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Skip reservations at these 8 Austin restaurants

Tired of the restaurant reservation culture in ATX? We’ve got dinner plans for you.

An overhead shot of wonton chips, several colorful chips, edamame, chicken karaage, rice noodles and wings from Loro.

Loro doesn’t take reservations, making it easy to have a colorful + flavorful meal on a whim.

Photo by Kayla Enright

It’s the weekend and there’s nothing you’d love more than dinner and cocktails at an Austin restaurant, but wait...you didn’t make a reservation.

Austin’s dining scene is diverse, star-studded, and awarded, but many eateries require a reservation — some are fully booked weeks or months in advance.

Here’s our fix: a list of eight restaurants in ATX that encourage walk-ins or don’t take reservations.

Walk-ins encouraged

  • El Alma, 1025 Barton Springs Rd., Austin | Patio seating at this Mexican restaurant is reserved for walk-ins only, making its Barton Springs location with Downtown views a must-visit.
  • Bill’s Oyster, 205 W. 3rd St., Austin | At this neighborhood restaurant, only a select number of tables are available for reservations, leaving room for spontaneous diners.
  • Justine’s Brasserie, 4710 E. 5th St., Austin | This French restaurant encourages walk-ins for parties of five or fewer. Pro tip: City Editor Morgan normally arrives at 6 p.m. and is seated quickly.
  • Uptown Sports Club, 1200 E. 6th St., Austin | Reservations are exclusively for parties with more than six guests at this New Orleans-inspired joint.
An oyster po-boy, salad, beer, and chips on a wooden table in warm lighting.

Uptown Sports Club was made for sports fans, and it shows.

Photo by Nick Simonite

No reservations allowed

  • Loro, 2115 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin | Guests grab any seat, order food and drinks at the bar, and enjoy a laid-back yet elevated meal at this Asian smokehouse and bar.
  • Birdie’s, 2944 E. 12th St., Unit A, Austin | This first-come, first-served restaurant (where chef Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel is nominated for a James Beard Award) and wine bar’s menu is served via counter service.
  • Holiday on 7th, 5020 E. 7th. St., Austin | Patrons can sit indoors or on the twinkling patio for martinis and a fancy meal.
  • Komé Sushi Kitchen, 5301 Airport Blvd., Unit #100, Austin | Locals rave about this trendy sushi spot, so arrive early or be prepared to wait.
A close-up photo of pasta on a white plate, sprinkled with green leaves and lemon zest.

East Austin restaurant Birdie’s surprises guests with seasonal menus.

Photo by @mksrn