As is the tradition as we near the end of 2021, 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 that 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 four:
What restaurant or restaurant-related (pop-ups, etc.) return or debut are you most excited for in 2022?
Jane Ko, blogger, A Taste of Koko
[Houston-based] Local Foods is opening in downtown Austin on Second Street — I’m so excited for a healthy concept that also tastes really good and supports our local farmers.
Nicolai McCrary, Austin staff writer, The Infatuation, and photographer for Eater Austin
I’m really excited for Este to open up — the folks at Suerte consistently crank out some of the best food in town, so I’m curious to see what their seafood concept looks like. In the past year, we’ve also seen a ton of really great pop-ups — like Le Beef Burger and Teddy Simon’s lunchboxes — and I’m just excited to see what comes out of them. I love the idea of pop-ups just posting up at different bars and restaurants — it kind of gives you the opportunity to experience a familiar space in an entirely new way.
Pat Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
I’m beyond excited to see what Savannah chef Mashama Bailey and her long-time financial supporter and collaborator John O. Morisano do with the two restaurants — the Grey Diner and the Grey Market — that they’re planning to open in the under-construction hotel the Thompson.
Paula Forbes, cookbook writer and critic, and former editor of Eater Austin
I’m very excited for Mashama Bailey to come to town, I can’t wait for her restaurants at the Thompson. Lazarus Brewing. And, um, sorry to be this person, but I’m really excited about a couple of upcoming spots that haven’t yet been announced. But good things are on the horizon!
Raphael Brion, Texas editor, The Infatuation, and former editor of Eater
So many awesome things to look forward to in 2022: Anything and everything Laura Sawicki will be working on. Este from Sam Hellman-Mass and Fermín Núñez. Mashama Bailey’s restaurants at the Thompson hotel downtown. Lazarus Brewing in the former I Luv Video space. Hai Hospitality’s Japanese whiskey bar Uchibā in the Google building downtown. And maybe just maybe one day the St. Elmo Public Market will open?
Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
Whenever Grae Nonas opens his Italian restaurant, I will go every day.
Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
Honestly, I’m excited for the not-announced in-the-works food pop-ups/trucks/small restaurants seeking to bring delicious under-explored food perspectives to Austin.
I’m also looking forward to experiencing Savannah chef Mashama Bailey and business partner John O. Morisano's restaurants the Grey Diner and the Grey Market.