Local foodie favorite Shady Grove offers a uniquely Austin experience with tasty food, cold beer, refreshing cocktails, live music and nostalgic décor. Stepping inside Shady Grove is like entering a cool oasis, with the stone masonry and soft lighting providing a welcome respite from the summer heat. The expansive outdoor patio is well shaded by a grove of towering pecans strung with twinkling colored lights that create a magical ambiance at night.
The diverse menu and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating make Shady Grove a perfect spot to relax with friends after a long day at work or on a weekend. The friendly and efficient staff adds to the unhurried and casual atmosphere, while the WPA-style buildings and huge pecan trees evoke a nostalgic feeling of classic Texas parks in the heart of the city.
Homey, Relaxed Dining
Nestled beneath a canopy of towering pecan trees on Austin’s eclectic Barton Springs Road, Shady Grove has been a local favorite since opening its doors in 1992. An Austin treasure, the restaurant’s style is reminiscent of 1940s State Park architecture and kitschy Americana, with charming reminders of the 1950s Shady Grove Trailer Park, one of three trailer parks that, until recently, lolled beneath spreading pecan trees that shaded gleaming Airstream trailers along Lake Austin Boulevard.
One whimsical touch is the patio restroom located in a vintage aluminum trailer. There is only one trailer park left, just a few doors down from Shady Grove, but Shady Grove’s retro feel keeps the comfortable, laid-back feeling alive.
Classic Comfort Food with a Twist
The menu is full of American comfort foods, with a special emphasis on Texas classics. Because The Shady Grove was founded by one of the same guys who started Chuy’s Comida Deluxe, maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that green chiles and Tex-Mex turn upon the menu alongside classic burgers, meatloaf and chicken-fried steak.
Among the most popular dishes on the menu is the Hatch Green Chile Burrito. Choose chicken or melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork (both are satisfying) and get a huge burrito stuffed with your choice plus well-seasoned black beans, jack cheese and pico de gallo, accompanied by delicious green chile rice. The Grilled Pork Chop glazed with a bourbon molasses reduction is especially good on a chilly autumn afternoon.
For those who love comfort food with a kick, you can tell your server you want your chicken-fried steak (or chicken-fried chicken breast) served “shady” with Hatch green chile sauce and jack cheese. For afters, consider splitting a slice of creamy chocolate ice cream cake, a great way to finish up a delicious meal — if you can find any room left.
Live Music Beneath the Stars
Austin is known as the live music capital of the world, and Shady Grove keeps the tradition alive with its unbelievably popular summer music series, Unplugged at the Grove. For 20 years, the Grove has been home to live music every Thursday night for 24 straight weeks of summer, showcasing standout local talent under the starry night skies. On Thursday nights, refreshing frozen sangrias are on special, making the Grove a great place to relax and enjoy cool drinks while enjoying live local live talent. Shows start at 8 p.m., and best of all, they are always free of charge.
Shady Grove is all about a comfortable, relaxed experience inside or out, and they do it so well. Shady Grove has received multiple “Best of Austin” awards. The friendly, knowledgeable staff, welcoming atmosphere, and ample parking space mean a great casual dining experience at this iconic Austin institution.