Where To Eat In Mueller guide image


Where To Eat In Mueller

The best spots to grab a bite or drink in the Mueller neighborhood.

Whether you’re looking for great neighborhood pubs and cafes, or some of the best sushi in the city, Mueller has a lot to offer. Sure, the streets are gridded, the houses all kind of match, and there are a few big chain restaurants—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of great local spots. Grab some excellent breakfast tacos and a boba tea for the walk—we’re exploring the best that Mueller has to offer.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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L'Oca d'Oro


1900 Simond Ave, Austin
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If you’re looking for a good date night spot in Mueller, the Italian restaurant L’Oca d’Oro is your best bet. The large windows spill light into the airy dining room during the day, with a cozier atmosphere by night. They’re big on local, seasonal produce, so expect to see a regularly changing menu. Whatever time of year you go, keep an eye out for their fresh-made pastas—that’s where we’ve enjoyed some of our favorite bites here, like a perfectly cooked ricotta cavatelli with an overnight roasted tomato sauce.

B.D. Riley’s is a laid-back Irish pub right down the street from the Alamo Drafthouse at the crossroads of just about all of the pedestrian walkways and streets. The inside is modeled after classic Irish pubs, and the large patio sprawls out onto the sidewalks and walkways on either side. Grab a pint of Guinness, then order some crispy fish and chips or one of our favorite full Irish breakfasts in town. 

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At Xian Sushi and Noodles, the name of the game is sushi and noodles. And they do both very well. 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.

Tsuke Edomae is probably the hardest reservation to get in Austin right now, but if you manage to snag a seat at this eight-seat omakase sushi restaurant, well, consider yourself warned. That’s because a meal here might ruin sushi for you forever—it’s some of the best we’ve ever had, and very reasonably priced for the quality. If you haven’t been, try getting on the waitlist—it might be a while before you’re able to get a spot, but it’s an experience you won’t be able to stop talking about fondly for weeks to come.

The migas taco at Veracruz All-Natural sets the bar for all other migas tacos. Like Super Mario Bros. 3 or the brisket at Franklin Barbecue, they’re best-in-class—a legend. What makes these migas tacos so much better than all the other ones out there? The ingredients (they make their own tortilla chips), the execution, and the attention to detail (they take their time cooking things). Veracruz has multiple locations, but their food truck location near the Browning Hangar is perfect for sunny weekend afternoons. 

Marufuku is the only Austin-area outpost of the San Francisco-based ramen mini-chain, now with eight locations across three states. The specialty here, like many other ramen spots in town, is tonkotsu broth, but there’s also a creamy chicken paitan and a plant-based option available for those in search of something a bit lighter. And if you get there early (they only make 15 each day), you can even get your chicken paitan ramen with a sweet and sticky grilled chicken leg on the side, served hot on a sizzling platter.

Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches serves, well, craft beer and kolaches. The draft list here mostly features beers brewed in-house, plus the occasional local guest tap. The styles vary a bit, but you can generally expect to find some interesting imperial stouts, double dry hopped IPAs, and floral sours. In addition to beer, they make some excellent kolaches. They do have an indoor dining area, but this is definitely a prime patio situation. 

Bao’d Up is one of our favorite spots for a quick, portable lunch when we’re in Mueller. The baos are only $4 so you can grab a couple for now, and save a few for later (they reheat well). You can also grab something more substantial for a full sit-down meal, like red braised beef or spicy dan dan noodles. They also do boba if you’re just looking for something to sip on while you take a walk around Mueller Lake Park.

On a quiet corner near Airport and Manor is Oddwood Brewing—a neighborhood brewery making excellent saisons, happy pale ales, and lagers. They also make some really great bar pizzas and calzones. The inside feels very home-y, with lots of wood and cozy lighting, but there’s also a pretty big patio that spills into the parking lot for when the weather is nice.

There are a handful of eateries in the HEB Mueller food court, but our favorite mid-grocery pitstop is Roots, where the specialty is duck fat fried chicken in the form of wings, strips, and sandwiches. It’s a well known fact that duck fat makes everything taste better. We like the Spicy Bird, topped with kimchi mayo, giardiniera, and kale. It adds some great texture to some incredibly juicy chicken.

The Halal Corner gets right to the point with its name—halal food on a corner unit in Mueller, over near the Home Depot. There’s a pretty big dining room, with a patio that spills out onto the street for when the weather is nice. On the menu, expect to find things like a grilled meat or shawarma plate over rice—drizzled with spicy red and zesty green sauces—kafta kebab and falafel wraps, and a few salads. Most of the menu falls under $10, with big enough portions for a late night snack.

Colleen’s is a great little neighborhood restaurant offering classic Southern staples, like buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and biscuits. Pop in here for a nice, but casual weekday dinner where you can still enjoy some tasty cocktails. Or grab a patio table during the bustling weekend brunch and enjoy some people watching with friends on a lively segment of Aldrich St. 

La Fruta Feliz is a Mexican restaurant near Airport and Manor (close enough that we’ll allow it). They make some solid breakfast tacos, but we’re especially big fans of their lunch tacos and tortas, especially the barbacoa de chivo. With just a hint of gamey-ness, it’s juicy, flavorful, and absolutely worth ordering a couple. They also have a huge fruit and veggie juice list, so go ahead and throw on a Digestivo (papaya, orange, and carrots) to help you wash it all down.

Looking for a place to get a bunch of wings late at night? Maybe even last minute before a Super Bowl party? Halal Wings feels like it’s always open, always reliable, and affordable. Don’t expect life-changing wings here (or anywhere?), but expect some really solid wings at some of the lowest prices in town. 

Lick is about as close as Austin gets to a farm-to-table Baskin’ Robbins. They have close to 31 flavors—mostly made with local, seasonal ingredients—and three locations in Austin, including one in Mueller. A lot of their mainstays are twists on classic ice cream flavors, like dark chocolate with olive oil and sea salt. But there’s also a whole menu of seasonal flavors like elderberry mojito and lemonade pound cake. Grab a cone to keep you company on a walk around the park on warm afternoons. 

Coffeeshop by day, bar by night, Halcyon has something to offer at almost any hour. If you’re looking for somewhere remote to work for the afternoon, the tables on the sidewalk are ideal—grab some lunch from the full food menu while you’re there. But if you show up in the evening, you’ll definitely want to get their tabletop s’mores for 2-4 people. Or get s'mores for breakfast, there's no wrong time for marshmallows and chocolate.

Paco’s Tacos on East 51st Street makes perfectly good breakfast and lunch tacos, and perhaps most importantly, they do it quickly. The tacos, on half flour/half corn tortillas, can be on the pricier side, but the dirt cheap margaritas and draft beer more than make up for it. While there’s minimal indoor seating, there’s an expansive and funky patio, some of which is even covered. Stumble in, order some tacos, hit the salsa bar with feeling (there are five kinds), and take your bounty outside. Just avoid the hungry grackles.

Whether you’re living a plant-based lifestyle or just aspiring for one, Rebel Cheese is essentially a vegan charcuterie shop and cafe. Here, you can get tasty meatless versions of BLTs, Reubens, and French dips, or assemble your own board of 40+ plant-based cheeses, all made in house. Whatever you decide on, you’ll be able to enjoy it with a glass or two of wine, because they also operate as a small bottle shop. 

Mueller’s Kerbey Lane Cafe might not have all of the charm of its original location in a refurbished house on Kerbey Lane, but it does have most of the menu. Come for the pancakes, and stay for the signature Kerbey Queso—it’s arguably among the best in town. And if you manage to grab a coveted Sunday morning table, you can walk off some of those fluffy syrup-covered carbs at the Farmers’ Market right across the street. 

Chi’Lantro is probably best-known for their kimchi fries that catapulted them to popularity when they first opened their food truck back in 2010, but now there are multiple locations across the city—including one in Mueller—so you’re never too far from their Korean-Mexican fusion food. We’re big fans of their Korean fried chicken wings that are double-fried for a little extra crispiness.

The Canteen is a tiny food trailer outside of The Thinkery in Mueller. There are plenty of kid-friendly items on the menu—like a kids snack box or a plain hot dog— if you’re on your way out of the children’s science museum, but there are also plenty of all-age favorites, like pulled pork sandwiches and frito pies. All of it is great for a quick, portable, and delicious meal that you can bring into the park, especially if you order the burrata (sourced from Antonelli’s), with heirloom tomatoes and tomato vinaigrette.

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