Dig Into Vegan Fare Fit for a Meat-Eater at Arlo’s

"Everything in this trailer is vegan, but even if you're a meat-eater you'll be happy here," says one Yelp reviewer of Arlo's. The self-described "curb-side kitchen" shirks all processed ingredients in favor of local, non-GMO, organic grub from Texan farmers. And despite the fact that there's not an animal product anywhere to be found in the kitchen, its vegan fare still appeals to all types of eaters thanks to chefs' creative impulses.

Regulars highly recommend the bac'n cheeze burger, which actually features a patty made from soy in-house, topped with seitan bac'n, vegan cheeze, ketchup, mustard, mayo, and the classic tomato, onions, pickles, and lettuce. You can also grab a barbecue burger or chick'n sandwich. Tacos show up on the menu, too, stuffed with either soy or seitan and grilled pico de gallo, chipotle sauce, and lettuce.

Arlo's is parked along Red River Street with an umbrella-shaded, fenced-in outdoor space for eating, so feel free to grab food and stay for a while at the food trailer.

900 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 840-1600

Franklin Barbecue: Possibly Austin’s Most Buzzed-About Barbecue

If you’re searching for great barbecue in the South Austin area, simply drop what you’re doing and head to Franklin Barbecue. This old-fashioned barbecue joint uses family cooking traditions passed down from generation to generation, but its brick and mortar location is the ideal blend of Austin’s signature eclectic decor and a sleek, modern flair.

The menu is very small, but each dish is so expertly prepared that you won’t even think of anything else. Plates and sandwiches made with chopped beef, pulled pork, sausage, and other smoked meats are served with your choice of pinto beans, slaw, or potato salad, and Franklin Barbecue has sold out of its famous pulled pork every day since its opening in 2009.

Hailed as one of the top barbecue restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit, the New York Times, Southern Living, and many other esteemed publications, Franklin Barbecue is an absolute must-try Austin restaurant.

Franklin Barbecue
900 E. 11th Street
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 653-1187

Little Mama’s Authentic Filipino and American Cuisine: Don’t Miss the Beef Steak

Thin ribbons of beef, seared with whole peppers and chopped onions. This simple recipe culminates in the ever-popular beef steak at Little Mama's Authentic Filipino and American Cuisine. True to Filipino tradition, the dish allows its ingredients' fresh, natural flavors to shine through—no need for tons of added fat or salt. Little Mama's chef takes this straightforward approach to every dish, whether it hails from the Philippines or the U.S.

Taste the proof in another popular dish, the Bicol Express. Name for the region in the Philippines where it originates, the Bicol Express is a coconut-milk-based stew mixed with shrimp paste and teeming with pineapple, pork, and long chilies. The apritada is another traditional stew, but this one features chicken. For something a bit more familiar, you can always go with fried rice, beef stir-fry, or pinoy curry with your choice of pork or chicken.

Little Mama's Authentic Filipino and American Cuisine
2021 N. Mays Street
Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 244-6262

The Roaring Fork: Comfort Food With A View

The Roaring Fork puts a modern spin on American cuisine classics. The lengthy menu offers plenty of options, but crowd favorites include the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, the rainbow trout, the Mexican street corn, and the green chili mac and cheese.

The interior of The Roaring Fork is pleasant and comfortable, with plush booths and chairs and mood lighting surrounding the dining area. An island bar sits in the center of one side of the restaurant, while a beautiful view is visible out of the windows on the adjacent walls. Behind the establishment is a pond that catches the light in the evenings as the sun sinks beyond the water. Outdoor patio seating is also available, weather permitting, so grab the opportunity to take in a view when you go.

See what everyone has been buzzing about at this upscale place with a down-home feel.

The Roaring Fork
10850 Stonelake Blvd
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 342-2700

There’s More Than Just Wine on the Menu at Austin’s Vino Vino

Vino Vino in Austin is more than just your neighborhood wine bar. Beyond vino, the restaurant offers a variety of specialty cocktails, beer, and an extensive food menu. Vino Vino offers over 20 wines by the glass, selected by the owner who may come check on you during your visit. The menu is full of tapas-style plates, as well as a few larger plates and even a take-out menu. The interior has a comfy casual environment with dim lighting and wooden decor, where you can graze on a cheese plate and sip on a bold, earthy red all night long.

Many locals agree that the Old Fashioned is one of the best in town, especially during happy hour when it is $2 off. Happy Hour offers $2 off all wine, beer, and house cocktails, as well as a selection of half-priced appetizers. Happy hour is held 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays.

The kitchen and bar have varied hours, so be sure to visit the website so you don’t miss the chance to try your favorite dish!

Vino Vino
4119 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78751-4222
(512) 465-9282

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

North Italia Offers a Modern Take on Italian Cooking

Every once in a while, chain restaurants can pleasantly surprise you. The Austin location of North Italia is just one example.

North Italia is well known for its unique cocktail menu. The go-to drinks are the apple bourbon punch and the red sangria. North Italia also serves a variety of local beers from around the Austin area. As for the food, you can’t go wrong with the house-specialty Bolognese pasta, which is best paired with the crowd-favorite heirloom beet salad. It arrives piled high with roasted beets, apples, arugula, hazelnut, ricotta salata cheese, and lemon crème fraiche. You’ll want to save room for dessert: the salted caramel budino is a must-try!

As a bonus, North Italia has a cozy patio with ceiling heaters to keep you warm. A word of advice: Make reservations, especially if you’re planning on going during the weekend.

North Italia
11506 Century Oaks Terrace
Austin, Texas 78758
(512) 339-4400

Fonda San Miguel: An Austin Favorite for Mexican Fare Since 1975

With modern art, bold flavors, and a beautiful ambiance, Fonda San Miguel has been an Austin dining institution since 1975.

Recognized as one of the finest authentic Mexican restaurants in the country, Fonda San Miguel relies on fresh, sometimes rare ingredients and authentic Mexican recipes to create its raved-about fare. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu; however, regulars direct particular praise toward the camarones en crema de chipotle, which envelops shrimp in a creamy chipotle sauce. Fonda San Miguel is also known for its inviting atmosphere, as it is classic and has an authentic Mexican feel.

The restaurant is open seven days a week. Don't skip the Sunday brunch, served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.!

Fonda San Miguel
2330 W North Loop Blvd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 459-4121

Experience More Than Just A Meal At Wink in Austin

“Dining at Wink is more than just a meal, it’s an experience.” That’s how a guest describes her time at this intimate, cordial dining venue in Austin. When you walk through the door at Wink, you instantly feel welcome. Wink only uses the freshest food and ingredients from local and national farms and purveyors. Therefore, the menu at Wink is updated on a daily basis.

The employees at Wink know their stuff, and they're very knowledgeable about the food they prepare and the wines that go with them. There's no pretense here, however. Instead, the staff wants every guest to explore and try new things and ask questions so they can have the best experience possible.

Wink is open Mondays through Saturdays. Because of the restaurant's attentive staff and popular, fresh menus, it is strongly recommended that you reserve a table in advance.

1014 North Lamar Blvd
Austin, Texas 78703
(512) 482-8868

Cool Off With Fruity Shaved Ice at The Purple Tongue

“Keep Austin Weird” is a mantra among locals in this Texas oasis, and the Purple Tongue is a great example of what they mean. This roving food truck offers a unique menu of hot dogs and shaved ice, and it’s won a dedicated following. If all you know about shaved ice is carnival stands pouring artificially-flavored sugary syrup, you’re in for a real surprise here. They make all of their syrups with fresh fruits and other ingredients.

Some favorite offerings include the strawberry banana, which might be the most popular, but also praised is the grapefruit mojito. The flavor menu is extensive, featuring classics like cherry and grape and more advanced flavors like dark chocolate and chai tea. You can get your ice topped with whipped cream, caramel, sweetened condensed milk, you name it. If you’re hungry, their dogs are well-regarded – locally-made bratwurst on a fresh roll slathered with mustard and onions will hit the spot.

The Purple Tongue
1012 W. Anderson Lane
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 413-7329

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