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Austin's Best Locally Owned Restaurants

Good news, hipstery Texans, music lovers and breakfast taco enthusiasts: Just in time for South by Southwest, we've updated our list of Austin's best locally owned restaurants. Austin is the rare dining market where you don't necessarily have to choose between good food and great live music. Fantastic local restaurants that frequently feature live music include Artz Rib House, Stubb's Bar-B-Q, Threadgill's (Janis Joplin was a mainstay at the original venue), Guero's Taco Bar, Lamberts Downtown BarbecueGreen Mesquite, and  North By Northwest Restaurant and Brewery. Austin is also a blessed breeding ground for breakfast taco purveyors -- many are open morning, noon or late-night. The rest of the country really needs to hop on this bandwagon, stat, as chorizo and egg levels are dangerously low in most regions. Take a gander at some of our best breakfast taco picks. Without further ado, here are the restaurants we've added to our Austin Top 100 list. 

Annie's Café & Bar Barley Swine Bartlett's
Black Star Co-Op The Carillon Congress
Contigo East Side Show Room El Alma Café y Cantina
Foreign & Domestic Frank Franklin Barbecue
Jack Allen's Kitchen Juan in a Million Julio's
Justine's Noble Pig South Congress Café
Titaya's Cuisine    


Bon Appétit and Dan Auerbach on Nashville's Best Restaurants

A February feature in Bon Appétit declares Nashville the "The Coolest, Tastiest City in the South." And we have to hand it to restaurant and drinks editor Andrew Knowlton: he highlights some of Music City's most essential spots (while avoiding the tourist traps and overly exposed). Well-deserved shout outs are given to delicious gourmet Mexican popsicles at Las Paletas, Martin's whole hog barbecue, Broadway's most danceworthy Honky Tonk, Robert's Western World (they serve a mighty fine 2 am patty melt), and many more. Bon Appétit  even provides recipes for mac & cheese at Arnold's Country Kitchen, a cocktail at the Patterson House, and the phenomenal, tangy tortilla soup at Mas Tacos Por Favor

In perhaps the most interesting segment of the feature, Knowlton  interviews Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, a recent Nashville transplant who claims to have been drawn to the city in part by the restaurant scene. After exploring the similarities between musicians and chefs - "molecular gastronomy is like Radiohead" - Auerbach proves to have pretty impressive taste for a Nashville newbie, suggesting the likes of Miss Saigon for pho,  Gabby's Burgers & Fries, Tandy Wilson's pizza at City House, and of course the fish tacos and tortilla soup at Mas Tacos (did we mention how brilliant the soup is yet?). 

Dan Auerbach on " How to Eat Like a Rock Star in Nashville" via Bon Appétit 

Just Eat it: 8 Great Songs about Restaurants and Food

Our favorite artists and musicians draw inspiration from all over: childhood memories, heartbreak, the plight of the angry suburban teenager, et al. But some artists aren't shy about singing about what's literally fueling them: food. Here's a heapin' handful of songs about food and restaurants.


Hank Williams is powerless to resist the temptation of Cajun food, "big fun" and the general debauchery of the Bayou. Who among us can stand in judgment? 

"Alice's Restaurant"

Arlo Guthrie's 18-minute epic protest song is a Thanksgiving tradition on many radio stations. The monologue describes a real-life incident in which Guthrie was arrested for littering on Thanksgiving Day and is subsequently turned down by the draft board for his criminal record and attitude. Guthrie offers the following advice if you find yourself in this sort of situation: Demand to see the shrink and say, "You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant." Then walk out. 

"My Bologna"

"Weird Al" Yankovic could perform a 2-hour set of songs about food alone and still likely have material left over. Often self-deprecating about how heavily he relied upon food early in his career, Weird Al scored big hits with the likes of "Eat it", "Fat", "I Love Rocky Road" and "Lasagna." In a recent interview, Al mentioned that he failed to clear the rights to a parody of Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die" -- wait for it ... "Chicken Pot Pie." McCartney, an outspoken vegetarian, couldn't let it slide, though apparently he was quite cordial on the matter and offered any of his other material up for parody. 

"Tom's Diner"

Suzanne Vega sings about the first real eatery on our list, Tom's Restaurant, a Brooklyn classic. Between choruses of "do-do-do-do", she describes a particularly eventful day consisting of reading her horoscope, drinking coffee and creepily watching other patrons and people out the window. Rest assured at the real Tom's Restaurant, the man behind the counter will never fill your coffee "only half-way" and gaze out the window before you can argue. 

"She Don't Use Jelly"

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips apparently knows some eccentric people. One friend wipes his nose with magazines, and a girl who reminds him of Cher often changes the color of her hair with tangerines. But the manic pixie dream girl whom the song is titled after has some strange dietary habits. She's kindly enough to make you breakfast, but you'd better be prepared for Vaseline on your toast.


Beck has his fair share of songs about food, from "Satan Gave Me a Taco" to "Peaches and Cream." In Debra, Beck drops a memorable restaurant reference while singing about romancing an employee of JC Penney with an afternoon in Glendale: "Like a fruit that's ripe for the pickin'/I wouldn't do you like that, Zankou Chicken." Zankou, of course, being a small chain of Armenian eateries in LA specializing in delicious rotisserie chicken with a tangy garlic sauce. 

"Magic Chicken"

Keeping with the fast food chicken theme, The Aquabats sing about a lifetime of fried chicken addiction. Be it Roscoe's, Popeye's or Golden Basket, these ska-punk super heroes ladle on the gravy. In an ill-advised rap/dance breakdown, they encourage the audience to "do the popcorn chicken/do the KFC/do the buffalo wing."


"Bread and Butter"

The Newbeats smash hit of 1964, "Bread and Butter" tells the tale of a man with fairly simple tastes, and the woman who loves him enough to accommodate them. That is, until she runs off with a man willing to eat more than just two things. 

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Since 1995, "Where The Locals Eat" and LocalEats dining guides have featured locally owned restaurants across America. From the finest steakhouses and sushi bars, to classic burger joints and roadside barbecues, LocalEats recommends unique restaurants to suit every taste and price range. More
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