Michelin Star Restaurants in Austin: 7 Unique Restaurants That Will Leave You Speechless

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Michelin Star Restaurants in Austin: 7 Unique Restaurants That Will Leave You Speechless

Even though Austin is the capital of Texas, it has a more creative and artsy feel than cities like Dallas and Houston. Undoubtedly, the vibrant arts scene in Austin bleeds over into the culinary scene as well. For most restaurant owners and chefs, the most prestigious rating they could receive is the elusive Michelin Star, so you might wonder what Michelin Star restaurants in Austin are worth visiting.

Surprisingly, Austin doesn’t have any official Michelin Star restaurants, but there’s a simple explanation. There aren’t Michelin Star restaurants anywhere in Texas, since Michelin hasn’t created a guide for the Lone Star State.

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As of the end of 2023, only seven U.S. locations have Michelin Guides, but they’re always looking for new cities and states to add. If the Michelin Guide does ever come to Austin, keep reading to find out what restaurants could make the list.

Closeup of professional chef plating Asian dish in restaurant kitchen, copy space
The Michelin worthy restaurants in Austin are as unique and creative as the culture.


Michelin Worthy Restaurants in Austin, Texas

When it comes to cuisine, each city has its local favorites. With a creative and unique city like Austin, there are some restaurants that offer something you can’t find anywhere else.

Michelin announced two new guides in the U.S. in 2023, and although Texas isn’t one of them, there are enough unique and luxurious restaurants in places like Austin that they may add a Texas Michelin Guide in the future.

If Michelin did come to Texas, here are some of the restaurants in Austin that could make the list:

  • Uchi
  • Emmer & Rye
  • Pasta | Bar
  • Toshokan
  • Barley Swine
  • Red Ash Italia
  • Canje

If you’re ever in the Austin area, these restaurants are worth visiting. Let’s find out what makes each restaurant unique and worthy of a Michelin Star.


Barbecue dry aged wagyu entrecote beef steak roast with lettuce and salt as closeup on a charred wooden board
Wagyu beef is an important part of the menu at Uchi.


Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole leads the way for a fantastic experience in this stylish Japanese restaurant. Uchi is the perfect place to make a reservation for a special occasion or a sophisticated night out.

In Japanese, Uchi translates to house, and it’s a fitting name for the stylish yet comforting atmosphere at this restaurant. The menu is focused on non-traditional Japanese cuisine and each dish strikes a balance between style and creativity. Choose from among their daily specials, or make a pick from their more permanent menu.

The daily specials are constantly changing, but you might choose a dish like the A5 Hot Rock with A5 Wagyu beef, or the Tako with bokchoy, tom kha, and peanut. On the rest of their menu, you may find dishes like the Wagyu Striploin or the Grilled Striped Bass.        

Emmer & Rye

Grilled red snapper with burnt butter, capers, tomato and lemon sauce. Fresh seafood dish in restaurant, Phuket, Thailand.


Located on the bottom floor of the Skyhouse Austin Apartments, Emmer & Rye is far from ordinary with a menu that changes daily based on the local farmer’s haul. The flavors of each dish are inspired by Chef Kevin’s unique experience cooking in Copenhagen.

Chef Kevin Fink was a James Beard Finalist for the Best Chef in Texas, and the restaurant has also been recognized by The New York Times, Austin American-Statesman, and Bon Appetit.

With an ever-changing menu, it’s always a surprise what dishes you might enjoy when you visit Emmer & Rye. You might find entrees like the Red Snapper with Fuji apple and corn relish, or the Grilled Zucchini with pickled turnip and toasted elephant garlic. Try their Texas Wagyu Beef Showcase for $105. Note that your whole table needs to participate in this experience.

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Pasta | Bar

Manhattan cocktail with whiskey. With copy space
Enjoy a complimentary cocktail in Pasta | Bar's lounge.

©Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock.com

Pasta | Bar is the newest addition to the Scratch Restaurant family, started by husband and wife duo Phillip Frankland Lee and Margarita Kallas-Lee. Both Chef Phillip and Margarita have been featured in Zagat’s “30 Under 30,” and also recognized by numerous other publications.

The atmosphere at Pasta | Bar is definitely intimate, with only 10 seats available at the counter where you can enjoy the Tasting Menu. This seating arrangement also gives you a full view of the kitchen. The spectacular experience at Pasta | Bar begins as soon as you walk in the door and are offered a complimentary cocktail in the lounge.

Once the adventure of your meal begins, you’ll be surprised by each dish that brings a number of bold and creative flavors. With items such as the Scallop with lime granita and cucumber or the Escargot with smoke and bone marrow, there’s no limit to the flavors you’ll experience throughout the course of your meal. Dinner starts at $195/person.


close up of sashimi sushi set with chopsticks and soy
If you can manage to get a reservation, you'll enjoy an unforgettable experience at Toshokan.

©In Green/Shutterstock.com

If you’re ready for an intimate, exclusive dining experience, Toshokan is the place to go. This restaurant offers a 14-course sushi speakeasy style meal, served to only six people at a time. You have to be quick if you want to snag reservations here. Toshokan was even included on the list of The Toughest Restaurant Reservations in Austin.

If you’re lucky enough to get a reservation, you’ll find your seat after entering the restaurant through a secretive bookcase door. Chef Saine Wong brings his talent and knowledge to Toshokan after spending years focusing on different types of cuisines all over the world. Before opening Toshokan, he traveled to 26 different countries to study the food and ingredients used in different cultures.

After opening its doors in 2022, Toshokan has become one of the most prestigious and exclusive sushi restaurants in Austin. Within the first year of opening, they were ranked one of the best new restaurants by Austin Monthly.

Barley Swine

Close Up Still Life of Two Fried Tuna Steaks on Square White Plate with Seasoning and Fresh Green Salad with Tomato on Painted Wooden Table
At Barley Swine, you may find tuna on the menu.


Since 2010, Barley Swine has brought fresh flavors and local ingredients to life in the heart of Austin. The team at Barley Swine is led by Austin local Bryce Gilmore and this restaurant is committed to supporting local farmers and ranchers. They’re also committed to doing their part in protecting the environment, working closely with the non-profit organization ZeroFoodprint. Through this partnership, Barley Swine hopes to achieve and maintain carbon neutrality.

Barley Swine is a popular and well-loved restaurant in Austin, so reservations are encouraged. The entire dining experience at Barley Swine will take about two hours, and throughout that time, you’ll get to experience every bit of the Chef’s Tasting Menu.

The menu does change seasonally, but you can expect each dish to include bold flavors and a mix of local ingredients. You may see options like the Cured Bluefin Tuna with brown butter squash and a mushroom dressing. The meal wouldn’t be complete without dessert, such as the Grapefruit Ice Cream or the Apple Pavé with an oat cake, oatmeal cookie butter, and cheddar.

Red Ash Italia

Basil, Bell Pepper, Crockery, Dinner, Food
You can't go wrong with pasta from Red Ash Italia.

©Candice Bell/ via Getty Images

Red Ash Italia stands out on the list of Michelin-worthy restaurants in Austin as a restaurant with craft Italian cuisine. Executive Chef John Carver leads his team to prepare creative dishes inspired by the cuisine of Northern and Southern Italy.

The menu at Red Ash includes items such as handmade pasta, seafood, and delectable Italian desserts. There are signature dishes, such as the Wood Roasted Beef Bone Marrow with Wild Mushroom Risotto. You can also enjoy fresh pasta, such as the Potato Gnocchi with fresh cream, gorgonzola, and smoked prosciutto.

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  • 4-serving meals starting at $3.77 per serving (up to 25% cheaper than HelloFresh).
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During your meal, feel free to choose selections from the extensive wine list. Here you’ll find wines from across the world, including selections from Austria, France, Spain, and Argentina. You can also opt to have one of the restaurant's signature craft cocktails.

As of February 2024, Red Ash Italia is temporarily closed for duct work repairs. Please check their website for information about when they plan to reopen.


Grilled or pan fried pork chops on the bone with garlic and rosemary
Try Canje's delicious Berkshire Pork Chops.

©Elena Veselova/Shutterstock.com

Traditional and modern dishes collide at this lively and vibrant Caribbean restaurant in Austin. At Canje, you’ll find bright colors, bold flavors, and cuisine inspired by Guyana, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and every island in between.

Even the name of the restaurant adds to the story of the environment. Canje is named after the Canje pheasant, which is the national bird of Guyana. This tropical bird provides some insight into the type of vibrant food you’ll experience when you dine at Canje.

The menu includes a variety of dishes, such as the Sea Bass with mojo, tomato, squash, and orange. Or, you might try the Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with mango vindaloo, achar, and green papaya. You can’t complete your meal without tasting one of their unique desserts, such as the Cassareep Ice cream with dark chocolate, passion fruit, puffed rice, and pepitas sprinkled on top. Or, try their Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Texas pecan, Rhum Agricole, and strawberry jam.

The Best Restaurants Austin Has to Offer

Anyone who has lived in or visited Austin will tell you how unique the city is. From its vibrant art and music scene to its vast array of creative restaurants, there are plenty of exciting things to do and see in Austin.

Although there aren’t any Michelin Star Restaurants in Austin so far, Michelin may add a Texas guide in the future. There are plenty of restaurants for Michelin to explore across the great state of Texas, especially in the capital. If Michelin does visit Texas one day, they may consider some of these luxury restaurants in Austin.

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