While Mardi Gras and the Carnival season are very different this year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, there is one tradition that can still take place safely: king cake. The sweet, colorful, typically ring-shaped, brioche-based cake stuffed with cream or fruit fillings usually includes a randomly placed plastic baby. Whoever finds the figurine in their portion is deemed the “king” of the day, but also has to purchase next year’s cake.
Already, Austin bakeries and restaurants are selling king cakes, since Carnival kicked off with Epiphany on January 6, and Fat Tuesday takes place on February 16. There’s New Orleans-sourced cakes at Cypress Grill, options from Little Ola’s Biscuits and Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, and even doughnut iterations from Lola’s. For additional king cake needs, look to local supermarkets, grocery stores, and markets such as H-E-B, Central Market, and Wheatsville.
As with all businesses right now, be sure to call ahead to make sure each bakery/restaurant is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Be sure to wear a mask, tip well, and, if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the bakery/restaurant themselves.
A number of Austin restaurants have resumed dine-in service. That level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the City of Austin website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.Read More