Lucky J's

1901 Rio Grande Street, Austin, TX 78705 Directions
512-296-9914
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From Our Editors

The story of Lucky J’s Chicken & Waffles begins with transformation. The eatery started as a food truck before rolling into its culinary cocoon, soon emerging as a brick-and-mortar location propelled by wings of fried, fluffy batter. Today, homestyle sides such as collard greens and fried pickle chips accompany a menu that mostly proceeds as follows: fried chicken, waffles, fried chicken with waffles, and waffles folded into tacos stuffed with fried chicken. It’s a simple concept, but it has earned the spot attention from the Atlantic, CBS News, and FOXBusiness. The Austin Chronicle called the chicken “both greasy and salty; this is not a criticism,” adding that, combined with waffles, which “have a luscious buttery flavor with a hint of sugar to them … the whole ensemble is sinfully delicious.”

In addition to classic, bone-in fried chicken served with waffles, waffle tacos come in combinations that are more surprising than a jack-in-the-box filled with firecrackers. The Brady’s bacon waffle conceals swiss cheese, hot sauce, and honey, whereas the Grandma Andy is stuffed with banana, Nutella, peanut butter, and honey. Surrounding feasters, the shop’s bright murals all originate from the hand of local artist Federico Archuleta, and include dueling guitars played by chickens and a woman eating chicken next to a chicken eating a waffle.

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Groupon Guide

Austin Restaurant Guide

If it can be tossed on a grill and slathered in barbecue sauce, it probably can be found at one of the many Austin restaurants that keep things classically Texas. But even though the city may have made its culinary name with sweet, smoky briskets and ribs, new and not-so-new cooking styles have made Austin a foodie destination.

Thanks to the popularity of “Tex-Mex” cuisine, Matt’s El Rancho on South Lamar has managed to become an Austin institution for more than 60 years. Since that time, Tex-Mex dining in Austin has gone uptown with Nuevo Mexican restaurants such as Manuel’s, an upscale Mexican eatery located in downtown Austin, and Garrido’s, a Warehouse District spot that marries traditional Mexican cooking with modern techniques. Foodies who consider eating an adventure are flocking to newcomers on the Austin dining scene including The Afin Modern Japanese Tapas Bar on North Lamar Boulevard, which turns out stunning sushi creations, and Foreign & Domestic, on East 53rd Street, where they utilizes local ingredients to reinvent classic American dishes at this updated take on the diner. Newcomers Asia Café (Sichuan), Indian Spicy Kitchen (Indian) and Mi Kefcito (Cuban) are also worth checking out.

Still, barbecue reigns supreme among Austin food worshippers and one of the newest places is Franklin Barbecue on East 11th Street, recently named the best barbecue restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit magazine. Lines form early here (about 10 a.m.) and Franklin only serves lunch, so plan accordingly. Other places where the barbecue is popular include Live Oak Barbecue on East 2nd Avenue and longtime Austin favorites Stubbs, (located on Red River Street), Sam’s BBQ (on East 12th Street), and Ironworks BBQ (downtown Austin). From traditional Texas chow to unique Southwestern twists on international dishes, Austin is now one of the top favorites for unique taste adventures.

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