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The 6 Most Anticipated Restaurants in Austin, Summer 2018

Barbecue and Cajun specialties, chicken biscuit sandwiches, and tacos

Sausages from Stiles Switch
Sausages from Stiles Switch
Stiles Switch/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.

The boiling oven that passes as summer in Texas is upon Austin, and with it comes the latest crop of new restaurant openings. While this season isn’t as busy as others (and understandably so), there are still some exciting restaurants to watch out for.

Firstly, Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew will debut its new Dripping Springs establishment The Switch, which will combine smoked meats and Cajun classics in a sprawling space. Then there’s the simple yet strong offerings of Bird Bird Biscuit, the fast-casual daytime spot from Thunderbird Coffee. Then there are ramen expansions, taco brick-and-mortars, and the Austin Central Library’s cafe. With that, here are the six most anticipated restaurants coming to Austin this summer.

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 Switch’s general manager Tony Pollock with Switch partner Todd Duplechan
The Switch’s general manager Tony Pollock with Switch partner Todd Duplechan
The Switch/Facebook

The Switch

Location: 166 Hargraves Street, Suite G100, Belterra Village, Dripping Springs
Key Players: owner Shane Stiles, lead pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick, partner Todd Duplechan, lead pitmaster Bill Dumas, pitmaster Christopher McGhee, pitmaster Marco Oglesby, pitmaster Troy Warlock, head chef Barclay Stratton, general manager Tony Pollock
Projected Opening: June 2018
Status: Now open

The notable Brentwood barbecue restaurant, Stiles Switch, decided to open a brand new restaurant out in Belterra Village. The menu marries what it knows best with its strong team of pitmasters — smoked meats — along with Cajun specialities, sides, and sandwiches, courtesy of head chef Barclay Stratton and restaurant partner Todd Duplechan (the chef/co-owner of South First spot Lenoir). For counter-service lunch and table-service dinners, anticipate gumbo, margaritas, and an awesome patio as well.

A biscuit sandwich from Bird Bird Biscuit
A biscuit sandwich from Bird Bird Biscuit
Chelsea Francis

Bird Bird Biscuit

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

It’s all about chicken and biscuits at the new fast-casual sandwich shop from Thunderbird Coffee. The straightforward menu features, well, biscuit sandwiches with fillings like eggs, fried chicken, fried eggplant, and roasted peanut butter. For dessert, there are doughnut holes made with biscuit dough, as well as coffee and juices.

Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-ya
Kirsten Kaiser

Ramen Tatsu-ya

Location: 1600 East 6th Street, East Austin
Key Players: Tatsu Aikawa, Takuya Matsumoto, Shion Aikawa, Michael Phillips
Projected Opening: Summer 2018
Status: Now open

Something great is coming to the bones of the old Qui restaurant: Austin’s third Ramen Tatsu-ya noodle shop. Expect the same beloved bowls of ramen as well as a brand new bar menu courtesy of beverage director Michael Phillips. Even more fun: the exterior and interior spaces will be covered in funky artwork from street artists like Esow, Xavier Walker, Ross Loftin, and Mila Sketch.

A restaurant with a big bookcase full of books.
Cookbook Cafe
Courtney Pierce/Eater Austin

Cookbook Cafe

Location: 710 West Cesar Chavez Street, Downtown
Key Players: Andrew Curren, ELM Restaurant Group
Projected Opening: June 2018
Status: Now open

The Austin Central Library restaurant is almost here. Drawing inspiration from its home, the Cookbook Cafe’s menu is a patchwork of dishes from various cookbooks from the greats and recent classics, like Julia Child, Sean Brock, Yotam Ottolenghi, and others.

Joann’s plywood
Joann’s plywood
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX


Location: 1220 South Congress Avenue, Austin Motel, Bouldin Creek
Key Players: Bunkhouse Group, McGuire Moorman Hospitality
Projected Opening: Late summer 2018 Fall 2018

The replacement restaurant for the iconic Austin Motel will take the form of a Tex-Mex-influenced diner, courtesy of two of the city’s stylish and prolific hospitality groups. The name stems from Bunkhouse’s Liz Lambert’s mother. The restaurant will make use of both the South Congress-facing patio and the interior dining space.

Tacos from Vaquero Taquero
Tacos from Vaquero Taquero
Vaquero Taquero/Facebook

Vaquero Taquero

Location: 104 East 31st Street, North Campus
Key Players: Daniel and Miguel Cobos
Projected Opening: Summer 2018

The Hyde Park taco trailer is expanding with its first brick-and-mortar restaurant with tacos fillings from the trompo and asador. The larger space will allow ‘em to add more filling varieties , like carnitas, as well as a raspas bar.

Also tracking:

Will the Austin-area get its very outpost of Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon this summer up in Round Rock? (2800 South Interstate 35, Suite 120, Round Rock)

Now that building permits have been acquired, will Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery’s two expansions open this season? There’s Lady Quackenbush’s Cakery in Mueller (1900 Simond Avenue) and Captain Quackenbush’s Coffeehouse and Bakery in far South Austin. (5326 Manchaca Road)

Three new spots are opening in downtown as part of the Blueprint building: modern Japanese restaurant TenTen, nightclub Mayfair, and bowling alley bar The Goodnight. (506 West 6th Street)

Bagel shop Nervous Charlie’s is bringing the New York-style carb to North Loop in August. Along with bagels ranging from plain to poppy to French toast to jalapeno, there will be cream cheeses, lox, sliced meats, cheese, and more. (5501 North Lamar Boulevard)

Washington, D.C.-based Mediterranean chain Cava is making its first and second Austin appearances this summer, with build-your-own bowls, pitas, or salads with hummus, harissa, falafel, braised lamb, and more. First up is the one in the Drag (2420 Guadalupe Street, park of Space 24 Twenty), and then there’s the Westlake one (3201 Bee Caves Road). One is also set to open in downtown Austin sometime later. Update: All three are open

Japanese crepes are coming to Austin courtesy of Crêpeful. This means crepes wrapped in a cone shape and then filled with sweets like fruits, chocolates, sauces, etc. sometime this summer out on Lake Travis. (6550 Comanche Trail)

Austin’s favorite burger spot P. Terry’s is opening a new drive-thru-only location out near the Austin Bergstrom-International Airport sometime this summer (1551 Texas Highway 71).

Likewise, P. Terry’s taco sibling Taco Ranch is opening its second drive-thru in northern downtown Austin this summer as well (517 West Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard).

Parkside Projects’ juice cafe Jugo is expanding into Rosedale for its second shop (4200 North Lamar Boulevard) this summer.

While Lucy’s on the Fly closed on South Congress over the spring, Lucy’s Fried Chicken is expanding into Cedar Park this summer. (401 East Whitestone Boulevard, Cedar Park) Status: Now open

Fall 2018: Amy’s Ice Creams [Manor Road]; Anthem; Bakery Lorraine; Carpenter Hotel; Chispas; East Austin Hotel; Easy Tiger [Linc]; Gatti; Kerbey Lane Cafe [Mueller]; Malibu Poke; Micklethwait Craft Meats [Smithville]; P6; Sway [Westlake]; Tio Pepe Chicken; Unknown Bullfight replacement; Ways & Means Oyster House

Rest of 2018:

24 Diner [Rock Rose]; Batch Brewery; Burgerim; Hold Out Brewing; Little Brother; Marinas; Pinthouse Pizza [Round Rock]; Tiki Tatsu-ya; Unknown Philip Speer restaurant; Unnamed Line Austin Hotel restaurant, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ [Manchaca[

2019: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s third food court; Austin Proper; Craftwork; Fierce Whiskers Distillery; Guesthouse Hotel; Mignette; 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]; Salt & Time [Saint Elmo] Tacodeli [downtown]

2020: Austin Marriott Downtown

Unknown: 85C Bakery Cafe; 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 Restaurant [Burnet]


710 West César Chávez Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Visit Website

Vaquero Taquero [North Campus]

104 East 31st Street, Austin, Texas 78705 Visit Website

Bird Bird Biscuit

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

Ramen Tatsu-ya [East 6th]

1600 East 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78702 Visit Website

The Switch

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


1220 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78704