Austin, Texas has some of the best food in the entire country, with special highlights like barbecue, tacos, more Tex Mex than one can imagine, and that’s just the beginning. Each neighborhood has its mainstays, and The Domain, a shopping center and residential area is no exception. While the food at The Domain certainly has more of a corporate, polished influence, and less of those #keepAustinweird vibes that you’ll see in perhaps south or east Austin, there’s still plenty of good food to be enjoyed. Check out these 13 best Domain Austin restaurants to see where we recommend eating next time you’re north of Austin.
13. The Yard Milkshakes
The Yard isn’t a sit-down restaurant, but they have delicious, jaw-dropping milkshakes and if you’re looking for a dessert spot from our pick of Domain Austin restaurants, then this is a great place to start. Choose from over a dozen flavors like birthday cake, banana split, salted caramel cheesecake, or s’moreo for tried and true milkshake concoctions. You can also create your own, but our favorite milkshake is the Full of Joy milkshake, with coconut chocolate almond ice cream in a chocolate iced jar dipped in almond slices, topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle and two mini Almond Joy candies on top.
12. Velvet Taco
Velvet Taco first opened its doors to Texans in 2011 in Dallas, serving more than 20 varieties of unconventional, globally influenced tacos served in their iconic v-shaped taco trays. For a couple of years now, you can enjoy these same tacos alongside other Domain Austin restaurants. Favorite tacos include the buffalo chicken, Cuban pig, or grilled salmon taco.
Thai Kun is one of the most well-known fast-casual Thai restaurants in Austin. They serve several authentic Thai dishes like Kao Man Gai (our favorite menu item), khao soi gai, and pad Thai, as well as some fusion-type dishes like their Chinese broccoli, Ribeye, and chicken wings. Come here for a quick, flavorful Thai lunch on the north side of the Domain.
Sprinkles offers some of the best sweet treats in the Domain. Enjoy a freshly baked cupcake or a cupcake and ice cream sundae (our favorite). The best cupcake flavors are the Sprinkle (birthday cake topped with vanilla buttercream and nonpareil sprinkles), the black & white (Belgian dark chocolate cake with creamy vanilla frosting), and the peanut butter chocolate (chocolate chip-studded peanut butter cake with fudgy milk chocolate cream cheese frosting).
9. North Italia
Craving Italian food? Your best bet for pasta and pizza at these Domain restaurants is North Italia. Originating in Arizona, this national chain serves consistent lunch and dinner items including grilled bread and olive oil, tuscan kale salad, pizza, sandwiches, and of course fresh pasta. Order the bolognese for the house favorite, the strozzapreti for something creamier, or the chicken parm for something heartier.
8. Flower Child
The name of Flower Child says it all when it comes to this health-oriented restaurant in the Domain. This national chain (also started in Arizona) boasts a menu filled with feel-good items including salads, bowls, wraps, and healthy sides. If it’s your first time eating at Flower Child, try the Mother Earth Bowl (their most popular menu item), made with ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, broccoli pesto, charred onion, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette, and hemp seed. Add some chicken for extra protein and a seasonal lemonade on the side for something sweet!
7. Shake Shack
Again, there are a lot of chain restaurants in The Domain, but Shake Shack is one of our absolute favs. There’s a 95% chance you’ve eaten here before, but in the rare event that you haven’t, you are here for the Shackburger- a freshly ground, never frozen, patty made from 100% Angus beef, charbroiled to crispy delicious perfection and served with ShackSauce, lettuce, tomato, and cheese on a fluffy sandwich potato roll. Not in the mood for a burger? Get the Chick’n Shack for something equal parts juicy and crispy, and don’t forget a chocolate concrete while you’re at it.
Chilantro is an Austin original and serves Korean bbq inspired fast casual food. They originally opened as a food truck in Austin in 2010 and now have 8 locations throughout town, plus a food truck. The menu is super inventive with a little bit of something for everyone. The best thing to get here area the kimchi fries (choice of protein, caramelized kimchi, cheddar + monterey jack, onions, cilantro, magic sauce, sesame seeds, sriracha on a crispy bed of french fries) and the Korean fried chicken wings.
5. Second Bar & Kitchen
Second Bar & Kitchen serves delicious New American cuisine and is one of the best restaurants at The Domain. Most locals will recognize this restaurant from their original location downtown on Second Street, but the food at their Northside location is just as delicious. Our favorite menu item here is the Congress burger, made with brisket chuck and served with onion confit, swiss cheese, greens, and tomato.
4. Bakery Lorraine
Bakery Lorraine is a fantastic bakery that originated in San Antonio and now thankfully is located in Austin. Their Domain location is the only ATX outpost in town and is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or a quick pastry. The grilled cheese (our favorite sandwich) is anything but basic, made with fontina, comté, goat cheese, apple compote. A bowl of tomato soup is a non-negotiable, and if you’re in the mood for something sweet get the macarons or fresh fruit tart.
Jinya may be a national chain but they make a killer bowl of ramen and it’s one of the best Domain Austin restaurants. There are several chicken and tonkotsu (pork broth) ramens on the menu, as well as dozens of toppings for all of your ramen cravings. Get the Sprouting Up Ramen if it’s your first visit. The combination of both pork and chicken broth is salty, savory goodness and the noodles and broth are topped with pork chashu, kikurage, spicy bean sprouts, green onion, egg, crispy brussels sprouts, black pepper and ginger.
Tacodeli isn’t technically in The Domain, but it’s about a stone’s throw away on the north end, so if you’re all shopped out and you need excellent tacos, make sure and come here. This Austin taco chain serves consistently delicious tacos including breakfast tacos until 11 (or 3 p.m. on weekends) and lunch and dinner tacos as well. The breakfast tacos here always hit the spot, and we recommend trying the migas taco, made with scrambled eggs, tomato, onion, jalapeño, tortilla chips, and jack cheese. Make sure and enjoy with a side of their salsa verde.
1. Sway Thai (Temporarily Closed)
If you can only choose from one of the Domain Austin restaurants for a delicious meal, then dine at Sway Thai, which isn’t only a fastic dining option at The Domain but one of the very best restaurants in ATX. You’re here for flavorful, fresh, delicious Thai food that’s insanely craveable and perfect for date night, birthdays, or just a nice night out. Get the blue crab fried rice, the son in law, and the tiger cry (if you don’t mind some heat).