20 Most Anticipated Austin Restaurants of 2017
Following in the footsteps of 2016, which brought a whirlwind of restaurant openings (and endings) in Austin, 2017 looks to be no less eventful — though let's hope the launches far outnumber the closures this time around. Good luck sustaining a new year cleanse once the doors of these 20 most anticipated restaurants of 2017 start opening!
ETA: January 5
The team behind Ramen Tatsu-ya, our city's insanely popular ramen joint with two locations, is launching a new izakaya concept with a focus on smoke and seasonal dishes. As is tradition for this style of Japanese pub, expect shareable dishes plus beer, sake and cocktails.
2713 E. 2nd St.; 512-893-5561
ETA: January 4
After shuttering his eponymous restaurant this fall, chef Paul Qui is opening Kuneho in the same modern Eastside space where Qui once held court. This new concept, inspired by both sushi and pintxos, will focus on perfectly composed bites best enjoyed alongside inventive cocktails.
1600 E. 6th St.; 512-436-9626
Courtesy of Philip Speer
The highly anticipated French-bistro-meets-American-diner concept from chef Philip Speer (Uchi, St. Philip) will open early this year in a brand-new space in the AMLI building on Burnet Road. Until then, we'll be daydreaming about his inventive dishes, like fluffy pancakes with brown butter, pear jam, Comice pear and shaved ham (pictured above).
5350 Burnet Rd.; 512-666-5127
Restaurateur Shawn Cirkiel (Parkside, The Backspace, Olive & June, Bullfight) is at it again — and this time with a much-needed, healthy grab-and-go cafe in Downtown Austin. Soon, bone broth and cold-pressed juices will be just as obtainable on Sixth Street as dollar shots.
603 Brazos St.; 512-729-0050
Sicilian-born restaurateur Bernardo Nolfo will be expanding his Downtown osteria Numero 28 to include the new Alimentari 28, an Italian bakery and cafe serving pastries, coffee, breakfast and lunch. Not only that, but the space will feature a cocktail bar focused on Italian spirits, plus a wraparound patio with ample outdoor seating.
The long-awaited Downtown location of Veggie Heaven is opening its doors as soon as its final air duct gets approved by the city. So it shouldn't be too much longer before central Austin can feast on the vegetarian Chinese joint's famous Protein 2000 plus new additions like tofu fries, veggie burgers and veggie ramen — and this time with a full bar.
1611 W. 5th St. #135; 512-457-1013
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches/Facebook
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches
If there's one thing we don't have enough of in this city, it's kolach. Luckily, brothers Noah and Josh Lit are about to fix that. They've brought on pastry chef Jasmine Jones (owner of I Knead That bakery) to take on the pastry, which is made with Micklethwait Craft Meats and local produce, and they'll be bringing in craft beer from near and far.
3220 Manor Rd.; 512-961-9409
It's no secret Austin loves its live fire cooking these days, and another restaurant is about to join in on the flame worship. Owner Seth Baas (who formerly ran Blanca in San Diego) has secured a permit to serve cocktails, and as for the chef running the kitchen? Well, that part is a secret thus far.
When the long anticipated pizza concept from the Apis team finally opens its doors (in Spicewood, right next door to the original restaurant) it will feature six types of salumi that have been perfected by chef-owner Taylor Hall and chef de cuisine Adam Brick.
Courtesy of The Austin Taco Project
The Austin Taco Project
The newly renovated Downtown Hilton recently opened the doors of Belle & Cannon, and this winter a craft beer and taco concept called The Austin Taco Project will launch, featuring pub games, a large front patio and an extensive cocktail menu.
Fans of Clint Elmore's pizza trailer 40 North will be thrilled to see the chef back in the kitchen, this time after having perfected New York–style pies. PS35, which will open early this spring in Round Rock, will also feature other family-style Italian dishes plus soft serve for dessert and a giant outdoor pavilion, with plans for outdoor games, a pinball machine, a DJ booth and more.
1500 North Interstate 35, Round Rock; 512-994-0680
This long-lost Texas fried chicken chain is seeing a revival this spring thanks to Todd Duplechan (Lenoir), along with Jeffrey Weinberger (the original Jeffrey’s owner), and Jeff Haber (former general manager of TRIO at Four Seasons), who will open the first location in the family friendly Mueller district.
1905 Simond Ave., Ste. 120; 310-429-7230
Courtesy of The Brewer's Table
The Brewer's Table
After running a preview at Franklin Barbecue and pop-ups at New Belgium Brewery and Olamaie, the team behind The Brewer's Table are getting even closer to opening this spring. The forthcoming Eastside brewery and restaurant bring together food and beer by using ingredients like barley, malt and hops in its cuisine and incorporating wood in both live fire cooking and barrel aging.
This fall, pastry chef Callie Speer (formerly of Swift's Attic) left Geraldine's and announced plans for her new punk-rock inspired diner, Bombshell. The pastry queen will undoubtedly focus on top-notch breads and desserts, but we can also look forward to breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night drinks when it opens at an undisclosed location in the West Sixth Street district this spring.
Vanessa Escobedo Barba
This spring, Easy Tiger will open its second location in The Linc (along IH-35 just north of 290). The place itself will be three times the size of the Sixth Street location, with baking facilities five times the size of the original, plus 50 craft-beer taps, a large dog-friendly beer garden and a drive-thru coffee bar. Yes, please.
Courtesy of LeRoy & Lewis
LeRoy & Lewis
Pitmaster Evan LeRoy (formerly of Freedmen's) and brewer-partners Nathan and Sawyer Lewis are collaborating on a brick-and-mortar restaurant with an on-site brewery, sustainable garden and event space. LeRoy will start serving lunch from a food truck this spring, with a focus on alternative cuts of meat and creative sides made from ingredients sourced from local farms and ranches.
This summer, The Chameleon Group (Swift's Attic, Wu Chow) will launch its latest concept in the Lamar Central building. Though its executive chef has not yet been announced, Guild will focus on seasonal, ingredient-driven dishes starring seafood (some local and some from afar), such as steelhead trout, poached and served cold with beet pudding, green cardamom-scented cucumber, roasted beets, cinnamon pickled beets, dill buttermilk and crispy trout skin.
Houston-based South African restaurant Peli Peli will be opening its first Austin location in the space formerly occupied by Cantina's Laredo. It will serve lunch, brunch and dinner, bringing a world of new flavor to our city with dishes like curried chicken espetada and pan-seared kingklip (a type of eel) with shredded scallops.
This fall, Austin will finally get its first food hall thanks to ELM Restaurant Group (24 Diner, Easy Tiger, Italic and Irene's). Located at First and Congress, this part-park and part-marketplace will feature six vendors (all but Easy Tiger are yet to be announced), plus a full-service bar.
ELM is also behind the innovative Cookbook, which will launch inside the soon-to-open Austin Central Library this fall. The counter-service eatery and bar will feature cookbook-inspired food and drink, as well as special events with touring culinary authors.