Best Restaurants in East Austin

Local love
October 1, 2015
by Zagat Staff

East Austin is home to many restaurant institutions synonymous with Austin dining.  Check out these highly rated, beloved eateries for a range of cuisines including Italian, barbecue and Asian.  

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."
Via 313 Pizza
Pizza · Downtown · $$
Food 4.7 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.3

“Quit reading and run to Via” say fans of this food-truck and brick-and-mortar chainlet specializing in Detroit-style pizza baked in square, steel automotive-parts pans to create crust that's “thick, crispy and buttery” and topped with “tangy” sauce, cheese and ingredients ranging from pepperoni to prosciutto, arugula and Parmesan; the trucks are parked outside the Violet Crown Social Club and Craft Pride, meaning a late-night bite of this “slamming” pie has “prevented many a hangover.”
Bufalina Pizza
Pizza · East Austin · $
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

An “open kitchen” with a “wood-fired” oven produces “outrageously great” “authentic Neapolitan-style” pies at these "hip" Austin pizzerias; it can be “difficult” to score a space at one of the “shared tables” in the "small" dining rooms, so go early or be prepared for “long lines” (on the plus side, you can enjoy a glass from the “unique wine list” while you wait).
The Liberty
Bar · East Austin · $$
Food 4.7 · Decor 3.8 · Service 4.1

Though they started as a single food trailer, these Asian-fusion outposts by Paul Qui, Moto Utsunomiya and Thai Changthong are now “growing like crazy and for a reason” into five locations around town; fans line up for “tasty” , “inventive” snacks like pork and curry buns, ramen and beet fries “to die for” ; P.S. all but the South Lamar location are open late.
Fukumoto Sushi & Yakitori Izakaya
Japanese · East Austin · $$$

Helmed by former Musashino head chef Kaz Fukumoto, this sleek izakaya serves yakitori, tempura and sushi crafted from a wide variety of specialty fish imported from Japan. Housed in the Corazòn building on East Sixth Street, the lofty, modern digs feature handsome dark woods, an open kitchen and plenty of natural light via floor-to-ceiling windows.
Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile
American · East Austin · $$$

Southern comfort food meets hyper-local meats and cheeses at this East Austin spot featuring old-school dishes such as chicken-fried steak boosted by ingredients from owner Adam Jacoby’s ranch. A rustic-chic locale offers outdoor chicken coops, gardens and a picnic area overlooking the Colorado River Wildlife Sanctuary, plus an attached store with artisanal foods and vintage home goods.