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 four:
What was the best dining neighborhood of 2017?
Tom Thornton, freelance food writer and contributor at Eater Austin
There's a strong case for Burnet Road, but the biggest growth has been in Mueller.
Jolène M. Bouchon, critic at Austin Monthly
In previous years, it's been Holly, but I've seen a more equitable distribution this year. You can get a lot of great food on the East Side, but you can find equally excellent meals along the Burnet corridor and down South.
Sommer Brugal, freelance writer and contributor at Eater Austin
South First Street. With Elizabeth Street Café, Mellizos Tacos, Bouldin Creek Café, Sway, Soup Peddler, El Primo, Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, and Seventh Flag Coffee, one can have upscale dining, quick eats from food trucks, and delicious coffee all within a few blocks.
Jane Ko, blogger at A Taste of Koko
Erin Kuschner, editor of Time Out Austin
Matthew Odam, restaurant critic at Statesman
East Austin had five of my top eleven restaurants of the year — Dai Due, Juniper, Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Franklin Barbecue, and Pitchfork Pretty, so I'll say broadly say "East Austin." (And L'Oca d'Oro and Kyoten Sushiko are kind of in East Austin, despite being in Mueller neighborhood.)
Anastacia Uriegas, freelance food and cocktail writer
Brandon Watson, food editor at CultureMap Austin
Maybe it's because I started working there, or maybe there's the excitement of impending hotel construction or the opening of the Central Library, but downtown has a renewed energy. Le Politique and the impending Fareground feel like just the beginning.
Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
Downtown Austin is transforming into an actual worthy dining destination: Holy Roller, Tumble 22, My Name is Joe Coffee Co., Forthright, excellent cocktail bars and coffee shops, etc., etc. There are even more to come in 2018 with Fareground, Brew & Brew’s new restaurant and brewery, the expansion of Tex-Mex stalwart Polvo’s, and whatever is in store for the Line Hotel and the large restaurant portfolio of the Fairmont.