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 email@example.com.
El Xolito Tacos
Although they’ve been a roaming food truck for some time now, El Xolito Tacos has recently found a (semi) permanent home inside of the Shell gas station at MLK and Chicon. The menu here is broken down by region, with styles from North, Central, and South Mexico. This means you’ll be able to find everything from cochinita pibil and stuffed jalapeno tacos, to Mexico City-style steak and tripa tacos, all on our favorite 100% nixtamalized corn tortillas from the Colonial Tortilla Factory in San Antonio. Make sure to wash it all down with a glass of their house-made tepache as well.
Shortie's Pizza & Grinders
From the owners of District Kitchen and Oasthouse comes Shortie’s Pizza & Grinders in North Shoal Creek on West Anderson Lane. As the name implies, the menu focuses on sandwiches and pizzas, specifically New England Greek-style pizza that’s cooked in cast iron skillets using wheat from Barton Springs Mills and Texan olive oil.
Texsueno just might be Austin’s first BYOT(equila) food truck - don’t quote us on that - and we certainly hope it won’t be the last. The food menu here focuses on Tex-Mex, with a menu full of tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and guac. And true to their BYOT stance, there’s even a menu of margarita mixes, ranging from the more-conventional ancho tamarind, to a Thai lime flavor. They’re currently located in the East Side Food Park, near Cesar Chavez and Robert Martinez.
Batch PM is a new food trailer parked in the spacious backyard at Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches in East Austin. They serve bratwursts on house-made buns - including a chili brat, a currywurst, and a kimchi brat - as well as Belgian fries and a variety of dipping sauces.
Frontyard Brewing is a brewery out in the Hill Country in Spicewood serving beers like a rye IPA, a Belgian golden ale, and a coffee milk stout. There are socially-distanced picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, fire pits, and pickle-ball courts. There is live music on the weekends.
Tony C's Pizza & Beer Garden
The second location of Tony C’s Pizza & Beer Garden - a new concept from the people behind Tony C’s - opened up on West Anderson Lane in Central Austin. On the menu you will find pizza, salads, homemade lasagna, and a large selection of beers on draft.
The downtown Georgetown bookshop Lark & Owl Booksellers used to have a cafe inside operated by the people from Better Half/Brew & Brew, and now they’re branching out into the nextdoor outdoor garden space and calling it Nightingale Bistro. There’s a French-ish menu with dishes like a nicoise salad and ratatouille sandwich, as well as natural wines and draft cocktails.
Sammataro is a new pizza operation out in West Lake - they had recently been doing pop-ups in East Austin. The pizza options are simple: basically cheese or pepperoni. More on the well-done side, it’s reminiscent of the pizza you’d find at places like Sam’s Restaurant and Lucali in Brooklyn, and definitely not a style you could get in Austin until now.
From the people behind Taco Flats in Austin comes Carne Lenta, a new restaurant, butcher shop, cocktail bar, and music venue in downtown Smithville - it’s taking over the former Micklethwait Market and Grocery space. Carne Lenta means “slow meat” in Spanish, as such the menu has things like birria, barbacoa, carnitas, carne guisada, and smoked chicken mole.
Shirley’s Trini Cuisine
Shirley’s Trini Cuisine is a trailer serving food from Trinidad & Tobago in South Austin. The menu is really broad, covering dishes like BBQ chicken, jerk chicken, curries, aloo pie, and doubles. Find it at The Thicket trailer park, alongside some of our favorite trailers Artipasta and Brooklyn Breakfast Shop.
Up in Cedar Park is the new restaurant La Joie, a Creole-inspired oyster bar and seafood restaurant. The menu has dishes like bouillabaisse, po’boys, and gumbo, as well as lobster rolls and steak, The chef there was most recently at the Southern restaurant Olamaie.
Tejas Birria is a new trailer in Buda serving birria in many different forms, from quesabirria tacos, a birria grilled cheese sandwich, and birria ramen.
The Butcher’s Burger
New from the people at Salt & Time is The Butcher’s Burger, a delivery only burger concept. Featuring Salt & Time’s popular burger, there are also rotating specials, like a breakfast for dinner burger (with a pork chorizo patty) and a lamb birria burger (it’s got consomé for dipping). They also have beef fat french fries and cocktails.
Uncle Nicky’s opened their all-day Italian cafe in Hyde Park almost two years ago, and have now expanded their Austin footprint, taking over the downstairs of Hotel Eleven on the East Side. The cafe - a collaborative project from the folks behind Via 313, Juniper, and Nickel City - features the same menu and drinks, so you’ll be able to find everything from their very-tasty meatballs, to Negronis and aperol spritzes.
Armadillo Den is a large, outdoor food, drink, and entertainment complex located in South Austin, near Menchaca and Slaughter. By day, it’s a place to get some work done, grab a beer, or get some quality time with your dogs (there’s a large, off-leash dog park on-site). In the evenings they have live music, and events going on every weekend. They also have two food trucks on-site - Austin veterans Pueblo Viejo, and Ranch Hand, a former pop-up-turned-food-truck.
Civil Goat Coffee
Civil Goat has been around for a few years now, operating out of a retail shop in West Austin. And now they’ve added a second location near 35th and Guadalupe. Like their other spot, the focus here is on coffee and espresso - they roast their own beans - available in lattes, Americanos, and just about anything else you can think of. They also sell canned cold brew and beans by-the-pound. And if you’re hungry, there’s a menu full of toasts, waffles, salads, and acai bowls.
Take a little bit of Lil Nonna’s all-vegan pizza, add in some Sweet Ritual (also vegan) ice cream, and you end up with Big Nonna’s - a new pizza and ice cream spot near Tech Ridge and Parmer. Much like its two parts, Big Nonna’s is entirely vegan, with toppings like “beeteroni” - a play on the classic pepperoni. They also have a lot of gluten-free options, and even Sicilian pies, available by the slice.
From the folks behind G’raj Mahal, Mumtaz Market is a new Indian restaurant with a menu that aims to be “sensuous, creative, and comforting.” This means you’ll see dishes like a pan-seared rack of lamb with mint-fennel salad and apple-mango chutney, or gnocchi saag. The day menu mostly features a variety of classic curries - with things like tikka masala, vindaloo, korma - as well as naan, roti, and samosas. They’re located near South 1st and Mary St.
18 Fried Rice
If the name didn’t give it away, 18 Fried Rice is a fried rice-focused offshoot from the folks behind Donkey Mo’s Korean Fried Chicken, with both located in the Lakeline Mall. The menu here is simple - pick a protein, add an optional fried egg, and they’ll take care of the rest.
Summer House On Music Lane
Summer House is located in the new Hotel Magdalena - an upscale, boutique hotel on South Congress in the new Music Lane development. It’s from the folks behind Hotel San Jose, Hotel St Cecilia, and Jo’s Coffee. The kitchen here features a live-fire grill and rotisserie, with dishes like tuna crudo, caramelized scallops, and a “backyard chicken” with chimichurri and cashew habanero aioli. There’s also a pared-down “pool bar” menu for guests of the hotel or visitors to the pool, as well as a full menu of cocktails, beer, and wine.
Over in South Austin, Ovenbird has partially opened up, currently offering coffee and espresso drinks and pastries. Eventually they plan to have a full kitchen, with Bavarian breakfast tacos - there’s one with shakshuka on it - and sandwiches, but for now there’s a daily selection of cakes and pastries.
Pizza Leon describes itself as a “California inspired pizza company,” which is fitting as it was born from a small family-owned restaurant in Bakersfield, CA. They’ve since moved to Austin, now operating out of a food trailer near Burleson and 71. The menu features a variety of classic, specialty, and gourmet pizzas, with things like a pastrami pizza and another one with creamy garlic sauce and chicken breast. They have a limited amount of on-site seating, and also have delivery available.
Cuatro Gato is a side project from the folks behind Coconut Club. It’s located on the same block - near 3rd and Colorado - but instead of slinging out tiki drinks and DJ sets, they’ll be selling coffee and arepas. The menu comes from Arepa Dealers - formerly a meal kit delivery service and popup that features flavors from the co-owners backgrounds - Filipino and Venezuelan.
LeJon Food Truck
Located at the Barton Springs Saloon, LeJon is a new food truck that describes itself as “an upscale dining experience” with food truck convenience. The menu features things like Texas wagyu filet with red wine sauce, creamy Tuscan chicken thighs, and fire-grilled portabella mushroom caps.
There’s a new location of the ever-popular taco mini-empire Veracruz All-Natural, this time in Tarrytown at the alfresco dining spot Littlefield’s. They’re sharing the space with an outpost of Medici Coffee.
Qi Austin is a new Chinese restaurant downtown from the chef behind the popular Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum. The restaurant works with a local farm for a farm-to-table approach, and the menu features higher-end ingredients like truffles, caviar, and lobster. There’s also an expansive dim sum brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Well - from the people behind TenTen and Devil May Care - is a health-focused restaurant with toasts, smoothies, salads, and different varieties of bone broth. It’s initially open for breakfast and lunch only (dinner service soon). It’s located downtown on 2nd Street in the old She’s Not Here space.
Thrive Craft House
Thrive Craft House is a new sports bar/restaurant on Guadalupe in North University serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’ve got a large tap list with 41 mostly local craft beers, and a menu that skews bar food with nachos, wings, burgers, and locally-inspired dishes like Mopac N Cheese.
Mojo is a new food truck at Willard’s Brewery in Pflugerville with tacos on homemade corn tortillas, pupusas, and cubano quesadillas.
Last Stand Brewing Company
Last Stand Brewing Company, the brewery off of Fitzhugh Road in west Austin, opened a second taproom on South Congress, featuring food from Southside Flying Pizza.
The Garden at Ellera
Out in Bee Cave is The Garden at Ellera, a beer garden/restaurant inspired by Boston’s North End italian restaurants. There are draft beers, amaro sodas, pasta, lobster rolls, and Roman-style pizzas (the chef is also behind [Phantasma Kitchen], so the pizzas will likely be similar). There’s indoor and outdoor seating featuring an oak-shaded patio and lawn games. Ellera - the more upscale dining restaurant next door - opens in November.
Easy Tiger South Lamar
While Easy Tiger may have closed their original downtown bakery and beer garden recently, they took that opportunity to open a new location in South Austin, near 290 and South Lamar. The new space features a large outdoor beer garden, complete with kid-friendly and dog-friendly areas, live music, and an expanded park space. They’ll also continue offering free delivery and curbside pickup if you’d rather take the party home with you.
Island Thyme is a Caribbean-inspired, fast-casual restaurant that opened up right near UT. There’s a limited menu of signature bowls like The Montego - with jerk steak, black beans, roasted peppers and onions, pico, pickled onions, pineapple, and jerk ranch. Or you can let out your inner-artist and build your own rice bowl, salad bowl, or wrap - with mojo pork, coconut beef curry, and a whole slew of other Caribbean-inspired ingredients.
Further expanding their Austin footprint, Medici Coffee has opened up their seventh location, at the new outdoor patio space Littlefield’s near Windsor Road and MoPac. In addition to their full menu of espresso-based drink, coffee, and tea, they have pastries brought in daily from Easy Tiger. They share the lot with a new location of Veracruz All-Natural.
Crimson Creek Smokehouse
Crimson Creek has been doing their Oklahoma style-barbecue for delivery and catering for a while now, but they’ve recently opened up a food trailer in Southwest Austin. They do pork (and not beef). Which means you can now load up on things like ribs, pork belly burnt ends, and pulled pork sandwiches every weekend (they’re not currently open on weekdays).
After developing a dedicated following for their excellent breakfast tacos in East Austin, Granny’s has expanded with a second food truck near 183 and Burnet. The new location will offer the same menu of taco classics, including the ever-popular chilaquiles with mole breakfast taco, but it will only be open in the evenings from 5-10pm.
The Gramercy is a new bar, lounge, and restaurant in Lakeway with an Art Deco/1920s aesthetic. The food menu borrows from a lot of cuisines, with everything from smoked chicken wings and tostadas, to papas bravas steak frites. You’ll also find a full menu of classic cocktails - like manhattans and boulevardiers - as well as a small menu of their house signature cocktails.
Moody's Kitchen + Bar
Moody’s is another campus-area restaurant and bar with a menu that covers everything from fried egg avocado toast and truffle parmesan fries, to wings and fried chicken sandwiches. There’s also a pretty large cocktail menu, including a number of house and draught cocktails that are all $8 or less.
Bikkle Jamaican Restaurant
Bikkle recently opened up right near the UT campus with a menu full of Jamaican classics - like stew chicken, curry goat, and escovitch fish. They’re currently open for dine-in, takeout, and curbside pickup.
Two Hands is an Australia-inspired cafe located on South Congress near Riverside, in the new Muse complex. They currently have four additional locations in New York City, but this will be their first expansion into Texas. They’re open all day with a menu featuring things like avocado toast and waffles in the morning, and heartier things like sandwiches and bowls for lunch and dinner.
Meanwhile Brewing Company
Meanwhile Brewing opened up in South Austin on a large, four-acre plot of land, so in addition to their taproom, there’s a big outdoor live music stage, and even a soccer field. They’ll also be working on a pretty extensive barrel program, aging their beers in everything from bourbon and rum barrels, to vermouth and gin barrels. They have a full coffee program, so there’s a little something for any time of day. And there are several food trucks on site, including Craft Woodfire Pizza, Garbo’s (serving lobster rolls and more), and another location of Pueblo Viejo, maker of some of the best breakfast tacos in town.
Willard’s Brewery officially opens up their doors on October 29, but if you want to get a head start, they’re in soft opening every weekend leading up to that. They’re located in Pflugerville, and will also be home to Mojo - a food truck with tacos, pupusas, and cubano quesadillas. They also have guac made with grilled pineapple, which sounds like an easy win to us.
Aba is a new-to-Austin Mediterranean restaurant that recently opened after their first location in Chicago took off in popularity. They’re located in the mixed-use Music Lane development on South Congress, and there’s a large, multi-level patio built around an old oak tree, in addition to a pretty big dining room. The menu here draws influence mostly from Israeli, Lebanese, Turkish, and Greek cuisine, with signature dishes like tamarind-braised short ribs and shawarma-spiced skirt steak.
Gati Ice Cream
Thai Fresh in South Austin has been selling their coconut milk-based ice cream for a few years now, and expanded that further when they opened up an ice cream food truck about two years ago, popping up at farmer’s markets and other events around town. And now they’ve taken that success and opened up a dedicated ice cream shop in East Austin near Holly and Comal. The new shop will feature a lot of the same flavors highlighting different seasonal ingredients, like Texas Peach or Lavender Caramel.
Popular East Side Chinese restaurant Old Thousand recently expanded their Austin footprint with a second location on Burnet Rd. While this new location aims to be a bit more casual than their previous one - open only for takeout currently, but with plans to operate as a counter service restaurant eventually - you can expect to find a lot of the same favorites, like kung pao cauliflower and brisket fried rice.
Lola’s is a new donut shop on Manor Rd, located in the same space and from the same team behind recently-shuttered Sugar Mama’s. They’re currently open only on weekends from 8am-12pm. The donut menu changes every month to highlight seasonal ingredients, with October featuring things like pumpkin spice, candy apple-stuffed, and maple praline bacon donuts. In addition to offering brioche, cake, and cruller donuts, they have a rotating selection of aguas frescas that they prepare each weekend.
Located in east Round Rock, not far from Hutto, Hula Pig is a little oasis on a large dirt lot, complete with upbeat music, artificial grass and a shaded dining area. The menu here is small, but covers most of the Hawaiian barbecue classics with things like panko-fried shrimp, Kalua pork, and loco moco. They also have weekly lunch specials that you can find out about by following along on their Instagram.
We’re always excited to try the many restaurants that have opened in the Hana World Market food court in North Austin, and the most recent opening of Salty Cargo is no exception. The focus here is on Hawaiian classics, with various Asian-inspired twists, so you can expect to see things like tori katsu sandwiches, huli huli halibut, or whole fried fish with leafy greens, mint, and kimchi.
Codependent is a cocktails-and-coffee type of cafe that recently opened downtown, at the base of The Independent (aka the Jenga Tower). The beverage menu here has most of the standard coffee shop espresso-based drinks, as well as tea, cocktails, and wine. There’s also a limited food menu with things like salads, sandwiches, and meat and cheese boards.
Cajun Skillet has been operating as a food truck and catering service for a while now, and they’ve recently expanded with a new restaurant in Cedar Park. While they’re currently only doing takeout, you can expect to find a menu full of Cajun classics, like shrimp etouffee, gumbo, and po’boys. There are also a few Texas-inspired creations, like jambalaya tacos, or a chicken tender taco topped with corn gravy.
High Noon is a bar that recently opened in the former Craftsman space on Cesar Chavez (and Chicon). The space is self-described as a retro, psychedelic Western bar, and they’ve got house cocktails like mezcal negronis and watermelon margaritas, in addition to wine, champagne, and local draft beers. And if you’d rather give them a try from the comforts of home, they offer a few cocktails to-go, including a beet paloma and frozen margaritas.
Little Brother On South Congress
The Rainey Street bar Little Brother recently expanded their Austin footprint with a second shop on a busy stretch of South Congress, occupying the front part of the hat shop Maufrais. Unlike their Rainey location, this one focuses on seasonal kolaches and coffee. And in case you had any reservations about a bar-turned-coffee shop, these are the same folks behind Brew & Brew, Better Half Coffee & Cocktails, and Hold Out Brewing. They’ve had a bit of practice.
Carabao Express is a new fast-casual Filipino restaurant that opened up on Parmer Lane near MoPac. The menu features a whole range of Filipino classics like chicken adobo, lechon, sisig, pancit, and more. Everything can be ordered a la carte or as combo meals (served with a base of noodles or rice). And if you save enough room for dessert, they also have Dole Whip floats.
JewBoy Burgers began as a popular food truck in the 5000 Burnet trailer park, but they recently moved into a brick-and-mortar off Airport and 51st in early September. Their focus has always been on burgers, but the larger space has allowed them to expand the menu to include things like chili-cheese dogs and El Paso-style burritos. All of the food here - described as being influenced by a mix of Border and Jewish culture - features lots of Hatch green chile, queso, and latkes - the last of which can be found in everything from their burgers to their burritos.
The Vegan Yacht
The Vegan Yacht is another longtime Austin food truck that recently moved into a brick-and-mortar space. As the name suggests, the menu is entirely vegan, with lots of burritos and bowls filled with meatless favorites like tempeh chili, smoked buffalo tempeh, black beans, and soy curls. They’re located in South Austin, near Manchaca and Stassney Ln.
Brunch 2.0 is a new food trailer in the Arbor Food Park on East 12th that mostly focuses on breakfast, lunch, and everything in between. The lunch menu is mostly on the lighter end, with things like chicken salad, tuna salad, and turkey BLTs, while the breakfast menu features less-conventional mashups like scrambled eggs with herb-marinated lamb chops, or filet mignon with cilantro potatoes and a fried egg. They’re currently open Friday-Sunday.
Smokin Beauty is a restaurant/bar on North Lamar - north of Braker - that’s combining Texas barbecue with Vietnamese food. So on top of barbecue plates, there’s a smoked brisket banh mi, a cheeseburger, and then even a banh mi cheeseburger. There’s also cocktails and beer.
There’s now a food hall at the Mueller H-E-B grocery store on East 51st. Called “Main Streat,” there are six different stands: True Texas BBQ, Calle Taqueria, Yumai Japanese Grill, The Meltery (grilled cheese sandwiches), Bar at Mueller, and Roots Chicken Shak (with duck fat-fried chicken). You can get takeout or delivery, there’s limited capacity dining indoors, or there’s a patio outside.
In the former Joe’s Crab Shack space on East Riverside is the new Cidercade (their original location is in Dallas and they’re opening a Houston location soon). As the name implies, it’s a combo arcade and cider bar with 24 different hard ciders. Admission is $10, which includes unlimited play on 150+ arcade games and pinball machines. You’ll find 10” pizzas and a big patio on Town Lake.
Lick It Up
Lick It Up is a new food truck serving vegan Mexican bar food parked at Spider House Patio Bar & Cafe in West Campus (it’s where Cool Beans used to be parked). This is the first location for Lick It Up outside of El Paso, where their original truck was so successful that it both opened a brick-and-mortar and got featured on Diners, Drive-ins, And Dives. There are dishes like burritos, tacos, tortas, carne asada fries, and more - all with different kinds of plant-based options like mushroom chorizo and seitan - as well as Beyond Meat burgers.
Stiles Switch Bbq & Brew
There’s a new location of the north Lamar spot Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, one of our favorite barbecue spots in Austin. Located at 800 W. Whitestone Blvd. in Cedar Park, there’s both indoor dining and patio seating, and they’re smoking all the meats on-site. And unlike the original restaurant, the Cedar Park location has a liquor license, so there are cocktails like whiskey highballs and frozen margaritas.
Nom Burgers is a new food truck serving “vegan junk food” from the people behind The Vegan Nom. The menu is 100% plant-based, with things like smashed Impossible burgers and sides like fried pickles and french fries.
From the former chef of Pitchfork Pretty comes Rogue Radish, a trailer serving seasonally-minded grain bowls. Most of the menu items come vegan by default, but there’s the option to add additional proteins, like tamari-marinated farm eggs or grilled goat. Find it on the lot of the former Eastside Cafe at 2113 Manor Road.
Idle Hands is a new bar/restaurant with a Havana/tropical bent on Rainey Street - it’s in the old El Naranjo space. The menu has things like cubanos on it, and for cocktails there are multiple kinds of daiquiris and frozen drinks, including a boozy Dole Whip. There’s also live music.
The popular East Side butcher shop and restaurant, Salt & Time, opened a cafe downtown in Republic Square with outdoor seating. The menu is mainly geared towards breakfast and lunch, with sandwiches, salads, bowls, and snack boards. They also have a full list of espresso-based drinks, beer, and wine.
Enchiladas y Mas
Popular Tex-Mex restaurant Enchiladas Y Mas officially reopened on August 18. They closed back in April - seemingly for good - but fortunately the space was recently purchased by a former manager, and a daughter of one of the original co-owners. The menu will stay the same, with Tex-Mex staples like enchiladas, fajitas, and margaritas. Dine-in capacity is currently limited to 12 tables and 90 minute visits, with takeout available as well. Their location also remains the same, near West Anderson and Burnet.
Lechuza Birria Tacos
Lechuza Birria Tacos is the latest birria taco spot to hit Austin, near South Lamar and Menchaca. Options include beef or chicken slow-cooked in a spiced consomé, served in taco form, alongside a cup of consomé for dipping and sipping.
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
Gyu-Kaku recently opened in the Plaza Saltillo development on the East Side, with grill-it-yourself Japanese BBQ, or yakiniku. It’s a large chain, based in Japan, but the first of its kind to hit Austin. Guests can choose to order meats a la carte, or in coursed menus that include a variety of beef cuts, soups, salads, and appetizers. Due to the cook-it-yourself nature of the restaurant, they’re currently only open for dine-in with limited occupancy, temperature checks, and reservations required.
Eden West is a new food truck located at Desert Door Sotol out in Driftwood Springs, from the folks that brought you Eden East and Hillside Farmacy. They have a small menu focused around local, seasonal ingredients, so you can expect to see things like chilled watermelon with herbs and chili honey, or fried okra with carrot mole mayo. They’re currently open Thursday-Sunday most weeks, but keep an eye on their Facebook for the latest information, specials, and hours.
You might think that BB.Q stands for barbecue, as most probably would, but in the case of BB.Q Chicken Highland it actually means “Best Of Best Quality Chicken.” Whether it’s the best of the best, we can’t say just yet. But it’s a popular fried chicken chain from Korea, and we’re excited to have more options in town. They’ve even established a “chicken university” in South Korea to “continually improve the taste.” It’s located in the Crescent shopping center in Highland, currently for takeout only.
Dough Boys is the new wood-fired Neapolitan pizza truck in Arbor Food Park in East Austin. The pizza dough is made with a hearty locally-sourced flour from Barton Springs Mill, and it’s fermented for 36 hours for a chewy, puffy, and tangy crust. The tight, short menu of 12-inch pizzas includes the Italian Vato, with red sauce, salami, and Hatch green chiles.
Le Vacher recently opened up in Dripping Springs with a full menu of French-inspired dishes with local Texas Hill Country ingredients, so you can expect dishes like a roast half chicken with Hatch chili rub or Texas redfish with brown butter, capers, and charred lemon. They’re currently accepting reservations for their dining room and patio.
Neptune Coffee is a small trailer that recently opened up near Airport and Lamar at the new garden center Garden Seventeen. In addition to the standard menu of coffees and teas, they have a menu of signature drinks, like the luna lavender or horchata lattes. They also have daily specials and a limited selection of baked items that changes from day to day, but you can expect to find things like chocolate matcha cake or triple-berry chia muffins.
Ray’s BBQ food truck opened up quietly in Pflugerville but has already started drawing crowds for their fun takes on barbecue. In addition to the standard offerings like brisket sandwiches and sausage wraps, you can also get smoked turkey legs, crawfish nachos, and loaded fries - thick, wedge-cut fries topped with nacho cheese and brisket.
Foliepop’s is a French pastry and coffee shop that opened up in the Hill Country Galleria. Their signature “foliepop” is a customizable pastry that consists of a sweet base (cookie, brownie, croissant, etc…) filled with a flavored creme, like creme brulee or lemon, and topped with coconut, strawberry, or a number of other choices. There’s also a savory option as well, where the baked base gets subbed out for a savory base like hash browns or French bun, before being filled with a savory cream and topped with cheese.
Austin Eastciders is no stranger to the city, with a large taproom on the East Side that has fueled its residents with a variety of hard ciders for years. And now they’re expanding their Austin footprint with a restaurant on Barton Springs, featuring a full menu of sandwiches, pizzas, salads, and small shared plates. In addition to their lineup of ciders on draft, there are also a number of guest ciders, wine, and wine-based cocktails. They’re also open for breakfast, with coffee, tea, and a hearty food menu, with things like burritos, machacado, and tacos.
One of Austin’s first Neapolitan pizzerias recently expanded to a second location off West Anderson Lane. While the original location downtown featured a simple menu consisting mostly of wood-fired pizzas, panini, salads, beer, and wine, the new location will also serve pasta and cocktails.
Bennu Coffee started off as a popular 24/7 coffee shop on East MLK back in 2009, before later expanding into South Austin a couple of years ago. Now, they’re opening up a third location near the ACC Highland campus. The menu has the full suite of espresso-based drinks, teas, and cold brew coffee by the gallon, as well as their signature “mochas” list that feature cocoa-based beverages, with and without espresso.
Burritos, Fajitas, and 'Ritas
The latest project by Texas celebrity-chef Tim Love is devoted to, well, burritos, fajitas, and margaritas. The restaurant is a “cloud kitchen” concept, meaning it’s a restaurant that operates purely for takeout, with no storefront, though guests will be able to pick up their meals from Love’s downtown restaurant, Lonesome Dove.
You might have heard about Ramen 512 and their often sold out popups - yes, the ramen was that good. But now they’ve found a permanent home, inside the new “cloud kitchen” concept Kitchen United Mix. You can order the ramen ready-to-eat, or you can cook the noodles at home, with very precise instructions.
Tumble22 started off as a side project by Salty Sow, but has since grown into a thing of its own, now with a recently-opened third location in the former Magnolia Street Cafe on Lake Austin Blvd. The menu features Nashville-style fried hot chicken, chicken sandwiches, and tenders, all doused in a hot spice dip that ranges from “wimpy” to “cluckin’ hot.
The incredibly popular breakfast food truck, Paperboy, recently moved into a new building near 11th and Navasota. The larger space has allowed them to expand their menu a bit to include more than just breakfast items, so now you can get things like cheeseburgers, BLTs, and falafel. Of course the breakfast menu still exists, full of toasts, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches like the ever-popular B.E.C. (bacon, egg, and cheese). They’re currently open for takeout from their sidewalk-facing pickup window, and accepting reservations for dine-in service in the restaurant or on their rooftop patio.
Verbena is a new restaurant inside the recently-opened Canopy by Hilton hotel on West 6th, from the chef behind East Austin’s Juniper. The menu is mostly French and Mediterranean-inspired, with an emphasis on local, seasonal vegetables. There’s a large indoor dining area as well as a bar and lounge area that overflows into an open-air courtyard. They also have a grab-and-go coffee counter with all the typical coffee and espresso-based drinks, plus house-made pastries and breakfast sandwiches.
If you’ve found yourself dreaming about Olamaie biscuits at any point in the last few months that they’ve been closed, you’ll be excited to know they’ve temporarily converted the Campus-area Southern restaurant into a biscuit-based sandwich shop called Little Ola’s. So in addition to those ever-popular off-menu biscuits, you can get them in sandwich-form and convince yourself you’re getting a more balanced meal. There’s a variety of options, from the more breakfast-forward sausage, egg, and cheese, to a deep-fried chicken thigh and honey biscuit sandwich that will make Whataburger’s Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit feel like a long-forgotten memory.
Low Down Lounge
Low Down Lounge is a new bar on East 6th (it’s the space where Brixton used to be). The bar features a retro, 1970s design, and fun drinks like the Tropical Depression made with Gosling’s dark rum, passion fruit, lemon, and sadness. We’re not entirely sure what sadness tastes like, but we’re hoping it goes well with citrus. They’re currently selling frozen mixed-drinks, cocktails, beer, and wine for takeout.
Palomino Coffee recently opened up on the East Side, near 12th and Springdale. In addition to a standard menu of coffee and espresso-based drinks, they carry Flat Track coffee beans by-the-pound, cold-brew growlers, Veracruz tacos, and Sour Duck pastries. They have a small patio out front, and are currently open daily from 8am-2pm for takeout.
The highly-anticipated ramen shop Sazan recently opened for takeout and delivery in the Highland neighborhood. They had originally planned to focus solely on tori paitan - a specific type of ramen broth made from chicken bones - but instead they are offering a pared-down menu of standard or spicy paitan ramen, with a broth made from both pork and chicken bones. You can also pick up dumplings made by their neighbors at Steamies Dumplings next door.
Try Hard Coffee
Try Hard is a coffee shop that opened up in the recently-shuttered Blue Dahlia space on East 11th. The drinks menu has most of the standard coffee shop fare, and there’s also a menu of signature beverages, like a coffee cola made from coffee shrub and Big Swig sparkling water. They carry made-from-scratch pastries as well as breakfast and lunch tacos on house-made flour tortillas. Keep an eye out for their weekend specials, like this brisket & biscuits collaboration with neighboring food truck, J Leonardi’s Barbecue.
Neighborhood Sushi is the latest opening from the folks that brought you Perla’s, Clark’s, Jeffrey’s, and nearly a dozen more restaurants in Austin. It’s a casual sushi restaurant on South Congress that also offers small Japanese-inspired plates with Texas flavors, so you can expect things like Texas sweet corn with togarashi or grilled Texas Wagyu with broiled sansho-shiro miso. They’ll also be offering a happy hour on weekdays as well as a daily omakase at the sushi bar. There’s also a small outdoor “sake garden” facing Congress where they’ll be serving a pared-down menu of small plates and drinks.
Huckleberry is a new food trailer operating out of the parking lot at Circle Brewing near the Domain. Their menu highlights Gulf Coast ingredients, focusing mostly on po’boys, seafood platters, and fried fish. They also have a rotating menu of daily specials, like Korean hot fish sandwiches, caviar fries, and ceviche.
Narrow Street 512
Located in the Asian grocery superstore H-Mart, Narrow Street is a new Korean restaurant with a number of Korean soups, noodles, and barbecue dishes. They also have daily specials, like kimchi stew and spicy chicken soup.
The former Nancy’s Sky Garden location in Austin, near 290 and Cameron, has pivoted to a poke restaurant. The ownership hasn’t changed, so you’ll still be able to find some of your old Nancy’s favorites, like their sweet potato noodles, but now they’ll be the base for a mound of raw, marinated fish.
Veracruz All Natural
The latest outpost of Austin’s favorite breakfast taco mini-chain recently opened up at The Line Hotel downtown, on Congress and Cesar Chavez. Food is served from a takeout window facing the sidewalk, with tables available nearby on the hotel patio.
For fans of Asian-Cajun seafood, Kasian Boil recently opened two locations, in North Austin and Cedar Park. They’re offering weekend specials, like all-you-can-eat crawfish, as well as a variety of seafood platters with shrimp, crab, and crawfish.
From the folks that brought you the ever-popular Italian food trailer, Patrizi’s, Vic & Al’s instead focuses on Cajun food. They’re located right across the street in the former Unit-D Pizza space on Manor Road. Currently they’re offering a pared-down takeout menu consisting of meats like fried chicken or blackened catfish, served as a po’boy, rice plate, or salad.
Turnstile Coffee, Beer and Spirits
At Turnstile, the focus is equal parts coffee, beer, and craft cocktails. They’re located near Burnet and 183, right near the Domain and the site of Austin’s future soccer stadium. Right now they’ve extended their patio onto their lawn, so there’s plenty of open-air seating. They also carry Easy Tiger pastries, for when you need a little snack to accompany your drink of choice.
You probably won’t be visiting Phantasma Kitchen anytime soon, but they may be visiting you. They operate out of a commercial kitchen “somewhere in Austin” (but secretly, near South Lamar and Menchaca), selling Roman pizza as well as wings, sandwiches, and salads for delivery. There’s an option for pickup as well, but no storefront for dining in.
While most music venues in Austin have closed for the time being, Sagebrush - South Austin’s newest music venue from the folks behind White Horse - has opened their doors. There’s a large indoor space and stage, as well as an outdoor stage in the building’s former parking lot. For now, all music will be on the outdoor stage and capacity will be limited.
The highly anticipated Hold Out Brewery from the folks that brought you Little Brother, Brew & Brew, and Better Half recently opened their doors for takeout, with a limited menu of smash burgers, hot dogs, and canned beer. They share a large outdoor patio with sister restaurant and bar, Better Half, so you’ll be able to order from both menus when operations eventually start to pick back up.
Yoru Sushi quietly opened up for business in early May to dine-in and takeout customers. Their menu focuses mostly on sushi, with a wide range of nigiri and sashimi options, including a chef’s choice omakase. There’s also a few less traditional offerings as well, like tapioca duck fat fries and sushi nachos
The chicken-focused food truck, Fowl Mouth, recently opened at The Far Out Lounge near Slaughter and I-35. The menu has a variety of wings and tenders, but the star of the show here appears to be the fried chicken sandwich, topped with shaved kale and jalapeño aioli. Most of the menu can be made vegan as well.
The Rolling Rooster
The Rolling Rooster recently opened up their second Austin location on the East Side, in the former Historic Victory Grill space. Their specialty is chicken and waffles, but there’s also a full menu of sandwiches, oxtails, wings, and fried fish and shrimp.
20Pho7 is a new food truck serving pho as well as a number of pho-inspired dishes. What exactly is a pho-inspired dish? Think pho French dip sandwiches and filet mignon pho tacos, or “phocos.” They’re located near Oltorf and South First Street.
Steamies has been selling handmade Chinese dumplings at local farmers’ markets for a couple of years now (both frozen and cooked), and they recently opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Highland neighborhood during the lockdown. For the time being, everything comes frozen with easy-to-execute cooking instructions. There are a variety of wontons, soup dumplings, barbecue pork buns, and potstickers.
Pho MPH is a new Vietnamese restaurant in the Triangle that had its grand opening just days before the city went into hibernation. They’re currently operating for dine-in and takeout, serving a variety of Vietnamese staples, like pho and banh mi, as well as poke bowls and boba tea.
The new vegan coffee shop, Dear Diary, opened its doors for takeout and delivery in mid-April, near 12th and Chicon. Currently, they’re selling a variety of coffee beverages and plant-based pastries and sandwiches. Eventually, they aim to operate as a creative space, with abundant outlets and a communal diary.
Wanderlust Wine Company
The idea at Wanderlust Winery was to open as a bar with self-serve wine on tap, though parts of that are unfortunately on hold. Instead, they’re temporarily operating as a virtual wine class with a limited selection of bottles for pickup at their storefront near I-35 and 6th St. We’re excited to see what self-service wine on tap looks like, but in the meantime we’ll keep learning about wine.
House of Three Gorges has been open for takeout and delivery for a couple of months, with an extensive menu of classic Sichuan dishes, ranging from popular items like chongqing chicken and beef with broccoli, to less common specialties like Sichuan fish with pickled mustard greens or Yangtze sauteed pork intestines. They’re located near 183 and Ohlen, in the same shopping center as Din Ho and Ramen Tatsu-Ya.
There’s a new trailer on Rainey Street from the people behind Better Half called Bummer Burrito, and it’s conveniently parked right next to their tiny all-day cafe/bar Little Brother. As you might guess from the name, the trailer serves burritos, including a breakfast burrito, and one with chili cheese Fritos and nacho cheese.
Just north of campus, Sip Pho is a new fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant in an impressive new space with vaulted ceilings. It’s by the same people who run Pho Please on East Riverside, and they’re serving dishes like pho, bun bo hue, vermicelli bowls, and banh mi.
The latest project to open in the new Austin Proper Hotel downtown - The Mockingbird - is from the people behind restaurants like June’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, and Swedish Hill. The Mockingbird is a counter-service café serving coffee, pastries, falafel, and rotisserie chicken, a more informal counterpart to The Peacock in the hotel that opened back in January. It’s currently only open for breakfast and lunch.
Reunión 19 is a new Mexican restaurant over on the East Side. The chef is from Los Angeles, and the menu reads more West-Coast-inspired than most Mexican spots in town, with dishes like aguachile, tuna tostadas, and mulitas. They’re also really committing to tacos, as you can tell from their phone number - (512) 455-TACO (8226) - and the very subtle #TACOLOVER light fixture in the dining room.
LoLo is a new wine bar on East 6th St. Technically it’s Austin’s first wine bar totally dedicated to natural wine, and it’s from the people behind Hotel Vegas and Volstead Lounge. Part of the bar is a bottle shop for purchase to go, and the wine list is affordable, with glasses starting at $10 and bottles starting in the $30s. There’s a big backyard patio with picnic tables.
We checked out LoLo and added it to our Hit List.
Located in the shady backyard of Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches is Taco Bronco, a new food truck from the team behind Micklethwait Craft Meats, one of the best barbecue spots in town. It’s a taco truck with a barbecue bent, so homemade corn and flour tortillas meet brisket, smoked boar sausage, carnitas, and barbacoa. Batch’s brewhouse is nearly up-and-running, and they’ve already started serving their own beers.
We checked out Taco Bronco and added it to our Hit List.
The next time you need a quick thing that’s also healthy, remember there’s a new location of the fast-casual grain bowl restaurant Honest Mary’s in Central Austin (the first was out in the Arboretum). You can choose your components in a Chipotle-like method, or if you’re paralyzed by choice like some of us are, there are “signature bowls” where everything is picked out for you. Most everything is locally-sourced, and there’s cold brew, beer, wine, and kombucha, all on tap.
Down on the corner of South Lamar and Oltorf is Bouldin Acres, a beer garden with food trucks (including a new location of one of Austin’s best taco trucks, Pueblo Viejo). Formerly a two-acre car dealership, it’s basically an adult amusement park, with live music, two pickleball courts, and every backyard bar game imaginable, including corn hole, giant chess, giant Jenga, and giant Connect 4. It’s pet-friendly and kid-friendly.
Beerburg Brewing Company
Out in the Hill Country – and literally down the road from Jester King – is the new brewery Beerburg Brewing Company. The founder used to be the head brewer at the now-shuttered Uncle Billy’s. There’s a beer hall with a full kitchen serving tacos, sandwiches, and more, as well as a fenced-in dog park.
Tenten is a sleek-looking sushi restaurant downtown from the people behind the recently-opened lounge Devil May Care. There’s also sake, cocktails, and grilled meats and vegetables.
After a very extensive year-long remodel, the North Lamar location of the always-busy Mexican/Tex-Mex diner Taqueria Guadalajara finally reopened. Give the Rundberg Running Man (the guy often found on the corner of Rundberg and Lamar running, rapping, and dancing) a high-five on your way out.
Little Deli & Pizzeria
Little Deli, the popular Crestview pizza restaurant and sandwich shop, opened a new location in the very pizza-starved neighborhood of Windsor Park.
Hopsquad Brewing Co.
There’s a new addition to north Austin’s brewery district: Hopsquad Brewing Co. Located in a former warehouse with rollup windows up on Braker Lane, the huge brewery space is full of beer garden tables and, as a bonus, it’s super dog-friendly, inside and out. Beers on tap include Austin-themed varieties including Comtesse De Duval Saison and Dutchess of Oltorf Roggenbier. Also outside is the new food truck Tsuke Honten.
In Hopsquad Brewing Co.’s parking lot, you’ll find the food truck Tsuke Honten with Japanese-style bites. Sort of in a soft launch, they’re currently serving small dishes like garlic chicken wings, chili prawns, and short rib skewers. Soon they plan on launching an 11-course/$29 per person omakase.
The people behind June’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, and Swedish Hill are rolling out a series of projects in the new Austin Proper Hotel downtown. Up first is The Peacock Mediterranean Grill, an all-day Israeli and Turkish-inspired restaurant and bar. There’s also Goldie’s Sunken Bar, but that’s for hotel guests only at the moment.
We checked out The Peacock and added it to our Hit List.
Julie Myrtille Bakery
After drawing crowds at farmers markets all over Austin, there’s now a Julie Myrtille Bakery brick-and-mortar over in the East Austin development Springdale General. There are pastries, cookies, and macarons, as well as more lunch-y type options like croissant sandwiches and super-butter quiches. the hours are limited for now, 10am-12pm.
Hestia is a new restaurant downtown from the people behind Emmer & Rye, with a menu primarily focused on stuff coming off the grill. Other than larger grilled dishes, there are also crudos and a separate snack menu with small dishes ranging from $3-$16.
We checked out Hestia and added it to our Hit List.
Housed in a historic warehouse space, Central Machine Works is a massive new beer hall, brewery, and live music venue in East Austin. There’s also an enormous outdoor beer garden and a full bar. The menu is simple, beer-friendly food like pretzels, cheeseburgers, and pizza.
The Meteor is a lot of things: it’s a bike shop, an all-day cafe, a Roman-style pizzeria in which you pay by the pound, and a natural wine shop, all in a charming space on South Congress.