Austin, Texas: the Live Music Capital, home to festivals like Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. The city vibrates with an incomparable energy. It’s delightfully hip and eco-conscious, a southern twang set to the tune of a hybrid urban landscape.
Aside from the music, football, and “Keeping Austin Weird,” it is a city passionate about food. Austin synthesizes traditional and contemporary cuisine, approaching its food with an innovative hand and a laid-back attitude to match. For the casual weekender or young transplant, this is FORM’s curated restaurant guide to Austin, Texas.
Fresa’s Chicken Al Carbon
1703 South First St.
Fresa’s Chicken Al Carbon presents a modern home for Mexican dishes with their wood-grilled chickens, humanely raised in Floresville, Texas. Try the achiote & citrus chicken or their Yucatan spice chicken for an alternate kick. Classically paired with rice, beans, and handmade tortillas, these meals will leave your stomach content and your heart warm. Lighter vegetables are readily available, from sweet potatoes to grilled cauliflower and brussels sprouts. Finally, don’t forget a helping of queso and guacamole to complete the experience.
An expansion of the original drive-thru Fresa’s on 9th & Lamar, this restaurant is located on South First Street, offering dine-in, happy hours, a to-go window, and onsite events. The colorful outdoor patio, with live music, assures that no meal or drink with friends will go uncelebrated.
Café No Sé
1603 South Congress Ave.
Located on Austin’s most popular street inside the boutique South Congress Hotel, Café No Sé blends an all-day café with California-Mediterranean cuisine. Chef Kendal Duque revitalized the menu in 2018, now awash with colorful flavors. The menu is cohesive and fresh, drawing inspiration from international gastronomy garnished with a contemporary twist. The décor mimics the farm-to-table ethos of Café No Sé—modern, laidback simplicity.
As you stroll down South Congress, stop by and enjoy a light pastry and coffee—there is an array from butter croissants to blueberry violet kouign amanns, a pastry from Brittany, France. For lunch, try the shredded kale salad with beet and horseradish gravlax. For dinner, the chilled cucumber soup and crawfish beignet will soothe every craving.
June’s All Day
1722 South Congress Ave.
Further up-street on South Congress, June’s All Day is an eclectic French café and wine bar. Named after its master sommelier June Rodil, the restaurant boasts an immaculate wine selection. French pastries, snacks, and little plates accompany their breakfast and dinner entrées. Enjoy a deliciously classic farm-fresh omelet or consider the mouth-watering bone marrow bolognese. Top your meal off with June’s marshmallow fluff brownie.
Ever sophisticated, June’s All Day makes elegance devilishly cool. June’s fuses French bistro with rock n’ roll—pink neon lights counter the black-and-white checkered floors, a Wurlitzer jukebox resides in the corner, and Saturday sports play on television screens. The French and American influences blend in perfect harmony to create a memorable experience no matter the time of day.