Austin’s New Restaurant & Bar Openings  guide image


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

May 2023

photo credit: Daiboku

Daiboku review image



609 W 29th St, Austin
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From the team behind Sazan Ramen comes Daiboku, a ramen spot right by campus. For the time being, Daiboku is serving a limited menu that includes a smoked chicken ramen bowl and a spicy miso bowl, but the menu is expected to expand in the coming weeks. They’re also planning to launch a “ramen omakase” experience, though we have yet to determine if that means we’ll be eating one big bowl of ramen accompanied by a bunch of tiny plates, or a dozen, tiny bite-sized bowls of ramen.

Right up the street from Nixta Taqueria in East Austin, Community Garden is an all-day spot, serving açaí bowls, coffee, and tea by day, and beer and wine by night, all in a cozy living room-like setting, with a spacious patio. They’re still figuring out scheduling, but for now you can typically expect to find DJs on the weekends and some weekday evenings. 

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Estelle’s in the Warehouse District downtown describes itself as a “social club,” which is basically a fancy way of saying that it offers a bunch of different things in an upscale, loungy setting. Expect to find colorful cocktails, caviar, seafood towers, and bottle service on the menu, plus access to a boutique flower shop in case you’re afraid that the champagne and caviar won’t be enough to impress your date. The food here definitely leans “snacky”—use this as a launch pad before going out for the evening, or as a spot to wrap up the night on a fancy note. 

photo credit: Jerry Fugit

Kerlaches review image


Perfect For:Breakfast

A few years back, Kerlaches changed the Central Texas game by stuffing expertly smoked meats from (the now closed) Kerlin BBQ into a kolache. The original trailer in East Austin is still going strong, but now the team has expanded with a second location at the Thicket Food Park in South Austin. Expect to find the same kolaches, stuffed full of oak-smoked brisket, sausage, and pulled pork. 

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Counter Culture review image

Counter Culture

Perfect For:Vegans

After over a decade in business, the vegan restaurant Counter Culture on East Cesar Chavez sadly closed its doors back in December of 2022. Fortunately, the closure didn’t last too long, and the Counter Culture team is back in business, this time operating out of a trailer parked at Tweedy’s Bar near the UT Campus. The menu is smaller, and it’s only open for dinner, but you can expect to find a lot of the same favorites like the housemade BBQ seitan, gluten-free mac & cheeze, salads, and bowls.

Just off of I-35 near William Cannon, Fast Friends is a new South Austin brewery, with a kid-friendly space and a dog-friendly patio. In addition to beer, there’s pizza on the menu, plus plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, due in part to the food program being run by the chef from a plant-based supper club. 

The Wu Chow name is one that Austin has come to associate with soup dumplings, Downtown dim sum, and excellent Chinese food. And now that name has expanded to a second location in Austin, this time in the Rosedale neighborhood. The menu features plenty of overlapping dishes, plus a few new ones, with an emphasis on family-style plates. Brunch should start in July.

As one of the only Indian restaurants in East Austin, Nasha has made a name for itself for serving up a mix of classic Indian dishes and Texas-Indian fusion fare and curried margaritas for the past few years. Now, the team has expanded to a second location, this time on South Congress near Slaughter Lane, with largely the same menu. 

Located in a tiny shopping center in Crestview next to a Fresh Plus grocery and the original Little Deli, The Violet Crown is a new coffee shop, wine bar, and bottle shop here to serve your all-day needs. By morning, show up for coffee, tea, and pastries; by night, grab wines by the glass, or just pick up a bottle and head to Little Deli for some pizza (it’s BYOB). 

Taking its name from an iconic neighborhood in Barcelona, El Raval is a restaurant and tapas bar on South Lamar, where the recently-closed Barlata used to be. On the food side of the menu, there’s a pretty extensive offering of classic Spanish tapas as well as small and large plates that will change seasonally. And the drink menu features cocktails developed by some of the founders of the famous Two Schmucks bar in Barcelona, plus vermouth and sherry flights. 

Over in Bouldin Creek, Underdog is wine bar, bottle shop, and restaurant with a menu of “Korean-inflluenced” small plates. Expect to find dishes like oyster with kimchi vinaigrette, roast pork belly ssam, and hotteok with kimchi and taleggio. Grab a reservation online, or just try to walk-in—there’s an area where you can grab wines by the glass if there’s a wait. 

You can probably guess at least one of the items you’ll find on the menu at Bill’s Oyster. Outside of the obvious, there’s a small raw bar menu, two seafood towers, three types of caviar, and a few hot plates including dishes like crab cakes and lobster rolls. There’s also a dedicated martini menu, “classic” and “signature” cocktails, and a few options for beer and wine. The dining room can get a bit loud, particularly in the early hours of the evening when the place gets packed full of people leaving work or yoga classes. 

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Autenticos Michoacanos

When Autenticos Micoacanos first opened its trailer in South Austin, it quickly became one of our favorite spots for tacos in the city. And it didn’t take long after that for us to discover just how good the birria tacos and giant machetes were. Now those same tacos are available in a second location in Southeast Austin, close to McKinney Falls State Park. So the next time you’re heading out for a little hike to dip your feet in the water, skip the picnic basket and just bring tacos instead. 

East Austin gets a new cocktail bar with the arrival of Lovebirds on East Cesar Chavez, right across the street from Juniper. The drink menu features a mix of classics—like daiquiris, white negronis, and moscow mules—plus a few house creations, including one that you can drink out of a cute little bird-shaped glass. 

Just a little past the ABIA South Terminal in Southeast Austin, Cenizo is a coffee trailer that’s open at 6am for all the early birds out there. The beans are sourced from Talisman Coffee—a spot that we like a lot with a permanent set up inside of Mum Foods—and there are pastries, plus a few other trucks and trailers on-site if you want something more substantial to go with your morning drink. 

April 2023

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Ezov review image


Perfect For:Date Night

From the team behind Canje, Hestia, and Emmer & Rye, Ezov is a new upscale Mediterranean restaurant on East Cesar Chavez that’s basically a spiritual successor to the recently closed TLV (it’s from the same chef). But while TLV focused on Israeli street foods, Ezov is a little fancier, with a seasonal menu of dishes inspired by the Galilee region of northern Israel. 

After successful runs in Mexico City and Northern California, La Popular recently opened in Oak Hill, right near the new location of  Ling Wu. The menu is taco-heavy, with fancy versions of classics served mostly on housemade corn tortillas (a few come on flour), plus a small menu of plates and desserts. The cocktail menu is almost entirely agave-based, and there’s a large selection of tequilas, mezcals, and sotols for sipping. 

Hot pot spots in Austin are few and far between, which is what makes Soupleaf’s opening in the Crescent shopping center that much more exciting. Unlike Austin’s other options, Soupleaf operates on an all-you-can-eat model, though the base price doesn’t include meat. So be ready to spend a few extra dollars to order some meat plates to share with the table, or just fill up on veggies and noodles. 

Nourished is described by its owners as an “intentional and nutrient dense food truck,” which should tell you most of what you need to know before heading here. Expect to find things like grain bowls, kale salads, and sweet potato biscuit breakfast sandwiches.There’s also a drink menu with options like chagaccinos, lion’s mane matcha, and bone broth with astragalus and sea moss. It’s located in the St Elmo development in South Austin.  

Taking over the old HandleBar space on East 5th Street, El Cockfight is a new rooftop bar from some of the people behind Red Headed Stepchild and Mama Dearest. While there is a full bar, the drink menu leans heavy on agave-based cocktails, including a few on draft. 

From the team behind Este—and right next door— Bar Toti is a bar/restaurant that’s open only on Friday and Saturday evenings. But while Este focuses on coastal Mexican cuisine, Bar Toti’s menu leans a little more towards Spanish tapas, with dishes like croquetas, marinated olives, a Spanish tortilla, and a hybrid “smashburgesa” topped with griddled ham, american cheese, chipotle mayo, and escabeche relish. There are margaritas and mojitos on the menu, but a lot of the drinks are similarly Spanish-influenced. The space isn’t huge, and is open only for walk-ins, so show up early or be ready to wait a little while. 

After a successful run selling normal-sized burgers and subs at JewBoy Burgers and JewBoy Subs, respectively, the same team opened up a trailer serving sliders on the East Side back in late 2022. And now there’s a new location in downtown Austin, this time at the Fareground food hall. Unlike the one on East 6th Street that only operates in the evenings, this location is open for lunch and dinner, with a bigger menu that includes four slider varieties, plus hot and cold mini-subs filled with everything from house smoked pastrami to roast beef, turkey breast, and fried chicken.

If the name Veracruz sounds familiar, that’s probably because it’s become synonymous with migas and some of the best breakfast tacos in Austin. Now, the same team behind the popular breakfast tacos has opened a large restaurant in Mueller, with an expanded lunch and dinner menu that spans the spectrum from ceviches to mole enchiladas, with dozens of dishes in between. There’s also a full bar with house cocktails, wines, and beer on draft. 

South Austin doesn’t have a lot of Korean barbecue, which makes Gangnam’s opening off Stassney and I-35 all the more exciting. Well, that and the fact that it’s a massive standalone building with an all-you-can-eat menu of marinated meats and produce that adds a little oomph to a plaza shared with a Chili’s and a Twin Peaks. It’s open for lunch and dinner—with a discounted set price during weekday lunch hours—and takes reservations, in case you don’t want to end up eating skillet queso next door.  

photo credit: Wanderlust Wine Co

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Wanderlust Wine Co

Wanderlust Wine Co is probably best known as “that place where you pour your own wines from a tap” and the newest location on Barton Springs Road is exactly that. The concept is simple: swipe a credit card, receive a special card, and use that to access the wall of wines, priced by the ounce. There’s also cold brew and a taco trailer on site, in case you need something to pair with your fourth glass of rosé. 

The team behind the popular Mexican restaurants Gabriela’s and Taquero Mucho recently expanded their Austin footprint with a churro spot right next to the North Burnet location, so you can finish off your meal with something sweet. In addition to classic churros, you can also order a s’mores version—tossed in graham sugar, with Mexican chocolate sauce and toasted marshmallow—plus a variety of funnel cakes with fun toppings like fruity pebbles and condensed milk. 

photo credit: Jane Yun

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Cafe At The Loren

As you could probably infer from the name, Cafe at The Loren is an all-day cafe located at The Loren Hotel on Lady Bird Lake. The coffee program features La Colombe beans, plus cold brew and oat lattes on draft, and you can get freshly prepared foods like salads and sandwiches, plus grab-and-go tacos and parfaits. There are also cocktails and wines available if you find yourself wanting to test the limits of how “all-day” the cafe can be. 

March 2023

From some of the same people behind Xian Sushi & Noodle just down the street, Bento Teppanyaki is a small Chinese restaurant in a Mueller strip mall. The menu features mostly Chinese-American classics—with dishes like sesame chicken, beef with broccoli, and chow mein—all available a la carte, or in a bento box that includes a bowl of soup and some dumplings. It’s open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. 

Equal parts cocktail bar and cafe, Holiday on East 7th is a new project from a team of veterans behind places like Olamaie, L’Oca d’Oro, and Kinda Tropical. The cocktails are split into “fancies” and “martinis”—in case you need the distinction—plus a full menu of spirit-free cocktails, beer, and wine by the glass or bottle. And the food menu feels like a series of small European-inspired plates that grew up in Texas, with dishes like Lonestar steamed mussels, zucchini fritters with parmesan aioli and smoked trout roe, and avocado chocolate mousse. 

The long awaited Louisiana-inspired, all-day cafe from Aaron Franklin—yeah, the same guy that opened Franklin Barbecue—finally opened its doors on East 6th Street. Uptown took over that corner space that’s been abandoned for years (bonus points if you remember the fake Chili’s East signage from a few years back). On the menu, expect to find southern staples like po’boys and gumbo, plus a drink menu full of frozens, beer, wine, and cocktails. There’s even a Bloody Mary that you can get topped with a wedge salad, for when you want a semi-balanced brunch. 

From the team behind (and right next to) Gusto Italian Kitchen in Rosedale, Gràcia is a new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and wine bar with a menu that spans everything from oysters to hummus, and calamari bolognese to lamb chops with salmoriglio. Over on the beverage side, there’s a wine list made up mostly of Mediterranean wines, plus regionally-inspired cocktails like a Spanish gin and tonic and dirty martinis with feta olives.

After temporarily closing its doors (engines?) in the fall of 2022, Wayside is back with its same menu of waffle-based foods, this time operating out of a food truck at The Ballroom (attached to Tweedy’s, the former Spiderhouse Cafe). You can expect to find the same menu of classics—like pulled pork sandwiches and burgers—served with waffles in place of buns, plus loaded waffle fries, and a more classic chicken and waffles. In short, you’re coming here for waffles at any time of day. 

The people behind the coffee shop Civil Goat recently opened a third location on Manor Road (in the space formerly occupied by Vida Pura Juicery, and years before that, In.gredients). Just like at the other two locations, the drink menu features house-roasted coffees and espressos, plus a small food menu of pastries, toasts, salads, and acai bowls. 

photo credit: The Halal Project

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The Halal Project

If you find yourself longing to recreate a light night shawarma on the streets of Manhattan, The Halal Project has you in mind. This is “NYC-style Middle Eastern” cuisine, and the new space near 12th and Lamar is The Halal Project’s second location in Central Texas (the original is in San Marcos). Expect to find the standard offerings of rice plates and wraps on the menu. Just keep in mind that it’s only open until 11pm, so you may have to bring your shawarma home and save some for later if you want to truly recreate the experience. 

Out near Laguna Gloria on West 35th Street, Flo’s Wine Bar is, well, a wine bar. Currently, there are about 50 bottles available (with about 15-20 options by-the-glass). though there are plans to expand the bottle list to almost 200 in the near future. Flo’s is also home to Allday Pizza, a New York-style pizzeria it shares the space with. 

Located at Flo’s Wine Bar on West 35th Street, Allday Pizza sells exactly what you can probably infer from the name. The pizzas here lean New York-style, and are available by the slice or as whole pies. Right now the menu is limited to just pizza, though there are plans to expand to salads and sides in the near future. All of the pizza is ordered from an outdoor window, so it’s just as easy to sit and hang out for a while or grab a slice to-go. 

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Pizzeria Grata review image

Pizzeria Grata

The location might be new, but Pizzeria Grata is no newcomer to Austin. After closing its gas station pizzeria setup at the end of 2022—that was home to some of the best pizza in Austin— Grata has reopened in a mini food hall on South Lamar at Menchaca. The menu is limited to just a few options for now, but it’s expected to expand in the near future. 

Fittingly located in the Music Lane development on South Congress, Equipment Room is a cocktail bar and vinyl listening room with vintage hi-fi equipment. The drink menu is made up of a combination of classics and new creations—A-Sides and B-Sides, respectively—plus a few snacks to accompany it all. Reservations are recommended, though the bar does save a few spots for walk-ins nightly. 

Taking over East Side King’s longstanding residency at The Liberty on East 6th, Golden Grill is a burger trailer from the team behind Golden Tiger and Golden Castle. But while the earlier concepts focused on smash burgers and sliders, respectively, the burger at Golden Grill leans more classic (with a thicker patty), with the option to add toppings like chili or jalapeño slaw. And if you’re not in the mood for burgers, there are also hot dogs, loaded fries, and wings on the menu. 

Now with three locations across Austin, Garbo’s continues to expand its lobster roll empire, most recently opening up in the former Counter Cafe space on North Lamar (and 6th Street). Like at the other locations, lobster rolls are the centerpiece of the menu—with both chilled Maine and butter poached Connecticut styles available—but there are also dishes like crab cakes, spicy crab rolls, and a lobster grilled cheese. There’s a street-facing window out front if you want your lobster rolls on the go, plus a dining room inside where you can grab a seat and enjoy beer and wine with your meal. 

What started as a small, late night donut shop in Portland, Oregon many years ago has since expanded its donut empire to over a dozen locations across four states, most recently opening on Burnet Road. Just like at the other Austin location on 6th Street, Voodoo Donuts on Burnet is open almost all day, closing only from 3-6am nightly. 

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

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Rosé Gosé

Right next to Jewboy Burgers on Airport and 51st Street, Rosé Gosé recently opened its doors in the former Sala and Betty space (that was replaced by ATX Grill RH for the last few months). This appears to be the restaurant’s second location, with the original based in Minsk, Belarus. There’s beer, wine, and a cocktail menu with drinks simply named from 1-10. The food seems to pull inspiration from all over the globe—you’ll find bites like olives in kimchi right next to chips and guac, poke bowls, and beef tartare with smoked mozzarella mousse. 

Joining the growing scene of food trucks on Rainey Street, Meat Pools specializes in Italian meatballs. But while there’s only one type of meatball—made with turkey and pork—the sauces allow for a little more customization. There are six in total, ranging from a more classic Italian red, to varieties like curry or cacio e pepe. It’s located on the south end of Rainey, right near The Stay Put. 

February 2023

In a small food truck lot at Cesar Chavez and Pleasant Valley, Wow Poke offers a pretty classic menu of poke bowls and wraps—including a couple sushirittos—that are perfect for those evenings when you just want a light, healthy dinner. In addition to poke, you can also get some Hawaiian staples, like spam musubi and teriyaki chicken bowls, plus strawberry and mango mochi for dessert. 

Taking over the old Boiler Nine space in the Seaholm District downtown, Ember Kitchen is a multi-level Latin America-inspired restaurant with a live fire kitchen. Almost all of the menu touches fire at some point, from crudos with charcoal oil to a “seafood tower” that is not, in fact, a tower, but rather a giant paella pan filled with seafood and Veracruz sauce and roasted in a Josper oven. Before or after dinner, be sure to check out Subterra, the agave bar directly below in the basement that’s worth a visit of its own.

Following a series of successful restaurants all across town, the people behind Qi, Lin Asian Bar, and Ling Kitchen have opened another space, this time out in Oak Hill. On the menu, expect to find entrees like orange peel Akaushi beef, Peking duck, and whole red snapper, plus a small dim sum menu during the week (and a bigger one during brunch on the weekends.

After a decade since closing its doors in East Austin (it continued as a roastery during that time), Progress Coffee has reopened with a new space in Cherrywood, right on the I-35 frontage road. In addition to coffee, there’s also a full bar serving cocktails, beer, and wine. On the patio are new locations of Pueblo Viejo (home to one of our favorite breakfast tacos) and Burro Cheese Kitchen (with grilled cheese sandwiches).

If you’ve ever looked up where to eat in San Antonio, you probably came across Cured, a popular meat-heavy restaurant at The Pearl. The same team opened a restaurant and bar in downtown Austin at the Hyatt on Congress Avenue. In addition to a very large $65 meat and cheese board, you’ll find things like burgers, chicken a la plancha, and gnocchi. There’s even a small menu of chops, where you can get lamb, boar, beef, and pork ribs priced by the rib (or cutlet). 

Opening alongside Luminaire, Las Bis is the bar-focused part of the restaurant group’s expansion into downtown Austin. It’s located on the eighth floor of the Hyatt on Congress, and it has an open terrace with great views of the city. Unlike the sister restaurant, the focus here is more on tapas and drinks, with a small menu of things like tinned fish, caviar, and escabeches. Looking for dinner with a few drinks? Head to Luminaire downstairs. Drinks and a lite bite with a view? Head on up to the eighth floor.

In the basement of the upcoming restaurant Ember Kitchen in the Seaholm District, Subterra is an agave bar with a menu of Latin America-inspired cocktails and riffs on classics. Ember Kitchen, the accompanying restaurant, hasn’t quite opened their doors yet, but for now you can take a peek at the soon-to-be-open dining room on your way down to Subterra. 

Right down the street from Nickel City on East 11th Street, Lucky’s is a cocktail bar and restaurant with a vaguely Mexican-Asian-fusion leaning menu. For the first few weeks they’ll be testing out a few different food items each day—like kimchidillas and ahi-dawgs—with the fan favorites eventually becoming more permanent fixtures. They’ll also be opening a dog-friendly patio in the coming months. 

photo credit: Standard Proof

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Standard Proof Whiskey Co.

Joining the ranks of Rainey Street bars and restaurants, Standard Proof is a Nashville-based whiskey tasting room at the bottom of the Skyhouse apartment complex. The primary focus here is on whiskey—including a whole range of house-infused ryes—but they’re also launching a small menu of Nashville-inspired bites in the coming weeks, with things like hot chicken and pulled pork. 

Taking over the old Second Bar + Kitchen at The Domain, AKB is a bar and restaurant at The Archer hotel. On the menu you can expect to find a little bit of everything, from burgers and pizzas to bulgogi beef skewers and BBQ shrimp. There’s also Happy Hour from 3-6pm Sunday-Thursday with discounted food and $5-6 beers.

Adding to Meanwhile Brewing’s growing scene of food trucks and trailers—including Distant Relatives, Side Eye Pie, Pueblo Viejo, and Bésame—Songbird is all about fried chicken sandwiches. The lineup includes everything from more classic sandwiches (served with pickles, ranch, lettuce, and Texas toast) to a General Tso-inspired one complete with broccolini and pickled chilis. And if you’re not feeling chicken, they do offer a few other items on the menu, like burgers, bologna sandwiches, and salads.

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Suggested Reading

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