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Wu Chow
Wu Chow
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Austin's Biggest Restaurant Openings of 2015

Restaurant reminiscing.

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Wu Chow
| Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Austin was awash with restaurant openings this year. There was uniquely high-end Counter 3.Five.VII, long-awaited modern Chinese from Wu Chow, and Shake Shack’s hotly anticipated Texas debut. Now that 2015 is ending, here’s a look back at the city’s biggest, most memorable openings of the year, presented in alphabetical order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Apis Restaurant & Apiary

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23526 State Highway 71 W
Spicewood, TX 78669
(512) 436-8918
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Apis is worth the trek out to Spicewood, with a seasonal menu from bee-obsessed chef Taylor Hall and an apiary on the grounds for honey.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

2. Blue Cat Cafe

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95 Navasota St
Austin, TX 78702
Austin’s very first cat cafe became a reality in under a year. Owner Rebecca Gray launched her Kickstarter in February, raised funds by April, secured a (controversial) location, and opened by October. Since then, there have been plenty of cat adoptions, vegan barbecue, and coffee.
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

3. Bullfight

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4807 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
(512) 474-2029
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Post-Chavez, Shawn Cirkiel focused on the brightly-colored Bullfight, where the menu ranges from Spanish tapas, takes on traditional dishes, and heartier entrees. Everything is paired with the sherry-focused wine list and desserts from Erica Waksmunski.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

4. Counter 3.FIVE.VII

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315 Congress Ave Ste 100
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 291-3327
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Counter 3.Five.VII broke the typical dining mold by offering no tables, no servers, and no tipping. The chef’s counter restaurant went even further by offering only three, five, and seven course tasting menus. When founding chef Lawrence Kocurek left, Damien Brockway picked up where he left off.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

5. Emmer & Rye

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SkyHouse 51 Rainey Street #110
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 366-5530
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The New American cuisine at Emmer & Rye is truly Texas-focused, where dishes from Kevin Fink and Page Pressley all stem from local produce and meats. At the center lies grains, the inspiration behind the name, with in-house made breads and pastas. Plus, there is an equally creative and in-depth fermentation program creating vinegars, sodas, and vegetables.
Nicolai McCrary/EATX

6. Fukumoto

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514 Medina St
Austin, TX
It was time for Austin to get a proper izakaya and sushi bar, and Fukumoto does not disappoint. Musashino vet Kazu Fukumoto creates delicious and beautiful grilled chicken parts, and delectable cuts of fish for simple sushi.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

7. Geraldine's

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605 Davis St Ste 400
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 476-4755
Chef Frank Mnuk’s all-star team for the Hotel Van Zandt restaurant includes dessert superstar Callie Speer adding her mash-up sweets touch to creations like the sugary biscuits and gravy. There’s also cocktail wizard Jennifer Keyser’s inventive drinks like the ode to the Texas icon Willie’s Cup, made with, of course, hemp seed milk. Finally, Mnuk makes dining easy with shareable Austin-inspired plates and epic feasts.
JR Photo/EATX

8. Juniper

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2400 E Cesar Chavez St Ste 304
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 220-9421
Visit Website
Of the many, many Italian restaurants that opened this year in Austin, it was Juniper where Uchi alum Nicholas Yanes tangled northern Italy and Texas into a menu where pastas are paired with pig ears, oxtail ragu, or even caviar. Plus, those puffy potatoes.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

9. Launderette

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2115 Holly St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 382-1599
Visit Website
While Launderette is still awaiting the second phase of the project, Eater’s Restaurant of the Year still brings a much welcomed neighborhood cafe from Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki, where the flavorful layered food span global influences to comforting dishes.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

10. Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

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419 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 271-2474
Visit Website
Texas chef Tim Love made his Austin mark with the expansion of his popular Lonesome Dove. Love’s big personality comes out with the menu full of rabbit-rattlesnake sausages, elk, roasted pig, and many more meats.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

11. Shake Shack

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1100 S Lamar Blvd #2100
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 717-0430
Visit Website
Shake Shack-mania took over Austin in the spring when the cultishly loved burger chain opened its first Texas spot. And then, never one to rest, far north Austin got Texas’ second Shake Shack in the Domain with a bocce ball court.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

12. Via 313 Pizzeria

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6705 Highway 290
Austin, TX
The beloved Detroit pizza slingers opened up its first brick and mortar to Oak Hill, where the signature square pies are joined by bar pies. The empire is expanding with a second restaurant near campus, too.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

13. Voodoo Doughnut Austin V

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212 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 215-8586
Visit Website
Portland’s famous doughnut shop set up in the heart of Dirty Sixth, which is appropriate for the decadent sweets topped with frosting, candy, and cereal in sometimes naughty shapes.

14. Wu Chow

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500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701
After all the talk and pop-ups, Wu Chow, featuring modern Chinese fare and dim sum from chefs Ji Peng Chen and Ling Qi Wu, finally opened. Yes, there are also soup dumplings, salt and pepper squid, and even Peking duck.
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

1. Apis Restaurant & Apiary

23526 State Highway 71 W, Spicewood, TX 78669
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Apis is worth the trek out to Spicewood, with a seasonal menu from bee-obsessed chef Taylor Hall and an apiary on the grounds for honey.
23526 State Highway 71 W
Spicewood, TX 78669

2. Blue Cat Cafe

95 Navasota St, Austin, TX 78702
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX
Austin’s very first cat cafe became a reality in under a year. Owner Rebecca Gray launched her Kickstarter in February, raised funds by April, secured a (controversial) location, and opened by October. Since then, there have been plenty of cat adoptions, vegan barbecue, and coffee.
95 Navasota St
Austin, TX 78702

3. Bullfight

4807 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Post-Chavez, Shawn Cirkiel focused on the brightly-colored Bullfight, where the menu ranges from Spanish tapas, takes on traditional dishes, and heartier entrees. Everything is paired with the sherry-focused wine list and desserts from Erica Waksmunski.
4807 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751

4. Counter 3.FIVE.VII

315 Congress Ave Ste 100, Austin, TX 78701
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Counter 3.Five.VII broke the typical dining mold by offering no tables, no servers, and no tipping. The chef’s counter restaurant went even further by offering only three, five, and seven course tasting menus. When founding chef Lawrence Kocurek left, Damien Brockway picked up where he left off.
315 Congress Ave Ste 100
Austin, TX 78701

5. Emmer & Rye

SkyHouse 51 Rainey Street #110, Austin, TX 78701
Nicolai McCrary/EATX
The New American cuisine at Emmer & Rye is truly Texas-focused, where dishes from Kevin Fink and Page Pressley all stem from local produce and meats. At the center lies grains, the inspiration behind the name, with in-house made breads and pastas. Plus, there is an equally creative and in-depth fermentation program creating vinegars, sodas, and vegetables.
SkyHouse 51 Rainey Street #110
Austin, TX 78701

6. Fukumoto

514 Medina St, Austin, TX
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
It was time for Austin to get a proper izakaya and sushi bar, and Fukumoto does not disappoint. Musashino vet Kazu Fukumoto creates delicious and beautiful grilled chicken parts, and delectable cuts of fish for simple sushi.
514 Medina St
Austin, TX

7. Geraldine's

605 Davis St Ste 400, Austin, TX 78701
JR Photo/EATX
Chef Frank Mnuk’s all-star team for the Hotel Van Zandt restaurant includes dessert superstar Callie Speer adding her mash-up sweets touch to creations like the sugary biscuits and gravy. There’s also cocktail wizard Jennifer Keyser’s inventive drinks like the ode to the Texas icon Willie’s Cup, made with, of course, hemp seed milk. Finally, Mnuk makes dining easy with shareable Austin-inspired plates and epic feasts.
605 Davis St Ste 400
Austin, TX 78701

8. Juniper

2400 E Cesar Chavez St Ste 304, Austin, TX 78702
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Of the many, many Italian restaurants that opened this year in Austin, it was Juniper where Uchi alum Nicholas Yanes tangled northern Italy and Texas into a menu where pastas are paired with pig ears, oxtail ragu, or even caviar. Plus, those puffy potatoes.
2400 E Cesar Chavez St Ste 304
Austin, TX 78702

9. Launderette

2115 Holly St, Austin, TX 78702
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
While Launderette is still awaiting the second phase of the project, Eater’s Restaurant of the Year still brings a much welcomed neighborhood cafe from Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki, where the flavorful layered food span global influences to comforting dishes.
2115 Holly St
Austin, TX 78702

10. Lonesome Dove Western Bistro

419 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Texas chef Tim Love made his Austin mark with the expansion of his popular Lonesome Dove. Love’s big personality comes out with the menu full of rabbit-rattlesnake sausages, elk, roasted pig, and many more meats.
419 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701

11. Shake Shack

1100 S Lamar Blvd #2100, Austin, TX 78704
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
Shake Shack-mania took over Austin in the spring when the cultishly loved burger chain opened its first Texas spot. And then, never one to rest, far north Austin got Texas’ second Shake Shack in the Domain with a bocce ball court.
1100 S Lamar Blvd #2100
Austin, TX 78704

12. Via 313 Pizzeria

6705 Highway 290, Austin, TX
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
The beloved Detroit pizza slingers opened up its first brick and mortar to Oak Hill, where the signature square pies are joined by bar pies. The empire is expanding with a second restaurant near campus, too.
6705 Highway 290
Austin, TX

13. Voodoo Doughnut Austin V

212 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Portland’s famous doughnut shop set up in the heart of Dirty Sixth, which is appropriate for the decadent sweets topped with frosting, candy, and cereal in sometimes naughty shapes.
212 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

14. Wu Chow

500 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701
Robert J. Lerma/EATX
After all the talk and pop-ups, Wu Chow, featuring modern Chinese fare and dim sum from chefs Ji Peng Chen and Ling Qi Wu, finally opened. Yes, there are also soup dumplings, salt and pepper squid, and even Peking duck.
500 W 5th St
Austin, TX 78701

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