2013 City Guide – Northwest Austin Restaurants



Austin is such a foodie town. If one were to try to search out every great place, it would take forever and probably wouldn’t make it out of downtown. Fortunately, the Austin Food Blogger Association splits it up with more than 70 great food bloggers traversing the city. Everything from BBQ to food trailers and vegan and ranging from outside Austin to downtown and north Austin.

I live in Northwest Austin and was happy that was available to feast upon. Things have been really crazy around here with traveling, family responsibilities and entering the That Takes the Cake Austin Cake Competition. I love cooking but eating out has been a blast and a relief!

This guide is focused on some new places, local dives and some well known Austin staples. It’s by no means meant to be exhaustive but rather some places I enjoy.

Cafe Java

Cafe Java – Cute coffee shop and cafe located near the Austin Community College Northridge campus. Easily missed as it’s tucked in a strip mall, this spacious and uniquely Austin place is one to definitely hit. The space is filled with a mixture of booths and tables and the walls are filled with eclectic art. They serve a full menu as well as a multitude of coffee and espresso drinks. One of my favorite things on the menu was an Italian cream soda. Haven’t seen those in years but will definitely be back. 11900 Metric Blvd Austin, Texas  78758


Trudy’s North Star – An Austin institution known for their Mexican Martinis (you’re only allowed 2),  great salsa and an amazing brunch buffet that features just about everything on the menu. This location has both a large inside area and a great shaded patio that is heated in winter and equipped with fans in the summer. I love the frozen grapefruit margarita (with brunch) and the Botana sampler, it’s enough to feed two people and has a bit of everything.  8820 Burnet Road Austin, TX 78758


Stonehouse Wood Fire Grill – Food trailer on 620 that features Mediterranean style kabobs and dressed up hamburgers cooked perfectly on a wood fire grill. The lamb is amazing as was the ATX burger.My mouth is watering just thinking about it! It’s located in a parking lot and they have live music and games during the summer. Oh and it’s BYOB, can’t get much better than that! 10910 N Ranch Road 620 Austin, TX 78726

Mesa Rosa

Mesa Rosa – Located just north of 45 on 620, this restaurant is always busy and who can blame them. The food is good, filling and the sangria swirl is totally amazing. When we don’t want to fight the traffic to go south for Trudy’s, El Arroyo or Chuy’s we come here. Once again my favorite thing to order is the sampler plate, those stuffed jalapenos are huge! 15515 FM 620 Austin, Texas 78717

el arroyo

El Arroyo – Means the ditch, fortunately the food doesn’t taste like it came out of a ditch. Thursdays are a must for this girl – $1 margaritas, a bowl of queso and a couple tortillas and I am one happy camper. The far west location is awesome because it has a killer patio that allows dogs with huge box fans when it gets too hot. If you’re planning on taking advantage of the $1 margaritas on Thursday and want the patio be sure to get there early as the regulars fill it up. 7032 Wood Hollow Austin, TX 78731

stuffed Maggies faarm

Photo courtesy of Notes from Maggie’s Farm

Stuffed Cajun Market- Authentic cajun food is hard to find but this ‘cajun store’ does a nice job. They have home made boudain, sausage, turduckens (turkey stuffed with a duck and a chicken) and much more available to cook at home. Everyday there’s an etouffee with crawfish appearing on the weekend. Later this season there will be crawfish to buy for your boil not to mention all the spices necessary. The feeling of casual but the food, seriously good! 12226 RR 620 N Austin, TX 78750


Santorini Cafe - Cute new cafe and coffee shop on North Lamar (Opened January 14, 2013) serving up authentic Greek food and fun new dishes like the gyro omelet. Yes a gyro omelet! It’s served up with tomatoes and onions and is a amazing. The Greek coffee is served small and strong, if only they had fortune tellers to read the grounds! Casual seating inside and of the patio are perfect for sharing an appetizer (the hummus and pita is YUM!) and some wine or coffee. 11800 North Lamar Boulevard Building 1 Austin, TX 78753

North by Northwest – Restaurant that makes it’s own beer and has a pretty good happy hour menu. Haven’t ever eaten dinner there but the artichoke pizza is one of my faves. They have a large bar area and a patio. Though in my experience the patio service is hit or miss. Since I can’t drink beer, will have to defer to Mr. RWB for that and the verdict is several empty glasses! 10010 North Capital of Texas Highway Austin, TX 78759

Midori Sushi – Great lunch spot with huge bento boxes and reasonable prices. The bento boxes come with miso soup, a ginger citrusy salad, several pieces of a  California roll, 2 pieces of sushi, 4 pieces of Pheonix roll, rice and your main dish. Everything is awesome. I’ve seen a sushi boat they do and it looks like it could serve 6 people. 13431 N Hwy 183 Suite 301 Austin, TX 78750

Reale’s Italian Cafe – Their slogan is your home away from Rome. Well I’ve never been to Rome but their place was definitely inviting, the food was good and there were plenty of leftovers.  I’ve eaten on the Sausage and Peppers twice now. The pizza Ala Reale had crumbled Italian sausage instead of sliced and had a nice thin crust. This is a fun date night restaurant without breaking the bank. 13450 US Hwy 183N Austin, TX 78750

See something I missed? Leave me a message where I should try next!


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Comments: 3

  1. Pauline Gilliam March 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm Reply

    Reale’s is totally disgusting, the food was awful. Storehouse is brilliant.

    • Melissa March 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm Reply

      Thank you for your feedback. Do you have a favorite Italian restaurant in north Austin?

  2. Laura Ivy Blessing August 5, 2013 at 6:59 pm Reply

    Huge fan of the Noble Pig at 620 and El Salido.

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