Check out our hot list of what’s new and coming up on Austin’s ever-evolving dining, drinking, arts, music and entertainment scenes. 

Person in Leroy and Lewis merch holding plate of barbecue and sidesLeRoy and Lewis Barbecue. Credit Mackenzie Smith Kelley

NEW RESTAURANTS

The team behind acclaimed Emmer & Rye has opened Canje, a new Caribbean restaurant in East Austin. The menu is based on executive chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph’s favorite foods from his childhood in Guyana, as well as the cuisine of Puerto Rico and Jamaica. Don’t miss the fruity Caribbean-influenced cocktails.

Grey Diner Bar and Grey Market at the downtown Thompson Austin hotel are helmed by James Beard Award winner Mashama Bailey. Opening in January, Grey Diner Bar will feature sandwiches, charcuterie and cocktails, while Grey Market’s Southern-style bodega will offer grab-and-go sandwiches and boxed lunches.

Uchiba is set to open in the downtown Google Tower in fall 2022. The Austin outpost of this casual restaurant and bar (the original location is in Dallas) will offer yakitori and sushi, along with sake and Japanese cocktails.

Try edomae-style sushi at Tsuke Edomae in Mueller. Chef Michael Che prepares his exquisite sushi using curing methods that date back to the Edo period of Japan. The restaurant offers 11-course omakase seatings Thursdays through Sundays.

The team from local Mexican favorite Suerte is planning to open Este in the Cherrywood neighborhood. The new restaurant, opening in 2022, will offer sustainable seafood and coastal Mexican cuisine.

Named by Eater as one of the 11 Best New Restaurants in America, Distant Relatives food truck raises the bar on barbecue. Pitmaster Damien Brockway looks to his African ancestry for unique ingredients to sauce his meats, such as molasses and chile-vinegar butter, and cooks up sides like fresh corn grits. Distant Relatives is parked at Meanwhile Brewing Co.

Vic & Al’s is a welcoming neighborhood eatery with a menu inspired by the cuisine of Southern Louisiana and the Texas Gulf Coast. Try traditional Cajun dishes like blackened catfish or the gumbo with house-cured tasso.

Overhead view of various dishes and beverages from Fareground's food vendorsFareground. Credit Dillon Burke

Fareground is Austin’s spectacular downtown food hall, housing outposts of favorite local restaurants and bars. Newly opened eateries here include Little Wu (Chinese dumplings and noodle soups), Austin Rotisserie (French roasted chicken), The Market (salads, pizza and sandwiches) and Taco Pegaso (tacos and burritos).

Anchored by a charming historic home, Ani’s Day & Night offers something for everyone. Inside is a cafe and bar serving coffee and cocktails. The expansive, shady outdoor space features two food trucks, plus room for live music, pop-ups and events.

Three Austin restaurants made the top 10 of Texas Monthly’s 2021 list of The 50 Best BBQ Joints. InterStellar BBQ made its first-ever appearance on the list at number 2, while LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue ranked number 5 and Franklin Barbecue came in at number 7. Belly up and try them all.

See Where to Dine in Austin Right Now for more hot eateries.

NEW DRINKING SPOTS

Duck into Tiki Tatsu-ya and be transported to a hidden tropical paradise outfitted with lush greenery, rock walls, fountains and the sounds of chirping birds. Slip into a bamboo booth and order a Zombie to go with the shared Pu Pu Platter that includes BBQ beef skewers, wings and ribs.

Dripping Springs Vodka & Gin in the Texas Hill Country has opened Distillers Hall. Post up in this new space that houses the distillery’s tasting room, a craft cocktail and wine bar, and a kitchen serving Southern eats.

Wide view of Fierce Whiskers tasting room.Courtesy of Fierce Whiskers Distillery

Visit the modern tasting room at Fierce Whiskers Distillery in Austin. Tour the distillery’s state-of-the-art production facility and rick house, then grab a yakitori bite from the Char ATX food truck on-site.

Celis Brewery, the granddaddy of Austin craft breweries, has opened a huge new outdoor beer garden and taproom. CTX Beer Garden at Celis Brewery, the Belgian brewery’s 12,000-square-foot space, has plenty of seating, a stage for live music and events, plus food trucks. The indoor taproom features staple and seasonal Celis beers, including its new Mexican lager.

Downtown’s Wanderlust Wine Company has opened a new location in East Austin. Try one of the 80 wines on tap, many of which are self-pour. Don’t miss Tappy Hour, held daily from 3-6 p.m. 

Explore even more Austin nightlife.

ARTS NEWS

The 11-acre Waterloo Park is an oasis in the city, featuring trails, wetland gardens and play spaces at the northern end of Waller Creek Park. The centerpiece Moody Amphitheater, with its expansive Great Lawn, makes for a dramatic gateway to Waterloo Park. 

The Museum of the Future Present at Native Hostel is an immersive museum made up of 17 different installations created by musicians and artists. Each installation is a new track on a mixtape that creates a gallery of sight (including video and graphic design) and sound. 

The Butler Sound Gallery at the Blanton Museum of Art marks the country’s first major museum to feature a dedicated outdoor space for sound sculpture. The park-like sound gallery will feature recordings of Texas wildlife in an installation created by sound art pioneer Bill Fontana. The Butler Sound Gallery is scheduled to open in late 2022.

The new location of HOPE Outdoor Gallery is expected to open across from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in early 2022. The 18-acre, open-air cultural center will feature large-scale public art, a collection of shipping containers housing shops and gallery spaces, a rooftop bar and food trucks.

Discover even more ways to experience art in Austin.

Aerial view of Moody Amphitheater in evening sun. There is a crowd on the open lawn and in seats near the pavilion stage. The State Capitol building is visible behind the amphitheaterMoody Amphitheater at Waterloo Park. Credit John Sutfin

LATEST MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT

Designed by world-renowned architects Thomas Phifer & Partners, the Moody Amphitheater is situated in the heart of Waterloo Park. With its Great Lawn and the Texas State Capitol as a dramatic backdrop, the outdoor amphitheater is a vibrant venue that can hold 5,000 attendees for concerts, festivals and performing arts events.

The Moody Center, located on the grounds of The University of Texas at Austin, is slated to open in spring 2022. The dazzling new $338 million indoor event venue was designed specifically for concerts, and will also host The University of Texas women’s and men’s basketball games.

Ping pong palace Smash ATX combines sports, nightlife and dining all under one roof. Play a game or two, then settle in for comfort food like crispy chicken sandwiches sided with a local beer or cocktail.

Racing fans are revved up for the return of NASCAR at Circuit of The Americas™ (COTA), with the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series held the weekend of March 25-27, 2022. Later this year look for the opening of COTALAND, a kid-friendly amusement park with more than 18 rides and attractions, scheduled to be unveiled in the grand plaza of the racetrack complex in summer 2022.

The iconic Nutty Brown Amphitheatre is pulling up its Texas Hill Country roots and moving to a new location in Round Rock. The new venue, which is planned to open in 2022, will be larger and play host to a variety of music genres.