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The New Austin Restaurants Local Dining Experts Are Most Excited About in 2021

From Sonya Cote’s Bastrop restaurant to an Italian food truck expansion to a Dripping Springs bakery

Croissants from Abby Jane Bakeshop
Croissants from Abby Jane Bakeshop
Abby Jane Bakeshop/Facebook

As is the tradition as we near the end of 2020, Eater asked a trusted group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past culinary year in Austin. Given the insanity of this year, Eater has adapted the standard survey into one the reflects the new realities of takeout, restaurant shutters, and a shaky industry. All answers will be revealed before the year ends — cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Question number five:

What new restaurant are you most excited for in 2021?

Pat Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
I can’t wait to see what Sonya Cote does with Store House Market & Eatery in Bastrop, which might even be open by the middle of December. The tidbits they’ve revealed sound fun: the menu is “Cajun Outback” (Cote consulted with a Louisiana chef), and they’re growing a lot of the produce themselves. Even better, the building where the restaurant is to be located has been a storehouse, funeral home, and brothel (but not all at once, thankfully). [Ed. note: Store House has since adjusted the concept to a comfort food restaurant with Southern and Cajun influences. The restaurant is currently open for takeout.]

Robert Jacob Lerma, photographer for Eater Austin and others
Not one, but all. So much of who we are as a society and city depend on our community and food. Time will tell when that is in 2021. We can only hope it’s sooner versus later.

Jane Ko, blogger, A Taste of Koko
Aside from the Koko Pop-Up at 101 By Tea Haus, I hope Suerte’s taquero takeover [Ed. note: where guest chefs collaborate on taco specials] will continue into 2021.

Katie Friel, editor, CultureMap Austin
I am excited for anyone that is pushing forward in this economy, so I’m going to take the easy way out and say: all of them.

Nicolai McCrary, Austin staff writer, The Infatuation
Hopefully, all of them. Right now it’s so hard to know who’s going to make it through. I was excited to read about what Last Straw did over the summer — using their kitchen to help prepare healthy meals for kids that were out of school — and I hope to see them open back up eventually. But most of all, I’m just hopeful that all the places that have really taken safety seriously — often at a large cost to them — make it through stronger than ever.

Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
I’m super pumped for the physical restaurant location of cinnamon roll experts Teal House and another location of Italian food truck Arti Pasta. (I also hope they both come further north someday.)

Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
I really, really hope the current Austin restaurant industry survives this tumultuous year. That being said, I am looking forward to baker Abby Love’s Dripping Springs bakery and — when it’s safe to be out and about in the world — the St. Elmo Public Market if it does finally open.

I also hope that many of the really awesome pop-ups and food services expand with physical locations, if that’s what they want to do.

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