Check out our hot list of what’s new and coming up on Austin’s ever-changing dining, drinking, entertainment and arts scenes.
Dipdipdip Tatsu-ya. Credit Jody Horton.
Recently opened DipDipDip Tatsu-ya offers a modern take on Japanese hot pot dining, with meats, seafood and vegetables cooked in simmering pots of broth right at diners’ tables. Comedor, in downtown Austin, serves cutting-edge Mexican cuisine, like bone marrow tacos laced with smoked butter. Roman-style pizza (sold by weight), a natural wine bar, Intelligentsia coffee and a bike shop make for the perfect combination at Meteor. House-made vegan cheeses and hard-to-find vegan gourmet grocery items are the stars of the yummy Rebel Cheese, which also features made-to-order sandwiches and a wine shop.
See our list of the Best Restaurants in Austin Right Now for more hot eateries.
Carpenters Hall. Credit Alex Lau.
New Hotel Dining
East Austin Hotel offers three hip restaurant and bar options: all-day diner Sixth and Waller, cooking up global comfort foods that include breakfast tacos and homemade pies; The Upside Rooftop Bar, serving snacks like lamb kebabs with classic cocktails; and the tropical-themed Pool Bar, with frozen drinks and finger foods such as hummus and green chile guacamole.
At ARRIVE East Austin hotel discover two exciting restaurants. Lefty’s Brick Bar is a casual all-day spot that mixes Cajun and Asian flavors, as seen in the banh boys–sandwiches that are a hybrid of Vietnamese banh mi and a Cajun po’ boy. Vixen’s Wedding serves intensely flavorful eats inspired by the foods of Goa, India and Portugal.
The new Hotel ZaZa Austin offers three unique dining concepts. Find lunch and lite bites at Perfect Strangers. Or, venture upstairs to Group Therapy, the hotel's craft cocktail bar, complemented by a live music venue, Stage Fright. Adjacent to Group Therapy, guests will find the hotel’s expansive pool deck and poolside Cabana Bar overlooking Republic Square.
Yuyo. Credit Joseán Daal.
James Beard Award Nominees
Several Austin restaurants received prestigious James Beard Award nominations in 2019. Bryce Gilmore of Instagram-worthy Barley Swine, Kevin Fink of farm-to-table Emmer & Rye and Michael Fojtasek of modern Southern darling Olamaie were all finalists for Best Chef: Southwest. Iliana de la Vega of Mexican favorite El Naranjo and Maribel Rivero of Peruvian Yuyo were both James Beard semifinalists in the Best Chef category.
Courtesy of Taco Bronco.
Chicago’s Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson are opening the hospitality group’s first-ever Texas restaurant in Austin. Scheduled to open in spring, Aba will bring Mediterranean flair to the highly anticipated Music Lane development. Beloved Gabriela’s Downtown is opening Taquero Mucho in winter 2019, serving up tacos and margaritas. The Micklethwait Craft Meats team will open a new trailer this winter, Taco Bronco will focus on slow-smoked meats and Texas-Style tacos.
The high-rise Austin Proper Hotel will wow diners with four restaurants and bars, opening this winter. Peacock Mediterranean Grill focuses on Israeli and Turkish fare. Casual cafe The Mockingbird offers Greek dishes like falafel. La Piscina, a poolside restaurant and bar, serves Mexican dishes that include wood-grilled fajitas. And Goldie’s is an intimate, sunken 30-seat cocktail bar.
Central Machine Works Brewery. Credit Garrett White.
Sample an American lager or English brown ale at Central Machine Works Brewery and Beer Hall, featuring a beer garden, food trucks and live music. Try everything from barrel-aged sours to hoppy IPAs at Batch Brewhouse, along with lip-smacking tacos from the soon-to-open on-site food truck, Taco Bronco. Soak in the Texas Hill Country views from a seat in the outdoor beer garden at Beerburg Brewing (opening winter 2019), which also offers casual farm-to-table fare. Sip an elegant drink on the patio at Ellis, the sleek new cocktail lounge at downtown Fareground. Opening in fall 2019, Kalimotoxo is a Spanish pintxo and cocktail bar that celebrates Basque bar culture in the Seaholm district of downtown Austin.
Moody Amphitheater. Credit MVVA/Waterloo Greenway Conservancy.
Spend some time exploring the Waterloo Greenway along Waller Creek in downtown Austin, featuring art installations and concerts at the newly renovated Symphony Square, an open-air amphitheater. Coming in fall 2020, Waterloo Park will boast the architecturally stunning Moody Amphitheater, which will present regular concerts and cultural events.
Also plan to check out the new location of HOPE Outdoor Gallery, opening in spring/summer 2020 across from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The open-air art park and events center will feature colorful large-scale public art and cultural events.
St. Elmo Public Market. Credit Andersson-Wise.
The upscale Music Lane development on South Congress Avenue is slated to open this spring. In addition to a members-only Soho House (with an open-to-the-public restaurant), Music Lane will include hip department store Neighborhood Goods, featuring rotating brands like Rothy’s and Cynthia Rowley, along with the first Austin location of luxury fitness club Equinox, health store/juice bar SunLife Organics and more. Exciting new eateries include Aba, Velvet Taco, Sweetgreen and Gelateria Gemelli.
Coming soon to South Austin, St. Elmo Public Market is a planned mixed-use development that will include shops, restaurants and bars, a hotel and event spaces. Experience locally owned spots like Family Business Beer Co., Lick Honest Ice Creams, Mignette (a new diner/bakery from the owners of Olamaie), Salt & Time, Texas Hill Country Olive Co. and more.
Austin FC Stadium. Courtesy of Austin FC.
Music & Entertainment
Beerland is expected to reopen under new ownership on Red River Street. The venue once again features live music, along with plenty of beer. At bar/record shop Troublemaker, listen to a record before you buy it as you sip a cocktail and devour a California-style burrito.
Catch Major League Soccer (MLS) action at the new 20,500-seat Austin FC Stadium, where the Austin FC will start play in 2021. The second location of Crux Climbing Center will add a new jolt when it opens in 2020 by partnering with Spokesman, which will serve coffee, Kombucha and grab-and-go eats inside the bouldering gym. In late spring 2020, bring your furry friends to Canine Commons, a massive new indoor dog park at The Domain that will include off-leash areas, a coffee shop and retail space.