Austin Eats is the first in a series of guest posts from our friend, Kym Good, and her dog, Gidget. ‘Eats’ features five of their favorite restaurants, and will be followed by ‘Bars’  in August (with a special mention of Rainey Street) and ‘Breweries’ in September.

For those of you familiar with the Austin scene, a warning: Banger’s isn’t on the list. In the same way that Playboy finally quit putting the University of Arkansas on their annual list of ‘party schools’ claiming they only ranked amateurs, I asked Kym to do the same. Besides, Henri and I plan to go there ourselves; I’m desperate for Smoke Out Saturday and Big Band Brunch. There’s also Mega Mutt Monday. Maybe I’ll just ask if we can bring a tent and stay the weekend.

Anyway. Here’s to Texas (did I really just say that?!) and cheers to Kym! Oh, and Gidget- a scratch on the head for her.

Welcome to Awesome! I mean Austin!

If you’ve come here with your pup, you are in for a treat. Austin is one of, if not the most, dog-friendly cities in the country. The list of what you and your pup can do here is practically endless, but let’s get to what really matters – food and drinks. The vast majority of patios in Austin are dog friendly. We recommend calling ahead to confirm if you aren’t sure, but the answer will almost always be yes.

In no particular order, these are five of our favorite restaurants.

Located in the Muller district, a blossoming area overtaking the old airport space in Central Austin, Contigo is one of the most popular restaurants in town- so, get there early. It offers a ranch inspired setting with ample outdoor seating, including a covered porch with ceiling fans to circulate the south Texas summer heat. With top-notch cocktails and fresh, quality, bar food, this is a great place to kick back and relax with your pup!

Lichas Cantina
East 6th Street (East of I-35) holds quite a few dog-friendly gems, but if you’re looking for some seriously tasty Mexican cuisine and cocktails, Licha’s is the place for you. Once an old house, the would-be yard features outdoor seating that wraps all the way around to the back. You can choose from small, intimate tables or large, family-style tables to share with new friends. Must-try items include the Mezcal Moscow Mule (La Mula), Ceviche and the Conchinita Pibil. The servers are very friendly and attentive to your 4-legged friends. They make sure the pooches have water with ice, and every so often will sneak your pup a tasty marrow bone from the kitchen.

This ranch-to-table dining experience is located in East Austin along the Colorado River. While they call their food simple, southern and rustic, we call it just plain delicious. Parking is almost impossible, but no need to worry as they offer complimentary valet. You will need to walk your pup around back to access the patio. There, you will find a hidden oasis overlooking the Colorado River and beautiful greenery. For casual lounge seating, you’ll have to order your drinks at the bar located indoors where pups are not allowed, or you can choose full service seating at the picnic tables. We HIGHLY recommend this spot for brunch. Just order everything on the menu. Seriously.

Gourdough’s Public House
What started as a decadent food truck operating out of an airstream trailer has expanded to a donut empire with multiple food trucks throughout town and a brick and mortar restaurant on South Lamar, all of which are dog friendly. Gourdough’s Public House took their food trucks to a new level by offering expanded food options like burgers (made with donuts), salads (served with donuts) and donut entrees (served atop donuts). They offer a great local beer selection as well as a full bar. Their patio is a relaxing atmosphere stocked with picnic tables and yard games like corn hole. This is perfect because after eating a Ron Burgandy Burger, you won’t feel like moving anytime soon.

A local gem in the heart of downtown Austin, Fado Irish Pub is a city dog’s dream. In the middle of a busy city block on W 4th St, their large patio stretches down the side of the building. They offer covered seating to help stay cool in the summer and have been known to host fundraisers for some of the local animal rescues. The Fish & Chips and the Guinness BBQ Wings are both must haves.

Kym & GidgetKym Good moved to Austin, TX in the fall of 2011 and immediately fell in love with the area. She enjoys being outside and staying on top of the city’s ever-expanding list of food and beverage offerings. Gidget is a 6 month old Staffordshire Terrier mix from Austin Dog Rescue. Named after the 1959 surfer movie, Gidget was the runt of the litter but by far the most energetic and playful. Aptly named, she is the perfect companion for going out on the town, and always an advocate for pit bull type dogs and rescue. They share their home with 14 year old Bean, who is also a bull terrier mix. You can follow their adventures on Instagram @GidgetThePitget.