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“Hidden Gem you might walk right by without knowing”

South Congress Cafe
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Ranked #42 of 3,700 Restaurants in Austin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $40
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem you might walk right by without knowing”
Reviewed November 19, 2012

I've lived in Austin 2 years and walked past this place more times than I can count- it just looks like any other diner/restaurant from the outside - BUT, I got caught in the rain 2 weekends ago with friends and we went in to get out of the downpour- we were suprised in a great way.

The inside is a very clean and artsy design - the place itself is just very clean, as well, including the bathrooms.

The menu is not what you'd expect- things ranging from quail egg to pancakes - but all with a culinary flair that will impress you and make you want to go back (I've been back twice now).

The prices can be a tad high - but you are on South Congress which is a major tourist spot, so they are in line with the area, itself. The left side is a bar area with 2-top high tables and counter seating. The right is all dining room with booths and open tables.

I tend to sit at the bar sit at the counter- it's more fun and energetic, and the bartenders are really on their game, either with drinks (they have a great drink menu) or with serving you your food. Haven't run into one that didn't have a great personality yet - they love working there and it shows.

If you go on a weekend, put your name in and give them your cell # so you can go walk around South Congress while you wait for a table to open. I was impressed that they will actually call your cell like that for you.

Visited November 2012
Thank Mongoose R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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652 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
65 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“So fabulous!”
Reviewed November 17, 2012

The menu underestimates this place, but the line during Sunday brunch is a hint, don't miss this one the next time you travel through! Nothing is bad.

Visited November 2012
Thank Indiansummer64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Level Contributor
77 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A SoCo staple”
Reviewed November 16, 2012

Another place in SoCo that you want to get to early or be prepared to wait. Fun and varied menu, but with a definite southwest foudation. It can get really loud in here so don't expect to be able to hear people at the other end of your table if you have a large group. Recommend!

Visited November 2012
Thank bdmaustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
342 reviews
235 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“fell in love with their carrot cake French toast”
Reviewed November 10, 2012

Went with a bunch of gals for a baby shower on a Saturday knowing it will be packed so we got there right at 9am n got seated together all 9 of us! The staff is super nice there esp our waiter..they always kept our water full n never rushed us even when the place started getting packed at 10ish..it was early so felt more like a breakfasty item even tho I heard their sea bass was great..had the spinach portobella artichoke omlette n it was ok..not the best I have had n the potato pancake was ok too but what I fell in love with was the carrot cake French toast! I usually don't even like carrot cake at all but this was more like a super moist n soft carrot bread slightly toasted n powder sugared! It was fantastic n I can see why people could eat this all by themselves ..I would go back just for that n go just as early to park in front too :)

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank livelovex7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“South Congress Cafe - Austin Texas”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Wonderful restaurant serving innovative and delicious food. Our first food stop in Austin had us wanting to go back again and again! We had the Pan Seared Sea Bass with chorizo refried black beans, leeks, shitake mushroom, avocado corn & crab salad, white truffle oil - Yummmy! and the Blackened Tuna Tacos - blackened yellowfin tuna, cilantro lime rice, refried black beans, pico de gallo, guacamole, chipotle lime vinaigrette, house made tortillas - both exceptional dishes - the waitress was extremely helpful and friendly - a must visit if you are in Austin!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank leonies1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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