SXSW 2015: Can't Miss Austin Dining

Recently named “Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2015” by GQ, St. Philip brings together thoughtfully sourced ingredients in imaginative ways. Inspired by the aroma of baking bread, the bubbling of melted cheese on hand tossed pizza crust and the promise of fresh-from-the-oven pastries and sweets, the team that brought you the acclaimed Uchi and its sister restaurants will feature seasonal dishes, hearty meatballs and delicious sandwiches along with a beverage selection of craft beers and drinks. The bakeshop opens at 7 am, serving coffee and a rotating selection of freshly baked pastries, bread, cookies and savory treats.

Freebirds World Burrito is the fast casual burrito joint with an unapologetically independent approach to serving burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, bowls and salads that feed both the belly and the soul. They provide great food and engaging service in a high-energy atmosphere, standing for freedom of choice both in expression and at mealtime. Through their charitable arm, Freebirds World Works, they’re also able to help the communities in which they serve and continually encourage others to lend a hand, too. Freebirds World Burrito is owned and operated by Tavistock Group.

People say you can’t get fresh seafood in Austin, guess again. For some late night southern comfort eats, head to Turf N Surf, a unique po'boy shop in the back area of Lavaca Street Bar in downtown Austin. Originally a food trailer, the popular spot features Chef Ralph Gilmore’s inspired menu, serving everything from the sea from crawfish po’boys to lobster rolls and everything in between.

El Naranjo - Does SXSW have free food? Yes. But where do you go when you are craving a real meal (and a really good one)? Where can you step away in the middle of it all and find a reprieve? Try El Naranjo. Set in the “middle of the action” on Rainey Street, the restaurant owned by Executive Chef Iliana de la Vega serves traditional Mexican fare (sorry no Tex-Mex) that mirrors her upbringing in Mexico City and Oaxaca. Go ahead, eat some mole, drink a world-class margarita and then step outside right back into the madness.

laV is inspired by the French spirit and as generated significant attention from Austin’s culinary community and has been named one of Eater Austin’s “Most Anticipated Restaurants” among other accolades and attention. Conceptualized by managing partner and advanced sommelier, Vilma Mazaite, the space which has been built from the ground up, evokes visions of a French Provençal home – warm and inviting, casual yet vibrant. The food, executed by Executive Chef Allison Jenkins who previously helmed Ajax Tavern in Aspen, is influenced by diverse yet complementary styles of cuisine: American Tavern, French Provence and Mediterranean cuisine. The dishes, comprised of fresh, local ingredients make-up an ever-changing menu that’s driven by seasonality and persistent creativity. 2013 James Beard Semi-Finalist Janina O’Leary serves as the team’s Executive Pastry Chef and is in charge of the stellar dessert choices and a great bread program. Wine is an essential component to the laV experience and the tasting room offers everything from prestigious grand wines to unique and local pours by way of flights, tasting portions and wine experiences.

With an eye to embracing the rich and vibrant local culture in Austin, W Hotel’s restaurant, Trace, offers a menu that celebrates local, seasonal ingredients and responsible sourcing on all levels. Trace’s “Conscious Cuisine” unites culinary talent with sustainable practices to create a memorable dining experience, ideal for sharing.

Celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey (Top Chef Miami Finalist and Co-host of ABC's The Taste) brought hit (and award winning) restaurant Searsucker to Austin. The social dining experience offers guests exceptional dishes, uniquely crafted cocktails and fun, upbeat music and often evolves from a dinner dining experience to a late night, laid-back and sophisticated social scene.

From the James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Uchi, and sister restaurant Uchiko are in a class all its own. Celebrating its 11th year anniversary this year the restaurant has been praised by Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, WSJ and the list goes on. A tip for a guest looking to try the acclaimed food on a budget: try sake social. Daily from 5:30-6:30 guests get steals on a variety of beverages and can try some of the most popular dishes for $10 or less.

Fixe celebrates the soul of the south with Sunday Supper served seven days a week in a warm and spirited atmosphere. Bringing to life familiar tastes imagined in progressive ways, Chef James Robert and his team pay homage to his roots with an eye to tradition, a commitment to quality, and a passion to bring their guests an unexpected and memorable culinary experience.