I’ve been working from Houston almost weekly since last summer and I’ve had the chance to explore a ton of restaurants near Downtown that I would never have ventured out to when I lived in Sugar Land back in grad school. I’ve just scratched the surface and will be adding to this list as I continue on my foodie adventures, but in the meantime, here is a Vessel interactive map with pins and then all the deets on the hot spots that made the cut down below!
My coworkers are absolute gems and so fun to be around – we’re friends in #IRL – and the first place they took me when I started my stint in Houston was Coltivare Pizza & Garden. We got there relatively early (around 5:30) and got three seats at the counter. If you don’t want to wait a while, I’d suggest getting there early as well!
The Burrata was a standout dish!
Never leave without a pizza! Ever!
Another absolute must-dine Italian spot that everyone in town knows about is Paulie’s. I’ve been at least 5 times in the last 6 months because it’s just THAT GOOD! If you’re a fan of pasta, this spot is for you. Like for real, amazing pasta.
This mushroom lover absolutely loves and dreams about the Canestri alla Funghi
The Skirt Steak should also be on your list! You can switch out the veggies that come with it but always get the pesto gnocchi! Their pesto is WOW
A great spot with super chill and fancy vibes at the same time is Riel. Near Paulie’s, I passed by this spot and was intrigued. Made a reservation since there were 10 of us going and at 6PM they weren’t super packed (yet).
We ordered a ton of food but a couple of standouts are below:
The fried rice is a shareable small plate and we ended up ordering a few b/c it was a group favorite. Shrimp, Chinese Sausage, Egg Yolk and Ginger make this dish super unique
If Steak Tar Tar is your jam, then Riel’s is for you. And it was a work of art!
I don’t know where or how I discovered Rise (most likely Instagram), but when I walked in their location, I fell in love with everything. The ambiance is whimsical, the staff are helpful and so kind, and the food is divine! I long for the day they open one in Austin, but until then, I’ll just have to continue to dine at the Houston location over and over again. I’ve taken several different groups and I’ve been 4 times already. Don’t worry, if you don’t like souffles or think they’re too heavy for normal consumption, their Rise Salad with Tuna is my go-to and it’s gorgeous!
I love Rise so much, it has it’s own blog post here so if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, do so now here.
I highly recommend the Marshmallow Soup – a carrot and tomato bisque with goat cheese marshmallows – so creative right?
Always ask for the Cheese Carriage to come by and try all the cheeses before getting your own custom selection of fromage
They’ve got savory souffles like this Truffle one
And dessert souffles like this chocolate one with raspberry and chocolate sauce on top
Pass & Provisions
We went to the Provisions portion of this joint restaurant. Pass is more of a tasting menu (Chef’s Table concept) and Provisions is a neighborhood, casual setup. The building was constructed back in the 50’s and was home to an Italian import warehouse.
The menu changes regularly but stand out dishes were definitely the Oysters, Squid Ink Cavatappi and the Okonomiyaki. We tried several more dishes and enjoyed each one. Will definitely be back!
Savory pancake topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese
These oysters were delish! Love the table setting (you can see in the background).
You’ll find the original Moku in the Conservatory (Downtown Houston’s food hall with a few restaurants, a brewpub and a wine bar). I say original because Moku is about to open a brick-and-mortar in the Heights very soon.
I was working in Houston in the summer when all I wanted was poké every evening after working out. Enter, Moku! They were available on UberEats too so I’d just order in and devour a bowl after working out. Always get the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on top, k?
They fly in fresh fish daily. My go-to is usually the ahi tuna with all the veggies and I get greens instead of rice (sorry, not sorry), and always sprinkled with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
When the weather outside is frightful (seems to be a frequent thing in HTown), Les Noodles is my go-to spot for Pho. Mostly because they have Zoodles and I like to have more broth than noodles but with zoodles, I’ll eat it all 🙂
For all those of you who like beef options for your Pho Bo, they’ve got tendon, shank, filet, meatball and brisket!
Pho with regular noodles and zoodles
Look at that noodle pull
Pondicheri has a special place in my heart. They serve these delish (super nostalgic for me) Bournvita Ice Cream Sandwiches (Parle-G cookies with Bournvita chocolate ice cream in between). Their food overall is a fusion of traditional Indian dishes with a modern twist. Check out their bake shop upstairs too – it’s a must!
From their Chit Chaat Menu (everyday from 5-7P) -Mushroom Dosa Pizza and Butter Chicken Parotta
Bournvita Ice Cream Sandwiches – my dreams come true everytime I bite into one
Ritual was on my radar for quite some time so when a group of coworkers of mine working in Houston at different client sites wanted to go here, I was all for it! On Wednesdays, if you sit at the bar for a drink, they give you a free appetizer (whatever they are cooking up that day)! Incredible deal!
This Southern gal saw gumbo on the menu so you bet I ordered it! And boy was it delish! And their charcuterie board is the largest I’ve ever seen. Two of us shared it and we had so much leftover!
The prettiest and most delish cup of gumbo!
This charcuterie board was GIANT!
Probably my favorite patio spot in Houston where you can sip on a glass of whatever and have an incredible view of Downtown Houston is Poitin. And their patio is HUGE. So is the inside of the restaurant – which looked like a great spot to host some large gatherings!
They’ve got an incredible happy hour selection and if you’re like me and my happy hour gals, we get there early to enjoy happy hour bites and finish dinner early 🙂
This fish board had quite the selection and that bread was perfection
Crispy calamari – just like I like it!
Ever heard of Dilly bread? Well, I hadn’t either until dining at Nobie’s and you betcha we ordered it! It’s pull-apart milk bread with garlic and everything butter — that butter though…
It’s super cute inside. They don’t take reservations so if you wanna dine there, go early because the space isn’t large. They have a really nice patio space that I need to check out when the weather is better.
The Dilly Bread – you better order it.
The Awe Shucks – au natural and je ne sais quoi style – ridiculously delish!
Helen in the Heights
Y’all, you might not find this funny but I sure as heck do. I went to Helen in the Heights with my friend Helen WHO LIVES IN THE HEIGHTS! Bahahahahahaha! Ok enough laughs!
Anyway, if you love Greek food in a nice dining setting, Helen in the Heights needs to be on your list.
Again, went during happy hour (which they’ve got a killer one) and had a glass of Greek wine – which was really good!
They’ve got GREEK POUTINE, y’all. Imagine fries with gyro meat on top and cheese and all the flavors! Loved their trio of dips too. And their meatballs!
We also checked out the original Helen Greek Food and Wine in Rice Village. Cute spot, smaller, make a reservation! Equally yummy food!
Trio of dips – 2 kinds of hummus and an eggplant dip. Their pita bread is addictive.
Greek Poutine – gonna just leave this right here for you to drool.
BCK Kitchen & Cocktails
If you’ve read this far, you’ve noticed we’re slowly making our way all over downtown and surrounding Houston. The Heights is close to downtown and has quite the food scene. It reminds me a lot of East Austin (for those of you who live in Austin, you know what I mean).
BCK Kitchen didn’t disappoint. A unique experience serving up “food for the soul, inspired by family memories and travel adventures”, we definitely tried those dishes which were nostalgic for us.
From the Snacks on Snacks section, we had the Street Corn (so good and cheesy), Peking Duck Tacos, and Buffalo Cauliflower.
From the It’s What’s For Dinner section, we shared the Lemon Butter Chicken – the chicken was stuffed with spinach and it was super tender and juicy!
I was most excited to try the Mac n Cheez It because I ate a ton of cheezits growing up (who didn’t?!?!) and when I saw this was elbow mac n cheese with a cheezit crust, I was intrigued. It didn’t disappoint. Look further down for a pic of that cheese pull.
The Lemon Butter Chicken is served with asparagus and mashed potatoes
That cheese stretch tho!
Last but not least, we practically eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at Finn Hall, the newly opened food hall that’s literally right behind the hotel where I stay every week. It’s a giant food hall, in a historic building, with so many well-known Houston restaurants that were trucks now brick-and-mortars. They’ve got 2 bars serving up beer, wine and cocktails. They’ve even got a few spaces available for large events! I’m so excited to share why I love this place with you!
While they’ve got a food truck, Craftburger is also located in Finn Hall and I couldn’t be happier for some gourmet burgers AND FRIES! They’ve got truffle fries, loaded fries, onion rings, LAMB POUTINE!
All American Burger – really loved it and that bun is exceptional!
I’ve dined at Dish Society in Katy and by The Galleria many times so needless to say, when I heard they were opening up at Finn Hall, I was ecstatic. Hello brussel sprout salad and Brisket Stuffed Sweet Potato!
My go-to at lunch is their Brussel Sprout Super Salad with a scoop of chicken salad. It’s an expensive lunch but extremely fresh and delish so I don’t mind.
Brussel Sprout Super Salad with a scoop of chicken salad – my favorite and no-brainer when I’m hungry and want something healthy
Once located at the Urban Harvest Farmer’s Market but now serving up the fan favorite, falafels, 7 days a week at Finn Hall, Oddball Eats has quickly become my go-to spot for falafels and shawarmas!
You can watch them prep the freshest ingredients all day and you’ll never have to worry about eating “old” food. Everything is made-to-order. I’m a huge shawarma fan and had their Chicken “Shawarma” Sandwich that comes with a side of sumac pita chips. It’s by far my favorite shawarma ever eaten. And I’ve eaten my fair share all across the U.S. The sumac pita chips are insanely good too. Take them to-go if you’re full. They aren’t meant to be wasted.
Seasonal Salad with Falafels – holy wow…there are pom seeds in there too.
Chicken “Shawarma” Sandwich – literally the very best I’ve ever eaten.
From banh mi, to pho, to potstickers and VIETNAMESE TOTS, SitLo is becoming a regular spot for those moments I want a hearty sandwich aka BANH MI.
I have to go back and try the tots, potstickers and their shaking beef, but I’m not worried, there is plenty of opportunities for me to do so.
Stand-out right now is the grilled chicken banh mi. It’s really good. And that french baguette is woah!
Grilled Chicken Banh Mi
There are several other restaurants at Finn Hall which I have yet to visit…will keep you posted here as I do!
A visit to this neighborhood dinette is a must! La Lucha is a homage to Ford Fry’s childhood visits to the San Jacinto Inn, famous for their fried chicken and Gulf seafood! Of course, this Southern gal had OYSTERS, DEVILED EGGS WITH FRIED SHRIMP and FRIED CHICKEN AND A BISCUIT!
These Murder Point oysters were perfection! Go for happy hour and take advantage of the discount!
I absolutely love Deviled Eggs and the when I saw they have fried shrimp, this was a no-brainer choice
If ever there was a perfectly cooked piece of FRIED CHICKEN, La Lucha has it! And enjoy a biscuit or two. And get all the sauces!
Well, that’s it for my roundup of Houston eats but this is going to be a growing list given I have several more months there and therefore several more dining experiences in my future! If you have recommendations for places I MUST visit, comment below please.
To state that I’m excited about attending the annual HOU vs ATX Throwdown next year is an understatement. I’m really not big into BBQ – well, I can’t eat as much as a true fan does – but I do love meeting the pitmasters, oogling over the meat and dining with friends and fellow fans!
This year, the throwdown was in Austin at Friends & Allies Brewing back parking lot. If you’ve ever been to a BBQ Festival, you know the lines can get long and the crowd can get wild, but the setup of this one was perfect. The lines were manageable, you could mingle and observe what was cooking at each spot, and the weather for the event was absolutely perfect. Pair it with a delicious brew from Friends & Allies, and you have a Sunday made in heaven!
Here are some photos from the unique BBQ bites we had at the event:
If you can’t wait till the next throwdown between ATX and HOU around this time next year, then get your tickets for the HOU BBQ Festival on April 14th now!
I was invited in by Artista Rosso for a blogger’s brunch preview before the official launch of Brunch service on 12/1. I’m going to be a frequent brunch-er there because HELLO NUTELLA BAR!
If you’ve been to the space at Lamar Union, previously Delicious, the newly renovated spot features a market for the neighboring residents, a coffee bar, an extensive wine selection, a full draught beer selection and tons of grab-and-go items. They’ve also obviously got a kitchen and are whipping out amazing Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Happy Hour and Brunch!
As you can tell from the pictures below, we had a feast! I’ll definitely be visiting again very soon because they’ve got crepes (made to order with lots of nutella!), cannolis (fill them with goodness), and all kinds of other super addictive delicious items that I’m a fan of.
Next time you’re looking for a brunch spot, head on over to Lamar Union and dine at Artista Rosso. Treat yo self!
If you didn’t know, now you do! Wild Chix & Waffles is set to re-open on Tuesday, December 11th with a renovated space and a 100% #glutenfree menu! Yes, you heard that right.
The Wild Chix & Waffles team hosted the Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance for our monthly Happy Hour and Holiday Party and had the great pleasure of previewing tons from their new menu.
I mean, how beautiful is their space?
I was too busy socializing and eating to take a ton of pics, but I did manage to get a few of some of the yums!
To recap: They’re re-opening to the public Tuesday, December 11th and their menu is 100% gluten free. They’ve got tons of savory waffles, sweet waffles, salads, waffle fries, truffle mac & cheese, matcha, lattes, mimosas, sangria, etc. (basically everything you need and want)!
It’s Restaurant Week in Houston the whole month of August and since I travel there for work quite a bit, we decided to try out a spot included on the lineup that we wouldn’t typically go to.
Enter Rise n2, the most beautiful restaurant I’ve been in to date. Located off of Post Oak and San Felipe, this gorgeous French restaurant had me swooning not only for the soufflés but the decor and the kitchen accessories all available for purchase!
Our table setting – love the napkins and the menu that’s a map!
I started off with the French White Wine Flight because French wines are up there on my list of faves. They also brought out some bread which we had a guillotine looking bread cutter to slice the bread – “off with her bread” hehe.
You MUST order some fromage (cheese) from the Cheese Carriage – it’s such a fun experience to watch them make your cheeses of choice into beautiful flowers and see your cheese plate come to life. We tried so many cheeses that we wouldn’t have tried before.
The Cheese cart!
Our pretty plate of cheese!
Our 1st courses on the Restaurant Week menu were the Rise Salad and the Marshmallow Soup. The Rise Salad was so simple and flavorful – really really good!
The Marshmallow Soup was a carrot and tomato bisque with a goat cheese marshmallow – amazing creation!
Next up, our soufflés! I ordered the Truffle Infused Mushroom and my friend ordered the Jambon & Gruyere. Both were decadent, rich and absolutely divine!
So beautifully plated and perfectly airy!
Bananas Foster Soufflé
And lastly, our dessert soufflés – Grand Marnier and Bananas Foster – wowzas! We finished these – too good to waste.
I can’t wait to go back and take all of my friends. It’s seriously the most magical place and the food, decor, staff and ambiance were outstanding!
Mediterranean food is by far my favorite cuisine and while some of my favorite spots to indulge in all things Shwarma, Kubideh, Tabouleh and Hummus are in Houston, when I heard fast-casual Cava was headed to Austin from the DC area, I stalked their page everyday for the news!
Enter the healthiest, most welcoming, beautiful Greek & Mediterranean casual modern restaurant!
Their location off Guadalupe aka The Drag has a beautiful patio with Will Bryantz artwork all over the walls making for tons of InstaWorthy shots!
Customized a Grains and Greens bowl with falafel and grilled meatballs
The entire spread with their housemade watermelon mint juice and strawberry citrus
A Grains and Greens bowl with falafel and chicken and a raspberry lime Spindrift
Pita with spicy lamb meatballs!
They have quite the selection of juices and teas – I really enjoyed the Watermelon Mint!
They’re now open in Westlake and coming soon to downtown #ATX off of 6th and Congress very soon!
Try everything, feel good about what you eat, and enjoy the vibes!
TFW you receive an invite to an event at Lenoir hosted by Kodiak Cakes on your birthday, you shift around brunch plans and gooooooooooooooo!
We started off the brunch out in the wine garden on a beautiful Saturday morning and nibbled on some Kodiak Donut Holes with Calamondin Marmalade, Smoked Fish Salad, and a Lenoir Pullman while sipping on some coffee!
They’re laughing with me not at me 🙂 Rachel, Monique and Kelsey – aren’t they adorbs?
Smoked Fish Salad
We then moved on in to Lenoir’s main space – it’s by far one of my most favorite spots to dine. Super romantic, cute, French-vibes and just adorable!
That chandelier though!
Our table so cutely setup with fresh flowers!
We nommed on so many yummies made with Kodiak Cakes’ products:
Strawberry Pistachio Granola Parfait – I loved the yogurt – kinda like greek but not greek!
Next up, the roasted beet crepe – wowzas, I loved how savory and satisfying it was. And come on, I am a beet-lover!
I present to you the Kodiak Waffle and Smoked Fried Chicken – what an amazing pairing!
Last but not least, the Kodiak Brownie with whipped creme fraiche was delightful! I really enjoyed the brownie and the face that it wasn’t too sweet!
All in all, a wonderful experience with my fellow foodies! I can’t wait to try out more of Kodiak’s products at home as I test out some creations with their ingredients! Thanks to Lenoir for the gorgeous backdrop and Kodiak Cakes for ringing in another year of my life with me 🙂
This guide to the Best of East Austin Restaurants is part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s 2019 City Guide. #atxbesteats
Updated February 2019
If you like looking at maps to find the locations and plan a walk, bike ride, rideshare, etc. then you’re going to love the map I’ve embedded into this post! If you expand it to full screen, you can click on a restaurant in the listing and it’ll show you the pin on the map as well as some vertical videos and food or drink pics of mine (or others’ photos with credit given in the blog post) to get you drooling! Call or check out a restaurant’s website simply by clicking in the map. Go ahead, take a look, play a bit, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
*All pictures in the map are the same as those you see in this post. See captions of pictures for appropriate credit if they aren’t mine.
I’ve been living and dining in East Austin for 4 years now, and boy has the food scene expanded over time! We’ve seen some really great places come and go ;( And tons of spots have stuck around through all the East Austin revitalization going on.
Nonetheless, I’m sure you’ve dined on the EastSide at least once even if you don’t live in this part of town! It’s become quite the mecca for unique culinary experiences and here are some of the spots I recommend. Again, this is not meant to be an all-inclusive list since there are probably more restaurants than meals 🙂 I also haven’t made my way out to every East Austin restaurant quite yet.
Hill Country Cuisine
If you’ve asked me any time since August, “what’s your favorite restaurant right now?” my response has been, “Pitchfork Pretty.” I love the A-frame design, bright chalet feel and everything I’ve ever eaten or sipped on there.
My recommendations: To name a few for dinner — Yuca Dumplings, Fried Chicken, Buckwheat Cornbread, Oysters
Brunch — All of the bagel sandwiches! They make their own bagels, y’all.
So I dine here a lot. Brunch on Sundays, dinner on a weeknight, oh and a super dope Happy Hour (all night on Thursdays)! Alot of the staff have been there since they opened and I like to feel like it’s my home away from home.
If you want high quality seafood and Jacoby’s Ranch beef mixed in with a Mexican/ATX-Mex feel, this is your place!
My recommendations: Just a few of my faves — Tostaditas, Tuna Tostadas, Ceviche Mixto, Queso, Street Sprouts, Picadillo Tacos. For drank — FroMo, 50/50, Grizz Mizz, Bad Girl Ri Ri.
Can’t pass up their Sunday Brunch Buffet!
Parking: Parking on the street on Tillery or 2nd. Also, valet.
TexMex is fine and all and usually is what you’ll find more of around town, but the Eastside is blessed with Licha’s and if you love sopecitos, tinga de pollo and cochinita pibil as much as we do, this is your spot for authentic Interior Mexican fare! They’ve got an incredible happy hour – probably one of the best in town, IMO!
My Recommendations: Ceviche, Arroz con Huitlachoche, Tinga de Pollo, Cochinita Pibil Tlacoyos
Fairly new to the Mueller development, Stella Public House focuses on “farm to pizza.” If you dine there, be sure to get one of their Texas-sourced artisan wood-fired pizzas! They have way more than that, from fresh salads, to a wonderful brunch menu (with things other than pizza)!
Stop on by for happy hour daily from 4-6:30PM and try out tons of incredible dishes at happy hour pricing. Their Margherita pizza is only $5 during happy hour!
My recommendations: Dinner — Wild mushroom mac & cheese, Bee Sting pizza, Proscuitto Arugula pizza
Brunch –Root Hash, Egg Panino
Parking: Street parking and validated parking in the garage next to the Alamo Drafthouse
It took me ages to get to Intero but I’m so glad I did. They focus on the whole animal in their Italian creations and save room for some of the tastiest chocolates I’ve gotten my hands on. Chef Ian and Chocolatier Krystal are a power couple in the restaurant and out and about. They’re married and the sweetest. With Brunch service as a new addition to their offering, you really need to dine there asap and enjoy their culinary creations. The restaurant is absolutely gorgeous as well!
My recommendations: Gnocchi, Spaghettini, Burrata, Risotto
Parking: They have a parking lot and there is also street parking in the area
When Native Italian bring Italian Sandwiches to the Eastside, you run! This low-key, casual, cafe vibes spot at The Arnold, should be on your line up for amazing paninis (the real kind, not the panini maker kind), mozzarella boards, boards, and vibrant fresh salads. Oh and if you’re a Soccer fan, they’ve got several TV’s broadcasting games!
My Recommendations: Hot Soppressata, Fontina, Roasted Peppers, Basil on Ciabatta – legit Italian sandwich, y’all! Enjoy with a Kale, Burrata, Mango, Endive, Turnip, Radish, Hazelnut, Mint and Lime.
They’re known for their mozzarella boards and boards with meat and cheese in general. I’ll be going back for these!
If you’re needing a libation, they have Italian wines, beer, and coffee of course.
Since they’re open daily from 11-9PM, you have plenty of opportunities to try out the entire menu.
Parking: Street parking and validated parking in the garage (bring your ticket in)
Uh, if you love biscuits and fried chicken, a visit to Bird Bird Biscuit is an absolute must! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been. They’ve got sausage, bacon, and just little biscuit dough bites too – if you don’t like fried chicken. Their biscuits remind me of the ones I ate growing up in Southern Louisiana. Quite often, you’ll find a line at the joint – don’t let it scare you…it moves fast!
My Recommendations: Queen Beak, Dough Dough Bites
Parking: A few spots up front and then street parking
Takes reservations: Not that kind of place. Order at the counter and grab a seat or take to-go
The fact that we have restaurants that are zero waste is yet another reason Austin has one of the best culinary scenes in the country. Brewer’s Table brews their own beer and uses the malts, hops, grains from the brewing process in their culinary creations. How amazing is that?!
Check out their Lager Garden for an exclusive menu including sandwiches, sides and brews. Stop on by for brunch on the weekends and enjoy pancakes, breakfast hash, deviled eggs and other brunch staples! They’ve got mimosas, friends!
My Recommendations: Get The Feast! It easily serves 3 if you start with an app or two
Ok, so this is a bar with an impressive menu, so it deserves a spot on this list. My husband and I frequent it for a casual spot to grab a drink and enjoy a quick bite usually on our way to see a band at the Historic Scoot Inn.
My Recommendations: Cheese or Charcuterie boards, Meze (99% of the time, I order this), Frito Pie (life-changing), Roasted Beet Sandwich, Tuna Melt (my husband’s obsession). If you love a spiced saltine, order the Social Crackers – eat them alone or with the meze or cheese board.
Parking: They have a lot and there is street parking off of 5th
I was lucky enough to be invited for Sunday Funday Brunch fairly soon after the opening of RKB, and I was blown away by the attention to detail on their food! They’ve been open on East 6th for over a year now, and Chef Dom always keeps the menu seasonal and fresh, Alana knocks it out of the park with amazing cocktail creations, and LisaMarie is the most amazing Operations Director I’ve ever encountered. Overall, quite the team!
My Recommendations: Dinner — Chicken Lollipops (asian garlic, dry rub, thai green curry), Chili Fries (add avocado), RKB Burger, Fries, Sweet Potato Tots,
I can’t remember my first time grabbing a brioche or torta from ADP, but it’s been a frequented spot for us the last 3 years. Grab a spot out front on a nice day, or order and get your food brought to you while sipping on a drink at The Wheel.
My Recommendations: Jalapeno Hushpuppies ALWAYS, The Lucy Tacos, Baby Buffalo, Mini Tuxedo, Pineapple Express Tacos, Thai Salad, Medi Salad, Lavender Lemonade
Address: 1900 E. MLK Jr. Blvd. and 4620 E. Cesar Chavez St. Bldg. 1
Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile
One of the first ranch-to-table restaurant in Austin, Jacoby’s always impresses with the tastiest beef and the most beautiful views of the Colorado River. Scoot on over to the Mercantile and buy yourself a little something while you’re there too. I always do 🙂
My Recommendations: Dinner — Deviled Eggs, Cheeseburger, Chicken Fried Steak, Mac & Cheese, Brussels Sprouts, Wood Roasted Chicken
Where my Odd Duck lovers at? Sour Duck is their fast-casual sister restaurant on the Eastside and it needs to be on your list asap.
Their dishes are so creative and rarely the same day-to-day. Focusing on smoked meats, they’ve got one of our favorite burgers in town! And if you enjoy craft beer and cocktails, they’ve got reasonably priced draft beers and cocktails on tap.
Their patio and outdoor area is one of my favorites in town and it’s kid-friendly too!
My Recommendations: Burger, Dirty Fried Rice. The menu changes regularly but the burger is always on and you’ve gotta order one (or else)
Parking: Parking lot and street parking
Takes reservations: No, not needed. You order at the counter/bar and grab a seat
Address: 1814 E. MLK Jr. Blvd
Micklethwait Craft Meats
Included on the Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas and well-deserving of the list, Micklethwait has become one of our go-to spots when we want BBQ without a super long wait. I personally love their Brisket Frito Pie the most and will keep going back for it!
My Recommendations: Brisket Frito Pie, Smoked Chicken, Brisket, Sausage, Beef rib, Jalapeno-cheese grits, buttermilk pie (leave room for it)
No “Best Of BBQ” or Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas list could ever be complete without including Franklin! I think it’s worth standing in line at least once in your life. Don’t both even dreaming of cutting the line or joining a group of friends who have been waiting a while, as you’ll get a stare-down like no other and probably a talking-to! Pro Tip – if you know you’re going to eat at least $75 worth, you can pre-order and pick it up.
My Recommendations: Brisket, Ribs, Pulled Pork, Potato Salad, Bourbon Banana Pie
Parking: Parking nearby
Takes reservations: Pre-order at least $75 worth of BBQ and you can just pick it up; otherwise, you’re waiting in line as they don’t take reservations.
Now you can get La Barbecue inside the Quickie Pickie off E. Cesar Chavez. Be sure to prepare to wait in line but at least part of the line is inside! And yes, it’s on the Top 50 BBQ Joints in Texas list!
My Recommendations: Brisket, Pork Ribs, Chipotle Sausage, El Sancho, La Frito Loco
Parking: Parking lot and street parking
Takes reservations: Nope, you gotta wait in line or call ahead 3 days in advance and pre-order
While this might not be your typical BBQ spot, they pride themselves in their menu which features their own BBQ onsite. The space is absolutely beautiful with earth tones and there is a huge rooftop area with a bar and epic views of the sunset. Plan to happy hour, brunch and dine here!
Perhaps I love this place because it’s walking distance from my house or maybe because one of the owners is a fellow Texas Ex! Either way, you’ve gotta drop by either of their locations and try out some Texas BBQ!
My Recommendations: Brisket, Brisket Frito Pie, Pulled Pork, Banana Pudding
Parking: Nearby and street parking near the 11th St. location
I always feel so comfortable and as if I’m on vacation when I dine at Blue Dahlia. If you love all things tartine, meat and cheese boards, salads, and entrees like meatloaf, Coq au Vin Blanc, then Blue Dahlia is your spot!
My Recommendations: Meat Board (50% off during happy hour), Egg Salad Tartine, Mesclun Greens Salad, Hummus Tartine, Smoked Salmon Tartine, Egg White Frittato, Macarons (get some to-go!)
Old Thousand serves up some impressive Chinese classics with a modern twist – take for instance the Brisket Fried Rice! So satisfying with the addition of Micklethwait’s brisket, this is a craveable dish that stands alone or as a supplement to some Orange Chicken or Kung Pao Cauliflower!
My Recommendations: Just a few — Brisket Fried Rice, Chongqing Chicken, Kung Pao Cauliflower, OT Dan Dan, and Cumin Beef. Stop in for Lucky Time Monday-Friday from 5-6:30PM for a $5 menu of select food and drinks.
Parking: Street parking and a free parking lot behind the building
Why did it take us so long to to get a restaurant that serves dumplings and authentic Chinese dishes on the Eastside? When I put two and two together (a new building coming up with awesome art and an Eater Austin article announcing Sweet Chive’s upcoming soft opening), I scheduled a dinner date with a girlfriend and got there as soon as I could.
The family behind Sweet Chive aren’t new to the restaurant business. Chef Pai has China Cafe, Dragon Gate and Peony Asian Cuisine under her belt.
My Recommendations: Beef Noodle Soup, BonBon Chicken, Pan Fried Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes
Parking: Parking lot and street parking
Takes reservations: No, this is a counter-service restaurant
Now you can nom on all things Sa-Ten at 2 locations! The original and the location I first devoured their yummy toasts, yakitori and katsu was at the Canopy off of Springdale Rd. If you enjoy their attention to the coffee ritual or traditional eats, Sa-Ten should be on your list.
My Recommendations: Yakitori Bowl, Chicken Katsu plate with kale salad and macaroni fuji salad, Potato Wedges with Cilantro Sauce, Cold Chicken Katsu, Chicken Katsu Curry, Yasai Toast, Nori Tama Toast, Egg Bacon and Sausage Toast
Parking: Shared lot with The Canopy
Takes reservations: Order at counter and grab a seat
Address: 916 Springdale Rd., Bldg 3 Suite 101 and 4917 Airport Blvd.
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches
These aren’t your average kolaches! Imagine Micklethwait’s brisket and sausage inside a housemade kolache. Well, you don’t have to just dream about it because you can walk on in to Batch morning or night and get you some!
My Recommendations: Sausage Jalapeno & Cheese, Brisket Pickle & Swiss, Pepperoni Pizza, Jalapeno & Cheese, PB&J. They have an awesome selection of beer on draft and several cans to grab and go or enjoy on site (with a corkage fee).
Parking: Parking lot
Takes reservations: Just walk on in and order at the counter and grab a spot inside, out on the beautiful backyard or take it to-go
I am pretty familiar with Ayurveda as I grew up practicing some of it in my household when one of us experienced an illness. I also learned more about it a couple of years ago during my coursework as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. And then, low and behold, Curcuma, an Ayurvedic focused food trailer joined the Austin scene! It’s a 100% plant-based menu. Go on in and meet the owner, Rachel. Try all of her yummy creations. You’ll feel good knowing your eating healthy and nourishing your body in the way that feels right for you. Take home a few jars of Golden Paste while you’re there for all your at-home golden latte, smoothie, oats needs!
My Recommendations: Noms — Sweet potato toasts, Spirulina Pesto Bowl, Raw Pecan Tacos, Kitchari Bowl
Drink — Reishi Mocha, Golden Mylk, Sexy Joe
Parking: It’s part of a Food Trailer Park so there is plenty of parking in the lot
Takes reservations: Order at the window or call ahead
I quite literally could eat at Bento Picnic everyday. Bento = Japanese for lunchbox. If you’ve never tried a bento box, imagine a dish with compartments and different textures, colors and flavors all coming together for a delish meal. Bento Picnic focuses on 5 tastes, colors and elements to engage the senses!
They’ve got something for everyone with veggie, vegan, and gf options. They also travel nicely if you like your meals prepped for you ahead of time, like me!
My Recommendations: Mushroom garden bento, Japanese cauliflower curry bowl, salmon noodle bowl
Parking: There are a few spots in the back and plenty of street parking
Takes reservations: None needed. You can order ahead of time online as well.
If you love Northern Thai street food, then DeeDee is your jam! Their new location off Pedernales and E. 6th is a great spot to order at the truck, grab a spot in the “yard” and chill (cool down from the spicy yummy thai dishes).
My Recommendations: Larb Moo (this is SPICY), Om Gai, Som Tum, Mango & Sticky Rice
Parking: Street nearby
Takes reservations: Order at the trailer or call ahead
This new addition to the Mueller area is a nice spot for some authentic poke boxes and the first ever pokecado toasts! They have a miso soup dispenser as well. Oh, and be sure to save room for some Dole Whip or a float.
My Recommendations: They’ve got generous portions and the poke box and pokecado toasts are fully customizable. You get 4 scoops of protein (make them all the same or try a scoop of each). Be sure to get a scoop of spicy crab salad!
When you have the best Peruvian Cebiche on a recent trip and then you hear a Peruvian restaurant with a Cebiche Bar shows up on the Eastside, you go! It’s such a beautiful space with a huge covered patio to enjoy some cocktails and apps!
My Recommendations: Happy Hour — Jalea De Calamari, Yuquitas
Drink — Rose Sangria, Pisco Punch, Lima Gin & Tonic
Dinner — Tiradito Divorciado, Vegetales a la Brasa
So, what do you think? So much food to start trying, haha! What are you waiting for?! But seriously, I hope you enjoy dining at some of my favorite restaurants on the Eastside. Feel free to comment below if you need more recommendations.
Thanks for reading!
Don’t see your favorite on the list? Let me know in a comment below.
My new and improved “Denver Dining Guide” with the Vessel map is here! I’ve added Boulder to the guide as well. Hope it’s super helpful in you planning your foodie (and brewery) adventures with my pics!
Planning a trip to Denver and Boulder and want to know where to eat? Did you know the food scene in Denver is bumpin?!
Here I am sharing my most recent trips to Denver and Boulder and all the eats and drank I enjoyed! And keep in mind, this is just scratching the surface —
Snooze, An A.M. Eatery
Snooze, An A.M. Eatery was born in Denver back in 2006 – we in Austin only got our first bite of Snooze a little over a year ago! I usually prefer to eat at the Denver locations only for authenticity’s sake 🙂
Their menu can be a bit intimidating but a few of my favorites are their boozy coffee drinks, the hashbrown cake, pancakes, and the benny duo. If you’re feeling “healthy,” they have tons of options like the egg white scramble I enjoyed here with a side of bacon (because their bacon is perfectly crispy just like I like it):
They always have some fun syrups to add to your coffee drink of choice. Being that it’s fall, I got the Pumpkin Spice because #basic:
You can always get a pancake flight if you don’t want to commit to any one pancake! You can do the same with the Benny Duo (pick two benedicts)!
We didn’t want a flight – just a bite or two or three of the Chocolate Chip Pancake with Strawberries on top:
Pro Tip: You’ll have to wait at many of Snooze’s locations so go early or closer to closing time.
I don’t typically eat donuts but when I go on vacation, I tend to crave them. Especially the donut holes at Jelly Cafe! Just as Snooze has a wait for a table, so does Jelly Cafe. That’s the whole point of the Donut Holes – order you a bunch of them to hold you over until it’s time to get your grub on.
We totally just ran across Carbon Cafe in LoHi and fell in love with the ambiance, music, plethora of seating, drinks (coffee, beer, wine, booze), breakfast hashes, toasts, sandwiches, Wu Tang Tots and Doughnuts from next door neighbor, Habit Doughnut Dispensary. Pretty much fell in love with Carbon Cafe 🙂
The Mushroom Avocado Toast on 7-grain bread was so good I ate it two days in a row (not ashamed of it)!
The latte in the picture is HONEY LAVENDER y’all! They have at least 10 different super creative syrups available for all your latte spiking needs.
And leave room for a doughnut (minis available at Carbon) or full-size next door at Habit Doughnut Dispensary. I couldn’t resist the pretty pink Raspberry White Chocolate Doughnut. And the doughnut itself is Brioche! NOM!
We had no room for the Wu Tang Tots but they’re totally customizeable – think of them like making your own nachos!
On visit # 4 (I think), I had the Herbivore – soooo good
Everytime I go to Boulder, I spend hours at Wonder! The aesthetics, juices, smoothies, golden lattes, toasts, EVERYTHING – I’m obsessed.
For those of you who can work remote, they’ve got you covered with power outlets. Plenty of seating indoors too. Really, truly love the vibes at Wonder and I know you will too.
Conveniently located on Pearl Street – it’s such a magical place and I get so excited just at the thought of going there.
I love to support community-focused restaurants and when I came across Root Down, I was intrigued by everything they encompass. They use sustainability practices such as growing their own 4,000 sqft garden providing about 20% of their own seasonal produce, sourcing up to 50% of their ingredients locally, using only certified humane animal proteins, composting and recycling, etc. So much goodness in one neighborhood-centric restaurant!
I was excited to try all of their fresh ingredients and my bestie is vegetarian, so Root Down seemed to be the natural place to fill our tummies.
No brunch is complete without a cocktail right? 🙂 I enjoyed the special cocktail of the day, Down the Rabbit Hole, which was made from fresh carrot juice, Gin, lemon juice and thyme. It was super refreshing and absolutely delicious. And pretty too, right?
My best friend ordered the Masala Tofu Scramble but subbed eggs for the tofu. I ordered the Roasted Beet Salad with cured salmon on the side. The Masala eggs tasted just like my Mom’s Indian breakfast dish! And the roasted beets (golden and red) was divine! Loved the salmon on the side for some added protein (although the salad was big enough that I could have gone without the protein).
We had no room for dessert but I bet we would have loved it all! Oh and they have bottomless mimosas for brunch on the weekends – and don’t even think about getting in your car and driving after that – they won’t let you! 🙂
Beast + Bottle
What a cute little spot very close to our AirBnB in Capitol Hill. I quickly glanced at Beast + Botttle’s menu on OpenTable and they had a spot at 11:30, so we headed straight there.
Really enjoyed the Fish Board and Shakshuka (pictured below). Highly recommend dining here!
West End Tavern
Pearl St. has a ton of spots that are perfect for enjoying happy hour while doing some people watching! One of these gems we frequent is the West End Tavern. The bartenders are always friendly and chatty and we’ve enjoyed the food we’ve eaten there everytime.
I’m a huge fan of happy hour pricing – why pay full price when you can pay almost half?!
West End Tavern has a fantastic Happy Hour M-F 3:00-6:00PM and a Late Night Happy Hour Thurs-Sat from 9:00-11:00PM. With $5 house wines, $5 select cocktails, $4 select drafts, and quite a few other deals, you can’t go wrong here!
A long time favorite of mine for the front patio seats and epic happy hour is The Kitchen. Their happy hour runs daily from 2:00-5:00PM. Pricing is epic – some apps are between $4-8, $8-14 meals, $6 wine, and $4 beer! Grab you some oysters and a glass of vino – or some garlic fries and vino – who am I to judge?
I ate at Linger back in 2014 on my first visit to Denver with my husband and we were so blown away by the diversity of the menu as well as the beautiful location and views from this LoHi spot! The plates are meant to be shared and the menu spans the continents and various street food from each.
Because I loved the grub so much 3 years ago, we made reservations for dinner on my bestie trip!
You’ll get a bowl of popcorn upon arriving, so take that into account. It’s seasoned with cumin, paprika and a few other spices and I found myself stuffing my face with them even before we ordered. It’s kinda like chips and salsa, if you know what I mean – SO ADDICTIVE!
We ordered the sweet potato waffle fries (because I order fries always), Dahi Puri “Perfect Bites”, Pad Thai, Korean Fried Chicken Bao, and Tom Yum Soup. My favorite was the Dahi Puri mostly because it reminded me of my Mom’s except honestly (don’t tell her I said this), these were the best I’ve ever had. They didn’t crumble in my hand before I popped one in my mouth.
It’s upstairs right next to Little Man Ice Cream in LoHi and has some pretty epic views of Denver at sunset and night! Go up to the rooftop if you enjoy the breeze and an outdoor view of the city. It’s really breathtaking!
Make a reservation at El Five as soon as you decide to visit Denver. Book a table for sunset on the west side of the restaurant. Thank me later 🙂
The restaurant is HAUT! Up on the 5th floor in LoHi (around the corner from Linger), this spot is reminiscent of a club in Vegas or NYC.
Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy the best views of downtown Denver. I think the views at night under a full moon was pretty dope – I can’t imagine the view at sunset!
So the menu is Mediterranean Tapas – I’m drooling just thinking of it honestly. They feature food and flavors from 10 counties in the Mediterranean.
We enjoyed the Cauliflower Yuka, Chicken Kofta, Charred Baba Ganoush, and the Green Sofrito Paella. Do not leave the restaurant without having dessert – especially the Dragees (dark chocolate hazelnuts dusted in powdered sugar). Trust me, they’re worth it.
Save the paella for the next morning and have it for breakfast – that’s what I did. It’s loaded with superfoods and guaranteed to satisfy your tastebuds.
If you love wine like I do, then get a glass. They have quite the selection. Cocktails looked really good too.
Sorry in advance for the weirdly lit pics – it was dark in the restaurant and I did my best 🙂
Alpine Dog Brewing
Spotted Alpine Dog when we were leaving the Ogden Theater to buy tickets to a show.
Yet another reason I love Denver – the sheer number of craft breweries and microbreweries that you’d never know about unless you walked by them!
I liked the natural lighting, opened windows (felt great on a 80-degree day), good selection of craft brews at Alpine Dog.
I tried the “It’s Pink” raspberry sour. Not too sour/tart, with just the right amount of flavor. Went down smooth! Friendly staff and lots of seating too!
Cerebral Brewing was on my list for ages and we finally made it there this trip. If you like the science behind beer, this is the spot for you. If you get a flight, they’ll pour your beer into beakers. It’s a really cool spot and their logo is awesome!
I overheard everyone ordering the Flaming Dragon, so of course, I ordered it to avoid FOMO! It’s a sour with dragonfruit, lime, ginger and lactose – didn’t make me pucker. Super smooth and having ginger in a beer (other than ginger beer) was a new thing for me. I really liked it and would recommend it! We got a flight because we wanted to try all of their beers and were pleased with all of our choices!
When my hubs (then boyfriend) first visited Denver together 4 years ago, we hit up a TON of breweries but Epic Brewing was our favorite that trip. We went back to it this past weekend to remind ourselves on why we loved it and always recommend that our friends visit.
The brewery is down off Walnut where others are located. Clearly that area has come a long way since we were here 4 years ago – reminds me of what is going on in Austin right now. Condos and apartments being built all over, restaurants, breweries etc, popping up.
Epic’s taproom is bright, always bustling and they’ve got all of our favorites and so many more to try! If you’ve ever had any of the Brainless series, they rotate out new ones from this taproom.
We each got a flight because there were so many new brews we wanted to try. I had the Belgian Flight and Hubs got the Hoppy one.
When you’re in Boulder, or even Denver because that’s not far, visiting Avery Brewing should be a the top of your list! It’s about 5 miles from the main area of Boulder, but the drive there is beautiful and you get to experience sprawling land and farmland which I find refreshing.
The brewery is MASSIVE! There are 3 different tap areas for you to enjoy a few brews. I prefer the one on the first level because they have a beautiful outdoor patio there too and it feels very bright and open to me.
They’ve got the best food menu I’ve ever seen or experienced at a brewery! Please come hungry – portions are large and shareable.
Try as many of the beers as you want – they have nearly 100 on tap – and can be overwhelming BUT the folks working there are more than happy to suggest something you’d like!