Best Exclusive Spots in Austin

Have a gourmet staycation
September 20, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Facing notoriously long waits is part of the fun at these popular destinations in Austin. 

Franklin Barbecue
Barbecue · East Austin · $$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

“Believe the hype” that’s built up around this East Austin “experience” , in which “melt-in-your-mouth” brisket, “unbelievable” ribs and pulled pork are doled out in modest digs from 11 AM till the eats run out (usually early) at what many claim is “hands-down” the “best” BBQ joint in town and "possibly the world" ; fans agree the “hours” -long waits are “well worth it.
Japanese · Bouldin Creek · $$$
Food 4.9 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Every bite is a revelation” at Tyson Cole’s Zilker jewel box where “extraordinary” sushi made from “the freshest fish” and other “Japanese food at its finest” is paired with a selection of sake, wine and cocktails; the sophisticated setting in a “lovely” remodeled cottage, the chic crowd and “impeccable” service are all part the “experience” , which is “a splurge, but well worth it.”
Southern American · East Austin · $$

Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki (the duo formerly behind Sway and La Condesa) serve inventive, globally inspired fare at this East Austin destination in a converted Laundromat – now a polished, retro-chic space. Menu highlights include small snack plates, wood-grilled entrees, an extensive vegetable menu and Sawicki's acclaimed desserts.
Japanese · Rosedale · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

“Outstanding” sums up this Rosedale sib to Uchi, featuring Tyson Cole’s “inspired presentations” of sushi and Japanese cuisine capped by sakes and “creative” desserts; service is “excellent” and the woody space is modern, and while you may need to “set aside a few bucks” , you “won’t regret it” because it’s an “extraordinary experience from start to finish.”
Ramen Tatsu-Ya
Asian · Zilker · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

These ramen joints “deliver with a bang” thanks to “super-flavorful” broths and “perfect” noodles creating “life-changing” bowls of the Japanese comfort classic that “always hit the mark” ; its casual spaces are dine-in only, and there are “long lines” , but most insist it’s “worth the wait.”
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Burger · North Shoal Creek · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.1

“Break your diet” for these burger bars where they turn out “amazing” , “inventive” locally sourced patties on house-baked buns, plus fries, “tasty” brews and milkshakes (with spiked versions for adults); it’s “always packed” at peak hours, and while some find the line “just overwhelming” , most maintain it’s “totally worth it.”