These favorite Austin neighborhood restaurants are about more than just food
Austin's best neighborhood restaurants serve up more than just affordable eats and friendly atmospheres — they are rooted in the communities they serve. Nestled in Austin's most sought-after places to live, these popular restaurants give back in myriad ways, from supporting nonprofits to preserving beloved pieces of the city. Good food and good deeds — what more can you ask for?
Eden East — Springdale
Few eateries take the farm-to-table mission as seriously as this charming east side favorite. As part of that commitment, the restaurant makes a point to source seasonal ingredients from local farms and ranches, and owner Sonya Coté is involved in the agriculture business herself. In 2018, she took over operations at Springdale Farm, where Eden East is located, ensuring that the popular farm stand — a rare source of fresh vegetables in a food desert — would survive. Visit 9 am-1 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays to check out the selection of local produce, eggs, and meats, and stay for brunch at the al fresco restaurant. It's also open for dinner from 6-10 pm Thursday through Saturday.
Holy Roller — Downtown
For years, downtown Austin was just a business district, but a profusion of new developments has made it a popular place to live, too. This punk-rock diner provides hungry residents with a place to relax morning, noon, and night. In addition to serving some of the best comfort food bites in town, Holy Roller also hosts weekly meetings for service industry support group Heard. The San Antonio-based nonprofit run “by foodservice pros for foodservice pros” supports those in the industry recovering from substance abuse problems.
Home Slice Pizza — North Loop and South Congress
The SoCo location of this popular pizzeria has kept Austin's "weird" ethos alive since 2005. In May 2018, it expanded to the growing North Loop neighborhood, adding wings and a full bar to the celebrated menu of New York-style pizzas. No matter the location, Home Slice is committed to the community. Each November, aka DOUGHvember, the pizzeria donates 10 percent of daily profits to local nonprofits SAFE, Austin Parks Foundation, Austin Bat Cave, and Carrying Hope. Home Slice has even recruited other local pizzerias — Via 313 and Pinthouse Pizza — for the 2019 initiative.
L’oca d’Oro — Mueller
The impact of this innovative Italian spot in the Mueller development is felt far outside of its ZIP code, as its owners are champions for a more equitable Austin. Fiore Tedesco and Adam Orman have campaigned to eliminate the tipped minimum wage and were proponents of the city's ordinance for paid sick leave. They also are a bright light in the sanctuary restaurant movement, pledging to honor all employees and customers, regardless of immigration status, gender, faith, ethnicity, race, ability, or sexual orientation.
Patrizi’s — Cherrywood
This long-running Manor Road food truck is a regular stop for many in the neighborhood. Well-known for its variety of delectable Italian offerings, including some of the best handmade pasta in Central Texas, the concept also has a side gig supporting local arts. The food trailer has turned The Vortex theater’s courtyard into an informal gallery by showcasing works from Austin artists and actively seeking new submissions. Owner Nic Patrizi is also working on a new neighborhood concept focused on approachable fare and affordable drinks, sure to become another Cherrywood favorite.