2017 is almost over, so it's time to look ahead to the slate of new restaurants coming to Austin in the winter of 2018. It’s an exciting season full of new projects from celebrated chefs, like Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin’s collaborative Asian smokehouse Loro, the ever-so-trendy all-day casual cafes from Barley Swine/Odd Duck chef Bryce Gilmore’s (Sour Duck Market), Wright Bros Brew and Brew (Better Half), and Henri’s owners’ next restaurant Hank. Then there’s the city’s first location of Korean supermarket H Mart with Korean barbecue and fried chicken from lauded San Francisco chef Deuki Hong.
As is usual, there are a lot of leftovers from fall, like Austin’s first proper food hall Fareground with a lot of familiar Austin names, Home Slice’s North Loop expansion, Mexican-inspired spot Suerte, and others.
See an impending restaurant opening missing below? Send it through the tipline. This guide will be updated throughout the season as details change and places open.
Location: 2115 South Lamar Boulevard, South Austin
Key Players: chef/owner Tyson Cole, pitmaster Aaron Franklin, chef James Dumapit, chef Jack Yoss, Hai Hospitality
Projected Opening: Late winter 2018
An Asian smokehouse from the team behind Uchi and Uchiko already sounds good, but add pitmaster Aaron Franklin to the mix, and it becomes the most eagerly anticipated restaurant for Austin. The restaurant will embrace the casual, like counter-service ordering, the array of smoked meats from brisket to steaks to fish, sake slushies, and the expansive kid-friendly patio.
Location: 1814 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Central East Austin
Key Players: chef/owner Bryce Gilmore, partner Dylan Gilmore, chef Mark Buley, partner Jason James, pastry chef Ashley Whitmore
Projected Opening: Early 2018
For Gilmore’s third, he and the Barley Swine/Odd Duck gang are venturing out with a casual all-day restaurant. Sour Duck Market will include bakery, cafe, and bar components, with pastries and baked goods like inventive kolaches, danishes, and breads; quick-service burgers, sandwiches, tacos; and draft beers and cocktails. Instead of turning Odd Duck’s old trailer into a smokehouse, the market just installed a new custom smoker from Texas Oven Co. As is the chef’s norm, the menu will focus on locally sourced ingredients.
Location: 406 Walsh Street, West Austin
Key Players: co-owners Matthew Bolick, Matt Wright, Grady Wright, general manager Mark Stowe, chef Rich Reimbolt
Projected Opening: Early 2018
The founders of Wright Bros Brew and Brew are extending their coffee expertise over to the West 5th Street area with the all-day cafe. The menu’s all about Texas-inspired fares, like cheesy burgers made with 44 Farms beef. As for drinks, the coffee lineup will include Heart Coffee Roasters, Flat Track Coffee, Case Coffee Roasters, and others. Of course there is an espresso machine, and cold brew will be offered. Cocktails, wine, and beer are on deck too.
Location: 3800 North Lamar Boulevard, Rosedale
Key Players: owner Stuart Thomajan, chef Sterling Ridings, Chameleon Group
Projected Opening: Mid-January 2018
Swift's Attic and Wu Chow are opening its third Austin restaurant, focused on seafood. Ridings knows his way around fish since he was the former executive chef over at Uchiko. The approachable menu will span plated creations (think tuna, trout, redfish), oysters, crudo, ceviches, and land-based proteins like steaks. There are plans for dinner, lunch, and brunch.
Location: 111 Congress Avenue, Downtown
Key Players: ELM Restaurant Group, Emmer & Rye, Dai Due, Contigo, Kome/Daruma Ramen, Antonelli's Cheese Shop
Projected Opening: Thursday, January 18, 2018
Okay, so now the city’s first food hall is actually opening with a set debut date. ELM Restaurant Group, which is managing Fareground, put together an amazing food and drink lineup consisting of stellar Austin restaurants. This means new menus from Dai Due Taqueria, Emmer & Rye’s new project Henbit, Kome and Daruma’s sushi/ramen mashup with Ni-Kome, Contigo, Easy Tiger, and Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. It will feature two bars, draft beer, wine, sake, and cocktails.
Location: 5033 West Highway 290, Oak Hill
Key Players: Patrick Terry, Kathy Terry
Projected Opening: Late January 2018
The couple behind beloved Austin burger drive-thrus P. Terry’s wanted to apply their quality food for affordable prices to the taco game, hence Taco Ranch. The limited menu will feature all-natural, house-made, and/or organic ingredients, like flour and corn tortillas, beef, chicken, salsas, and eggs. The limited menu will feature tacos (naturally), as well as burritos, chalupas, quesadillas, and taco salads. Much like P. Terry's, there will be a drive-thru and dine-in areas, including a patio.
Location: 1800 East 6th Street, East Side
Key Players: owner Sam Hellman-Mass, chef Fermín Núñez, general manager John Michael Williams
Projected Opening: Winter 2018
Hellman-Mass knows all about culinary research, he is one of the founding partners of Texas-forever restaurant Odd Duck, and yes, he’s traveling to Mexico for inspiration and sourcing. His first solo endeavor tackles Mexican-inspired dishes, and yes, he’s traveling to the country often for research and development. The core of it all? House-made masa dishes, like taquitos and black bean dobladita.
Location: 501 East 53rd Street, North Loop
Key Players: Jen and Joseph Strickland, Terri Hannifin
Projected Opening: February 2018
Okay, it looks like Home Slice’s second pizzeria will actually open this time, boasting of pizza, subs, cheesecake, wine, and more, found across the river. Exclusive to the North Loop location will be buffalo chicken wings, daily Sicilian slices, and for-real cocktails from the full bar. The larger space means it will be easier to find parking and a seat too.
Location: 5811 Berkman Drive, Windsor Park
Key Players: Andy Means and Jessie Katz
Projected Opening: February 2018
Even though cherished South Austin spot Henri’s is closed permanently, its spirit will live on with the owners’ next restaurant, Hank’s, which continues the trend of casual, all-day dining. Expect burgers, sandwiches, pastas, pastries, a full bar with tapped wine and beer. To make it even more convenient, there will be a drive-thru too.
Location: 11301 Lakeline Boulevard
Key Players: Il Yeon Kwon, Stacey Kwon, Deuki Hong
Projected Opening: January 2018
The sprawling Korean supermarket H Mart will finally land in Austin next year, bringing forth all sorts of Asian goods, produce, and groceries, as well as a fully-loaded food court. Market Eatery will debut San Francisco chef Hong’s Korean barbecue spot Sunday BBQ, and the first expansion of Korean fried chicken place Sunday Bird. Also on deck for the food court is Austin shaved ice spot Snow Monster.
— Downtown hotel Fairmont Austin’s opening date got pushed back to 2018, perhaps sometime in January. When it does debut, it will be jam-packed with five restaurants and bars, like the globally influenced food court Revue, grill house Garrison, and cocktail spot with a view Rules & Regs.
— Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles and his family are opening a Dripping Springs brewery sometime in mid-January 2018. Family Business Beer Co.’s head brewer Nate Seale will brew up a variety of beers, from ales to barrel-aged stouts. The space will include taprooms, a playground, stage, and food truck court.
— Even though the Austin Central Library opened in downtown, its restaurant Cookbook Cafe, from the ELM Restaurant Group, will open sometime in March 2018. Chef Andrew Curren will take inspiration from various cookbook recipes.
— Quack's 43rd Street Bakery is keeping busy this winter with two new cafes. First, there's Captain Quackenbush’s Coffeehouse, which took over Strange Brew Cafe down on Manchaca Road. It will include coffee, pastries, and a full bar sometime in the winter of 2018. Then there’s Lady Quackenbush’s Cakery up in Mueller in the former home of Bribery Bakery sometime in early 2018.
— Combine crafting and drinking when Upstairs Circus opens in downtown sometime in early 2018. People can choose from the project menu, spanning activities like making bracelets, art, and leather clutches, while partaking in beer, wine, and cocktails with or without booze.
— French fry-loving chain Get Fried is opening its first Austin location right on campus in mid-January 2018. Along with all sorts of fries (waffle, curly, sweet potato, etc.), the restaurant will serve up toppings like poutine, Philly cheese steak, and dessert ones.
— Sandwich shop Austin Daily Press’ second shop in Govalle. Along with sandwiches and tacos, it will mix things up with tortas, salads, and yogurt. The opening has been delayed, but perhaps it will open sometime this February 2018.
— Distillery Nine Banded Whiskey is opening a tasting room out in the Hilly Country. Along with tastings of the whiskey, it'll include live music and food trucks. It's opening sometime this winter 2018.
— DC-based fast-casual Mediterranean chain Cava hitting Austin with two first-time locations in Austin in February 2018. One will debut as part of Urban Outfitters' Space 24 Twenty on the Drag, and the second will open on Congress Avenue in downtown. The menu includes build-your-own grain bowls, pitas, and salads, with hummus, falafel, braised lamb, harissa, and various roasted vegetables.
— American-Asian restaurant and beer bar Anthem will bring forth chicken karaage sandwiches, vegan bulgogi hot dogs, egg rolls in flatbread form, and lots of drinks to Rainey Street sometime in early 2018. It’s from Nebraska-based Flagship Restaurant Group.
Spring 2018: Bird Bird Biscuit, Cruzteca, Easy Tiger [Linc], Gigi's Cupcakes, Joann’s Fine Foods, Lotus + Cleaver, Our Taco House Co-op, Rise Biscuits and Donuts, Rosewood, Rudy’s Bar-B-Q [North Lamar], SPiN, Vista Brewing
Rest of 2018: 24 Diner [Rock Rose], Austin-Bergstrom International Airport's food courts, Bakery Lorraine, The Brewer’s Table, Central District Brewing, Colleen’s Kitchen, Kerbey Lane [Mueller], LeRoy & Lewis [brick-and-mortar], Pinthouse Pizza [Round Rock] Pokeatery, Unknown Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew restaurant, Unknown Taco Flats restaurant, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ [brick-and-mortar]
Unknown: Bacon Bros. Public House, Block 71, Central Health's Public Market, Darna Mediterranean Cuisine, Dat Dog, Employees Only, Fluff Meringues, La Passiflora, Manley’s Bagels, Micklethwait Craft Meats [brick and mortar], Noble Sandwich [Georgetown], Oddwood Ales, Rosen’s Bagels, Soho House, Taco Palenque
- All Eater Tracking [EATX]