Gourmet Live and BlogHer Road Trip: Austin Food Guide

April 27ATLANTA August 31CHICAGO
This month's stop on the Gourmet Live & BlogHer Road Trip: We're taking you to Austin, Texas, for the 2011 SXSW© Music and Media Conference. Get plugged in and get ready to dig in with our guide to Austin's eclectic food scene.

Photo by Ben Blankenburg / Getty Images
Austin Food Guide: Tips From Local Bloggers
Blythe Jewell, Kidding Around Austin
What are your 3 top favorite food carts/trailers?
Torchy's Tacos -- if you don't love their fried avocado Democrat, I don't even want to know you. And Flip Happy Crepes. My husband would kill me if I left this one off. He needs a Flip Happy fix at least once a week.

--Blythe Jewell, Kidding Around Austin

Michelle Hoad, Table for Nine
Best Mex-Mex (not Tex-Mex)?
Guero's. Hands down. No cheese-filled fake Mexican food here. I can't go without ordering the Oaxaca Especial, because those carne guisada tacos are addictive.

--Michelle Hoad, Table For Nine

Mandy Begley, Home With Mandy
Best foodie happy hour?
Although off the beaten path, FINO Restaurant Patio and Bar has one of the best happy hours for foodies. Their tapas and small plates are great for sharing, don't miss the Fried Anchovy Olives or the Mediterranean Spreads. Lounge on the patio when it's nice weather, ordering the Sangria and FINO's signature Paella is a must on Tuesday night when it is 50% off.

--Mandy Begley, Home With Mandy

Janssen, Everyday Reading
Is Whole Foods in Austin different from Whole Foods everywhere else?
The Austin Whole Foods is ENORMOUS (bigger than any other one I've ever been to) and has absolutely everything, including a huge array of ready-to-go food. There are a lot of samples and the displays look like works of art. There is underground parking (so nice in a big city) and a large rooftop patio with a playground that is beautiful when the weather is nice, especially when the sun is setting. In the winter, they have an ice rink on the roof as well.

--Janssen Bradshaw, Everyday Reading

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Julie Claire Morrison, Confessions of a Napper
Where are the most popular cheap eats?
Anyone who walks into P. Terry's Burger Stand is guaranteed to love it. A true Austin original, all of the meat and produce is completely organic and sustainably grown. They even serve veggie burgers!

--Julie Claire Morrison, Confessions of a Napper

Tiffany Mendenhall, Life Is Glamorous and Fabulous
Best tourist trap locals won't admit they go to?
Chuy's Mexican Food. It's always packed, but tourists and locals alike love it. You can't leave without getting the creamy jalapeno to dip your chips and tortillas in.

It's free, but you have to ask for it.

--Tiffany Mendenhall, Life Is Glamorous And Fabulous

Tina Poe, Me and Mr. Bee
What's the best place for after-work takeout?
A hole-in-the-wall Indian grocer/ tiny restaurant called Teji's in Round Rock. Often times rated as the best Indian food in Austin. I live work in Round Rock, so it's not too far of a drive for me to grab after-work takeout on my way home to Austin. Some weekends ,if my husband and I are craving Indian we'll even make the drive up to Teji's, because we never want to risk getting Indian food anywhere else and it not be as good. It’s not the best atmosphere to eat there, since it’s inside of the small grocery store and they server you on Styrofoam, but it’s the best take-out. They give you a ton of food; we always have leftovers for another meal.

--Tina Poe, Me and Mr. Bee

Barbara Shallue, Long Hollow
Best bars with food and music?
Steiner Ranch Steakhouse is fantastic -- live music is performed outside nightly, weather permitting, with a breathtaking view of the sunset on Lake Travis as backdrop. Fados Irish Pub downtown has wonderful food and live music as well.

--Barbara Shallue, Long Hollow

Blythe Jewell, Kidding Around Austin
What’s the best dessert spot?
I'm partial to Chez Zee, off of 2222. Look for the bunny on the sign. The chocolate raspberry truffle cheesecake is total overkill, and I mean that in the best possible way.

--Blythe Jewell, Kidding Around Austin

Mandy Begley, Home With Mandy
What are the top five most popular restaurants)?
Uchi on South Lamar is a unique house turned restaurant serving artful sushi dishes in a very charming atmosphere. Prices are high, but the experience is unforgettable. Other popular restaurants include Perry's Steakhouse for the pork chop, Jack Allen's Kitchen for relaxed and creative appetizers on the patio, Ranch 616 for fried oysters and groovy decor, and El Arroyo -- or "The Ditch," as Austinites lovingly refer to this Tex-Mex location.

--Mandy Begley, Home With Mandy

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