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Ultimate Guide to Eating in Texas: Austin Vs Dallas


Texans carry an air of self-confidence with them in everything they do and not surprisingly this confident attitude shows it self on the plate.

After all, many people travel to the Longhorn state just to explore all the tasty things to eat. Brisket, BBQ, and Tacos are just a few highlights of visiting Texas.

I don’t blog about food too often. Weaving together descriptive sentences to try and stir your stomach and make your mouth water is not my greatest strength.

However, eating local cuisine is one of the things I love most about traveling, and the food in Texas is so yummy that I thought it warranted its own blog post.

Food might be on your New York Bucket List but Austin has great food as well.

On that note, and without further ado, let’s compare the food in Austin vs Dallas and let our stomach determine which city we should visit.

So whether you are venture on one of the best 5 road trips in Texas, or just roaming around the state make sure to head to Austin and Dallas for some great food.  

What to Eat When Visiting Austin

With one of the coolest music festivals in the states and all the trendy eateries, pop up restaurants, cool hotels, and coffee shops the Texas capital is known as one of the coolest places to live. 

Everyone from musicians, artist, culinary visionaries, and entertainers are moving to Austin.

With a such a cool reputation it is easy to imagine that the food in Austin takes the traditional Texas style and adds a little twist to it.

Here are few dishes and restaurants to try when visiting Austin.

Brisket Tacos

Austin loves and embraces the Texas tradition of brisket. Both Austin and Dallas have some of the best briskets in the entire state, and you need to try it in both cities to compare them. 

In Austin, I highly recommend checking the smoked brisket tacos out at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

These mouth watering tacos come with slow cooked brisket, sea salt, lime, guacamole, serrano salsa. Head to Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ to taste to insanely good tacos.

Freedmen’s BBQ

BBQ is another huge part of eating in Texas. To try insanely good BBQ head straight to Freemen’s

At this historic beer garden and smoke house, you can get a lunch box for $10 that includes a barbecue sandwich with a side, and a drink. 

The BBQ is unbelievable, and at a price that won’t break that bank, this meal is a no brainier.


Both Austin and Dallas have plenty of options when it comes to tacos, but in Austin, they are a craze!

These tacos or the best way to start your morning in Austin and are found everywhere.

A few of the cities favorite taco places are Veracruz All Natural, Mi Madre’s Restaurant, and Tacodeli. Of course, you have to try Torchy’s Taco’s secret menu

Whoever’s thought up mixing breakfast and tacos (Also learn the origin of taco in our facts of Mexico) deserves a lifetime achievement award.

Ramen Tatsu-Ya

Austin isn’t all BBQ, Brisket, and Tacos. It is also a excellent place to jump on the Ramen craze. Ramen Tatsu-ya has made a signature bowl worth indulging in. 

It comes with pork bone broth, tender soy braised pork belly, soft boiled egg. 

It has become so popular that there is usually a line, but it is worth the wait.

What to Eat When Visiting Dallas

Dallas equally shares a deep love of good and unique food. I think having an insatiable passion for delicious homestyle food is a trait of a real Texan. 

Dallas is also a fantastic to try a lot of international cuisine from Thai to Italian.

Let’s take a look at some of the restaurants and dishes you have to try when visiting Dallas and see how they compare to Austin.

Warning eating any of these meals might end with you lying on your Dallas hotel bed in a food coma.

Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

If you are looking for some good ol’ southern cooking, then head to Babe’s Chicken Dinner House.

You can’t get more southern than by ordering this crispy fried chicken, lump-free mashed potatoes, and flaky biscuits.  It is a satisfying meal.

Street Tacos

Austin might hold the crown when it comes to breakfast tacos. However, Dallas does dinner tacos right!  One of the best places to try tacos is El Come Taco

Hungry visitors choose between tacos de la casa or tacos traditional and have their choice of meat including chicken, pork, beef, and ………. Grasshopper!

Bacon Cheddar Tots

Brace yourself! Who knew you could elevate a simple tater tot to such blissful heights? 

These perfectly crunchy tots are an incredible blend of potato, bacon, and cheese. 

As a bonus, these heavenly treats come with sriracha ketchup! Head to Public School 214 during brunch time to overindulge is these awesome tots.

Overall, How does Food in Austin and Dallas differ?

Both Austin and Dallas offer amazingly good food. Austin is more trendy and blends  old school Texas flavors with a modern spin. 

Dallas embraces the home style of cooking and keeps it roots in traditional southern cuisine and flavors that packs a punch.

Dallas is a big city which means more options and a lot of opportunities to taste international meals. 

If I had to choose a favorite, I would go with Austin, but you can’t go wrong picking either one.

About Me

Chaing Mai Backpacking

Hi, I’m Stephen Schreck (pronounced like Shrek; but don’t worry, I’m not green.)

At 21 I fell in love with travel. Since then my adventures have taken me to over 80 countries in 8 years.

Now my biggest passion is helping people just like you, reach their travel dreams!

Read 101 Fun and Interesting Facts About Me


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