It’s hard to find traditional French food in Austin, but Justine’s hits the mark. The menu is short, and the food is very good - you can tell they’re trying hard to stick to the conventions of one of the most revered cuisines in the world. But the defining aspect of Justine’s is its outdoor patio, which is without question one of the best in town, especially ever since they launched the semi-private tented cabanas with chandeliers.
The old house it’s in is truly charming—complete with a Stevie Nicks-ish meets New Orleans atmosphere. The bar is one of the most delightful places to sit, and you can talk with the bartenders about what vinyl record they're gonna play next. Be warned though, that cramming lots of people in that space creates tons of noise that makes it hard to hear a conversation. If you want a fun bar with hot people and really tasty French food, this is the place.
Escargot a la Bourguignonne
You either love or hate this traditional French starter of snails doused in butter. Justine’s does it justice by keeping it simple and not fcking up a good thing.
Coquilles St. Jacques Basquaise
Despite the very high potential of seared scallops and spicy chorizo, this dish is just ok. Feel free to skip.
Mussels and fries are always a good option, and Justine’s has a strong showing of them.
The Royale with Cheese
Ripped from John Travolta’s famous line in Pulp Fiction, this decadent burger is topped with gruyere on a ciabatta bun. Despite not being totally French, it’s fantastic. If you’re paying north of $20 for a burger, it better be good.