Chronicle dropped its fourth annual First Plates list today, a round-up of the city's best 100 restaurants divided up by region. The extensive list spans restaurants and food trailers that make up the city’s core, varied from Chinese in North/Northwest Austin with Asia Cafe, West with Fabi + Rosi’s European fare, Campus with the bistro goods of Texas French Bread, East with Contigo, Ramen Tatsu-ya's southern location for South Lamar, and others.
Food editor Brandon Watson prefaced the guide with his ode to comfort foods, whatever it may be for each person, and how it brings people together:
For better or worse, I’ve always found it impossible to feel stressed in the moment of eating. Yes, there’s the immediate pleasures of salt and fat, but it has always been more than that. Anxiety does its damage by making us feel alone. Comfort food gives us an opportunity to feel connected.
Watson also shared his personal top ten favorite restaurants of the year, ranked but unexplained. Leading the pack is hot newcomer Kemuri Tatsu-ya, pushing Apis down to the number two slot. The rest of the list got a major overhaul. Gone are Lenoir, Franklin Barbecue, Juniper, and Via 313, which were replaced with Dee Dee, L'Oca d'Oro, and Otoko.
The Virginia B. Wood Hall of Fame (restaurants considered Austin classics that are no longer on the 100 list to make room for newcomers, named after the former food editor) inductees include Quality Seafood, Uchi, and Home Slice.