Best of Austin: 5 Eateries You Need To Try

Whenever I have the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas, I do. They have amazing music, rich culture and some pretty awesome places to eat. From modern Filipino tapas to some of the best BBQ I've ever tasted, here are five really cool eateries I've found around the city. I highly recommend stopping by each on your next trip:

  1. QUI - Top Chef winner and one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs of 2014, Paul Qui’s restaurant is a modern take on classic Filipino cuisine—one of the few, if only, restaurants to do this flawlessly. Qui offers guests a few different ways to dine. We started in the patio with their “pulutan” Filipino tapas menu. Then, we moved into the dining room and tried both their regular and vegetable tasting menus. Both were really great. Highlights include the okra and chanterelle with dinuguan sauce (pork blood sauce) and the sisig.

  2. Elizabeth Street Café - A really nice café on Elizabeth street specializing in Vietnamese cuisine and French pastry. The bánh mì was done very well—nice flaky and soft bread and the pates in the bánh mì were refined and technically sound. You won't be disappointed.

  3. El Naranjo - Chef Iliana, originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, is a cuisine instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, as well as chef/owner of El Naranjo. She moved her restaurant to Austin and simply kills it (in a good way). We ordered the queso fundido, ceviche, and quitlacoche quesadillas. All the ingredients were really fresh and well seasoned. The Oaxaca cheese was of great quality and the tortillas were all house-made and packed with corn flavor. Very, very impressive.

  4. La Barbecue Cuisine Texicana - Pit master John Lewis worked at the world famous Franklin BBQ just down the street since the day it opened before bringing his skills to La Barbecue. We tried the beef ribs, pork ribs, brisket, pork sausage, and traditional sides. The beef rib and brisket were out of this world delicious—some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. It's also worth noting that La Barbecue is BYOB, BYOD and BYOL (that’s "beer," "dog" and "laptop," respectively) and they feature live music on Saturdays and Sundays.

  5. Thai-Kun - Located outside the Wonderland Bar on 6th St., East Side King's Thai Kun Trailer is one of the best food trucks in Austin. Run by Chef Thai Changthong and co-owned by Paul Qui, Thai Kun was featured in Bon Appétit's Hot 10 Best New Restaurants in America and is some of the best thai food I’ve ever had. What's more, you can order the entire menu for $56! It is seriously spicy though so beware. My favorites were the Waterfall Pork and the Beef panang.