Downtown food hall Fareground opened last month, hosting some of Austin’s best restaurants in a gleaming, centralized location. With stalls from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, Emmer & Rye spinoff Henbit, Dai Due Taqueria, Ni-Kome, Contigo, Easy Tiger, and a bar curated by the ELM Restaurant Group, there is a lot to explore at 111 Congress Avenue. Read on for the early word on Austin’s first food hall.
The food: Despite the variation in stalls, the response to the actual fare at Fareground has been overwhelmingly positive, with some minor complaints about portion size. The most popular dishes seem to be the bite-sized churros at Dai Due Taqueria, the burger from Contigo, and the beautifully plated short rib bowl from Henbit.
However, as CultureMap noted, “fast food” from the locavore-focused Henbit and Dai Due can cause somewhat of a struggle, a lesson Dai Due Taqueria learned the hard way after running out of food on the first day. However, things seem to be humming along smoothly now, and a beeper system notifies patrons when food is ready.
The drinks: Master sommelier Craig Collins is behind the bar menu, which was specifically created to pair with Fareground’s various offerings. Yelpers found the drink prices to be reasonable, and Statesman’s Matthew Odam praised the pineapple mezcal punch, meant to pair with Dai Due’s tacos.
The space: With lots of light, wood, and architecturally interesting details, the space at Fareground is what makes it an instant hotspot. Zagat Austin editor Veronica Mewes called out the “soaring ceilings, big windows and wide plank floors offset by a grassy outdoor area for picnicking.” Designed by local architect Michael Hsu (who is behind several Austin favorites like P. Terry’s and Uchiko), visitors noted there is plenty of space to sit, both indoors and outdoors (although dogs were not allowed, even outside).
In response to that, Fareground is now allowing leashed dogs on the patio, but cautioned that “pet owners keep their pets from going to the bathroom on the turf.”
The overall experience: The combination of a gorgeous space, central location, and thoughtful food make Fareground a destination for locals and visitors alike.
- Here are six dishes you’ll be eating at new food hall Fareground [Austin 360]
- Dai Due Taqueria [Time Out Austin]
- Fareground [Zagat]
- Dai Due Taqueria Ran Out of Meat Yesterday [EATX]
- All Coverage of Fareground [EATX]