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8 of Austin’s outstanding spots for celebrating special occasions

A photo of Red logo
by Claudia Alarcón
Updated 15 December 2023

Austin loves a full-blown party, and the special-occasion restaurants in this famously quirky city are as distinct as the people who celebrate here.

No matter what you’re marking, whether it’s an all-out graduation party—hook ’em horns!—or a romantic milestone under a sprawling Texas sky, this town’s got a spot for you. Read on for a guide to eight Austin restaurants perfect for special occasions.

A photo of Intero restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1481)
$31 to $50
Italian
East Austin
About the restaurant

Wife and husband team, pastry chef Krystal Craig and executive chef Ian Thurwachter, chose the Italian word for “whole” when they opened their East Austin trattoria in 2018. The name reflects a sustainable, zero-waste cooking philosophy, which means a celebration here is a seriously ethical one. Although the hyper-seasonal menu is always changing, there are always housemade pastas, breads, and meats from Texas farms and ranches. Sweeten any occasion with Craig’s exceptional truffles, chocolate barks, or sipping chocolate—or a pick from the restaurant’s extensive amari selection.


Top review
AncientReptoid
Dined 5 days ago
One of the best meals I’ve had in Austin in recent memory. Certainly the best Italian food I’ve had in town. Our server was knowledgeable, attentive and friendly. The host was helpful too when we ordered chocolates. Overall a great experience. I can’t wait to go back and try other dishes.
A photo of Vince Young Steakhouse restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2965)
$50 and over
Steakhouse
Downtown
About the restaurant

Pitch-perfect wagyus and porterhouses headline the menu at this stylish Southern steakhouse. But Vince Young’s occasion-friendly menu also includes sleeper hits like bacon mac and cheese and an off-menu wine “milkshake” that blends vanilla ice cream with Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re leaning toward a drinks-driven celebration, the restaurant is home to one of the best happy hour deals in town—all bar and lounge menu items are $10 from 5 pm to 7 pm daily, including deep-fried Texas quail and, yes, even steak frites with chimichurri.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
We loved it. Everything was spectacular! We will definitely be back.
A photo of Bulevar Mexican Kitchen restaurant
4.8
4.8 (874)
$31 to $50
Contemporary Mexican
Arboretum
About the restaurant

This lively spot comes from the team behind another local modern Mexican favorite, ATX Cocina. Bulevar’s floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a massive patio, and you won’t find a better spot for a sunset celebration. Fuel your party with street snacks and corn tortillas, made from heirloom Oaxacan corn ground onsite—bonus points for a kitchen that’s 100 percent gluten-free. Bulevar’s high-energy bar is known for top-notch agave cocktails, plus a rollicking happy hour that stretches through the night on Mondays and Tuesdays.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
It was loud but the place was full Otherwise everything was perfect.
A photo of Carillon Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (921)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Downtown
About the restaurant

Special moments were made for this elegant New American restaurant. Carillon is ideal for a celebratory dinner before a show at the nearby Moody Center or an outdoor Sunday brunch with the family. Its burnt-orange interiors—the University of Texas color—also make the restaurant a go-to for graduation parties. Chef Kyle Barham’s Texan menu is sprinkled with fun international accents (case in point: seared sea bass with tom yum and Thai herbs), best enjoyed as an occasion-worthy three-course meal.


Top review
SteveS
Dined on 15 May 2024
High quality ingredients, great presentation and composition, great value for the money. Improved a lot since the last time we went.
A photo of Hestia restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1731)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
Downtown
About the restaurant

Hestia’s distinguishing features, like its sleek, industrial-chic interiors and top-shelf ingredients—wagyu ribeye, king trumpet mushrooms—level up any celebration. The modern-day grill house is part of Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group and led by Kevin Fink and Tavel Bristol-Joseph, the award-winning duo behind other Austin hits like Emmer & Rye, Canje, and Kalimotxo. Dishes are fired up in a 20-foot custom-built hearth where they’re treated to techniques from around the world. Extra-special occasions call for Hestia’s multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings from a 400-label strong list that recently scored Wine Spectator love.


Top review
KenJvip
Dined 2 days ago
Great service, knowledgeable staff, cool atmosphere, excellent food, and will return.
A photo of Uchiko Austin restaurant
4.9
4.9 (5923)
$50 and over
Sushi
Central Austin
About the restaurant

There are plenty of high-roller touches at this modern sushi and sashimi shrine, including fish flown in daily from Japan and sleek private dining rooms. James Beard Award-winner Tyson Cole crafts occasion-worthy nigiri like cured Norwegian mackerel with tomato, truffle, and basil, but his massive menu has something for everyone, including a knockout omakase selection. Add some of the city’s most unique desserts—Earl Grey panna cotta with habaneros and white-chocolate crunch, anyone?—and you’ve got one inventive special-occasion spot.


Top review
Juan
Dined 6 days ago
Awesome service. The lobster and the nigiri’s out of this world. The soft shell great but the other rolls not “extraordinary”. A little bit expensive.
A photo of Ezov restaurant
4.7
4.7 (512)
$50 and over
Mediterranean
East Austin
About the restaurant

Ezov, another restaurant from Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group, just landed in Austin this year. But the Mediterranean place is already a special-occasion hotspot for excellent Galilee, Israel-inspired dishes like DIY chicken shawarma (translation: you get to carve it), falafel, and crispy phyllo cigars with spiced sweetbreads, all made with locally grown ingredients. A lot of the northern Israeli menu is designed to be shared, so take a crew to celebrate over chef Berty Richter’s family-style feast—and don’t skip a group photo by the graffiti wall, scrawled with the Hebrew lyrics to Britney Spears’s “Toxic.”


Top review
RachelDvip
Dined 6 days ago
Delicious, I think I have come in for schnitzel night three times so far! Just a great energy and atmosphere and warm service. Food has bursts of flavor and the Middle Eastern wine list is amazing. Definitely recommend!
A photo of Arlo Grey by Kristen Kish restaurant
4.5
4.5 (1615)
$31 to $50
American
Downtown
About the restaurant

Top Chef winner and now-host Kristen Kish opened this festive, sun-lit gem in the LINE Hotel in 2018. The eclectic menu fuses her French and Italian training, Midwestern flavors from her childhood, and Texan swagger—think fried steamed buns with charred eggplant and caper relish and a can’t-miss coconut pistachio mousse with Texas melon, rose tapioca, and lemon meringue. Grab a perch at the roomy bar for an easygoing celebration or a table with Lady Bird Lake views for a fancier night out.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
We had our anniversary dinner here. The food was excellent. The service was outstanding!
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