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The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Austin Right Now

By Megan Giller
October 13, 2014
Photo by: Phoodoes

When it comes to restaurant openings, Austin’s pace never ceases to amaze. From Uchi's new casual spot to a fresh take on classic Southern cuisine, here are our favorites right now. And bonus: peek inside a few of these tables up close and personal in our video below.

  • Photo by: Erica Wilkins

    St. Philip  

    Why It’s Hot: Uchi’s new casual concept, with pizza, sandwiches and pastries, will make you rethink everything else you’ve ever eaten.

    Must-Order: S’mores pancakes with graham-cracker pancakes, toasted marshmallows and chocolate “gravy” for brunch.

    Insider Tip: Check out the bakeshop next to the restaurant for mouthwatering treats like cornflake-chocolate Pop-Tarts.

  • Olamaie  

    Why It’s Hot: Chefs Grae Nonas and Michael Fojtasek create light, complex Southern-inspired dishes that go beyond the standard fried chicken.

    Must-Order: Chilled blue crab with gold rice, kuri squash pudding, popped sorghum and Tabasco sauce.

    Insider Tip: Ask for the biscuits! They’re not on the menu, but they are divine.

  • Pleasant Storage Room

    Why It’s Hot: The chic Warehouse District spot brings back rum punch with communal-style bowls, along with a small but tasty menu of Caribbean treats.

    Must-Order: One of four ceviches (we loved the lobster with toasted coconut, Izak No. 37, avocado and cilantro), as well as skewered octopus and roasted sweet plantains, and cocktails like the Commodore (rum, cognac, sherry, caramelized black tea, fresh lemon juice and lemon oleo-saccharum).

    Insider Tip: From midnight to 2 AM, hit up the late-night food special: a ham-and-Swiss sandwich on a sweet egg roll.

  • Odd Duck

    Why It’s Hot: James Beard Award-nominated chef Bryce Gilmore and our Austin 30 Under 30 honoree Sam Hellman-Mass are making more excellent small plates at this beautiful South Lamar spot with full-length windows and an open kitchen.

    Must-Order: The Parker rolls are the soft, buttery bread of dreams, as is the chicken-fried egg with hot sauce and carrots roasted in hay with chèvre and pistachio crumb.

    Insider Tip: Come early — it gets crowded fast.

  • Dai Due  

    Why It’s Hot: Chef Jesse Griffiths has long wooed Austin at the farmer’s market using 100% local products, from meat to salt, and his new brick-and-mortar restaurant ups his (wild) game.

    Must-Order: Venison ceviche tostada with nopales, herbs and ancho chile

    Insider Tip: Griffiths is also an avid hunter and fisher, and his book, Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game, was nominated for a James Beard Award.

  • Noble Sandwiches

    Why It’s Hot: Chef John Bates finally opened his Central Austin outpost in Rosedale; his meaty sandwiches with from-scratch ingredients have quite a following.

    Must-Order: For breakfast, the potato-and-leek waffles with braised oxtail and an over-easy egg; sandwiches like the smoked duck pastrami with Russian dressing and seared beef tongue with smoked green onions, red pepper relish and aïoli.

    Insider Tip: Carb-fearing folks can order any sandwich on gluten-free bread or as a salad or lettuce wrap.

  • Photo by: Jody Horton

    LaV

    Why It’s Hot: The rustic French restaurant is drawing crowds for its impeccably executed menu and wine list (thank chef Allison Jenkins, pastry chef Janina O’Leary and sommelier Vilma Mazaite), plus the most opulent decor in East Austin.

    Must-Order: Chicken-liver pâté with housemade brioche, roasted chicken for two with potatoes and salsa verde and warm brioche donuts for dessert. Let Mazaite select the perfect wine.

    Insider Tip: The front wine bar boasts a separate food menu with flawless salted cod fritters and half a roasted chicken.

  • Kin & Comfort  

    Why It’s Hot: The Asian-Southern fusion fare seems like it belongs at a trailer, but the chefs here decided to buck the trend and open in the back of Hana World Market in North Austin, drawing fans from all over the city.

    Must-Order: Panang mac ‘n’ cheese and taro hushpuppies.

    Insider Tip: Cash only.

  • Sawyer & Co.  

    Why It’s Hot: The midcentury-modern-inspired diner from Swoop House owner Stephen Shallcross brings much-needed Cajun and Creole food to Austin.

    Must-Order: The shrimp po' boy with a side of onion rings.

    Insider Tip: Local superstar Mickie Spencer (East Side Show Room, Hillside Farmacy) is the force behind the fun, creative design.

  • Garbo’s

    Why It’s Hot: The brick-and-mortar version of the food trailer opened in mid-July, and it’s already garnering positive reviews for its wicked fresh seafood.

    Must-Order: Loaded lobster rolls and fried clams.

    Insider Tip: North Austin office dwellers can also enjoy lunchtime treats from the roaming truck; check the schedule here

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Places Mentioned

Barley Swine

American • South Lamar

Food27 Decor23 Service26 Cost$67
 
 
 
Pleasant Storage Room

Bar • Warehouse District

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Noble Sandwich Co.

Sandwich Shop • Brentwood

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
 
 
 
laV

French • East Austin

Food24 Decor26 Service24 Cost$101
 
 
 
Garbo's

Wells Branch

Food- Decor- Service- Cost 
 
 
 
Kin & Comfort

Asian • North Austin

Food- Decor- Service- Cost 
 
 
 
Sawyer & Co

East Austin

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Dai Due

American • Cherrywood

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Olamaie

Southern American • Downtown

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
 
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