With Austin's arsenal of big-name chefs come elusive reservations and long wait times. For the kind of delicious spots that natives are reluctant to publicize—delicious food, no lines, and homey atmospheres—look no further than these six hidden gems.
Love the idea of small plates but always hesitate about how many to order? Stop into this Clarksville institution for "The Experience," and prepare yourself for some truly delicious fare. Offering unlimited small plates for $40 (the crispy redfish is a must-try), the inventive fare and curated wine list make Cafe Josie a hometown favorite. 1200 B W. Sixth St., 512-322-9226
This cozy bungalow-turned-bistro eatery brings the best of Europe to Austin—complete with locally-sourced ingredients and dishes made completely in-house. Their duck breast with bourbon glacé, creamy polenta, and fried Brussel sprouts, is one of the best in town, though it’s hard to pass up the classic schnitzel with spätzle. 509 Hearn St., 512-236-0642
Once a staple on Congress Avenue, this Mediterranean/Middle Eastern hideaway on Steck opens up to a gorgeous interior with brightly colored pillows, hanging lights, and intricate details. The flaky spanakopita features a beautiful hint of lemon, while the juicy gyro comes perfectly seasoned—but vegetarians will appreciate the variety of options, too. Stop in for one of their live music nights for entertainment as you dine in a beautiful atmosphere. 3301 Steck Ave., 512-476-7735
Behind the many taps of this campus gastropub hides a seriously impressive kitchen. Enjoy their French-inspired fare—their jambon beurre baguette, a part of their daily brunch, and crispy red trout on a to-die-for bed of quinoa, currants, and cashews—in the elegant dining room or make new friends in the communal pub. 3110 Guadalupe St., 512-537-0467
Serving up healthy Asian-inspired dishes, Koriente is a great way to start a casual night downtown. The restaurant is small but mighty (with a parking lot) serving up standout dishes like the japchei bowl made with clear sweet potato noodles and fresh veggies (which you should order with a fried egg and avocado) that will leave you full but energized for the festivities afterward. 621 E. Seventh St., 512-275-0852
Disclosure: Even Austin natives may not be aware of this tiny gem. This hard-to-find eatery offers diners a true home-cooked dining set in the beautiful hill country, with inspirations from an Italian agriturismo. The four-course, prix-fixe meals are simple but flavorful, and rotate weekly based on what’s fresh and in season. Reservations required. 205 S. Commons Ford Road #2, 512-402-9900