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If there’s one thing we could all use, it’s a vacation. But what if you don’t have to actually get out of Austin to feel the vacation vibes? Here’s a list of restaurants in Austin that will make you feel like you’re on vacay.
Combing cuisine from Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, Aba’s menu incorporates a lighter style of cooking and tons of Mediterranean-inspired wines and spirits. Located off South Congress, guests can snack on Short Rib Hummus or feast on brunch items like their Smoked Salmon Spread and Labneh. The multi-level outdoor dining space features a giant one hundred year old Oak Tree with dreamy glass and metal lanterns. Inside, you can find lush, earthy tones with more Moroccan-inspired decor.
Boasting the largest rum selection in Austin, The Lost Lei offers indulgent tiki cocktails that are almost too pretty to drink. Tucked off West 4th Street in downtown Austin, the bar serves your classic tiki cocktails in the appropriate tiki glass, accompanied by garnishes galore. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Caribbean bar with the straw roof, skull-wrapped beams, and welcoming staff.
With a twist of Mexican and Polynesian food, Hula Hut sites on Lake Austin, providing the relaxing views of the water. The entire restaurant is open air, so you get that beach vibe without traveling to a beach. Their menu features unique dishes like the Kawaikini Stuffed Avocado, Mexonesian Shrimp Flautas, and Thai BBQ Fajitas.
Zanzibar is the escape from everyday life we all need. As you walk into the lush rooftop bar, you’re greeted with a bar featuring whimsical drinks that transport you to an island. In case you get hungry, their flavorful menu features island-inspired dishes like sushi burritos, poke, and duck egg rolls. Take a dip in their pool that overlooks downtown Austin. Only open on the weekends, you can relax poolside or in a cabana, enjoying a cocktail.
Owner of Cuba512, Iskander Gener, left Cuba to explore the Latin American cuisine before making it to Austin. Gener puts love and hard work into his dishes at Cuba512, and you can tell. Every dish is loaded with flavor and the mojitos are refreshing.
Close your eyes and imagine you’ve just stepped into a chic, dimly lit bar in Paris. Justine’s is funky, in the best kind of way. Their menu features French fare like escargot, Ratatouille, and all the Frites you could eat. The vibe is intoxicating, with strung lights, small tables, and loads of wine.
Situated in a house on the East side of Austin, Licha’s is serving up Mexico City soul food. What’s that, you ask? Well it’s definitely not Tex-Mex. Licha’s is preparing authentic, interior Mexican food that is fresh and thoughtfully planned out. The bar features a wide array of agave products like tequila, mezcal, and more. The restaurant is fun, with each room of the restaurant giving off a different vibe.
Take a trip to this diverse restaurant and you’ll step into a calming, almost Zen-like atmosphere. 1618 Asian Fusion offers diners a taste of Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Singaporean, and Southeast Asian food. The interior features live greenery, spacious, comfortable seating, and elegance.
This East side retro pool bar not only takes you to a tropical place like Palm Springs, but also another era with their 70’s design and aesthetic. The bar, lounge, outdoor kitchen, and small pool are all wrapped up into one at Kitty Cohen’s. The patio is colorful, the punch bowls are strong, and the vibes are a little bit classy with a little bit trashy (per the bar’s website).