On the Road Eats: Austin City Guide

From classic barbecue to fresh Tex-Mex, hearty burgers to savory crepes and fun food trucks, Austin offers a deliciously eclectic mix of traditional cuisine and innovative artisanal fare.

1. Green Mesquite
At Green Mesquite, the BBQ gets its spectacular smoky flavor from the spot's namesake: mesquite wood that is seasoned, or "green." On Triple D, Guy calls the ribs, made with brown sugar, paprika, cayenne, onion and garlic, "awesome." Other faves include brisket, pulled pork and chicken fried steak.

2. Casino El Camino
Guy Fieri calls late night spot Casino El Camino home to "the best burger in town." Juicy and tender, the 12-ounce monsters come topped with everything from cheese and thick-cut bacon to roasted Serrano peppers and Texas-hot buffalo sauce. For a spicy side, pair your burger with Verde Chili Fries.

3. Austin Daily Press
This sandwich-centered eatery began as a food truck (and contestant on The Great Food Truck Race) and has since added a brick-and-mortar location on MLK Blvd. Both serve up sandwiches with a Mediterranean-inspired flair, while the new spot also offers loads of meats and veggies cured in-house.

4. Lamberts Downtown Barbecue
Rock 'n roll and BBQ sit side-by-side at Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, where Texas natives Larry McGuire and Tom Mormon give an upscale spin to the traditionally down-home cuisine. Meat & Potatoes host Rahm Fama opted for Hanger Steak, while others praise the Slow-Smoked Pork Ribs and Beef Brisket.

5. 24 Diner
Austin's 24 Diner is, as the name implies, open 24 hours a day, but the chef-inspired, locally-sourced comfort food is far from typical round-the-clock fare. Crave host Troy Johnson recommends the boneless fried chicken, served on a plate-sized waffle with brown sugar butter and real maple syrup.

6. Flip Happy Crepes
On The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Beau McMillan called Flip Happy's Strawberry Nutella Crepes "pure ecstasy." With sweet and savory ingredients like Tarragon mushrooms, caramelized onions and toasted coconut, the crepes here have become an Austin landmark and a must-go for both tourists and locals.

7. Abel's on the Lake
This lakeside restaurant is all about fun, sun, and a wall of beers! Pull up dockside and enjoy a weekend brunch, or stop in for dinner and drinks.

8. Counter Cafe
A cozy, comfortable diner, Counter Cafe specializes in comfort food like pancakes, burgers and biscuits and gravy. In addition to the classics, the 26-seat eatery offers up scratch-made Curry Chicken Burgers that Guy calls "juicy as can be" and a one-of-a-kind breakfast combo of quail and eggs.

9. Foreign & Domestic
At Foreign & Domestic, it's a culinary wedding of flavors. On Triple D with Guy, this husband and wife have been turning foreign dishes a little domestic and vice versa. The result is a menu with savory, eclectic standouts, like Fideos pasta with eggplant butter or their signature Gruyere Popovers.

10. South Congress Cafe
On her weekend trip to Austin, Giada started off at South Congress Cafe where it's a little less country and a lot more chic. Chic decor or not, it still serves big Texas flavors, like Giada's rich carrot cake and French toast with pecan cream cheese frosting or the locals' favorite: crab cakes.

11. Luke's Inside Out
At this food truck, you never know what kind of sandwich you'll get. Guy called the Korean rabbit with rabbit meat, tater tots, kimchi, Sriracha and their secret sauce "the bomb." The shrimp caught Guy's attention with its tasty shrimp patty paired with blue cheese, baby spinach, onions and apples.

12. Taco Xpress
To taste the funky and weird side of Austin, Rachael gets a local tip to visit Maria's Taco Xpress with its bright murals and good cheap eats. Rachael ordered the popular migas breakfast tacos, but for dinner, it's all about the pollo guisado chicken tacos made with a smoky chipotle sauce.

13. The Broken Spoke
Both Bobby and Giada have two-stepped at this iconic country bar where legends like Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton have made the rounds. The dance hall perfectly captures Austin's charm, but the menu branches out with its famous chicken fried steak, Mexican enchiladas and even brick-oven pizzas.