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The 10 Hottest Restaurants in Austin

By Megan Giller
August 11, 2014

When it comes to restaurant openings, Austin’s pace never ceases to amaze. From an opulent French eatery to a casual seafood spot, here are our favorites right now. 

  • 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.

  • Blackbird & Henry

    Why It’s Hot: West Campus meets the Hill Country at this relaxed finer-dining locale near campus.

    Must-Order: Buttermilk biscuits topped with pulled chicken and cream gravy.

    Insider Tip: Chef Mark Schmidt hails from locally famous Café 909.

  • 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.

  • ABGB

    Why It’s Hot: We're pretty sure all of 78704 has made this beer garden their permanent residence, with a packed crowd almost every night of the week.

    Must-Order: A housemade craft beer like the Hell Yes and a habanero-bacon pizza.

    Insider Tip: We've seen a horse hanging out here on more than one occasion.

  • 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.

  • Photo by: Robert Jacob Lerma

    Terry Black's BBQ

    Why It’s Hot: Part of the family that brought you Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart has struck out on its own, new recipes and all, and opened a joint on Barton Springs Road.

    Must-Order: Brisket, ribs and sausage. (Keep in mind that new restaurants often have a few kinks.)

    Insider Tip: The grandsons Black are producing enough meat for you to drop in for dinner. Plus three cash registers and three cutting stations keep the line moving.

  • Porter Gastropub

    Why It’s Hot: The new alehouse features 30 taps from local spots like Austin Beerworks, craft cocktails and a tasty food menu.

    Must-Order: Beer-cheese fondue served with apples and a freshly baked pretzel, or a killer burger made from short rib, filet and hanger steak and topped with triple-cream Brie and pancetta.

    Insider Tip: The name comes from the Johnny Cash song “Hey, Porter."

  • 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 • Zilker

Food28 Decor19 Service25 Cost$47
 
 
 
The ABGB

Brewpub • South Austin

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostI
 
 
 
Odd Duck

NoneAustin

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Porter Gastropub

NoneSouth Austin

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
laV

French • East Austin

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
The Blackbird and Henry

New American • West Campus

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
Noble Sandwich Co.

Sandwich Shop • Brentwood

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
 
 
 
Pleasant Storage Room

Bar • Warehouse District

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Kin & Comfort

Asian • North Austin

Food- Decor- Service- CostI
 
 
 
Terry Black's BBQ

Barbecue • Bouldin Creek

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
Garbo's

NoneWells Branch

Food- Decor- Service- CostM
 
 
 
 
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