Surprising Dining on Austin’s Dirty 6th Street

by Olive Krawczyk

Dirty 6th. It has a stigma in Austin. Notoriously known for bar promoters screaming, “LADDDIIESSSSSSS, free shots!” on every corner and concrete sidewalks PuLsInG to the beat of raunchy rap lyrics. Think Vegas or Times Square. Anything close to resembling one hell of a bachelor/bachelorette bonanza. It’s a stigma so engrained in our psyche, we may dismiss it as an area for excellent dining options. That’s where I come in. Behold, a list of A+ places in and around Dirty 6th that I beyond recommend. Whether you’re in the area to party or there to witness its tameness in daylight, these delicious eats will satisfy your craving for high-quality, fiscally responsible food every time.

DARUMA RAMEN: 612 E 6th St B, Austin, TX 78701

Lists to add to: Quick Eats, Ramen, Hole-in-the-wall, No Reservations

Daruma (translation: A Japanese doll symbolizing good luck and encouragement) is an excellent hole-in-the-wall destination on Dirty. Its cozy interior is packed with eye-catching trinkets and mesmerizing wallpaper, and their menu is equally as enticing. It’s centered around the select ingredients they make from scratch every day, like their chicken broth and eggless tapioca-based noodles. The portions are gigantic, their rich flavors living up to the size of the bowl, and the fresh vegetables add a perfect pinch of earthiness to every bite. My go-to dish? The Spicy Miso. It’s their classic Miso but with a bomb of chili sauce added to it.

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Casino El Camino: 517 E 6th St, Austin, TX 7870

Lists to add to: Best Burger, Chili Cheese Fries, No Reservations

I was skeptical at first. I mean, when any place has a sign claiming to have “World-famous hamburgers” you can’t help but wonder if what you’re reading is false advertising or a genuine FYI.

Then one day at happy hour, a co-worker was craving a burger. “But not just any burger,” he said. “Casino El Camino.” “The place with the sign?” I inquired. “The place with the sign. We’re going.” I reluctantly followed and ordered from the discreet counter in the way back of the bar. It was time to see if they really could live up to their self-proclaimed sign outside. “I’ll take the L.A. burger…and some chili cheese fries…” I told the grill master.

Moments later, my name was screamed over the intercom. Apparently my food was ready for pick up.

At last, I sat down and took a bite…and life was never the same after that. Juicy meat, a perfectly grilled bun, every bite making the sauce ooze around the edges and deliciously drip onto the plate. Then there were the fries, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and doused with just enough chili and cheese. They went flying around the table. People couldn’t get enough. And neither could I. Casino El Camino, you proved me wrong, very, very wrong!

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Koriente: 621 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701

Lists to add to: Korean Food, Inexpensive Asian Food, Healthy, Gluten-free, Vegan, Healthy, No Reservations

Located a mere block away from Dirty 6th, Koriente is a place you could eat every single day without breaking the bank (or the scale). Feast your eyes and your appetite on its fresh vegetables, spicy chicken, authentic teriyaki, crispy nori, and so much more. The interior is homey and eclectic, the Miso soup, rice, and nori all bottomless when you dine in, and the service is unbelievably quick and friendly. The dish I’d marry if it were legally acceptable? The Garden Hand Roll. I recommend it with spicy tuna and roasted nori. But if you go, bring a partner, because just one dish can easily feed two.

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Easy Tiger: 709 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

Lists to add to: Beer Garden, Board Games, Bakery, German Food, Craft Beers, Outdoor Patio, No Reservations

Easy Tiger has it all — a brilliant outdoor area, an endless selection of craft beers, board games to play with friends, and an irresistible bakery upstairs. Located right along Waller Creek , it offers a charming view over the water and an extensive menu of authentic German cuisine to pair with your beverage of choice. My recommendation? Opt for their selection of homemade sausages and gigantic baked pretzels. You shall not be disappointed! Plus, it’s tented with friendly string lights and packed with easy-going locals, allowing Dirty 6th to keep its cool factor.

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