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Austin Food Experts Honor the Restaurants Making a Difference in the Community

From advocating for better pay to fundraising for disasters

A restaurant patio.
L’oca d’Oro.
L’oca d’Oro
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

As is the tradition as we near the end of 2023, 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 eight:

Was there one restaurant in particular that you felt really stepped up for your local community? How did they do so?

Eric Webb, freelance writer and Eater contributing writer

I will be at Bambino from the L’oca d’Oro team with bells on.

Pat Sharpe, restaurant critic, Texas Monthly

Adam Orman, the owner of L’Oca d’Oro has been a tireless advocate and eloquent spokesman for better pay for restaurant employees for years. Just recently he was quoted here in support of a bill introduced into Congress to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $17 an hour. (It was last increased 14 years ago, so it’s way overdue).

Chris Hughes, features editor, Texas Highways

I think it continues to be Edgar Rico and Sara Mardanbigi of Nixta Taqueria. They’re just great advocates for the Austin food community.

Lenny Dewi, @eats_n_noods

I don’t have a particular one but many restaurants/ food trucks stepped up during Dine with Maui and I am very thankful for all of them despite their own struggles they wanted to help.

Jane Ko, blogger, A Taste of Koko

Adam Orman at L’Oca d’Oro is still continuing the good work with Good Work Austin that helps locally owned small businesses create good jobs and a quality workspace for all hospitality workers.

Darcie Duttweiler, freelance writer and Eater contributing writer

I can’t really think of just one restaurant, but it was really heartwarming to see the industry turn out for LeAnn Mueller’s memorial and support her wife Ali Clem.

Nadia Chaudhury, editor, Eater Austin

It’s been heartwarming to see restaurants/cooks/people/etc. rally around causes and struggling businesses through food, but at the same time, it’s been disappointing to see what causes/struggling businesses haven’t been supported in the same way.

L'Oca d'Oro

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

Nixta Taqueria

2512 East 12th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 551-3855 Visit Website