Austin restaurants range from casual eateries that serve up quick and affordable dishes to upscale dining retreats where forward-thinking chefs are turning out some innovative and truly fine cuisine. Casual reigns supreme when it comes to dining in Austin, even at the more upscale eateries, so you won't likely need to have your suit pressed or your dress dry cleaned before you head out for a meal.
As is true in most Texas cities, the food in Austin often comes straight off the grill, with barbecue joints especially abundant in the general area. If you can't find a barbecue restaurant in Austin proper that suits your taste, a number of surrounding towns, such as Lockhart, offer some good options. The majority of the best Austin restaurants can be found Downtown, but the drive out to destinations such as Lockhart is well worth it when barbecue and beer is what you have a taste for.
The Downtown Austin restaurants offer plenty in the way of variety, and when hunger hits, the SoCo area to the immediate south of the Downtown core can also be a good place to go. In addition to a variety of stand alone eateries, the Downtown and SoCo Districts are also home to a number of enticing hotel restaurants, such as the award-winning restaurant that can be found at the Driskill Hotel. The Driskill enjoys a fine location in the 6th Street Entertainment District, and its restaurant is an ideal place to go when fine dining is Austin is the aim. The 6th Street Entertainment District boasts restaurants to fit all kinds of tastes and preferences, and it's also where some of the best bars and clubs can be found.
The best Downtown Austin restaurants aren't only found in the 6th Street Entertainment District. Over in the Warehouse District, for example, some of the best upscale Austin restaurants await. Down in SoCo, the cafes are especially popular congregating places, and in the morning hours, grabbing a pastry to go with your coffee and sitting down for some high-quality people watching can be a fun way to spend some time. If you're not in the mood for a pastry, you might grab some breakfast tacos. Regardless of the time of day, getting some good authentic Mexican cuisine won't be hard in the Austin region. This has a lot to do with the fact that Texas shares a border with Mexico.
The Downtown Austin restaurants offer something for everyone, and while meat dishes figure prominently on the various menus, vegetarians will be happy to know that they aren't left out of the picture. Most of the local restaurants offer vegetarian dishes, and since the city is home to a good number of vegetarians and vegans, there are a bunch of purely vegetarian restaurants to choose from. As you might imagine, some of the Austin restaurants are unique establishments, while others are chain brand eateries that travelers are likely to be familiar with. If you're not sure where to go in terms of the unique restaurants, falling back on the chain brand restaurants is always an option.
Dining in Austin is a true joy, especially if you are willing to explore all of the available options. Interestingly enough, many Austin locals like to dine at grocery stores from time to time, as the city is home to some fantastic grocery stores that feature large dining areas. When a unique dining experience is the aim, enjoying a musical brunch is also worth considering, and should you be visiting the city between the months of March and November, getting a table at one of the restaurants near the Bat Bridge at dusk can make for an unforgettable dining experience. At dusk, tens of thousands of bats leave their roosts on the bottom of the bridge and head out on a feeding frenzy that makes for quite the spectacle.
When it comes to dining in Austin, getting some good food at a festival, taking advantage of room service at one of the more upscale hotels, and seeing what the cheap restaurants near the University of Texas at Austin campus have to offer are just some of the other options. It's all about variety when it comes to dining out in the Texas capital, and for those who like to cook, grilling out over an open fire while camping can be a blast. It is also possible to book a hotel room or a vacation rental that features its own kitchen facilities. The extended stay hotels are especially known for providing guests with private kitchens, and rare is the vacation rental that doesn't have a full kitchen.
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