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50 women-owned and operated restaurants in Austin area

Matthew Odam
Austin 360

March has once again served as an annual opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women to American culture and history. 

In recognition of the tireless effort of women in the Central Texas hospitality industry, below is a list of local restaurants owned and/or operated primarily by women.

Of course, ownership, partnerships and management teams are complicated, and the list doesn’t cover a host of husband-and-wife teams (Asia Market Eatery, Asti, Baguette et Chocolate, Dee Dee, Franklin Barbecue, Gourmands, Justine’s, Kome, Lenoir, Pieous, Poke-Poke, P. Terry's and Vince Young Steakhouse), family-owned restaurants (El Meson, Tamale House East) and the many trailers (Kreyol Korner, Tacos Guerrero, La Flor, Talad Thai and Lao Street Food) run by women. If we’re missing one of your favorites, please email me at modam@statesman.com.

68 Degrees. 2401 Lake Austin Blvd. 512-766-6868, 68degrees.com. The sister to restaurant to La Traviata, here you’ll find Italian staples like homemade ravioli and bistro entrees like crispy duck and grilled trout. (Owners Marion and Joan Gillcrist)

A+A Sichuan. Ji Chen’s relocated restaurant that she purchased six years ago serves specialties like dry pot chicken, packed with potatoes, vegetables and numbing red peppercorns. 8650 Spicewood Springs Road. 512-258-5445, aasichuanchinaaustin.com. (Chef-owner Ji Chen)

El Alma. 1025 Barton Springs Road. 512-609-8923, elalmacafe.com. Order a plate of sweet, gooey and savory Gringas (quesadillas of cheese, árbol salsa and al pastor with pineapple) and a skinny margarita on the rooftop patio and thank me later. (Chef-partner Alma Alcocer)

Andiamo Ristorante. 2521 Rutland Drive. 512-719-3377, andiamoitaliano.com. Authentic Italian in North Austin with a family-owned vibe will set you at ease. So will the homemade ravioli. (Owner Daniela Marcone)

Amy’s Ice Creams. Multiple locations. amysicecreams.com. One of Austin’s leading entrepreneurs changed the way Austinites thought about ice cream and fast-casual service with quirky service and a smile. (Owner Amy Simmons)

Sharon Mays owns the salad-centric restaurant Baby Greens in North Austin.

Baby Greens. 1508 W. Anderson Lane. 512-770-6255, eatbabygreens.com. Salads and, for a couple of bucks less, wraps with familiar flavor profiles at this North Austin reboot of an old South Austin favorite. Bonus convenience points for drive-thru ordering. (Owner Sharon Mays)

Bento Picnic. 2600 E. Cesar Chavez Blvd. 512-987-8767, bentopicnic.com. The cafe serves healthful, customizable boxed meals that blend traditions of Japan and Texas. (Chef-owner Leanne Valenti)

Bouldin Creek Cafe. 1900 S. First St. 512-416-1601, bouldincreekcafe.com. One of Austin’s true temples to vegetarian and vegan fare. Even the most avid meat-eater will be impressed with dishes like portobello fajitas or the zucchini migas. Bonus points for best veggie burger in town. (Owner Leslie Martin)

Brentwood Social House. 1601 W. Koenig Lane. 512-362-8656, brentwoodsocialhouse.com. Coffee, tea, pies, quiches and more at this charming cafe and bakery in Brentwood. (Owners Suzanne Daniels and Sarah Olano)

Buenos Aires Cafe. 1201 E. Sixth St. 512-382-1189; 13500 Galleria Circle. 512-441-9000, buenosairescafe.com. This Argentine café serves excellent empandas (for meat-lovers and vegetarians) and makes a fantastic chimichurri to go with their steaks (and steak sandwiches). (Chef-owner Reina Morris)

Café Nenaí. 1700 Montopolis Drive. Excellent sweet and savory South American pastries and a solid coffee program make this bakery an East Austin standout. 512-840-9066, cafenenai.com. (Owners Gladys Benitez and Elena Sanguinetti)

Capital City Bakery. 2211 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-666-7437, capitalcitybakery.com. Individualized cakes, cookie sandwiches, brownies, cheesecake... and somehow it’s all vegan. (Chef-owner Kristen Davenport)

Casa Maria. 4327 S. First St. 512-444-8861, casamariarestaurant.net. Fatima Robles has been serving Austinites Northern Mexican cuisine for 20 years in South Austin. There are also now locations in San Marcos and Kyle. (Owner Fatima Robles)

Chez Zee. 5406 Balcones Drive. 512-454-2666, chez-zee.com. Texas, Italy and France all play friendly at this West Austin bistro staple with a brunch featuring the popular and decadent creme brulee French toast. (Owner Sharon Watkins)

China Harbor owner Lily Li has been running one of the city's biggest buffets for more than 15 years.

China Harbor. One of the longest-running Chinese buffets in Austin has been serving affordable cuisine for 16 years. 801 E. William Cannon Drive. 512-707-8299, chinaharboraustin.com. (Owner Lily Li)

Counter Cafe. 1914 E. Sixth St. 512-351-9961, countercafe.com. You can almost reach over the counter and into the galley kitchen to flip your own crab cake that comes with poached eggs and curried peanut and lemon aioli dipping sauces. (Owner Debbie Davis)

Counter Culture. 2337 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-524-1540, countercultureaustin.com. The gluten- and soy-free version of mac and cheese at this restaurant will make you a believer in vegan cuisine, as will a Reuben made with tempeh. Pizzas are made with organic cornmeal crusts and can be ordered gluten-free as well. (Owner Sue Davis)

Crema Bakery. 9001 Brodie Lane B3. 512-282-1300, cremabakerycafe.com. Breakfast croissants in the morning, sandwiches on freshly baked bread and desserts all day at this bakery. (Chef-owner Jessica Forkner)

Crepe Crazy. 660 US 290 W. 512-524-3198; 3103 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-387-2442, crepecrazy.com. Whether you're looking for sweet or savory crepes, these two locations have you covered. (Owner Inna Giterman)

Dan's Hamburgers. Multiple locations. dans-hamburgers.com. The rare burger joint where you can get a meaty classic and a shake in addition to pancakes and breakfast tacos has four locations throughout the Greater Austin Area. (Owner Katie Congdon, daughter of founder Dan Junk)

Epicerie. 2307 Hancock Drive. 512-371-6840, epicerieaustin.com. This French-Louisiana bistro delivers well-constructed sandwiches like an open-faced cured salmon with cream cheese and egg on toasted rye, as well as heartier dishes like boudin. (Chef-owner Sarah McIntosh)

Freda's Seafood Grille. The Anderson Mill restaurant has been serving up Gulf seafood dishes with some Louisiana flare since 2003. 10903 Pecan Park Blvd. 512-506-8700, fredasaustin.com

Fresa’s. 915 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-428-5077; 1703 S. First St. 512-992-2946; fresaschicken.com. Walk up or drive-thru at the original on Lamar Boulevard for healthy salad bowls, some of the best queso in town, chargrilled meats and complex tacos. (Margaret Vera and executive pastry chef Laura Sawicki, partners with executive chef Rene Ortiz)

Garbo’s. 12709 N. MoPac Blvd. 512-520-8004, garboslobsteratx.com. The restaurant in Wells Branch expands its food truck menu to include fish spreads, grilled fish, a solid burger and more, in addition to the excellent lobster rolls. (Chef-owner Heidi Garbo)

Hillside Farmacy. 1209 E. 11th St. 512-628-0168, hillsidefarmacy.com. Pâtisserie and café in the morning, solid deli in the daytime and an evening menu full of bistro classics and oysters, this well-designed space has a little bit of something for everybody, including outdoor cafe tables. (Owners Jade Matthews, Mickie Spencer and chef-partner Sony Cote)

Home Slice Pizza. 1415 S. Congress Ave. 512-444-7437; 510 E. 53rd St. 512-707-7437, homeslicepizza.com. A commitment to unflappable service, quality execution and ebullient spirit have as much to do with the pizzeria’s success as the toasty crunch of a large New York-style pie with rosy pepperonis and snappy green peppers. (Owners Terri Hannifin and Jen Strickland, and Jen’s husband, Joseph)

Julio’s. 4230 Duval St. 512-452-1040, juliosaustin.com. Breakfast tacos, roasted chicken, enchiladas and more throughout the day at this Hyde Park staple since 1983. (Owner Estella Lucero)

La Barbecue. 2027 E. Cesar Chavez St. 512-605-9696, labarbecue.com. Some of the best barbecue in Central Texas. Start with the brisket and hot guts sausage and go from there. (Owners LeAnn Mueller and Ali Clem)

Launderette. 2115 Holly St. 512-382-1599, launderetteaustin.com. This globe-trotting restaurant feels like a dinner party run by a whimsical chef who has a lot of ideas and no need for conformity or sitting still. (Owners Margaret Vera and executive pastry chef Laura Sawicki, partners with executive chef Rene Ortiz)

Lima Criolla. 6406 N. Interstate 35 frontage road, #1550. 512-323-5404, limacriolla.com. Lomo saltado Limeño, aji de gallina Limeño and many other traditional Peruvian dishes at this restaurant that graduated from a nearby mall food court to a stand-alone restaurant at The Linc. (Chef-owner Susan Osorio)

El Naranjo. 2717 S Lamar Blvd. 512-520-5750, elnaranjorestaurant.com. Chef Iliana de la Vega explores the wonders of mole with the deep chocolate and toasted notes of mole negro, with its more than two dozen ingredients, and will likely introduce you to something new, maybe a light, herbal green mole. (Chef-owner Iliana de la Vega)

Matt's El Rancho in South Austin is run by the daughters of the restaurant's namesake.

Matt’s El Rancho. The quintessential Tex-Mex palace of Austin for good reason. 2613 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-462-9333, mattselrancho.com. (Owners Gloria, Cecilia, Cathy and Estella Martinez) 

Las Palomas. 3201 Bee Cave Road #122. 512-327-9889, laspalomasrestaurant.com. I like to order the house special (a relleno stuffed with ground beef and pork, raisins, almonds and pecans) served in a zippy tomato sauce at this reliable Westlake restaurant. (Owner MariCarmen Corona Dale)

La Patisserie. 602 W. Annie St. 512-912-0033; 7301 Burnet Road Suite 102, 512-770-6442, lpaustin.com. No matter how you pronounce the word, the dozen or so macarons at this shop are amazing. (Owner and head baker Soraiya Nagree)

Parlor & Yard. 601 W. Sixth St. 512-524-0466, parloryard.com. Slow-cooked meats like lamb and short rib make up the small menu at Carnal, serving out of this bar on West Sixth Street. (Owner Bridget Dunlap)

Picnik. 4801 Burnet Road. 737-226-0644, picnikaustin.com. There’s now a Central Austin restaurant to go along with the South Austin trailer that launched this paleo-friendly business that serves bone broth, butter coffee, pasta dishes made with vegetables and more. (Owner Naomi Seifter)

Quality Seafood. 5621 Airport Blvd. 512-452-3820, qualityseafoodmarket.com. The attached market at this longtime favorite means proximity to Gulf shrimp and ruby red and rainbow trout for the grill. (Owner Carol Huntsberger)

Sala & Betty. 5201 Airport Blvd. 512-645- 0214, salaandbettyatx.com. Former Aquarelle chef Teresa Wilson flexes her French muscles with steak frites and pan-roasted redfish, while dipping into the South with buttermilk fried chicken and more. (Chef-owner Teresa Wilson)

Sichuan River. 4534 West Gate Blvd. 512-892-6699, sichuanriverchinese.com. Slurp away at a hot, oily bowl of spicy fish and you’ll feel warmed from the inside out. (Owner Cindy Zhao)

The Steeping Room. 11410 Century Oaks Terrace, Suite 112, 512-977-8337; 4400 N. Lamar Blvd. Suite 102, 512-467-2663; thesteepingroom.com. Healthy bowls, salads and a play on the BLT using tempeh give vegetarians and healthy eaters plenty of options at these two cafes. (Owner Amy March)

Chef Sonya Cote has brought her farm-to-table ethos to Bastrop.

Storehouse Market + Eatery. 813 Main St. Bastrop. 512-412-6114, storehousebastrop.com. Eden East and Hillside Farmacy chef Sonya Cote’s comfort food restaurant in historic Bastrop sources from its own farm right down the road. (Owner Sonya Cote)

Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop. 1905 S. First St. 512-448-3727, sugarmamasbakeshop.com. A host of daily specials and a small batch of regulars make this one of the best cupcake spots in town.  (Baker-owner Olivia O’Neal)

Sweet Ritual. 4631 Airport Blvd. #125. 512-666-8346, sweetritual.com. Want to be a believer in vegan ice cream in all of its many forms? Head here. (Owners Valerie Ward and Amelia Raley)

Taste of Ethiopia. 1100 Grand Avenue Parkway, Pflugerville. 512-251-4053; 3801 S. Congress Ave. Suite 107. 512-814-3141; tasteofethiopiaaustin.com. Grab a handful of springy injera bread and scoop your doro wat or vegetarian platter with your hands at the two locations of this Ethiopian restaurant. (Chef-owner Woinee Mariam)

Thai Fresh. 909 Mary St. 512-494-6436, thai-fresh.com. Lemongrass soup, chicken with panang curry, steak salad and vegan desserts are just a few of the attractions at this neighborhood spot. (Chef-owner Jam Sanitchat)

Titaya’s. 5501 N. Lamar Blvd. 512-458-1792, titayasthaicuisine.com. Jungle curry brims with the heat of dried chilies and the floral breeze of lemongrass, and the fried catfish of pad cha and its crisp peppers will leave you grabbing for the water. (Chef-owner Titaya Timrerk)

La Traviata. 314 Congress Ave. 512-479-8131, latraviatatx.com. There’s a classic feel to this Italian restaurant that makes one of the best bolognese in town as well as homemade ravioli. (Chef-owner Marion Gillcrist)

Veracruz All-Natural. Multiple locations. veracruztacos.com. This growing empire serves the best migas taco in town (and more). Try the quesadillas. And the tortas. Try it all. You may want to call in advance. They make good food, not fast food, as their sign reads. (Owners Maritza and Reyna Vazquez)

Vinaigrette. 2201 College Ave. 512-852-8791, vinaigretteonline.com/austin. One of the keys to the balanced salads at this airy and inviting restaurant: well-dressed greens, so every bite carries a flavorful sheen. Try the Kale Caesar. Bonus points for cocktails made with juice from fresh produce. (Owner Erin Wade)

Yard Bar. 6700 Burnet Road. 512-900-3773, yardbar.com. A place for pups and peeps, the bar serves a wide selection of beers, wine and original cocktails and the food menu includes sandwiches, salads and snack plates. (Owner Kristen Heaney)