Texans love their beef. Heck, Texans love all meat in general. So it’s fitting that the capital city of Austin is home to a rich array of meaty eateries. Here’s a round-up of fifteen excellent options to satisfy the most voracious of carnivores.
Note: I could easily have filled up all 9 slots with barbecue joints alone, so to shine the spotlight a little broader, there’s no BBQ on this list, so instead you can check out my complete guide to Austin BBQ.
And so, in no particular order:
1. Salt & Time
It doesn’t really get more meaty than a butcher shop. In addition to their meat cases, they also offer an in-store dining experience. Find excellent sandwiches like the Roast Beast available at lunchtime, or step it up with the dinner menu and go for livers & onions, marrow bones and a rotating selection of steak cuts.
2. Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile
This rustic-chic eatery practices the farm-to-table mantra by sourcing their beef from their own family ranch. In addition to dry-aged steaks, they also have elevated versions of classic dishes like chicken fried steak, salisbury steak and even bolognese. Though not technically meat, their mac’n’cheese is arguably best in town.
3. Dai Due
Chef Jesse Griffiths practices the field-to-table mindset at his combination restaurant and butcher shop. Dai Due is all about local and seasonal ingredients, with a superb charcuterie board. Their menu rotates daily and features all manner of proteins, but if you get the chance a must try is the Venison Ceviche.
4. Salty sow
All things porcine are celebrated at Salty Sow, from Candied Pork Belly to Milk-Braised Pork Butt. There are lots of fun dishes to nibble on, like the charcuterie board and bacon gruyere bone marrow and the stellar pastrami salmon. Undoubtedly, their most ordered dish is the triple fried duck fat fries with soft poached egg…
5. Noble Sandwich Co
Formerly known as Noble Pig, these sandwiches aren’t your standard PB&J… not the least of which because they offer bacon bread as an option. From their Swine Burger, and Brisket with Kimchi and Sambal Mayo to the Seared Beef Tongue with Smoked Green Onions, the imaginative combinations are backed up by quality ingredients.
No doubt Frank intended their name to relate to Frankfurter, but you wouldn’t be remiss thinking it’s short for Frankenstein, thanks to some unusually pieced together meat combos in their hot dogs, like the antelope, rabbit & pork, kangaroo & pork and even alligator. Perhaps their most photographed and food-porn-esque item is the Notorious PIG, containing both pork & bacon in the Frank, and topped with a generous mountain of mac’n’cheese. You can also up the meat ante by ordering a bacon bloody mary.
It wouldn’t be an accurate list of meat-eating in Austin without getting some Tex Mex all up in here. There are hundreds of great Tex Mex places all around the city. Well, some are better than others, but even the bad ones are still pretty good. What sets Habanero apart is their wood-fired mesquite grill, which brings a whole new flavor dimension to their enchiladas and fajitas.
8. Crown & Anchor
I love a smashburger (read the very important difference between smashburgers and steak house style here). You know, that old-school think patty burger you can hold in one hand. Crown & Anchor consistently pumps out one of the greatest short stack burgers in the city, if not the state. Crisp from the griddle, with a side of fries that are always crunchy and never disappointingly soggy. Get the bacon add on. Because you can. And should.
9. Hoover’s Cooking
If it’s true that soul cooking warms your heart and sticks to your ribs, Hoovers fits the bill. There’s a smokehouse selection on the menu with ribs and such, but without doubt the standout is their chicken fried steak, or for that matter, chicken fried chicken, with gravy and sides. Go the fried okra and some of their homemade lemonade.
The menu at Fixe comprises of elevated Southern fare with a cajun twist. In addition to a stellar bourbon selection, their fried puffed beef tendons are one of my all time favorite snacks. You can order them up at the bar or a la carte from your table. Also notable – the biscuits served with cajun spiced ‘nduja and the “carnivore” grits.
11. Foreign & Domestic
Enjoying unwavering popularity since they opened their North Loop doors, Foreign & Domestic’s menu never fails to keep a carnivore happy. From the unusual (crispy fried pigs ear, local quail with basil fed snails) to the more ubiquitous dishes like fried chicken biscuit and strip steak, meaty cravings are covered. Looking for a date night solution? Try the ‘meat for two’ option.
12. Stuffed Cajun Meat Market
As the name would suggest, Stuffed offers all manner of traditional cajun boucherie products like boudin, stuffed quail, and stuffed pork loin. The more funkier Louisianan meats are also vended here, like frogs legs and turtle meat for soup. In addition to basic meat marketry, Stuffed offer a selection of ready to eat snacks like gumbo, etoufee, fried seafood sandwiches and even gator for lunch and dinner. Pro tip – you can even get rendered duck fat here for some most excellent roasted potatoes.
Nestled between Allandale and Rosedale, Epicerie is the charming cafe you wish was your local. Their charcuterie board is outstanding, and comes with thoughtful sides like pickled green tomatoes and cured egg yolk. A pastrami muffin sits proudly on their breakfast menu, and you can pick up some fantastic gourmet provisions from their grocery section.
14. Fabi + Rosi
The heavily German influenced Fabi + Rosi boasts a menu with a distinctly fleisch-centric theme. Their charcuterie board is delightful, and if a whole meat board is too much, their Brotzeit option (of pretzel, beer cheese and sausage) may be just the ticket. Other stars include bone marrow dumplings in the beef consume, bourbon glace duck & polenta and the uber decadent wagyu steak with truffled fries.
15. Wholefoods Market
If we’re talking about a list for major meat lovers, it would be remiss not to include Wholefood’s incredible meat counter, or more specifically, their dry aging room. Trick is to steer (excuse the pun) away from their organic meats which are pretty lean and not the best eating in terms of flavor, and go for the dry aged grain fed steaks. Even better, they’ll take custom orders for aging beyond the normal 14-21 days. Which means, you’re going to have an amazing meat experience right in your own kitchen.