The 12 most beautiful Austin restaurants perfect for Mother’s Day

Photo credit: Camp Lucy for Tillie’s
A pair of large teal-colored doors open up into a chapel-like restaurant space at Tillie’s in Dripping Springs

Some meals call for jaw-dropping backdrops, and Austin’s restaurant scene, which balances Hill Country swag with global influences, has no shortage of beauties to choose from. 

A thoughtfully refurbished 1920s cottage serves some of the most innovative Southern food in town. In Dripping Springs, an ethereal resort restaurant showcases the owner’s ambitious antique collection. Sea-inspired murals by an international artist add to the getaway vibes at a Greek favorite. 

Austin’s most striking spots charm with both their top-notch menus and their stunning interiors. Read on for a guide to the 12 most beautiful restaurants in the city.

Lutie’s (Central)

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Lutie’s serene green dining room stands out for heirloom antiques and lots of hanging plants. | Credit: Commodore Perry Estate

Set on the historic Commodore Perry Estate, Lutie’s was designed by interiors star Ken Fulk and invokes the property’s Jazz Age-roots. You’ll notice that sophisticated aesthetic on the always-changing New American menu, which could feature black cod with curry and okra, and dark chocolate ganache cake with vanilla bean anglaise. Floor-to-ceiling windows promise views of the patio and straight-out-of-Versaille gardens; antiques and lots of hanging plants round out the serene green atmosphere.


Tillie’s (Dripping Springs)

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Back-lit saint statues and ironwood rafters and beams give Tillie’s a meditative atmosphere. | Credit: Camp Lucy

Step through the massive turquoise doors at this Camp Lucy restaurant, and you’ll walk into one of the most breathtaking spaces in town. The menu is Hill Country-meets-the-world, and so are the interiors: Tillie’s ironwood rafters and beams were once part of a town hall in North Vietnam. Former antiques dealer Whit Hanks owns the luxe property and shows off his most prized possessions at this all-out architectural gem, including saint statues and a gilded French chandelier. 


Nido (Bouldin Creek)

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Austinites love Nido for its rooftop oasis-like ambiance. | Credit: Casey Woods

Panoramic Lady Bird Lake views are one of the main draws at this rooftop oasis. But the clubby, mid-century interiors—leather sofas, velvet banquettes, and a sexy backlit bar—give you a reason to take in the spectacular views from inside, too. Even though Nido could easily get by on its glamorous good looks, the something-for-everyone menu delivers, featuring crowd pleasers like tuna crudo with pistachio and green olives and cavatelli tossed in lamb ragu.


Honey Moon Spirit Lounge (Central Austin)

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Loungey European accents make up both Honey Moon Spirit Lounge’s interior and exterior dining areas. | Credit: Cassandra Klepac

This Craftsman bungalow got a second life as a vintage European-style lounge in 2021. Red velvet banquettes, a pressed-tin ceiling, brocade wallpaper, and a custom-made bar add up to an eclectic ambiance. There’s globally inspired food to match, like Thai red curry mussels, biscuits with beetroot butter and honey, and a signature ceviche. When the weather allows, sip on a strong cocktail—Honey Moon is known for them—on one of the outdoor seats under twinkling fairy lights.


Driskill Grill – Driskill Hotel (Downtown)

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 Driskill Grill’s rancher chic interiors make it a go-to for politicians and celebrities. | Credit: Jane Yun

Rancher chic best describes the vibe at the flagship restaurant inside Austin’s most historic hotel. For nearly 140 years, The Driskill has been a magnet for politicians and celebrities—most famously, it was where President Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson had their first date. The cowhide chairs, bronzed sconces, and crisp white tablecloths scream power lunch (or dinner), and so do elevated Texas hits like whiskey-infused duck breast and braised short ribs with cheddar grits.


1417 French Bistro (Bouldin Creek)

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This inviting French spot is equal parts warm and elegant. | Credit: 1417 French Bistro

High-low design touches mean this beloved neighborhood restaurant walks a fine line between warm and elegant. Yes, there are white marble bistro tables and a sleek black marble floor, but you’ll also find Afghan-style rugs, a lush plant collection, and lots of eclectic modern art. The inviting interiors are a great match for impeccably executed French staples like onion soup, steak frites, and duck confit. Bonus points for the red-brick patio. 


Justine’s Brasserie (East Austin)

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 Justine’s cozy and bohemian dining room is decorated with photographs by the restaurant’s owner. | Credit: Crawford Morgan

This super sultry and artsy French bistro might be best loved for late-night steak frites and charcuterie. But it also shines for its cozy and bohemian interiors. The 1937 bungalow welcomes diners with a plant-filled, velvet-draped patio; inside, cherry-red walls with artwork and images from photographer Justine Gilcrease, the restaurant’s owner, evoke Paris’s Belle Époque era. 


Yamas (West Austin)

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At Yamas, wife-and-husband team Roxie and Hristos Nikolakos wanted to bring a slice of Rhodes, Greece, to Austin. | Credit: MYLK Collective 

Wife-and-husband team Roxie and Hristos Nikolakos hail from Rhodes, Greece, and designed their airy restaurant to reflect the coastal charm of their home island. Which explains the white-washed walls, rustic wooden furniture, and cobalt-blue windows. Murals from international artist Aurora Covarrubias add whimsy, including an octopus spanning the dining room and a Medusa that greets diners upon arrival. Throw in transportive Mediterranean food, and you’ve got a meal that’s also a getaway.


Nômade (Bouldin Creek)

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Cocktails are served in Mexican-inspired earthenware at Nômade. | Credit: Nômade

This Bouldin Creek newcomer is the next-best thing to a Tulum trip. White-washed walls, tables made from natural woods, linen drapes, and wicker accents create a resort-like ambiance—all that’s missing is the sea. Chef Jay Huang’s food also takes cues from the Yucatán Peninsula, so expect plenty of seafood, housemade tortillas, and tropical cocktails to fuel your beachy escape.  


The Peacock Mediterranean Grill (Downtown)

The Eastern Mediterranean feels are strong at this airy Austin Proper Hotel spot, which is done up in blues, earth tones, clay tiles, and intricate Middle Eastern upholstery. It all complements the Peacock’s Israeli and Turkish dishes, which are just as delicious as the interiors. Go with a group to dig into grilled meats, tagines, and mezze platters, and venture to the terracotta pot-lined patio with Shoal Creek views for drinks or dinner under the stars.


Bulevar Mexican Kitchen (Arboretum)

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Limestone walls and soaring ceilings set this farm-fresh Mexican apart. | Credit: Consumable Content 

The sibling to ATX Cocina showcases the same farm-fresh Mexican cooking, but in a larger, more design-forward space with limestone walls, tall ceilings, a huge bar, and an open kitchen anchored by a massive wood-fired grill. Floor-to-ceiling windows lead to a roomy patio boasting the best sunset views around. Look around, take a sip of your marg, and you’ll swear you’re at a Mexico City hotspot. 


Olamaie (Central Austin)

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A refurbished 1920s cottage is the home to award-winning chef Michael Fojtasek’s Olamaie. | Credit: Olamaie

Since 2014, acclaimed chef Michael Fojtasek has served modern takes on farm-to-table Southern fare inside an exquisitely refurbished 1920s cottage. The small house has an open, breezy feel, with decor in muted shades of gray, enhanced by historic photos and local artwork—it’s the kind of understated but beautiful backdrop for Fojtasek’s artful dishes like blue-corn hush puppies with onion dip and trout roe, and confit lamb with peanut soup.

Claudia Alarcón is a Mexico City-born writer based in Austin who has covered dining, drinking, and travel since 1999. Her writing has appeared in publications including Forbes, Austin American-Statesman, and more.

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