Road Trip: The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Austin Right Now

By Marcy de Luna  |  August 4, 2014
Credit: Ed Schipul/Flickr

Whether you're heading to Austin for a weekend trip or to catch a game, we're taking the guesswork out of where to eat. Here are the 10 hottest restaurants in Austin right now.

  • Odd Duck

    Why It’s Hot: James Beard Award-nominated chef Bryce Gilmore offers seasonal farm-fresh fare, small plate-style. The restaurant on Gibson and South Lamar features floor-to-ceiling glass-plated walls for picturesque views of Downtown, and a shaded patio with misters and fans.
    Must-Order: Field-pea fritters and black-olive pasta.
    Insider Tip: Don’t low-carb it. Thanks to the in-house bread program, the Parker house rolls are must.

  • Pleasant Storage Room

    Why It’s Hot: New to the Warehouse District, the Caribbean theme applies not only to the island street food and ceviche, but also to rum punches and tropical cocktails.
    Must-Order: Banana-leaf snapper and wood-grilled corn.
    Insider Tip: It's bottoms up during happy hour with $5 mojitos, daiquiris and Cuba Libres.

  • Credit: Flickr/eblaser

    Gus's Fried Chicken

    Why It’s Hot: The Memphis chain must fry its chicken in magic, because the lick-your-fingers fare has cast a spell on Austinites.
    Must-Order: Fried green tomatoes and a two-piece fried chicken plate.
    Insider Tip: Call in your to-go order 30 minutes in advance and pick it up in a separate line.

  • Noble Sandwiches

    Why It’s Hot: The artisanal breakfast and lunch are crafted from housemade bread and pickles, and house-cured meats.
    Must-Order: The restaurant’s namesake Noble sandwich (spicy ham, pulled pork, provolone and bacon).
    Insider Tip: They offer top-notch gluten-free bread.

  • The ABGB

    Why It’s Hot: There's no hipster vibe. The beer garden is relaxed with cold beer and tasty bites.
    Must-Order: The avocado sandwich with pesto and peaches and Hell Yes brew.
    Insider Tip: Get there early if you don’t want to wait.

  • Credit: Jody Horton

    La V

    Why It’s Hot: The alluring, richly decorated restaurant boasts seasonal French cuisine and a world-class wine list.
    Must-Order: Wood-roasted chicken for two (nosh on chicken-liver pâté while you allow the kitchen 45 minutes to prepare the dish).
    Insider Tip:  Reservations recommended.

  • Chavez

    Why It’s Hot: Located on the first floor of Downtown's Radisson Hotel, the space formerly occupied by TGI Fridays received a complete overhaul. The now-chic spot serves contemporary Southwestern cuisine against a backdrop of Lady Bird Lake.
    Must-Order: Deconstructed salmon Veracruz.
    Insider Tip: Sip on a sweet and spicy smoked cherry margarita.

  • Credit: Robert Jacob Lerma

    Terry Black's BBQ

    Why It’s Hot: The tasty cue is brought to you by twin brothers Mike and Mark Black of the Lockhart clan who run Black's Barbecue.
    Must-Order: Brisket and beef ribs.
    Insider Tip: The patio has fans and occasional live music.

  • Porter Gastropub

    Why It's Hot: Expect classic pub fare with a twist at the low-key South Austin restaurant, plus a vast selection of beer and short list of cocktails and wines on tap.
    Must-Order: Chatham cod fish n’ chips.
    Insider Tip: Communal tables add to the convivial vibe.

  • Chinatown Westlake

    Why It’s Hot: Family-owned and operated, the upscale restaurant serves Chinese cuisine (from Hunan, Sichuan, Canton, Beijing and Shanghai), plus sushi and dim sum.
    Must-Order: Three-cup chicken (chunks of chicken with soy sauce, sake, sesame oil and dry pepper) and Shanghai pork dumplings.
    Insider Tip: Hit up the dim sum brunch on weekends (11 AM-2:30 PM).