We've got your summer guide to dining out and drinking in Austin
If you've tried to snag a reservation at one of Austin's many great restaurants lately, you know that people are back out on the town re-engaging with one another and the food community that has been a hallmark of the city's growth over the past decade.
As the city and its restaurants fully reopen, there are a lot of new faces on the dining and drinking scene, and fortunately many of our old standbys and favorites survived the challenging last year and are ready to welcome you back. We've collected a list of newcomers and some go-tos that you might want to hit this summer, along with some of our latest coverage of Austin's hospitality scene.
Because the scene in Austin and Central Texas is vast and ever-changing, this list is by no means comprehensive. Consider it a taste. We'll continue to update the list throughout the summer months and, as always, our complete dining coverage can be found at austin360.com.
Dining out in Austin
Craving seafood? Austin has an array of oyster offerings, including Gulf and East Coast varieties: Aw, shucks. This one's for those of you who like to slurp both your drinks and your food. Austin may be landlocked, but the city has no shortage of raw bar options.
When you're looking for something new ... Pizza, sandwiches, Mexican food and more. Austin has a handful of new restaurants set to open within the next month that might fulfill that craving for something fresh. Your new favorite spot could still be out there.
See you soon, Franklin: If you were hoping for a long line with meat at the end this summer, you'll have to be patient. Franklin Barbecue won't fully reopen for in-person dining until September, but he talked with us about those plans and more recently.
Say hello to some new restaurants in town: Many local restaurants fought to survive a tumultuous business year in 2020, and others opened for the first time. This roundup lists the many restaurants that opened during the coronavirus pandemic.
How about a sub with that burger? JewBoy delivers on both fronts. A mash-up of Jewish and Mexican cultures and cuisines and plenty of fun takes on traditional sub sandwiches; JewBoy Burgers owner Mo Pittle delivers again with his sandwich shop that opened in March.
Taste of the South: Famed Georgia chef Mashama Bailey announced she will be opening Grey Diner Bar and Grey Market at new Thompson Hotel in Austin this summer.
Haute times in the Hill Country: Rapid growth means not only new options in Austin, but throughout the region. The small town of Wimberley is getting into the dining craze and will welcome Creekhouse restaurant this summer. The restaurant will offer waterfront seating along Cypress Creek and serve elevated comfort food.
Next stop, Buda: Valentina's Tex-Mex BBQ has long been one of Austin's best but will soon be Buda's best.
Rolling smoke: Looking for favorite La Barbecue? It has a new East Austin home.
Modern African-American cuisine: After more than 15 years, chef Damien Brockway left the world of fine dining in search of his ancestral roots, which he traces with the food of the African diaspora at his great smoked meats trailer, Distant Relatives.
Hopfields in South Austin?It's a thing.
Casual meets quality: Veterans of top NYC restaurants are opening casual restaurant Birdie's in East Austin this summer.
Grab and go: South Congress has a new boutique grocery and deli called Tiny Grocery.
Strummin' and grubbin': Beloved music venue Saxon Pub now has a slider truck.
Goal! These are the food options coming to Austin FC's stadium: Sweet, sweet victory. And, no, we don't mean the match. Austin FC's new stadium comes decked out with local food options, including a handful of taco spots, Easy Tiger, Pluckers and more.
Picnic (or party present), anyone? Casero sells charcuterie and cheese boards in Mueller.
Grabbing a drink in Austin
Honey Moon Spirit Lounge offers new sips in a familiar location: Honey Moon Spirit Lounge, located in the old Salvation Pizza home on 34th Street, serves craft cocktails alongside a roster of shareable plates like koji-aged steak frites and duck fat-fried hot chicken.
Bishop Cidercade is all about drinks and games: 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.
Refreshing taste from a familiar face: If you're sipping hard seltzers this year, you might want to consider the latest from Topo Chico.
A coffee shop and a dog park? It's a thing. It's called Neighbors.
Margaritaville: Frozen or on the rocks? Let’s ask a margarita-loving scientist.
BYOB. Boxed wine delivered to your house? It's reality, thanks to this Austin business woman.
Whiskey, love: This bourbon story has everything: Andy Roddick, a shed in Tennessee and a trailer in Buda
The latest restaurant news in Austin
Saying goodbye is rough: Unfortunately, this past year hasn't been all about openings and new spots to try. As with other industries, the pandemic took a lasting toll on Austin's dining scene. Here's a roundup of restaurants we said goodbye to in 2020.
Staffing struggles: Almost every restaurant in Austin is hiring. The reasons are many.
Don't be that person: Austin restaurants suffer when people who make reservations don't show up.