11 Best Restaurants on the Water in Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas, may be landlocked, but there is no lack of water where there are several beautiful and fantastic waterfront restaurants. The area is home to many breathtaking lakes and bodies of water, perfect for all sorts of activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, watersports, and boating.
Boaters looking to take a break from time out on the water will find many places to grab a bite to eat with family or enjoy beverages with friends.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best restaurants on the water in Austin:
- Hula Hut
- Ski Shores Cafe
- County Line on the Lake
- Shack 512
- Tillery Kitchen & Bar
- Alta’s Cafe
- The Oasis
- Sundancer Grill
- Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
- Abel’s on the Lake
- The Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge
1. Hula Hut
Hula Hut offers a divinely crafted menu featuring traditional Tex-Mex cuisine with a Hawaiian twist in a sprawling lakeside restaurant. After spending the day on the lake, stop by Hula Hut for a mouthwatering meal, cooling drinks, and a place to relax and refuel.
Menu items come in satisfying portion sizes, perfect to pair with refreshing tropical beverages. The menu comprises an array of snacks, salads, burgers, sandwiches, fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, dinners, desserts, and more. Noteworthy items include Kawaikini stuffed avocado, Texas nachos, Mexonesian shrimp flautas, Diamond Head noodle soup, and the Hula Hut Burger.
2. Ski Shores Cafe
Ski Shores Cafe offers dockside dining in Austin at its best. This charming, casual restaurant is nestled on the shores of Lake Austin and brings back memories of days gone by and visiting cozy lodge retreats. After 65 years in business, this restaurant knows how to cook a memorable meal. Ski Shores Cafe is known for its famous fried catfish, which carries an original recipe!
Ski Shores Cafe offers a full cocktail menu, all-day menus, weekend breakfast menus, and a decadent dessert menu. Popular menu items at this restaurant include Shoreline nachos, The Scooter (burger), lobster roll, and the Stand Up Paddle Bowl. Ski Shores Cafe is known for its famous fried catfish, the recipe was specially crafted here!
3. County Line on the Lake
County Line on the Lake offers a place to escape the hustle and bustle of city living and an opportunity to return to the roots of the Lone Star State. This waterfront restaurant is the chance to enjoy the Texan lifestyle, including dining in an authentic BBQ restaurant. County Line on the Lake is a laid-back environment set in an old lake lodge, offering that easy escape many people look for while on vacation or out boating.
The menu offers everything from appetizers to soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrées. Plus, all items on the menu are available for a small fee, allowing you to grab lunch and head back onto the water. Popular menu items include Bar-B-Q slider, The County Line Sausage Platter, five meat smokehouse combo, and the smoked peppered turkey breast sandwich.
4. Shack 512
Shack 512 has an elevated patio overlooking the Colorado River, offering a fantastic view and a mouthwatering menu full of new American cuisine options. This restaurant has some of the best sunset views. It’s the perfect place to grab beverages with friends or bring a romantic date night!
The menus provide breakfast, appetizers, soups, salads, entrées, sandwiches, platters, drinks, desserts, and much more. Popular menu items include the pulled pork nachos, buffalo bite, shrimp bobbers, eggs Benedict Texas-style, and Texas Alfredo pasta.
5. Tillery Kitchen & Bar
Tillery Kitchen & Bar has everything the doctor ordered – a sunny patio, beautiful views of the Colorado River, and fantastic food options. This restaurant is an oasis for those needing a relaxing environment with plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun or de-stress under a shade tree.
Popular menu items include smoked crawfish dip, crawfish mac and cheese, grilled Italian herb focaccia bread, coconut curry, and grilled melon salad. The restaurant also offers vegan and gluten-free menu options.
6. Alta’s Cafe
Are you just needing a quick bite to eat? Or maybe you want to grab coffee before heading out on the water. Either way, Alta’s Cafe is a waterfront coffee shop in downtown Austin.
Enjoy some coffee or iced tea while sitting on the patio and enjoying the breathtaking view of the water. This café serves everything from coffee to wine and charcuterie to sandwiches.
7. The Oasis
The Oasis is a popular restaurant among locals and those who go boating in the Austin area. The restaurant offers breathtaking views of Lake Travis and the Hill Country while enjoying locally brewed beers, hand-crafted cocktails, and delicious bar food.
Enjoy lunch and dinner at The Oasis with menus including classic bean and cheese nachos, avocado bites, grande quesadilla, and all kinds of fajitas.
8. Sundancer Grill
The Sundancer Grill is set on the shores of Lake Travis, where boaters can enjoy breakfast on the weekends and lunch or dinner all week long. This premier lakefront restaurant is like dining in a classic bistro with a casual ambiance.
Menus feature chef-crafted salads, sandwiches, seafood entrées, and steaks. Popular menu items include Thai chicken lettuce wraps, crab hush puppies, and Coca-Cola sirloin steak salad. If you visit the Sundancer Grill by boat, watch for shallow waters!
9. Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
Another fantastic place to grab a cup of coffee in Austin is Mozart’s Coffee Roasters, which also offers live entertainment throughout the week, including musicians, comedians, and poets. More than freshly roasted coffee, Mozart’s Coffee Roasters provides a unique selection of homemade pastries and desserts you can enjoy while relaxing on their patio.
10. Abel’s on the Lake
Abel’s on the Lake offers a prime spot to kick back and enjoy spectacular views of Lake Austin while sipping on beverages with friends. This restaurant offers a mix of mouthwatering food, classic mixed drinks, and more than 60 beers on tap.
The Abel’s on the Lake menu features American fare with a Texas draw, offering exciting options — a mix of starters, soups, salads, entrées, sandwiches, and more. Popular menu items include ranch-style jalapeños, gator bites, oysters on a half shell, build your burger, and Baja shrimp tacos.
11. The Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge
The Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge is the place in Austin for brunch. Themed around classic lighthouse decor (including kitschy maritime style), this place is a unique dining venue and the perfect addition to any day out on the water. The Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge is ideal for enjoying relaxing drinks with friends or a fun family Sunday brunch. This restaurant also has an entertaining kids’ play area, a large stage for live music, and a spacious patio.
The menu at The Lighthouse Restaurant & Lounge features appetizers, soups, sandwiches, salads, lunch specials, entrées, burgers, and more. Popular menu items include Molcajete guacamole, the Iceburger, catfish po’boy, gyro, and grilled chicken club sandwich.
Exploring Austin by boat is an exciting adventure. With so many waterfront restaurants available, spending all day on the water while taking quick breaks to enjoy some fabulous cuisine is possible. Before heading out to explore Austin, contact Boatsetter to learn more about the various boating options available, including boat rentals, captained cruises, party boats, and guided excursions.