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13 Over-the-Top Dining Experiences in Austin

When there’s a moment worth celebrating, the best place to turn is an incredible restaurant. From chef’s tastings to omakase courses and more, these eateries are creating top-notch, over-the-top dining experiences through wonderful food, great service and intimate ambiences.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth

Sushi by Scratch

575 Hyatt Lost Pines Rd., Cedar Creek, TX

Pull up a seat at Sushi by Scratch and enjoy an authentic and decadent omakase experience in a room that holds only 10 diners. Talented chefs prepare interpretive versions of traditional nigiri and sushi as they interact with guests, creating a world-class meal in front of guests’ eyes. The restaurant is located in the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, where the over-the-top dining experience will begins with a complimentary welcome beverage. Save a night at Sushi by Scratch for a special occasion — it’s worth it. 

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Austin

Ciclo

98 San Jacinto Blvd.

Catch dinner and a show at Ciclo with Animación. An incredible restaurant on its own, Ciclo serves scrumptious and creative Texas-inspired cuisine at the Four Seasons Hotel. Animación takes a meal at Ciclo to a new level as animations beam from overhead 4K laser projectors in a show created by TableMation Studios. The four courses intertwine with the story as animated ingredients and characters interact across your plate. 

Photo by Julia Keim

Hestia’s Chef’s Tasting Menu

607 West 3rd St., #105

Inspired by the 20-foot hearth at the center of Hestia’s kitchen and dining room, the chef’s tasting menu here highlights the role of fire in food. Curated to reflect the best ingredients of the current season, this 13-course offering is $195 per person, with an optional wine pairing available for an additional $150. Any meal at Hestia will contribute to a truly special evening, but the tasting menu showcases the talent of the eatery’s team, led by owners Tavel Bristol-Joseph and Kevin Fink.

Photo by Holly Cowart

Tiki Tatsu-Ya

1300 South Lamar Blvd. 

Tiki Tatsu-Ya is taking cocktails to new heights inside an island-inspired paradise. This feast for the senses transports you straight to a beach with tiki drinks and Polynesian and Japanese-influenced food. Drinks range from the classic, like the Mai Tai and Painkiller, to the more inventive, such as the Strip ‘N Go Naked, the Cobra Kai and the Slurping Bastard. Several of the drinks are shareable so grab a friend and immerse yourselves in this tropical treat of a bar.

Photo by Chad Wadsworth

Pasta|Bar

1017 East 6th St.

Try pasta in many forms at Pasta|Bar, a concept from the same minds behind Sushi by Scratch, Chefs Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee. Freshly-made pasta turns into a multi-course culinary adventure at this Austin outpost of the Michelin-starred Pasta|Bar in Los Angeles. With three seatings per night Tuesdays through Saturdays, reservations are competitive — be ready to make your reservation when options are released at noon on the first day of every month. 

Photo courtesy of OTOKO x Watertrade

Otoko

1603 South Congress Ave.

Honored by Food & Wine Magazine with a Best New Chefs award in 2017, Chef Yoshi Okai blends Tokyo-style sushi and Kyoto-style kaiseki to craft a singular experience in the 12-seat Otoko. For the most impressive option, visitors can take in 20-plus courses during a sushi omakase dinner for $295 per person, only available on Wednesdays. More interested in a cocktail? Watertrade is an incredible bar attached to Otoko, offering Japanese whiskies, sake and curated cocktails. 

Photo by Holly Cowart

DipDipDip

7301 Burnet Rd., Ste. 101

DipDipDip is a modern shabu-shabu eatery from the masterful team behind the aforementioned Tiki Tatsu-Ya, as well as Ramen Tatsu-Ya, Kemuri Tatsu-Ya and more. Visitors cook their meats and vegetables in a simmering pot of broth at their table. To take the guesswork out of ordering, try one of the omakase options, which include your choice of meatball, locally-procured veggies, shabu shabu ozen and much more.

Photo by Consumable Content

Juniper’s Prix Fixe Menu

2400 East Cesar Chavez St., Unit 304 

The intimate atmosphere at Juniper perfectly complements the incredible food, and we particularly recommend the prix fixe menu, which gives guests a chance to indulge in the best the restaurant has to offer. The thoughtfully-crafted menu features locally-sourced ingredients that are transformed into dishes that explore delicate flavors and highlight seasonality. With homemade pastas, house-grown herbs and fantastic drinks, Juniper is a wonderful highlight of the busy Austin culinary scene. 

Photo by Weston Carls

Olamaie

1610 San Antonio St.

Olamaie has been elevating Southern fare since its opening in 2014, and right now, the restaurant is hosting the Southern Exposure Dinner Series to give diners a chance to interact with Executive Chef Michael Fojtasek and Chef de Cuisine Amanda Turner. Offered on the last Tuesday of every month, each three-course meal will include conversations regarding Southern cuisine. Proceeds from the series benefit the Jeremiah Program, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting single mothers. 

Photo by Holly Cowart

La Condesa’s Subterranean Dining Room

400 West 2nd St., A

While any meal at La Condesa is one to remember, an evening in The Flour House is particularly special. The subterranean private dining room is landmarked by the Texas Historical Commission. Family-style dining for up to 18 people is available in this unique space, ideal for an exciting celebration or holiday meal. 

Photo courtesy of Gangnam Korean BBQ

Gangnam Korean BBQ

1100 Little Texas Ln.

Cook your own dinner at the newly opened Gangnam Korean BBQ, where all-you-can-eat marinated and plain meats like pork belly, brisket, prawns and so much more are grilled by guests at their tables. The expansive space holds many tables with electric grills in the center and exhaust hoods overhead. 

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

Franklin Barbecue

900 East 11th St.

While you might not think barbecue is an over-the-top experience, Franklin Barbecue levels up humble meats and sides with outstanding flavor and premium butchery. The line starts early in the morning, wrapping around the building until the establishment opens at 11 a.m. The goods are typically gone by 2 or 3 p.m. so grab a friend, arrive early and relish in the out-of-this-world good barbecue. 

Photo courtesy of Kura

Kura Revolving Sushi Bar

6929 Airport Blvd., Suite 125

At Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, customers snag their desired items from a revolving sushi bar and pay per plate. There’s also an express option for specific items that are delivered tableside. Thanks to the patented Mr. Fresh ventilated sushi lid, every dish on the expansive menu is fresh and flavorful. Take your pick time after time, and eat to your heart’s desire!