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Cold weather usually makes me want two things: warm food and an even warmer place to curl up and not move for several hours. While it might be hard to gather the strength to get up off of the couch, these eight restaurants are serving up dishes that will fulfill all your winter cravings.
Though we all know ramen makes a great meal at any point in the year, there’s no better time than when the weather drops. Ramen Tatsu-Ya has won countless awards and been on multiple “bests” lists for their incredible noodle-filled soups. Add a Spicy Bomb to a rich Tonkotsu Ramen, or go a little lighter with a chicken broth-based Ol’ Skool. Beware: Ramen Tatsu-Ya does not offer take out in order to preserve its freshness, but they do offer to-go containers for soup not finished in the restaurant. To avoid looking like a first timer, hit up their website to read up on the “rules”.
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In most people’s minds, chilly weather = hot soup. Luckily, this hot Austin spot always features seven delicious soups on their menu, as well as a few rotating daily specials. Need something more substantial? The Soup Peddler has a variety of hot sandwiches grilled on locally made sourdough bread. My personal favorite combo to get is the pesto and provolone with a cup of tomato basil soup or the pepperoni and sundried tomato sandwich- it is basically a pizza between two pieces of bread. Gluten-free options are available as well. Stop in for a quick bite or place a takeaway order online to enjoy the yummy warmth in the comfort of your own home.
Since we ARE in Texas, you bet chili is a cold weather staple. It is our state’s dish, after all! Close to campus, this restaurant is both eclectic and authentic. Their “legendary bowl of red” is true Texas chili, meaning it does not have beans (though they do offer both options). The chili comes in three different sizes and three different spice levels: X (mild), XX (medium), and XXX (spicy). If that’s not up your alley, Texas Chili Parlor has an extensive menu of burgers, tacos, and enchiladas.
Hit up this hotspot after spending a day perusing the bars along Rainey Street to try everyone’s favorite Indian food. Like many other Austin classics, G’Raj Mahal began as a food truck on the site of an old car garage, hence the name. Begin with some samosas, then move on to your choice of many creamy or non-creamy curry options. Definitely try the naan, offered in 8 different flavors ranging from plain to garlic to fruit & nut. Don’t feel like getting out of bed? G’Raj Mahal delivers on DoorDash for $6.
G’Raj Mahal Cafe & Lounge
Situated right near campus, Thai Kitchen is a popular take-out option amongst all UT students. They serve up great classic dishes such as fried rice and pad thai as well as endless beef, chicken, pork and seafood options. For colder fall days, try out one of Thai Kitchen’s traditional soups like Tom Ka or Thai Noodle soup. My go-to order when I’m sick is a bowl of Tom Yum and some steamed dumplings. With their large portion sizes, you might even end up with leftovers! Order through Yelp to get your meal delivered in under 30 minutes for only a $1 delivery charge.
If you haven’t been to Via 313 yet, go. Go now. What you’ll get when you walk into this Detroit-inspired restaurant is a thick slice of deep-dish dough layered with tomato sauce and enough cheese to create the perfect Insta story. Inspired by traditional Sicilian recipes, their list of toppings includes specialties like sopressata, fig, and Prosciutto di Parma. Though it’s fun to venture out and try and try their specialties like The Cadillac or The 500, it’s hard for me to resist getting the simple yet mouth-watering Original Pepperoni. They still serve food out of their original food trailers, but if you’re looking to stay warm, I suggest going to one of their three brick-and-mortar restaurants spread around town.
Because the vibes on Irene’s outdoor patio are so great, it might not be one of the first places that comes to mind when you are thinking about somewhere cozy to enjoy a meal. Despite that, they have some killer items on the menu that you can enjoy at one of the inside booths. My personal favorite is the spinach and artichoke dip- I don’t know how they make it, but I cannot seem to walk in Irene’s without ordering the hot, creamy, cheesy mess. Other warm favorites are their shells and cheese, creamy tomato soup, and the frito pie. Don’t forget to check out their drink specials- Irene’s features different drink specials each day of the week.
Though technically not a restaurant, I couldn’t resist putting this coffee bar on the list. Where else in Austin could you roast your own s’mores? Halcyon offers a place to gather a few friends to create this delectable dessert without having to mess with burning logs or lighter fluid. Feeling fancy? You can sub regular chocolate for Kit Kat, Hershey’s Cookies and Cream, or Hershey’s Almonds for just an extra $3. For those looking to head to 6th Street post meal, order one of their five amazing coffee cocktails.
Cameron is a senior education major from Houston. She likes traveling, her dog, and food.