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A circular yellowish dessert with dark gray spots in a brown bowl on a tan wooden surface.
The passion fruit flan at Canje
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

The Hottest New Restaurants in Austin, October 2021

Caribbean dishes, lobster rolls, and tiki drinks

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The passion fruit flan at Canje
| Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

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 116th iteration) to highlight a mix of exciting restaurants, trucks, and food services open right now.

This October update adds Caribbean restaurant Canje, downtown seafood spot Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, tiki bar Tiki Tatsu-ya, French spot Westlake Wine Bar, and the downtown location of taco shop Vaquero Taquero.

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.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Yeni’s Fusion

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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

2. Seareinas

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6607 N Interstate Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78752
(737) 222-5390
Visit Website

The latest Mexican restaurant from Gabriela’s Group — which opened in July — serves seafood and sushi inspired by Sinaloa, a state in northern Mexico. There’s also a full bar with plans to have live music and tableside serenading. Seareinas is open for dine-in services

The Don Cangrejo steam pot
The Don Cangrejo steam pot
Seareinas

3. Tsuke Edomae

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4600 Mueller Blvd #1035
Austin, TX 78723
(512) 825-3120
Visit Website

This tiny, intimate omakase bar opened in March, taking over Kyoten Sushiko’s Mueller spot. At Tsuke Edomae, chef Michael Che serves relatively ungarnished edomae-style sushi, which relies on a specific kind of curing method. Tsuke Edomae is open for dine-in only, reservations are essential and generally sell out the day they are released.

An uni piece from Tsuke Edomae
An uni piece from Tsuke Edomae
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

4. Birdie's

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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

5. Favorite Pizza

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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

6. Simi Estiatorio

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106 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 886-0999
Visit Website

Boasting fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean, downtown’s fancy new Greek restaurant certainly comes with a luxe price tag (think: a $42 burger with lobster). In addition to fish, there’s a raw bar and steaks. The restaurant opened in May with indoor dine-in service.

Pistachio baklava from Simi Estiatorio
Pistachio baklava from Simi Estiatorio
Simi Estiatorio

7. De Nada Cantina

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4715 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 615-3555
Visit Website

This interior Mexican-tinged taco spot comes from the team behind diner Sawyer & Co., which cocktails from Half Step’s Chris Bostick as of June. The restaurant offers a simple menu of tacos, with meat and vegetarian options, and a gorgeous interior. De Nada is open for dine-in (with outdoor seating options) and delivery via third-party services and takeout service.

Tacos from De Nada
Tacos from De Nada
De Nada

8. 1417

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1417 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 551-2430
Visit Website

This South First restaurant from the Hopfield’s team has New American breakfast, lunch, and dinner in June. Look for dishes like duck confit crepes, grilled cheese with tomato jam, and avocado toast, alongside a full menu of cocktails. 1417 is open for patio dining only.

1417’s halibut dish with a smoky eggplant puree
1417’s halibut dish with a smoky eggplant puree
1417/Facebook

9. The Salty Donut

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2000 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 494-4148
Visit Website

Miami-based doughnut shop the Salty Donut opened on South Congress in August, serving a variety of filled, brioche, and cake doughnuts alongside coffee drinks. Flavors include Texas chocolate sheet cake and a dragon-passion fruit-glazed brioche filled with passion fruit mousse. Orders can be placed in person or online with pickups through a dedicated window and third-party delivery available.

A cross-section of a filled doughnut from Salty Donut
A cross-section of a filled doughnut from Salty Donut
Mountaintop Films

10. Keepers Coastal Kitchen

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5701 W Slaughter Ln Building D
Austin, TX 78749
(512) 519-9911
Visit Website

This casual seafood restaurant in Circle C comes from brothers Amir and Ali Hajimaleki in July, who have several popular restaurants around town (District Kitchen and Oasthouse). Keepers serves dishes like Viet-Cajun seafood boils, po’ boys, and rice bowls. It’s open for dine-in service.

Dishes and drinks at Keepers
Dishes and drinks at Keepers
Jasmin Porter Photography

11. Mason's Famous Lobster Rolls

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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]

12. Westlake Wine Bar

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3801 N Capital of Texas Hwy A-180
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 814-0005
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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.

13. Canje

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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 coming soon.

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

14. Tiki Tatsu-Ya

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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

15. Vaquero Taquero - Dirty 6th

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603 Sabine St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 243-8136
Visit Website

West Campus’s popular taco spot has a new location in downtown Austin as of September. The downtown location serves the same menu of tacos and quesadillas streamlined for speed, with new drinks including cocktails. It’s open for dine-in and to-go, with outdoor dining available.

Tacos from Vaquero Taquero
Tacos from Vaquero Taquero
Vaquero Taquero/Facebook

1. 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

2. Seareinas

6607 N Interstate Hwy 35, Austin, TX 78752
The Don Cangrejo steam pot
The Don Cangrejo steam pot
Seareinas

The latest Mexican restaurant from Gabriela’s Group — which opened in July — serves seafood and sushi inspired by Sinaloa, a state in northern Mexico. There’s also a full bar with plans to have live music and tableside serenading. Seareinas is open for dine-in services

6607 N Interstate Hwy 35
Austin, TX 78752

3. Tsuke Edomae

4600 Mueller Blvd #1035, Austin, TX 78723
An uni piece from Tsuke Edomae
An uni piece from Tsuke Edomae
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

This tiny, intimate omakase bar opened in March, taking over Kyoten Sushiko’s Mueller spot. At Tsuke Edomae, chef Michael Che serves relatively ungarnished edomae-style sushi, which relies on a specific kind of curing method. Tsuke Edomae is open for dine-in only, reservations are essential and generally sell out the day they are released.

4600 Mueller Blvd #1035
Austin, TX 78723

4. 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

5. 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

6. Simi Estiatorio

106 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Pistachio baklava from Simi Estiatorio
Pistachio baklava from Simi Estiatorio
Simi Estiatorio

Boasting fish flown in daily from the Mediterranean, downtown’s fancy new Greek restaurant certainly comes with a luxe price tag (think: a $42 burger with lobster). In addition to fish, there’s a raw bar and steaks. The restaurant opened in May with indoor dine-in service.

106 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

7. De Nada Cantina

4715 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Tacos from De Nada
Tacos from De Nada
De Nada

This interior Mexican-tinged taco spot comes from the team behind diner Sawyer & Co., which cocktails from Half Step’s Chris Bostick as of June. The restaurant offers a simple menu of tacos, with meat and vegetarian options, and a gorgeous interior. De Nada is open for dine-in (with outdoor seating options) and delivery via third-party services and takeout service.

4715 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702

8. 1417

1417 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
1417’s halibut dish with a smoky eggplant puree
1417’s halibut dish with a smoky eggplant puree
1417/Facebook

This South First restaurant from the Hopfield’s team has New American breakfast, lunch, and dinner in June. Look for dishes like duck confit crepes, grilled cheese with tomato jam, and avocado toast, alongside a full menu of cocktails. 1417 is open for patio dining only.

1417 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704

9. The Salty Donut

2000 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
A cross-section of a filled doughnut from Salty Donut
A cross-section of a filled doughnut from Salty Donut
Mountaintop Films

Miami-based doughnut shop the Salty Donut opened on South Congress in August, serving a variety of filled, brioche, and cake doughnuts alongside coffee drinks. Flavors include Texas chocolate sheet cake and a dragon-passion fruit-glazed brioche filled with passion fruit mousse. Orders can be placed in person or online with pickups through a dedicated window and third-party delivery available.

2000 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704

10. Keepers Coastal Kitchen

5701 W Slaughter Ln Building D, Austin, TX 78749
Dishes and drinks at Keepers
Dishes and drinks at Keepers
Jasmin Porter Photography

This casual seafood restaurant in Circle C comes from brothers Amir and Ali Hajimaleki in July, who have several popular restaurants around town (District Kitchen and Oasthouse). Keepers serves dishes like Viet-Cajun seafood boils, po’ boys, and rice bowls. It’s open for dine-in service.

5701 W Slaughter Ln Building D
Austin, TX 78749

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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 coming soon.

1914 E 6th St ste c
Austin, TX 78702

14. 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

15. Vaquero Taquero - Dirty 6th

603 Sabine St, Austin, TX 78701
Tacos from Vaquero Taquero
Tacos from Vaquero Taquero
Vaquero Taquero/Facebook

West Campus’s popular taco spot has a new location in downtown Austin as of September. The downtown location serves the same menu of tacos and quesadillas streamlined for speed, with new drinks including cocktails. It’s open for dine-in and to-go, with outdoor dining available.

603 Sabine St
Austin, TX 78701

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