In Austin, two questions—“Where is the best sushi?” and “What is the best fine-dining experience?”—often yield the same answer: Uchi. Since 2003, the South Lamar Japanese restaurant has been the spot for visiting celebrities and fine-food appreciators. And for good reason: through more than a decade of training in Tokyo, New York and Austin under various sushi masters, executive chef and co-owner Tyson Cole has cultivated a culinary mainstay that isn’t inexpensive by any means (for one piece of fish, you’ll often pay a price comparable to an entire roll at other places), yet is well worth every penny given that fish is flown in daily from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market. That fact, combined with menu specials updated every day, speaks to an extraordinary commitment to creativity and quality—a world-class experience worth a visit for locals and visitors alike.
Among Austin’s elite fine-dining restaurants, from the best Italian restaurants to the best Japanese food, at least a few elements are consistent: exceptional service, extraordinary food and inventive beverage pairings (including some of the best cocktails in Austin). And with new high-end restaurants opening all the time, deciding where to spend your money only gets harder. Not to worry—among Austin's growing options, we’ve pinpointed the can’t-miss fine-dining establishments in town, those restaurants that combine extremely creative, consistently changing concepts with the highest quality seasonal ingredients. Whether you’re a visitor or an Austin resident, check out our top fine-dining recommendations for a memorable meal.