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
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
Matthew Odam, restaurant critic at Statesman
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.
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
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.
- All Year in Eater [EATX]