Andrew Zimmern rocked Central Texas last night on Bizarre Food Austin, showcasing the city’s thrilling mix of innovation and tradition. I joined Andrew for a brisket eating romp in Lockhart, Texas (barbecue capital of the Lone Star State) at the end of the episode, and asked him about his favorite spots to swill and chomp in Austin. Here they are:
1. Barley Swine
Try the Wagyu brisket, barbecued beans, and slaw.
2024 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704, 512.394.8150, barleyswine.com
2. La Condesa
In a city full of great Mexican places, this is my pick for something a little less down and dirty. I love Chef Ortiz’s fantastic, modern takes on guac, tacos, plus killer drinks & desserts (pastry chef Laura Sawicki is one of the best in the country).
400A West 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701, 512.499.0300, lacondesa.com
3. East Side King
Cash-only food truck serving inventive versions of Asian classics. Think steamed buns filled with avocado or crispy chicken skins with kimchee.
Chef Tyson Cole does modern sushi better than anyone I can think of. His original Austin sushi bar is intimate and laid back. Be sure to call ahead for a reservation.
801 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704, 512.916.4808, uchiaustin.com
Think of Uchiko like Uchi… only much bigger. Executive Chef Paul Qui makes delicious, inventive sushi dishes, but don’t skip the Brussels sprouts (yes, I know they’re not a “typical” Japanese dish). They’re addictive.
4200 North Lamar, Austin, TX 78756, 512.916.4808, uchiaustin.com
One of Texas’s spiffier spots for great BBQ. Opt for the brisket & be sure to make a reservation, this place is always packed.
401 West 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701, 512.494.1500, lambertsaustin.com
7. Foreign & Domestic
Dine at the counter at this updated version of a mid-century diner. Food is anything but ordinary– the beef dishes are spectacular, but the roasted acorn squash curry proves that vegetarian dishes can pack a lot of punch. Order the yogurt with dill syrup and cherries for dessert. Sounds weird, but it’s spot on.
306 East 53rd Street, Austin, TX 78751, 512.459.1010, fndaustin.com
8. Franklin BBQ
Folks start lining up at 9 a.m., for slabs of meat at what’s been called “The Best BBQ in America.” Aaron Franklin deserves a lot of credit for his brisket, but don’t look over less traditional offerings (turkey, I’m talking about you!). Sides and sauces are top notch too, but let’s not kid ourselves… this place is all about the meat.
900 East 11th Street, Austin, TX 78702
9. Clive Bar
Classic cocktails, dim lighting, good-looking patrons, and the coolest “secret” mezcal bar… I mean really, what’s not to love?!
609 Davis Street, Austin, TX 78701, 512.494.4120
10. Hotel St Cecelia
Boutique luxury in Austin. Tucked just off the hustle and bustle of South Congress, this is the perfect way to be near the action without having to hear it. Fabulous pool, killer mini-bar that’s stocked with amazing snacks, great crepes for breakfast and a bar that serves up fantastic cocktails. One of my favorite hotels in the country, hands down.
112 Academy Drive, Austin, TX 78704, 512.852.2400, hotelsaintcecilia.com
Watch the recap of last night’s episode and tell us what your favorite Austin eats are!