Food & Drink

Chow Down in Weird: 13 Must-Try Unique Restaurants in Austin

Austin, Texas is known for its vibrant food scene, with a plethora of unique and delicious restaurants to choose from.

Whether you're a local or a visitor, there's always something new and exciting to try. From trendy food trucks to upscale dining experiences, Austin has it all.

What sets Austin apart from other cities is its dedication to locally sourced ingredients and creative culinary concepts.

The chefs and restaurateurs in Austin are constantly pushing the boundaries and experimenting with new flavors and techniques. This dedication to innovation has led to some truly amazing and unforgettable dining experiences.

If you're looking for something beyond the typical chain restaurants and fast food joints, you're in luck.

Austin is home to a wide variety of unique and one-of-a-kind restaurants that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. From delicious tacos to mouth-watering barbecue, Austin has something for everyone.

In this blog post, we'll be exploring some of the best unique restaurants in Austin. We'll take a closer look at the chefs and concepts behind these restaurants, as well as some of their standout dishes.

Whether you're a foodie looking for your next culinary adventure or just someone who loves good food, this guide will help you discover some of the best and most unique restaurants in Austin. So let's dive in and explore all that Austin's food scene has to offer!

1. Stella San Jac

Stella San Jac
310 E 5th St., Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Stella San Jac is a unique restaurant that offers modern Southern cuisine in a stylish and contemporary atmosphere.

With an open kitchen and a lounge for live acts, this restaurant is perfect for a night out with friends or a date night. The food is top-notch, with dishes like Texas Red Fish and chicken and waffles being standout items.

The servers are attentive and friendly, making the dining experience even more enjoyable. Although the prices may be a little bit on the higher side, the quality of the food and service make it worth it.

If you're looking for a unique dining experience in a modern Southern setting, Stella San Jac is definitely worth checking out.

2. Eddie V's Prime Seafood

Eddie V's Prime Seafood
301 E 5th St., Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Eddie V's Prime Seafood is an elegant fine-dining chain that offers an upscale steak and seafood menu.

With a cocktail lounge featuring live jazz, this restaurant creates an ambiance that is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.

The seafood and steak dishes are well-prepared and delicious, while the attentive staff ensures a memorable dining experience.

Though it is a bit pricey, the quality of the food and service make it worth the cost. For those looking for a unique dining experience, Eddie V's Prime Seafood is definitely worth a visit.

3. Moonshine Grill

Moonshine Grill
303 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Moonshine Grill is a unique restaurant that offers contemporary comfort food and cocktails in a historic home with a patio.

The extensive menu features upscale Southern comfort food and a variety of drinks, including an extensive wine and cocktail list. The atmosphere is cozy and welcoming, with friendly staff and good ambiance.

The restaurant can get crowded, but the service is very good. The portions are huge and can be shared.

The food is excellent, and there is something for everyone, including a kid's menu. The restaurant also caters for events. Moonshine Grill is a must-go place when visiting Austin.

4. Salty Sow

Salty Sow
1917 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722 (Google Maps)

Salty Sow is a cozy and intimate restaurant that offers snout-to-tail American dining. The restaurant serves braised, poached, and stewed dishes, along with cocktails and craft brews.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making the dining experience feel more like a night out with friends. The food is eclectic and unique, with dishes like Genuine Blackened Red Fish and Candied Pork Belly.

The restaurant also has a great happy hour, with must-try items like the Honey Dipped Chicken and Truffle Deviled Eggs. The atmosphere is laid-back and perfect for a date night or dinner with friends and family.

The only downside is the limited indoor seating and small bathrooms. Salty Sow is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a unique dining experience in a relaxed setting.

5. Red Ash

Red Ash
Colorado Tower, 303 Colorado St #200, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Red Ash is a must-visit Italian restaurant for foodies who love wood-fired specialties and handmade pasta. The rustic-modern ambiance and impeccable service make dining here an unforgettable experience.

The menu offers a wide variety of dishes made from quality ingredients, including blue crab pasta and wood-roasted meatballs.

The portions are generous, and the flavors are big and bold. The cocktails are well-balanced and delicious, and the wine selection is excellent.

Reservations are highly recommended, as this popular restaurant fills up quickly.

6. Loro

2115 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 (Google Maps)

Loro is a unique Asian BBQ fusion restaurant and bar that offers a great relaxed atmosphere.

The outdoor seating area is shaded by trees and features fans to keep guests cool. The menu is family-style sharing, and orders are placed at the bar.

The food is creative and delicious, with dishes like chicken karage and oak smoked salmon bowl. Loro also has a great selection of alcoholic drinks.

The service is exceptional, and the customer service is out of this world. The atmosphere is perfect for an afternoon or evening hangout with friends or family.

7. Dai Due

Dai Due
2406 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722 (Google Maps)

Dai Due is a unique restaurant that serves meat-centric dishes sourced locally. The restaurant offers a great atmosphere to enjoy a conversation while enjoying some of the best farm-to-table dishes in town.

The menu is a fusion of cuisines from different countries, and the dishes are perfectly executed and taste incredible.

The staff is warm and welcoming, and the service is excellent. The restaurant has a small seating area, so making a reservation is recommended.

Dai Due is the perfect place for a special moment with great food.

8. Jeffrey's

1204 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703 (Google Maps)

Jeffrey's is a posh fine-dining icon that serves upscale New American cuisine in a tony setting.

The restaurant offers a thoughtful and balanced menu with creative classic pairings that are both fun and harmonious.

The service is first-class, making diners feel cared-for throughout the meal. The wine selection is exceptional, and the half-off all bottles of wine on Sundays is a great deal.

Although pricey, the experience is worth it for those looking for a special night out.

9. III Forks

Iii Forks
111 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

III Forks is a luxurious steakhouse and fine dining restaurant. This upscale spot offers prime steak and seafood, with a broad wine list and many private rooms.

The ambiance is intimate and private, perfect for a romantic evening or special occasion. The service is top-notch, with knowledgeable and attentive waitstaff who pay close attention to detail.

The off-menu items are a unique touch, allowing diners to try something new and exciting. The Wagyu NY Strip and 18oz Tomahawk with King's butter are highly recommended for steak lovers.

III Forks is a bit expensive, but the delicious food and excellent service make it worth the price.

10. Mattie's

901 W Live Oak St, Austin, TX 78704 (Google Maps)

Mattie's is a unique restaurant that offers a cozy southern charm with a touch of elegance.

The restaurant is housed in a 19th-century chic/antique home, which adds to the atmosphere of the place. The food is exceptional, and the pastry chef deserves an honorable mention.

Mattie's is a great place for special occasions, and the staff is accommodating and knowledgeable. The outdoor and indoor seating is lovely, and the bar area is cute.

The peacocks roaming around add to the beauty of the place. Mattie's is one of Austin's hidden gems, and it never disappoints.

11. Fixe Southern House

Fixe Southern House
500 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Fixe Southern House is an upscale Southern restaurant that offers inventive menus with creative seafood and steak options.

The chic dining rooms and open kitchen floorplan create a high-energy vibe, while the friendly staff offers prompt and accurate service.

The must-try dishes include the Heritage Pork Chop, Lobster and Crayfish Potpie, and the Old Fashioned Biscuit Sandwich. The biscuits and duck fat house potatoes are also highly recommended.

With its farm-to-table vibe and contemporary twist on Southern cuisine, Fixe Southern House is a must-visit restaurant for foodies looking for a unique dining experience.

12. Garrison

101 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Garrison is a unique restaurant that offers exceptional service and Michelin-star quality food.

Their menu features a variety of entrees prepared to perfection with a French flare, including poultry, beef, fish, and pork.

The restaurant has a beautiful and elegant atmosphere, making it perfect for special occasions.

The staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. Garrison is a must-visit for anyone looking for a true fine dining experience.

13. Velvet Taco

Velvet Taco
522 Congress Ave. Suite 100, Austin, TX 78701 (Google Maps)

Velvet Taco is a Mexican restaurant that offers a unique spin on tacos.

With an eclectic mix of cuisines, their menu includes Korean pork tacos, Chicken Masala taco, and even waffle and fried chicken taco. The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable.

The atmosphere is energetic and urban, making it a great spot for lunch or a quick bite. The staff is friendly and efficient, ensuring quick service even during peak hours.

Velvet Taco is definitely a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious and creative taco experience.