Where To Eat At The DomainGrab a bite at one of these spots the next time you’re out shopping at The Domain.
While The Domain might not be everyone’s first thought for a culinary destination in Austin, that doesn’t mean a trip to the Apple store can’t still be accompanied by some great food. From Lebanese trailers and Tex-Mex restaurants, to some of the best Thai food in the whole city, dining at The Domain can be a lot of fun, if you know where to look. Whether you’re bar hopping on Rock Rose, in town for a conference, or just in the area to return a pair of Doc Martens, these are a few of our favorite local(ish) spots to grab a bite at The Domain.
There are a lot of great spots to grab a bite if you happen to already be at The Domain, but Thai Kun is one of the few restaurants that we’ll gladly make a dedicated trip for. Sure, you’ll find classics on the menu like a sweet and sticky pad thai, or an excellent crab fried rice that’s almost more crab than rice, but those are just accessories to the more adventurous stars of the show. The slow roasted short rib panang curry is almost as rich and savory as it is spicy, the papaya salad is about as fiery as it can get, and rotating specials like a large format ribeye—served with a spicy, fish sauce-y nam jim jaew—will have you throwing out any bottles of A1 left in your fridge.
At Xian Sushi & Noodles, the name of the game is sushi and noodles. The noodles here are all hand-pulled and come in varying thicknesses on a scale from “vermicelli” to “triangle.” As for the actual preparation, you can get them in soup-form, like ramen or red-braised beef soup, or in a semi-dry form like Dan Dan noodles. The sushi is good, fresh, and affordable, but noodles are the thing to get here. And while there are a few other Xian locations in the Austin area—including one in Mueller that we like a lot—this location is a little different since it also offers a full menu of dumplings and dim sum items.
When we’re in the mood for a burger at The Domain, we’re heading straight to That Burger, a trailer parked near the Lone Star Court Hotel. Here, you basically tell them a country and they’ll bring you a burger inspired by its flavors. That means things like a Mexican burger topped with queso fresco, guacamole, and tortilla chips, or a German burger served with muenster cheese, sauerkraut, and a pretzel bun. But our favorite is probably the Argentinian burger, topped with grilled mushrooms and chimichurri. The one constant is the crispy, smashed beef patty (unless you sub in a Beyond meat patty).
We desperately wish that Beirut were parked just a little bit closer to Rock Rose Avenue, since the french fry-stuffed shawarmas and kafta platters would be welcome additions to a night of bar hopping on the north side of The Domain. But instead, we’ll readily make the 10-minute walk to the trailer parked near the iPic theater for some savory lamb kebabs, falafel wraps, and loaded shawarma fries. The portions are pretty generous—if you grab one of the kebab platters, you’ll probably have enough left to bring home for breakfast the next morning.
Plank is a large, nautical-themed seafood restaurant and oyster bar on a busy shopping corner of The Domain. Here there’s a full menu of seafood tower options, allowing you the chance to determine exactly how much you’d like to ball out, and in what capacity. There’s also a full menu of salads, soups, grilled seafood, and pastas. We’ve had a lot of tasty bites here, but our favorite might be the sea scallops with squid ink linguini. Well, that or the oysters dressed in jalapeño shoyu and smoked trout roe.
The brick and mortar location of Rosen’s Bagel Co. on Burnet Road, right by The Domain, evokes classic appetizing stores like Russ & Daughters Cafe in New York City with its cheerful lighting and white tiles. The traditional bagels here are among the best in Austin—slightly chewy, with a golden-brown and crisp outer crust. Like a proper bagel, they don’t need to be toasted. Additionally, Rosen’s makes housemade cream cheese, schmears, lox, and whitefish salad for their bagels (you can also get it all by the pound). Where Rosen’s truly shines are the artfully composed bagel breakfast sandwiches. The espresso-based drinks here are pretty good, too.
Things you might not expect to find at The Domain: easy street parking, local artisans selling arts and crafts, and a food trailer where you can get an order of chile en nogada or enchiladas suizas on hand-made corn tortillas. But walk by Suculenta Cocina, parked near the south end of The Domain, and you’ll find at least one of those things. Despite the trailer backdrop, food comes out on real plates, served on real tables on a fake grass lawn in a relatively quiet part of The Domain, where you can watch people emerge, wide-eyed, from The Museum Of Illusions across the street, and stumble hungrily towards the aromas of roasted chilis, mole poblano, and slow-roasted cochinita pibil.
This is the Austin area outpost of Bakery Lorraine, the popular French-inspired bakery and cafe with a few locations in San Antonio. And much like its 90-mile-south counterparts, it’s a great spot to kickstart the day with some house-made pastries and coffee. Grab a twice-baked almond croissant if you’re on the go, or sit down for a full menu of breakfast and lunch entrees. We like the croissant sandwiches and quiche lorraine, but there’s also an excellent BLT made with crispy pancetta between a few thick slices of house sourdough.
Positioned perfectly in the middle of a long row of bars on Rock Rose Ave, Salvation is a safe bet for giant bar-style pizzas that should please everyone in your crowd. There’s a full bar and a pretty big draft beer list, with plenty of TVs showing whatever game or MMA fight is on. Salvation serves solid renditions of classic bar food like fried mozzarella sticks and chicken wings, but the biggest draw here is the New Haven-style pizza that comes out with a thin, crispy crust, and plenty of cheese.
Sometimes after a full day of shopping, you just need to play a round of indoor, 12-hole mini golf to let out some steam. At Dirdie Birdie, you can do just that, with a side of dinner and drinks. The kitchen here is run by some of the folks behind Juniper (but with more casual things like burgers and blooming onions). And there’s a full bar with cocktails that are mostly riffs on fairly classic golf-friendly drinks (like strawberry Arnold Palmers, sake Bloody Marys, and hibiscus palomas) that you can order while you’re playing. It’s a fun way to spend a Tuesday evening indoors with good food and drinks, while also convincing yourself you’re getting some exercise by playing sports.
With multiple locations around town—even at the airport—Tacodeli’s breakfast tacos have saved us from dizzied hunger dazes more often than we’d like to admit, and the location just a short crawl away from The Domain is no exception. The Jess Special—combining migas, jack cheese, and avocado—is possibly one of the more iconic (and tasty) breakfast tacos in town. Tacodeli also does a killer sirloin, egg, and cheese taco, and the doña salsa will light your mouth on fire in the best way.
Right across the street from The Domain, on Burnet Road, Dos Salsas is a two-story Tex-Mex restaurant bursting with energy, sizzling fajitas, and strong margaritas. This is a great spot to go with a big group of friends when you just want somewhere unpretentious and fun to grab dinner before going out for a night on Rock Rose. There’s also a 75% chance you’ll hear the staff come out to sing happy birthday on any given night.
There are several locations of the coffee shop Houndstooth in Austin (plus a few in Dallas), and it’s definitely our first choice when we need an afternoon pick-me-up at The Domain. During the day you’ll probably find a few people casually working on their laptops, then unwinding around 5pm with a couple beers, a cocktail, or some natural wine (on tap or by the bottle).