My dad’s go-to trick for finding good food in a new town is to Google restaurants in the area that have been featured on “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” I stopped watching the show after Guy trashed my favorite burger at our hometown diner (sorry, I’m loyal).

But I have to admit, he nailed the Austin food scene. Check out these restaurants for some yummy food, wallet-friendly prices, and quirky Austin atmosphere.

1. Casino El Camino


Photo courtesy of Anastacia Uriegas-Thrillist

The self-described “dark, cool, and twisted” bar serves up award-winning burgers and amped-up bar food (the Bloody Mary’s are actually insane). Come for dinner before hitting the scene on East 6th.

Must try: Verde chili fries, Pitts burger

2. Counter Cafe


Photo courtesy of Deborah Cannon-Austin American Statesman

Drive by their location on Lamar and you are bound to see a line of hipsters waiting to be seated. But with locally-sourced ingredients and hearty breakfast served all day, your meal will definitely be worth the wait.

Must try: Crab cakes & eggs, grilled pimento cheese sandwich

3. Foreign & Domestic


Photo courtesy of Michael Chu

F&D boasts $1 oysters on Monday and 25% off all bottles of wine on Thirsty Thursday, which is reason enough to give it a shot. The New-American menu is flawlessly executed for dinner and weekend breakfast.

Must try: Popovers (famous), Magret duck

4. Green Mesquite


Photo courtesy of LocalEats

Get awesome barbecue with a Cajun flair and without the long wait you will find at Franklin’s or Salt Lick. The Barton Springs location is a perfect stop on your way to or from Zilker Park.

Must try: Baby back ribs, catfish po-boy

5. Luke’s Inside Out


Photo courtesy of Roadtrippers

Austin is full of food trucks, but not many offer a brunch buffet on Sunday mornings. Their sandwiches made them famous, and they do not disappoint.

Must try: The cow (brisket Banh Mi), Mapo fish fingers

6. Magnolia Cafe


Photo by Paulina Lam

I have never met a hangover that Mag’s couldn’t cure. Dive into a shortstack of made-to-order pancakes or some delicious Tex-Mex and prepare to reach Nirvana.

Must try: Mag Mud queso, chocolate chip & banana pancakes

7. Noble Sandwich Co.


Photo courtesy of Meghan McCarron-Eater Austin

The chefs have been friends since culinary school, and as the name promises, they absolutely kill it with their sandwiches. Noble also has an exciting new and equally creative dinner menu, if you can’t make it up North in the middle of the day.

Must try: Duck pastrami reuben, knuckle sandwich

8. Taco Xpress


Photo courtesy of Food Network

Live music, full bar, and crazy-good tacos are an Austinite’s favorite things. Maria’s Taco Xpress has all three, making it a perfect stop for lunch in South Austin.

Must try: Chilaquiles, tacos al Pastor

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