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The 9 Most Anticipated Restaurants in Austin, Spring 2018

Smoked fish, breakfast biscuit sandwiches, Cajun fare, and more

The Brewer’s Table prepping smoked salmon
The Brewer’s Table prepping smoked salmon
James Beard Foundation/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Now that South by Southwest is over, it’s time to look forward to Austin’s newest slate of restaurants this spring. The biggest of ‘em all: Loro, the highly anticipated restaurant from Austin superstar chefs Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin, which opened yesterday.

Other new spring openings include the Line ATX Hotel which boasts of three new restaurants, spanning burgers to Texas fare. Other newcomers include breakfast sandwich-obsessed Bird Bird Biscuit, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew and Lenoir chef Todd Duplechan’s smoked meats and Cajun haven The Switch, and plenty of others.

As, as per usual, there are delayed restaurants from the winter, like Bryce Gilmore’s fast-casual cafe Sour Duck Market, Home Slice’s second home in North Loop, and Henri’s Cheese & Wine Shop owner’s all-day spot Hank’s.

See an impending restaurant opening missing below? Send it through the tipline. This guide will be updated throughout the season as details change and places open.

The patio at Loro
Loro’s patio
Robert J. Lerma/EATX


Location: 2115 South Lamar Boulevard, South Austin
Key Players: chef/owner Tyson Cole, pitmaster Aaron Franklin, chef James Dumapit, chef Jack Yoss, pitmaster Bram Tripp, Hai Hospitality
Projected Opening: Wednesday, April 4
Status: Now open

It’s finally here: Texas barbecue meets Asian-influenced smoked dishes from two of Austin’s best chefs, Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin. The restaurant is a new approach for both Cole and Franklin: this is the former’s first foray into casual service (people will place their orders at the bar and seat themselves), and for the latter, he gets to experiment with different flavors like bright acids, spices, and sweets (take the brisket which is served with a sweet chili sauce or the smoked turkey breast paired with apricot gastrique).

BAKE SALE MENU! Pop-up @hopsandgrain

A post shared by SourDuckMarket (@sourduckmarket) on

Sour Duck Market

Location: 1814 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Central East Austin
Key Players: chef/owner Bryce Gilmore, partner Dylan Gilmore, chef Mark Buley, partner Jason James, chef Zechariah Perez, chef pastry chef Ashley Whitmore
Projected Opening: April 2018
Status: Now open

Another decidedly casual restaurant from finer dining chef Bryce Gilmore and the Barley Swine/Odd Duck team, Sour Duck (get it?) is part-bakery, part-quick-service cafe, and part-bar. On deck are house-made breads, inventive kolaches, draft cocktails, and smoked meats, all with that local touch, as per usual.

A bite from The Brewer’s Table at last year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival
A bite from The Brewer’s Table at last year’s Austin Food & Wine Festival
Katrina Barber

The Brewer’s Table

Location: 4715 East 5th Street, Govalle
Key Players: Jake Maddux, executive chef Zach Hunter, head brewer Drew Durish, head baker Sandeep Gyawali, general manager Zach Sawyer, beverage director Brandy Compton, sous chefs Karsten Spieth and Jaime Hernandez
Projected Opening: April 2018
Status: Now open

Another one seemingly long in the works, the East Side restaurant and brewery is all about beer and food made with beer ingredients courtesy of founder Jake Maddux and his team, i.e. hops in food, vegetables in beer. There’s the wood-fermented beer program courtesy of former Live Oak Brewing brewer Drew Durish and seasonal food from Zach Hunter.

Rendering of Line Hotel’s rooftop space, the future home of P6
Rendering of Line Hotel’s rooftop space, the future home of P6
Rendering: Line Hotel [Official]

Line ATX Hotel

Location: 111 East Cesar Chavez Street, Downtown
Key Players: Justin Ermini, Kristen Kish, Damien Brockway, Brian Floyd, Sydell Group
Projected Opening: Late spring 2019
Status: Arlo Grey is now open

The Radisson is dead, long live the Line ATX Hotel. The new downtown hotel boasts of several talented chefs with their own restaurants. First, Top Chef winner Kristen Kish will oversee Arlo Grey, a restaurant that will combine all of her culinary experiences with French and Italian takes, plus taking inspiration from Texas and the Gulf. The executive chef of the entire hotel is Justin Ermini, who will also have his own spot, the casual restaurant and bar Bridge & Trail (which will open after the hotel does). Austin chef Damien Brockway will helm the rooftop restaurant P6. Lastly, the hotel will feature the only Texas location of cult-loved Los Angeles coffee shop Alfred. Overseeing the hotel’s beverage program local booze expert Brian Floyd.

The Switch’s logo
The Switch’s logo
The Switch/Facebook

The Switch

Location: West Highway 290 and Nutty Brown Road, Belterra Village, Dripping Springs
Key Players: owner Shane Stiles, pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick, chef Todd Duplechan, pitmaster Bill Dumas, pitmaster Christopher McGhee, general manager Tony Pollock
Projected Opening: May 2018 June 2018

The Stiles Switch and Lenoir teams are opening a barbecue and Cajun restaurant out in Belterra Village. On deck are smoked meats (look out for cold-smoked fish), Cajun food, margaritas, beers, and cocktails. Expect a Texas-forever type of space with plenty of patio real estate.

Biscuit sandwiches from Bird Bird Biscuit
Biscuit sandwiches from Bird Bird Biscuit
Chelsea Laine Francis

Bird Bird Biscuit

Location: 2701 Manor Road, Cherrywood
Key Players: Brian Batch, Ryan McElroy
Projected Opening: May 2018 June 2018

From the owner of Thunderbird Coffee comes this new biscuit sandwich shop. The simple menu features fillings like eggs, chicken sausage, fried eggplant, and peanut butter. Then there are doughnut holes, juices, and, of course, coffee.

Pizza from Home Slice
Pizza from Home Slice
Julia Keim

Home Slice

Location: 501 East 53rd Street, North Loop
Key Players: Jen and Joseph Strickland, Terri Hannifin
Projected Opening: Spring 2018
Status: Now open

Will North Loop finally get its very own Home Slice this spring? It’s looking like a “yes.” The second pizzeria is larger than its original home across the river. Special to the northern restaurant will be buffalo chicken wings and actual cocktails.


Location: 5811 Berkman Drive, Windsor Park
Key Players: Andy Means and Jessie Katz
Projected Opening: Spring 2018
Status: Now open

Fans of Henri’s Cheese & Wine Shop (RIP) will find comfort in Hank’s. The all-day restaurant will feature easy dishes (think burgers, sandwiches, pastas), pastries, and a full bar. For even quicker service, there’s a drive-thru too.

Rendering of the Austin Central Library
Rendering of the Austin Central Library
Rendering: Austin Central Library/Facebook


Location: 710 West Cesar Chavez Street, Downtown
Key Players: Andrew Curren, Craig Collins, ELM Restaurant Group
Projected Opening: May 2018 Summer 2018

What’s unique about the casual restaurant set for the downtown Austin Central Library is that the menu will cobble together recipes from actually cookbooks found in the flagship’s collection. There will be an emphasis on Austin chefs, as well as rotating specials from touring cookbook authors. The literary-theme will extend into the bar program, which will feature a cocktail menu with footnotes.

Also tracking:

— Now Austin knows what kind of restaurant is taking over the old East Ends Wines’ Victorian home space on Rosewood Avenue: Rosewood, from former Geraldine’s sous chef Jesse DeLeon, will focus on Southern Texas coastal fare when it opens in April. Update: The opening is on hold for now after the kitchen suffered a minor fire. Update: It’s now open.

— The ping pong bar chain Spin is making its Texas debut in Austin on Friday, May 18 in the former Antone’s space on West 5th Street in downtown Austin. Expect 13 ping pong tables, food, and drinks. Update: Now open.

Nervous Charlie’s will join Austin’s growing bagel scene, boasting of bagels made with dough shipped straight from New York City. It’s set to open in May on North Lamar Boulevard in North Loop.

— General Tso’Boy is no longer, but in its place will be Chinese barbecue spot Lotus + Cleaver from the same owners Jessica and Gary Wu, who partnered with River & Hills Hospitality Group. Much like the first location out in Miami, on deck will be sweet and sour chicken, egg-fried rice, and plenty of Peking duck, including in bun form. It’ll debut on Rock Rose Avenue in April. Lotus’ first location is out in Miami. Update: Now open

— Popular Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon should be making its Austin-area debut soon up in Round Rock sometime soon.

— Sandwich shop Austin Daily Press’ long-awaited East Cesar Chavez location should finally open very soon. Along with the usual sandwiches and sides, it’ll whip up tortas and biscuits. Update: Now open

— Neapolitan pie slinger Clint Elmore is coming back with the brick-and-mortar version of his beloved pizza trailer 40 North on West 10th Street. It should be opening soon since the pizzeria is currently hiring. Update: Now open

— Healthy South Lamar spot Vinaigrette will debut its small restaurant-within-a-restaurant Tiny’s sometime this spring, focusing on breakfast, snacks, cocktails (including frozen margaritas), and coffee.

— The Barfly’s team is opening a neighborhood restaurant on Airport Boulevard. Turntable Eatery will feature easy dishes (think pizza, sandwiches, desserts), along with beer and wine sometime this spring. Update: Now open

— The South Austin location of Hyde Park bakery Quack’s, dubbed Captain Quackenbush’s Coffeehouse and Bakery, is slowly progressing (it took over Strange Brew Coffee’s address on Manchaca Road), as well as its Mueller location, Lady Quackenbush’s Cakery (formerly Bribery Bakery on Simond Avenue).

— The Southern chain Rise Biscuits and Donuts opens next week on Wednesday, April 11 near campus on Guadalupe. The menu features biscuit sandwiches and doughnuts (both classic and gourmet). Update: Now open

— Portland chain Little Big Burger is coming to Texas for the first time sometime in May on East 6th Street, bringing along cheeseburgers, truffle fries, and root beer floats.

— The first location of Washington, D.C.-based Mediterranean fast-casual chain Cava is coming to Space 24 Twenty on the Drag sometime this spring.

— Austin is getting two new bubble tea spots this spring. First, there’s Taiwanese import ShareTea within Anderson Lane shopping center on 183, and then there’s global chain Gong Cha with two locations, one in Cedar Park and the other on Guadalupe.

— Japanese crepe shop Crêpeful has been previewing its foods (cone-shaped crepes filled with sweet or savory ingredients) with pop-ups ahead of its spring opening.

— Parkside Projects’ juice shop Jugo is expanding into Rosedale for its second location this spring.

— South Carolina juice shop Southern Pressed Juicery is teaming up with Wanderlust for its first out-of-state location up in the Domain this spring.

— Will Sway’s two forthcoming locations — one in West Lake Hills and the other in Rock Rose — open this spring? Time will tell. Update: The Rock Rose one is now open.

Summer 2018: 24 Diner [Rock Rose]; Anthem; Carpenter Hotel; Easy Tiger [Linc]; Joann’s Fine Foods; Micklethwait Craft Meats [Smithville]; P. Terry’s [near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport]; Taco Ranch [MLK Jr. Boulevard]

Rest of 2018: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s food courts; Bakery Lorraine; Burgerim; Hold Out Brewing; Kerbey Lane Cafe [Mueller]; Peli Peli; Pinthouse Pizza [Round Rock]; Marinas; True Foods Kitchen [Domain]; Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ [Manchaca]

2019: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s third food court; Fierce Whiskers Distillery; Guesthouse Hotel; Plaza Saltillo [Dolce Neve, Barcelona Wine Bar, Tarka Indian Kitchen, Stout Burgers and Beers, Austin Juicery, Epoch Coffee, Snooze, Whole Foods 365]; Punch Bowl Social [downtown]

2020: Austin Marriott Downtown

Unknown: Bacon Bros. Public House; Block 71; Central District Brewing; Central Health’s Public Market; Dat Dog; L’Oven; LeRoy & Lewis [Dripping Springs]; Matt’s Big Breakfast; Sans Bar; Stagger Lee; Soho House; Taco Palenque; Unknown Ramen/Kemuri Tatsu-ya Restaurants [East Sixth, Burnet]

The Switch

166 Hargraves Street, , TX 78737 (512) 212-7211 Visit Website

Bird Bird Biscuit

1401 West Koenig Lane, , TX 78756 (512) 551-9820 Visit Website