You know the person who can put on a white t-shirt and look like they’re a model? Meanwhile, when you wear one, it just looks like you’re in a Hanes Beefy-T. They’re not even trying to look good, but the rest of us look like we could use some help. That perfect level of casual is June’s All Day.
Everything about June’s is cool, but not too cool. It’s the newest spot from the people behind Perla’s, Lamberts, Jeffrey’s, and Clark’s, and it’s the most laid-back of the bunch. The location is in a prime part of South Congress Avenue, but still feels like it’s set back from the chaos. When you step foot inside, everything just feels easy - the space is stylish but simple, and you get the feeling you’re going to be taken care of. It’s the kind of place that works for impressing clients, but isn’t too nice for a Tuesday night when you don’t feel like making dinner. And as their name suggests, it’s a solid option at any hour.
That’s also because their kind-of-American, kind-of-European menu covers a lot of ground, and it’s all really good. The food is fancier than you’d expect from such a casual-feeling place - some of our favorite dishes are the sourdough pancakes, snapper carpaccio, and bone marrow bolognaise. But if you want something less adventurous, you could also eat a bialy with smoked salmon, matzo ball soup, or a fried chicken sandwich. And there are a bunch of excellent pastries to add to your breakfast or to end your dinner.
We’re also big fans of the bar. Post up there with or without friends, and even if you don’t know much about wine, the staff at June’s will happily introduce you to something you’ll likely end up loving (and wishing you could find at other places around town). If you want to stick with what you know, they also make a very good martini, and the rest of the cocktails are strong too.
June’s gets all the details right - there are cafe tables and shiny checkered floors, a jukebox, and the kind of dishware you wish you’d inherit from your grandma. And if you needed more of a reason to make your way here, they also have a dog-friendly patio for bringing your ball-and-chain or considering stealing someone else’s. While a lot of spots on South Congress are trying hard to out-Austin each other, June’s is just being itself: an excellent casual restaurant. Now someone tell us where to buy the cool white t-shirts.
The matzo ball in this soup is the same pillowy awesome one you’d find at a New York deli, but the side of avocado and jalapeños makes it a completely different dish. It’s worth the sweat.
The chicken in this is pounded flat and serves as the perfect vehicle for the pile of greens on top smothered in dressing. Get it if you want something kind of healthy without feeling sad about eating something kind of healthy.
The easy route. And by easy, we mean it’s the tastiest thing on the menu and will prove to your friends once again that your “Fried Chicken = Life” tattoo was a good idea. The chicken is tender, the slaw is spicy, and the bun is top-notch.
Rich, meaty pasta with lots of kale and parmesan cheese. This is the fanciest June’s gets, and it still manages to make us feel like we’re getting a pasta hug with every bite. Be the one who suggests ordering it for the table.
Leaf by leaf your dipping of this perfectly-cooked artichoke into the dressing will get more aggressive, but that’s ok. Once you’ve made your way through the foliage to the heart, your server will take it from you to prepare a second dish. They’ll return with a perfectly extracted artichoke heart topped with hardboiled eggs and what we can only assume is magic.
This will make you appreciate crispy pastries the way some people appreciate art. We only wish we could have each gotten our own personal ice cream scoops. Sharing ice cream is like sharing those individual flossers. Just don’t.