Best restaurants Austin Downtown

Downtown restaurants are a varied lot. It used to be that Downtown was where you went to eat someplace special. That was back when it was a no-man's-land of empty warehouses, hotels, and Sixth Street dive bars. No one actually lived there and the only restaurants were high-end eateries catering to out-of-towners on expense accounts. Nowadays, Downtown Austin pulses with life at virtually all hours, and restaurants cater to the quarter's changing demographics. There are still, of course, the spendy restaurants and an assortment of steak houses designed to impress your client, or your date. These won't let you down. But there are also an increasing number of everyday places – hangout spots and culinary curiosities that make Downtown dining accessible and fun. From the charming casbah-like atmosphere of Rainey Street's G'Raj Mahal to the speakeasy feel of Swift's Attic, Downtown will satisfy your cravings. – Rachel Feit

John Anderson

The ELM Group's snazzy French bistro offers a convivial bar, a bustling dining room, and a small, secluded patio where diners enjoy well-prepared French bistro classics, stylish craft cocktails, and a well-curated French wine list. The best bargains are on the happy hour and prix fixe dinner menu; reservations are always a good idea. – Virginia B. Wood

601 West Sixth St., 512/992-2776

One of our favorite steak restaurants for decades serves meltingly tender slabs of aged beef and interesting, dynamic sides. The comfortable bar is a goldmine of people-watching, with strong cocktails and a truly dynamite burger. The parking situation could use some help; get dropped off. – Mick Vann

Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden1205 N. Lamar, 512/472-1813

This authentic Neapolitan-style pizzeria from restaurateur/chef Shawn Cirkiel is cozy and intimate. Literally housed in the backspace of Cirkiel's parkside, backspace offers pizzas cooked to perfection in a custom oak-fired oven. The menu advises being considerate of other guests waiting for seating, but with that wine list and those pies, I'd prefer to stay put all evening. – Anna Toon

507 San Jacinto, 512/474-9899

From traditional bangers and mash to the Currywurst or a sausage made of beet and goat cheese, Banger's runs the gamut. With over 100 beers on tap and live music, this Rainey Street house keeps the hungry sated and the thirsty happy seven days a week. Must try here is Smokey & the Boar. – Gracie Salem

Casino el Camino Congress

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