image description April 23, 2014

Paul Qui’s Guide to Austin

Austin, Texas, USA
Paul Qui’s Guide to Austin

Eat Your Way Through Austin

Paul Qui‘s career took off after winning Top Chef Season 9, followed by a James Beard award for Best Chef: Southwest, and a spot on Food & Wine’s roster of Best New Chefs in 2014. What’s more impressive is that the 33-year-old Filipino-born Austinite is killing it at his ambitious flagship restaurant qui, which was named the Best New Restaurant in the country by GQ in 2014. And East Side King, Qui’s Asian-inspired street food trailers and restaurants in Austin, continue to expand. Chef Qui talks with us about his favorite Austin eats, from a no-frills taco trailer to an old school sushi experience… and Franklin Barbecue, of course.


Juiceland on Barton Springs


I love any drink they make here, it’s a great way to start my day. I’m not a huge breakfast person so a smoothie is perfect for me. They also have great vegan snacks.

Las Trancas

This taco trailer in East Austin is my favorite place to grab tacos in Austin. I like ordering all the offal tacos extra crispy, plus I love their tomatillo salsa. 1210 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas

Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria

Salt & Time

This is where I get my meat for Qui, they carry some of the best meat in town. Everyone that works here absolutely loves what they do and it shows. This is also where I like to grab sandwiches for lunch. Their menu changes daily.


Old school Austin sushi bar. Only try to sit at the counter and try to sit in front of Kazu, he makes some of the best nigiri in town.

East Side King @ Wonderland

East Side King

Egnipont “Thai” is probably the best Thai cook I know, he makes amazing OG Thai food. The type that he and his dad drink beers to at home. You have to be ready to embrace the spice.



French bistro with a great sound track. Order any of Casey Wilcox’s daily specials; all the classic French dishes are great too. This is the place to hang with great people, talk about nothing and enjoy life.

Franklin Barbecue

Franklin Barbecue

Make time and wait in line. It’s so worth it.

Juan Pelota

My favorite coffee crew. Some of the best people in the city to greet you good morning. They carry Stumptown coffee and execute it well.

Whole Foods fish counter

Whole Foods

It’s a pretty low key place to grab a great deal on some fresh seafood with no pretense. I usually go for the fish tacos or crab cakes, get the appetizer portion because they’re pretty generous with their fish.

Qui Patio


The only place to get pulutan, Filipino bar food, in Austin. Some of my favorite comfort foods—from sizzling sisig to Filipino torta, which is very similar to tortilla Espanol, and lumpiang sariwa, fresh Filipino egg roll—can be found here. The bar at Qui makes some of the tastiest cocktails in the city.


About Paul Qui

Paul QuiPaul Qui is the recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest 2012, winner of Top Chef Season 9, and winner of the San Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2013. Paul was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 2014 Best New Chefs and Top 10 Empire Builders of 2012. In 2013, Paul was honored by the Texas Legislature for his work and achievements as a chef and restaurateur, and also joined the prestigious Bocuse d’Or USA Foundation’s Culinary Council. Born in Manila, Philippines and trained in classic French and Japanese cuisine, Paul takes a modernist approach towards food, where there are no boundaries. Starting as an intern, Paul worked his way up the ranks of Uchi to Chef de Cuisine and later opened Uchiko as Executive Chef. While training under Uchi Chef and Owner Tyson Cole, Paul learned to adapt traditional Japanese dishes with an eye towards local flavor, all while incorporating influences from South East Asian and European cuisine. Paul is currently the chef/owner of his flagship restaurant, qui, which was named the Best New Restaurant In America, 2014 by GQ magazine. He is also the co-founder and chef/owner of East Side King, a group of Asian-inspired street food trailers and restaurants in Austin, TX. 



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