Restaurant Roundup, West Edition

In: Drinking|Eating

27 Feb 2013


Looking for some new dining ideas out West? Or maybe you have out-of-town visitors you’re looking to entertain. Below, a guide to 60+ hotspots west of town, with links to pictures, reviews and maps. If we missed a place you love, let us know!

Casual Breakfast

Taqueria Guadalajara las Altenita and Los Pinos are both authentic-feeling, interior-Mexican cafes with great chilaquiles, huevos caribenos and even pancakes.

Santa Rita Cantina is a fun, colorful spot serving jalapeno-bacon pancakes with real butter and maple syrup. Genius.

Beloved Austin fave, Torchy’s Tacos, branches out West. “Damn Good,” indeed.

They’ve got killer salsas, all freshly made, to dress your migas, huevos and tacos at Sunrise Cafe.

Basil-poached eggs, fresh-baked breads, challah French toast, and cappuccinos give Ate.Cafe a European vibe.

Maudie’s Hill Country not only serves breakfast every day; they serve it all day. Tex-Mex and diner choices, including cinnamon-and-vanilla-scented French toast.

Dig the old-school diner feel with biscuits, bacon and hash-browns at Sandeez, which has been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Rolling in Thyme and Dough serves fresh-baked muffins and croissants, eggs and oatmeal in a cute old house surrounded by herb and flower gardens.

Lots of reasons to love Java Dive Cafe: fresh-roasted coffee, 11 kinds of waffles, omelets, breakfast paninis, all done with the best organic ingredients.

So many fresh, local donut choices, it’s almost unhole-y: Angel Donuts, Drippin’ Donuts, Ms. Doughnuts, Crown Donuts and the Donut Hole.


With strolling mariachis, chilaquiles, and house-made red or white sangria, brunch at Santa Catarina is like a mini-vacation.

Perfect pancakes, frittatas, chicken and waffles, and killer views of the lake make Steiner Steakhouse and The Grill at Rough Hollow winners.

Bluebonnet Cafe is worth the drive to Marble Falls for their biscuits and grits (and pies!).

Ooh-la-la! Artisan Bistro and Baguette et Chocolate offer authentically French baguettes, croissants, pastries, omelets, and crepes.

With dishes like Tater Tots Eggs Benedict and Cap’n Crunch French Toast, creativity reigns at Cafe Blue Galleria.

Gumbo’s gives a Louisiana spin to brunch with dishes like Eggs Sardou and Strawberry French Toast.

Brunch at Jack Allen’s Kitchen and Iron Cactus is fun and festive, with buffet tables 100 yards long (or so it seems).

For something completely different (and delicious), try the Dim Sum Brunch at Pao’s Mandarin House.

Happy Hour

Chic and sophisticated Fore Lakeway offers “4 at Fore,” with everything priced at $4.

Enjoy beer, wine and drink specials, as well as deals on the tasty Argentinian treats at Buenos Aires Cafe Galleria.

Just $5 for any flavor of specialty ritas at Santa Catarina, including cucumber, watermelon, tamarind, guava, and prickly pear.

Happy hour every day from 3 to 7, including sushi and sake deals at both locations of Cho Sushi.

“Biggest happy hour in Texas” at Iron Cactus, with all 12 appetizers half-price, including lobster tacos.

“Social hour” at Eleven Plates & Wine starts at 3 every day of the week, featuring small plates for just $5 and specials on drinks and wine.

Happy hour at sizzling seafood spot Gumbo’s is especially merry because it lasts all day, all weekend (and Mondays).

On the Lake/Awesome View

Soleil seems to have a solid hit with a new chef, and frequently showcases live music.

Lots of happy-hour (4 to 7) specials at The Grille at Rough Hollow, plus a killer patio.

The Oasis is the classic, old-school place to toast the sunset with a rita. Johnny Fin’s and Carlos ‘n Charlie’s are rocking spots when the lake comes back. Also lake-casual and relaxed, the Gnarly Gar and Cafe Blue are open seasonally.

Trattoria Lisina is known for fantastic Italian food served in a big, rustic, Tuscan-style villa overlooking flower gardens and vineyards. Next door to the Duchman Family Winery, so cheers!

In the Lakeway Resort and Spa, Josey’s not only has a view of the lake, but also of the resort’s three-pool aquatic extravaganza.

Inspired architecture, contemporary Tex-Mex, and a sweeping view of the hill country keep Maudie’s fans coming back.

Half-priced appetizers, live music and a lake view make for a very happy hour indeed at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.

Great Food

The best house-smoked pastrami in Texas, served on homemade sourdough bread, puts Pieous ahead of the pack.

With gourmet cuisine that’s 100% gluten-free, Riviera Bistro proves that tasting is believing.

The claim to flame at Tony C’s Coal-Fired Pizza is the 1000-degree coal-fired oven. Best pie in town.

Steaks are the specialty at J5 Steakhouse, but they also do a great job with mahi-mahi, flatbread pizzas, and green-chile burgers.

With two locations now out West, the creative brothers behind Cho Sushi are on a roll.

Sobani features contemporary, new-American fusion, exquisitely presented.

Find classically executed Argentinian dishes at Buenos Aires Cafe Galleria.

Two unique and memorable takes on interior-Mexican cooking:  Santa Catarina is all about authenticity and fresh ingredients; Los Pinos shines with twists like smoked-duck enchiladas and poblano-peanut salsa.

It’s been called “the most romantic restaurant in Austin.” And after all these years, Hudson’s on the Bend remains unmatched in their mastery of Texas Hill Country cuisine.

A slice of old-school heaven, Angel’s Icehouse slings a mean chicken-fried steak to live music most nights.

Artisan Bistro: Authentic French cuisine in a cozy setting that feels like a friend’s house (if your friend can make escargot, pate and foie gras!).

Eat, drink and be merry is the vibe in these two Italian places. Rocco’s Italian Grill showcases family recipes like cozzi con Pernod and bacon-wrapped filet mignon. Mandola’s Italian Market is both a bustling restaurant offering pastas, pizzas and paninis, and a market, with imported Italian foods, a bakery and deli counter.

Fore Lakeway offers “contemporary American comfort food,” like ahi tuna nachos and root-beer-glazed baby-back ribs.

The League Kitchen & Tavern: Well-executed new-American fare like Fat Tire fish & chips, and short ribs braised in Shiner Bock.

She was a finalist on “The Next Food Network Star,” and now Dzintra Dzenis has a starring role in her chic, continental cafe, Plate by Dzintra.

For a Southwestern/green-chile vibe, Chisos Grill delivers with fresh, top-notch dishes.

For casual burgers and hot dogs, it doesn’t get any better than Java Dive Cafe and Chi-Town Chicago-Style Eatery, both known for extreme choosiness when it comes to the quality of ingredients.

Creative menu items like Jala-que, the Garlic H-Bomb, and tater-tot casserole have folks flocking to Buster’s BarBQ, and Opie’s Barbecue. That, and the award-winning brisket, ribs and sausage.


6 Responses to Restaurant Roundup, West Edition



March 4th, 2012 at 11:57 am

Have heard nothing but good things about Nutty Brown Cafe’s Live Jazz Brunch every Sunday, and yet they’re missing entirely from this list?

Ed. Reply: Good point! We love the live music and burgers at Nutty Brown, but have not checked out the brunch. Will do so, thanks!



March 10th, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I’ve already shared this blog post with a colleague who was looking for recs in Way Out West Austin. Thank you for compiling this list!


Margaret Christine

August 1st, 2012 at 6:39 pm

This post really makes me want to explore more of the West Austin eats! Very thorough, and helpful. Thank you!

Ed. Reply: Thank you!



August 18th, 2012 at 2:35 am

wow this is an extensive list–had no idea about the number of places out west! thanks!



February 27th, 2013 at 9:09 am

You forgot Angel Donuts!

Ed. Reply: Thanks!



March 5th, 2013 at 3:45 pm

You forgot 360 Pizza!

Ed. Reply: Thanks, Dee! We still haven’t been there, but will try it now. Thanks for the suggestion!

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