When thinking of bowls, the appetite travels straight to comforting eats like soups and ice cream. Spoon-to-bowl-to-face is one of the most undeniably satisfying ways to consume our favorite dishes. Here are our top picks for the most coveted bowls in Austin, sequenced from morning meals to evening munchies.
Hash at Paperboy
Greet the morning at this east side truck with a bowl of roasted sweet potatoes topped with a poached egg and braised pork belly, dressed with grilled onions and their signature coffee mayo.
Menudo at El Tacorrido
Head to any of this laid-back taqueria’s three locations for a serving of simmering tripe and hominy stew, available on weekends only. Be sure to ask for extra tortillas to soak the meaty goodness all up.
Pozole at Emmer & Rye
Do brunch differently with a hearty bowl of slow-cooked pork with hominy, carrots, green garlic, spring onion, and horseradish. Yup, the side of tender roti is made from grains like white Sonoran wheat that are all milled in house.
Tsukemen at Ramen Tatsu-ya
Luckily for us, this dipping-style ramen is now available at lunch too. Submerge the springy noodles (topped with sliced chashu, nori, and ajitama) into the condensed pork bone dipping broth and slurp away.
Boat noodles at Thai-Kun
Originally served from boats floating along Bangkok canals, their version of the rice noodle soup incorporates pork in five ways, including sliced liver, shoulder, and blood that thickens the intensely flavorful broth.
Bun Bo Hue at Tan My Restaurant
This Vietnamese rice vermicelli soup is all about balance. Here, they season the beef bone broth with plenty of lemongrass, fermented shrimp, and spices. Traditional toppings like pork knuckle, sliced brisket, and cubed pork blood finish this substantial bowl.
White gazpacho at Mongers Market + Kitchen
Ideal for the hot summer months, the seafood experts revamp the Italian chilled almond and bread soup with pickled Gulf crab, grapes, and a drizzle of good olive oil.
Poke bowl at Liberty Kitchen
This Hawaiian-style marinated fish specialty is completely customizable here. Diners have their choice of fish, dressing, and add-ins (like mango or macadamia nut) that are combined and served on a bed of rice or cucumber.
Mussels and fries at Vino Vino
During happy hour, this wine bar dishes up a sizable bowl of moules-frites at a jaw-dropping $7. The shellfish is lightly cooked in white wine and tarragon, then covered with skin-on fries and a large dollop of aioli.
Om Gai at Dee Dee
The husband-and-wife team showcases Northern Thai recipes at their East Austin food truck. Don’t miss the rustic herbal chicken dish, infused with lemongrass, chilies, Thai basil, and a mass of dill. It’s designed to be enjoyed with a side of sticky rice.
Goat and gnocchi at Chicon
Since its recent unveiling, diners are drawn to this neighborhood joint’s stylish yet cozy setting and the more approachable menu. The rich braised goat and gnocchi dish (with tomato broth, grated Parmesan, and lots of black pepper) is one of their seasonal highlights.
Grits at Fixe
Lovers of creamy grits with some bite will have a tough time choosing between this modern Southern kitchen’s three offerings: Herbivore ( garlicky kale, farm egg, romesco, salsa verde), Carnivore (Texas quail, pickled apple, pecan granola, barbecue consommé), and Pescavore ( Texas shrimp, freeze-dried corn, shrimp butter, bottarga).
Cream cheese tofu at Fukumoto
It’s a damn shame that many Texans have never tasted tofu like it’s intended to be. For the adventurous seeking the real deal, be sure to try this impossibly silky and savory house-made cream cheese tofu sprinkled with bonito flakes.
Liquid nitrogen ice cream at Spun Ice Cream
This dessert shop doles out much more than creamy treats spun in front of your eyes, frozen with this hyper cold technique. Pastry Chef Christina Cheng also whips up seasonal toppings from scratch, such as beef fat jalapeño shortbread crumble (what?!) and strawberry confetti.