Living in Austin makes me a foodie by default. While I’m not one of those people who cultivates a food-related Instagram presence, I can appreciate the people who do. Getting the perfect shot and curating a specific aesthetic is hard work. Luckily, Austin offers a plethora of options and vibes for any aspiring Insta-foodie, and I’ve selected a variety of the very best below.
The Vibe: Tropical
The Cuisine: Vegan
Let’s be clear: I’m not vegan, but this place packs a punch — even for meat-eaters. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, or raw, there are numerous yummy options. The brightly colored table-tops and lush plants on the covered patio make you feel like you’re in a tropical paradise. There are plenty of summery backgrounds for photo-ops, whether they’re of you and your friends or of your pretty, plated meals.
The Vibe: Retro
The Cuisine: Sweet treats
Located in an old cottage-style house along E. Cesar Chavez, this bakery is a must-visit. Not only are the cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and other delightful treats fairly priced and 100% vegan, they are moist and delicious. I tried the brownie — which was giant and met this chocolate-lover’s expectations — and a raspberry lemonade cupcake, which proved perfectly adorable for photos against the retro backdrops. Both the side room and the shady front yard, enclosed by a white picket fence, offer aesthetically-pleasing Instagram opportunities.
The Vibe: Feminine Indie
The Cuisine: Quirky American
I originally wanted to visit this place for dinner, but ended up going for brunch and was far from disappointed. For a restaurant that serves all three meals, plus baked goods and drinks, it seems to deliver in every area — especially ambiance. All corners of the space are decorated to match the delicate, interesting nature of the food itself, and light from the large front windows makes photo-taking an easy feat.
The Vibe: Moody and artsy
The Cuisine: Mexican
It’s hard to define the aesthetic of La Condesa. The restaurant offers a multitude of sensational experiences, from the giant colorful mural to the ivy-covered entryway to the plush leather booths and accents of wood. Just like its food, which is a deconstructed and thoughtful approach to traditional Mexican cuisine, La Condesa’s decor proves unexpected and true-to-its roots in the just the right ways. While, I admit that the lighting can be a pain for photos if you choose to go to dinner later (they kept dimming the lights every 30 minutes!), the photo-ops you do get are well worth the process.
The Vibe: Minimal and clean
The Cuisine: Japanese
Relative to the other restaurants I’ve chosen, Lavaca Teppan can be considered very minimal. If you prefer basic colors, simple designs, and lots of natural light, check out this traditional Japanese restaurant located conveniently close to Main Campus. While the decor is less flashy than other places, there are still a spectrum of interesting textural options: white brick, red tile, wood panels, cherry blossom wall paper, and metal beams. Visit during happy hour for cheap appetizers, drinks, and simple, attractive photos.
Looking for more?
For a lush and eclectic backdrop to fantastic tacos and brussel sprouts, try Grizzelda’s. For a light meal and wine-garden photo ops, check out Lenoir Restaurant. For authentic European cuisine in a neutral, classy paradise, go to Fabi & Rosi. For the ultimate Insta-worthy restaurant experience, complete with an intricate bar and rich details, visit Eberly. For a bright, geometric interior and dishes to match, try Dragonbeard Kitchen. For colorful and quirky bakery treats, test out Bribery Bakery.