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Food & Wine Austin

The Wall Street Journal taps Austin as a “new dining destination,” citing Ranch 616 (haute cowboy cuisine) and Whole Foods Market as reasons foodies need to get here — and fast. Austin claims three chefs on Food & Wine’s “Top 10 Young Chefs” list. Each April, Austin celebrates its culinary tributes with the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival. More than 30 events are held throughout the city and at surrounding Hill Country wineries.

Main Attraction: Barbecue

Nothing sparks a more heated battle in Texas than who has the best barbecue. Champion barbecue is primarily discovered off the beaten path. Mouth-watering brisket, ribs and sausage are always top contenders. Stubbs, Ironworks and County Line in Austin and The Salt Lick in nearby Driftwood make a good run for “the best.”

Featuring Tex-Mex

It’s hot; it’s spicy; and it’s on almost every Austin menu. From small, family-run tacquerias to larger Austin-based chain restaurants, you’ll find some of the best enchiladas, migas, chile rellenos, burritos and salsas north of the border in Austin. The Cedar Door’s Mexican martinis, which have been ranked among the best beverages in the country, and Chuy’s margaritas come highly recommended.

Afternoon Delight

Ladies, don your hats and gloves. The historic Driskill Hotel offers Royal Victorian Tea in the grand lobby during the winter holiday season, and again during Spring. Nationally acclaimed Executive Chef David Bull oversees the menu. In a time-honored tradition, tea is served in fine china with champagne, finger sandwiches, petit fours and scones. A harpist provides musical accompaniment. 604 Brazos, Austin.

Market of Distinction

Austin is home to the headquarters of Whole Foods, the world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods. Whole Foods’ 184 stores stretch across North America and the United Kingdom. Downtown Austin is home to the company’s 80,000-squarefoot flagship store featuring produce, seafood, free-range meats, foods-to-go and health products. The set list includes: Whole Body department; Whole Home, featuring organic cottons and linens; sit-down dining and take-out selections; food sampling; an outdoor rooftop plaza complete with playscape and live music. 601 North Lamar, Ste 100, Austin.

And Another Market — Another foodie paradise is Central Market, a European-style market with an outstanding reputation for fresh meats, produce and assortment of chef-prepared meals. The central store on North Lamar features outstanding cooking classes, and both stores offer restaurants and free live music. 4001 North Lamar and 4477 South Lamar, Austin

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