old. One of the best things about Austin is that there are SO many restaurants, yet it can be overwhelming as a new person in ATX specifically for that reason — luckily, for all you Austin newbies, we’ve provided this guide to showcase what Austin is all about.
As a new Austin resident, it won’t take you long to learn this is a barbeque town, and most Austin eaters agree that Franklin barbeque is the best in the city. With basically a cult following, foodies in Austin happily line up every day and wait hours for a taste. Pitmaster Aaron Franklin began serving Austinites his smoky meats in a roadside trailer. Now, this Austin favorite is one of the most famous barbecue destinations in the country. You will wait in line, it will take a while but it will be worth it. Even if they run out of the extremely popular brisket, Franklin Barbecue has an extensive, impressive menu that never disappoints.
Sisters Reyna and Maritza Vazquez make some of the best tacos in Austin, which are served on handmade corn and flour tortillas with fresh salsas. Their fleet of six food trucks serves both breakfast and lunch, but they are nationally known for their migas tacos and agua fresca; so if you have to choose, go for breakfast! As we know, Austinites love their food trucks. But whichever the medium — food truck or brick-and-mortar stores — the Vazquez sisters have one of Austin’s best menus when it comes to Mexican cuisine.
Arlo’s Curbside is a truly unique food truck, attempting to do the impossible in a city known for its meat. This bistro-style truck strives to convince Austin eaters to ditch the meat with their plant-based menu. The truck is open from 11 a.m. to midnight, and they offer numerous meatless dishes, which herbivores and omnivores alike enjoy. So, if you’re up late and looking for a plant-based culinary adventure, it might be time to try out Arlo’s.
Taking influence from its southern neighbors and adding that signature Texas charm, Austin is home to many amazingly unique American and Southern restaurants. Salty Sow is an American gastropub with a unique and savory farm-to-table menu. They are dedicated to supporting the Austin community by mindfully sourcing menu items from local farms, ranches and other Austin businesses. In 2021, they were honored by Three Best Rated as one of the top three American restaurants in Austin. As a new Austinite, Salty Sow should be one of your first choices when looking for American cuisine with that signature Austin flair.
This trendy taqueria is home to James Beard Award’s emerging chef of 2022, Edgar Rico. He shows off his magic culinary skills with his fresh take on traditional Mexican dishes. Of course, the meatier menu items are delicious, but Chef Rico’s genius really shines in his vegetarian options. Aside from the delicious Mexican cuisine they serve, Nixta also houses a Community Fridge where anyone can donate produce, dry goods, clothing and other essentials for those in need within the community. As a new Austinite, you’ll want to give Nixta Taqueria a try.
There are countless amazing restaurants in Austin, and each spot reflects that signature Austin style in its own unique way. As a new Austin resident, you’ll have ample time to try many of these iconic spots, get lost in foodie heaven and enjoy all that Austin has to offer.