photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Aba image

Aba Austin


South CongressSouth Austin

$$$$Perfect For:See And Be SeenOutdoor/Patio Situation


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Walking north from the busy part of South Congress Avenue to the Music Lane development, you’ll inevitably pass Hermès and Le Labo stores, a handful of boutiques, and SoHo House before arriving at Aba. All of this should give you some indication of what Aba wants to be: luxury. But unfortunately, slapping a $25 price tag on a paloma might make it sound like a premium product, but it doesn’t make it taste like one. Instead, Aba is a boring Mediterranean restaurant on South Congress, with an admittedly beautiful patio.

Aba image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

There are some redeeming things on the menu here. The pita bread is warm and fluffy, and it pairs nicely with the ultra-smooth whipped hummus. And the shawarma-spiced prime skirt steak is cooked to a perfect medium, despite lacking any shawarma flavor. But don’t be surprised to follow that up with dry chicken kebabs and falafels, a bowl of burnt brussels sprouts, or generally wimpy flavors that talk a lot of game. 

If you’re looking for strong, punchy Mediterranean flavors in a similarly trendy atmosphere, head to The Peacock instead. But if you really want to check out Aba, try to do it on the dreamy patio situated under a 100+ year old oak tree. Reservations are hard to get, and generally require a month or two of planning, but you can sometimes walk in and grab a table on the patio—because that’s where you want to be. It’s a beautiful escape from the weekend chaos of South Congress, and it’s one of the few redeeming things about Aba, even if it means finding the occasional stray leaf in your fancy paloma.

Aba image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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