Working with a lot of clients who are relocating to Austin, we’re often asked, “What foods/restaurants should we try when we visit Austin?” Although Austin’s culinary world is becoming more and more diverse, there is no better way to experience Austin than trying the local flair.
The 3 Must Try Foods for Your Trip to Austin
Although food is the most important component when making an Austin restaurant suggestion, you can’t overlook how much the atmosphere can enhance your dining experience. There is an endless list of great restaurants we can suggest, but when you’re in Austin, you need to try the classics in a classic environment. Let’s look at the top three must try foods that exemplify Texas and, of course, perfected in Austin.
#1: Breakfast Tacos
Breakfast tacos are considered the official food of Austin. After coffee, most Austinites start their day with at least 2 breakfast tacos. If you’re not familiar with breakfast tacos, be ready for a treat. A breakfast taco is quite simply a combination of any breakfast item (i.e..scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, potatoes and/or beans) folded between a flour or corn tortilla. The tacos are then topped with your favorite salsa and a few slices of avocado. Nearly every food stop from food trucks to coffee shops that is open in the morning serves breakfast tacos in Austin. If you look on Yelp, you’ll be inundated with places that serve fantastic breakfast tacos.
Specifically Breakfast Tacos at Taco Deli
The best breakfast tacos, in my opinion, are found at the original Taco Deli (Spyglass location). The Spyglass Tacodeli is mostly an outdoor restaurant found at one of the entrances to the Barton Creek Greenbelt. There are several tables and bar style seating on the patio and multiple picnic tables shaded by large oak trees. On the weekends, this location is packed with a diverse group of families, hipsters, cyclists, college kids, bachelorette parties and, of course, a canines. The Otto (Organic refried black beans, avocado, bacon and Monterrey Jack Cheese) is a must try while you people watch on a lazy Sunday morning.
#2: Chili at Texas Chili Parlor
As breakfast tacos are the official food of Austin, Chili is the official dish of Texas. You may think, what’s the big deal with chili? Chili is chili. Well not in Texas. Chili in Texas is a favorite dish that’s consumed all year long. It doesn’t matter if it’s 30 degrees or 110 degrees outside, chili is being consumed somewhere in Austin. Chili, as you might have heard, is prepared a little bit differently here. A few things set Texas Chili apart…no tomatoes, loads of beef chuck and absolutely no beans. Simply called, a “Bowl O’ Red”. You’ll find several places around the city that serves traditional Texas chili, but if you’re looking for authentic, try it than the Texas Chili Parlor. Located on Lavaca near the State Capitol and UT, the Texas Chili Parlor is part dive bar, part roadhouse. Although they do serve other versions of chili, including one’s with beans, stick with the old “Bowl O’ Red”. You won’t be disappointed.
There is no way you can make a list of food in Austin without including barbecue. If you’re from North Carolina or Kansas City, our barbecue is nothing like you’ve tasted at home. Texas barbecue is more about the spices and rubs than the sauces and mops. And no big surprise, beef is a prime focus and more specifically, brisket.
Sample Texas Barbecue at Salt Lick BBQ
You could spend an entire week eating your way through the Central Texas Barbecue Belt that runs from Driftwood to Lockhart (the Barbecue Capital of Texas) through Austin and up to Elgin. You should definitely try famous places in Austin like Franklin’s and Stubbs. But, for a real Texas experience, check out Salt Lick BBQ in Drfitwood. Salt Lick not only serves great barbecue, but the atmosphere is unbeatable. Nestled between hundreds of Texas Oak trees, Salt Lick is the perfect place to sit back and unwind. Although eating inside is a cool experience (check out the huge indoor open barbecue pit), my advice is to order your barbecue to-go and sit underneath the trees on the outdoor patio. Salt Lick also offers live music, bocce ball, winery and is BYOB. Salt Lick just has a cool laid back vibe and easily one of my favorite place to visit in the Austin area.
Don’t Leave Austin without Trying Breakfast Tacos, Chili and Barbecue
Breakfast tacos, chili and barbecue are can’t miss dishes when you’re visiting Austin. Whether you are considering a relocation or if you are just passing through, the way Austin serves up these Texas classics will definitely encourage you to stay. There is no better way to truly experience the food and atmosphere in Austin than checking out Tacodeli, Texas Chili Parlor and Salt Lick BBQ.
Thinking of Relocating to Austin?
When we’re not checking out new restaurants, we’re helping people buy and sell real estate in Austin. Because we relocated to Austin, we particularly love helping people do the same. We know the area well and can help make the process much less stressful. Check out our Guide to Relocating to Austin for more about the relocation process. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Relocation Survey to get started.