The first of the year is a good time to look ahead at what’s to come. A chance to rev up our appetites, to imagine the possibilities. Unopened restaurants are full of potential. No plate has been poorly executed and no server has spilled a drink in your lap.

While there will be many under-the-radar restaurants that open in 2017 and thrill us with their unique charms, I’ve highlighted here about two dozen that have caught my attention. I won’t call them "the most anticipated restaurants coming to Austin," because the level of anticipation is in the eye of the anticipator, but many are from proven operators or advertise concepts that we can all at least toss around in our heads with expectation.

I’ve broken the roster into two groups — new concepts and existing restaurants opening new locations. If you know of a forthcoming restaurant about which I should know, give me a shout at For my list of the best (already existing) restaurants in Austin, visit the Austin360 Dining Guide at

New restaurants

Alimentari 28

Concept: Italian restaurant Numero 28 will expand to include this adjacent space, which will offer breakfast, Italian pastries, gelato, a full bar and more.

Principal: Sicily native and New York City industry veteran Bernardo Nolfo

Location: 454 West Second St.

Estimated opening: January

Austin Taco Project

Concept: Fusion taco and craft beer bar at the downtown hotel.

Location: Hilton Austin, 500 E. Fourth St.

Estimated opening: Winter

The Brewer’s Table

Concept: Beer-centric restaurant serving wood-fermented brews and wood-fire-grilled cuisine.

Principals: Owner Jake Maddux, chef Zach Hunter (Fixe), general manager Bill Mann (Olamaie, Qui), consulting chef Jorge Hernandez (José Andrés’ Minibar) and head brewer Drew Durish (Live Oak Brewing)

Location: 4715 E. Fifth St. in the Artpost, across from Justine’s Brasserie

Estimated opening: Winter

Fare Ground

Concept: Austin’s first food hall, with a variety of vendors in an indoor and outdoor space.

Principals: Elm Restaurant Group (24 Diner, Easy Tiger, Irene’s), Cousins Properties, Micheal Hsu and local vendors to be named

Location: 111 Congress Ave.

Estimated opening: September

Gatto Nero and Enoteca Gattino

Concept: Gatto Nero will be an upscale Italian restaurant serving regional Italian and Italian-American fare, and the Enoteca will be an Italian deli and wine bar.

Principals: New Waterloo, the team behind Sway, La Condesa, South Congress Hotel

Location: The Arnold, 1617 E. Sixth St.

Estimated opening: Winter

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

Concept: Ramen Tatsu-Ya team puts Texas spin take on Japanese izakaya, with full bar, smoked meats, yakitori, ramen and izakaya classics.

Principals: Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto

Location: 2713 E. Second St.

Estimated opening: Early January

Kula Revolving Sushi

Concept: Sushi served via a conveyor belt.

Principals: The company started in Japan, where it has about 400 locations

Location: 6929 Airport Blvd. (near North Lamar Boulevard)

Estimated opening: Spring

Peli Peli

Concept: South-African inspired restaurant from Houston with menu items like curry chicken, pan-seared kingklip and mixed South African grill plate with filet medallions, lamb chops and Boerewors sausage.

Principal: Executive chef and South Africa native Paul Friedman

Location: 201 W. Third St.

Estimated opening: Spring

PS 35

Concept: New York-style pizza, sandwiches, family-friendly atmosphere

Principals: SMGB hospitality group (with members who have resumes that include Old Thousand, Uchi, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Moonshine Grill, Whole Foods Market and more) and chef Clint Elmore, formerly of pizza trailer 40 North.

Location: 1500 IH-35 Frontage Road #35 in Round Rock (formerly Westside Alehouse)

Estimated opening: Early 2017

Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew’s new concept

Concept: The restaurant won’t be "Stiles Switch 2," but will expand on the current menu and add Southern cuisine via a menu designed in collaboration with one of the city’s best chefs, Lenoir owner Todd Duplechan.

Principals: Owner Shane Stiles, pitmaster Lance Kirkpatrick, chef Todd Duplechan (Lenoir) and cooks Andy Stapp, Alanmykal Jackson and Bill Dumas.

Location: Belterra Village development off US 290 at Nutty Brown Road

Estimated opening: Fall

Toulouse Café and Bar

Concept: French café serving quiche, mussels, seasonal specialties, desserts and an extensive wine list.

Principal: Chef Yoann Lardeux

Location: 3120 Palm Way, Suite 150

Estimated opening: January

Veggie Heaven

Concept: The daughter of Mei Wang, the founder of the former campus favorite, will relaunch the brand as a vegan-friendly restaurant.

Principal: Owner Stacy Chen

Location: 1611 W. Fifth Street

Estimated opening: January

Yoshi Kitchen

Concept: Asian fusion with teriyaki, ramen, Asian barbecue and Asian burgers from the owner of Veggie Heaven.

Principal: Owner Stacy Chen

Location: 3318 Harmon Ave.

Estimated opening: February

New locations of existing brands/restaurants

24 Diner

Concept: Elm Restaurant Group brings its modern take on the diner to the Domain Northside.

Principals: Chef Andrew Curren and baker David Norman

Location: 3100 Esperanza Crossing, Suite 100

Estimated opening: October

Austin Daily Press

Concept: The new ADP is conceptualized as a Tex-Mex diner and will be a little more refined than the current sandwich and taco shop, with items like housemade pulled pork, tempeh chorizo and a selection of specialty salsas, according to co-owner Dustin Knef.

Principals: Executive chef Reed Faitak

Location: 4620 E. Cesar Chavez St.

Estimated opening: Winter

Blue Dahlia Bistro

Concept: Third location of European bistro with dishes like salade Niçoise, a variety of tartines, and traditional French entrees such as beef bourguignon, mussels Provençal and ratatouille.

Principals: Owners Amy and Sam Ramirez

Location: 107 Hopkins St. (on the historic square) in San Marcos

Estimated opening: End of January

Chi’Lantro - South Shore

Concept: Fifth brick-and-mortar location of Korean barbecue fast-casual restaurant will serve kimchi fries, Korean fried chicken wings, burgers and more.

Principals: Jae Kim, founder

Location: 1414 South Shore District Drive

Estimated opening: Early January

Easy Tiger

Concept: The second bake shop and beer garden from Elm will be three times the size of the original and feature a full commercial bakery, drive-through coffee bar, 250 outdoor seats, ping-pong tables, a dog park and an outdoor stage that will occasionally host live music.

Principals: Chef Andrew Curren and baker David Norman of Elm Restaurant Group

Location: The Linc (6406 Interstate 35)

Estimated opening: May

Flyrite Chicken

Concept: Fried and grilled chicken sandwiches made with cage-free and antibiotic-free chickens that are vegetarian fed.

Principals: Owner Kevin Warden and director of culinary operations Quirino Silva

Location: 6539 Burnet Road

Estimated opening: Jan. 15

Home Slice Pizza

Concept: New York-style pizza and great sandwiches find a second home in the North Loop neighborhood.

Principals: Owners Jen and Joseph Strickland and Terri Hannifin

Location: 501 E. 53rd St.

Estimated opening: Summer

Jack Allen’s Kitchen

Concept: Fourth location of restaurant with farm-to-table ethos and chicken-fried soul.

Principals: Jack Gilmore and Tom Kamm

Location: 3010 W. Anderson Lane

Estimated opening: Spring

J.T. Youngblood’s Fried Chicken

Concept: The Lenoir chef’s reboot of the long-dormant Austin fried chicken chain will be a "healthy alternative to fast food," with oak-roasted rotisserie chicken and homemade sides.

Principals: Chef Todd Duplechan, Jeffrey’s co-founder Jeffrey Weinberger and former Trio at the Four Seasons general manager Jeff Haber

Location: 1800 Simond Ave. Suite 120 in the Mueller development

Estimated opening: Winter


Concept: Modern Thai, with standout dishes like son-in-law and salt-and-pepper shrimp, and jungle curry.

Principals: New Waterloo, the team behind Sway, La Condesa, South Congress Hotel

Locations: Rock Rose at the Domain Northside and 3437 Bee Cave Road in West Lake Hills

Estimated opening: Late 2017