Picnik and their new location on Burnet next to our favorite pizza joint, Pinthouse Pizza, brings Paleo-friendly dishes to Austin. This simple + modern spot is perfect for the allergy and diet friendly diner, as they only use raw, organic ingredients AND will cater to any food allergy you may have. You must start with their spin on the traditional loaded guac - apple + kale + avocado = AMAZING, but we hear the brussels sprouts are to-die-for. We ordered the Special Fish Tacos (homemade tortillas, omg) and the Orange Chicken + Broccoli with the Jasmine rice. These dishes from a traditional Tex-Mex or Chinese restaurant usually leave us super stuffed, but we felt light as a feather after our meal! Everything we ate was delicious, but we're dying to jump on the butter coffee train and try their brunch menu! Picnik also offers grab-and-go items, along with their signature butter coffee and bone broths at their South Lamar food truck.
Fresa's Chicken al Carbon
Fresa's on South First is the sister restaurant of Fresa's drive-thru over on South Lamar. Fresa's offers an array of traditional Tex-Mex cuisine, plus wood-grilled meals that are great for large groups + family meals. We obviously ordered the queso and the Sandia Agua Fresca (watermelon) to start. The Achiote Orange Chicken and the Chimichurri Skirt Steak are delicious, and they come in different sizes depending on your party. These two, along with the other wood-grilled options, come with rice + beans, fresh corn tortillas, and the traditional accompaniments for the perfect taco. We suggest a side of the Mexican Street Corn because it is the best we have had in Austin thus far. The South First location offers the cutest and most spacious patio, perfect for evening dinner and drinks. Oh, and order the Smokey Paloma and the Avocado Margarita - you'll thank us later!
Café No Sé
We love a good California inspired restaurant, especially when it's located inside the fabulous South Congress Hotel. This modern, clean, yet rustic spot invites diners of all sorts, especially those that love a good patio and light menu options. We tried Café No Sé almost a year ago when it first opened and again this weekend, and let's just say it did not disappoint. Café No Sé offers one of the best brunches in town. If you like more savory breakfast options like us, you'll absolutely love the avocado toast and the bagel board (the beet + horseradish gravlax is some of the best we've had in Austin). The ricotta hot cakes with secret layers of banana and any of the fresh baked pastries will satisfy any and every sweet tooth. Oh, and the shredded kale salad is so yummy (we love the crispy rice) and fresh. Grab a seat on the wrap around patio for the best people watching on SoCo!
This New York gem made its' way to Austin about a year ago and took residence in the Lamar Union and up North at the Domain. Obviously there isn't a fast food burger that can compete with our beloved P. Terry's (four sides of special sauce, please), but Shake Shack comes in at a close second. This hot spot puts a location based spin on their burgers, hot dogs, and frozen custard. Our Texas Shake Shacks are home to the Lockhart Link Burger (cheeseburger topped with jalapeno cheese sausage link), the Texas Twister (choc custard + choc covered pretzels + marshmallow sauce), and the amazing Uchi-koncrete (vanilla custard + miso hazelnut blondie + huckleberry jam). Take it from us - order the cheese fries, Uchi-koncrete, and a cheeseburger with pickles. Don't forget to ask for three sides of the shack sauce - you'll be more than happy you did.