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. 

Better Half Coffee & Cocktails

The rise of the all-day café trend makes sense: why pay rent on a space that’s only making money for part of the day? Better Half Coffee & Cocktails gets this concept clearly. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offering coffee and cocktail service all-day, with “Adult friendly" beverages and a kid and dog-friendly patio, they’ve got your needs covered all day. The breakfast sandwiches get hot reviews, and the reverse Happy Hour from 9 pm to close is a favorite with our Experts who get off work late and are looking for a bite and a drink. All in all, Better Half is a pretty great place to set up a base of operations, should you find yourself on a “working vacation” while in Austin. 

Odd Duck

Odd Duck gets its name from the Fleetwood “Mallard” trailer which owners and brothers Bryce and Dylan Gilmore converted into a mobile kitchen in 2009. Committed to purchasing their ingredients from local farmers and using a snout-to-tail approach with their meats, Odd Duck quickly became an Austin favorite and helped put the city on the map as a culinary destination. It has since expanded into a brick and mortar location on Lamar Street. Critically acclaimed Chef Bryce Gilmore is known to keep his menu engaging and seasonal, with dishes like Redfish Ceviche with Tiger's Milk, Olive, Squash Curry, and Chips, and Chicken Fried Fish Head with Fish-Bone Caramel Sauce, Melon, Chiles, and Herbs catching our experts’ attention. With a creative cocktail program, a commitment to featuring local drafts, and many Happy Hour specials, an afternoon at Odd Duck makes for a great hang.

Odd Duck
Hot Spot
Zilker, Austin
$$$, Happy Hour, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Modern, New American
10 Recommendations

Olamaie

With its commitment to using hyper-seasonal ingredients, and the belief that: “Conversations about food have offered paths to grasp bigger truths about race and identity, gender and ethnicity, subjugation and creativity. Today, Southern food serves as an American lingua franca,” Olamaie aims to elevate Southern Cuisine in Austin. Set in an elegant white house with a wrap-around porch, the interior is upscale but not pretentious. Although the menu is subject to frequent change due to seasonal availability, our experts say you can count on the Homestead Grist Mill Hush Puppies with Ham and Cheese Dip and Aigre Doux, the Rittenhouse Rye Brined Pork Chop, and the Hoppin' John to scratch those deep down soul food itches of yours. Offering a full bar with creative cocktails and a modest yet impressive wine list offering the best of California and Europe, we recommend you make an evening of it at Olamaie, and while you’re at it, reservations too.

Olamaie
Hot Spot
Downtown, Austin
$$$, Outdoor Seating, Full Bar, Southern / Soul
14 Recommendations
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