What to Eat in Austin, Food and Drink, Dishes

What to Eat in Austin, Food and Drink, Dishes

Austin, the capital of Texas, is known for its vibrant food scene, which features an eclectic mix of traditional Texan cuisine, innovative culinary creations, and global flavors. With its array of food trucks, renowned restaurants, and bustling bars, there is no shortage of options for food lovers exploring the city. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a culinary tour of Austin, highlighting the must-try dishes, popular drinks, and the best places to experience the city’s unique food culture.


No visit to Austin would be complete without indulging in some mouthwatering Texas-style barbecue. Slow-smoked meats, such as brisket, ribs, and sausage, are the stars of the show in Austin’s barbecue scene. A few of the city’s top barbecue spots include:

Franklin Barbecue: Famous for its long lines and exceptional brisket, Franklin Barbecue is an institution in Austin. Although the wait can be lengthy, the melt-in-your-mouth brisket is worth it.

La Barbecue: Another popular spot for barbecue enthusiasts, La Barbecue offers tender smoked meats and tasty sides, such as chipotle coleslaw and pinto beans.

Micklethwait Craft Meats: This food truck is known for its high-quality meats and house-made sausages, as well as unique side dishes like jalapeño cheese grits.


Austin has a thriving taco scene, with countless establishments offering their take on this classic Mexican dish. Whether you prefer breakfast tacos, street-style tacos, or more innovative creations, Austin has something for every taco lover. Some notable taco joints include:

Torchy’s Tacos: With multiple locations throughout the city, Torchy’s offers a diverse menu of creative tacos, including the Trailer Park (fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico de gallo, and cheese) and the Baja Shrimp (fried shrimp, cabbage slaw, pickled onions, and jalapeño sauce).

Veracruz All Natural: Known for its fresh and flavorful tacos, Veracruz All Natural is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Their signature Migas taco, made with eggs, tortilla chips, avocado, pico de gallo, and cheese, is a must-try.

TacoDeli: Another popular choice for breakfast tacos, TacoDeli serves up delicious options like the Otto (refried black beans, bacon, avocado, and cheese) and the Vaquero (scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, peppers, and cheese).

Tex-Mex is a fusion of Mexican and Texan cuisines, featuring dishes like nachos, fajitas, and enchiladas. Austin is home to numerous Tex-Mex restaurants, where you can enjoy hearty meals and strong margaritas. A few standout options include:

Matt’s El Rancho: A beloved Austin institution, Matt’s El Rancho has been serving up classic Tex-Mex cuisine since 1952. Founded by Matt and Janie Martinez, the family-owned restaurant has earned a reputation for delicious food, friendly service, and a festive atmosphere that keeps customers coming back for more.

Located at 2613 South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas, Matt’s El Rancho has grown from a small eatery to a sprawling 500-seat establishment. The restaurant’s iconic neon sign beckons hungry patrons to come and enjoy their authentic Tex-Mex fare, which includes dishes such as the famous Bob Armstrong Dip, sizzling fajitas, crispy tacos, and savory enchiladas.

The menu at Matt’s El Rancho is a blend of family recipes and traditional Tex-Mex staples, offering something for everyone. Favorites include the chile relleno, a poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and beef, as well as the house-made tamales and the tender carne guisada. To accompany your meal, the restaurant offers a wide selection of margaritas and other refreshing beverages.

In addition to its mouthwatering food, Matt’s El Rancho is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant’s interior is adorned with colorful Mexican art and décor, creating a vibrant setting that’s perfect for a night out with friends or a family dinner.

Over the years, Matt’s El Rancho has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including being named “Best Tex-Mex Restaurant” and “Best Margarita” by the Austin Chronicle’s readers. It’s also a popular spot for celebrities and politicians, with famous patrons such as Willie Nelson, Matthew McConaughey, and former President George W. Bush.

In summary, Matt’s El Rancho has become a beloved Austin institution due to its commitment to serving delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, providing friendly service, and maintaining a festive atmosphere that keeps locals and visitors coming back for more. If you’re ever in Austin, don’t miss the opportunity to experience this iconic restaurant for yourself.

Matt’s El Rancho is a cherished Austin establishment that has won the hearts of both locals and tourists through its delicious Tex-Mex offerings, exceptional service, and lively ambiance. When visiting Austin, be sure to stop by this iconic restaurant and immerse yourself in its unforgettable dining experience.