Keeping track of every brand new restaurant and bar in Austin is enough to make you a little dizzy. Which is why we put together this guide to all the new restaurants and bars that seem like they have the most potential. Although keep in mind, for the ones we haven’t tried, we make no promises. Go forth and be a pioneer.
We’ll be regularly updating this guide, and adding a note whenever we review a spot, or add it to our guide to the best new restaurants in Austin, the Hit List.
There’s a new trailer on Rainey Street from the people behind Better Half called Bummer Burrito, and it’s conveniently parked right next to their tiny all-day cafe/bar Little Brother. As you might guess from the name, the trailer serves burritos, including a breakfast burrito, and one with chili cheese Fritos and nacho cheese.
Just north of campus, Sip Pho is a new fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant in an impressive new space with vaulted ceilings. It’s by the same people who run Pho Please on East Riverside, and they’re serving dishes like pho, bun bo hue, vermicelli bowls, and banh mi.
The latest project to open in the new Austin Proper Hotel downtown - The Mockingbird - is from the people behind restaurants like June’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, and Swedish Hill. The Mockingbird is a counter-service café serving coffee, pastries, falafel, and rotisserie chicken, a more informal counterpart to The Peacock in the hotel that opened back in January. It’s currently only open for breakfast and lunch.
Reunión 19 is a new Mexican restaurant over on the East Side. The chef is from Los Angeles, and the menu reads more West-Coast-inspired than most Mexican spots in town, with dishes like aguachile, tuna tostadas, and mulitas. They’re also really committing to tacos, as you can tell from their phone number - (512) 455-TACO (8226) - and the very subtle #TACOLOVER light fixture in the dining room.
LoLo is a new wine bar on East 6th St. Technically it’s Austin’s first wine bar totally dedicated to natural wine, and it’s from the people behind Hotel Vegas and Volstead Lounge. Part of the bar is a bottle shop for purchase to go, and the wine list is affordable, with glasses starting at $10 and bottles starting in the $30s. There’s a big backyard patio with picnic tables.
We checked out LoLo and added it to our Hit List.
Located in the shady backyard of Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches is Taco Bronco, a new food truck from the team behind Micklethwait Craft Meats, one of the best barbecue spots in town. It’s a taco truck with a barbecue bent, so homemade corn and flour tortillas meet brisket, smoked boar sausage, carnitas, and barbacoa. Batch’s brewhouse is nearly up-and-running, and they’ve already started serving their own beers.
We checked out Taco Bronco and added it to our Hit List.
The next time you need a quick thing that’s also healthy, remember there’s a new location of the fast-casual grain bowl restaurant Honest Mary’s in Central Austin (the first was out in the Arboretum). You can choose your components in a Chipotle-like method, or if you’re paralyzed by choice like some of us are, there are “signature bowls” where everything is picked out for you. Most everything is locally-sourced, and there’s cold brew, beer, wine, and kombucha, all on tap.
Down on the corner of South Lamar and Oltorf is Bouldin Acres, a beer garden with food trucks (including a new location of one of Austin’s best taco trucks, Pueblo Viejo. Formerly a two-acre car dealership, it’s basically an adult amusement park, with live music, two pickleball courts, and every backyard bar game imaginable, including corn hole, giant chess, giant Jenga, and giant Connect 4. It’s pet-friendly and kid-friendly.
Out in the Hill Country – and literally down the road from Jester King – is the new brewery Beerburg Brewing Company. The founder used to be the head brewer at the now-shuttered Uncle Billy’s. There’s a beer hall with a full kitchen serving tacos, sandwiches, and more, as well as a fenced-in dog park.
Tenten is a sleek-looking sushi restaurant downtown from the people behind the recently-opened lounge Devil May Care. There’s also sake, cocktails, and grilled meats and vegetables.
After a very extensive year-long remodel, the North Lamar location of the always-busy Mexican/Tex-Mex diner Taqueria Guadalajara finally reopened. Give the Rundberg Running Man (the guy often found on the corner of Rundberg and Lamar running, rapping, and dancing) a high-five on your way out.
Little Deli, the popular Crestview pizza restaurant and sandwich shop, opened a new location in the very pizza-starved neighborhood of Windsor Park.
There’s a new addition to north Austin’s brewery district: Hopsquad Brewing Co. Located in a former warehouse with rollup windows up on Braker Lane, the huge brewery space is full of beer garden tables and, as a bonus, it’s super dog-friendly, inside and out. Beers on tap include Austin-themed varieties including Comtesse De Duval Saison and Dutchess of Oltorf Roggenbier. Also outside is the new food truck Tsuke Honten.
In Hopsquad Brewing Co.’s parking lot, you’ll find the food truck Tsuke Honten with Japanese-style bites. Sort of in a soft launch, they’re currently serving small dishes like garlic chicken wings, chili prawns, and short rib skewers. Soon they plan on launching an 11-course/$29 per person omakase.
The people behind June’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, and Swedish Hill are rolling out a series of projects in the new Austin Proper Hotel downtown. Up first is The Peacock Mediterranean Grill, an all-day Israeli and Turkish-inspired restaurant and bar. There’s also Goldie’s Sunken Bar, but that’s for hotel guests only at the moment.
We checked out The Peacock and added it to our Hit List.
After drawing crowds at farmers markets all over Austin, there’s now a Julie Myrtille Bakery brick-and-mortar over in the East Austin development Springdale General. There are pastries, cookies, and macarons, as well as more lunch-y type options like croissant sandwiches and super-butter quiches. the hours are limited for now, 10am-12pm.
Hestia is a new restaurant downtown from the people behind Emmer & Rye, with a menu primarily focused on stuff coming off the grill. Other than larger grilled dishes, there are also crudos and a separate snack menu with small dishes ranging from $3-$16.
We checked out Hestia and added it to our Hit List.
Beer and barbecue are a pretty perfect combo. John Mueller of the Mueller barbecue dynasty opened up shop at Granger City Brewing Company. Order a flight of beers alongside all the smoked meats, including his epic beef ribs, and maybe most importantly, his legendary cheesy squash.
The new bar and record shop Troublemaker serves San Diego-style burritos, and they’re pretty sensational for a late-night snack: carne asada, french fries, pico, and guacamole, all wrapped up in a house-made flour tortilla. On weekends there’s a breakfast burrito and a Bloody Mary bar.
Housed in a historic warehouse space, Central Machine Works is a massive new beer hall, brewery, and live music venue in East Austin. There’s also an enormous outdoor beer garden and a full bar. The menu is simple, beer-friendly food like pretzels, cheeseburgers, and pizza.
The Meteor is a lot of things: it’s a bike shop, an all-day cafe, a Roman-style pizzeria in which you pay by the pound, and a natural wine shop, all in a charming space on South Congress.