Now that 2019 is over, it’s time to take a look at the latest slate of Austin restaurants opening this winter. This season brings about brand new ramen contender Sazan Ramen, Greek fine dining restaurant Simi Estiatoria, and, yes, a brewery from the Better Half team full of burgers and beers, among many others.
Know of an impending restaurant opening that is missing below? Send it through the tipline. This guide will be updated throughout the season as details change and places open.
Location: 6929 Airport Boulevard, Suite 146, Highland
Key Players: Chef Shun Shiroma, People behind Terakawa Ramen, Ramen Azuma, Donburiya, Naruto Ramen, and Nishida Sho-ten
Opening Date: March 2020
Rather than using the ubiquitous tonkotsu (pork-based broth) within the ramen at the forthcoming Japanese restaurant, Sazan is focusing on tori paitan, a creamy chicken broth, instead. Along with noodle soup and additional rice to soak up the broth, the table-service restaurant will serve up other Japanese dishes and cocktails. The group behind Sazan knows ramen very well: they run several East Coast-based ramen restaurants, and heralding the kitchen is Shun Shiroma, who worked at Michelin-starred ramen restaurant Tsuta Tokyo in Japan.
Location: 601 Congress Avenue, Downtown
Key Players: George Theodosiou
Opening Date: Late Winter 2020
Greek is coming to downtown Austin with the arrival of the new fine dining restaurant from owner George Theodosiou. While there is no attached chef as of yet, the restaurant will fly in fresh seafood straight from the Mediterranean region every day. Expect items like grilled octopus, seafood orzo, and assorted whole fish, paired along American and Greek wines.
Location: 1208 West 4th Street, West Austin
Key Players: co-owners Matthew Bolick, Matt Wright, Grady Wright, general manager Mark Stowe, executive chef Rich Reimbolt, head brewer Brent Sapstead
Opening Date: Early 2020
Is this the season that the long-awaited brewery from the team behind Better Half and Brew & Brew finally opens? The beer experts have already been brewing collaborative beers with local breweries such as Real Ale Brewing and St. Elmo Brewing. Food-wise, there’s excellent burger options.
Also tracking (in alphabetical order):
- Canadian ax-throwing bar Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) is aiming to open its first Austin location at the Linc sometime in March. Expect beer, wine, coolers, ciders, and food from an as-of-yet-unknown local restaurant. (6406 North I-35, near Highland)
- Bishop Cidercade, a Dallas-based cider bar and arcade, is opening its first Austin location within the old Joe’s Crab Shack in South Austin sometime in February or March. On deck will be over 30 draft ciders and wines and plenty of games. (600 East Riverside Drive, South River City)
- Oregon-based chain Black Rock Coffee Bar is opening the first of its first three Texas locations in Austin at Lantana Place on Friday, January 20, with coffee and espresso drinks and a drive-thru. (7415 Southwest Parkway, near Oak Hill)
- East Austin barbecue restaurant EastSide Tavern opened its new casual South Austin restaurant Bouldin Acres as of Thursday, January 23. The mostly outdoors restaurant will feature a wide-spanning menu of burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and tacos, plus outdoor games like pickleball. (2027 South Lamar Boulevard, Zilker)
- Bull & Bowl, the downtown bar boasting duckpin bowling, mechanical bull-riding, cocktails, and bar food, is aiming to open in late February or early March 2020, just before South by Southwest. (501 West Sixth Street, Downtown)
- Never ones to keep still, the Better Half team is also opening a burrito truck dubbed Bummer Burrito is now open as of Thursday, February 20. The truck, boasting burritos with meat and vegetables plus other late-night items, will be parked outside of sibling spot Little Brother. (89 Rainey Street, Downtown)
- Beloved Austin gelato shop Dolce Neve’s second city location within Plaza Saltillo opened on Tuesday, January 21. The space will feature a mural by Houston-based artist Matthew Tabor. (901 East Fifth Street, East Austin)
- Fast-casual Asian street food mini-chain East Side King is expanding with the help of the Murphy Adams Restaurant Group, expecting to open in Cedar Park on Wednesday, January 15 and then in the Arboretum on Wednesday, January 29.
- Austin fast-casual grain bowl restaurant Honest Mary’s opened its second location at the Rosedale Village Shopping Center on Tuesday, January 22. (4800 Burnet Road, Rosedale)
- Caribbean fast-casual restaurant Island Thyme Grill should be opening soon with customizable bowls, salads, and wraps. (2915 Guadalupe Street, Unit A, North Campus)
- East Austin Chinese-American restaurant Old Thousand is expanding with a counter-service iteration up in Brentwood, taking over Noble Sandwich Co.’s old space starting sometime this winter. (4805 Burnet Road, Brentwood)
- Twinned campus hotels The Otis and AC Hotel are expected to open in February. On deck are four restaurants and bars, helmed by chef Martin Wilda (Sway, Stella San Jac). There’s the members-only rooftop bar and pool Otopia with a whole raw wagyu beef bar; fine dining New American restaurant Acre 41, Austin’s second location of Burger Bar, and tapas and cocktail spot Bar AC, with plenty of gin and tonics. (1901 San Antonio Street, West Campus)
- Sunset Valley Hawaiian casual spot Poke Austin is planning on opening its second location with the Plaza Saltillo development on the east side in February 2020. Along with bowls of marinated raw fish, expect beers and sake cocktails. (1501 East 5th Street, East Austin)
- Butcher shop and restaurant Salt & Time should be opening its sandwich-focused branch within Republic Square Park sometime this winter. Along with sandwiches, there will be breakfast dishes like bowls and pastries, beer, wine, and coffee. The menu will also feature collaborations with vendors from the next-door SFC Farmers Market Downtown. (422 Guadalupe Street, Downtown)
- Farmers market dumpling stand Steamies should be opening its dedicated frozen dumpling shop (plus other dim sum goods) very, very soon. (6929 Airport Boulevard, Suite 148, Highland)
- Barbecue tacos courtesy of Micklethwait Craft Meats are coming to Batch Brewhouse & Bugroom with Thursday, January 30 opening of new truck Taco Bronco. (3220 Manor Road, MLK)
- The owners of East Austin Mexican restaurant Gabriela’s opened a downtown taqueria that took over what had been Italian restaurant Frank & Angie’s. Taquero Mucho opened on Thursday, January 30. Expect tacos and tequila, as well as a floral wall, taco wallpaper, and disco balls. (508 West Avenue, West Sixth)
- The Independent’s unnamed coffee shop and bar within that downtown Jenga building, is aiming to open in March. (301 West Street, Downtown)
- All Coming Attractions [EATX]