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Statesman Names Italian Restaurant L’Oca d’Oro as the Best in Austin

Plus, where Austin City Limits Music Festival performers ate and drank in the city, and more news

A restaurant dining room with blue walls and brown tables and red banquettes.
L’Oca d’Oro
Robert J. Lerma/Eater Austin
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.

Fresh off his appearance on the newest season of Somebody Feed Phil this week, Statesman food critic Matthew Odam released his annual dining guide where he ranks the best restaurants in Austin. Number one is Mueller Italian restaurant L’Oca d’Oro, because co-owners chef Fiore Tedesco and Adam Orman advocate for the restaurant community through nonprofit Good Work Austin as well as their efforts to feed the city, and, naturally, the food. The rest of the list includes New Texan butcher shop and restaurant Dai Due (2), New American wine restaurant Birdie’s (3, where Odam filmed his Somebody Feed Phil segment), Mexican restaurant Suerte (4), Mexican restaurant Nixta Taqueria (5), Neapolitan pizzeria and wine restaurant Bufalina Due (6), New Texan restaurant Lenoir (7), Caribbean restaurant Canje (8), Barbecue restaurant Interstellar BBQ (9), New Texan tasting menu restaurant Barley Swine (10, and so on until American steakhouse Bartlett’s at 27.

Where Austin City Limits Music Festival performers ate in Austin

Ah, yes, Austin City Limits Music Festival time means that big-deal singers/musicians/bands are spending time in the city, which means they’ll have to eat. Country music star Kacey Musgraves shared on her Instagram stories that she dined at Chicago-import Mediterannean restaurant Aba, and she also went to East Austin honky tonk bar White Horse (which is actually where she filmed a music video before) and got some tacos from Bomb Tacos. Rapper Lil Nas X dined at the Westlake location of fast food chain Raising Canes and apparently went to downtown LGBTQ bar Highland Lounge. Michelle Zauner of alt-pop band Japanese Breakfast got a delivery of bagels and cream cheese and kimchi from farmers market stand/Sunset Valley restaurant Casper Fermentables.

Barbecue restaurant fire

East Austin barbecue restaurant Sam’s BBQ caught on fire this week on the morning of Wednesday, October 19. Austin Fire Department tweeted that it was a “cooking fire contained to the exhaust system.” The restaurant had to temporarily close, but KXAN reported that it reopened on Thursday.

Restaurant closure

Round Rock restaurant Greenhouse Craft Food closed as of October 16, as reported by Community Impact. Owner Rob Snow opened the restaurant in 2013. Its food truck at Black Sparrow Music Parlor in Taylor, Texas will remain open.

Austin chain expansions

Austin ice cream mini-chain Lick Honest Ice Creams, which just celebrated its 11th anniversary, is opening up in College Station this week. The 175 Century Square Drive, Suite 11 shop opened on October 19. This is its seventh overall location in Texas

Culinary grant applications

The Texas Food & Wine Alliance is now accepting applications for its annual culinary grant, as of October 1. The nonprofit is aiming to give out $111,500 in grants to cooks, bakers, food producers, etc., etc., looking to embark on projects and businesses. The deadline is Sunday, October 23, with the awardees announced on January 21, 2023.

Tracking Austin-area events

Geared around the fanciness of F1, Fairmont Hotel restaurant Garrison is offering a multi-night tasting menu special with Italian chef Alfonso Caputo of one-Michelin-starred restaurant Taverna del Capitano. The meals are $225 per person with an additional $125 for beverage pairings. It is available Thursday, October 20 through Monday, October 24. Reservations must be booked online.

Southeast Austin brewery Independence Brewing Co. is throwing an anniversary party for its 18th birthday this weekend. It’ll take on a state fair format, with fried foods, carnival games, prizes, and 18 new beers. It takes place on Saturday, October 22 from 3 to 10 p.m.

Hill Country brewery Jester King is hosting its annual Funk n’ Sour Fest again next week. The event features dishes from Austin-area restaurants paired with boozy beverages from area breweries/distilleries/etc. This includes Uchiko with ABGB, Justine’s with American Solera, and others. It takes place on Tuesday, October 25 from 6 to 11 p.m. Tickets are $140.

As part of biscuit shop Little Ola’s one-year anniversary, it’s doing a giveaway where the winner will be able to get a free biscuit or biscuit sandwich every day for a year. Participants will have to do some social media actions in the month of October, and the winner will be picked on Monday, October 31.

Brand new multi-day music and food festival Lucktoberfest, which was supposed to take place over the course of ten days in late October into early November, had to cut down its events because of “the uncertainty of the touring market,” as reported by Chronicle. This means many of the food-centric days, including Oktoberfest, the Luck Night Market with Asian American And Pacific Island food businesses, and Halloween aren’t happening anymore. Instead, there will be three days of concerts.

Passes for Aaron Franklin et al’s food and music festival Hot Luck next year are on sale right now at a discount. The Whole Enchilada pass allows entry to most of the food events, concerts, and more. It’s $450 for adults, $150 for kids between the ages of 13 to 20, $75 for children 12 years old and younger, and $900 for families of two adults and two kids. The festival takes place over Memorial Day weekend from Thursday, May 25 through Sunday, May 28.

Austin food nonprofit grows bigger

The Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Austin Chapter announced its newest members this month. These include Colleen’s Kitchen’s Ashley Fric, Summer Revival Wine Co.’s Becky Atkins, Julie Myrtille, Suga’s Cakery’s Patricia Bedford, and many others.

Cafe openings

Arboretum hotel the Renaissance Austin recently renovated a lot of its property in North Austin as of early October. This includes a new cafe, Choza, found in the atrium, serving coffee, breakfast tacos, and pastries in the morning, and tequila cocktails, margaritas, other booze, and tacos at night. The hotel also plans on adding an alfresco pergola to its on-site restaurant the Knotty Deck & Bar later this fall.

The White Horse

500 Comal Street, , TX 78702 (512) 553-6756 Visit Website

Bomb Tacos

500 Comal Street, , TX 78702

Casper Fermentables

4715 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78745 Visit Website

Independence Brewing Co.

3913 Todd Lane, , TX 78744 (512) 707-0099 Visit Website

Lick Honest Ice Creams

3821 Bellaire Boulevard, , TX 77025 (346) 867-6146 Visit Website

Aba [Austin]

1001 South Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78704 Visit Website

Jester King Brewery

13187 Fitzhugh Road, , TX 78736 Visit Website

Highland Lounge

404 Colorado Street, , TX 78701 (512) 649-1212 Visit Website

L'Oca d'Oro

1900 Simond Avenue, , TX 78723 (737) 212-1876 Visit Website

Greenhouse Craft Food

1400 E Old Settlers Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78664 (512) 366-5567 Visit Website

Fairmont Austin

101 Red River Street, , TX 78701 (512) 600-2000 Visit Website

Sam's BBQ

2000 East 12th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 478-0378 Visit Website