• September 20, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Savoring Austin: A Local’s Guide to the Best Waterfront Dining Experience

Austin, Texas, a city known for its rich past and eclectic culture, could easily be crowned the food capital of the south. And nestled within this bustling metropolis is an almost clandestine world of waterfront dining destinations, each promising a unique gastronomical journey.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide that journeys through the myriad lakeshores and riversides of Austin. Feast your eyes on the picturesque landscapes while your taste buds revel in some of the most delectable cuisines, all by the water’s edge.

Embark on a Scenic and Culinary Adventure by the Waterside

Austin’s waterfront eateries are more than just dining destinations; they’re an experience. Picture fine-dining restaurants, charming cafes, cozy food trucks, each with its unique Austin-style charm. Join me as you unravel the meandering lanes of this culinary expedition.

Lunch by Lady Bird Lake: Emmer & Rye

Perched majestically beside the tranquil Lady Bird Lake, Emmer & Rye is a haven for true gourmands. The award-winning restaurant steals the limelight with:

  • A menu that’s redesigned frequently to showcase the best seasonal produce. From the many plates that travel through the kitchen, every morsel that hits the table is a riot of fresh flavors.
  • An on-site grain mill that’s busily at work, grinding ancient varieties of grains that star regularly in their daily dishes.
  • The most charming patio in the city, with an open-air ambience and an unbeatable view of the lake.

The locals will tell you – there’s nothing quite like a slow lunch on Emmer & Rye’s patio, where mouthwatering food is matched only by the temperate Austin weather and panoramic views of the lake.

Dine Alfresco at Oasis on Lake Travis

At the Oasis on Lake Travis, you’ll discover that dining transcends the culinary realm and becomes a multisensory experience. The restaurant, lovingly dubbed the “Sunset Capital of Texas,” will awe you with:

  • A breathtaking view of the lake that stretches as far as the eye can see. As the sun makes its gentle descent, the vista takes on a magical hue.
  • An eclectic Tex-Mex menu that sizzles with local flavors. From their sizzling fajitas to shrimp tacos, each bite is a celebration of the rich Texan culture.
  • Regular live music events that feature local bands, ensuring your dining experience is tinged with vibrant tunes.

Any gastronomic journey across Austin is incomplete without a visit to The Oasis. The views of the stunning sunsets, coupled with the mouth-watering food, ensure a spectacular sensory journey.

Bask in Cozy Vibes at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

Nestled on the banks of Lake Austin, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is where you can indulge in pure, idyllic bliss. This remains true whether it’s a lazy Sunday morning or a starlit Thursday evening. Mozart’s is well-known for:

  • Its extensive selection of coffees and specialty drinks, each meticulously brewed to perfection. It’s not just coffee though! Tea lovers can rejoice with options ranging from traditional blends to exotic infusions.
  • The unbeatable lineup of handmade pastries and desserts that pair perfectly with your drink of choice.
  • A dog-friendly outdoor patio, replete with homely wooden tables, strings of warm lights, and a panoramic view of glistening Lake Austin.

Witnessing their Christmas Light Show is also a must, a yearly spectacle that’s become an iconic Austin event. With Mozart’s, you have many reasons to linger.

Riverside Rendezvous: Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile

Situated along the lush banks of the Colorado River, Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile presents a rustic yet stylish waterfront dining experience. This family-owned Ranch-to-Table restaurant is known for:

  • Its commitment to sourcing locally-produced ingredients that guarantee freshness and quality. Additionally, their carefully curated beer and cocktail list adds a memorable twist to the dining experience.
  • The menu, brimming with southern comfort food that takes on an innovative avatar. Their delicious Southern Fried Chicken and Mac & Cheese are crowd favorites.
  • A sun-drenched patio that offers a stupendous view of the river. It is no wonder that Jacoby’s has quickly become one of Austin’s most beloved dining spots.

Traverse Austin’s Food Truck Scene by the Water

Austin is renowned for its thriving food truck scene. Discovering the variety of cuisines housed in these mobile kitchens around the city’s parks and lakes is an adventure in itself. Here’s a teaser:

  • Curcuma: This plant-based food truck, located in the racially and culturally diverse East Cesar Chavez neighborhood, offers nutritious and original meals. Savour their Golden Mylk Iced Latte or their signature Kitchari Bowl as you feel the cool breeze from the nearby Colorado River.
  • The Picnic: This food truck park, just a stone’s throw away from Lady Bird Lake, presents a wide variety of food choices amidst a vibrant and casual setting.

Indulge in Dining on a Boat

For an unforgettable waterfront and dining experience, why not bring the restaurant to the water?

  • Lake Austin Riverboats: They offer an unforgettable scenic dining experience right on a riverboat. Their dinner cruises feature a diverse menu to accompany the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Capital Cruises: Step aboard one of their dinner cruises for a romantic night out or a special celebration. Famed for their bat-watching tours, they also provide a wide selection of food, all adding to the charm of the boat ride.

Wrapping Up

Austin pulls out all the stops when it comes to waterfront dining. The city’s vibrant food culture, coupled with the breathtaking waterfront views, promises a myriad of culinary adventures. The options are as diversified as the city itself, catering to gourmands, families, lone wanderers, lovers, and friends.

Don’t forget to indulge in these gastronomic delights by Austin’s picturesque shorelines as Led Zeppelin rightly said, “Feasting on the docks of the city,” promises a whole ‘lot of love…for Austin and its magical waterfront dining scene. Enjoy each moment of your exploration, fellow food lover, because each bite is a narrative of this remarkable city!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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