Austin Eats

nota bene:  I’ve expanded this post with input from a friend

As a once and always-in-spirit denizen of Austin, Texas, I’m often asked where to eat there. Below is a list of what I just sent to my friend Jonathan Tasini who will be there next week for a bloggers’ meeting:

Comment with your ideas and I’ll keep this post updated. Check back for updates.

First take note: Sixth Street is mostly fun for tourists and Frat Boys, not for food and music aficianados

If you want to wander, head to South Congress a few blocks below the river

Some of my favorite restaurants:

Guero’s — Fun place on hip South Congress Street, a Bill Clinton fave for Tex Mex

(If you go to Guero’s for dinner also check out the Continental Club across the street for music

El Sol Y La Luna — Unpretentious small Tex-Mex, Central American restaurant on South Congress, good for lunch. I love this place

The Shady Grove: on the grounds of an old trailer park on Barton Springs Road; pick a table outside, hang out, very Austin, a good place to go with friends; hippie, cowboy and some Mexican food:

Changos — Grab some fabulous fish tacos on the go (I never miss this on a trip)

Fonda San Miguel — Fancy Mexican; a beautiful restaurant though a little snooty; this is gourmet Mex not Tex Mex

Cisco’s: on the east (read black and Hispanic) side of town, open only for breakfast and lunch, the most authentic place on this list; if you haven’t gotten them elsewhere for breakfast, get the migas

Jeffrey’s impress your date — High end fusion / nouvel cuisine;

The Salt Lick
Head out of town for world-famous BBQ:

The Oasis out on Lake Travis — For the fabulous view, not necessarily the food; worth the trip to get a sense of the Hill Country

Other restaurants recommended by my buddy Beth Myler:

Uchi-sushi on s. lamar

Mars-now on s. congress

Vespaio-great italian, good bar on s. congress

home slice pizza-s. congress

boticelli‘s-italian w/beer garden on s. congress

“Can you tell I spend a lot of time on S. Congress???” asks Beth

Las Manitas-downtown [also one of my favorites, where all the leftie politicos go for brunch or lunch – but I heard it may be going out of business]

ZTejas-W. 6th

Galaxy Cafe-cheap and healthy West Lynn+11th

Zocalo-healthy mexican-next to Jeffreys on West Lynn

Chez Nous-downtown, french

My favorite shopping:

Moxie and the Compound

Neiman’s Last Call

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.


  1. My sister, whose palate was trained during graduate school in Montreal, eats at the East Side Cafe whenever she can afford it. On trips back home, I make a point of shopping and then eating at Central Market on Lamar–convenient to so many places and Texas-sized portions of memorable gelato!

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