As is the tradition as we near the end of 2022, Eater asked a trusted group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past culinary year in Austin. All answers will be revealed before the year ends — cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Question number one:
What were your regular go-to destinations in 2022? What newcomer on the scene excited you this year?
Chris Hughes, editor-in-chief, Austin Monthly
Un Mundo de Sabor, Casper Fermentables, Moreno BBQ, and Pedroso’s Pizza. I’m really excited about Con Todo. I feel like what Joseph Gomez is doing is being largely overlooked, which is criminal. Every detail is just so well-conceived and executed, particularly on his seasonal specials.
Darcie Duttweiler, freelance writer and Eater contributing writer
I ate at Birdie’s pretty much any chance I could get! I love their staples — the beef tartare with pecans is one of my favorites — but I also enjoy trying their seasonal vegetables. Plus, with a solid wine list, it’s easy to come back for more.
For newcomers, I’ve eaten at KG BBQ a bunch of times. Their lamb chops are simply divine, and I love their twist of Egyptian flavors on Texas barbecue. I also dream of the so-spicy-it-hurts-so-good jerk chicken at Canje.
Melanie Haupt, food editor, the Austin Chronicle
We’ve had a pretty steady Eldorado Cafe/Komé/Ramen Tatsu-ya/Home Slice/Eastside Pies rotation for the past two years. Our cars practically drive themselves there at this point.
Lenny Dewi, @eats_n_noods and Eater contributing writer
Just to name a few: Ros Niyom Thai, House of Three Gorges, Fresh Tofu, Pho Ha Noi, Chef Hong, Tan My, and more.
I was excited about Honey Pig opening! Also found out about Wee’s Cozy Kitchen, which is run by a Malaysian Auntie who goes by Auntie Wee. I love visiting her and eating her homecooked Malaysian food which is located in a gas station on campus. Ahhan Lao Kitchen is another one. We don’t have a lot of Laotian food here in Austin so it’s always exciting to see it grow.
Jane Ko, blogger, A Taste of Koko
Bulevar, Comedor, Kemuri Tatsu-ya, House of Three Gorges, Thai Fresh, El Chilito, and Bamboo House. I was very excited about Bamboo House — the Peking duck and thin beef slices with sauerkraut stew are so good.
Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
Go-tos: Birdie’s, Workhorse, Epoch, and Better Half. I also eat the breakfast sandwich at P. Terry’s an almost embarrassing amount. In terms of the 2022 openings, I think it was a pretty quiet year — although I am thrilled to see Grae Nonas at Bufalina, and there are a few exciting places I just haven’t had time to visit yet.
Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
Con Todo Con Todo Con Todo Con Todo (even though it opened in October 2021). There is a reason chef Joseph Gomez is on both Eater Nationa’s best new restaurants of the year and Eater Austin’s 2022 Eater Awards. The tacos are just phenomenal — simple yet flavorful yet texture-packed — and the fact that Gomez is drawing from his upbringing/home/community in the Rio Grande Valley region makes it that much better. He has a real sense of place-setting with his food in a way that’s fun, and, yes, delicious.
Another newcomer I’m excited about is Suerte’s seafood spinoff Este — the food was so good, and I am still thinking about the trout a la pulla that several people recommended to me.
As a general book and wine lover, I am still so happy that Vintage Bookstore and Wine Bar exists.
The omakase of Toshokan makes me remember why I love sushi so much.
And also, as a South Austin person, I am very thrilled that Bufalina reopened in East Austin.
And okay, this wasn’t a new-in-2022 place but the pure vibes of Outer Heaven Disco Club are fantastic.
My regular go-to's haven’t changed too much — hi Veracruz and Better Half and newly inducted Nixta — but scrolling through my Swarm, this is what I’ve got:
-South Asian at Jaipur Palace and Asiana
-the mushroom tacos at El Tacorrido
-easy co-working at Meanwhile Brewing (yes there are outlets around the outdoor stage area!)
-go-to easy drinks at Frazier’s (good corn dogs too), Little Drinks Lounge, Crow Bar (they should be reopening next year, yay), Little Darlin’, Ani’s Day & Night, and LoLo.
-the ridiculously amazing baked goods at Baklava House
-Usta Kababgy is still my Eid celebration spot
-I really enjoy Birdie’s for solo dinners