New Survey Results: Top Restaurants by Cuisine

What's the best BBQ, Tex-Mex and seafood in Austin?
October 6, 2014
by Megan Giller

This year’s Zagat survey results reflect Austin's ever-changing attitude about food, drinks and dining out. Check out the big winners in key categories like barbecue and Italian, and then take yourself out to a big ol’ dinner.


Winner: Voters urge you to “believe the hype” about Franklin Barbecue, which remains in the No. 1 spot.

Notable Newbie: La Barbecue skyrockets into the spotlight with a fun trailer vibe and serious smoked meat.

Fall of the Titans: The last survey included the areas around Austin, but this year only Black’s BBQ remained in one of the top spots (probably because it's coming to Austin soon), with Snow’s, Louie Mueller and more disappearing from the coveted spaces.


Winner: Z’Tejas takes home the gold for its Southwestern-influenced Tex-Mex offerings.

Notable Newbie: Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s new Chavez captivated voters with its stunning modern interior with views of Lady Bird Lake as well as Southwestern food that delivers.

Fall of the Titans: Vivo closed, and Trudy’s and Hula Hut were nowhere to be found in the top-rated spots.

New American

Winner: Wink consistently turns out classic dishes with a modern twist, like vermouth-steamed mussels with garlic scape, firecracker peppers and red onion.

Notable Newbie: Bartlett’s, the Salty Sow and Eastside Café all won spots in the top five.

Fall of the Titans: Where oh where are the Carillon and Congress? Well, the Carillon lost chefs Josh Watkins and Plinio Sandalio, and Congress in its ratings dropped in every category.


Winner: South Congress locale Vespaio Ristorante keeps it up with a top spot for its housemade antipasta, savory mains and classy atmosphere.

Notable Newbie: Old-time restaurants Carmelo’s and La Traviata moved on up.

Fall of the Titans: Trattoria Lisina fell off the chart completely.


Winner: Clark’s Oyster Bar outshone its big brother Perla’s with whole roasted fish, caviar and a Basque cake that we can’t stop thinking about.

Notable Newbie: Café Blue grabbed the attention of many a voter this year, as did Finn & Porter.

Fall of the Titans: Bye bye, Truluck’s, Pappadeaux and Parkside.

new american
plinio sandalio
josh watkins
shawn cirkiel