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Seven Austin restaurants land on Eater’s 38 Essential restaurants in Texas

Matthew Odam

Eater National’s roving critic Bill Addison recently spent quite a bit of time traversing the great state of Texas for the Texas 38, a list of the “Essential” restaurants in the state and a play on the Essential 38 lists run in each of Eater’s cities and several regions around the country.

In the words of Addison, the list includes “singular steakhouses, barbecue standard-bearers, Tex-Mex strongholds, and cafes serving outstanding burgers, breakfast tacos, and kolaches: the foods that make Texas defy trendiness,” as well as restaurants that “reflect the rich multiculturalism of its metropolises.”

Austin had seven entrants make the cut. They are (with the parenthetical numbers showing the restaurant’s list in our annual Austin360 Dining Guide: Contigo ( Critic’s Pick), Emmer & Rye ( #5), Franklin Barbecue ( #10), Kemuri Tatsu-Ya ( #9), Odd Duck ( #4), Tamale House East (n/a) and Veracruz All-Natural ( Critic’s Pick). That list of Austin restaurants checks a lot of boxes: rustic, farm-to-table, Japanese, barbecue and tacos. The biggest surprises on omissions would probably be Olamaie ( #1), Dai Due ( #3), Lenoir ( #2) and Barley Swine ( #7, though sister restaurant Odd Duck did make it in).

Addison was joined in compiling the list by Eater Austin editor Nadia Chaudhury, Texas Monthly Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn, who tackled the barbecue restaurants around the state, and others. Houston, not surprisingly, had the most entrants on the list with 10.

To read the complete Eater Texas 38 click here.