10 Austin Restaurants You Need To Try During South By Southwest

If you’re attending South by Southwest in March, you may be wondering which restaurants you should be hitting up during your time in Austin.

From classic Texas BBQ to some out-of-this-world sushi, there’s plenty of food worth trying.

Inspired by Zagat’s lists of the most popular and best overall places to eat in Austin, we’ve compiled a list of the restaurants you shouldn’t miss.

Restaurants were rated on a 30-point scale, in the categories of Food, Decor, and Service. Scores between 26 and 30 are typically reserved for restaurants that are “extraordinary to perfection.”

Prices are estimates, reflecting what diners should expect to spend on a single dinner with a drink and tip.

The Salt Lick

18300 FM 1826, Driftwood

3350 Palm Valley Boulevard, Round Rock

3600 Presidential Boulevard, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Food: 25

Decor: 19

Service: 20

Cost: $24

You can't go to Texas without getting BBQ, and the Salt Lick is arguably one of the most fun places to do it. Residents and visitors to Austin are crazy about their brisket and ribs, and it's all cooked on the most insane pit you'll ever see. The original location is about 20 miles outside of Austin, in Driftwood, in addition to locations in Round Rock and the airport.


801 South Lamar Boulevard

Food: 29

Decor: 25

Service: 27

Cost: $56

Zagat ranked this longtime sushi favourite as the best overall restaurant in Austin, giving top marks in food quality and popularity with residents.


4200 North Lamar Boulevard

Food: 28

Decor: 26

Service: 27

Cost: $59

Owned by the same group behind Uchi, Uchiko offers some of the same creative dishes that Austin locals have come to love.


1014 North Lamar Blvd

Food: 27

Decor: 21

Service: 25

Cost: $64

This upscale New American restaurant in Old West Austin has some very original dishes and a tasting menu that will 'blow you away.'

Eddie V's Prime Seafood

9400B Arboretum Boulevard

301 East 5th Street

Food: 26

Decor: 26

Service: 25

Cost: $55

This chain restaurant has some steak and seafood dishes are not to be missed. They're also extremely popular: Eddie V's two Austin locations tied for first place in popularity among the city's residents.

Franklin Barbecue

900 East 11th Street

Food: 28

Decor: 11

Service: 19

Cost: $17

This restaurant, which was formerly run out of an East Austin trailer, is known for its exceptional brisket and pulled pork. It opens at 11 a.m. and closes whenever they run out of food.

Barley Swine

2024 South Lamar Boulevard

Food: 28

Service: 19

Decor: 25

Cost: $47

This tiny restaurant is very popular with foodies, and they don't take reservations, so it's best to arrive early for a chance to try the amazing small plates served here.

Louie Mueller BBQ

206 West Second Street

Food: 29

Decor: 16

Service: 21

Cost: $21

Louie Mueller isn't fancy -- food is served cafeteria-style, and guests sit at wooden benches -- but it's been an Austin classic since 1949.

The Carillon

1900 University Avenue

Food: 28

Service: 25

Decor: 26

Cost: $55

Tucked away in an on-campus hotel at the University of Texas at Austin, the Carillon offers an exceptional New American menu. The bar also has its own separate menu of small plates.


200 Congress Avenue

Food: 28

Service: 28

Decor: 27

Cost: $98

Service at this pricey downtown restaurant was ranked best in the city by Zagat. Congress is definitely one of the fanciest in town.

And if you still don't know where to stay...

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