clock menu more-arrow no yes
A circle of golden fried dumplings around a glass dish of brown dipping sauce
Pork and cabbage dumplings from Steamies Dumplings
Steamies Dumplings/Facebook

The Hottest New Restaurants in Austin, December 2021

Loads of dumplings, biscuit sandwiches, and South American baked goods

View as Map
Pork and cabbage dumplings from Steamies Dumplings
| Steamies Dumplings/Facebook

Readers of Eater usually have the same question: Where should I eat right now? Amid the pandemic, the Austin restaurant scene remains as exciting as ever, as new places have continued to open. With all of this in mind, Eater has revamped its monthly heatmap (now in its 118th iteration) to highlight a mix of exciting restaurants, trucks, and food services open right now.

This December update adds the new dining area of Steamies Dumplings.

Know of something new and exciting that should be on our radar? Email the Eater Austin team at austin@eater.com. To see which places were previously on the heatmap, visit the archive. For a look at Austin’s outstanding dining destinations, check out the Eater 38 map.

As with all businesses, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Wear a mask, tip well, and if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the restaurants themselves.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

For all the latest Austin dining intel, subscribe to Eater Austin's newsletter

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Taco Palenque Round Rock

Copy Link
130 Louis Henna Blvd
Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 243-6553
Visit Website

South Texas taco chain Taco Palenque opened its first Austin-area location in November, with an all-hours drive-thru up in Round Rock. The taco shop is known for its pirata taco — filled with fajitas, refried beans, and cheddar cheese — but also offers plates like chilaquiles, burritos, fideo, and more. It’s open for to-go service.

Pirata from Taco Palenque
Pirata from Taco Palenque
Taco Palenque/Facebook

2. Con Todo

Copy Link
10001 Metric Blvd
Austin, TX 78758

Joseph Gomez’s taco truck Con Todo pays homage to his Rio Grande Valley roots with tacos like barbacoa and carne asada, chorizo quesadillas, wheat chicharrones, and buñuelos. The truck opened at Celis Brewery’s new outdoor space in October.

3. Yeni’s Fusion

Copy Link
6507 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 229-5178
Visit Website

Indonesian pop-up Yeni’s Fusion opened a food truck in August, located at the Aristocrat Lounge in Crestview. The menu blends American, Mexican, and Texas barbecue with Indonesian fare, with items like bakso (meatball) soup paired with grilled beef ribs and burgers with smoked curry patties. It’s open for in-person orders, and there is outdoor seating available.

Perkedel kentang (potato fritters) at Yeni’s
Perkedel kentang (potato fritters) at Yeni’s
Yeni’s Fusion

4. Steamies Dumplings

Copy Link
6929 Airport Blvd Ste 148
Austin, TX 78752
(737) 708-8082
Visit Website

Steamies Dumpling’s Highland shop opened a dining room in November. That means you can get soup dumplings, vegan dumplings, scallion pancakes, house-made sodas, and more fresh on-site. Co-owners Cindy Chee and Leslie Chau plan to expand the menu in the future.

Dumplings from Steamies
Dumplings from Steamies
Steamies/Facebook

5. Westlake Wine Bar

Copy Link
3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy A-180
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 814-0005
Visit Website

The newest restaurant in Westlake’s Davenport Village boasts over 150 wines. Pierre Leitgib, who was a co-owner of French cafe Paris in a Bite, opened Westlake Wine Bar in September with a menu of beef bourguignon, tartare, steaks, and fish alongside bar snacks. Indoor and patio dining are available.

6. Bird Bird Biscuit

Copy Link
1401 W Koenig Ln
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 551-9820
Visit Website

Beloved local biscuit shop Bird Bird Biscuit opened a second location in Brentwood in October. It serves the same menu of biscuit sandwiches, like the Queen Beak with spicy breaded chicken, cayenne-black pepper honey, and a bacon-chipotle mayonaise. It’s open for outdoor dining and to-go.

A biscuit sandwich from Bird Bird Biscuit
A biscuit sandwich from Bird Bird Biscuit
Courtney Pierce/Eater Austin

7. Birdie's

Copy Link
2944 E 12th St Unit A
Austin, TX 78702

East side newcomer Birdie’s is a wine bar with seasonal European fare like pastas, panisse (fried chickpea flour sticks), and steak since July. Birdie’s is open for indoor and outdoor dining, and is counter-service walk-in only.

Four lightly tan fried sticks stacked with a pile of fluffy shaved cheese and black pepper on a white plate.
The panisse at Birdie’s
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

8. Favorite Pizza

Copy Link
801 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 478-4136
Visit Website

This casual pizzeria from fancy local hospitality chain McGuire Moorman Lambert opened in August, serving whole pizzas and late-night slices. Favorite focuses on New York-style pizza (complete with an entire wall of the restaurant dedicated to the New York Mets), like clam pizza. There’s also subs, salads, gelato, and a full bar. It’s open for dine-in and takeout.

A pie from Favorite Pizza
A pie from Favorite Pizza
Favorite Pizza

9. Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls

Copy Link
200 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 428-4006
Visit Website

Fast-casual seafood chain Mason’s landed in downtown Austin in September with all things lobster: lobster rolls, lobster mac and cheese, lobster grilled cheese, lobster salads, etc, plus beer and wine to drink. The restaurant, which is planning another location in Austin, sources its lobster from Maine. Mason’s is counter-service with patio dining available and delivery from third-party apps.

A lobster roll from Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls
A lobster roll from Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls [Official]

10. Cafe Nenaí

Copy Link
1614 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702

South American cafe Cafe Nenaí opened its second location on East Sixth Street in October. For now, it will serve the same menu of coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches as the original location on Montopolis, but the cafe will soon roll out to-go Paraguayan dishes like vori vori (chicken soup with cheese balls) and rice dishes.

11. Canje

Copy Link
1914 E 6th St ste c
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 706-9119
Visit Website

Canje, the highly anticipated Caribbean restaurant from the Emmer & Rye group, opened in October with wild boar pepper pot, Guyanese-style roti, cocktails, and more. Executive chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph, who is Guyanese, also shows off his pastry skills with desserts like passion fruit flan. The East Sixth restaurant is open for indoor dining with a patio available.

A spread from Canje
A spread from Canje
Canje [Official]

12. Tiki Tatsu-Ya

Copy Link
1300 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 772-3700
Visit Website

After three years of anticipation, the Tatsu-ya family’s tiki bar finally opened in October. The decor, which co-owner Tatsu Aikawa compared to Disneyland, combines elements of a pirate ship, a rum cave, and a secluded beach. Expect tropical cocktails and food, with items like spam on the half shell and crab langoon. Tiki Tatsu-ya is open for indoor dining.

A glass globe cocktail with colorful straws and steam is pouring out of the base.
The  the S.O.S. Stranded on Saturn cocktail
Nicolai McCrary/Eater Austin

1. Taco Palenque Round Rock

130 Louis Henna Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78664
Pirata from Taco Palenque
Pirata from Taco Palenque
Taco Palenque/Facebook

South Texas taco chain Taco Palenque opened its first Austin-area location in November, with an all-hours drive-thru up in Round Rock. The taco shop is known for its pirata taco — filled with fajitas, refried beans, and cheddar cheese — but also offers plates like chilaquiles, burritos, fideo, and more. It’s open for to-go service.

130 Louis Henna Blvd
Round Rock, TX 78664

2. Con Todo

10001 Metric Blvd, Austin, TX 78758

Joseph Gomez’s taco truck Con Todo pays homage to his Rio Grande Valley roots with tacos like barbacoa and carne asada, chorizo quesadillas, wheat chicharrones, and buñuelos. The truck opened at Celis Brewery’s new outdoor space in October.

10001 Metric Blvd
Austin, TX 78758

3. Yeni’s Fusion

6507 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Perkedel kentang (potato fritters) at Yeni’s
Perkedel kentang (potato fritters) at Yeni’s
Yeni’s Fusion

Indonesian pop-up Yeni’s Fusion opened a food truck in August, located at the Aristocrat Lounge in Crestview. The menu blends American, Mexican, and Texas barbecue with Indonesian fare, with items like bakso (meatball) soup paired with grilled beef ribs and burgers with smoked curry patties. It’s open for in-person orders, and there is outdoor seating available.

6507 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757

4. Steamies Dumplings

6929 Airport Blvd Ste 148, Austin, TX 78752
Dumplings from Steamies
Dumplings from Steamies
Steamies/Facebook

Steamies Dumpling’s Highland shop opened a dining room in November. That means you can get soup dumplings, vegan dumplings, scallion pancakes, house-made sodas, and more fresh on-site. Co-owners Cindy Chee and Leslie Chau plan to expand the menu in the future.

6929 Airport Blvd Ste 148
Austin, TX 78752

5. Westlake Wine Bar

3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy A-180, Austin, TX 78746

The newest restaurant in Westlake’s Davenport Village boasts over 150 wines. Pierre Leitgib, who was a co-owner of French cafe Paris in a Bite, opened Westlake Wine Bar in September with a menu of beef bourguignon, tartare, steaks, and fish alongside bar snacks. Indoor and patio dining are available.

3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy A-180
Austin, TX 78746

6. Bird Bird Biscuit

1401 W Koenig Ln, Austin, TX 78756
A biscuit sandwich from Bird Bird Biscuit
A biscuit sandwich from Bird Bird Biscuit
Courtney Pierce/Eater Austin

Beloved local biscuit shop Bird Bird Biscuit opened a second location in Brentwood in October. It serves the same menu of biscuit sandwiches, like the Queen Beak with spicy breaded chicken, cayenne-black pepper honey, and a bacon-chipotle mayonaise. It’s open for outdoor dining and to-go.

1401 W Koenig Ln
Austin, TX 78756

7. Birdie's

2944 E 12th St Unit A, Austin, TX 78702
Four lightly tan fried sticks stacked with a pile of fluffy shaved cheese and black pepper on a white plate.
The panisse at Birdie’s
Nadia Chaudhury/Eater Austin

East side newcomer Birdie’s is a wine bar with seasonal European fare like pastas, panisse (fried chickpea flour sticks), and steak since July. Birdie’s is open for indoor and outdoor dining, and is counter-service walk-in only.

2944 E 12th St Unit A
Austin, TX 78702

8. Favorite Pizza

801 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703
A pie from Favorite Pizza
A pie from Favorite Pizza
Favorite Pizza

This casual pizzeria from fancy local hospitality chain McGuire Moorman Lambert opened in August, serving whole pizzas and late-night slices. Favorite focuses on New York-style pizza (complete with an entire wall of the restaurant dedicated to the New York Mets), like clam pizza. There’s also subs, salads, gelato, and a full bar. It’s open for dine-in and takeout.

801 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703

9. Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls

200 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
A lobster roll from Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls
A lobster roll from Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls [Official]

Fast-casual seafood chain Mason’s landed in downtown Austin in September with all things lobster: lobster rolls, lobster mac and cheese, lobster grilled cheese, lobster salads, etc, plus beer and wine to drink. The restaurant, which is planning another location in Austin, sources its lobster from Maine. Mason’s is counter-service with patio dining available and delivery from third-party apps.

200 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

10. Cafe Nenaí

1614 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

South American cafe Cafe Nenaí opened its second location on East Sixth Street in October. For now, it will serve the same menu of coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches as the original location on Montopolis, but the cafe will soon roll out to-go Paraguayan dishes like vori vori (chicken soup with cheese balls) and rice dishes.

1614 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702

11. Canje

1914 E 6th St ste c, Austin, TX 78702
A spread from Canje
A spread from Canje
Canje [Official]

Canje, the highly anticipated Caribbean restaurant from the Emmer & Rye group, opened in October with wild boar pepper pot, Guyanese-style roti, cocktails, and more. Executive chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph, who is Guyanese, also shows off his pastry skills with desserts like passion fruit flan. The East Sixth restaurant is open for indoor dining with a patio available.

1914 E 6th St ste c
Austin, TX 78702

12. Tiki Tatsu-Ya

1300 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
A glass globe cocktail with colorful straws and steam is pouring out of the base.
The  the S.O.S. Stranded on Saturn cocktail
Nicolai McCrary/Eater Austin

After three years of anticipation, the Tatsu-ya family’s tiki bar finally opened in October. The decor, which co-owner Tatsu Aikawa compared to Disneyland, combines elements of a pirate ship, a rum cave, and a secluded beach. Expect tropical cocktails and food, with items like spam on the half shell and crab langoon. Tiki Tatsu-ya is open for indoor dining.

1300 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

Related Maps