Where to Find the Best Bites at the Domain
Top picks for restaurants, lounges, and cafes in this North Austin shopping destination
A true one-stop shop for luxury retail, tasty eats, and people-watching, the Domain proves an enduring draw for fun-loving Austin locals and visitors alike. The Domain, along with Domain NORTHSIDE, seeks to elevate the “shopping mall” concept with by blending designer boutiques (like Gucci and Louis Vuitton) with classic mall shops (like Aeropostale and Macy’s) and also sprinkling in some celebrated local retailers (like Kendra Scott and Made In). Therefore, it stands to reason that the Domain’s restaurant selection would be similarly well-curated. These 9 restaurants, lounges, and cafes feature some of the finest meals, snacks, and treats that you’ll find in this unique North Austin destination.
The Dirdie Birdie
What It Is: The Dirdie Birdie is an indoor-outdoor mini golf course with New American pub grub from the chef behind Uncle Nicky’s and Juniper.
Why You Should Go: When it comes to a kid-friendly Domain locale with plenty of grownup appeal, the Dirdie Birdie is a fairly unbeatable concept. There’s an on-site mini golf course with 12 holes, a food menu with upcycled bar-snack staples like Bavarian soft pretzels with whipped goat cheese dip, a bratwurst with beer-braised onions on a challah bun, and a “blooming onion” with special sauce, and a whimsical beverage menu with options like a watermelon daiquiri, a vodka-spiked strawberry Arnold Palmer, and a classic frozen marg. Perfect for a first date, a meetup with friends, or even a family outing.
What It Is: Bakery Lorraine is an outpost of a celebrated San Antonio patisserie with expertly-made croissants, macarons, sandwiches, and salads.
Why You Should Go: If you find your energy levels flagging during a busy shopping session and need a pick-me-up in the form of a buttery French pastry, Bakery Lorraine has you covered. The bakery counter carries a wide range of croissants, tarts, and cakes, a veritable rainbow of macarons in lively flavors like pina colada, dark chocolate lavender, and cereal milk, and freshly-baked loaves of bread. For a more substantial bite, take a seat in Bakery Lorraine’s cafe and tuck into a chef salad, a slice of quiche, or a croque madame.
What It Is: Thai Kun is a stylish Thai bistro from the East Side King team that delivers plenty of heat.
Why You Should Go: Austin is home to plenty of eateries that serve seriously spicy dishes, but Thai Kun’s flavorful and fiery menu of Thai classics with a twist has earned particular acclaim from ATX heat seekers. Don’t miss the savory short rib panang curry, pork larb with makrut lime, and the blazing yet refreshing shaved papaya salad.
What It Is: Beard Papa’s is the only Austin location of a cult-favorite Japanese dessert company specializing in indulgent cream puffs.
Why You Should Go: There’s something delightfully nostalgic about a mall food stand that focuses on one particular item (we haven’t forgotten our love of Mrs. Fields’ Cookies and Orange Julius!), and at the Domain, an impressive international import scratches that exact itch. Beard Papa’s serves pillowy cream puffs filled with vanilla, green tea, or chocolate cream and topped with icings and garnishes like Oreo cookie crumble, honey butter, and s’mores.
Paul Martin’s American Grill
What It Is: Paul Martin’s American Grill is a modern American restaurant with steaks, sandwiches, pastas, and a quality array of wines, craft beers, and cocktails.
Why You Should Go: An elegant yet laidback atmosphere and top-notch people watching are major selling points of Paul Martin’s, and the polished menu of American classics with global influences adds to the appeal. Be sure to visit their daily happy hour, which features classic cocktails (like martinis and Old Fashioneds), international wine choices, a rotating selection of American craft beers, and flavorful snacks like Buffalo cauliflower bites, Margherita flatbread, and Paul Martin’s classic burger (which can be ordered in combination with a drink for only $16).
What It Is: Picolé Pops is an artisanal frozen treats shop offering Brazilian paletas in creative flavors.
Why You Should Go: Picolé Pops made a splash in Dallas with their Brazilian-inspired frozen pops (“paletas”) made with locally-sourced ingredients, and they chose the Domain as their first (and, as of now, only) Austin outpost. Flavors change seasonally and depending on ingredient availability, but current choices include Mangoneada, Tequila Sunrise, Banana Nutella, Strawberry Cheesecake, and Oreo.
What It Is: Perry’s Steakhouse is a classic steakhouse with a superior balance of formality and casualness, along with nicely prepared and presented cuts of beef.
Why You Should Go: For white-tablecloth levels of refinement tempered with unfussy vibes, Perry’s Steakhouse is a prime option at the Domain. This Texas-founded restaurant group offers tableside meat carving, several steak and chop options, a Wine Spectator-heralded international wine list, and gracious and helpful service.
What It Is: Flower Child is a breezy lunch spot that focuses on nutritious meals made with organic and locally-sourced ingredients.
Why You Should Go: Dining options at shopping malls don’t often have the best reputation for health-conscious eats, but the Domain isn’t just any shopping center, and Flower Child isn’t just any casual restaurant. Flower Child prioritizes fresh and seasonal produce grown locally, whole grains, and ethically-raised meats, putting these ingredients together in bowls, salads, wraps, and plates that are are as flavorful as they are nourishing.
CRÚ Food & Wine Bar
What It Is: CRÚ Food & Wine Bar is a sleek wine bar with shareable plates, charcuterie boards, and stone-baked pizzas.
Why You Should Go: Take a break from your Domain exploration and enjoy a glass of wine and a perfectly-paired snack in a chic environment. CRÚ Food & Wine Bar provides all of these qualities in a convenient locale, and it makes for an ideal happy hour destination. Cheese enthusiasts shouldn’t miss their curated artisan cheese flights or their truffle cheese fondue.