24 Diner
Austin, Tex.

24 Diner scratches the Austin locavore itch.
Megan Myers24 Diner scratches the Austin locavore itch.

24 Diner is a kind of dream casual restaurant. It never closes. Prices are moderate; ingredients are top-notch and often sourced from nearby; and execution is deft. The menu is focused — it fits on a page — but manages to range from comfort food (burgers) to hippie food (chard leaves stuffed with wheat berries) to fancy specials. So at some tables you’ll find neighborhood folks enjoying chicken-and-waffles and beers, and dressed-up couples having steak and wine at others. Breakfast (really good breakfast) is served all day. The beer and wine lists [PDF] are rock-solid. The room is sleek, airy, and typically packed with people joyfully getting their grub on. I grew up in Austin and still visit annually. The town has long needed a mid-priced, fun restaurant that uses good ingredients. Now it has one.

Don’t miss: The roasted banana and brown sugar milkshake.