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. Finally, question number eight:
What are your headline predictions for 2018?
Tom Thornton, freelance food writer and contributor at Eater Austin
Slower growth; huge acclaim for the Franklin/Cole [Loro] and Stiles/Lenoir [still unnamed at this point] projects; streamlined cocktail lists but larger wine selections; more new openings south of 290 due to booming growth and lower lease rents. I'd also like to request more trompos.
Jane Ko, blogger at A Taste of Koko
Hopefully, several of these headlines: "Authentic [Insert Asian Cuisine] Opens In Austin."
Jolène M. Bouchon, critic for Austin Monthly
This is where I always put in my wish list: let's add some different cuisines to the mix —Bangladeshi? Cambodian? Georgian (as in former Soviet country)? And more casual, come-as-you-are neighborhood joints. I'll take a place with a lot of heart over a lot of polish any day.
Sommer Brugal, freelance writer and contributor at Eater Austin
Peruvian cuisine is going to enter the Austin food scene quickly, and with a splash.
Matthew Odam, restaurant critic at Statesman
Rebound year for Austin.
Veronica Meewes, Zagat Austin editor and freelance food and travel writer
“Via 313 Launches New Drive-Thru Pizza Concept”
“Elijah Wood Opens New East Side Wine Bar”
“Construction Begins on New High-Speed ‘Taco Train’ Between San Antonio and Austin”
Brandon Watson, food editor at CultureMap Austin
I briefly toyed around with some Bojack Horseman-style wordplay ("Pallid shallots pose valid challenge to Austin salads" was the best I've got), but I would like to see more headlines showing the good in Austin food. I was inspired by L'Oca d'Oro and Black Star Co-op becoming sanctuary restaurants, by Philip Speer and William Ball helping folks in recovery with My Name is Joe Coffee Co., and the near-universal support the food community gave victims of Hurricane Harvey. Eating has always been an act of community. Let's see more things that strengthen that community — increased diversity and gender parity and moves to address healthcare for restaurant workers — in 2018.
Kelly Stocker, creative consultant, contributor at Eater Austin
A return to home-style meals.
Erin Kuschner, editor of Time Out Austin
"Austin's influx of food halls forces everyone to talk to each other at lunch again."
Anastacia Uriegas, freelance food and cocktail writer
“New concept helmed by _______ formerly of _______ with beverage director _______ formerly of _______.”
Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
“Line for Loro Started 2 Days Before It Opened”
Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
“All-Day Casual Dining Takes Over Austin”
“Legit [Insert Asian/Middle Eastern Cuisine, i.e. Nepalese/Malaysian/Tibetan/Cambodian/Bangladeshi/Israeli/Turkish/Lebanese/etc.] Restaurant Comes to Austin” [my dream]
“Rosen’s Bagel Co. Finds Its Forever-Home on South Congress”
- The Best Austin Restaurant Meals of 2017 [EATX]
- The Biggest Austin Dining Grievances of 2017 [EATX]
- Pitchfork Pretty Is Austin’s Biggest Dining Surprise [EATX]
- Austin’s Best Dining Neighborhood of 2017, According to Local Industry Experts [EATX]
- Local Food Writers Describe 2017’s Austin Restaurant Scene in One Word [EATX]
- Austin’s Top Restaurant Newcomers of 2017: Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, Pitchfork Pretty, Holy Roller [EATX]
- Austin Dining Experts Share Top Restaurant Standbys of 2017 [EATX]
- All Year in Eater [EATX]