Insider's Guide: Chef Larry McGuire's Austin
The Texas-native restaurateur offers his picks on where to eat, drink, work out, and relax in Silicon Hills.
Though it's become synonymous with the all-encompassing media-palooza South by Southwest, Austin is a good time pretty much year-round. Just ask restaurant kingpin Larry McGuire, who was raised in the city's historic Travis Heights neighborhood and began tossing pizzas when he was 16 for Texas chef Lou Lambert at Liberty Pie. Now, at 31, he rules over a mini empire—six restaurants, to be exact—including the French-Vietnamese hangout Elizabeth Street Café, Clark's Oyster Bar, and Josephine House (a case study in modern southern comfort). Though he prefers to cook at Jeffrey's—one of the city's oldest fine-dining establishments, which he relaunched in 2013, complete with a rolling martini cart—his goal, he says, is to "get to each of the other spots for lunch or dinner at least once a week." Despite his manic schedule, McGuire still manages to take advantage of his ever-evolving hometown, counting South Congress Avenue as a perennial go-to for people watching, not to mention where he spends his weekends using alternate modes of transportation. "Margaritas in the afternoon means we do a lot of barhopping on our bicycles," he says.