Austin, Texas Best New Eats


1) Josephine House
1601 Waterston Ave; 210.867.1062
Owned by the restaurant wunderkind behind the Jeffrey’s renovation, and located, well, behind Jeffrey’s, this bungalow-turned-lazy-lunching-destination only has 30 seats in which to enjoy their easy-sipping selection of afternoon cocktails.
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2) Winflo Osteria
1315 W 6th St; 512.582.1027
With a different draw than neighboring Rounders, Winflo’s reclaimed wood/Edison bulb treatment has created a date-friendly destination for cocktails and oak-fired pies.
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3) Clark’s Oyster Bar
1200 W 6th St; 512.297.2525
Expanding his empire from seafood to shining seafood, the Perla dude’s Clark’s Oyster Bar focuses on a rawer menu of rare oysters like New Brunswick Fancy Sweets.
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4) Austin Juicy Jerk
907 E 6th St; 512.699.1494
This awesomely named late-night satiation station comes from an actual Jamaican who ran a successful jerk-house in London until Olympic construction forced his Exodus.
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5) Tapas Bravas
75 Rainey St; 512.658.6498
Proving that “if you can’t do, teach” is a phrase mainly used by people who didn’t listen to their teachers is Tapas Bravas: a Spanish trailer from a chef who ran private cooking classes before breaking out this raw-silver 1971 Ford P-350 delivery truck, which bears a font inspired by old Hitchcock posters, but suspiciously has no Rear Window.
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6) Restaurant Jezebel
800 W 6th St; 512.436.9643
Referred to as “couture cuisine” by the chef, each meal (4- or 7-course prix fixe only) at Jezebel is custom-tailored to each diner’s palate after he/she’s guided through a series of questions about preferences for raw or cooked proteins, bold or classic tastes, Asian or Indian spices, and of course, how they feel about innards.
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7) The Chicago House
607 Trinity St; 512.358.6202
The guy who built an empire of bikini-themed bars has done his part to make 6th a little less dirty with this homage to both Austin’s burgeoning craft beer scene, and the owner’s upbringing on the south side of Chicago.
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8) Bar Ilegal
609 Davis St
A mezcal-only rambler-gambler-influenced cantina set in a 1920s stone shack behind Clive Bar that bustles with reclamation, and sports a turntable spinning vintage Latin heat (Mambo #s 1-4?).
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9) Kingdom
103 E 5th St; 512.653.2546
Pass through the alleyway entrance to find a Brazilian redwood dance floor, plush red-leather booths, house-designed lighting fixtures shooting six prism-split beams, and, most importantly, a tipsy girl who’s totally pissed at her boyfriend custom +15,000watt sound system they feared might actually damage the building’s foundations.
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10) Bar Congress
200 Congress Ave; 512 827 2760
With atmosphere provided by a white marble bar top, magenta booths, and grainy dark wood tables, this cocktail-aficionado counterpart to Second Kitchen serves a rotating selection of sips handcrafted by the town’s best bartenders.
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11) Swift’s Attic
315 Congress Ave; 512.482.8200
A decidedly downtown small-plate haven above Elephant Room serving creative comfort foods like squid fries. Mmmm… comfort.
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12) Brew Exchange
706 W 6th St; 512.366.5727
The 72 taps here have their prices displayed on 75ft of scrolling LED ticker, but they fluctuate based on demand, thus leading to some great bargains, and potentially the most expensive Lone Star in town.
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13) El Naranjo
85 Rainey St; 512.474.2776
El Naranjo left Oaxaca just before being mortared into the ground. Now they’ve gone brick-n-mortar at this Rainey St bungalow behind their original trailer location.
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14) Russian House
307 E 5th St; 512.428.5442
A far more enjoyable way to spend your evening than watching The Russia House on VHS, Russian House brings fine Russian food, spirits, and memorabilia to 5th Street, in an ambitious space run by a former Olympic basketball player and her chef husband, who’s cooked everywhere from Moscow, to Moscow on the Hudson, NY.
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15) Congress
200 Congress Ave; 512.827.2760
Setting the standard for downtown fine dining since opening two years ago, Congress recently passed a nearly entirely new menu that, to the dismay of progressives, still includes lots of pork… belly.
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16) Midnight Cowboy
313 E 6th St; 512.843.2715
Formerly Dirty 6th’s filthiest locale, Midnight Cowboy operated as an actual brothel (“oriental modeling & massage”) until it was shuttered by APD, only to be opened as this reservation-required cocktail den.
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17) The Red Room Lounge
306A E 3rd St; 512.644.1737
This unmarked, subterranean speakeasy has to be the best place in town to grab some by-the-glass vino.
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18) Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden
79 Rainey St; 512.386.1656
Banger’s is the sausage party that Rainey St’s three remaining residents always dreamed of, being the district’s largest biergarten, first live music venue, and, as suggested by the mounted boar heads and 27ft butcher-block bar top, biggest artisan sausage purveyor.
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19) Easy Tiger
709 E 6th St; 512.614.4972
Not even remotely referencing the sexual proclivities of America’s most sullen golfer, this mild-mannered bakery upstairs has a craft barroom hidden beneath it.
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20) Freedmen’s
2402 San Gabriel St; 512.220.0953
The most momentous thing to happen to West Campus drinking since that magical summer of ’97 when you could drink Everclear while singing “I Will Buy You A New Life”, Freedmen’s soda fountain-influenced cocktails actually hark back to the building’s original 1889 incarnation as a general store.
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21) East Side King at Hole In The Wall
2538 Guadalupe St; 210.867.1062
The Drag’s most iconic bar teams up with the Eastside’s most lauded food trailer at East Side King, a trailer-less ramen operation with some serious culinary crown jewels.
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22) Hopfields
3110 Guadalupe St; 512.537.0467
Proving it doesn’t take a blight of phylloxera to turn the French off of wine, Hopfields mashes up beer nerdery and French street food in a cozy space that pushes mid-century-France decor into City of Lost Children territory.
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23) Buzz Mill
1505 Town Creek Dr
Not just where Mr Aldrin gets all of his famous textiles made, The Buzz Mill’s also a cabin-y, 24hr coffee shop on E Riverside with a full bar and BBQ from Aaron Franklin’s old smoker.
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24) Hillside Farmacy
1209 E 11th St; 512.628.0168
Since the most locally sourced thing at CVS is Mexican Coke, check out Hillside Farmacy, a farm-to-table eatery from the folks behind East Side Showroom and Brooklyn’s El Diablo Tacos.
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25) Micklethwait Craft Meats
1309 Rosewood Ave; 512.791.5961
Micklethwait (the pitmaster’s last name) is oak-smoking meats ranging from bone-in pork loin chops to daily changing house-made sausages, and yeah, they’re delicious.
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26) Papi Tino’s
1306 E 6th St; 512.479.1306
About as close as you can get to eating in Mexico City without visiting, mostly because the chef actually taught culinary arts there.
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27) Yellow Jacket Social Club
1704 E 5th St; 512.480.9572
One of the best patios in town for consuming tap beers, eating gourmet comfort foods like Cuban sandwiches, and watching hipsters.
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28) The Volstead Lounge and Hotel Vegas
1500 E 6th St
Taking over a former East 6th flophouse & brothel (now that’s room service!), V&V was transformed by an ATX art curator and a pair of N’awlins transplants into a vintage-style LA-TX cocktail den.
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29) Weather Up
1808 E Cesar Chavez St
This dimly lit den offers 14 pages’ worth of drinks, served with what Vanilla became when he could no longer afford a tattoo artist: hand-carved ice.
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30) Hi Hat Public House
2121 E 6th St; 512.478.8700
One of E 6th’s only legit beer bars, the drum-head owner actually hung his ’68 Slingerland kit from the ceiling and called it the “Slingaleer”.
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31) Cantina El Milamores
1411 E 7th St; 512.628.4466
For a cantina scene where there’s no ambiguity about who shoots first, head to the back bar of Takoba, where the mezcal-focused cocktail program was designed by the dude who opened the Grackle.
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32) Salt & Time Butcher Shop and Salumeria
1912 E 7th St; 512.358.6202
It isn’t easy to catch Bon Appetit‘s eye, mostly because magazines don’t have organs that detect light and convert it into electrochemical impulses in neurons. And yet local butchers Salt & Time managed to do it with their coffee-rubbed lomo, a piece of press that helped buoy them from farmer’s market stand to this brick and mortar.
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33) East Side King
1700 East 6th St; 512.‎422.5884
The eye-catching trailer — painted by Japanese cosmic punk Peelander Yellow — now offers a restaurant-sized menu inspired by Paul Qui and Moto Utsunomiya’s latest trip to the Far East.
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34) Via 313
111 E 6th St; 512.939.1927
This Violet Crown Social Club-fronting trailer dishes it out “Detroit-style”, which means Sicilian-esque pies cooked in square steel pans formerly used on auto assembly lines.
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35) Kome
4917 Airport Blvd; 512.712.5700
Wham! is going to have to change the lyrics to their breakout hit, because Sushi-A-Go-Go’s Kome serves an expanded menu of seaweed-wrapped delicacies as well as homestyle Japanese fare.
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36) Epicerie Cafe & Grocery
2307 Hancock Dr; 512.371.6840
A hybrid satiation station operating as a specialty grocer, cheesemonger, coffee shop, Cajun eatery, and — to the initial dismay of the neighborhood association who’re now eating (and drinking) much more than their words — a patio for consuming bottles of wine bought on the premises.
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37) Uchiko
4200 N Lamar; 512.916.4808
Fathered by venerable South Austin sushi bungalow Uchi, Uchiko (translating to “daughter of home”) boasts a menu pulled exclusively from the best of her parent restaurant’s daily specials.
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38) Ramen Tatsu-Ya
8557 Research Blvd
Located in the Asian strip mall off 183 and opened by a chef who trained at Michelin-starred L.A. sushi joint Urasawa, Ramen Tatsu-Ya serves the delicious version of the same stuff you claim got you through college, even though that 40lbs clearly came from chicken-fried steak nights at the Delt house.
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39) Workhorse Bar
100 E North Loop
Pull up a house-built raw oak stump barstool to suckle 50+ taps (including 30 locals!), or at least as many as you can before falling off of it.
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40) drink.well.
207 E 53rd St; 512.614.6683
Focused on American spirits, this cozy addition to North Loop’s imbibing renaissance is spearheaded by married Tipsy Tech alums who spent nearly a year on design touches.
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South Austin

41) Sway
1417 S 1st St; 512.326.1999
An Australian-influenced modern Pacific Rim joint (wha??) set up in an old South 1st St tobacco shop sounds odd enough, but it all seems totally normal once you see menu items like Texas Wagyu Jungle Curry. Or not. But it sure is delicious.
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42) La Barbecue: Cuisine Texicana
1502 S 1st St; 512.605.9696
The competitive circuit up-and-comer who masters the pits here merges old-school techniques with an approach as free of dogma as your DVD collection. Your DVD collection is free of Dogma, right? Well, there’s always Blu-ray.
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43) Barley Swine
2024 S Lamar Blvd; 512.394.8150
From the esteemed chef behind Odd Duck, this cozy, four-table spot serves whole-hog dishes from crispy pig tails w/ pickles to stuffed-then-fried pig’s foot w/ soft boiled egg, mushrooms, mustard vinaigrette, plus creative takes on foie gras and Wagyu.
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44) Lenoir
1807 S 1st St; 512.215.9778
A hotbed of super-fresh, tweaked French cuisine from a chef power couple, Lenoir’s daily changing three-course prix fixe menus star proteins like Axis Venison.
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45) Elizabeth Street Cafe
1501 S 1st St; 512.291.2881
Elizabeth Street Cafe is a haute-cozy haven for chef-prepared Vietnamese cuisine and French pastries, and’s not to be overlooked.
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46) Gourdough’s Public House
2700 S Lamar Blvd; 512.607.6568
Did you know that if you put chicken fried steak on a donut you can eat a donut anytime?
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47) Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza
13187 Fitzhugh Rd; 512.900.9079
Located a not-particularly-long stone’s throw from Dripping Springs and within hopscotching distance of Jester King Brewery, Stanley’s is a family operation that only opens on Saturdays to pad the stomachs of beer-tasting patrons with wood-fired, bubbly-crusted pies topped with heaps of local ingredients.

Courtesy of the Thrillist:

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