Austin's 8 Most Underrated Restaurants
Though Austin's many recently opened restaurants tend to take the spotlight, there are plenty of more seasoned favorites that don't receive as much acclaim as they deserve. Here are eight tried-and-true restaurants that are well loved by locals for good reason — make it a priority to try them out if you haven't already.
This campus-area bakery and cafe mostly sells sandwiches (on their vast selection of homemade bread) by day, but completely transforms when the sun goes down and the candles are lit. Enjoy nightly specials like housemade pappardelle and grilled quail with a selection from their well-curated wine list.
2900 Rio Grande St.; 512-499-0554
You’d never know from the well-designed farmhouse-chic interior that Greenhouse Craft Foods is located in a Round Rock strip mall. Chef Rob Snow offers a daily blackboard menu of soulful farm-driven comfort food with a New Mexican/Tex-Mex twist, such as green chile pork chimichangas and fried green tomatoes with chimichurri and pimento goat cheese.
1400 E. Old Settlers Blvd. #110, Round Rock; 512-366-5567
Greenhouse Craft Food
This hidden Clarksville gem has changed owners and menus through the years, but maintained the same name and same demand for quality. Their signature goat ribs with tamarind mole are a must and their daily specials, featuring locally sourced ingredients, never disappoint.
1200 W. Sixth St.; 512-322-9226
Andiamo is located a sizable hike north from Downtown — and totally worth it for their authentic Italian cuisine and great pricing. Try dishes like their homemade mushroom ravioli with green beans and walnuts in brown butter sage and Romano sauce or crabmeat-stuffed shrimp wrapped in pancetta and served with brandy sauce.
2521 Rutland Dr.; 512-719-3377
Mushroom ravioli at Andiamo Ristorante
German-born chef Wolfgang Murber has been serving German- and French-inspired creations in this tucked-away West Austin bungalow since 2009. Courses range from schnitzel and hasenpfeffer + bretzelknödel (rabbit stew with dumplings) to maultaschen (Black Forest mushroom ravioli) and ich liebe tiere (a vegan plate of daily vegetables and grains).
509 Hearn Ave.; 512-236-0642
Show up on a sunny day around lunchtime and the line stretching to the sidewalk won’t make this campus-area cafe seem very underrated at all. But there are still Austinites who’ve yet to discover the little bungalow on 34th Street. Meanwhile, regulars will wax poetic on their menu of special sandwiches like the Chicken & Eggplant (grilled chicken breast, roasted eggplant, goat cheese, basil pesto, spinach, tomato and blackberry vinaigrette on toasted multigrain).
616 W. 34th St.; 512-420-8400
Yet another quality restaurant housed in a modest strip-mall location, Cafe Malta features a constantly changing European-inspired menu with offerings like smoked fish croquettes, pan-seared monkfish niçoise and maltagliati (housemade pasta tossed with a beef-pork ragù and roasted vegetables). Their twice monthly Tour de Forks highlights the cuisine of a European destination in four well-priced courses.
3421 W. William Cannon Dr.; 512-853-9584
Since 2005, Buenos Aires Cafe has been bringing Austin traditional Argentine cuisine in the form of empanadas, grilled meats, salads and housemade pasta like their pillowlike gnocchi quartet tossed with roasted vegetables. Don’t end a meal without sampling the tres leches cake, one of the many expertly crafted desserts made daily by owner and pastry chef Reina Morris.
1201 E. Sixth St.; 512-382-1189