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Bonhomie
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Austin's Biggest Restaurant Openings of 2017

12 of the city’s best new spots

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Bonhomie
| Robert J. Lerma/EATX

2017 was another big year for Austin restaurant openings, where nearly 200 eateries and bars marked spots in the city, from fresh newcomers, out-of-state chains, to established local chefs looking to try something new. Eater sorted through all of the openings from the year and highlighted the 12 biggest Austin restaurant openings of 2017.

The list spans casual eateries like kolache haven Batch and food truck Delray Cafe. Then, Austin chef power couple Philip and Callie Speer opened up their own diner iterations, with the former taking on a French-American approach (Bonhomie), while the latter whipping up rich and comforting fare (Holy Roller). Then there are Asian restaurants with Texas tinges at Kemuri Tatsu-ya and Be More Pacific, the second restaurant from Veracruz All Natural, a wine bar reinvention with Aviary, and much more.

Along those lines, find out what friends of Eater thought were the biggest and best restaurant openings of the year, as well as their top restaurant standbys, with the return of the annual Year in Eater surveys.

Everything below is listed in geographical order, from north to south. Share your favorite restaurant openings of the year within the comments or through the tipline.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Veracruz All Natural

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9003 Waterford Centre Blvd Suite 180
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 363-5917
Visit Website

With two extremely popular food trucks and a Round Rock brick-and-mortar, Reyna and Maritza Vazquez, the sisters behind Veracruz All Natural, inched closer to Austin proper for their second restaurant in North Burnet in September. Along with the dependable tacos, tortas, and quesadillas, the kitchen expanded the menu with other specialties like empanadas, chilaquiles, enchiladas, cochinita pibil, and more delights.

Veracruz All Natural
Veracruz All Natural
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

2. Be More Pacific

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7858 Shoal Creek Blvd Ste. C
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 814-7423
Visit Website

The favorite Filipino truck grew up with a brick-and-mortar restaurant (in the former home of Rebel Pizza Bar) in early October. The larger kitchen and spare affords chefs/owners Giovan Cuchapin and Mark Pascual the opportunity to expand their menu with the feastable Kamayan dinners with off-menu entrees like stuffed squid and barbecue pork skewers. Plus there are stellar and authentic takes on sisig, adobo, halo halo ice made with ube ice cream, and those famous longganisa tots.

Be More Pacific
Be More Pacific
Be More Pacific/Facebook

3. Bonhomie

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5350 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 243-8558
Visit Website

After taking some time for himself and his recovery process, Philip Speer returned to the Austin culinary scene with his very own restaurant in March. The decidedly casual restaurant and its menu are meant to embody an American diner meets French bistro. There are classed-up hash browns in the form of crispy pomme rosti, banana splits made with caramelized fruit, and pancakes topped with pears and shaved ham.

Bonhomie
Bonhomie
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

4. J.T. Youngblood's

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1905 Aldrich St #120
Austin, TX 78723
(512) 649-8333
Visit Website

The beloved Texas fried chicken chain was revived thanks to Jeffrey Weinberger, Jeff Haber, and Lenoir chef Todd Duplechan in late March. On deck are all sorts of perfectly crispy fried chicken, house-made pies, and easy cocktails.

The dining room at J.T. Youngblood's
J.T. Youngblood’s
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

5. Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches

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3220 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78723
(512) 401-3025
Visit Website

Texas loves its sweet kolaches and savory klobasneks, and Batch offers up new-school versions of the cherished Czech pastries starting in August. What does that involve? pastry chef Jasmine Jones stuffs the pastries with fruits, sweet cheeses, nuts, poppy, and smoked meats from Micklethwait Craft Meats (brisket, sausage). Pair it with beers from the wide-ranging cooler selection, and it makes for a perfect afternoon.

Batch
Batch
Courtney Pierce/EATX

6. Yuyo

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1900 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 919-4147
Visit Website

Among the city’s recent Peruvian spots this year was late October newcomer Yuyo, the restaurant from the El Chile Group. Helmed by executive chef Maribel Rivero (who knows her stuff after working at various top-tier restaurants in Peru), the menu features Texas takes on traditional fare from the South American country with fresh cebiches, meaty skewers, and indulgent lucuma sundaes.

Yuyo’s interior restaurant space
Yuyo
Courtney Pierce/EATX

7. Holy Roller

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509 Rio Grande St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 502-5119
Visit Website

Callie Speer surrounded herself with a kickass team of female staffers in order to open her first solo venture in July that is very much like the independence chef herself. That results in the no-apologies, brunch-obsessed, punk rock and religious kitsch diner that is Holy Roller. Expect to find cocktails made for daytime drinking, hearty comfort foods like migas kolaches and brisket biscuit sandwiches, and delectable pastries.

Holy Roller
Holy Roller
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

8. Delray Cafe

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1133 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 987-4294
Visit Website

The brothers behind Detroit-style pizza sensation Via 313 Zane and Brandon Hunt decided to try something different for their next truck in July, without straying out too far from what they know best. Delray Cafe, parked on-site at their (also new) project neighborhood bar Nickel City, specializes in Detroit’s other iconic dishes: coney dogs and sliders and sliders.

Delray Cafe
Delray Cafe
Delray Cafe/Facebook

9. Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

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2713 E 2nd St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 893-5561
Visit Website

The Texas Japanese izakaya from the Ramen Tatsu-ya team was an instant hit when it opened in January. Co-owners and chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto blended what they know best and fashioned an adventurous menu worthy of exploration, like Japanese Frito pie made with octopus fritters, smoked brisket and fish, and matcha cocktails in feline mugs.

Kemuri
Kemuri
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

10. Pitchfork Pretty

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2708 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 494-4593
Visit Website

Pitchfork Pretty was a long time coming, and the Holly restaurant surprised Austin with its thoughtful and deliberate Hill Country-inspired fare with California touches. It works and it makes sense: Austinite chef Max Snyder worked in San Francisco before he moved back home to work at the restaurant. The superb fried chicken is gluten-free because of chickpea flour, the yucca dumpling dense in the right way, and the simple desserts are knockouts.

Pitchfork Pretty
Pitchfork Pretty
Laura Hajar

11. Aviary Wine & Kitchen

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Wine ~ Beer, 2110 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 916-4445
Visit Website

The South Lamar spot's evolution from furniture shop to wine bar to a legit wine restaurant finally concluded in October. Owner Marco Fiorilo, along with chef Thomas Calhoun and beverage director Alex Wheatly Bell, put together a funky fun restaurant with a menu and wine list to match, with rich risotto and lamb burgers.

Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

12. Mattie's

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811 W Live Oak St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 444-1888
Visit Website

The iconic Green Pastures returned in March after a year of renovations under La Corsha Hospitality Group and Greg Porter with one major change. The original restaurant has a new name, Mattie’s, and an updated menu courtesy of executive chef Joshua Thomas. That means subtle global takes on Southern classics, from gumbo to fried chicken to shrimp and grits.

Mattie’s at Green Pastures
Mattie’s at Green Pastures
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

1. Veracruz All Natural

9003 Waterford Centre Blvd Suite 180, Austin, TX 78758
Veracruz All Natural
Veracruz All Natural
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

With two extremely popular food trucks and a Round Rock brick-and-mortar, Reyna and Maritza Vazquez, the sisters behind Veracruz All Natural, inched closer to Austin proper for their second restaurant in North Burnet in September. Along with the dependable tacos, tortas, and quesadillas, the kitchen expanded the menu with other specialties like empanadas, chilaquiles, enchiladas, cochinita pibil, and more delights.

9003 Waterford Centre Blvd Suite 180
Austin, TX 78758

2. Be More Pacific

7858 Shoal Creek Blvd Ste. C, Austin, TX 78757
Be More Pacific
Be More Pacific
Be More Pacific/Facebook

The favorite Filipino truck grew up with a brick-and-mortar restaurant (in the former home of Rebel Pizza Bar) in early October. The larger kitchen and spare affords chefs/owners Giovan Cuchapin and Mark Pascual the opportunity to expand their menu with the feastable Kamayan dinners with off-menu entrees like stuffed squid and barbecue pork skewers. Plus there are stellar and authentic takes on sisig, adobo, halo halo ice made with ube ice cream, and those famous longganisa tots.

7858 Shoal Creek Blvd Ste. C
Austin, TX 78757

3. Bonhomie

5350 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756
Bonhomie
Bonhomie
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

After taking some time for himself and his recovery process, Philip Speer returned to the Austin culinary scene with his very own restaurant in March. The decidedly casual restaurant and its menu are meant to embody an American diner meets French bistro. There are classed-up hash browns in the form of crispy pomme rosti, banana splits made with caramelized fruit, and pancakes topped with pears and shaved ham.

5350 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756

4. J.T. Youngblood's

1905 Aldrich St #120, Austin, TX 78723
The dining room at J.T. Youngblood's
J.T. Youngblood’s
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX

The beloved Texas fried chicken chain was revived thanks to Jeffrey Weinberger, Jeff Haber, and Lenoir chef Todd Duplechan in late March. On deck are all sorts of perfectly crispy fried chicken, house-made pies, and easy cocktails.

1905 Aldrich St #120
Austin, TX 78723

5. Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches

3220 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78723
Batch
Batch
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Texas loves its sweet kolaches and savory klobasneks, and Batch offers up new-school versions of the cherished Czech pastries starting in August. What does that involve? pastry chef Jasmine Jones stuffs the pastries with fruits, sweet cheeses, nuts, poppy, and smoked meats from Micklethwait Craft Meats (brisket, sausage). Pair it with beers from the wide-ranging cooler selection, and it makes for a perfect afternoon.

3220 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78723

6. Yuyo

1900 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722
Yuyo’s interior restaurant space
Yuyo
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Among the city’s recent Peruvian spots this year was late October newcomer Yuyo, the restaurant from the El Chile Group. Helmed by executive chef Maribel Rivero (who knows her stuff after working at various top-tier restaurants in Peru), the menu features Texas takes on traditional fare from the South American country with fresh cebiches, meaty skewers, and indulgent lucuma sundaes.

1900 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722

7. Holy Roller

509 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701
Holy Roller
Holy Roller
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Callie Speer surrounded herself with a kickass team of female staffers in order to open her first solo venture in July that is very much like the independence chef herself. That results in the no-apologies, brunch-obsessed, punk rock and religious kitsch diner that is Holy Roller. Expect to find cocktails made for daytime drinking, hearty comfort foods like migas kolaches and brisket biscuit sandwiches, and delectable pastries.

509 Rio Grande St
Austin, TX 78701

8. Delray Cafe

1133 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Delray Cafe
Delray Cafe
Delray Cafe/Facebook

The brothers behind Detroit-style pizza sensation Via 313 Zane and Brandon Hunt decided to try something different for their next truck in July, without straying out too far from what they know best. Delray Cafe, parked on-site at their (also new) project neighborhood bar Nickel City, specializes in Detroit’s other iconic dishes: coney dogs and sliders and sliders.

1133 E 11th St
Austin, TX 78702

9. Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

2713 E 2nd St, Austin, TX 78702
Kemuri
Kemuri
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

The Texas Japanese izakaya from the Ramen Tatsu-ya team was an instant hit when it opened in January. Co-owners and chefs Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto blended what they know best and fashioned an adventurous menu worthy of exploration, like Japanese Frito pie made with octopus fritters, smoked brisket and fish, and matcha cocktails in feline mugs.

2713 E 2nd St
Austin, TX 78702

10. Pitchfork Pretty

2708 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Pitchfork Pretty
Pitchfork Pretty
Laura Hajar

Pitchfork Pretty was a long time coming, and the Holly restaurant surprised Austin with its thoughtful and deliberate Hill Country-inspired fare with California touches. It works and it makes sense: Austinite chef Max Snyder worked in San Francisco before he moved back home to work at the restaurant. The superb fried chicken is gluten-free because of chickpea flour, the yucca dumpling dense in the right way, and the simple desserts are knockouts.

2708 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78702

11. Aviary Wine & Kitchen

Wine ~ Beer, 2110 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX 78704
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Aviary Wine & Kitchen
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

The South Lamar spot's evolution from furniture shop to wine bar to a legit wine restaurant finally concluded in October. Owner Marco Fiorilo, along with chef Thomas Calhoun and beverage director Alex Wheatly Bell, put together a funky fun restaurant with a menu and wine list to match, with rich risotto and lamb burgers.

Wine ~ Beer, 2110 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704

12. Mattie's

811 W Live Oak St, Austin, TX 78704
Mattie’s at Green Pastures
Mattie’s at Green Pastures
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

The iconic Green Pastures returned in March after a year of renovations under La Corsha Hospitality Group and Greg Porter with one major change. The original restaurant has a new name, Mattie’s, and an updated menu courtesy of executive chef Joshua Thomas. That means subtle global takes on Southern classics, from gumbo to fried chicken to shrimp and grits.

811 W Live Oak St
Austin, TX 78704

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