Top 10 Waterfront Restaurants And Coffee Shops In Austin

Posted by Alex Lewis on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 at 11:39am.



Austin offers no shortage of great places to eat. Major food journals and television networks frequently give Austin's food scene generous accolades for the eclectic, diverse, and exquisite cuisine available throughout the city. It's no secret that Austin’s coffee culture is also top-in-class.

All the locals know: Austin's food scene believes in providing tasty food, good portions, diverse options, and quirky dives. Dining in Austin is specifically designed to be an experience.

From food trucks to authentic meals from across the world, the options are plentiful in the city of Willie Nelson and SXSW.

Among the great experiences available across the city, no visitor or resident should miss out on the tasty waterfront meals available on Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis.

(As an aside, local Austinites use the terms Lady Bird Lake, “the river”, the Colorado River, and Town Lake interchangeably to mean the water that flows east to west through the heart of downtown. “I’m going for a run down at the lake” and “I’m going for a run down by the river” means the exact same thing.)

Most guests who visit the following restaurants rave about the patio views and the sunsets visible from these locations right on the water. From Austin staples like Mozart’s and The Oasis, to the newer kids on the block like Tillery and Lucy’s Fried Chicken on Lake Travis, treat yourself next time you step out to grab a meal in Austin:

East Austin Waterfront Restaurants

1) Tillery

With a Mediterranean-inspired menu and a large riverfront patio, Tillery is one of the newest spots on the waterfront in Austin. Tillery boasts a beautiful mid-century interior with lots of rich wood elements and an updated ranch house feel. Take a seat on the deck under the pecan trees in this trendy East Austin neighborhood enjoying seasonally rotating Mediterranean fusion menus and happy hour cocktails.

2) Jacoby’s

Next door to Tillery, you can find Austin’s trendiest southern home cooking. Jacoby rethinks Southern comfort food by tapping into the best aspects of the farm-to-table movement. Guests love the patio outside and give special mention to the weekend brunch menu. With a cute little mercantile store and upscale country ambiance, what more could you want for breakfast on the river?

Delicious chicken and waffles are a surprising delight from Austin's food scene

Downtown Waterfront Restaurants and Coffee Shops

3) Alta’s Café

Alta’s might be the best place in Austin for a casual first date or a work meeting on the edge of downtown. Located just above Congress Ave Kayaks and along the Lady Bird Lake hike & bike trail, Alta’s has been the perfect craft coffee shop addition to the riverfront just off Cesar Chavez. Grab an Americano, try a taco, cheese plate, or pastry, and enjoy the scenic view of Austin’s central waterway.

4) TRIO Restaurant

TRIO is an upscale restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel just off Congress Ave and Cesar Chavez. Brunch is pricey here, but it is also extensive: featuring a carving station, made-to-order omelets, and waffles, traditional breakfast items, a seafood table, a table with cold cuts, cheeses, marinated and pickled items, salads, veggies, and a variety of small desserts. Add unlimited mimosas, coffee, and a view of Lady Bird Lake, and you’ve got a fine-dining brunch experience.

Mexican food is another staple one can expect in Austin's food scene

Lake Austin Blvd Waterfront Restaurants and Coffee Shops

5) Hula Hut

One of Austin’s unmistakable Tex-Mex exports, Chuy’s, has a Hawaiian-themed restaurant on the water just off Lake Austin Boulevard called Hula Hut. Serving up everything from ribs to crispy fish tacos, and fried stuffed avocados to over the top luau platters, you can get Texas-sized portions with a groovy Polynesian theme as you watch jet skis zip past on the water.

6) Mozart’s Coffee Roasters

Mozart’s has been an Austin staple for coffee, desserts, and lake views for years. Stop in for a latte and some Amy’s Ice Cream, or venture out to try one of their delicious pies or cakes. Mozart’s Christmas lights display is also legendary, and you will find scores of people arrive every year to watch the coordinated music and light show throughout the holiday season.

7) Abel’s on the Lake

Nestled between Hula Hut and Mozart’s, Abel’s is straightforward: American eats, dozens of beers on tap, large-screen TVs, and a large lakefront patio. Go around sunset to enjoy the most scenic views of the lake and Tom Miller Dam. Abel’s is a great place to catch the Longhorn football team and enjoy a hamburger or chips and queso.

Colorado River Waterfront Restaurants

8) Ski Shores Café

Whether you arrive by boat or car, Ski Shores is a perfect place to bring your family, have a cold one, and enjoy all the lake has to offer. Located close to Emma Long Park, Ski Shores has a HUGE playground for the kids, a room of arcade games, and a spectacular deck where you can dangle your feet into the water. Grab a casual picnic table and enjoy their pub fare including tacos, burgers, and margs. Vegetarian options available.

Lake Travis Restaurants

9) The Oasis on Lake Travis

With a multi-level sandstone façade with tiered, expansive terraces overlooking Lake Travis, The Oasis is an institution we couldn’t leave off the list. The Oasis was established over 30 years ago, and its website boasts that it is “best known as The Sunset Capital of Texas.” Visit the gift shop, sip a margarita or cocktail, and try their signature nachos. With Tex-Mex and American food options, almost everyone will be happy to spend an evening overlooking Lake Travis and the Texas Hill Country.

The Oasis restaurant that sits famously on Austin's waterfront is an established go-to place in Austin's food scene

10) Lucy’s Fried Chicken

One of Austin’s favorite guilty pleasures—Lucy’s Fried Chicken—has opened a large patio location on Lake Travis. Offering upscale southern cuisine, Lucy’s serves up some delicious fried chicken and mac ’n’ cheese under its signature red umbrellas. Chicken and waffles? Check. Come out and let your kids enjoy the jungle gym while you sip a can of craft brew.

Austin has become well-known and loved for some amazing eats and views. If you’re looking to move or relocate to the Austin area, a JB Goodwin Agent can help you find the home that you’ve been searching for. Reach out to us today and we’ll start the conversation about making your home-buying goals a reality

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1 Response to "Top 10 Waterfront Restaurants And Coffee Shops In Austin"

Ivy Baker wrote: This is some really good information about good restaurants that are by the water. I liked that you pointed out that you can get some really good fish tacos at one of these places. I love fish tacos, and I also love sitting by the water when eating them. Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 at 8:28pm.

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