You’ve eaten there a million times; the tried-and-true barbecue joint, the mid-century modern hipster cafe, the ritzy wine joint. What you may not know, though, is how many of your favorite Austin eateries emerge like Supergirl from the phone booth (did she do that bit, too?), ready to save your party or event with excellent food and professional service.
Seven of our favorite spots offer prime examples of just that sort of place. And whether you’re building a backyard bash or keeping up with the extra-fancy Joneses, one of these places is likely to fit the bill. Read on.
Everyone knows about Stubb’s concert venue. Most Austin ites have grabbed dinner or a drink at Stubb’s bar and restaurant. What maybe everyone doesn’t know is that their thriving catering business makes those tender meats, kicky sides, and sweet, spicy sauce available for parties, meetings, and any other event that calls for a little culinary charisma. Like they say at Stubb’s, “everything goes better with BBQ.”
801 Red River St., 444-2001, stubbsAustin .com
Max’s Wine Dive
A relatively recent addition to Austin ’s burgeoning culinary scene, Max’s wine Dive is quickly developing a reputation for innovative food, like those amazingly good crab sliders, to old-school favorites, including some of the best fried chicken in these parts. And as their name implies, you stand a dang good chance of finding at least one glass of wine worth writing home about (or several worth taking a cab home about). Or, if you’re not in the mood for a cab ride, check out their catering menu and have ‘em bring something your way.
207 San Jacinto Blvd., 904-0111 maxswinedive.com/Austin
It’s easy to find big-box blandness in Williamson County restaurants. That’s why Monument Cafe is such a sweet spot. This award-winning cafe is like a slice out of history, and only the good parts. Think baseball, Norman Rockwell paintings, Leave It To Beaver, apple pie, and, well, you get the picture. A bit off the beaten path, but pros at what they do, whether they’re cooking in the kitchen at the cafe or masterfully catering your next event.
500 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown, 930-9586, themonumentcafe.com
The staff at Thai Fresh delivers. In more ways than one. Yes, they deliver catering service for up to a hundred people. Yes, they deliver lunch boxes to office settings. Here’s something else important they deliver; they deliver you from that same old catering tray you think might drive you to distraction if it shows up at another party or working lunch. Chef Jam Sanitchat’s inspired Thai food is as beautiful as it is delicious as it is, you guessed it, fresh.
909 W Mary St., 494-6436, thai-fresh.com
Austin ’s a little bit southern and a little bit southwestern, hence the genius behind Zocalo and Galaxy. Whether you’re looking for traditional comfort food favorites or something with a little more Latin flair, the culinary creativity and quality that pours out of either restaurant make for entertaining choices that will have your guests feeling at home no matter where they’re from.
Zocalo Cafe: 1110 West Lynn St., 472-8226 zocalocafe.com
Galaxy Cafe: 1000 West Lynn St., 478-3434 galaxycafeAustin .com
Your place or theirs? This long-standing Austin favorite has been a popular place for dinner and drinks for years. Whether you’re looking to throw an elegant, Indian-inspired event at your own venue or need a smart, chic place to host your party downtown, Clay Pit can do either of those things deftly and deliciously.
1601 Guadalupe St., 322-5131, claypit.com
Fleming’s Prime Steak House & Wine Bar
OK, we lied. There is one place that doesn’t travel to you, but the private dining experience at Fleming’s will have you and your guests feeling right at home. The restaurant’s attention to detail and dedication to tailoring each event to the needs of corporations, cliques, and crews alike is a comforting hallmark of hospitality that’s hard to find.
320 East Second St., 457-1500, flemingssteakhouse.com