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Austin Restaurants: Local Favorites

published on August 16, 2012

Austin has local restaurants that cater to a variety of palates, occasions, and times of day. Whether seeking a gourmet dining experience, comfort food fare late at night, a home-grown original, or famous Austin tacos, there are myriad choices to fill your plate. In fact, there are almost as many local favorite restaurants as there are houses in an Austin home search!

Green Pastures Restaurant 

Green Pastures Restaurant has been an Austin tradition in elegant dining for 64 years. Located in South Austin close to the Circle C neighborhood, Green Pastures is known for sumptuous gourmet dishes, fine wine, and true Southern hospitality. The Victorian estate was built in 1894 by Dr. E.W. Herndon. Not long after opening, the restaurant was booked to cater weddings and receptions, parties at the Governor’s Mansion and LBJ Ranch, and to entertain visiting dignitaries, as well as a host of Austinites and visiting out-of-towners.  The menu expanded to include gourmet French cooking and other exotic dishes. Diners also can enjoy the pristine lawns with peacocks strolling under grand live oaks. 

Kerbey Lane Café 

Kerbey Lane Cafe has been serving comfort food at reasonable prices to the Austin community since 1980. Serving Austinites at five locations, three very close to Barton Creek, each site is open 24 hours a day, with a full menu. Kerbey Lane Café has worked to forge strong relationships with local suppliers and build menus around what local farmers have in season. The restaurant serves classics like buttermilk pancakes, biscuits and gravy, one of a kind Kerbey creations like Eggs Francisco (an English muffin topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, avocado and then ladled with liberal amounts of queso,) along with a mix of internationally-inspired dishes including hummus and pita bread, Greek Chicken, seasonal pastas, and Tex Mex favorites like migas and enchiladas. The menu also features vegan and vegetarian items. 


In 1971, a small shop on South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas was home to a single, one-of-a-kind sandwich. The menu was succinct: one delectable sandwich composed of a unique combination of premium meats, cheeses, and marinated black olives served on hot Schlotzsky’s sourdough bread. Now close to 40 years later, Schlotzsky’sSchlotzsky's Austin is an international franchise restaurant chain with locations in 35 states and four foreign countries. Diners can enjoy fresh baked bread, delicious hot sandwiches, specialty pizzas, toasted wraps, freshly tossed salads, gourmet soups, and more. Schlotzsky’s also hosts an annual Bun Run, a 5k and Kids’ 1k benefiting the Austin Sunshine Camps. (See also Austin-based Schlotzsky’s Expanding Rapidly.)


Founded in 1999, Tacodeli has been the local spot for award-winning Mexican flavors for both breakfast and lunch. All items are hand-made from scratch, and the salsas and sauces use locally sourced and organic ingredients. Tacodeli is a locally owned business that has won numerous awards, including the’s Best Breakfast Taco of 2007 and 2008, Texas Monthly’s Best of Austin 2009, and multiple awards from the Austin Chronicle readers’ and critics’ picks. Tacodeli has locations in several Austin spots, with a popular one close to the Domain and Avery Ranch.  

Torchy’s Tacos 

Torchy’s Tacos originated as a food truck in South Austin, but its quick rise in popularity has led to locations all over the city. Their tagline, “Damn good tacos,” originated from the words of its first customers who doubled as guinea pigs for the early evolving menu. The restaurant is famous for its selection of breakfast tacos, regular tacos, burritos, and desserts, especially the locally sourced chocolate Love Puppies. 

Also, see Austin Coffee Shops and More Coffee = Austin’s Unofficial Mantra.

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