Coming Soon

Coming Soon: 5 Restaurants to Look Forward to

By Megan Giller  |  March 12, 2014

Yes, Austin has plenty of new restaurants, but at the moment it’s missing two major food groups: Chinese and down-home Italian, especially in the central area. Fortunately, chefs across town have recognized the opportunity and are quickly filling the space. Here are a few of the most exciting options opening soon.

  • A-OK Chinese

    Chef John Bullington, formerly of the Alamo Drafthouse, is set to open a small, counter-service restaurant that serves American-style Chinese food as well as beer and wine in South Lamar. Apparently the locale will feature a free mobile app for easy ordering, which will let you choose whether you want to pick up your food at the counter or have it delivered to your car outside.

    1509 S. Lamar Blvd.

  • Angry Bear

    Chef Rene Ortiz (formerly of La Condesa and Sway) will tackle Sichuan cuisine as part of his new projects. Ortiz is opening up a casual locale called Launderette with longtime creative partner, pastry chef Laura Sawicki, with a small to-go area called Angry Bear. Plans are top-secret, but we do know the location will be South Austin.

    2115 Holly St.

  • Aroma Italian Kitchen and Bar

    South Austin doesn’t have many Italian options, but on April 15, they’ll gain a new spot next to the Broken Spoke. The massive restaurant comes from the same family as home-goods store Mockingbird Domestics, which is supplying a lot of the Austin handcrafted furniture in the restaurant. The locale will feature wood-fired Neapolitan pizza as well as salads and pastas, plus entrees like braised short ribs. And don’t forget the 50-bottle wine list and expansive patio for that pleasant spring weather.

    3403 S. Lamar Blvd.

  • Al Fico

    Vino Vino owner Jeff Courington is venturing over to the East Side to create a warm, family Italian restaurant with a slight upscale bent. His forthcoming Pan-Italian eatery Al Fico, which he describes as “informed Italian food,” hopes to outdo existing restaurants with upscale takes on traditional dishes like tajarin di senape (mustard long noodles with a hen ragù, Napa cabbage, pancetta and fontina). The space will have an outdoor patio, bar seating and two dining rooms, and the feel will be dark and sophisticated. And like Vino Vino, they’ll have a killer wine list. This one will be entirely Italian, with wine from every region of the country. The restaurant was slated to open in June 2013 but still doesn’t have an opening date.

    1700 E. Second St.

  • Credit: Rebecca Fondren

    St. Philip

    The new restaurant from the Uchi and Uchiko team isn’t strictly Italian, but more of a casual neighborhood restaurant with pizza, sandwiches and baked goods. Director of Operations Philip Speer is manning the project, which is not named after him but instead after the patron saint of pastry chefs and bakers. The spot will also feature seasonal shared plates and baked goods for dine-in or takeout in underserved South Austin neighborhood Sunset Valley.