As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers. Yesterday we discussed the city's best new restaurants, most reliable stand-bys, and tried to describe 2012 in just one word. Today, we're discussing the best meals of the year, dining surprises and now: Austin's best neighborhood for dining out. Readers, please add your thoughts to the comments.
Sway. [Photo: Patrick Michels/EATX]
Q: What was the best dining neighborhood in Austin in 2012?
Megan Giller of Let's Eat ATX!: "South First has really developed as a destination area. I was struck the other day that within a couple blocks, you have Sway, Elizabeth Street Café, Lenoir, and LA Barbecue (not to mention Gourdough's, Torchy's, and Bouldin Creek Coffee Shop)."
Paula Forbes of Eater National: "South First Street is obviously the most exciting dining area, with Elizabeth Street, Sway, and J. Mueller/now LA Barbecue all on the same corner, and Lenoir just down the road."
Christian Remde, filmmaker: "North Austin with their many delicious asian restaurants...RAMEN!!!"
Layne Lynch, writer for Texas Monthly and CultureMap Austin: "I think South First Street is where it's at. That area is bound to continue exploding and expanding."
Andrea Grimes, editor, Eater Austin: "Everybody's going to say South First Street. They're right. If Lenoir isn't the best new restaurant in Austin this year, I don't know what is ... unless it's Sway. Which it might be. Either way, South First has them both."