The Required: Austin

The Required: Austin

A definitive guide to Austin's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

October 14, 2019
The Required: Austin

The Required: Austin

A definitive guide to Austin's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

October 14, 2019

Hello, Austin. Welcome to The Required club.

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more–no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Franklin Barbeque

Standing in line at Franklin Barbecue, befriending other sweaty, hungry strangers while being tantalized by the smell of delicious smoked meats is an Austin rite of passage. You’re all in this together, and there’s a giddiness that builds, as you get closer to the prize. Consistently voted the best barbecue in Austin, James Beard Award-winning chef Aaron Franklin has mastered the craft of Texas-style barbecue: meats smoked slow and low over hardwood, in Franklin’s case, it’s usually Post Oak. Our experts say that when it’s finally your turn to order, it’s all about that brisket, with the ribs coming in as a close second. Our experts recommend eating a tiny snack before getting in line so you don’t get all hangry, and bringing a companion who’s into doing sharesies, so you can taste a bit of everything. Instead of saving room for dessert, take a slice of Bourbon Banana to go, for when you emerge from your happy meat coma some six to twenty-four hours later. 

Parkside

Chef Steven Cirkiel was an early champion of the farm-to-table movement in Austin, and in 2006, his restaurant, Parkside, was one of the first gastro-pubs to hit the local scene. Located on “The Dirty Sixth,” so named for its notorious college kid bar crawl nightlife, Parkside has become an Austin institution. Our experts say this is the place to cool off, with a raw seafood bar that features seasonal varietal oysters and ceviches, like the Hamachi with Orange Aguachile. For those in your group craving something that is more stick-to-your-ribs Texan style, the Fried Green Tomatoes and Barbecued Porkchop (can you say “Bacon Steak”?) are both musts. With a tequila forward cocktail list and several local beers, Parkside is the perfect place to get your evening started, or just chill between activities. 

Parkside
Hot Spot
Downtown, Austin
$$$, Seafood, Outdoor Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, New American
10 Recommendations

Uchi/ Uchiko

You may already recognize Expert Tyson Cole’s name and recommendations from ChefsFeed, as he is a talented Austin Chef whom we admire. His contemporary take on Japanese food has lead to the major success of his restaurants Uchi and Uchiko. The OG location, Uchi, has been hailed as one of the best sushi restaurants in the US. Our experts say the Hama with Ponzu and Thai Chili and the Wagyu Carpaccio with Fried Jalapeño and Cured Egg Yolk are iconic dishes that are not to be missed. Up the boulevard at Uchiko, the “child of Uchi," the focus is on “farmhouse Japanese” cuisine. Experts say Uchiko’s Short Rib with English Pea, Maitake, and Mint Gremolata has been known to bring tears of joy upon tasting, and that the Bok Choy with Cashew Butter, Tomato and Lime can bring you to your happy place. The remarkable thing about both locations is that there are plenty of creative selections for omnivores and vegetarians alike. Reservations at both Uchi and Uchiko are usually necessary and well worth it. 

Uchi
Hot Spot
Zilker, Austin
$$$$, Happy Hour, Sushi, Full Bar, Japanese
13 Recommendations
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