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Vaccinated and ready for fun in Austin? More than 70 places that have opened in the past year

Nolan Dahl and Cooper Dixon play pickleball at Dreamland in Dripping Springs on March 13, 2021.

Ready to get back out there, or at least thinking that might be in sight? 

While a lot of things in Texas have been open for business for a while (and certainly are allowed to be, under Gov. Greg Abbott's March order opening the state), plenty of people have kept close to home as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

There's hope in sight. As of early last week, more than 8.4 million Texans had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and of those, almost 4.9 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to state health officials. And as folks get their shots, they're likely to resume some of their pre-pandemic habits.

The vibe remains:Renovated Butler Pitch and Putt reopens to the Austin public

We've lost several local businesses over the past year, but quite a few new spots have opened since March 2020. In case you missed them, here's a curated roundup of notable new dining and entertainment destinations.

Remember: If you're vaccinated and ready to step back into the world, there's still a pandemic going on. Be considerate to your neighbor, and mask up.

Listen to Eric Webb on Austin360 Radio. Story continues below.

Restaurants

Aba: Mediterranean restaurant from Chicago-based hospitality group Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises is helmed by executive chef CJ Jacobson of “Top Chef” fame. (1011 S. Congress Ave.; 737-273-0199, abarestaurants.com/austin)

Aleida’s Latin Food: Arepas and tacos come together at this restaurant and its sister food truck that wed Venezuelan and Mexican cuisine. (602 S. Bell Blvd. in Cedar Park; 512-565-1741, aleidas.com)

Banana Island: West African flavors and cocktails with Caribbean flair. (311 University Blvd., Suite 500, in Round Rock; 737-212-0338, thebananisland.com

Birdie’s: A couple-owned casual cafe defined by technique, service and smart wine selections coming this summer to East Austin. (2944 E. 12th St.; birdiesaustin.com)

Buddy's Burger opened in Northeast Austin in 2020.

Buddy’s Burger: A smashed burger throwback that blends old and new. (9001 Cameron Road; 512-401-3325, buddysburger.com)

Carabao Express: Serving Filipino dishes like sisig, lumpia and chicken adobo. (2309 W. Parmer Lane; 512-358-1117, carabaoexpress.com)

Commerce Cafe: Farm-to-table comfort on the Lockhart town square delivered by the owners of Foreign & Domestic. (118 S Commerce St. in Lockhart; 512-359-4993, commerce-lockhart.com)

Cork & Barrel Craft Kitchen + Microbrewery: A blending of Texas gastropub and Irish pub. (4000 E. Palm Valley Blvd. in Round Rock; 512-582-0155, corkandbarrelpub.com)

Corinne at Marriott: New American cuisine at a new Austin hotel. (304 E. Cesar Chavez St.; 512-457-1111, corinneatx.com)

Distant Relatives: Chef Damien Brockway left a career in fine dining to trace the culinary foodways of the African diaspora with his "smokeshack" trailer in East Austin. (3508 E. Seventh St.; 512-717-2504, distantrelativesatx.com)

Dough Boys: Chef Tony Curet, formerly of North Italia, creates 12-inch pizza in a wood-fired pizza oven at this East Austin trailer. (1108 E. 12th St.; 512-781-5949, doughboysatx.com)

Ellera: Boston-inspired Italian from chef Tim Lane, who worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome. (12432 Bee Cave Road in Bee Cave; 512-401-8113, ellerarestaurant.com)

Fil N’ Viet: Husband and wife wed Filipino and Vietnamese cuisine in a trailer. (1720 E. 12th St.; 281-798-4334, filnviet.com)

Garden at Ellera: New England seafood and Italian bites served in an expansive beer garden. (12432 Bee Cave Road in Bee Cave; 512-401-8113, gardenatellera.com)

Golden Rule: Modern Texas comfort food and craft cocktails. (606 S. Church St. in Georgetown; 512-843-5900, goldenrulegtx.com)

Huckleberry: Gulf seafood from a truck at Circle Brewing. (2340 W. Braker Lane, Suite B; huckleberrytx.com/food-truck)

JewBoy Burgers: Fat burgers full of flavor at a restaurant born from a food truck. (5111 Airport Blvd.; 512-291-3358, jewboyburgers.com)

JewBoy Sub Shop: The spin-off of the similarly named burger joint blends Tex-Mex and Jewish traditions. (6701 Burnet Road, Unit A1; 512-294-2279, jewboysubshop.com)

Jjim Korean: The namesake braised meats are the stars of the menu at this modern Korean restaurant. (1100 S. Lamar Blvd., Suite 2140; 737-202-4475, jjimbbq.com)

Galbi jjim at Jjim Korean in South Austin.

Juliet: The second location of the Italian restaurant that originated in Barton Springs Road. (10000 Research Blvd., Building C; 512-479-1800, juliet-austin.com)

La Joie: Louisiana-born chef and Olamaie alumnus brings flavors of home to La Joie in Cedar Park. (1500 E. Whitestone Blvd. in Cedar Park; 512-986-4300, lajoieaustin.com)

La Piscina: Fajitas and ceviche served poolside at this McGuire Moorman Hospitality concept at the Proper hotel and residences. (600 W. Second St. on the fifth floor; 512-628-1415, properhotel.com/austin)

Le Vacher: Chef-owner Jacob Euler sources Texas ingredients for a Lone Star take on a brasserie. (136 Drifting Wind Run, Suite 101, in Dripping Springs; 512-337-6977, levachertx.com)

Little Ola’s: Award-winning Olamaie transformed into a biscuit shop in the pandemic that will relocate to Wells Branch this spring. (14735 Bratton Lane; olamaieaustin.com)

Lutie’s Garden Restaurant: Chef Bradley Nicholson, a longtime veteran of Barley Swine, returned to Austin from San Francisco to helm the centerpiece restaurant at the Commodore Perry Estate. (4100 Red River St.; 512-675-2517, aubergeresorts.com/commodoreperry)

Neighborhood Sushi: McGuire Moorman’s casual take on a sushi bar. (1716 S. Congress Ave.; 512-580-1390, neighborhoodsushi.com)

Noodle Alley: Choose from ramen, handmade noodles and soup dumplings. (1201 N. Bell Blvd., Suite 100, in Cedar Park; 512-528-5127, noodlealleycp.com

Paperboy: Breakfast sandwich maestros that started in a truck have their own brick-and-mortar restaurant now. (1203 E. 11th St.; 512-910-3010, paperboyaustin.com)

Phantasma Kitchen: Fantastic Roman-style pizzas from a chef who worked in the Eternal City for years. (3403 S. Lamar Blvd.; 512-621-4321, phantasma.kitchen)

Qi: Chef Ling Qi Wu, who first turned heads with soup dumplings at Wu Chow, opened this modern Chinese restaurant with fantastic dim sum options. (835 W. Sixth St., No. 114; 512-474-2777, qiaustin.com)

Rogue Radish: Former Pitchfork Pretty chef’s organic vegetable-forward trailer serving grain bowls that can come topped with proteins like goat loin. (2708 E. Cesar Chavez St.; 512-653-1836, rogueradishtx.com)

Salt & Time Cafe: The owners of the salumeria, butcher shop and restaurant operate this sandwich-and-salad spot in Republic Square Park. (422 W Fifth St. C; 512-502-5027, saltandtime.com)

Salty Cargo: Uchi veterans give a Texas twist to Hawaiian flavors at this Hana World Market food court stall. (1700 W. Parmer Lane, No. 100; 737-465-1821, saltycargo.com)

Sammataro: Brooklyn transplants evolved from pizza pop-ups to this spot in Lost Creek. (1158 Lost Creek Blvd.; 512-690-1547, sammataro.pizza)

Smokin’ Beauty: Burgers and bánh mi sandwiches that blend Texas and Vietnamese flavors. (11806 N. Lamar Blvd.; 512-436-9379, smokinbeautyatx.com)

Store House Market & Eatery: Eden East chef Sonya Cote’s farm-to-table restaurant in Bastrop sources from its own farm right down the road. (813 Main St. in Bastrop; 512-412-6114, storehousebastrop.com)

Stiles Switch: The barbecue experts with the Taylor pedigree opened a location in Cedar Park. (800 W. Whitestone Blvd., Suite A-1, in Cedar Park; 512-305-3611, stilesswitchbbq.com)

Summer House on Music Lane: A stylized and elevated backyard New American dinner party from the Bunkhouse team (Hotel San Jose, Hotel Saint Cecilia, more). (1101 Music Lane; 512-442-5341, summerhouseonmusiclane.com)

TexSueño: Chef Brandon Martin, a veteran of Barley Swine and Lenoir, left Tillie's in Dripping Springs to bring his skills to taco making at this truck. (1606 E. Sixth St.; 512-220-9990, texsueno.com)

Tsuke Edomae: Chef Michael Che delivers an 11-course omakase in the intimate space previously inhabited by Kyoten. Good luck getting a reservation. (4600 Mueller Blvd. No. 1035; 512-825-3120, exploretock.com/tsukeedomae)

The Well: Casual 2nd Street District restaurant serving healthful foods that are gluten free, soy free and refined sugar free. (440 W. Second St.; 512-492-6518, eatwellatx.com)

Drinks

Easy Tiger: The downtown location shuttered during the pandemic, but there are two new Easy Tigers at which to get your carb on — one in the old Red's Porch space on South Lamar, and one in East Austin. (3508 S. Lamar Blvd., 1501 E. Seventh St.; easytigerusa.com)

Fitzhugh Brewing: The taproom is open with craft beer and a full menu. (15435 Fitzhugh Road in Dripping Springs; fitzhughbrewing.com)

Ghost Note Brewing: The beer spot opened in early February and features beers including a blonde ale called Mic Check, the Texas Sun saison and a West Coast pale ale called Shoulda Been a Cowboy.  (23663 RR 12 in Dripping Springs; ghostnotebrewing.com)

Hold Out Brewing is next door to sibling restaurant Better Half, serving beer and pub grub including burgers.

Hold Out Brewing:Next door to Better Half, grab beer and burgers. (1208 W. Fourth St.; holdoutbrewing.com)

Humble Pint Brewing Co.: Pacific Northwest-inspired beers, up in the northern part of our world. (11880 Hero Way West, Suite 208, in Leander; humblepint.com)

Jo's Coffee: The South Congress staple opened up a new Hancock Center drive-thru recently. (1000 E. 41st St.; joscoffee.com/red-river)

Last Stand Brewing: The brewery opened a new location on South Congress in October. In addition to beer, the menu is curated by Southside Flying Pizza and includes burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. (7601 S. Congress Ave.; laststandbrewing.com)

Meanwhile Brewing: A sprawling patio and three food trucks (Pueblo Viejo, Garbo's and Craft Woodfire Pizza) set this Southeast Austin spot apart. (3901 Promontory Point Drive; meanwhilebeer.com)

Pinthouse Brewing: The Austin brews-and-pizza empire expanded in January with a Southeast Austin location in the former Dance Across Texas dance hall space. There's no pizza here, though — just beer, sandwiches and snacks. (2201 E. Ben White Blvd.; pinthousepizza.com/ben-white)

Vacancy Brewing: One of the most recent brewery openings, the South Austin spot serves up sparkling golden ale Lucille, dry hopped amber ale Margo and pilsner June. (415 E. St. Elmo Road; vacancybrewing.com)

Willard's Brewery: The brewery serves a lineup of beers that includes Zero Hour pale ale, Forbidden helles and Fistful of Fury hazy IPA, with food from Mojo Food Truck. (2400 Patterson Industrial Drive; willardsbrewery.com)

More food

Abby Jane Bakeshop: One of Central Texas' best pastry chefs opened her own bakery, which shares a building with Barton Springs Mill. (16604 Fitzhugh Road in Dripping Springs; abbyjanebakes.com)

Goodstock by Nolan Ryan: The Baseball Hall of Famer's store has in-house butchers and a meat counter, where customers can buy custom cuts of beef from cattle raised under animal welfare standards developed through a partnership with Temple Grandin. (3800 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Suite 110, in Round Rock; goodstocktx.com)

Teal House Coffee & Bakery, known for cinnamon rolls, opened up a South Congress Avenue location this year.

Teal House Coffee & Bakery: The trailer known for its cinnamon rolls recently opened a bakery and coffeehouse on South Congress. (2304 S. Congress Ave.; tealhouse.co)

Tiny Grocer: The former Farm to Market space is now home to this slick shop selling more than 3,000 local and well-known products. There's also fruits and vegetables, some prepared foods, sandwiches from a deli case and a walk-up coffee window. (1718 S. Congress Ave.; tinygrocer.com)

Word of Mouth Bakery: The former Seventh Flag Coffee space now hosts a bakeshop from Austin caterer Leslie Moore. (1506 South First St.; wordofmouthbakery.com)

Arts and recreation

Alliance Children’s Garden: A 2-acre recreational environment for kids and families within Butler Park. (1000 Barton Springs Road; austintexas.gov/department/alliance-childrens-garden)

Armadillo Den: The two-story entertainment complex featuring a bar, food trucks and live music opened late last year in South Austin near the Moontower Saloon. (10106 Menchaca Road; armadillodenaustin.com)

Bishop Cidercade: The prime lakefront property once home to Joe's Crab Shack is now a pinball and video game arcade that also has lots of cider on tap and housemade pizzas. (600 E. Riverside Drive; cidercadeaustin.com)

Bishop Cidercade opened on Aug. 28.

Bouldin Acres: An indoor-outdoor space with food trucks, lawn games, pickleball courts, a bar and TVs. (2027 S. Lamar Blvd.; bouldinacres.com)

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In: The Mueller staple now operates a downtown location, too, as of last fall, and it's on a scenic city rooftop. (300 San Antonio St.; bluestarlitedrivein.com/downtown)

Dreamland: A 64-acre outdoor arts, entertainment and sports venue is serving up fun, games and music. Find mini golf, pickleball, a splash pad and lots of boozy drinks. (2770 U.S. 290 W; dreamlanddstx.com)

Evo Cinemas: After Sky Cinemas closed down their Belterra Village theater just outside of Dripping Springs, entertainment brand Evo moved in, serving food and film. (166 Hargraves Drive; evocinemas.com/belterra)

Sagebrush: While most music venues in town have been closed for at least a large chunk of the past year, this new spot opened in South Austin in June. 5500 S. Congress Ave.; sagebrushtexas.com)

Wonderspaces: If you remember the Hopscotch art experience that rolled through town in 2019, this is similar — large-scale, often interactive, always eye-popping art in a permanent walk-through space. (1205 Sheldon Cove, Suite 2-A; austin.wonderspaces.com)

The Little Gay Shop co-owner Justin Galicz works at his new art and book store on July 13.

Shopping

Black Pearl Books: The popular online bookseller founded by Katrina Brooks has now set up a physical shop inside Ten Thousand Villages. (4803 Burnet Road; blackpearlbookstore.com)

LetterPress Play: A retail shop where people can buy paper arts. (2002 S. Congress Ave.; letterpressplay.com)

The Little Gay Shop: The temple of all things queer opened last year in a shipping container in East Austin. The store, which sells books, apparel and more, recently upgraded their space and now hosts a coffee cart, Stay While. (828 Airport Blvd.; thelittlegayshop.com)

Music Lane: The development's not quite new, but national brands have been arriving at the mixed-use project, like Equinox, Lululemon and Ray-Ban. (1011 S. Congress Ave.; musiclaneatx.com)