Have you ever typed “South American Food in Austin” on your Google search bar. What did you get? To my surprise, a very limited amount of search results. For being such a “foodie” and “diverse” city, you would think that Austin would have plenty of restaurants to choose from in this category- right? Well, not the case! With the limited options that we have for South American food here in town, I have made it my personal duty to tell you about where the best food and deals are ;)
Oh and just in case you forgot or got confused, Mexican food is NOT the same as South American food or other Latin cuisine. When I say “South American” food, I am literally referring to food from countries like Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, etc. Although Mexican and other Latin American foods might share similar food items, such as black beans (frijoles) and rice (arroz), you must know that the flavors are completely different. One huge misconception that people (not all people, but some people) tend to have is the idea that because some Mexican dishes may carry a lot of spices and "hot picante" flavors, all Latin American dishes share this in common. But try ordering salsa verde, jalapenos, or tortillas at a Peruvian restaurant and see what the waitress/waiter will tell you (he/she will probably make a face then kindly pretend like you didn’t ask this). Haha. Okay maybe they won’t react like this- but really, don’t confuse Mexican food with other Latin American food. Buen Provecho!
Here is the best South American food in Austin:
Fumaca Gaucha Steakhouse | 5100 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702 | https://fumacagaucha.com/
Yeah, there are other steakhouses in town - but none with the hospitality and service that this local venue offers. This is a "Southern Brazilian Style" restaurant: once you are sat in a table, you are given a card and have to flip that card on its green side to enjoy the feast of unlimited beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and sausage cuts! This feast also includes unlimited access to a salad bar, Brazilian cheese bread, mashed potatoes, and little sweet baby bananas (maduros) that taste like heaven. Anyways, just when you think it can’t get any better, one of their waiters (if you have your green card up, ) will approach you with yet another mouth-watering cut of meat, making all your tastebuds melt (call me dramatic but seriously, that’s what I felt). Also, their wine selection is amazing! *Take advantage of their Sunday special- for only $29.90/guest you can enjoy more than 10 different cuts of meat, including lamb, chicken, pork and more.*
Buenos Aires Cafe | 1201 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702| https://www.buenosairescafe.com/
Truly an Austin gem, this place always makes my heart so happy! The vibes and ambiance of Buenos Aires Cafe takes you on a mental trip to Argentina, and their food is to die for! Whether it’s the colorful summer salad you’re having, the empanada de carne or the lomito sandwich, you will taste the authentic flavors of Argentina in every bite. There was a moment where I had to literally close my eyes while savoring the lomito because my tastebuds could not handle all the goodness that was happening (warned you that I could be dramatic). All of the food items that go into crafting each dish are handpicked in local markets, and some of the chefs/owners still make trips to Argentina to partake in culinary festivals and bring back ideas for their dishes. *Soon, they are going to be having “Cena Shows”, which are basically food and music dinners. For example, one of their shows is called “Flamenco + Paella”, here guests will be entertained by Flamenco dancers while enjoying an exquisite Spanish meal. Stay tuned for ticket information and details by visiting their site*
Ceviche 7 | 502 W 30th St, Austin, TX 78705 | http://ceviche7.business.site/
This might be the tiniest food truck you’ve ever seen, but don’t let the size of it fool you! The Peruvian flavors of this place will keep you asking for seconds! At Ceviche 7 you can find original and authentic Peruvian dishes. My favorite dish was definitely the ceviche! (Side note: In Latin American or maybe the entire culinary world, Peruvian ceviche is often and widely recognized as one of the best ceviches in the world). It is prepared very differently than Mexican ceviche and carries a mix of lemon and other spices. It is to my understanding that the fish is actually raw and gets cooked in the lemon juice (but still, ask the cook). *Stay tuned because in the near future, they will be adding a new food truck in downtown Austin. TBD*
Lima Criolla | 6406 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd #1550, Austin, TX 78752 | http://www.limacriolla.com/
If you’re looking for a truly unique and mouth-watering eating experience, then stop by Lima Criolla! Also a Peruvian restaurant, Lima Criolla carries almost every single Peruvian dish you can imagine. Before eating at this place, I never really knew what Peruvian food consisted of and to my surprise a lot of it is deliciously infused with Asian flavors (apparently Peruvian dishes carry infusion from different Asian countries because the country itself was first inhabited by Asians- maybe? I am not 100% sure, Google it). My favorite dish is the “Bistec a lo Pobre” as featured above. Another reason why I love this place is because all of their dishes are cooked fresh and as you order them. Oh, don’t forget to try one of their Pisco (Peruvian version of wine) cocktails such as their classic Pisco Sour or Maracuya Pisco Sour (you can thank me later)! *Soon you will be able to enjoy al fresco dining in this location because the construction for their patio seating has already begun- word on the street is that it will ready for customers this fall!*
Artessano | 1211 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 | https://www.facebook.com/atxartessano/
A little piece of Colombia definitely got lost and trapped here in Austin because that’s just what this place has to offer. They carry traditional Colombian snacks and fruit juices. Every single dish carried so much flavor and was cooked fresh as soon as you placed your order! Learn more about this food truck by visiting thier site.