Austin City Guide

Austin City Guide

By Keith Kreeger

Austin City Guide

I know, I know...there are a lot of articles about how to navigate Austin, but ever since we've opened up the Showroom we've been getting lots of questions about where to eat.  So, I finally decided to put my own little Best-of-Austin list together.  

Check is out and let us know what your favorites are!



photo: keith kreeger

  • Houndstooth Coffee: This has been my favorite spot since moving to town in 2009.  Since then they've expanded from their original on North Lamar to having a downtown spot as well as a brand-new location on MLK on the Eastside.  
  • Flitch Coffee: This is my go-to during the day...right around the corner from my studio in a trailer on Tillery St.  I'm having a Macchiato, how about you?
  • Cuvee: Another great spot, this one on East 6th.  Their Laguna Las Ranas beans are a staple in our house.  I have usually had two espresso shots before I even leave my house. 


photo: keith kreeger

  • Josephine House: My go-to breakfast meeting spot.  It's just plain gorgeous anddelicious.  My order, eggs, avocado, bacon, and either toast or home-fries.
  • Veracruz All-Natural on Cesar Chavez: It's going to be crowded during SXSW, but get there early and get the Migas taco on corn.  *I'm actually not a big fan of breakfast tacos (nyc bodega breakfast sandwich is my dream breakfast), but these tacos are breakfast perfection.
  • Paperboy Austin: This trailer on East 11th is a solid choice to start the day.  Sandwiches, bowls sweet toast...can't go wrong.  My choice, the B.E.C which has Bacon, Sunny Egg, Pimento Cheese and is served on Brioche.
  • Fareground Austin: More details below, but get some tacos at Dai Due Taqueria, a breakfast burrito at Henbit and/or some baked goods at Easy Tiger.


photo courtesy of italic/elm restaurant group

    • Salt and Time: Grab a sandwich at this butcher shop and restaurant that works directly with Texas Ranchers.  They are serious about what they do and it's delicious.  My go-to, the Roast Beast.
    • Launderette: Love this spot day or night.  Great place to get a bunch of plates and share with friends.  Beautifully designed, super casual hang.  Get a few apps to share...add the Burger or Fried Chicken Sammie.
    • Italic: If you're downtown, this is a fantastic option.  Simple, clean Italian food from my friend Drew Curren.  Delicious pizzas, great pastas and a Roast Chicken dish that definitely shows he learned from his mentor, Jonathan Waxman during his time in the kitchen at Barbuto.
    • Dai Due: Another East Austin gem that sources their produce and meats only from Central Texas.  They start serving brunch at 10:30 and serve straight through to dinner.  My order, the cemita..get ready, it's got some spice.
    • Fareground : Austin's first Foodhall is full of deliciousness.  I'm a huge fan of Henbit, which is the new venture from the Emmer and Rye team.  They have an Easy Tiger outpost for grab and-go sandwiches, Ni-Kome which has delicious Sushi and Ramen, Dai Due Taqueria with incredible house-made tortillas and delicious tacos, Contigo is serving their classics and Antonelli's Cheese Shop is slinging their selection of cheeses and some great sandwiches.  


photo courtesy of uchi/hai hospitality

  • Justine's: You have to go for a few reasons.  Justine's is always delicious and it is always fun.  It's an other-worldly place that serves classic french food in a super-sexy atmosphere.  Get the pork chop and any of the daily specials that pique your interest.
  • Olamaie: You've heard about their biscuits...and they are that good.  But, so is everything else.  Chef Michael Fojtasek has put together an amazing spot that is super tasty, refined, precise, but also full of soul.  He works with local farmers and sources everything he can from as close to his restaurant as he can.  Pro-tip...get all of the apps.
  • Uchi: should get sushi in the middle of Texas.  Chef Tyson Cole has built something special here.  The combos of flavors are incredible as he and his team play with fish and flavors and textures to make every bite amazing.  Get the machi cure, uchi salad, madai nigiri, and whatever else your server or sushi chef suggests.  The service is incredible...and the wait can be also since they only take a small number of reservations. You can also try Uchiko, which is larger and takes more reservations. Either way, I highly suggest you get there if this is your first trip to Austin.
  • Emmer and Rye: The only reason to go to Rainey Street (besides Half-Step Bar).  Chef Kevin Fink and his team are consistently putting out some of the best food in town. He is a Food and Wine Magazine Best New Chef awards winner and like Michael from Olamaie, he's nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest for 2018.  Lots of delicious options, but make sure you get the cacia e pepe and add it to your "best I've ever had" list.  They mill their own grains for the pasta and it shows.  Go with a group so you can'll want to order everything.
  • June's All-Day: If you're looking for an incredible wine list, great bar, delicious food ranging from snacks to a steak frites, this is the place.  June Rodil is the beverage director of Maguire Moorman Hospitality and this is her namesake.  It's a favorite of mine and like the name says, it can help you breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Get the bar snacks, ham plate and...when you're hungover, get the Matzo Ball Caldo.
  • Central Standard: When you're down on South Congress and near the South Congress Hotel, stop in and see what Chef Casey Wilcox is up to.  It's kind of old-school awesome.  I mean, he has Chicken Kiev on the menu...and it's delicious...add the Salad Bar Salad.
  • Bufalina PizzaSome of the best wood-fired Neapolitan pies around and with two locations, you can find one on East Cesar Chavez close to the action and one a bit north and out of the way up on Burnet Road.  Get the Taleggio pie and any of the handmade pastas of the day. Side note...they also have one of the best wine lists in town.  Extra side room for dessert and ask for the vanilla ice cream with sherry.
  • Wildcard...Deckhand Oyster Bar: It's not something you'll see in the press, but it's probably my favorite restaurant in town.  Deckhand is owned by an incredible family that emigrated here from Laos.  They have converted an old Outback Steakhouse into a hybrid of Oyster Shack/Fried Seafood Joint/Cajun and Creole Classics/Southeast Asian everything.  Trust me...escape the SXSW crowds and head down South Lamar for the coldest beer in town and ask what they have off-menu.  Plus, it's crawfish season.  Get after it!


There are many...and a lot will have special SXSW events, but here are a few of my favorites.

  • Nickel City: My current favorite spot on east 11th street.  This newly opened spot hits the dive-bar vibe without being too contrived.  Nickel City has one of the best Whiskey selections in town, Banquet on tap and Delray Cafe trailer outside making the best wings in town, killer coney dogs, sliders and mozzarella sticks to help soak up your bad decisions.
  • Small VictoryThis speakeasy is close to the heart of SXSW madness, but up the steps in a garage next to the Intercontinental Hotel.  It's a narrow, dark and glorious bar that's serving up some of the best cocktails in town.  Owner Josh Loving and his crew will get you exactly what you need to make it through this week.  Snack on one of the best charcuterie plates in town while you're sipping.
  • Weather UpAnother favorite on East Cesar Chavez.  This styled out bar has outposts in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but this one stays true to Austin with a lovely outdoor space to hang.  Great cocktails. great bar snacks...great night ahead.
  • Half-Step Bar: The only bar on Rainey Street worth your time. Stop in before or after Emmer and Rye, let Chris Bostick and his team take care of you.