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. Got any tips? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally started as a pop-up shop, Rosen’s Bagel Co. started selling bagels at Brew and Brew, and eventually the bagels could be found at businesses all over town, including Alta’s Cafe, Barrett’s Coffee Roasters, Biderman’s, Brooklyn Breakfast Shop, Patika, Royal Blue Grocery, Big City Bagels, Whole Foods Market, Jo’s Coffee, and many more. Now they’ve finally opened their very own brick and mortar location on Burnet Road, right by the Domain.
On Cesar Chavez in East Austin is the new Peruvian restaurant Llama Kid, using local ingredients to make classics like lomo saltado and pollo a la brasa, as well as Nikkei (Peru meets Japan) dishes like ceviches and chifa (Peru meets China) specialties like arroz chaufa. The chef Diego Ysrael Sanchez is Peruvian, and he has cooked in New York for 15 years, and has experience working under chefs like Gaston Acurio and Daniel Boulud.
Over on MLK and Walnut Ave is Daygos San Diego Taco Shop, the latest California-style Mexican food trailer to hit Austin. They had a brief period of operation before the world shut down, but just reopened their doors again recently. As the name implies, the focus here is on San Diego-style tacos. For the uninitiated, that means lots of carne asada and fries in just about every configuration you can think of (you can also get them with chicken). Get the California Burrito to try a San Diego classic, or the Daygo Fries (carne asada loaded fries) for something a bit more shareable.
Koko’s Bavarian is a German-style brewery and beer garden in East Austin (it’s where The Brewer’s Table used to be). The menu was developed by Texas chef Tim Love (behind many restaurants, including Lonesome Dove downtown) and you can expect things like pretzels, sausages, fries, and German dishes like schnitzel. There are German and local beers on tap, which you can get in a giant glass boot if that’s something you’re into.
Nice N Easy
From the people behind the natural wine producer Lightsome Wines in the Hill Country is Nice N Easy, a new bar in Johnson City. The tight drinks menu is pretty straightforward, with locally-produced beer, wine, and only three cocktails. The food menu is short, too, with just Frito pie, a hot dog, and a Chilean hot dog (it comes with avocado, relish, and more) for now.
Dough Squad is a new food truck parked at Hopsquad Brewing Company in North Austin’s brewery district, and as you might guess from the name, they serve pizza. The style is Neapolitan-inspired, with options that include the Tom Garlicchio—it comes with red sauce, garlic confit, fried capers, and parsley.
Located at Texas Saké Company in South Austin in the St. Elmo area, Texas Sushiko is a trailer from the people behind the in-home omakase service Tare. They’re doing taco-style hand rolls, held in custom wood holders. And while they have a set menu, they sometimes have specials thanks to their omakase dinners—recently there were Alba white truffles available as an add-on.
Happy Rito is a Vietnamese-Cajun restaurant in the Lakeline Plaza shopping center by H-Mart in Cedar Park. They serve a variety of po’boy sandwiches and seafood baskets, as well as gumbo, potstickers, and eggrolls. They’re also doing snow crab, shrimp, and crawfish boils, too.
Inspired by Texas icehouses, Saddle Up is a neighborhood market and beer garden housed in a vintage bungalow in East Austin from the people behind the excellent barbecue trailer Micklethwait Craft Meats. Conveniently, it’s right next door, so during the day you can get lunch from Micklethwait, and at night you can get dinner from their Taco Bronco trailer. Saddle Up serves as kind of a convenience store, selling all sorts of Texas essentials, including six packs of beer, bottles of wine, coffee, pastries (including kolaches), soft-serve, grab-and-go sandwiches, and Micklethwait’s legendary bread.
Canje is a contemporary Guyanese and Caribbean restaurant in East Austin led by executive chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph. On the menu are dishes like roti, jerk chicken, and curry wagyu beef. Born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana, Bristol-Joseph is the executive pastry chef and co-owner of Emmer & Rye, Hestia, TLV, and Henbit, so dessert is a must at Canje. Additionally, Canje’s beverage director was brought over from their other spot Kalimotxo, so definitely order some cocktails, too.
Choo Sando is a new operation from chef Dong Ho Choo, formerly of Haru Sushi, with delivery Japanese sandos made with soft and pillowy milk bread, Options including katsu, tamago, and fruit with whipped cream. Choo Sando is self-proclaimed as Austin’s “first Japanese sandwich shop” — while there have been spots that sell Japanese sandos (among other things), this does in fact appear to be the first operation 100% dedicated to them. It’s online only, with pickup times and locations all over Austin.
You might have heard about Ramen 512 and their pop-ups that regularly sold out. Yes, the ramen was that good. For a while in 2020, it even operated as a ghost kitchen. But now chef/owner Vinh Thai has opened a fully functional brick-and-mortar restaurant in Cedar Park serving “ramen-inspired ramen.” Options include shoyu, tonkotsu, and tantanmen, and you can also get it spicy.
Inside the bar/coffee shop Wright Bros. Brew & Brew in East Austin is the new hoagie shop Destroyer Sandwiches. The short menu features hot sandwiches like the Cheesy Ham (it might surprise you that it has both ham and melty cheese) and cold sandwiches like a classic Italian (that bravely comes with not one, but two types of salami). Make sure to get the spicy peppers add-on.
Parked at Radio Coffee & Beer in South Austin is the new trailer Briscuits. As you might intuit from the name, they serve barbecue and biscuits. During the day they serve biscuit sandwiches, with options including a brisket, egg, and cheese; brisket and strawberry jelly; and fried chicken with pickles and honey mustard. Starting at 4pm, while they still serve a couple of biscuit sandwiches, the menu takes a more smoked meat bent, with baby back ribs, quarter smoked chicken, and Frito pie.
Con Todo, in the newly-expanded patio at Celis Brewery in North Austin, serves Rio Grande Valley-style tacos, somewhat of a rarity in Austin. The tacos are made with homemade corn tortillas, including options like alambre, barbacoa, and queso flameado. Homemade flour tortillas make an appearance on specials like piratas, too.
Smokin Banh Mi
The focus at Smokin Banh Mi is Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and vermicelli bowls, often with smoked meats. While they do serve a traditional cold cut banh mi, there’s a variety of influences at play here, including Korean (with a bulgogi banh mi), Cajun (with a Viet-Cajun-marinated grilled pork banh mi), and Peruvian (a smoked chicken banh mi with a spicy cilantro lime aioli). But if you’re looking for smoked brisket, make sure to come on the weekend. You’ll find them at the 5000 Burnet trailer park in Rosedale.
Located at the newish Fierce Whiskers Distillery in South Austin, Char ATX does chargrilled Texas-inspired yakitori, which means skewers of things like boneless chicken thigh, pork belly, bacon-wrapped shishito peppers, and cabbage in a Filipino-spiced coconut vinegar. They also offer specials like black pepper-crusted prime rib roast.
Tiki Tatsu-ya is the latest spot from the Tatsu-ya team, the restaurant group behind some of our favorite spots like Kemuri, Dipdipdip, and Ramen Tatsu-ya. Blending Polynesian, Hawaiian, and Japanese influences, it’s a super-immersive tropical tiki bar with an extensive drinks list and a menu that spans everything from foie gras musubi to taro tots to housemade spam on the halfshell.
The mother-and-daughter team behind the Latin American bakery Cafe Nenaí in Montopolis opened a second location on East 6th Street next door to The Liberty. For now, they’ll serve the same menu as the original—including empanadas, pastries, sandwiches, and coffee—but they plan on expanding with new lunch and dinner options.
Bird Bird Biscuit
The popular East Side buttermilk biscuit sandwich spot Bird Bird Biscuit opened a second location, taking over the Thunderbird Coffee space on West Koenig Lane in Brentwood. The menu at the new location is the same as the original, including sandwiches like the Queen Beak with a spicy breaded chicken breast.
In the Crescent Shopping center in Highland—right by the grocery store 99 Ranch and Steamies Dumplings—is the newest Korean barbecue spot in Austin, K BBQ. You can get a combo or go all-you-can-eat with differently priced tiers, and because we live in the future, all the meat is brought out via a robot.
Vaquero Taquero by campus makes some of our favorite breakfast tacos in Austin—their al pastor tacos off the trompo are excellent, too—and now they’ve opened a second location downtown on Sabine St, right off Dirty 6th and a mere block away from the dive bar Casino El Camino. They’re open late to feed the bar crowds, and unlike their campus location, there’s a full bar so you can get margaritas.
Kiin Di, which means “eating good” in Thai, is a new trailer parked at Corner Bar on South Lamar serving Thai food like roti with a turmeric curry sauce, Thai-style fried chicken, and an “old school” pad Thai. There’s also a dish called Killer Noodles, which consists of spicy stir-fried ramen noodles that are topped with fried pork belly and a fried egg.
From the people behind the Italian restaurant Red Ash, J. Carver’s is a new steakhouse downtown with an oyster bar and plenty of wood-grilled steaks. You can get roasted beef marrow bones here, as well as escargot baked in pastry-covered crocks. This is also the kind of place where you can top a 50-day dry-aged steak with foie gras or a Maryland crab-stuffed half lobster. Or both?
Located in downtown food hall Fareground, Little Wu is from the team that brought us Wu Chow. The stand serves Lamian Chinese noodle bowls and a variety of handmade dumplings and potstickers.
From the restaurant group behind spots like June’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, and Swedish Hill comes Favorite Pizza on West 6th Street. It’s a NYC-style pizza place—complete with tons of New York Mets baseball memorabilia—serving whole pies, big slices, subs, beer, wine, and cocktails. You can also get the caesar salad and the tiramisu that they serve next door at their sister restaurant Sammie’s.
Little Ola's Biscuits
As a pandemic pivot, the people at Olamaie launched a pop-up biscuit-based takeout business called Little Ola’s, and now they’ve found it a permanent home in a brick-and-mortar location in Wells Branch. Open for breakfast and lunch, there are options like a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit, or fried chicken biscuits. They also have hand pies and cinnamon rolls.
Cash Cow Burgers
After constantly selling out of the smoked burgers as a Thursday special at Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, chef/owner Miguel Vidal opened a food truck completely dedicated to it in Buda called Cash Cow Burger Co. The food truck is located at the Memorial Miniature Golf & World War II Museum, though you don’t need to play to eat.
Drawing inspiration from Sinaloa, the northern Mexican state with hundreds of miles of coastline, Seareinas is a new seafood restaurant in the St. John’s neighborhood serving dishes like ceviche, tostadas, and Mexican sushi (yes, this is a thing). It’s from the people behind scene-y restaurants like Gabriela’s and Taquero Mucho, so expect lots of neon, margaritas, and live music.
Longtime Mexican restaurant Curra’s Grill on East Oltorf in South Austin opened a new location on Duval Street in Hyde Park (where Mother’s Cafe used to be). The new spot also serves their classic avocado margarita, as well as popular dishes including cochinita pibil, chiles rellenos, and huevos a la Mexicana. There are plans to run a golf cart service delivering margaritas and food, which is something we can definitely get behind and makes us want to move to Hyde Park.
Chef/owner Yeni Rosdiyani started Yeni’s Fusion as an Instagram-based pop-up doing Indonesian street food, and it has since grown into a fully functioning trailer at The Aristocrat Lounge in Brentwood. The menu includes bakso soup with meatballs and giant beef ribs, bubur ayam (chicken porridge), and rendang (a rice bowl with beef curry). The “fusion” that happens here is incorporating Mexican and Texan ingredients into Indonesian dishes, like the empal gentong, a coconut cream soup that’s served with smoked brisket.
Sushi | Bar ATX
The restaurant group behind Sushi | Bar operates a similar concept out in Los Angeles serving a 17-course sushi omakase. In late 2020, it was a pop-up inside the private dining room of East Austin restaurant Bento Picnic, and after finding success partially because of an endorsement by the new Austinite Joe Rogan, they made it a permanent restaurant in August 2021. Reservations can be hard to come by, with a pretty long waitlist.
Birdie’s is a walk-in only neighborhood wine bar and restaurant in East Austin—the chef and owners are New York City restaurant vets. The menu is on the short side, seasonally-minded, and inspired by France and Italy. On it you’ll find dishes like beef tartare with pecans, duck confit rillete, and rotating handmade pastas. The dining room is small and charming, and the dog-friendly patio out back is big and spacious. The wine list is a mix of new and classic producers, and for dessert there’s soft serve and a Sicilian-inspired chocolate chip cookie.
Originally launched as an itinerant pop-up serving sliders and fries, Fat City Stacks has found a permanent home at the dog park/bar Yard Bar in Allandale on Burnet Road. On the menu are sliders, a fried chicken version made with togarashi ranch, crinkle fries, soft-serve ice cream, and floats.
Keepers Coastal Kitchen
Keepers Coastal Kitchen is a new casual seafood restaurant in South Austin from the team behind places like District Kitchen and Oasthouse. The fish here is sustainably caught, and the menu includes a variety of Viet-Cajun seafood boils, po’ boys, tacos, and lobster rolls.
Zeds Real Fruit Ice Cream
The Portland-based ice cream shop Zeds Ice Cream opened a new location in Austin. They serve New Zealand-inspired blended-to-order fruit ice cream. There’s a walk-up window and outdoor seating. Find them in East Austin.
1417 is a new restaurant in Bouldin Creek in the space where Sway used to be on South 1st. The menu leans French, so there are dishes like a duck confit crepe, fried raclette cheese, and steak frites. They also do caviar and oysters.
Kapatad Kitchen and Cafe
This new Filipino restaurant is located on Far West Boulevard, taking over The Hao-Q Asian Kitchen Restaurant space (they’re even keeping some of the Chinese dishes). The Filipino side of the menu is broad, including sizzling pork sisig, lechon kawali, beef kare-kare, pancit bihon, lumpiang Shanghai, and crispy pata.
Mama Fried is a new food truck at the far south Austin bar Armadillo Den serving fries in their many splendid varieties—crinkly, curly, and waffle. You can get the fries seasoned, you can get them with dips, and you can get them loaded with chili, barbacoa, or pulled pork. And since Mama Fried was created by the team at the new-school barbecue truck Leroy & Lewis, you can count on the smoked meats to be excellent.
Los Danzantes ATX is a new Mexican food truck parked at the music venue/bar The Far Out Lounge on South Congress serving birria tacos with consome, Oaxacan tlayudas, and quesadillas on homemade corn tortillas. Also: choco-flan.
From the restaurant group behind spots like Clark’s and Jeffrey’s comes their newest project. Taking inspiration from old-school red sauce Italian-American restaurants like Dan Tana’s in Los Angeles, Sammie’s is more of a deluxe experience where the waiters wear red suits and ties, the pastas are all handmade, and the chicken parmigiana is bigger than your head.
De Nada Cantina
De Nada Cantina is a new East Side taqueria from the Sawyer & Co team. The restaurant has a tight menu of tacos like barbacoa, carnitas, shrimp, and roasted sweet potatoes with chimichurri, all served on handmade blue corn tortillas. There are also crispy tacos with beef and mushroom picadillo options. There’s a pretty elaborate cocktail menu here as well, with drinks ranging from margaritas to frozen sangria to palomas.
Simi Estiatorio is a swanky Greek restaurant in the heart of downtown Austin. The focus here is fish with seafood flown in directly from the Mediterranean. The menu veers on the pricey side—most entrees are around $40, and there’s even a $155 seafood platter, while non-seafood options include lamb chops and souvlaki. Word is that it can get pretty clubby later into the night, with DJs and loud music.
The East Side trailer Fil N Viet from husband-and-wife team Kevin Truong and Rosie Mina-Truong blends Filipino and Vietnamese cuisine, so you’ll see dishes like sinigang chicken wings with tamarind and a crispy sisig banh mi served on an Easy Tiger roll. They also have constantly changing weekly specials that have included Vietnamese beef tartare and dinuguan, the Filipino pork blood stew.
Bobo’s Snack Bar
Originally located at the Austin Motel on South Congress, the snack and cocktail bar Snack Bar has reopened on Airport Boulevard in East Austin as Bobo’s Snack Bar. They’re calling it a “community tasting room,” and all the food is from within 100 miles of Austin. There’s a chill patio out front with fire pits, too.
Love Supreme Pizza Bar
From the owners of Bird Bird Biscuit and Thunderbird Coffee comes Love Supreme, a pizza restaurant and bar with an enormous patio on Manor Road in East Austin. They’re doing two kinds of pizzas: Neapolitan-inspired round pies and Detroit/Sicilian-style square pies. Other dishes include chicken wings, salads, and roasted cauliflower. For drinks, there’s beer, natural wines, and rotating frozen cocktails.
You’ll find Honey Moon Spirit Lounge in a renovated Craftsman bungalow on 34th Street in the Heritage neighborhood, just north of campus. It’s a very stylish restaurant/bar with an elaborate craft cocktail menu. On the food side of things, there are oysters, a cheese and charcuterie plate, duck confit with gnocchi, koji-aged steak, and duck fat-fried hot chicken.
Swift Pizza Co
From the people who brought you Jacoby’s and Grizzelda’s is the new pizza restaurant Swift Pizza Co. on the East Side. It’s a family-friendly affair, with dishes like build-your-own pizzas, mozzarella sticks, meatballs, chicken wings, and shishito peppers. There’s even a cheeseburger pizza featuring Jacoby beef, and desserts range from Blue Bell ice cream to Rice Krispies treats.
Lutie’s is the new restaurant with a chic garden party atmosphere in the recently renovated Commodore Perry Estate hotel in Hyde Park. The chefs, Bradley Nicholson and Susana Querejazu, returned home to Austin after working at Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, and the menu veers local and seasonal with more luxurious touches, with dishes like their grand aioli platter with crudité vegetables. It’s booked out months in advance, but you can call to get put on a waitlist for cancellations.
Show Me Pizza
Show Me Pizza is a new Neapolitan pizzeria on South 1st Street that live-streams its 800-degree pizza oven on Twitch. They’ve got the standards like margherita pies, but also do more creative ones like Nashville-style hot chicken, a pizza with bechamel and havarti, and the Four Cheeses of the Apocalypse pie that comes with habanero honey.
Tsuke Edomae is a tiny six-seat counter restaurant in Mueller serving an 11-course omakase menu of classic edomae-style sushi featuring fish flown in directly from the Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo (as well as sourced from local purveyors). All for a shockingly low $79 per person, it’s (unsurprisingly) booked out months in advance.
From JewBoy Burgers comes JewBoy Sub Shop, a sandwich shop in Brentwood that’s “inspired by both Border and Reform Jewish Culture.” Which means sandwiches like carne asada with hatch green chiles and a chicken schnitzel parm. There’s also a big patio.
The first location of Carnitas El Guero was a small, cash-only affair in a gas station in South Austin. But now Mexico City-born chef/owner Gustavo Reyes has opened a second location on North Lamar with a full kitchen and a liquor license. The restaurant still serves the epic carnitas, but here the menu has expanded a bit, with dishes like tortas and pozole. They also serve a cantarito, the tequila cocktail originally from Jalisco that’s served in a clay pot rimmed with chile powder.
Trill Foods is a reboot of chef/owner Nick Belloni’s wildly inventive Trill Taqueria that closed down last year. It’s now located at the newish Vacancy Brewing in South Austin. The tortillas are nixtamalized and handmade, and options for tacos vary from day-to-day, but might include lamb carnitas or chicken tinga that’s braised with chipotle and chili-crisp oil. There’s also masa fried chicken.
Jjim Korean Braised Bbq
This new restaurant in Lamar Union on South Lamar focuses on jjim, the braised Korean dish that usually involves beef or pork short ribs. It’s from the people behind the Chinese food delivery service Tso and the Korean fried chicken spot Donkey Mo’s.
Distant Relatives serves “modern African American” cuisine out of a mobile smokeshack parked at the spacious Meanwhile Brewing Company in South Austin. The menu explores the cooking traditions of the African diaspora and American South, with dishes like pulled pork sandwiches with a tangy preserved cabbage, and black eyed peas cooked with burnt ends.
While Easy Tiger may have closed their original downtown bakery and beer garden, they opened a location in South Austin back in 2020. And now they’ve opened a new location in East Austin with an enormous 15,000 sq. ft patio on East 7th Street.
Parked at Bouldin Acres, CM Smokehouse is a trailer that’s run by Cade Mercer, who’s worked at places like Lambert’s and EastSide Tavern. The menu features more traditional barbecue offerings like pulled pork sandwiches and Frito pie, but then there are also more untraditional things like smoked-and-fried baby back ribs, a brisket Philly cheesesteak, and the off-menu Brisket Crunchwrap.
Store House Market & Eatery
Located on Main Street in Bastrop, Store House Market & Eatery is from chef/owner Sonya Cote—you may know her from having opened Eastside Showroom, Hillside Farmacy, and Eden East. The menu is tight and focused, featuring locally-sourced ingredients, with dishes like a pork terrine with pickles, butternut queso, pumpkin sage risotto, and a Texas ribeye with mint marigold bearnaise.
Abby Jane Bakeshop
Abby Jane Bakeshop has access to some of the best flour that Texas has to offer, as they share a building in Dripping Springs with Barton Springs Mill that produces stone-milled heirloom grains. Abby Jane was previously the pastry chef at Dai Due, and at her bakeshop she’s making breads, pizza, sandwiches, and superlative pastries—like the Queen “P,” a Texas twist on a kouign amann with sticky pecan caramel.
Shortie's Pizza & Grinders
From the owners of District Kitchen and Oasthouse comes Shortie’s Pizza & Grinders in North Shoal Creek on West Anderson Lane. As the name implies, the menu focuses on sandwiches and pizzas, specifically New England Greek-style pizza that’s cooked in cast iron skillets using wheat from Barton Springs Mills and Texan olive oil.
Texsueno focuses on Tex-Mex, with a menu featuring dishes like flautas, homemade tortilla chips and guacamole, and tacos on corn tortillas (they even do crispy tortillas). It’s currently located outside of the bar High Noon on Cesar Chavez.