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Austin Dining Experts Share Top Restaurant Standbys of 2017

Recommended go-to places for food and drink in the city

Holy Roller
Holy Roller
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

As is the tradition as we near the end of 2017, Eater asked a trusted group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past culinary year in Austin. The annual survey spans eight questions, from dining surprises to best food neighborhoods and disappointing meals. All answers will be revealed as the week rolls on — cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Readers, add your answers in the comments below. Question number one:

What were your top restaurant standbys of 2017?

Tom Thornton, freelance food writer and contributor at Eater Austin

Mi Tradicion, La Posada, Tucci's Southside Subs, Sichuan River, Veracruz All Natural at Radio Coffee, Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ, Habanero Cafe, Easy Tiger, and Noble Sandwich Co.

Jane Ko, blogger at A Taste of Koko

With all the traveling outside of Austin this year, I find myself craving Mexican so Fresa's Chicken al Carbon, Grizzelda's, and Habanero Cafe are my go-tos. Titaya's, Clark's Oyster Bar, and Home Slice Pizza haven't disappointed me yet.

Jolène M. Bouchon, critic at Austin Monthly

For grabbing a casual meal without much fuss, Eldorado Cafe. For more celebratory occasions — birthdays, anniversaries, guests in town, a night out — Kemuri Tatsu-ya. I always try to visit both at my standby time: 5:30 p.m. Much later, and you're in for quite a wait, especially on a weekend.

Sommer Brugal, freelance writer and contributor at Eater Austin

Koriente, Launderette, Dee Dee, Bouldin Creek Café, Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, Paperboy, Via 313, Bufalina, Sa-Ten, and Licha’s Cantina.

Matthew Odam, restaurant critic at Statesman

Home Slice Pizza, Luke's Inside Out, MezzeMe, Odd Duck, Olamaie, P. Terry's, Emmer & Rye, and Veracruz All Natural.

Brandon Watson, food editor at CultureMap Austin

To put it extremely mildly, 2017 was a bummer. Every headline seemed to bring a new set of horrors, and my place in this country as a queer man and a journalist seemed increasingly under threat. But comfort food offered at least some salve — especially from Philip and Callie Speer's pair of contemporary diners [Bonhomie and Holy Roller], Nickel City's Delray Cafe, and JT Youngblood's. All four happen to have good, strong drinks — which did at least half of the heavy lifting.

Kelly Stocker, creative consultant and contributor at Eater Austin

Holy Roller, Launderette, Asia Cafe.

Erin Kuschner, editor of Time Out Austin

I'm still fairly new to the city, so I spent more time trying to eat, well, everywhere. But I've had the lox bagel sandwich from Rosen's Bagel Co. more times than I can count, and can't wait until they open up its own spot in 2018. Go donate to the Kickstarter; you won't regret it. I mean, they're going to be making pizza bagels, for fuck's sake.

Anastacia Uriegas, freelance food and cocktail writer

My standbys have been Hummus Among Us, this excellent food truck on East Cesar Chavez serving Eastern Mediterranean street food that is insanely good as well as Delray Cafe at Nickel City, Fukumoto, Olamaie, and Pitchfork Pretty.

Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin

Bufalina and Via 313 for the ridiculous amount of pizza I eat, Veracruz All Natural for tacos, Honest Mary's for healthy lunch, Jack Allen's Kitchen for casual dinner, and Whisler's for drinks.

Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin

My South Congress neighborhood go-tos are Taco Joint, Home Slice Pizza, June's, Manana (those kouign amanns), and Poke Poke. My general Austin go-tos are Veracruz All Natural, Odd Duck, Ramen Tatsu-ya, Sichuan River, Patika, Luke’s Inside Out, and Roosevelt Room. As for newcomers, I find myself re-returning to Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Nickel City, Holy Roller, and Rosen’s Bagel Co. over and over again.