CRAVE: Come for the Sliders, Stay for the Sushi (Or Vice Versa)

Not many eateries exist where you can order sushi, sliders, and caprese flatbread in the same sitting, but CRAVE is one of them.

The Austin eatery prides itself not only on the variety of its menu, but also the array of options when it comes to serving size. Smaller appetites can stick with a small plate like the CRAVE sliders (although some guests note that they're actually large enough to serve as an entree). The smoky bites of beef are topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized onion, and the house's signature burger sauce. Flatbreads and sushi also make for a smaller meal.

But there's nothing small about the crab-crusted filet mignon or One Big Meatball, oozing mozzarella cheese over an angel hair foundation. Some other full-sized entrees include pan-roasted sea bass and fried chicken and waffles, all of which pair well with a cocktail, pint of beer, or glass of wine. Plus, the menu boasts an impressive list of gluten-free options for diners with dietary restrictions.

340 E. 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 469-0000​

Beluga Modern Japanese Cuisine: From the Sushi Bar to the Sake Bar

Beluga Modern Japanese Cuisine offers a creative, inventive take on classic Japanese cuisine, blending the best of both old and new culinary techniques.

For lunch and dinner, you’ll find delicious sashimi options, unique maki rolls, and even rice-free sushi dishes for those who are cutting carbs, and each one is almost to pretty to eat! (Because Beluga encourages a “shared table” style of dining, guests are encouraged to order a number of small plates to share amongst the table in order to experience every dish.) Beluga also features a full bar of wines, beers, and spirits, as well as traditional Japanese sake to make your experience feel truly authentic.

Visit Beluga for the two-for-one weekday sushi lunch special, then return for the post-work happy hour discounts!

Beluga Modern Japanese Cuisine
661 Louis Henna Blvd
Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 255-6454

Sputnik: Conquer the Massive ‘Altered Beast’ Burger

If you’re looking for an unpretentious East Austin spot to eat a burger and drink a beer, launch into Sputnik. Named after the Russian satellite that kicked off the Cold War space race, Sputnik has personality to spare and backs it up with awesome food. The burgers are made from 100% Angus Beef and served on a buttery brioche bun, with regulars going for the massive Altered Beast topped with cheese, grilled onions, pickles, romaine lettuce, tomato and Sputnik's savory house special sauce. It’s a real mouthful that will keep you satisfied all day. The restaurant also offers a selection of hot dogs and chili, as well as the usual sides (the onions rings are a real crowd pleaser). At the bar, the rotating whiskey of the day offers cheap sips, and Sputnik's beer selection is quite expansive. The staff is notably friendly, and the atmosphere is chock-full of well-meaning fun.

1300 E 6th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 628-1250

Don’t Miss the Sunday Brunch at Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Decorated with seasonal ornaments and colorful cookware, Jack Allen’s feels just like Grandma’s kitchen. This Austin eatery made its debut back in 2009 and has since been infusing Southern fare classics with locally sourced Texas ingredients.

The restaurant's unique offerings change each week according to what local farmers provide, but regulars would likely recommend you visit during the restaurant’s Sunday Brunch. With Texas-sized portions of everything from banana bread to biscuits and gravy and even gluten-free options, the brunch menu leaves no craving unsated! Among the must-haves on the menu are the dessert buffet's strudel muffins and the free pimento-cheese appetizer.

Jack Allen’s Kitchen serves up its Southwestern-style comfort food seven days a week. Be sure to arrive between 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the crowd-favorite Sunday brunch!

Jack Allen’s Kitchen
3600 North Capital of Texas Highway
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 351-9399

Explore Innovative Japanese Fare at Uchiko

The sibling eatery to Uchi, Uchiko features a new menu but with the same innovative and fresh cuisine as its predecessor. If you’re on the search for fresh sushi, sashimi, or nigiri, Uchiko is the place to go.

Some of the plates are so unique, they actually look like works of art. That said, steer away from your usual spicy tuna or California roll! Step out of your comfort zone and try Uchiko’s shime saba or hamachi rolls. If possible, sit at the sushi bar so that you can watch the chefs prepare your meal. It is suggested that you explore the sake menu, as they have a wide selection by the glass with detailed descriptions. Regulars suggest ending your meal with the tobacco cream.

Uchiko is open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

4200 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 916-4808

Koriente: Fresh Fare in Austin

Koriente serves Korean cuisine and more to Austin diners. All dishes are house-made and are prepared without MSG or preservatives, using only natural sweeteners and without excess fat. The ambiance is classically uncluttered and simply elegant with a comfortable, relaxed vibe.

Appetizers include edamame, soups, Korean pickled vegetables, and summer rolls. Featured entrees include pan-seared ahi tuna, sweet potato or mung bean noodles loaded with vegetables, bowls filled with your choice of protein, mushrooms, broccoli and carrots over rice, and traditional Bibimbap. Party trays for your next event can be ordered in advance and include all dishes served on the menu. All dishes can be prepared gluten-free and dietary requests can be accommodated.

Koriete is open 11 a.m. to to 9:30 p.m. Sundays through Fridays and 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays.

621 E. Seventh Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 275-0852

Qui: Fine Dining in East Austin

One of East Austin’s most talked about new restaurants, Qui is the eponymous restaurant opened by Top Chef winner Paul Qui after he made his place at Uchiko, and the food here is as good as it gets. Moving away from the traditional sushi preparations that made him famous, Qui explores the world of fine dining with exceptional results.

The menu here changes daily depending on the availability of ingredients, so it’s hard to recommend a particular dish. Past standouts have included an unbelievable chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard, the dish that won Qui the title of Top Chef), rabbit seven ways and a poached salmon butter that has to be tasted to be believed. For dessert, go for the unique cheddar cheese ice cream sandwich, a sweet and savory delight. Note that they don’t take reservations.

1600 E. 6th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 436-9626

The Vegan Yacht: Vegetarian Cuisine in Austin

Austin is the most eclectic city in the great state of Texas, so it’s not surprising that vegan food has found a foothold here amidst the taco shops and barbecue restaurants. The Vegan Yacht is a favorite spot among the meat-eschewers of Austin, and their menu offers a bounty of healthy, flavorful food.

The top-selling item here is the “Freeto Burrito,” a pile of organic tempeh chili and corn chips wrapped in a flour tortilla. It’s an awesome take on a Tex-Mex classic that is guaranteed to fill you up. Other favorites include the mock chicken wrap with carrots, avocado and sprouts in a grilled flour tortilla and the organic cold-pressed pineapple kale lemonade, which can quench even the biggest thirst. Portion sizes are said to be enormous, so plan to arrive hungry.

The Vegan Yacht
1110 E. 12th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 619-7989

Arlo’s: Vegan Cheeseburgers You Just Have to Try

Vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike flock to Arlo's food truck on a daily basis. This Austin eatery serves seriously mouth-watering food made fresh daily, and it's all vegan friendly. The vegan bacon cheeseburgers are something of a local legend, and when paired with a side order of crispy, golden tater tots, the burger makes a hearty and drool-worthy meal. You'll also find spicy chili, cornbread wedges, tomato-basil hot dogs, and even vegan chicken tacos on the menu, but the cheeseburgers are really the main draw. It’s the cheeseburgers that cause lines to wrap around the side of the truck during peak times.

The only downside to eating at Arlo’s is that as a food truck, Arlo's doesn't have any seating to offer. This generally isn't a problem, however, as nearby bars usually allow you to bring your Arlo's meal inside, so it's easy to pair your meal with a cold beer and a seat.

900 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 628-0608

Explore the Flavors of Spanish Tapas at Bullfight

A colorful quartet of fried delicacies, from crisp octopus to aromatic cheese and colorful vegetables, greet you in bright paper cones. Each dish offers a burst of color and flavor and sends your taste buds to the moon. To put it more succinctly, a meal at Bullfight is a journey for the senses!

Founded by renowned Austin chef Shawn Cirkiel, Bullfight pays homage to the chef’s first paying job in a five-star Spanish restaurant. Reminiscent of the vibrant colors and varied cuisine of Spanish farmer’s markets, the menu features tapas (small plates), like bacon-wrapped dates and the jamon croquettes, which are a melted blend of cheese, crisp potatoes, and sweet honey ham.

Bullfight serves dinner seven days a week beginning at 5 p.m. The restaurant encourages guest to make a reservation by calling ahead or booking online.

4807 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 474-2029

Pin It on Pinterest