We all know the most popular restaurants in Austin, like Franklin BBQ, Home Slice Pizza, and Uchi. But what about the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants that people aren’t talking about very often? I love talking about these places with my food blogger friends and hearing about their favorites.
I’ve made a list of 5 under-the-radar Austin restaurants that, oddly, aren’t on many big lists just yet. These are the places that Austin locals love but tourists aren’t visiting very often.
1. Habanero Cafe
I’m thoroughly obsessed with this sweet little family-run Mexican cafe in South Austin. Their breakfast tacos and daily lunch specials have attracted a steady crowd of regulars who line up daily for plates of fajitas, chicken mole, and carne guisada.
Winebelly certainly isn’t under-the-radar as a wine bar, but most out-of-towners don’t know that it’s one of the best dinner restaurants in Austin, too. With so many great wine bars in Austin, it’s hard to pick one for your night out, but keep this in mind: if you’re searching for one of the best wine bars in the country AND a wonderful dinner experience, go to Winebelly. Their tapas are fun for a few table snacks during girls night, and the larger plates are perfect for date night.
HOLY MOLE, this little taco stand is good! I’ve talked about it in my best tacos in Austin blog post, and I’m still not sure why it’s not at the top of every taco list on the internet other than the fact that it’s still fairly new and maybe just needs more time to get to the top. Chef Joe makes all of his fillings from scratch, including multiple types of mole that are absolutely scrumptious. The menu rotates, but it’s small and I highly recommend trying one of everything if you can.
4. Fat Dragon
Every local foodie I know is crazy about this place! Fat Dragon is a pan-asian restaurant that specializes in Sichuan food (think: numbing peppercorns!) but also offers all of the favorites like ramen, Chinese-American favorites (super fresh sesame chicken – yums) and about a trillion other menu items. It’s a no-frills place tucked into a strip mall, but the food will wow you.
5. Fricano’s Deli
This is an old-school campus spot that most UT students know (and love!), and it’s where you need to go for some of the biggest, baddest pastrami sandwiches in town. I am thoroughly obsessed with Paul’s Spicy Reuben: corned beef piled high with sauerkraut, pepper jack cheese, pepperoni peppers, onion, and rocket sauce on rye. YUMS.
Ok, I’d love to hear from you! Any under-that-radar restaurants that deserve some attention? Let me know!