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Austin City Guide

By: Amy Lemen

Austin Restaurants Guide

©2006 ACVB Photo Amy's Ice Cream is an Austin favorite -- localslove the Mexican vanilla ice cream.

You can bet that the home of the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival is going to have some great dining options. From barbeque to Mexican fare and everything in between, Austin is a foodie's heaven.

Pick up lunch to go at the new downtown Whole Foods (601 North Lamar at 6th Street), where you'll find a dizzying array of international buffet choices (the Indian food, especially the Green Pea Curry, is great) and many vegetarian options in the chef's case, or enjoy it there with a glass of wine while listening to live music on the rooftop.

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Best bets for barbeque include the Mobil One-Star County Line on the Hill (6500 W Bee Cave Rd, just past 360); Artz Rib House (2330 South Lamar); and Stubb's Bar-B-Q (801 Red River). All are known for their brisket, smoked sausage, ribs and generally mouth-watering, tender barbecue as an art form.

Splurge on a quality meal at Aquarelle (606 Rio Grande), a 25-year Austin institution known for its incredible French cuisine. Try the pastry tarts, steamed mussels, and foie gras.

At the Mobil Three-Star Driskill Grill (604 Brazos St), where Chef David Bull was named one of the top new chefs by Food & Wine, try the Bandera Quail and the Texas Chop Salad; both are local favorites.

At Mobil Three-Star Jeffrey's Restaurant and Bar (1204 West Lynn St), the restaurant is equally as well known as the favorite dining destination of President George W. Bush as it is for its Chocolate Intemperance dessert. Try the baby arugula salad with blue cheese and peach vinaigrette, or the hanger steak with a paprika chimichurri sauce.

Other top picks include the upscale Uchi sushi bar (801 South Lamar), where Coldplay star Chris Martin and wife Gwyneth Paltrow dined several times when the band was in town for the 2005 ACL Festival. Try the maguro sashimi and goat cheese with Fuji apple and pumpkin seed oil.

Wink (1014 North Lamar) has a seasonal menu that changes daily and a great intimate wine bar. Order the quail with risotto and indulge in the famous El Rey chocolate cake for dessert.

Mobil Three-Star Fonda San Miguel (2330 West North Loop Blvd) has been known for more than 30 years for its fine Mexican food, immensely popular Sunday brunch, and fresh lime margaritas. Grab a table and try the Ancho Relleno San Miguel.

Reservations are usually suggested and required, except for a few popular places that simply don't take them, including upscale Italian hotspot Vespaio (1610 South Congress) and the romantic Castle Hill Cafe (1101 West 5th). At Vespaio, the homemade gnocchi are melt-in-your-mouth delicious; at Castle Hill, southwestern is the specialty -- the fried goat cheese appetizer with an ancho chutney is a great example.

For dessert, don't leave town without a stop at Amy's Ice Cream (1012 West 6th), another homegrown Austin favorite whose Mexican vanilla ice cream is the best thing you've ever tasted. And yes, there is an Amy.

You've just read about the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Austin. How will you fit everything into your trip? Go to the next page for suggested itineraries to use while visiting Austin. You can bet that the home of the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival is going to have some great dining options. From barbeque to Mexican fare and everything in between, Austin is a foodie's heaven.

©2006 ACVB Photo Amy's Ice Cream is an Austin favorite -- localslove the Mexican vanilla ice cream.

Pick up lunch to go at the new downtown Whole Foods (601 North Lamar at 6th Street), where you'll find a dizzying array of international buffet choices (the Indian food, especially the Green Pea Curry, is great) and many vegetarian options in the chef's case, or enjoy it there with a glass of wine while listening to live music on the rooftop.

Best bets for barbeque include the Mobil One-Star County Line on the Hill (6500 W Bee Cave Rd, just past 360); Artz Rib House (2330 South Lamar); and Stubb's Bar-B-Q (801 Red River). All are known for their brisket, smoked sausage, ribs and generally mouth-watering, tender barbecue as an art form.

Splurge on a quality meal at Aquarelle (606 Rio Grande), a 25-year Austin institution known for its incredible French cuisine. Try the pastry tarts, steamed mussels, and foie gras.

At the Mobil Three-Star Driskill Grill (604 Brazos St), where Chef David Bull was named one of the top new chefs by Food & Wine, try the Bandera Quail and the Texas Chop Salad; both are local favorites.

At Mobil Three-Star Jeffrey's Restaurant and Bar (1204 West Lynn St), the restaurant is equally as well known as the favorite dining destination of President George W. Bush as it is for its Chocolate Intemperance dessert. Try the baby arugula salad with blue cheese and peach vinaigrette, or the hanger steak with a paprika chimichurri sauce.

Other top picks include the upscale Uchi sushi bar (801 South Lamar), where Coldplay star Chris Martin and wife Gwyneth Paltrow dined several times when the band was in town for the 2005 ACL Festival. Try the maguro sashimi and goat cheese with Fuji apple and pumpkin seed oil.

Wink (1014 North Lamar) has a seasonal menu that changes daily and a great intimate wine bar. Order the quail with risotto and indulge in the famous El Rey chocolate cake for dessert.

Mobil Three-Star Fonda San Miguel (2330 West North Loop Blvd) has been known for more than 30 years for its fine Mexican food, immensely popular Sunday brunch, and fresh lime margaritas. Grab a table and try the Ancho Relleno San Miguel.

Reservations are usually suggested and required, except for a few popular places that simply don't take them, including upscale Italian hotspot Vespaio (1610 South Congress) and the romantic Castle Hill Cafe (1101 West 5th). At Vespaio, the homemade gnocchi are melt-in-your-mouth delicious; at Castle Hill, southwestern is the specialty -- the fried goat cheese appetizer with an ancho chutney is a great example.

For dessert, don't leave town without a stop at Amy's Ice Cream (1012 West 6th), another homegrown Austin favorite whose Mexican vanilla ice cream is the best thing you've ever tasted. And yes, there is an Amy.

You've just read about the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Austin. How will you fit everything into your trip? Go to the next page for suggested itineraries to use while visiting Austin.