Every day I feel like I run into someone who is here in Austin for a bachelorette party or conference or one our of 82,459 festivals we host a year. So that means lots and lots of friends who need plenty of restaurants to chow down together at. Finding the perfect group dinner spot can be, um, how do I say this politely, very tricky. You’ve got to find the right mix of something everyone will eat with the right price and of course drinks. So here is my handy list of great restaurants in Austin for group dinners!
Matt’s El Rancho– Pretty often when folks head out to dinner in Austin, there is a healthy mix of queso and margaritas and Matt’s El Rancho has been delivering that to Austinites for like at least 50 years or something. Big tables, big patio, and big parking lot. Head here for fajitas, margaritas, and that famous Bob Armstrong dip.
Jacoby’s– I love bringing people from out of town here. The restaurant backs up to the river with sweeping views and big picnic tables. Jacoby’s is a family run restaurant that serves true Texas food. Think burgers, chicken fried steak, onion rings and oh be sure to save room for their strawberry cake for dessert.
Ranch 616– If you and your friends will be hitting up West 6th street, then Ranch 616 is a must. They’ve got strong drinks, which always make for a rowdy time. I suggest a fire-in-the-hole. The food here is less important than the atmosphere but you certainly won’t leave hungry.
Fresa’s– Queso, patios, guacamole, and oh tacos. I love Fresa’s because it really embodies everything Austin. You’ll want to stay here and chill a while. Perfect place for starting the night or an easy, long brunch. They have big tables where you and your crew and spread out.
Sway– Spice, sake, and community dining all meet under one roof at Sway. If you’re group isn’t super large, there’s a chance you might get sat next to some other friendly folks. The dishes are all shared and I recommend the green curry, son-in-law, and blue crab fried rice. The banana split is NOT to be missed.
Via 313 at Craft Pride– Beer and pizza. That’s it. That’s all you need. Via 313’s Detroit style pizza might be one of my favorite types of pizzas in all the land. I just can’t get enough of those crispy edges, fluffy dough, and oh dat cheese. Order in the back at the trailer and sip on some of Craft Pride’s ginormous selection of beers.
G’raj Mahal– I like this place so much I had my 28th birthday there! Their tented back patio has lots of low bright pink lounges that make every moment Instagrammable. They have all different types of curries and naans that pair really well with their selection of wine.
Lambert’s Downtown Barbecue– You can’t come to Austin and not have barbecue but seriously who has time to stand in line for Franklin for 6 hours? Lambert’s also has live music upstairs so you can get your barbecue and show all in one place.
Wu Chow– Come here when you are ready to chow down in style. The soup dumplings are the main attraction here but the mapo tofu, spicy fried chicken, and green beans are some of my favorites. All the plates are shared, making it great to try lots of different things. And then there are the tiki drinks.
Salty Sow– Probably one of the best happy hours in Austin, TX! Lots of bites and sips under $5, be sure to make a reservation since this place gets packed. The truffled deviled eggs, duck fat fries, and margaritas are delightful. This can make it really easy to turn happy hour into dinner. Which is a great decision.
L’Estelle House– If you need to refuel while you are on Rainey Street, do it at L’Estelle House. Think burgers, frites, and grilled cheese. You can order at the window which makes dealing with the check non-existent. It’s also worth nothing they have bubbles on tap.
Eastside Tavern– Barbecue meet bar. Piles of brisket on everything from baked potatoes to burgers, nobody is leaving this place hungry. There is also some great mac ‘n cheese and oh yes, they have frosé. #winning
Central Standard– When you and your posse are feeling like splurging, head over to Central Standard. It’s South Congress Hotel’s modern answer to the steakhouse. You’ll want to stare at their gorgeous bar all night long but make sure you order the bread and butter, pork chop, and mac ‘n cheese. Do you see a pattern here? I’m really into mac ‘n cheese. Central Standard also has a great brunch and happy hour if that is more your style.