Figuring out what to eat for dinner has become a herculean task, right up there with deciding what to watch next on Netflix, or which pair of sweatpants to wear today. (OK, it’s just the one pair.) So we put together this guide to help ̶u̶s̶ you figure out what to eat. Austin has some great places offering takeout and delivery, and it’s one of the safest ways to explore and support the city’s many restaurants. Here are 16 of our favorites.
All restaurants featured on The Infatuation are selected by our editorial team. The Ultimate Austin Delivery Guide is presented by Caviar.
Cafe Nena’i is a small, mother-and-daughter owned Latin American bakery near Riverside and Montopolis where nothing on the menu is over $5. We’re fans of the pastries like the alfajor (a cookie sandwich with dulce de leche and coconut flakes) and the pastafrola (guava tart), and we could eat their sandwich mixto - a ham and cheese croissant melt - every day and never complain. Their Cuban-inspired coffee menu also has things like cafecitos and cortaditos. And if you’re picking up lunch, make sure to grab a couple of empanadas, though we can’t guarantee they’ll survive the car ride home.
The last time we checked, there was approximately one Tacodeli for every three Austin residents, which means you’re never too far from some solid tacos no matter where you are . Tacodeli has all the standards and remains one of the most popular local chains in town, but the reason we keep going back is for their doña sauce - a roasted jalapeño and garlic salsa that gets blended and emulsified until it’s creamy. They claim to have invented it, and while we have no idea if that’s true, it’s great on tacos and packs a nice punch. They also go the unconventional route with mashed potatoes instead of the more typical roasted or fried potatoes. It makes for a much softer breakfast taco that seems to leave many divided (for the record, we’re on team mashed potato).
Wok 'N Express
There’s a chance you’ve driven by this Chinese restaurant-market hybrid without even realizing what it was. But the convenience store setup makes it perfectly optimized for curbside takeout and delivery, and you can pick up some beer or snacks while you’re there. They’re also the first place we’ve seen that puts pineapple in their General Tso’s, which might not be super common, but we’re all for it.
Home Slice is one of our favorite spots in town for pizza, subs, and just about everything in between. If you often find yourself staring inside your fridge looking for a snack, the antipasto - a plate of Italian meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated artichoke hearts - makes for very good snacking.
It used to be that you had to drive all the way to Lockhart on a Saturday morning before waiting in a long line to get your hands on some Black’s BBQ. But now they’ve opened up a location right near UT, where the same meat is driven in daily. The fatty brisket here is excellent - so order more than you think you want - and the pork ribs are top-notch. But if you’re looking for something to turn a good day into a great one, you’ll want to snag one of their coveted beef ribs.
This North Austin spot has a small dining room and sushi bar, and they also run a very robust takeout operation. They do traditional sushi, sashimi, and rolls exceptionally well, and they also have hot dishes like black cod, tonkatsu, and teriyaki. But where they really shine are the specials that they post on the wall (and on their Facebook account once a week) with fish flown in from places like Japan and Hawaii. You want to order from this menu.
Pepe’s is a bit of an Austin newcomer, with a food trailer near 7th and Lamar. The menu here is small, but focused - birria tacos, quesabirria, birria quesadillas, tortas, and consomé. We enjoyed the birria tacos and quesabirria - the meat was tender and well-spiced, and the tortillas were crispy. They have a few salsa options, but we don’t usually find ourselves needing a whole lot of salsa on a taco that’s just been through a warm consomé bath.
Lucky Robot on South Congress makes excellent sushi at reasonable prices. They’re currently open for dine-in, but they’re still offering a lot of takeout options, including a sake club and a DIY sushi kit if you want to let out your inner chef. We really like the chirashi bowl here - the portions are large, and it’s almost as fun to look at as it is to eat.
101 by Tea Haus is a fast-casual Asian/American restaurant in the Crescent Shopping Center that serves things like kimchi fried rice, Japanese curries, Chinese braised pork belly, and boba tea. We’re fans of the Haus Chicken Sandwich here that features a generously-sized crispy Taiwanese basil fried chicken thigh with a tangy Asian slaw served on a sweet buttered bun. And make sure to pick up a sea salt creme Thai tea while you’re there.
Veracruz is the Franklin Barbecue of Austin tacos, with an inevitable line, a dedicated following, and consistently high-quality food. And they have five locations around town, so you’re never too far away from a quality breakfast. We usually go with the Migas Poblanas taco or keep it classic with an El Tradicional (eggs, bacon, refried beans, potato, and cheese).
The Slab Slider Trio at Slab BBQ is exactly what it claims to be: three barbecue sliders. They’re mini versions of their much larger sandwiches: the Notorious P.I.G. (pulled pork, mustard coleslaw), the Texas O.G. (brisket, pickles, onions), and the Chicken W.A. (smoked chicken, coleslaw). But just because they’re smaller doesn’t mean they don’t pack the same flavor punch. And at $12, it’s a perfect lunch for those of us afraid of a singular sandwich commitment. Why have just one sandwich when you can have three?
Hoover’s has been around since 1998, so they’ve had some time to fine-tune their craft. They do some of the best Southern cooking in town, including a really great chicken-fried steak, and some excellent pork chops.
If you get the chance to walk past Xian’s kitchen in normal times, you’ll see a row of cooks hand-pulling noodles with levels of precision that we can only dream of. These noodles make up the foundation of most of the dishes on the menu - from red braised beef noodle soup to shoyu ramen. You choose the thickness, ranging from the needle-thin vermicelli to the heftier pappardelle that works great with their stir-fried noodles. There are also a few fried rice dishes and a whole sushi menu for those feeling less noodle-inclined.
You can find Easy Tiger’s bread all around town - it’s some of our favorites - but you should make a point to try some of their other food too. The sandwiches here are excellent, and the pretzels make for a perfect snack at any time of the day. And if you’re not really sure what you want to try, just grab a grazing board. It’s got a little bit of everything.
Italian food is often associated with white tablecloths, candles, and maybe a dimly-lit dining room, but Artipasta has none of that. They operate out of a trailer in a tree-shaded food truck park in South Austin, and they make some of the best pasta in Austin right now. All of the pastas and sauces here are house-made, and there’s a level of attention to detail on display that’s rare at any restaurant, let alone a trailer. Try the tagliatelle with house meat sauce or the basil pesto with literally any noodle.
The al pastor - cooked on a trompo and served on handmade corn tortillas with roasted pineapple and spicy salsa - is what put Vaquero Taquero on the map. But it’s the absurdly good breakfast tacos - especially the bacon, egg, and griddled cheese - that keep us coming back. They’re also one of the few places in town that have machacado breakfast tacos. Originally Vaquero Taquero had a trailer in Hyde Park, but now they have a brick-and-mortar right by campus too. We’d study for a PhD just to get that machacado.