Though known for its bar scene, Rainey continues to grow as a culinary destination. Starting as a food truck haven, Rainey is now home to some of Austin's best restuarants with more on the way. From the nationally-acclaimed Banger's Big Band Brunch, to Kevin Fink's brainchild and Austin's best restuarant of 2016, Emmer & Rye, Rainey's dining options will surprise and satisfy.
HOTEL VAN ZANDT & GERALDINE'S
Slate brick archways give this hotel’s interiors —designed by New York-based firm MARKZEFF, also behind 70 Rainey — a slick urban look, and downstairs living rooms have plenty of conversational corners. The fourth floor has also become a local watering hole: Geraldine’s restaurant (named for the famed guinea fowl that used to roam Rainey Street) serves cocktails and seasonal plates any time of the day, and features live music every night.
Headed by husband and wife team, Iliana and Ernesto de la Vega, El Naranjo enhances the flavor of Rainey by bringing the rich traditions of Oaxacan cuisine to the street. Named a "Top 25" restaurant by Austin American Statesmen three years running, El Naranjo has become a Rainey staple as Iliana has received national recognition as a traditional Latin-American chef. From masa to mole, El Naranjo offers a number of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options, and is open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch, dinner and brunch.
This historic red house is one of the most popular spots in the neighborhood for a cold beer and juicy bratwurst. Diners pack in at picnic tables spread out under strings of twinkling lights. There are over 100 brews on tap, as well as regular music performances and the occasional crawfish boil or pig roast.
Helmed by Owner and Executive Chef Kevin Fink, one of Food & Wine’s 2016 “Best New Chefs,” Emmer & Rye brings a unique dining experience to Austin. The restaurant is the city’s first to offer contemporary American seasonal small plates passed on circulating carts as part of their menu. Since opening in late 2015, the restaurant has been included in Bon Appétit’s “America’s Best New Restaurants 2016” list as well as Texas Monthly’s 2016 “Where To Eat Now” list.