Austin’s New Restaurant & Bar Openings  guide image

ATXGuide

Austin’s New Restaurant & Bar Openings

The new restaurant and bar openings in Austin you should know about.

Keeping track of every brand new restaurant and bar in Austin is enough to make you a little dizzy. Which is why we put together this guide to all the new restaurants and bars that seem like they have the most potential. Although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.

We’ll be regularly updating this guide, and adding a note whenever we review a spot, or add it to our guide to the best new restaurants in Austin, the Hit List. Got any tips? Hit us up at austin@theinfatuation.com.

January 2023

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Sammataro

$$$$

900 W 10th St, Austin
Earn 3X Points

After a successful run at the Arbor Food Park in East Austin, the Sammataro team is expanding their pizza empire with a brick and mortar in the former 40 North space, on the corner of West 10th and Lamar. While you can still grab their large, New York-style pizzas to-go from their trailer on East 12th, the new space is open for dine-in only. Currently it’s just pizza, beer, and wine, but they’re planning to offer more food and a full bar in the coming months.


Sap’s makes some of our favorite Thai food in Austin—with a location on West Gate and another on Burnet—and now they’ve opened a new restaurant in Cedar Park called Super Sap’s, kind of a more grown-up version of their already fully-grown restaurant. That means slightly more upscale versions of some Sap’s favorites, plus a few menu items you can only get here, like crispy duck in red curry or massaman short ribs, all with fancier plating in a smaller dining room.


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photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Mama Dearest

From some of the people behind Red Headed Stepchild and The Cat’s Pajama is the new bar Mama Dearest at 6th and Pedernales. Never ones to shy away from a strong theme, here there’s kind of a backcountry Arkansas hunting lodge thing going on, complete with guns for door handles, Playboy magazines on the tables, lots of taxidermy, and rawhide lamps lining the bar area. Beer, wine, and cocktails are on the menu, and a food truck is expected to arrive on the patio in the coming weeks.


Parked inside of The Buzz Mill’s patio just off East Riverside, Buzz Burger is a trailer doing burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries.. The menu is divided into “hunters” (with meat-based options) and “gatherers” (with vegan versions of the menu), and there are loaded fries in both varieties.


Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery on Airport Boulevard has been a staple in Austin’s late night donut scene since the 1940s, in that time amassing a dedicated fan base of UT students and bar goers in search of sustenance after a long night of partying and/or studying (but probably not both). After closing for about a year, they’ve reopened under the ownership of neighboring 24-hour taco spot, Tyson’s Tacos. The baking equipment and interior of the building have seen a bit of an upgrade, and the menu has expanded a bit, but most of the original fan favorites will still be available. They’re currently operating as a drive-thru service from Thursday-Sunday, but with 7pm-9am hours, they’ll be ready for you whenever you finish whatever late night activity you find yourself in.


Masa Y Mas is a taqueria on South Lamar from some of the folks that brought Hopdoddy Burger Bar to Austin. Here the focus is on tacos, tortas, and bowls. As you might expect from a place with masa in the name, all the tortillas are home made (including the flour ones), and you’ll find a variety of classic fillings, like suadero, carnitas, barbacoa, and al pastor cooked on a trompo. 


Located in The Buzz Mill parking lot off East Riverside, Mr. Pimento is a Jamaican trailer specializing in jerk chicken (and mushrooms). The menu is small and focused—pick your protein, then decide if you want it with mac and cheese, fries, or sweet plantains. Then, head over to the patio at The Buzz Mill and grab a drink to pair with it all. 


photo credit: Raphael Brion

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Walnut Creek Pub

After a little over two years in business, Vietnamese-Texas smokehouse restaurant Smokin Beauty recently reopened as Walnut Creek Pub, a casual neighborhood bar in North Austin, near Braker and Lamar, with classic pub food, drinks, trivia and sports. While the new menu focuses more on things like wings, fries, and chicken sandwiches, they’ll be offering smoked meats on occasion. 


photo credit: Superstition

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Superstition

A couple blocks south of the Congress Avenue Bridge, at East Riverside, Superstition is a massive multi-room nightclub with a loose 1970s theme, open on the weekends (and for special events). Entertainment is a mix of live performances and DJs, and there are private tables that can be booked for bottle service. And if you want something slightly more low key than DJs and dance floors, they also have a small cocktail bar and patio called The Gold Room open all week.


photo credit: Optik Studios

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Vision

After a little over 18 months of operating out of a tiny trailer in South Austin, Vision Coffee recently expanded into a permanent space near South Congress and William Cannon. The focus here is on adaptogenic coffee, with most drinks incorporating Vision’s signature blend of lion’s mane, chaga, cordyceps, and ashwagandha into espresso-based drinks and teas, plus a few options without any caffeine. 

December 2022

Bufalina, the cool pizzeria and natural wine spot, is back and better than ever—with the same lo-fi bootstrapped vibes. In 2021, it closed to make way for a condo development, and it has reopened not far from the original in East Austin. The pizzas are classically Neapolitan (with the slightly yeasty dough), the wine list is mostly natural, and there’s an expanded pasta menu from the team behind former pop-up Le Cowboy.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Mum Foods

Perfect For:Lunch

After a long stint at Austin-area farmers markets, Mum Foods has opened up a permanent location near 51st and Manor Road. The focus here is the same pastrami that they’re known for, along with a full barbecue menu including brisket, ribs, and turkey. If you’re just kicking off your day, Talisman Coffee (another farmers market favorite) sells cold brew and hot coffee from a stand in the dining room.


Dovetail is a new pizzeria that took over the recently shuttered Mumtaz Market in Bouldin Creek. It’s a new project from some of the folks behind Salt & Time, Rosen’s Bagels, Lenoir, Swedish Hill, and (the now closed) G’Raj Mahal—which means in addition to pizza, you’ll also find things like meat boards, pastas, and salads that all borrow inspiration from a few different spots around town.


photo credit: J-Prime Steakhouse

J-Prime Steakhouse review image

J-Prime Steakhouse

RESERVE A TABLE

POWERED BY

open table

Right at the base of the Whitley Apartments downtown, J Prime is a swanky new steakhouse (with an original location in San Antonio). The menu involves classic upscale steakhouse dishes like beef carpaccio, seafood towers, and escargot to start, along with dry-aged local beef, pork chops, lamb, and a bunch of cooked seafood options.


photo credit: Kelly's Irish Pub

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Kelly's Irish Pub

In the former Winebelly space, Kelly’s is a new Irish pub in the Dawson neighborhood. It’s just drinks for now, but they’re planning to roll out a menu of Irish pub food staples in the next few months.


Taking over the space previously occupied by Swift Pizza Co (and from the same team) is Bosses Office, a speakeasy-style bar in Govalle. Reservations are encouraged, and they tend to book up pretty fast, so grab one when you can. Then, all that’s left to do is to tell your soon-to-be-confused manager that you need to head out of work early to get to Bosses Office in time.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

JNL Barbecue review image
8.1

JNL Barbecue

Perfect For:LunchQuick Eats

JNL is another Austin trailer-turned-restaurant success story—this barbecue spot recently moved from The Buzz Mill in South Austin to a semi-permanent space inside a convenience store on Cesar Chavez. The menu features the same great Central Texas-style barbecue and al pastor pork ribs that put them on our list of the best in town.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Bun Boy

Parked at the Oskar Blues parking lot next to Daygo’s in North Austin, Bun Boy is a small trailer serving steamed bao loaded up with various fillings. Expect to find anything from broiled pork belly with hoisin to mirin-marinated fried chicken and waffle wafers.


photo credit: Raphael Brion

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Delicious AF

Delicious Austin Food (what did you think AF stood for?) is a new restaurant operating out of two adjacent buildings on Airport Boulevard. One of the spaces sells things like coffee, baked goods, and grab-and-go sandwiches and salads. But the other space (that’s not quite open yet) will be an event space and supper club by night, and by day, a restaurant with a menu made up of recreated dishes from shuttered Austin establishments.


“Say No To Hangovers” is the motto at Homie Fries, a trailer from the folks behind Burro Cheese kitchen that sells fries with toppings like cheese, bacon, and brisket. It’s conveniently parked on Rainey Street, where you can fully test out their motto after a night of bar-hopping.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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La Taquicardia

Located at the Mexico City-inspired bar Lulu’s on Manchaca, a second La Taquicardia location opened up. This Mexican food trailer serves things like tacos, quesadillas, huaraches, and gorditas. Almost everything is served on house-made blue corn tortillas, including breakfast taco options available all day.


photo credit: Baretto Bistro

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Baretto Bistro

Baretto is a new bistro and bar In a small shopping and dining plaza off Lamar and 38th Street. It’s from the same team—and in the same space—as the former Brick Oven Pizza, that recently closed after 40 years. The menu pulls some inspiration from France, Italy, and Texas with things like steak frites, tartines, and smash burgers. They’re also offering Happy Hour pricing for the full month of December.


There aren’t a lot of spots where you can order arayas in Austin, and while Fez is technically in Cedar Park, it counts. They’re operating out of a food truck at the Good Lot beer garden, next to a few other food trucks. In addition to their signature grilled and stuffed pitas, they serve other Mediterranean-inspired dishes, like muhammara, marinated grilled meat skewers, and honey harissa chicken wings.


At the base of the Platform Apartments on MLK, Pink Sugar is a small bakery that sells cookies, cakes, and other baked goods. You can hop in to see what they have on any given day, or place a custom order for something a little more personalized. They also have grab-and-go salads, in case you don’t feel like eating cake for lunch.


November 2022

The popular East Side brewery, Lazarus Brewing Company, recently expanded their Austin footprint with a new, larger location on Airport Boulevard in the old I Luv Video. Much like their sister space, they’ll be offering a large list of beers brewed in-house, plus espresso-based drinks, tacos, and tortas. They’ve also expanded the menu a bit to include things like Mexican fried rice and whole fried fish.


photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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The Stay Put

Joining the growing scene of Rainey Street bars, The Stay Put is a new brewery in the former G’Raj Mahal space. In addition to the beers they’re brewing in-house, they’ll also have a few draft cocktails on tap, plus a full bar. They don’t have any food offered on-site, but you’re welcome to bring food in from one of the many nearby food trucks.


Located in South Austin, near Menchaca and William Cannon, Golden Hour is a new natural wine bar and cafe inside of a large, warehouse-y space at the Perch Apartments complex. By day, they’ll mostly have coffee, pastries, and a limited menu of snacks (like bread, butter, and charcuterie). But by night (on Thursday-Saturday)  they offer a bigger menu of mostly European-influenced dishes—including oysters, crudos, and macaroni gratin—available with full table service. There’s also a pretty big patio for when the weather is nice, plus a retail bottle shop for when it isn’t (or you just want to wrap up at home with a glass of wine).


Located at The Domain, The Dirdie Birdie is a 12-hold mini golf course, bar, and restaurant. The food and drink part is being run by the team behind Uncle Nicky’s and Juniper, but the focus here is on “easy” and “fun” dishes, with things like bloomin’ onions, bratwursts, and cheeseburgers, all using primarily local ingredients.


Nearly 10 months after their campus-area restaurant burned down in a fire, Texas French Bread has reopened—in a limited capacity—operating out of an old Airstream trailer parked near their old space. While the menu is a bit more limited than before, they’re offering coffee, pastries, and sack lunches in the mornings and afternoons.


Not to be confused with Day Dreamer, the upcoming East Austin bar and pizzeria, Daydreamer is a new coffee shop at the base of the Yugo Waterloo apartment complex in West Campus. Daydreamer has four locations across the U.S.—including another in Austin—but this is the first location open to the public (the rest are also located in apartment complexes, with access limited to residents). They’re offering a small menu of classic espresso-based drinks and tea, plus grab-and-go pastries and breakfast tacos.


Here to fill the Spiderhouse Cafe-shaped hole in our hearts (and in North Campus) is Tweedy’s, a new bar offering cocktails, beer, and wine. They’ve kept the space pretty similar to the old Spiderhouse, but with a slightly more cleaned up interior and a few less Christmas lights. While they won’t be offering food, Granny’s Tacos—home to one of our favorite breakfast tacos in town—will be setting up a second location on the patio in the upcoming weeks.


From the team behind Lin and Qi, Ling Kitchen is an intimate, 10-seat restaurant near 183 and Ohlen Road, with a set tasting menu that changes weekly. The entire meal takes place in the kitchen—with table settings placed around a large, metal prep surface—for a very “chef’s table” experience. Seats are only available by reservation, and so far they’ve been going fast—Ling is currently booked through December—so be sure to check back regularly for openings.


photo credit: Wiggle Room

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Wiggle Room

The folks behind Ranch 616 downtown recently opened up a West Texas-themed bar next door called Wiggle Room. There’s a small menu of snacks, but the focus here is on cocktails—including their parent restaurant’s signature ranch water on draft. 


Just a few short steps off Rainey Street, at the bottom of The Quincy apartment building, Electric Shuffle is a “high-tech shuffleboard” bar, which basically means that an electronic system keeps track of the score for you, so you can enjoy more drinks without worrying about knowing the rules of the game. There’s also a full restaurant and bar—with things like pizza, fries, and sliders—plus brunch on the weekends. The concept is originally from London, though they opened their second location in Dallas last year.

October 2022

Acting as a sort of tribute to service industry culture—casual, affordable, inclusive—Industry in Plaza Saltillo in East Austin is an all-day/late-night cafe, bar, and restaurant (the original location is in San Marcos). The menu is huge, spanning everything from tacos and chile rellenos to smoked chicken sandwiches and burgers—so it shouldn’t be hard to find something well suited to your friend group’s six different dietary needs. 


From the folks that brought Austin JewBoy Burgers and JewBoy Subs, comes the next, tinier step in sandwich evolution: sliders. They offer a couple different varieties here, plus fries, latkes, and queso. For bonus points, try putting all that on your slider and let us know how it goes. They’re located in front of Violet Crown Social Club on East Sixth street, and they’re open late six nights a week. 


photo credit: Slab BBQ

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Slab BBQ

Slab BBQ has had three spots in the Austin area for a while now, including one off Research Blvd, one at Westgate Lanes, and another in Cedar Park. Now, they’ve opened their fourth location in Sunset Valley in South Austin, with the same loosely hip hop-themed menu (with things like the NOTORIOUS P.I.G. or the CHICKEN.W.A.) that showcases barbecue styles from all across the country, mostly in sandwich form. Of note: this is their first spot in a standalone building (the others are in strip malls and a bowling alley), complete with a patio and lots of outdoor seating. 


Cauldron Coffee is a coffee shop and bar built in a historic old building that’s been around since the mid-late 1800s—in that time playing host to a church, a grocery store, and, slightly more recently, a barbecue restaurant and whiskey bar (Freedmen’s). Now, it’s a West Campus destination for caffeine and cocktails, complete with TVs and an outdoor bar and beer garden. 


Joining the growing scene of East Austin taco trucks, Pinches Tacos is parked on the same lot as Revival Coffee on East 7th. Pinches serves tacos like asada, tripas, and al pastor, as well as birria and breakfast tacos.


On the eighth floor of the fancy new hotel The Loren on Riverside Drive in South Austin is the rooftop restaurant Nido with incredible views of Town Lake. The chef has worked at places like Noma, Per Se, and the Ace Hotel in New Orleans, and the menu skews New American/European, with dishes like octopus carpaccio, ricotta gnudi, beef short rib with bordelaise, and a half chicken “a la brique.”


Located at Fierce Whiskers Distillery in South Austin, Otoshi is a trailer specializing in kushiyaki, which means you’ll be able to find things like lemongrass pork, cumin beef, chicken thighs, and portobello mushrooms, all grilled over charcoal on skewers. And since you’re at a distillery that produces every major type of spirit, you can even try asking the staff for pairing suggestions. 


From the folks behind the sprawling Tatsu-Ya empire is BBQ Ramen Tatsu-Ya, their latest venture that mixes Texas-style barbecue with ramen and other Japanese bites. That means things like brisket ramen with smoked chicken broth, aged cheddar pimento cheese with wasabi, and smoked beef tallow gyoza. It’s located near Mueller, in the former Contigo space.


Vintage is a bookstore and wine bar on East 11th Street. Contrary to what the name might suggest, the books are all new, but the furniture and general aesthetic have an aged quality that makes it feel a little more appropriate. Wines are available by the glass, and there’s a small menu of grazing boxes, kolaches, and pastries to snack on while you hang out and read for a while.


Skinny’s OTB is a 1970s themed sports bar located near 12th and Chicon, from the folks behind downtown cocktail bar Higher Ground. Inside, you can expect to find retro decor, TVs everywhere, plenty of beer, and a food truck on the back patio serving classic bar food like wings, fried cheese curds, and corn dogs bites. There are even a few booths inside with personal TVs if you want to watch the U.S. Open Pickleball Championships, or any other slightly-obscure televised sporting event.


Marufuku in Mueller is the latest outpost of the San Francisco-based ramen mini-chain, now with eight locations across three states. The specialty here, like many other ramen spots in town, is tonkotsu broth, but there’s also chicken paitan and a plant-based option available for those in search of something a bit lighter.


The folks behind Sushi By Scratch and Pasta Bar recently opened a smashburger spot on Rainey Street, at a window in the back of tropical themed bar, Idle Hands. Unlike their other spots, that offer expensive multi-course tasting menus, NADC Burger’s menu holds a single item—a double smashburger (and fries), optimized for soaking up drinks at the end of a night downtown.


Baldinucci’s has been operating out of a ghost kitchen in South Austin since March, and now they’ve opened a second location in Westlake, this time with a dining space and an expanded menu that includes gelato and other Italian desserts. The specialty here is pizza—with a thick Roman style, and a thinner New York variety available—that you can get by the pie or by the slice.


Lulu’s is a Mexico City-inspired bar near Manchaca and Slaughter, on a small stretch of road full of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants. Most of the cocktails are mezcal or tequila based—like spicy margaritas and palomitos—plus a handful of aguas frescas that you can get with or without booze.


El Asador is a new Mexican spot from the folks behind the Middle Eastern restaurant, Usta Kababgy, located near Rundberg and Lamar. Much like at Usta Kababgy, all of the meats are halal, but here the menu features tacos, burritos, and gorditas. They also opened another space next door called Tutti Frutti where you can grab milkshakes, banana splits, and ice cream. Just be careful not to confuse El Asador with downtown taco spot Asador, or you may accidentally find yourself trying to order a banana split on Rainey Street.


From the people behind Suerte comes the highly anticipated Este, a Mexican seafood restaurant on Manor Road in East Austin. Expect a raw bar, an epic seafood platter, tacos and tostadas, and a pretty extensive wine list. There’s also a charcoal-fired grill for dishes like head-on shrimp with a chile costeño garlic butter.


Following a series of pop-ups that had lines down the block (and would regularly sell out), KG BBQ finally opened a food truck that’s permanently parked at Oddwood Brewing on Manor Road. They combine Texas barbecue with Egyptian and Middle Eastern flavors, which equates to dishes like brisket shawarma, lamb bacon ribs, and a grilled chicken kabab.


Howard’s Bar & Club is the newest concept on West 6th from the restaurant group that brought you places like Sammie’s, Perla’s, and Lambert’s. It’s a “grown-up” bar with a DJ booth, classic cocktails, and snacks like chips with caviar, a Chicago dog, and a French dip sandwich with sliced-to-order ribeye. Find it right next door to the same restaurant group’s other spots, Clark’s and Pecan Square Cafe, and just down the street from Swedish Hill.


Rosie’s Wine Bar is a charming new little wine bar tucked away on Blanco Street and West 6th in the same building as Howard’s Bar & Club. There’s a short and sweet menu that leans Portuguese with dishes like stuffed piquillo peppers, saffron rice croquettes, and fried calamari.


The people behind the temaki spot Uroko in Springdale General expanded into the space right next door. So now they’ve opened a new events space called Tonari, where they’re hosting things like pottery workshops. There are also food-focused events like candy- and sushi-making classes, as well as the 45-minute omakase—one of our favorites—that used to be held at Uroko.


ATX Grill is a barbecue/grill restaurant from the people behind the now-shuttered Russia House. There are standard offerings like brisket and pork ribs, plus dishes you might not see too often like roast beef, sauerkraut, and jalapeño popper chicken wings. It’s in the old Sala and Betty space on Airport Boulevard.


The Vietnamese spot B's Kitchen started out as a trailer, moved to a shared space in Cedar Park, and now has their very own brick-and-mortar in Anderson Mill in North Austin. They’re still serving some of our favorite banh mi in town, alongside a broader menu that includes pho and bun bo hue.

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