Eater changed the way it updates the monthly heatmap, the guide to the hottest restaurants in Austin. To keep everything tidy, instead of creating a new map every 30 or so days, the single post is updated.
Because everyone wants to know which restaurants were once hot, Eater decided to keep an archive right here of those retired spots, for posterity’s sake. This will be updated every month.
Retired in September 2021
JewBoy Sub Shop: Mo Pittle of JewBoy Burgers branched out into an East Coast sub shop in March. Look for loaded sandwiches like multiple types of cheesesteaks and a meatball hoagie as well as Texas influences like fideo and queso, plus matzo ball soup. To-go orders can be placed online; it’s open for dine-in service with indoor and outdoor seating.
Bobo’s Snack Bar: The iconic South Congress Snack Bar has been resurrected in Cherrywood in April, serving local snacks alongside beer, wine, cocktails, and coffee. The small outdoor patio has fire pits and the inside has an eclectic living room feel. The cafe is open for outdoor dine-in service.
Asador: The taco truck from chef Joe Becerra expanded with a tiny physical location on Rainey Street in early May, taking over what had been bistro L’Estelle. The restaurant serves up a familiar and great menu of stellar tacos with fillings such as brisket or cauliflower, plus a weekend brunch with dishes such as brisket and grits and chilaquiles. To-go orders can be placed in person or online. There’s ample outdoor dining space courtesy of the address’s shared bar the Drafting Room.
Retired in August 2021
Honey Moon Spirit Lounge: The new restaurant and cocktail lounge opened in the Heritage neighborhood in April with food and drinks. The menu leans New American, with dishes such as blue crab rice and rabbit confit, and vegan barbecue burnt ends, all served in an eclectic stylish space. The restaurant is only open for reservations-required dine-in service, with indoor and outdoor space available.
Love Supreme: Co-founders of Austin coffee shop Thunderbird opened a new pizzeria in Blackland in April. Overseeing the kitchen is Russell Victorioso, who had worked at various Los Angeles restaurants. On deck are two pie styles: a Neapolitan-ish one and a pan-style square one. The restaurant is open for dine-in service with indoor and patio space available, plus it now offers takeout.
Sammie’s Italian: Austin group McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality (formerly just McGuire Moorman Hospitality) opened this new Italian-American restaurant in the downtown area in late April, taking over the former space belonging to Hut’s Hamburgers. The higher-end dinner menu is full of red-sauce favorites, from assorted parmigiana to spaghetti to lasagna. The restaurant is only open for dine-in services, with indoor and outdoor spaces.
Tiny Grocer: The revamped South Congress grocery store (formerly Farm to Market Grocery) reopened under owner Steph Steele in March, complete with a new cafe component. Under the guidance of consulting chef Page Pressley, there are sandwiches (grilled cheese, breakfast), salads, pre-made deli-style items, and vegan soft serve ice cream. To-go orders can be placed in person and there’s a walk-up window.
Butler Pitch & Putt: Southern restaurant Olamaie is now serving up a casual menu at golf course Butler Pitch & Putt’s clubhouse as of this April from chef Michael Fojtasek. On deck are biscuits (naturally) and sandwiches with fillings such as eggs, fried chicken, or pimento cheese, alongside desserts of cookies ice cream sandwiches from pastry chef Jules Stoddart and candy bars. The restaurant is open to the public (read: people don’t have to golf in order to order).
Retired in July 2021
Abby Jane Bakeshop: The bakery, from former Dai Due pastry chef Abby Love, opened at Barton Springs Mill in Dripping Springs in January. The bakeshop uses the mill’s stone-ground, heritage grains for treats like wood-fired pizza, croissants, cookies, brownies, and more, as well as grab-and-go dishes. Order online or in-person. There is outdoor seating available for dine-in service.
Wicky’s Walkup: The co-owners of Southern bar the Cavalier, Rachelle Fox and Chadwick (“Wicky”) Leger, opened a weekday lunch option with “swamp tiki” vibes in March. Wicky’s features muffulettas, to-go daiquiris, and even notary services. Pickups can be placed in person or online; there’s a patio for dine-in service.
Retired in June 2021
R19 Taqueria: Southern California-Mexican restaurant Reunión 19 expanded with a new food truck out in Hudson Bend in April. Parked at brewery Infamous Brewing Company, R19 Taqueria slings up the restaurant’s greatest hits, from tacos, mulitas, to asada fries. Orders can be placed in person, the brewery is open for on-site service with outdoor seating.
Swift Pizza Co.: Another new pizzeria, this one from the team behind Texan restaurant Jacoby’s and Mexican restaurant Grizzelda’s. Swift’s serves up build-your-own pies alongside salads, pastas, appetizers, and desserts, along with drinks in a family-friendly space. To-go orders can be placed online; the restaurant is open for dine-in service with outdoor areas.
Golden Castle: After a short hiatus, the White Castle-inspired slider pop-up has grown up with a new food truck parked at the revived East Austin neighborhood bar King Bee as of April. There are sliders — loaded with onions, pickles, and American cheese — by the half- or full-dozen, along with pastrami hot dogs, crinkle fries, mozzarella sticks, and more. To-go and dine-in orders can be placed online. The bar is open for on-site service, and there’s a patio.
Retired in May 2021
Salty Cargo: Uchi alums Michael Carranza and John Gocong opened this Hawaiian-Asian restaurant in the food court of Asian grocery store Hana World Market in October 2020. Its specialties are Hawaiian-style pork ribs, whole fried fish, and a katsu sandwich on Texas toast. Order by phone, in-person, or via Grubhub. DoorDash, and Uber Eats. Dine-in tables at the food court are available as well.
Shortie’s: Chef Amir Hajimaleki (District Kitchen, Oasthouse) and his brother Ali opened a new pizza and sandwich spot in North Shoal Creek in December 2020. Shortie’s Pizza & Grinders focuses on New England Greek-style pizza (cooked in cast iron pans) and grinders. It’s open for dine-in or carryout service. Order online.
Charoen Express: Chareon Express is a new ghost kitchen from chef Char Chongchitmate that debuted in December 2020 with Thai dishes like curries, noodles, omelettes, and more. It’s available for call-in orders and through many third-party delivery apps.
Sammataro: The pizza trailer, from former Brooklynites Daniel Sorg, Isaac Flores, Townsend Smith, and designer Kelsey Flores, serves huge, old-school New York pizza, using a dough fermented for 48 hours. The truck and its massive wood-fired oven are located at a cozy food truck park in Westlake as of December 2020. Order online or in person.
Qi: Chef Ling Qi Wu opened this higher-end version of her original restaurant Lin Asian Bar in October 2020 with a menu of lobster dumplings, fried rice with truffle and eggs, and her popular soup dumplings. Place pickup orders online, and the restaurant is open for dine-in service.
Cuatro Gato: The owners of fun-loving dance bar Coconut Club teamed up with the duo behind Arepa Dealers to open a coffee shop in downtown Austin in October 2020. In addition to coffee drinks including the Dirty Corazon (chocolate, espresso, steamed milk), cococcino (an espresso with coconut syrup), and horchata cold brew (plus alcoholic iterations), there are dishes combining the Arepa Dealer owners Anissa del Rosario Schiek and Jose Tomas Garcia’s Filipino and Venezuelan heritages, like arepas, aji de gallina, and cachapas con queso Guayanés. Place pickup orders online, and the cafe is open for dine-in service.
Retired in April 2021
Carabao Express: Filipino food truck Carabao Express turned into a physical restaurant in September 2020, serving up staple dishes such as chicken adobo, lechon kawali sisig, kumpias, deep-fried plantain rolls, and, as an added bonus, Dole Whips. The restaurant is open for patio dine-in, takeout, and delivery services.
Vivian’s Boulangerie: Pastry chef Kendall Melton finally has her own bakery, an ode to French (read: butter-heavy) pastry and her late cat Vivian, in July. Melton of course features her famed almond croissants — as well as a host of other goodies like galettes, cookies, and flavored syrups, all with a touch of sparkle. Her online shop also has rotating seasonal savory options, like a roasted mushroom and gruyere croissant, perfect for lunches. Order online for pickups or deliveries.
Retired in March 2021
Golden Castle: Inspired by the small sliders of White Castle, Golden Castle is a slider and cocktail pop-up at the historic Hoffbrau Steakhouse on West Sixth. In addition to sliders by the dozen or half dozen, there are crinkle-cut fries, and occasional specials. Drinks come courtesy Whisler’s owner Scranton Twomey, in to-go flasks and cans. Place pickup orders online or in person.
Island Thyme Grill: The fast-casual north campus restaurant, which opened in December, is all about Caribbean fare. The customizable bowls, wraps, and salads can be made with mains such as jerk chicken, mojo pork, plantains, and even Beyond Beef Crumbles, alongside a mess of beans, roasted peppers, and pickled vegetables. The restaurant is open for takeout and dine-in services.
The Vegan Yacht: Food truck the Vegan Yacht transformed into a physical restaurant in September in the Westgate neighborhood. The favorite freeto burrito (made with tempeh chili) is available, as well as other vegan burritos, bowls, hot dogs, and even a freeto pie. Pickup orders can be placed online, and there is dine-in service.
Retired in February 2021
Aba: Chicago’s biggest restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You, opened its first Texas restaurant in October in Austin. This means the brand’s Mediterranean restaurant Aba, whose menu features Israeli, Lebanese, Turkish, and Greek cuisines. This means dishes such hummus, kebabs, and even khachapuri, the cheesy bread dish from the country of Georgia. The restaurant is open for takeout, dine-in, and curbside pickup services.
Lick it Up: The vegan Tex-Mex truck from El Paso that attracts flocks of people has expanded to Spider House Cafe near campus. Look for comfort food dishes like carne asada fries, a green chile burger, flautas, and many kinds of tacos. There’s a new second location in downtown, at Rainey Street Bar Parlor Room. Order online for pickup orders, and both Spider House’s patio and Parlor are open for dine-in services, too.
Little Ola’s Biscuits: Olamaie’s not-so-secret off-menu biscuits have taken on a life of its own in July as the fast-casual Little Ola’s Biscuits, from James Beard Award nominee Michael Fojtasek and lauded pastry chef Jules Stoddart. In addition to plain biscuits with honey butter and many varieties of biscuit sandwiches (ham and cheese, sausage and cheese, fried chicken), Little Ola’s also has stellar cocktails from Beverage Director Erin Ashford, pastries, and heartier dinner-only dishes like chicken fried steak. Place pickup orders online.
Luck’s: Fast-casual burger restaurant Luck’s, a marriage of Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen and Zen Japanese Food Fast, serves Asian-inspired sandwiches and burgers in the North Shoal Creek neighborhood. In addition to the creative wagyu burgers (like one with tempura onion rings and miso mustard), there are katsu sandwiches, vegan burgers, and sides. Luck’s is open for dine-in, delivery through Uber Eats, or pickup. Order online.
Smokin’ Beauty: The barbecue and Vietnamese restaurant opened in North Austin in August, serving brisket banh mi, cheeseburgers, and traditional barbecue sides, along with a full menu of cocktails and even boba shots. The restaurant is an expansion from the owners of a similar food truck Ted’s Farm BBQ. It’s open for to-go orders via its website or the drive-thru and dine-in service.
Retired in January 2021
Kasian Boil: The Wells Branch Asian-Cajun restaurant opened just at the beginning of the pandemic, and has since expanded with a second location out in Cedar Park as of August. The stars of the menu are the giant seafood platters, full of crawfish, shrimp, and crab. The restaurant is open for dine-in, takeout, drive-thru, and delivery services.
Kitchen United Mix: Austin’s first ghost kitchen hub features 15 restaurants serving out of a shared location in Wooten. Options include local restaurants like Taco y Torta from beloved Tex-Mex restaurant Eldorado Cafe, ramen from Ramen 512, bao from Bao’d Up, as well as larger chains like Hawaiian Bros and PF Chang’s To-Go. Order online for pickup or delivery.
Two Hands: New York-based, Australian-style cafe Two Hands opened in October with an all-day menu. On the brunchier side of things, there are coffee drinks, toasts, sandwiches, and sweet breads, while for dinner, there are bowls, burgers, salads, and cocktails. Place pickup orders online, and there’s dine-in service too.
Retired in December 2020
Jewboy Burgers: Popular food truck Jewboy Burgers morphed into a full-fledged restaurant on Airport Boulevard. Inspired by owner Mo Pittle’s Jewish upbringing and favorite Tex-Mex dishes from his hometown of El Paso, the restaurant serves burgers, burritos, latkes, and other satisfying dishes. To-go orders can be placed over the phone or online, and the restaurant is open for dine-in service.
L.E. Meals: The food stand in Hancock from owner and chef Alexandria Hollowell serves Gullah Geechee and New Orleans Creole fare like shrimp and grits, an alfredo sauce made with jumbo lump crab meat, and a jarred key lime pie dessert. Order online or through Favor delivery.
Le Cowboy: Grae Nonas, the co-founding chef of Southern restaurant Olamaie and opening chef at Carpenters Hall, has taken over the small building that previously housed Mum Food Deli at the former Eastside Cafe space. His new restaurant, Le Cowboy, focuses on Italian dishes like fresh-made stracciatella cheese, chocolate mousse, and lots of pasta (think strozzapreti all’Amatriciana). Place pickup orders online, and there is patio dine-in service too.
Roots Chicken Shak: The Mueller location of the beloved Texas grocery store H-E-B has a new food hall, Main Streat. There are six food stalls, including the first Austin location of Roots Chicken Shak, a restaurant from Top Chef alum Tiffany Derry specializing in duck-fat fried chicken. Other stalls come from the H-E-B brand: True Texas BBQ, Calle Taqueria, Yumai Japanese Grill, The Meltery, and Bar at Mueller. The food hall is open for takeout and dine-in services, and free Favor deliveries.
Try Hard Coffee Roasters: The newer East Austin coffee shop serves up a simple and excellent array of tacos — breakfast and lunch — on house-made tortillas with the usual suspects, from migas to carnitas. Pair that with one of the pastries (the cinnamon roll is a winner) and a coffee (the owners are nationally recognized baristas), and you’re set. To-go orders can be placed in person, and there’s patio dine-in service.
Retired in November 2020
Salt & Time Cafe: Popular East Austin butcher shop Salt & Time opened a new casual restaurant in Republic Square Park, with a casual menu of bowls, sandwiches, and salads, as well as breakfast options like egg sandwiches and pastries. To drink, there’s coffee, juices, beer, and wine. Order online for pickup or delivery daily. Patio seating at the park is available.
Rogue Radish: Located at 2113 Manor Road, former Pitchfork Pretty chef Max Snyder has opened his own plant-focused food truck, Rogue Radish. The small menu includes a salad, roasted veggie noodles, and a vegan bowl (with the option to add goat meat or eggs and mushrooms). Place pickup orders online.
Old Thousand: The popular East Austin Chinese-American restaurant expanded into Brentwood this month, bringing along brisket fried rice, mala fried chicken, and kung pao cauliflower. It’s open for takeout orders placed online, and third-party delivery services only for now.
Retired in March 2020
Provision: Provision has taken over the former Red’s Porch with a sports-bar vibe, emphasis on low-ABV cocktails, and approachable food like a short rib quesadilla. Co-owner and chef Albert Gonzalez has quite the culinary resume, with positions as culinary director at Red’s Porch, as well as executive chef of upscale Mexican restaurant Grizzelda’s, executive chef of Jacoby’s, and now-closed Apothecary Wine Bar.
Little Deli: Always great pizzeria Little Deli expanded with a second restaurant in Windsor Park, with means more Jersey-style thin-crust pies and sandwiches in an easygoing, counter-service environment.
Spread & Co.: This Rosedale restaurant, an expansion of a catering business with the same name, is focused on all-day cheese, with charcuterie boards, sandwiches, and more. There are also salads, breakfast dishes, beer, wine, and plans for dessert boards soon.
TenTen: Downtown Austin’s latest restaurant is the sleek Japanese spot from the company behind nearby lounge Devil May Care. Of particular interest are the raw options, like the very fancy nigiri (toro paired with caviar and nikiri sauce), sashimi, and what is found under the “new-style” section, essentially raw fish paired with sauces.
Julie Myrtille Bakery: The farmers market stand is now a full-on bakery within the food hall-esque building at Govalle creative complex Springdale General. On deck of the counter-service storefront are pastries and baked goods galore like brioche, brownies, and tarts, along with other dishes such as sweet and savory crepes, quiches, and sandwiches.
The Meteor: The combination pizzeria/wine bar/cafe/bike shop on South Congress allows the founders to explore all the things they love, according to co-founder Chris St. Peter. Pizza, which comes in varieties like mozzarella and summer squash, is sold by weight, and the wine selection skews natural. There are other dishes like chicken shawarma bowls.
Retired in February 2020
DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya: Eater Austin’s restaurant of 2019 is the upscale shabu-shabu (hot pot) restaurant DipDipDip Tatsu-ya on Burnet Road, the latest addition to the Tatsu-ya family. Diners cook meats, vegetables, and noodles tableside in pots of broth and add sauces to taste. There’s a full bar, too, sleek dark decor from McCray & Co., and an outdoors ice cream stand.
Swedish Hill: Renowned Austin hospitality company McGuire Moorman took over the 30-year-old Clarksville bakery and the result is a sleek cafe inspired by New York standby Russ & Daughters. In addition to bagels, deli meats, and tempting pastries, the restaurant serves beer, wine, and a Saturday evening prix fixe from chef Page Pressley, an alum of lauded Rainey Street restaurant Emmer & Rye.
Retired in January 2020
Southside Market & Barbeque: What’s considered the state’s oldest barbecue joint from Elgin opened its first-ever Austin location last month at the Shops at Arbor Walk. On deck are Southside’s signature sausages, ranging from beef to jalapeno-cheddar, along with the usual barbecue staples, available by the half-pound, plates, and sandwiches.
Comedor: The hotly anticipated restaurant from chefs Philip Speer and Gabe Erales is finally here. With a modern Mexican focus, the upscale restaurant in a stunning space features the chefs’ takes on Mexican dishes. Take the rich bone marrow with smoked butter and hoja santa-pecan gremolata served with a side of fresh tortillas, or the fun masa dumplings served with beans and mushrooms. Even better: Speer is back on his pastry game, which means inventive desserts like his play on tres leches cake topped with burnt meringue and doused in corn milk.
Vaquero Taquero: The new Hyde Park restaurant from the now-closed popular food truck serves street-style tacos, breakfast tacos, and quesadillas. Brothers Daniel and Miguel Cobos make ample use of the trompo for a classic al pastor.
Vixen’s Wedding: Arrive East Austin Hotel’s main restaurant, Vixen’s Wedding. serves Goan-Portuguese fare, highlighting the South Asian region’s spices and citrus. The upscale restaurant’s gorgeous interior has a somewhat nautical theme, with bright colors, nets, and unique lamp fixtures. Behind the restaurant are Lenoir chefs Jessica Maher and Todd Duplechan.
Retired in December 2019
Mum Foods: The farmers market favorite opened up a physical deli and restaurant, albeit a temporary one (it’s staying open for about a year from its April 2019 opening date), on the former Eastside Cafe property. On deck are counter-service sandwiches filled with that ever-popular pastrami, turkey, or pimento cheese, among others; sides like salads, pickled vegetables, and chicken soup; plus breads from Swedish Hill’s Alex Manley and pastries by Madison Collins (yes, as a nod to the old Pork & Pie shop, there’s pie).
Oseyo: Oseyo (which means “welcome to my home”) offers Korean dishes inspired by owner Lynn Miller’s mother, who worked with the chefs to adapt her recipes for the restaurant. This includes a grilled short rib, rice and noodle bowls, and lots of banchan (side dishes). The stylish restaurant serves cocktails, too.
Retired in October 2019
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking: A second location of Jack Gilmore’s Salt Traders Costal Cooking has opened closer to town, boasting seafood dishes like chowder and grilled fish, jalapeno hushpuppies, and a stocked raw bar.
Vamonos: Parkside Projects chef Shawn Cirkiel converted the former Spanish tapas restaurant into a neighborhood Tex-Mex spot in Hyde Park. The “ranch-style” menu was created with the help of Chris Martinez (Mi Cocina, El Arroyo, Taco Diner). There are with gooey enchiladas (plus optional eggs), grilled entrees like Gulf redfish and ribeye, and combination plates with flour tortillas.
The Yard Milkshake Bar: Over-the-top milkshakes and other sweet treats arrived in the Domain, courtesy of Alabama-based chain the Yard Milkshake Bar. The casual spot serves milkshakes in pints and quarts with lots of toppings, ice cream, and cookie dough scoops.
Retired in September 2019
East Austin Hotel: The hotel on East Sixth Street has three restaurants: The Upside (which has a rooftop patio), casual Pool Bar by the hotel’s pool, and Sixth & Waller, an all-day international restaurant. All serve cocktails and a similar menu of comfort food like a burger, nachos, and a mango cream pie.
Uroko: Kome co-owners Kayo Asazu and Takehiro Asazu joined forces with former Uchi chef Masazumi Saio for a three-in-one Japanese restaurant in East Austin with the Springdale General space. First, there is the casual, counter-service temaki (aka hand rolls) during the daytime. Then there’s the quick reservations-only omakase menu with 12 pieces for $65. And finally, there are weekly sushi classes.
Retired in September 2019
Kyōten Sushiko: The stellar Japanese restaurant is back in the Mueller neighborhood with a new head chef, Sarah Cook. The omakase-only dinner in the intimate space spruced up with homey details features about 16 to 20 items per meal, including a whole bunch of thoughtful nigiri. Reservations are $150.
Lefty’s Brick Bar: Arrive East Austin Hotel’s more casual bar restaurant, Lefty’s, reflects chef Todd Duplechan’s upbringing in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, and the city’s Vietnamese, Indian, and Cajun influences. That means combinations like banh boys (like Gulf shrimp with nuoc leo) as well as boozy sno-ball drinks and ice cream sandwiches.
Retired in August 2019
Carpenter’s Hall: The Carpenter Hotel’s restaurant Carpenters Hall sees the return of Grae Nonas, who was a co-founding chef of Olamaie. The Texas comfort menu features hearty fare like pastas, schnitzel, and, of course, a burger.
Cuba 512: The popular South Austin Cuban restaurant opened a downtown branch this month. The table-service spot features classic Cuban dishes like ropa vieja, plus mojitos and Cuban coffee as drinks, available for lunch and dinner.
Retired in July 2019
Otherside Deli: The food truck famous for its pastrami finally expanded to a brick-and-mortar. The menu serves the same menu of sandwiches, with some new additions like a cheesesteak and meatball sub as well as latkes and lox.
Domo Alley-Gato: This cat-adorned patio bar adjacent to Ramen Tatsu-ya on East Sixth serves a 23-spice Japanese curry in a variety of ways, as well as wings and a hot dog from food truck Karē Ban Ban. There’s also highball cocktails and the option to top beer with a flavored frozen foam cap.
Gabrick Barbecue: Located in honky tonk bar 290 West Club, Gabrick Barbecue revels in its country roots with menu items like smoked and fried chicken wings, bacon burnt ends, and more traditional barbecue sandwiches and tacos. Pitmaster Mark Gabrick, who owned Brick’s Barbecue in Florida but moved to Austin to be closer to family, plans to add more menu items in time.
Retired in June 2019
Tio Pepe Chicken: Third-generation restauranteur Pepe Garcia opened his Portuguese-style grill Tio Pepe Chicken after falling in love with peri-peri sauce while traveling through Portugal. Tio Pepe serves grilled chicken with choice of sauce and heat level, sides, and desserts.
Bar Peached: Asian-Southern comfort food restaurant Peached Tortilla opened a new bar/restaurant in Clarksville with a similar approach to food and drink. The fusion menu spans the particularly spicy mapo bolognese, tacos filled with spiced cauliflower or crispy braised pork shoulder, and fluffy bingsu. The table-service restaurant features plenty of outdoor patio seating.
Uncle Nicky’s: The casual Hyde Park Italian cafe is run by an all-star team from Italian restaurant Juniper, neighborhood bar Nickel City, and Detriot-style pizza shop Via 313, and the attention to food, drink, and hospitality shows. There’s a heavy emphasis on bread-based dishes, from the pane tostatos (basically bruschetta) topped with mortadella, whipped salt cod, or pine nut butter and dried fig compote; plus sandwiches and excellent pastries.
Chispas: San Antonio chef Jason Dady’s casual taco restaurant is a much-needed addition to downtown. Try the pork belly adobado or the duck confit carnitas on soft corn tortillas.
Kinda Tropical: This laid-back east side bar and convenience store has finally reopened, with a new chef, to boot. John Clark DiCicco, who came from Olamaie and is also a co-owner, has crafted a menu that includes a brunch waffle made with CBD oil (and a giant hemp leaf decoration).
Retired in May 2019
Interstellar BBQ: Noble Sandwich Company converted its further north location into this solid barbecue restaurant. Highlights include pulled pork, pickled vegetables, and of course tender brisket.
Plaza Colombian: This Colombian cafe and bakery in South Austin serves strong coffee, empanadas and arepas, and larger entrees like green plantain soup.
Nervous Charlie’s: The North Austin bagel specialists import its dough from New York City. The shop serves a variety of bagels and schmears, plus bagel sandwiches, a few salads, and black and white cookies.
Retired in April 2019
Malibu Poke: The sleek new location of Dallas-based Malibu Poke has automated ordering of customizable poke bowls. James Beard-nominated chef Matt McCallister is behind the menu, which includes low-sugar cocktails and nontraditional items like smoked bonito aioli.
P6: Downtown’s newest rooftop bar at the Line Austin Hotel offers snacks and cocktails overlooking Lady Bird Lake. Split the sharable almond mai tai, comté gougères (warm cheese puffs), and dessert like limoncello layer cake.
Retired in March 2019
Sweet Chive: Serving Taiwanese and Chinese specialties from chef and owner Phoenix Pai, Sweet Chive focuses on comforting food like noodle dishes, brunch congee, and many kinds of dumplings. The counter-service Holly restaurant also offers drinks like tea and boba, with beer, wine, and sake cocktails to be added at a later date.
Darcy’s Donkey: This Irish pub on Barton Springs serves pints, meat pies, and many, many kinds of potatoes. In true pub spirit, there are also television screens for watching games and live music.
Retired in January 2019
Bird Bird Biscuit: The fast-casual Cherrywood restaurant is very focused: the daytime spot only serves biscuit sandwiches courtesy of chef Brian Batch. Fillings range from fried chicken thighs slathered with cayenne-black pepper honey and bacon-infused chipotle mayonnaise to the classic bacon, egg, and cheese combination.
Sour Duck Market: The latest offering from the Odd Duck team is a bakery, bar, and all-day restaurant rolled up into one. Wake up with a latte and croissant, dive right into a hefty burger, or just relax on the ample patio with a beer or draft cocktail.
40 North: The popular Neapolitan pizza trailer is back as a brick-and-mortar found in a cute bungalow. Under chef Clint Elmore, the restaurant serves classic pies from the trailer like tender eggplant as well as newer inventions like dandelion greens with pancetta and onion jam. For non-pizza items, there’s a sturdy burger and porchetta sandwich.
Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum: Wu Chow dim sum chef Ling Qi Wu opened up her own restaurant on West Sixth Street. Focused on dim sum, the menu features items like dumplings (both soup and pan-fried), soups, noodles and rice, vegetables, and entrees like sesame chicken and two kinds of roast duck. There’s also a full bar and a gorgeous, sleek interior.
Better Half Coffee & Cocktails: The Wright Bros. Brew & Brew team brought their coffee and food expertise over to the West 5th Street area with counter-service all-day cafe and bar Better Half. The focus is thoughtful yet easygoing dishes like cheeseburgers, biscuits, redfish tortas, plus top-notch coffee and cocktails in the small space with an expansive patio.
House of the Rising Tanuki-san: House of the Rising Tanuki-san (aka Tanuki) started as a pop-up in Aspen but migrated over to Austin to take over the former Basecamp spot downtown. It serves Southern-Asian fusion, with items like spicy chicken and bubble waffles.
Arlo Grey: Top Chef winner Kristen Kish is now in the hotel restaurant game at the Line Austin Hotel. The signature restaurant in the trendy hotel, Arlo Grey boasts a burger topped with cheesy pommes aligot, ricotta beignets served in creme fraiche with caviar, and a drink program from Brian Floyd, who was formerly with stellar cocktail bars Half Step and Weather Up.
Suerte: A Mexican restaurant with Texan ingredients, Suerte comes from Sam Hellman-Mass, a co-founding partner of Odd Duck, with chef Fermín Nuñez. One of Eater National’s best new restaurants of the year, the kitchen highlights its house-made masa from heirloom corn in a variety of tacos, tlayudas, and tamals. There are also oak-grilled meats and raw ceviches.
The Brewer’s Table: At the beer-focused restaurant, chef Zach Hunter sneaks beer ingredients into many plates, from beer grain spaetzle to toasted barley ice cream. Pair with a creation from head brewer Drew Durish, formerly of Live Oak, or choose from the large list of cocktails, beer, and wine.
Loro: Hai Hospitality’s hotly anticipated collaboration between Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin is a spacious Asian smokehouse with soaring interiors in a casual, counter-service setting. Franklin’s brisket gets the usual rave reviews, and items like oak-grilled snap peas, corn fritters, and chicken karaage keep the menu interesting. There’s a spacious patio for sipping the many creative cocktails.
Retired in December 2018
Home Slice: The second location of beloved New York-style pizzeria Home Slice has opened in North Loop, this one boasting a full bar and even funky interior. There are also newer menu items like square Sicilian-style pies and Buffalo chicken wings.
La Volpe: A fusion of Italian and Southern flavors, La Volpe (“the fox”) is situated next to sibling restaurant Cedar Door. Expect menu items like blue crab risotto, a pork chop, and sweet tea tiramisu. Designed by Jennifer Long, who also worked on C-Boy’s Heart & Soul on South Congress, the restaurant has themed decor and an outdoor courtyard.
Anthem: Offering “Tex-Asian” pub food, Anthem comes to Austin from Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group. The drink menu relies heavily on tiki flavors, and food includes items like an Aloha burger with spam, fish and chips with endamame, and waffle fries with miso aioli.
Joann’s Fine Food: Joann’s serves what they call California Tex-Mex cuisine (including, yes, that $32 chicken fried steak). Attached to the Austin Motel on South Congress, the all-day restaurant is the newest from the McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group.
Retired in November 2018
BonchonThe popular Korean fried chicken chain is now open in Round Rock, serving an expansive menu of wings, bibimbap, bulgogi, and kimchi plus tacos, sliders, and potstickers. There are over 230 Bonchon locations around the world.
Last Straw With lots of tropical drinks, solid snacks, and a cheeky menu, this East Sixth bar, from former Nickel City bar manager and general booze expert JR Mocanu, is a chill place to spend an evening. The food is meant to accompany the fun drinks, spanning nachos to dumplings to grilled cheeses to the large ssam with slow-roasted pork shoulder and lettuce wraps.
Tillie'sAs Camp Lucy transitions from a wedding venue to a luxury resort, it has added a restaurant to match. Tillie’s, which is housed in a Vietnamese town hall, serves New American fare for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner. Executive chef Brandon Martin formerly worked at Odd Duck, Barley Swine, Foreign & Domestic, Lenoir, and Old Thousand.
The SwitchStiles Switch’s venture out into Dripping Springs is finally here in the form of a casual restaurant in Belterra Village. Along with the usual smoked meats and sausages, there’s a Cajun side to the menu, with po’ boys, gumbo, blackened catfish, and the giant smoked and fried beef rib served over cheddar cheese grits. It makes sense with the mega-packed all-star team: lead pitmasters Lance Kirkpatrick and Bill Dumas, head chef Barclay Stratton, and partner Todd Duplechan, plus many other pitmasters.
Retired in October 2018
Eastern European fare came to North Shoal Creek in the form of the casual restaurant from co-owners of Borderless European Market. On deck are hearty Slavic dishes like bowls of borscht, plump pierogies, and rich beef stroganoff.
Housed in a gorgeous renovated Victorian mansion, Rosewood serves high-end Texas-inspired fare on an ever-rotating menu, with items like smoked mushrooms with a breaded duck egg, fried fish collars, and milanesa tacos.
Springboarding off New York City taverns, Gotham brings a causal restaurant and bar from the owners of Southwest Austin restaurant Cafe Malta. The menu serves up dishes like raw oysters, pastrami sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, along with cans of Guinness Stout in the casual table-service dining room.
N’Esperado Mexican Barbecue
This Mexican barbecue spot on South First has the spectrum of smoked meat (brisket, ribs, and chicken), with plenty of options for vegetarians too, like barbecue eggplant. Since it’s from the same team behind Tex-Mex-Indian restaurant Nasha, it also has Tex-Mex favorites like enchiladas, nachos, and chile relleno.
Retired in September 2018
Ramen Tatsu-yaThe revered noodle soup shop opened its third Austin restaurant right smack dab in the middle of East 6th Street. Expect the same beloved bowls of ramen, rice bowls, and matcha desserts, along with its first-time cocktail menu which includes a frozen plum wine/sake concoction.
Retired in August 2018
GuildSpacious and elegant, this seafood-focused restaurant from the Chameleon Group (Swift’s Attic, Wu Chow) is certainly a beautiful addition to North Lamar. Chef and partner Sterling Ridings is a former executive chef of Uchiko, which means a fresh, fully stocked raw bar. Don’t miss the unique risotto-like sunflower porridge with sunchokes and prawns.
Cruzteca Mexican Kitchen
From the team behind the food truck Mellizoz Tacos, this brick-and-mortar restaurant in Sunset Valley is popular for Tex-Mex plates. Cruzteca serves a variety of tacos, tortas, and enchiladas, with the light fried avocado taco proving to be a favorite.
MandalaThe latest addition to the Lamar Union, Mandala Kitchen + Bar serves modern and homestyle Vietnamese and Thai dishes. This means offerings like egg rolls, spicy curries, noodles, and different kinds of fried rice (Vietnamese, basil, and crawfish). Dig into the bánh khọt (crispy Vietnamese pancakes).
FaregroundWith stalls from heavy hitters (Dai Due Taqueria, Emmer & Rye’s Henbit, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, Contigo, Easy Tiger, and Ni-Kome), plus a bar, Fareground has solidified downtown Austin’s conversion to a food destination.
A bright and airy all-day spot from the team behind closed-forever Henri’s Cheese and Wine shop, Hank’s has a dedicated coffee bar as well as a sit-down restaurant. There’s also a drive-thru and dog-friendly patio. The menu includes a burger, pastas, and house-made pastries.
Retired in July 2018
Hudson’s Hill Country
A new iteration of Hudson’s on the Bend, Hudson’s Hill Country keeps many of the restaurant’s iconic dishes like hot and crunchy avocado and espresso-rubbed beef tenderloin. Its somewhat secluded location makes the twinkle-light patio all the more romantic.
Taking its name from the Western film The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (the name of the restaurant translates into the last word), the food at the East 6th Street restaurant is classic Italian fare. The simple but delicious pizzas, pastas (try the lasagna al bolognese), and desserts are best enjoyed on the large shaded patio. The tiramisu is a sure-fire hit.
Another East Side Italian restaurant focuses on contemporary fare in a finer-dining setting in Holly, where the menu has a meaty focus (think rabbit legs, duck breast, lamb shoulder). Even better: chocolate also takes the spotlight since co-owner Krystal Craig also runs Crave Artisan Chocolate. End meals with one of the assorted truffles
Retired in June 2018
Be More Pacific
The popular spicy chicken trailer has expanded to a brick and mortar on Burnet. The Nashville-style chicken comes in wimpy, hot, dang hot, and "fire in the hole" spice levels, and the larger location means added salads and margaritas.
This Southern newcomer to the Mueller development is designed to feel like a favorite relative’s home. Drop in for stick-to-your-ribs specialties like fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, biscuits, and fried chicken.
The Peruvian restaurant from the El Chile Group focuses on true South American classics in Cherrywood. Chef Maribel Rivero dishes out cebiches, skewers, sweet potato doughnuts, and more in the bright space along Manor Road, served alongside pisco sours and gin and tonics.
For Cedar Park Japanese restaurant’s South Austin location, Soto decided to focus more on sushi and higher-end options. The nigiri, sashimi, and roll array make use of fresh fish, truffles, uni, shiso, foie gras, and more. Plus there are other non-sushi items like gyoza, barbecue pork ribs, and uni pasta.
Retired in May 2018
The classic Detroit-style deep-dish pizza can be found just down the street from its former trailer location at Violet Crown Social House. The newt third brick and mortar restaurant also serves drinks, salads, and other new menu items.
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
The furniture shop/wine bar transformed into a full-on restaurant serving what it does best. Wine comes first, but food isn’t an afterthought. The wine region-inspired dishes range from cheese and charcuterie, pastas, mussels, to sharable fish, chicken, and beef. Desserts aren’t to be missed, either, especially with former Lenoir pastry chef Thomas Calhoun heading the entire kitchen.
Confituras Little Kitchen
Finally: Austin’s favorite jam company opened up its first brick-and-mortar, doling out seasonal jams (lemon curd, orange chili marmalade), biscuits, and baked goods made with recipes developed by pastry chef Lauren Shugart.
Retired in April 2018
McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group and Deep Eddy Cabaret ventured into the food truck world with its latest spot near Deep Eddy Pool out in West Austin. There are a whole bunch of burgers from simple to loaded (like the Blue Hawaiian, topped with grilled pineapple slices, bacon, crumbled blue cheese, and Thousand Island dressing), salads with a lot of mix-ins, and soft serve ice cream. It all pairs well with the tiki cocktail offerings
The health-obsessed restaurant chain expanded into downtown Austin, bringing much-needed avocado toasts, gluten-free mac and cheese, salads, and kombucha to Second Street in a casual setting.
The menu at the casual East Side sandwich shop is simple: paninis with charcuterie, cheese, and grilled and roasted vegetables; and a good emphasis on mozzarella and burrata. Plus there are Italian wines and beers in bright and airy space, complete with a patio.
Texas comfort food with seafood inflections is the goal of South Lamar’s latest counter-service restaurant TLC. On deck are spicy seafood boils, raw Gulf oysters, fried shrimp sandwiches, along with other protein choices like brisket and smoked pork. Plus the indoor and outdoor space features games, plentiful television screens, and swings.
The taco stand from the owners of P. Terry’s has proved so popular, its hours had to be adjusted to control the crowds. Look for crispy or soft tacos, burritos, quesadillas, taco salads, and a churro brownie.
The California-based fast-casual poke restaurant made its first mark on Texas, bringing forth poke boxes full of ahi tuna, rice, nori, kimchi, and more to Mueller. What makes this particular poke spot stand out are the cultishly beloved pineapple soft-serve Dole Whip.
Retired in March 2018
Callie Speer’s brunch-obsessed diner with punk rock vibes offers her takes on comfort food all day long in downtown Austin. This means expected diner fare with twists, like migas kolache, a burger topped with shaved ham and hash browns, and pie filling served with crust chips, plus pastries from chef Britt Castro (that giant cookie will last for days). The cocktails are just as good, especially since Jen Keyser is involved. The kickass all-female team doesn’t hurt either.
Veracruz All Natural
Austin’s best taco truck opened its first Austin-proper restaurant up in North Burnet. Along with the beloved and new tacos (migas, chicken milanesa), the restaurant dishes up chilaquiles, enchiladas, and open-face tacos, along with coffee from Machine Head Coffee.
Foreign & Domestic
Parkside alums Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley took over the North Loop restaurant from founding owner/chef Ned Elliott, and it resulted in new bright dishes that remain true to its New American roots. Take tomato tarts, seared lamb hearts, and duck egg and grains bowl. Don’t be afraid to explore the offal tasting menu.
Retired in February 2018
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches
Kolache’s the word at Batch, where the savory and sweet Czech pastries are filled with Micklethwait Craft Meats barbecue, cheese, fruits, nuts, meringues, and more. The MLK shop also features an extensive beer program with over 400 different bottles and cans to drink onsite or bring home.
From wine bar and tapas spot Winebelly comes Phoebe’s Diner, helmed by chef Camden Stuerzenberger. The smoke-inspired Texas diner whips out smoked pork ribs, brisket, and beets, along with buttermilk pancakes, cracked pepper biscuits, breakfast puffy tacos, and much more in a ’50s-inspired setting in South Austin.
Retired in January 2018
Similar to Foreign & Domestic, former Apis chef Adam Brick and Parkside Projects beverage director Paul Ozbirn took over Hyde Park wine bar Vino Vino. This means a new menu that thoughtfully focuses on layered dishes that happen to pair well with wine, from small plates like a take on chicken liver and hen egg to heartier entrees like mussels and beef patty melts. The space was also revamped and updated with new banquettes and the such.
Pitchfork Pretty chef Max Snyder draws inspiration from the Hill Country for the stunning East Cesar Chavez restaurant, which means comforting spaetzle, smoked beef ribs and tongue, lemon ice box pie, and a particularly good fried chicken that happens to be gluten-free, too. Weekday breakfast is all about bagels and morning sandwiches.
Spain comes to Austin in the form of this tapas and pinchos restaurant from Pablo Gomez, with plates with potatoes, octopus, ham, mushrooms, and more for dinner, all on South Lamar. The gin and tonic lineup is worth a wander too.
Retired in December 2017
101 by Teahouse
Tea Haus’ newest restaurant tackles fast-casual Asian cuisine out in Highland. The Airport Boulevard restaurant's menu serves as an exploration of the continent, from Taiwanese beef noodles to Korean chicken wings to Japanese curry cutlets. The counter service space also mixes up cocktails and offers pastries.
Krua Urban Thai
Krua Urban Thai took over Barley Swine’s old home in South Lamar, turning it into a true Thai restaurant. The kitchen, under the guidance of chef/owner Sam Sampaotong (who also ran Thai truck Aroi Thai Cuisine) with noodles, fried rice (including a crab option), and brunch to come.
Retired in November 2017
Kula Revolving Sushi Bar: The fast casual Japanese chain made its Austin mark up near Highland Village, with a very fast concept: dishes zoom by on conveyor belts, and diners can pick and choose what they want to eat, from sushi, ramen, mochi, and more.
Bao’d Up: It’s all about the bao at Xian Sushi and Noodle’s fast-casual restaurant in Mueller. The steamed buns, freshly made each day, come stuffed with juicy pork, egg cream, a vegetable assortment that includes tofu, or just plain. Or opt for sandwich versions with the gua bao, with pork belly, fried tofu, or crispy chicken.
ATX Cocina: Upscale modern Mexican comes to downtown Austin with ATX Cocina, where fresh masa is made daily for tortillas, alongside crudo and shareable dishes like queso fundido, and barbacoa short ribs.
Native: While the upscale hostel restaurant and bar isn’t open 24/7 just yet, it does serve up a comforting diner-inspired fare. Think fully loaded waffle fry nachos and a solid fried chicken sandwich, which pair well with strong beverage and coffee menus.
Retired in October 2017
JT Youngblood’s: The legendary Texas chain J.T. Youngblood’s is once again offering its famous Texas-style fried chicken. The counter service restaurant in Mueller also has rotisserie chicken, pies, yeast rolls, soft serve, shakes, and sides. There’s also a takeout window for picnics around the lake.
Veggie Heaven: Fans of the original campus restaurant can relax: Veggie Heaven was revived in new digs with a new menu focus (vegan as opposed to vegetarian). The menu features with old favorites like the Protein 2000 with brown sauce and new ones like the Protein Vader with soy protein doused in Sichuan sauce, served on a sizzling plate.
Happy Chicks: Chicago deep dish pizza spot Gino's is gone and in its place on Dirty Sixth is the new chicken tender restaurant and bar Happy Chicks. The breaded poultry strips can be paired with 15 different dipping sauces and cocktails from the full bar.
Don Japanese: The popular campus truck lives on with its brick and mortar on the Drag, serving its Japanese rice bowls. The donburi options range from tofu to fatty tuna to katsu pork, along with sides of karaage, seaweed salad, and other Japanese bites.
Bonhomie: Philip Speer’s French-bistro-meets-American-diner finally arrived. Stop by the Allandale restaurant for a brisket croissant with pho jus dip, pommes rosti a plenty, roasted chicken, banana split profiteroles, an applause-worthy burger, and more.
Mattie’s: After stunning renovations, old Austin favorite Green Pastures reopened as Mattie's under new ownership. Executive chef Joshua Thomas, formerly of the defunct Chaat Shop food truck, helms the kitchen, which serves updates on rustic American fare for dinner and brunch. (And yes, the peacocks remain around the grounds.)
Retired in September 2017
Tiny Boxwoods: The Houston import comes bearing a stylish space, bistro-style dishes, and those ever-popular chocolate chip cookies. Daytime hours include its famous boozy weekend brunches.
Kinda Tropical: The East Side bodega comes bearing toasts, eggs, grilled meats and vegetables, ramen, curry, and much more. The Rainbow Rice Bowl isn't to be missed, especially with a side of the fried sweet plantains.
Retired in August 2017
PS 35: Former 40 North pizza slinger Clint Elmore took his talents out to Round Rock with new pizzeria PS 35. The New York-inspired restaurant and beer garden focus on city-style pies and Italian-American dishes for lunch and dinner.
My Name Is Joe Coffee: Philip Speer pops up again, this time with a trailer for a charitable purpose. The menu features coffee and a few breakfast faves like toasts, oatmeal, and tartines in downtown Austin. He set up the trailer as a way to help those who struggle with similar dependencies. The Airstream employs people in recovery, and a percent of sales are donated to Comfort Cafe, a donation-only restaurant in Smithville run by residents of an addiction treatment center.
Velvet Taco: The Dallas favorite is serving up its funky taco varieties in the Domain Northside with late night hours. Round out a meal with sides, margaritas, and velvet cake, or get the Backdoor Chicken to-go. Simply knock on the back door and ask for the $20 special, and get a whole slowly roasted rotisserie chicken, tortillas, two sides of elote-style corn with crema, homemade heat sauce, and fresh pico de gallo. Yes, really.
Retired in July 2017
Kuneho: Paul Qui got rid of his flagship restaurant and in its place is Kuneho, a new Japanese restaurant that focuses on small bites with sushi, deep-fried dishes, crudo, and more. Try the salmon butter and uni toast.
Fumaça Gaucha Brazilian Steakhouse: Get a taste of from southern Brazil at this East Austin steakhouse. It's all you-can-eat meats including an array of 15 different cuts of beef, lamb, chicken, pork, and sausage — all grilled to taste — for one price. That price also includes access to a plentiful salad bar, hot cheese bread, caramelized bananas, and other traditional dishes.
Tillery Kitchen and Bar: Feel relaxed anywhere within and outside of the East Cesar Chavez restaurant, Tillery, where the patio really is king, where the sprawling outdoor space overlooks the Colorado River. Find a menu with Mediterranean influences and beyond, like skewers with pita, Greek salad, and even rotating pie specials, all with tapped wine and beer.
Pizzeria Sorellina: Apis applied its perfectly-executed techniques to its next-door casual pizzeria out in Spicewood, resulting in pies topped with like the maitake mushroom, which comes with both fermented and dried shiitake cream for extra depth, and a complete array of house-cured salumi.
El Burro: Vox Table’s second restaurant tackled Mexican cuisine in the same neighborhood. On deck are tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, queso, and more. Make the meal more decadent with fancier meat choices like lobster tail and brisket.
Retired in June 2017
Red Ash: Red Ash’s fiery approach to Italian recalls a return to basics in downtown Austin. The focused menu includes classic pasta (gnocchi, pappardelle), steaks, and other wood grilled dishes (octopus, lobster tails, pork chops).
Vigilante: The Crestview newcomer Vigilante brings the power trio of food, drink and board games (more than 150 different titles) together. The food menu features hand-held faves like skewers, sliders, and cookies, while the beverage list highlights lots of local beers.
Bougie’s: Fancy doughnuts hit Sunset Valley when this spot debuted with noteworthy flavors like lemon lavender, maple bacon, blueberry cardamom, and Mexican hot chocolate. Bonus: There’s a full-service coffee program with beans from Cuvee.
Retired in May 2017
Sprinkles: It's dessert any time at Sprinkles' first Austin location in the Domain Northside thanks to an all-hours cupcake vending machine. The Los Angeles-based cupcake empire offers long-time favorites and more unusual creations such as chai latte, banana dark chocolate, and triple cinnamon. There are gluten-free, vegan, and sugar-free versions too.
Old Thousand: East Side finally gets a neighborhood-friendly Chinese restaurant, serving up family dishes with twists. Think creamy dan dan noodles, soothing rice congee, and spicy chongqing chicken. Even better: you can order almost everything for takeout.
Grizzelda’s: From the team behind rustic ranch-inspired Jacoby’s comes to the upscale Mexican eatery, serving up dishes ranging from empanadas, ceviche, tacos, and heartier plates. Of course, the steak comes from the family ranch out in Melvin. For drinks, find cocktails and a strong tequila list.
Aviator Pizza and Drafthouse: The Elgin pizzeria made its way over to South Congress with pizza pies, calzones, sandwiches, and beer in tow.
Retired in April 2017
Eberly: The spacious South Lamar restaurant offers different spaces to enjoy classic drinks, wood-fired fare, and decadent desserts. The Cedar Tavern lounge hosts a piece of drinking history in the form of the bar direct from New York City. The study room’s bright and airy atmosphere makes it easy to linger for dinner. Then there’s the dining room proper with comfortable seating good for small or large parties. Look out for daytime menus, including brunch, in the near future.
Salt Traders Coastal Cooking: Out in Round Rock, chef Jack Gilmore tackles his first new concept in a while, which is all about seafood. There are so many options to choose from, like the raw bar, tacos, fried fish, and a few land creatures (chicken, steak) thrown in for good measure.
EastSide Tavern: Barbecue newcomer EastSide Tavern focuses smoked meats and quick and easy cocktails. This means plates along with other barbecue-filled dishes like baked potatoes, brisket patty melts, and cheesy brisket tater tots, along with classic cocktails and frozen rose.
Brentwood Social House: Brentwood Social House brings a touch of Britain with its community-focused cafe. Baker Sarah Olano is whipping up frittatas, tarts, all sorts of sweet and savory pastries, along with a breakfast pie.
DeSano Pizzeria Napoletana: One of Nashville’s essential restaurants decided to expand over into North Shoal Creek, firing up Neapolitan pies in one of the four wood-fired ovens, alongside calzones, pizza desserts, and more. Everything is sourced from Italy.
Retired in March 2017
Second Bar + Kitchen: Head to far north for Second Bar’s second restaurant within the Archer Hotel. This means room service, pool and terrace menus, and branching into morning dishes, alongside creative cocktails, strong wine offerings, and the ever-favorite burgers among other dishes.
Picnik: Paleo-friendly fare has a larger home with the food truck’s new brick and mortar on Burnet, where butter coffee and bone broth are joined with expanded offerings like DIY tacos (an homage to previous tenant Fork & Taco), breakfast, and gluten-free alcohol.
The Beer Plant: Those looking for vegan fare have a safe haven with the Beer Plant, where the menu is completely plant-based, from cashew queso, buffalo cauliflower "wings," and beet bacon, which’ll pair nicely with its selection of beer.
Sophia's: Austin’s ever-going trendy cuisine is still strong with Italian-forward Sophia’s, found in the shuttered Bess Bistro space. The elegant space (plush chairs, leather banquettes) is the setting for Italian-American cuisine, from meatballs, an array of pasta, to even tiramisu served push-up pop style (it works).
Fresa's Chicken Al Carbon: Fresa’s takeover of Freddie’s Place on South First means an expansive patio with musical stage intact for concerts, full-on margaritas, plated desserts, and way more wood-fired entrees (steak, bass) and dishes like quesadillas and tostadas. For those who still like their Fresa’s on the go, there’s a dedicated takeout window with accompanying parking.
Taste of Ethiopia: The Pflugerville favorite brought its Ethiopian fare closer to Austin proper with its second location out on South Congress Avenue, serving spongy injera, stews, and a dedicated vegetarian lunch buffet.
Retired in February 2017
Kyoten Sushiko: Kyoten the sushi trailer grew up into the fully-blown sushi restaurant Kyoten Sushiko, which allows owner/chef Otto Phan’s obsessive detail to all things-fish to really shine. Reservations for the $150 omakase dinner can be made on Tock or just walk in for lunch or order takeout.
Forthright: The relaxed downtown cafe strong breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus offering interesting variations on typical fare like quinoa brulee and curried rice with smoked fish, alongside other sturdy dishes, like croque monsieur, burgers, and avocado toast. Even better: there's a strong cocktail list with classic drinks.
June's: The latest from Larry McGuire and June Rodil is a bistro bearing an easy-going breakfast (granola, smoked whitefish board), and richer entrees for the rest of the day. Don't miss the warming matzo ball caldo, and the treats from the bakeshop. Of course, the wine list is carefully-curated since its namesake sommelier is involved.
Cane Rosso: Neapolitan pies from Dallas arrived in town with Cane Rosso, where the wood-fired pies come with mozzarella, meats, and vegetables. Exclusive to Austin are the Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ collaborative pie with brisket and the huge three-foot pizzas.
Retired in January 2017
L'Oca d'Oro: Expect freshly-made pasta and wood-grilled entrees with an emphasis on sharing from Austin's Italian newcomer in Mueller, run by the same people behind the pop-up supper club series, including Eater Austin's chef of the year Fiore Tedesco.
Boiler Nine Bar + Grill: The Seaholm restaurant offers up three different experiences. First, there's the main dining room, serving a solid fire-centric menu with smoked meaty entrees. Don’t forgo the spicy muhammara dip with sesame crackers. Downstairs is cocktail lounge the Boiler Room, with strong cocktail offerings, and then trek upstairs to Deck Nine for easygoing food and drinks with a nice view.
Lucy's Chicken on the Fly: Chef James Holmes closed his longtime, upscale comfort food restaurant Olivia and turned it into the fourth iteration of his famous fried chicken chain. This time, Lucy’s on the Fly focuses particularly on the takeout and delivery aspects of the restaurant, offering a shorter menu featuring plenty of bird, plus a new burger and fried chicken sandwich. Don’t worry: customers can still eat within the restaurant, taking advantage of the dining room with murals of the ladies of Lucy’s, and ample outdoor seating.
Retired in December 2016
General Tso’Boy: In Rock Rose comes Chinese-American po’boys courtesy of General Tso-Boy’s brick and mortar, with fillings like the namesake General Tso's chicken, honey walnut shrimp, and mapo tofu. There's strong soft serve, too.
Ola Poke: Poke blows into Austin with the fast-casual Hawaiian restaurant, where the marinated fish is available by the pound or in customizable bowls. Other Pacific Rim dishes include loco moco and spammy musubi. Guests can also fill up with hibachi-grilled meats and Korean fare.
Coast: From wine bar to seafood, Coast’s transformation of Mulberry brings water-dwelling entrees like barbecue prawns and fish tacos, along with other dishes and cocktails.
Poke Poke: The poke stand from Venice Beach made its way to Austin, pairing the Hawaiian fish dish with signature or customizable bowls with wine. Go mega hot with JT's Poke Bowl, loaded with hot peppers, hot sauces, and chili oil.
Retired in November 2016
Chicon: From Gardner’s ashes rose Chicon, the mostly-indoors restaurant from Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton. The Contigo 2.0’s menu resembles the patio haven’s, from thoughtful bar snacks to sharable meaty entrees. Don’t skip the goat and gnocchi or the everything pork roll.
Irene’s: Early morning and late nights cravings will be satisfied by ELM Restaurant Group’s latest project, full of pastries and comfort foods, with a healthy dose of coffee and booze. Plus, there are steaks, pot pies, toasts, and a strong whiskey selection. Take your seating pick from the offbeat interior (yes, that is a portion of an airplane) or the wide-open patio near Shoal Creek.
Snooze: Snooze delivers nothing but brunch for Austinites with its first location. The Colorado-based chain brings Bloody Marys (including one made with fish sauce), pancake flights, and so many eggs Benedict variations. North Austinites can check out the North Lamar location.
Retired in October 2016
Otoko: Book your ticket and enjoy the show as Yoshi Okai perform his sushi-making and cooking dance in front of the crowd of 12. The changing menu focuses on very fresh and simply-prepared sushi and inventive small dishes like fried tuna tendon and blood orange concoction. Pop into next-door bar Watertrade for a pre-dinner drink, open only to Otoko diners.
Jinya Ramen: The ramen chain made its Austin debut with a strong variety of the noodle soups, including chicken broths.
Retired in September 2016
East Side King Thai Kun: Thai Kun's brick and mortar doles out spicy fare like the unsuspecting papaya salad and larb, along with family-style entrees for dinner with whole fish and roasted chicken. Ease your tongue with the refreshingly light sake-based draft cocktails. Plus, it’s part of the Domain Northside’s new entertainment district Rock Rose, which is worth a wander.
Emmer & Rye: Grains, very local and seasonal produce, and fermentation are the center of Kevin Fink’s Rainey Street restaurant. Along with the small plates, check out the dim sum-style service for limited a la carte dishes.
Musaschino: Beloved sushi restaurant Musashino came back to a new home near West Campus, serving the same craveable raw fish bites.
Veracruz All Natural: Austin’s favorite taco trailer opened up its long-awaited brick and mortar, though in Round Rock. Order the same beloved tacos (don't miss out on the migas) and aguas frescas while keeping an eye out for daily specials like whole roasted fish and enchiladas.
Vinaigrette: The New Mexico salad import comes into Austin offering big salads, vegetable-based cocktails, and fancier protein (indulge with scallops on your greens), with a relaxing patio underneath a live oak tree.
Wu Chow: Soup dumplings are here with the unveiling of Wu Chow from the Swift’s Attic team. The dinner and dim sum menus feature modern Chinese dishes like Sichuan braised eggplant, Shanghai rice cakes, and wontons. The bar also serves a tiki-style cocktail menu.
Retired in August 2016
Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot: The international hot pot chain made its way to Austin. Perfect for groups, partake in the communal hot pot experience, with all sorts of dipping items like meats, vegetables, and noodles.
True Food Kitchen: The superfoods-focused Arizona chain's Austin spot boasting of nutrition-forward foods and cocktails served out on the gigantic patio or the equally as pleasant interior dining room.
Yatai: Michi’s second coming takes the form of Japanese street food in the former East Side King space within Hole in the Wall. Diners can find ramen, grilled skewers, tempura, chashu don, and Michirrones.
Retired in July 2016
Barley Swine: Bryce Gilmore’s Barley Swine is reborn with a new location along the booming Burnet Road stretch. The expanded space means there are both tasting and a la carte menus, more desserts, and a full bar.
Bufalina Due: Austin now has twice as much Bufalina with the debut of Bufalina Due. Expect the same delicious Neapolitan pizza, plated desserts, and carefully selected wines. Lunch is coming soon.
Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que: The famed Llano barbecue institution offers two floors dedicated to smoked meats served cafeteria-style, drinks, and free beans, all right in the heart of downtown Austin.
Retired in June 2016
Central Standard: The South Congress Hotel diners can satiate hunger with the raw bar and wood-fired entrees from executive chef Michael Paley and executive pastry chef Amanda Rockman.
Flyrite Chicken: For quick and easy fried chicken sandwiches, head to Flyrite Chicken for what owner Kevin Warden calls "feel-good fast food." The sandwiches come in original, spicy, grilled, or veggie, with your choice of sauces like the spicy Sriracha mayonnaise or the sweet Thai chili.
Retired in May 2016
Torchy’s Tacos: The newest addition to the Torchy’s Tacos family in Austin is the patio-friendly flagship on South Congress. Alas, the margarita machines are still unused, but there are still so many tacos.
Retired in April 2016
Geraldine’s: Within Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s offers up family-style feasts alongside Callie Speer’s genius desserts and Jennifer Keyser’s inventive cocktails.
Fukumoto: Kazu Fukumoto's izakaya and sushi bar offers all manners of yakitori, sushi, tempura, and sake at the Corazon apartment complex on East 6th.
Juniper: The Northern Italian restaurant from Uchi alum Nicholas Yanes comes bearing modern takes on classic dishes, sweets from pastry chef Kerstin Bellah, and a gin-focused cocktail menu. Order the already-favorite puffy potatoes.
Voodoo Doughnut: The iconic Portland doughnut shop now has an Austin outpost, which dishes out the famed crazy sweet concoctions like the voodoo doll.
Retired in March 2016
Cafe No Se: Head to Cafe No Se for California-inspired fare like kale salad and avocado toast.
Bullfight: For Parkside Project’s newest restaurant, chef Shawn Cirkiel decided to focus on Spain with tapas in Hyde Park. The array of cured meats and cheese, with classic dishes like the tortillas and croquettes all pair well with the Spanish wine list.
Retired in February 2016
Blue Cat Cafe: Cats, cats, and more cats can be found over at Austin’s very first cat cafe. Work, play, and potentially adopt a cat inside the cafe, and order food and coffee from the vegan food truck parked right outside.
Retired in January 2016
Launderette: Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki's neighborhood cafe arrived in Holly earlier this year, and still, the lines are long. Don't skip the labneh or dessert.
Retired in December 2015
Unit-D Pizzeria: The city's latest pizza contender can be found up in Cherrywood. The pizzeria serves Neapolitan pies made from a wood-fired oven imported from Naples, alongside small plates.
Juliet: Austin's freshest Italian option, can be found on Barton Springs. Run by former Asti chef Jacob Weaver, the menu focuses on an approachable modern take on Italian with housemade pastas and bread, plus wood-fired pizza. The early happy hour with half-off rose is a must.
Vox Table: Vox Table focuses on small plates and cocktails in a bright and stylish new space, also in Lamar Union. There's an especially spacious bar, and it's just across the street from the Alamo Drafthouse.
Retired in November 2015
Alcomar: The El Chile Group’s next switcheroo was the Latin-style seafood concept, helmed by executive chefs Alma Alcocer and Jeff Martinez.
Cantine: Owners of Asti and shuttered West Campus favorite Fino brought together a mix of Mediterranean and Italian cuisines.
Italic: Rustic Italian from the ever-reliable ELM Group arrived downtown in the historic Starr Building.
Lonesome Dove: Fort Worth celebrity chef Tim Love made his mark on Austin with the second branch of Lonesome Dove in downtown, decked out with taxidermy and serving fettine.
Shake Shack: The beloved burger and custard chain finally came to the city this year with two locations. There’sthe Austin-only Lockhart Link burger and an Uchi Koncrete in addition to its iconic ShackBurger.
Via 313: Brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt brought their distinctive square-shaped pies to Oak Hill with their brick and mortar pizzeria, along with a thin-crusted bar pie, appetizers, and beer and wine.
Retired in October 2015
Counter 3. Five. VII: The downtown tiny counter-only restaurant that serves three, five, and seven-course tasting menus, as well as casual offerings from the wine and small bites bar.
Isla: The Peche team puts its spin on tiki, Caribbean-inspired fare and rum-focused drinks with the former home of Pleasant Storage Room in downtown Austin.
Mongers Market & Kitchen: From Kenichi chef Shane Stark, Mongers focuses on Gulf seafood, with a classic menu and a small selection of fish is also available for sale on East Cesar Chavez.
Retired in September 2015
Prelog’s: Fine dining with European flair from chef Florian Prelog.
Retired in August 2015
Jenna’s Asian Kitchen: Cedar Park’s pan-Asian restaurant with a serious sake focus.
Retired in July 2015
Ramen Tatsu-Ya on South Lamar: The popular noodle shop’s made its way to South Austin for its second location.
Chi’Lantro The Korean fusion truck swiftly took over the former A-OK Chinese space on South Lamar earlier in the year. Along with the usual fare from the trailer, including those kimchi fries, are Korean barbecue-inspired tacos and burgers.
Retired in June 2015
Fixe: Southern progressive food served in a setting that resembles a charming Southern home.
Peached Tortilla: The Asian Southern fusion food truck’s brick and mortar with a full bar and expanded menu.
Retired in May 2015
Counter Cafe East: The roomier second location of North Lamar original.
Gardner: Vegetables rule the menu at the cool, modern elegant restaurant from the Contigo team.
Retired in April 2015
Apis: Honey featured in the Spicewood restaurant’s menu comes from the 20 onsite beehives.
Sala & Betty: From former Aquarelle chef Teresa Wilson comes the casual, scratch-made new American with a drive-thru.
Retired in March 2015
Olamaie: Modern Southern cooking in a bright and welcoming space from chef Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas, where the biscuits are a must.
Dai Due: Supper club-turned restaurant and butcher shop from Jesse Griffiths with a hyper-seasonal and local menu.
Retired in December 2014
Fork & Taco
Retired in November 2014
Terry Black's Barbecue
Dang Banh Mi
Retired in October 2014
Kin & Comfort
Aroma Italian Kitchen
Retired in September 2014
Silo on 7th
Blackbird & Henry
Noble Sandwich Co.
Retired in August 2014
Fire in The Hole
Twisted Root Burger Co.
Retired in July 2014
Retired in June 2014
Porter Ale House
Retired in May 2014
Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
Retired in April 2014
Little Barrel and Brown
East Side King South Lamar
Retired in March 2014
Schmidt Family Barbecue
Royers Pie Haven
Xian Sushi and Noodle
Retired in February 2014
Curly's Carolina, TX
Lucy's Fried Chicken
Retired in January 2014
Greenhouse Craft Food
Goodall's Kitchen and Bar
Retired in December 2013
School House Pub
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew
Retired in November 2013
Retired in October 2013
Retired in September 2013
John Mueller Meat Co.
Salt & Time
Retired in August 2013
Retired in July 2013
Retired in June 2013
Hi Hat Public House
Retired in May 2013
East Side King at Hole in the Wall
Retired in February 2013
Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden
Retired in January 2013
Retired in December 2012
Hoover's Soul Food Trailer
Retired in November 2012
Retired in October 2012
East Side Showroom
Olive & June
Retired in June 2012
Lucy's Fried Chicken
Elizabeth Street Cafe
Retired in May 2012
El Alma Cafe and Cantina