BBQ, tacos, queso, and food trucks may be Austin’s “food,” but the gulf is nearby and the seafood can be rad here, too! Monger’s Market + Kitchen serves as a special place on the East Side to pick up freshly sourced fish so you can take it home to cook it yourself and skip that trip to the store, OR you can dine in and order off the regular seafood heavy menu.
The dining room is not fussy or trying to hard at all. It’s like you are really somewhere off the coast whether it be a nicer version of a Galveston restaurant, a casual spot off the coast of Florida, or your family-friend’s beach house.Oysters, hamachi crudo, tuna ceviche, clams, peel ‘n eat shrimp, you name it.
The best starter is the Smoked Fish Dip with pickled fresno chile, radish, and celery. You know when you have an amazing bread basket, and you tell yourself just one more piece because you are going to ruin your dinner (and your waistline)? Well, in this situation, those thoughts are shredded from your mind, because the fish dip is so incredible that your priority is to nail it down until it’s gone- no matter how much food is still coming. Mongers offers a great soup selection with Seafood Chowder and a Crab + Shrimp Gumbo combination which I need to get back to try.
I loved the Northeast Scallop dish with celery root puree, red anjou pear, and hazelnut brown butter. Obviously the brown butter drizzle sealed the deal for the evening. There really aren’t that many other restaurants besides Perla’s and Clark’s that are this seafood focused with care for lobster rolls, seafood pastas, and a raw bar, so add Mongers to your list if you are looking for something casual and easy going. In addition, they host special seafood dinners with wine pairings each month which are as affordable as $115 per person for 5 courses.
The market is open Tuesday- Saturday from 11:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (closed Monday).