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Food at Salt Lick BBQ.
Mackenzie Smith Kelley

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14 Most-Read Eater Austin Stories in 2023 and 19 You Might Have Missed

Hill Country barbecue news to the death of an Austin barbecue legend to an all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant

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.

As part of the the annual tradition that is Year in Eater, Eater Austin looked back at the site’s most-read stories of 2023. People have been excited about many restaurant openings to updates on Austin’s controversial Top Chef winner to, yes, a celebrity sighting at a local bar.

So here are the 14 stories that caught the eyes of Eater Austin readers this year, plus, 19 additional stories that you might’ve missed this year that are worth reading.

14. Austin City Limits Music Festival Artists Share Their Favorite Local Restaurants

The music festival is a big deal for the city, so Eater Austin asked performers where they like to eat and drink here. Spoiler alert: lots of people are Casa de Luz fans.

13. H Mart Is Going to Open a Second Austin Store in Allandale With a Food Court

The fact that the international Korean supermarket chain is opening in Austin proper is a hella big deal. It hasn’t opened on Burnet Road yet, but here’s hoping for a date sometime in early 2024.

A tray of barbecue and sides.
Barbecue from Lockhart restaurant Barbs B Q.
Barbs B Q

12. Texas’s Biggest Barbecue City Is Attracting a New Crop of Exciting Restaurants

The city of Lockhart, Texas has always been a destination through the decades for its barbecue, but now, a group of newcomer restaurants and bars to the town have been offering new exciting options.

11. New All-You-Can-Eat Korean Barbecue Restaurant Opens in South Austin

It’s evident that Eater Austin readers love Korean restaurants. And this independent restaurant, Gangnam Korean BBQ, brought all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue to South Austin in the spring.

10. Buzzy Mexico Restaurant Opens Second American Location in Austin

This article is a two-fold one. First, Tarrytown restaurant and bar Abel’s on the Lake closed quietly at the end of 2022. And then, second, a restaurant from Mexico expanded into the city, Quince, with stylish vibes.

9. Legendary Texas Barbecue Restaurant Is Expanding to Fredericksburg

Salt Lick BBQ is a barbecue Texas stalwart and people are very excited that it’s opening a third location out in the Hill Country, along with a standalone wine tasting room and shop, sometime in 2025.

Two tacos with sticked meats.
The yakitori tacos at Ramen del Barrio.
Cat Cardenas/Eater Austin

8. New Mexican-Japanese Ramen Restaurant Debuts in North Austin

Eater readers have been very excited about the opening of Ramen del Barrio in February. And, yeah, it did win an Eater Award for the best restaurant of 2023.

7. Amazon Is Creating a Texas Town With a Tex-Mex/Barbecue Restaurant, Bars, and a Gas Station Mini-Mart for SXSW

South by Southwest is that prime time for outrageous branded pop-ups and the such, and this one from Amazon caught the attentions of Eater readers. For the company’s streaming service Amazon Prime, it set up a town-like space dubbed Prime, Texas with food and drinks and then turned Austin Hotel into a gas station market for the Swarm television show.

6. How to Shop Like a Pro at Central Market — Texas’s Real Best Grocery Chain

Everybody loves H-E-B, but did you know that Central Market is secretly better?

Bulk spices at a supermarket.
Central Market’s spices.
Courtney Pierce/Eater Austin

5. Drake Partied at Two Downtown Austin Restaurants and Bars

The rapper hung out at downtown Japanese restaurant TenTen and downtown bar Devil May Care after his Austin concerts earlier this fall.

4. Austin Barbecue Great LeAnn Mueller Dies at 51

LeAnn Mueller was a barbecue legend, from growing up in the famous Mueller family to running essential Austin restaurant La Barbecue. People paid their tributes to her as well.

3. Prepare to Enter the Fantastical World of Gaming and Dining With This Exciting New Role-Playing Space in Austin

Tiny Minotaur is an ambitious in-real-life role-playing space with gaming, food, and drinks, that opened in the fall.

2. 6 Austin Chefs and Restaurants Are James Beard Award Semifinalists in 2023

It’s always great to see Austin chefs on the long-list of the national restaurant and chef awards, but unfortunately (and wrongly), none made it through into the finalist list.

1. ‘Top Chef’ Contestants Speak Out on How Bravo Handled Austin Chef Gabe Erales’s Controversial Win

Two years after Erales won Top Chef and it was revealed that he was actually fired from his position at Austin restaurant Comedor in 2020 for allegedly harassing an employee, the New York Times asked his fellow contestants how they felt about what happened and how Bravo dealt with everything.

A table of sandwiches and pastries on a tray and boxed salads.
Sandwiches, salads, and pastries from Texas French Bread.
Texas French Bread

Other Stories You Might Have Missed

January 2023

The Painstaking Journey of Rebuilding Texas French Bread

Sprawling Central East Austin Restaurant Closes, Turns Into Private and Pop-Up Restaurant Space

February 2023

Omakase Restaurant Sushi|Bar ATX’s Taking Over Bento Picnic’s Entire East Austin Space

March 2023

Is ‘Flamin’ Hot,’ the Cheetos Origin Story, True? Eva Longoria Says It Doesn’t Matter.

The ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Restaurant Gets a New Name Honoring Horror Director

April 2023

Exceptional Austin Taco Group Stars in New Documentary Series

Elon Musk’s Little Brother Is Opening a Restaurant in Austin’s Tallest Building

May 2023

An Austin Chef Tried Developing Recipes With AI and Formed a Love/Hate Relationship With It

What Defines a Great Austin Bar? Doug Has Thoughts.

June 2023

An Austin Coffee Shop and Bar Wants to Become a Haven for Black Austinites

Austin’s the Native Is Turning Into a Putt-Putt Golf Course — What’s Happening to Its Restaurants?

The Native
A space in the Native.
Charles Reagan Hackleman

July 2023

Powerhouse Hospitality Group MML Expands Into Catering by Purchasing Word of Mouth

August 2023

Texas’s All-Ages Drag Ban Won’t Keep Austin’s Most Avid Performers off the Stage

Austin’s Acclaimed Mexican Destination Nixta Faces Closure Over Bizarre Permitting Issues

September 2023

Downtown Austin Restaurant Red Ash Caught on Fire

October 2023

These Pop-Up Dining Experiences Are Definitely, Probably Coming Soon to Austin

For Jimmy Buffett, Austin Was Always Margaritaville

November 2023

St. Elmo Public Market Is No More — Instead, It’s Turning Into a Duckpin Bowling Alley/Arcade/Bar

December 2023

Uchiko Alums Unite to Open Their Own Omakase Restaurant in Austin

An oyster dish.
An oyster dish from Craft Omakase.
Craft Omakase

H Mart

9896 Bellaire Boulevard, , TX 77036 (713) 468-0606 Visit Website

Central Market

4001 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78756 (713) 386-1700 Visit Website

Abel's on the Lake

3825 Lake Austin Boulevard, Austin, Texas 78703 +1 512-904-0570 Visit Website

TenTen

501 West 6th Street, , TX 78701 (737) 243-9147 Visit Website

The Salt Lick BBQ

18300 Farm to Market Road 1826, , TX 78619 (512) 858-4959 Visit Website

Quince [Austin]

3825 Lake Austin Boulevard, Suite 201, Austin, Texas 78703 Visit Website

Tiny Minotaur Tavern

2701 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas 78702 Visit Website

la Barbecue

2401 East Cesar Chavez Street, , TX 78702 Visit Website

Devil May Care

500 West 6th Street, , TX 78701 (512) 767-6052 Visit Website

Gangnam Korean BBQ

1100 Little Texas Lane, , TX 78745 (512) 344-9945 Visit Website

Ramen del Barrio

1700 Farm to Market Road 734, , TX 78754 Visit Website
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