Cedar (Park) Fever

These 7 restaurants north of Austin are totally worth the drive

These 7 restaurants north of Austin are totally worth the drive

Chada Thai Traditional Taste
Chada is the Thai darling of Cedar Park. Chada Thai Traditional Taste/Facebook
Blue Corn Harvest
Blue Corn Harvest offers a fusion of Southern and Mexican cuisines. Nutchanat P./Yelp
Local Slice PIzza
Try the Elgin pizza, made with famous Elgin sausage, at Local Slice. Robert Q./Yelp
Soto
Soto is one of the best sushi spots in the Austin area. Soto Restaurant/Facebook
Chada Thai Traditional Taste
Blue Corn Harvest
Local Slice PIzza
Soto

To some, Cedar Park is just south of Dallas … the wild unknown that exists entirely too far away from the comfort of their Austin domiciles. But here's the Cedar Park secret: Less expensive rent has created opportunities for really great restaurants to thrive.

Here are seven unique spots that make CP worth the trip:

Soto
Sandwiched between a Party City and a Hancock Fabrics is one of the best sushi spots in the Austin area. Believe it? You better! Menu items include truffled white salmon, live scallop, fresh Hamachi on a torched jalapeño, otoro with mango on fried shiso leaf, and flash-torched wagyu. fish is flown in every other day and Chef Andy Okamoto loves to get creative. The lunch special and all-night Monday social will let you explore without breaking the bank.

Local Slice Pizza
Not to be confused with Home Slice, Local Slice has a passion for New York-style pizza. It has three Austin-area locations, and they offer specialty pizzas like the Elgin (with Elgin sausage), the Five-hour Hawaiian (braised pork belly), and the Longhorn (marinated steak). For $6.50, you can get two slices and a soda for lunch.

Teji's Indian Restaurant and Grocery
What started as an Indian market with a small side eatery has turned into three full-service locations. And as we all know, if it was originally a market, it’s authentic. Try the samosa chaat, chaat pappdi, hara bhara chicken, lamb boi kabab, stuffed baingan, kadahi goat, and all the naan varieties you can handle. Wash those down with a mango or rose lassi. There's also a Teji's near UT campus now if that's more in your neck of the woods.

Blue Corn Harvest
A fusion of Southern and Mexican cuisines? Yes please! At Blue Corn Harvest, sample chili shrimp quesadillas, West Texas chicken nachos, seafood enchiladas, or adobo grilled pork tenderloin. They use exclusively natural grass-fed beef and buy locally grown vegetables. Kids eat free on Mondays, there's an extensive gluten-free menu, and the brunch menu is bangin’.

Chada Thai Traditional Taste
With a wide range of curries, double portions, and an $8 lunch special, Chada is the Thai darling of Cedar Park. The owner’s mother is the chef, and she makes sauces and spices in-house. A crowd favorite is the “golden bags” — fried chicken, sweet potato, onion, and curry sauteed with soy sauce and wrapped in rice paper. You can buy the spice mixture to go.

Gangnam Zip
Fresh, fast, and healthy Korean food is happening right here at Gangnam Zip. For $10, you get your choice of meat with a variety of preparations; banchan, Korean noodles, or salad; rice; and a small soup. The chef’s special is kimchi-fried rice with an egg on top. Of course, they do bubble teas and smoothies — and deliver.

C.R. Surf & Turf
Come here for the gumbo, the stuffed shrimp po'boy, and the cheap oysters ($12 per dozen). Crab lovers will find a happy home here as well: soft shell crab sandwiches; fat crab cakes; and the big favorite — crab scampi made with fresh chunks of crab, spinach, and tomatoes swimming in a garlic butter bath, served with French baguette.