11 New Classic Dishes on the Austin Restaurant Scene

By Megan Giller  |  April 6, 2015

The Cosby Show is now on Nick at Nite, and the oldies station now plays hits from the '80s. In other words, classics are being redefined daily. It’s no different with food, especially in Austin, where our scene is changing and growing daily. Here are 11 of the best new classic dishes in town.

  • Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Bufalina  

    Though you’ll find fried Brussels sprouts on pretty much every menu these days, the Neapolitan pizza place on East Cesar Chavez piles them on top of a pizza, with mozzarella, Serrano ham and scallion pesto, for a bright surprise. The crust is so good here, though, that any pizza is pretty much an instant classic.

    1519 E. Cesar Chavez St.; 512-524-2523

  • Big-Ass Burger at Swift’s Attic  

    OK, so this isn’t exactly one dish, because the type of burger changes every week at the Downtown hot spot. Chef de cuisine Zack Northcutt’s brainchild, Big-Ass Burger Night happens every Monday, with only a dozen specialty burgers made, in varieties like Hawaiian burgers, breakfast burgers and Caprese burgers. Be sure to get there early to secure your dinner.

    315 Congress Ave.; 512-482-8842

  • Credit: Spencer Selvidge

    Dinuguan at Qui  

    Once you get past the fact that the dish is made with pig’s blood, the complex flavors really start to pop. There are dark, rich stew with hints of onion, peppers and vinegar; tender bits of pork; chewy gnocchi to soak up the sauce; and the red onions on top to add a bit of bite. Chef Paul Qui’s grandmother used to make the Filipino specialty for him, and it was one of his favorite dishes as a kid. With his modernized version, we can see why.

    1600 E. Sixth St.; 512-436-9626

  • Brisket From La Barbecue  

    You thought it was going to be Franklin, right? While that brisket will always be essential, so are pitmaster John Lewis’ masterpieces. Be prepared to brave a line here too, since word is definitely out about the tender, fall-apart brisket with a thick, peppery crust.

    902 E. Cesar Chavez St.; 512-605-9696

  • Biscuits at Olamaie  

    Olamaie has only been open for about six months, but the buttery biscuits from award-winning chefs Grae Nonas and Michael Fojtasek are already high on our list. We especially like the seasonal shapes, like hearts for Valentine’s day.

    1610 San Antonio St.; 512-474-2796

  • Smoked Duck Pastrami at Noble Sandwich Co.

    How do you make a Reuben better? Use duck pastrami as well as Russian dressing and rye pickles, all made in-house by the masters at Noble Sandwich.

    4805 Burnet Rd.; 512-666-5124

  • Fried Milk at Uchiko  

    Uchiko is known for its creative desserts, in particular this iconic dish. Think fried milk, toasted milk, ice milk sherbet, gelled chocolate milk and powdered milk for an over-the-top experience. Who doesn’t love that feeling of cutting into the fried nuggets and watching sweet condensed milk cream pool onto the plate?

    4200 N. Lamar Blvd.; 512-916-4808

  • Brisket Tacos at the Peached Tortilla

    Chef Eric Silverstein put his food trailer and now brick-and-mortar restaurant on the map with fusion tacos like these mouthwatering ones. Think dry-rubbed brisket, creamy apple slaw and smoky roasted peach barbecue sauce on a thick flour tortilla.

    5520 Burnet Rd.; 512-330-4439

  • Tonkotsu Original at Ramen Tatsu-Ya  

    The first ramen shop in Austin is so popular that they just opened a second location on South Lamar. Go for the creamy pork-bone soup with chashu, ajitama egg, wood ear mushrooms and scallions. Those with a big appetite can order more noodles by shouting, “Kae-dama!”

    8557 Research Blvd.; 512-834-8810

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies at Epicerie

    Chef Sarah McIntosh has been working on her chocolate chip cookie recipe since she was a teenager, and we can't imagine it being any more perfected. The airy cookies are loaded with high-end chocolate chips and just the right amount of salt, and the slightly doughy consistency is downright addictive. In other words, the three cookies pictured here were not enough to satisfy us.

    2307 Hancock Dr.; 512-371-6840

  • Credit: ID Creative

    Gruyère Popovers at Bribery

    You may remember these as the famous Gruyère popovers at Foreign & Domestic. Pastry chef Jodi Elliott made her fame on these savory babies, and one bite of these flaky, pull-apart treats will tell you why. Elliott has since left F&D to open her own bakeshop up north called Bribery, and the drive is well worth the reward.

    2013 Wells Branch Pkwy. #109; 512-531-9832