The Best Ceviches In Austin guide image


The Best Ceviches In Austin

Cool down with some raw fish at one of these great ceviche spots.

There are only a few things that can properly combat the heat in Austin: powerful air conditioning, ice cream, shaded patios, and very cold fish. We can’t help you with your A/C, but we can help you with that last one. Austin is home to some excellent ceviches, with a wide range of regional styles, each delicious in its own way. But even with an overwhelming number of options, there's one thing that’s universal: the sheer joy that comes with eating fresh seafood on a sunny day with a cold drink in hand. These are a few of our favorite ceviches in Austin. 



The Mexican coastal-inspired seafood restaurant Este is from the team behind Suerte, one of our favorite spots on the East Side. Much like its sister restaurant, Este is a well-oiled machine, balancing friendly service and a lively atmosphere with one of the prettiest spaces on Manor Road. There are many options for ceviche on the menu, but we're into the aptly named Este Ceviche, with large chunks of fresh snapper, shredded and pickled carrots, avocado, fresh herbs, and lime. It’s refreshing and zesty, and goes especially well with a tortilla chip and a drizzle of salsa.

Parked outside of a gas station near I-35 and Town Lake, El Marisquerio is an excellent food trailer specializing in all things seafood, from ceviches and aguachiles, to a half pineapple stuffed with shrimp, octopus, and cheese. Grab an order of aguachile while you’re there—the red is a little spicier—and then order some ceviche by the pound, or by the tostada. The food comes out quick, so use the few minutes you have after ordering to grab a beer from the gas station next door to pour into one of El Marisquerio’s michelada setups. 

We’re not sure what happened to Ceviches 1-6, but if they were involved in the lead-up to Ceviche7, then we’ll gladly tip our hats as necessary. Ceviche7 is a small Peruvian food trailer near campus that’s only open in the evenings. There’s a full menu of things like lomo saltado and arroz chaufa, but the thing to order is the ceviche de pescado—a beautiful bowl of diced mahi mahi, dressed in lemon and lime juice with spicy peppers and crispy corn nuts. But as much as we love the fish in this, the boiled sweet potatoes might be our favorite part of the whole dish—they add a perfect balance to the spicy, sour dressing. 

The brilliant thing about Odd Duck on South Lamar is that the food changes all time. The only constants on the menu are a burger—which itself gets reworked often—and a ceviche that changes slightly with the seasons. The most recent iteration we had was a redfish ceviche with a bright shishito aguachile, peaches, herbs, and crispy homemade potato chips. The portion is enough for two people to share, but it’s so good you might just want to order one for yourself.

A small part of us is glad that Ceviche Love isn’t closer to central Austin, because if it were we’d probably eat their lime-dressed Sinaloan style ceviche for about 50% of our meals—it’s bright, tart, and packed full of fresh seafood. Another 25% of our meals would probably be spent with their oyster preparados—raw gulf oysters topped with ceviche—and we’d reserve the last quarter eating nuts and fruits to help bring our mouths back to a suitable PH. Instead, we’ll have to save those delicious moments for when we find ourselves out near COTA, because we haven’t successfully made a trip out there without a Ceviche Love pit stop. 

Some of the ingredients in Canje’s ceviche change from time to time, to keep things seasonal, but in general you’ll be getting a few beautiful chunks of tuna (we’ve had hiramasa and amberjack, on recent visits) in a tart, sour orange dressing. It gives it just a bit of sweetness, while still maintaining that distinct, acidic bite that we want out of a good ceviche. Peanuts add a bit of texture, and a side of fried taro chips are the perfect vessel for scooping it all up. It’s a different ceviche than most of the others we’ve had in town, but that just helps us cram more ceviche into our week without too much repetition. 

When the weather gets warm, Lima Criolla in Highland is one of our favorite places to go to escape the heat. There’s a large indoor dining room that’s usually bustling with people, and a big patio out front that never gets too busy. But most importantly, the drinks are cheap—pisco and cachaca-based cocktails start at just $6—and there’s a pretty long menu of classic Peruvian ceviches. We like the ceviche mixto, which comes out as a heaping plate of fish, shrimp, mussels, and squid in a lime dressing, with the requisite sweet potatoes, steamed, and crispy corn for both texture and sweetness. 

Walking into Seareinas at any time of day feels a bit like you’ve just entered a nightclub off the coast of Mexico—it’s a bit loud, the lights make you feel like you should be dancing, and the massive building is almost always full. But with that coastal nightclub vibe comes some fresh ceviche that tastes like it was just fished out that morning. There’s a pretty large selection of raw seafood here, but we like to go with the classic ceviche de pescado here—soaked in key lime juice and covered in a rich, dark salsa.

Most people hear the name El Chile and think of margaritas, queso, and fajitas. When we hear El Chile, we think of four words: grilled pineapple salmon ceviche. You can probably figure out most of the components from the name, but the ingredient you might not have guessed is mezcal, which adds a smoky element to the dish. There’s a bit of sweetness from the grilled pineapple and peppers, but never in a way that feels like it’s branching too far from its ceviche roots. It’s a great light start to any meal, but one especially suited to sitting on El Chile’s patio. 

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photo credit: Richard Casteel

The Best Ceviches In Austin guide image