The Austin food landscape has changed a lot over the past few months - with all of the new limitations and uncertainty in dining, restaurants have had to get creative. While many spots have shifted to special takeout menus, others have used this as an opportunity to launch pop-ups and collaborations. From smashburgers delivered via “burger chute,” to rotating bagel schmear team-ups, we’ll be keeping track of them here and telling you how to get them. Many of these sell out quickly, so be ready to drop everything and run like your lunch depends on it.
Bad Larry Burger Club describes itself as “never open” and “never closed” which is pretty accurate given the constantly-changing locations and the infrequent cadence. Sometimes you’ll find them set up in a neighborhood, delivering burgers via remote-controlled truck, and other times they’ll be set up from a second-story balcony dropping burgers through a socially-distanced “burger chute.” We can’t promise when you’ll get one, but we can tell you that if you do manage to snag a coveted spot, it’ll be one of the best burgers you’ve had all year. Typically, they’ll announce when presales go live a day or two in advance on their Instagram, so set a timer and be ready to quickly slide into some DM’s for a reservation. And don’t be late - the last one sold out in under 5 minutes.
DaijoubuMart is a pop-up with “Super Asian Provisions” ranging from bottled and ready-to-drink cocktails, to naan croissants and Chinese five spice wings. The semi-virtual marketplace is operating out of Last Straw on the East Side, with online or walk-up orders available for takeout. Local vendors participating in the pop-up include Asahi Imports, 33Tigers, and Gan Bei Gals. The pop-up runs every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday through September 20. Pre-orders and more information can be found on their website.
Golden Castle is a new, White Castle-inspired burger pop-up from the folks behind Golden Tiger, known primarily for their excellent fried chicken sandwiches. Much like their inspiration, these small sliders are sold by the half-dozen and come with griddled onion, mustard, cheese, and pickles on a steamed potato roll. The first event kicked off the weekend of September 11-13, and will continue “every few weeks.” Follow along on their Instagram for the latest information.
Galleta is a virtual cookie shop taking place out of a private residence in West Austin. Cookies are sold by the dozen, with each box containing four different varieties - inspired by Mexican and Filipino flavors - that change weekly. The menu is announced at the beginning of each week on their Instagram - with flavors like hibiscus and pumpkin seed butter, or ube and coconut. Orders must be placed a few days in advance with payment through Venmo.
The folks at Cuantos Tacos have already made a name for themselves from their excellent Mexico City-style tacos, but their recent series of collaborations has increased the levels of hype surrounding their name even more. Collaborations over the last few months include a taco trio flight with nearby spots Nixta and Discada, and a consome-dipped empalmes with birria taco spot La Tunita 512. Most recently, they teamed up with neighboring Neapolitan pizza trailer Dough Boys to offer a campechano pizza. Follow along on their Instagram for the latest information.
Comadre Panaderia is a newish online-only bakery pop-up with modern spins on pan-Latinx sweet and savory breads. How it works: The order form goes live Tuesdays through Wednesdays (or until sold out), with local delivery on Fridays and Saturdays in Austin and San Antonio. Payment is through Venmo. Keep an eye on their Instagram account.
Slab BBQ has been doing monthly collaborations with local restaurants for a couple of months now. And for Sundays in September, they’ll be teaming up with Emoji’s Grilled Cheese to put out a mash-up of their two cuisines - grilled cheese sandwiches filled with Slab BBQ meats. It all kicks off on September 6, but orders will be need to placed in advance for each Sunday pickup.
Abby Jane Bakeshop
Abby Janes Bakeshop is an upcoming bakery in Dripping Springs (located inside Barton Springs Mill). For now, they’re doing pop-ups on an occasional basis. Offerings change from week to week, but you can expect to see things like wood-fired pan pizzas and breakfast pastries. Follow along on their Instagram to find out about upcoming events.
Taking over the former Eastside Cafe space on Manor, Le Cowboy is a semi-permanent pop-up, open for dinner on weekdays through the end of the year. Helmed by a former chef of Olamaie and Carpenters Hall, Le Cowboy’s menu features a small selection of pastas, like ricotta tortelloni with walnut pesto and orecchiette with sausage ragu, as well as a few smaller plates like a chicory salad. They’re currently open for takeout only, with orders placed on their website. Orders tend to sell out quickly, so be ready to order a day or two in advance if you want to get them while they’re here.
The team behind The Peached Tortilla is bringing a new White Castle/Krystal-inspired slider pop-up to Austin, kicking off at Yard Bar August 7-8, before continuing out of The Peached Tortilla’s food truck at various locations around the city. In addition to sliders - dubbed as “fat stacks” - they also have chicken tenders, fries, and tots. And for dessert (or dinner, you do you) they have “fatties” - marshmallow or chocolate cream-filled spongecakes that sound an awful lot like gourmet Twinkies. You can see the full menu and updates on their next location on their website.
Emmeroni’s is a “Central Texas Italian Pop Up” from the folks behind Emmer & Rye. True to their description, you can expect to find fun Central Texas twists on classic Italian flavors, like grilled eggplant lasagna or chicken liver mousse toast with blackberry and dried tomato. They also have a weekly Guest Chef Summer Fundraiser series, highlighting various local chefs each week for single-day takeout and dine-in specials. Orders can be placed online with pickups out of Emmer & Rye.
We’re not really sure how to describe the concept of Nixta’s frequent collaborations other than just that - collaborations. Concepts change from week to week, with past mashups ranging from fire-roasted confit chicken wings with Thai al pastor sauce in collaboration with Dough Boys, to an East Side taco mashup with neighbors Discada and Cuantos. Collaborations happen a couple of times each month, usually only lasting a day or two. Follow along on their Instagram for the latest information. These tend to sell out fast.
Some of Austin’s favorite bagels have gone frozen - which may not sound like a huge selling point until you realize that just means you can now make freshly-baked bagels at home. But more important is Rosen’s schmear collaborations. It started with brisket schmear made with excellent barbecue from Leroy & Lewis that you could order alongside your bagel delivery. After growing in popularity, they’ve announced a whole series of restaurant x schmear collaborations, like caramelized kimchi schmear from Chi’Lantro. Schmear collaborations change out every few weeks, keep an eye on their Instagram for the latest information.
Pinthouse kicked off a new series of “Off The Map” pizzas in June, featuring their tasty pizza bases with toppings in collaboration with restaurants all across town. Past features include a brisket pie with Slab BBQ and a Greek gyro-inspired pie with Phoenicia Bakery. Collaborations change out each month, so keep an eye on their Instagram for each month’s “Off The Map” pizza.