Hi, hello, it’s me Ashley! I am so pumped to have the opportunity to rant and rave about what I do best: EAT! When you live in a city as fabulous as Austin you are naturally presented with an abundance of dining options on a daily basis- the true definition of “a blessing and a curse.” School is tough, and food is a great way to treat yourself after a long week of being thrown tests, papers, projects at you in every direction. So join me as I spill my secrets of some of the absolute yummiest places to brunch, lunch, wine, and dine in the Live Music Capital of the World!
Our first destination is Snooze: An A.M. Eatery on North Lamar, a true brunch lover’s haven, there is something here for everybody. Fresh and modern, it’s located in a retail spot with a view of busy North Lamar. But don’t even think about making reservations, come ready to wait outside with your friends (or solo, that’s okay too) for at least a little while- no worries, they leave their coffee machines out to make that part more bearable. A whole section on the menu is dedicated to eggs- omelettes, breakfast tacos, and burritos- the Texas way to do breakfast. For those who rise with more of a sweet tooth, pancakes (including sweet potato pancakes!) and French toast are high in variety, with a myriad of combinations to choose from. From my picture on the top, you can see that I enjoyed an egg white frittata, filled with roasted peppers and spinach, arugala, crispy prosciutto and cherry tomatoes. I didn’t have a single complaint! I think what made Snooze most unique compared to other brunch spots in Austin was their love for hollandaise dishes. Usually you can find one or two at any given place’s menu, but at Snooze you can choose from six different options with hollandaise being the dish’s shining star!!! Like all my picks, Snooze was a 10/10 on my return-worthy scale!
Next stop is True Food Kitchen in downtown! Conveniently located next to Trader Joe’s in Austin’s up-and-coming Seaholm District, the restaurant’s atmosphere is warm and inviting with high ceilings and plenty of light coming in from all directions. I started dining at True Food when I lived in Dallas, in their Preston Center location, which had been their first opened in Texas- you could only imagine by excitement when I learned they’d be moving with me to Austin! The menu is heavily vegetarian/vegan-friendly, but gives meat-lovers the options of adding chicken, steak, fish, or shrimp to almost any dish. On the lighter side, there are sophisticated salad options, sandwiches, and feel-good appetizers. For a fuller tummy, personal pizzas, stir-fry bowls, and entrees based around chicken and fish are available- just to name a few choices. Pictured above is my personal favorite order: the inside out quinoa burger! Between two quinoa patties, hummus, tzatziki, tomato, cucumber, red onion, avocado and feta, and on the side a sweet potato hash and kale salad. I never leave True Food feeling gross or weighed down, but always satisfied!
Chi’lantro is a restaurant loudly spoken about in the Austin area, and their location on Burnet is no exception. This Korean BBQ spot is a hit with locals and out-of-towners alike, and is comfortable for when you’re wanting a quick bite on your own or looking to sit down with some friends. Chi’lantro, also known as the Home of the Original Kimchi Fries, boasts in coining the popular dish- French fries topped with your choice of protein, caramelized kimchi, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, onions, “magic sauce,” and Sriracha. Choose from rice bowl, salad, burger, tacos, or burrito Korean BBQ-inspired entrees, and personalize it with add-ons of your choosing! My go-to order is the salad- lettuce mix, black beans, corn, garden veggies, kimchi, and tofu topped with carrot ginger dressing. It’s no secret that this unique concept, with delicious food is raved over by foodies of all ages!
There was no way I could talk about the yummiest spots to eat without bringing up Hopdoddy! With three locations in Austin alone, it is hard to go without for long. I have been loving to go in the recent months with the weather being cooler, as opposed to the warmer time of the year where the wait in line outside the restaurant could last over an hour on a good day! (I would be totally lying if I said it wasn’t so worth it..). Me, not a huge burger fanatic, comes to this place for a SALAD. Yup, I am one of those, but you would be too once you tried the baby kale salad, pictured above- on a bed of baby kale leaves and arugula, we have feta cheese, roasted butternut squash. roasted corn. pickled red onions, spiced pepitas, and dates under a tangy pomegranate vinaigrette. My secret is to add a black bean-corn patty for the protein! As a queso freak, I advise everybody to get an order of green Chile queso with Kennebec fries.. like there was any other way to “appetizer.”
Next, I’d like to take you to The Domain North Side’s newest gem: The Flower Child. Like its sister, True Food Kitchen, it is a FOX Restaurant Concept and shares a lot of similar if not nearly identical menu items. I don’t think there is a single dish that isn’t considered to be the most heavenly of “clean” eating. This is as clean as “clean eating” gets, folks. This is another spot where the line can get pretty long out the door and wrapping around outside, giving it even more hype on the weekend evenings. Once you get to the cashier, you order a choice of soup, salad, wrap, or bowl, take your number and pick your table. My favorite is the “Mother Earth” bowl- a base of ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushrooms, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette and hemp seed. I add all-natural chicken, which is also a protein option between sustainable salmon, grass-fed steak, or organic non-GMO tofu. The Flower Child also boasts an array of veggie combos that you can either get single as a side dish or multiple to create an entree of your own. Red chili glazed sweet potato with bok choy and sesame seed or sweet corn and quinoa with greek yogurt are my picks. On your way out, pick up a gluten-free lemon cupcake or brownie. You can also sip on an an in-store brewed iced-tea, flavored or black, or one of their seasonally-made lemonades. No sodas here, guys! Everything is au naturale.
The last stop on our Foodie Tour is Bartlett’s on the corner of Anderson and Burnet. Previously under the name “Houston’s,” this is another restaurant that my family has been frequenting in Dallas’s Preston Center before I could even say the word “artichoke.” Thankfully I can continue the long-loved tradition here in Austin, because I don’t think I could live a life without their signature appetizer: THE spinach artichoke dip. Yes, it is a classic starter at most restaurants with the older, flashier clientele who dines with the lights dim, but this spinach artichoke dip in particular will forever have my heart. Served with tortilla chips and spicy salsa to mix with, I must disclose that I have came to this place many times before and gotten this appetizer as my entree.. for just me. And I can finish it. Wowie! As long as this dish exists, a happy Ashley does too.
And there we have it! My absolute most favorite foods in the entire 512. I’ll be around for at least a year or two more, meaning I have all the time to expand my horizons and pool of dining choices.. Now, what shall I eat tomorrow.. <3