Opened in August 2014 and on OpenTable’s 2014 ‘Best Restaurants in America’ list, Dai Due has already created quite a buzz. Dai Due, originating from an Italian phrase for ‘from the two kingdoms of nature, choose food with care,’ began as an Austin farmers’ market stand and grew into a brick-and-mortar restaurant and butcher shop. Under head chef Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due offers an array of natural, flavorful dishes with produce from local sources. With a menu that changes daily, one never knows what Griffiths will produce, but previous menus have included delights such as turkey tamales wrapped in collard leaves with fried egg, crema, refried black beans and chipotle oil or pastrami sandwiches with sauerkraut. For dinner, you can choose from either an a la carte menu or partake in the Supper Club with shareable food served family-style.
Dai Due, 2406 Manor Rd., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 524 0688
Black’s Barbecue Austin
You are not truly experiencing Austin, or Texas for that matter, if you are not occasionally enjoying some real, authentic Texas barbecue. With that in mind, visit the recently-opened Black’s Barbecue in Austin, which is already causing quite a stir. From giant beef ribs and beef brisket to smoked turkey breast, pulled pork and southern sides, Black’s Barbecue proves to be the perfect place for genuine Texas barbecue. Kent Black, a ‘3rd generation pitmaster’, follows his grandfather’s passed down techniques of smoking meat for Black’s barbecue. The sausages at Black’s also come from 80-year-old recipes and are hand-stuffed and tied. You may accompany the food with freshly brewed Texas sweet tea and savory sides such as potato salad, pinto beans, extra cheddar macaroni and cheese or coleslaw. Black’s Barbecue serves banana puddings and peach and pecan cobblers for dessert.
Black’s BBQ, 3110 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 524 0801
Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile
With a saloon-like facade, a metal roof and a vintage sign beckoning the diner to peek indoors, Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile proves even more alluring once inside. The indoor dining space, with wooden ceilings, rustic and retro light fixtures and water served in blue mason jars, leads the way to the beautiful outdoor patio. Here, one may relax with a glass of wine, a cocktail or a beer among the white, industrial bar stools, sit beneath the twinkle lights on wooden picnic tables, or grab a seat on the vintage mismatched patio chairs overlooking the Colorado River. Jacoby’s seeks to provide a ‘ranch-to-table dining experience’ and the Jacoby family breeds, raises and processes the beef used in the restaurant. Jacoby’s menu includes snacks like fried pickled green tomatoes with a spicy aioli and pumpkin and goat’s cheese dumplings with spinach and brown butter, mains like stuffed Salisbury steak and family style sides such as acorn squash.
Considered by Texas Monthly to be one of the ten ‘best and brightest new restaurants’ in 2014, Olamaie is now an Austin hotspot for southern food. Merging the past with the present, chefs Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas combine old-fashioned southern recipes with modern-day gastronomic concepts. The menu varies depending on the season and has included items such as Texas Wagyu Bavette Steak, Mahi Mahi with roasted carrots, pecan butter, rapini and sweet potatoes, and, of course, their much-loved and discussed biscuits, served with salted honey butter. One can adorn their meal with skillet cornbread and charred cabbage, buttermilk and mustard greens, or end it with a delectable sweet potato ice cream with bay leaf caramel or a traditional Texas treat, pecan pie.
Olamaie, 1610 San Antonio St., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 474 2796
Sawyer & Co.
Sawyer & Co. is a New Orleans-inspired restaurant boasting ‘New Orleans flavor’ and ‘Texas hospitality.’ Sawyer & Co.’s menu varies extensively and with moderate prices. For breakfast, one may dine on hot cakes with a choice of syrup, weekly omelet specials, or lost bread, a New Orleans-style French toast adorned with seasonal berries. A must for a New Orleans- inspired restaurant, Sawyer & Co. offers muffalettas, Creole shrimp and grits, gumbo and an array of po’boys containing fried shrimp, fried or Creole catfish or fried oyster. Sawyer & Co. also creates not-so-traditional offerings, such as fried pickles with jalapeño ranch, deviled eggs with praline bacon and praline iced coffee.
Sawyer & Co., 4827 East Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 531 9033
The Peached Tortilla
The Peached Tortilla, a hugely popular food truck chain that first appeared in Austin in 2010, has recently opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant, complete with a newly expanded menu. The new restaurant delivers an airy, bright and quirky Austin-like atmosphere, with black-and-white photographs adorning the walls, an avocado-green bar, distressed white benches and mis-matched bar stools and light fixtures. The menu boasts of southern and Asian-inspired flavors in their myriad sliders and tacos, accompanied by whiskeys, wines, beers and cocktails. In the restaurant, The Peached Tortilla offers vegetables such as the pear kimchi salad with a miso pear vinaigrette, tacos like the ‘BBQ brisket taco’ with dry rubbed brisket, apple slaw, and roasted peach barbeque sauce, and ‘plates,’ such as their Kimchi Arancini Balls or Crispy Umami Chicken Wings. Finish your meal with an Asian Movie Night (popcorn ice cream, Asian caramel, and rice puffs) or with banana Nutella spring rolls.
The Peached Tortilla, 5520 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 330 4439
Fork & Taco
With a motto like ‘Have fun. Eat tacos,’ you know you’re in an Austinite’s paradise at one of the city’s newest taco restaurants, Fork & Taco. Fork & Taco proffers a light, airy atmosphere with white café chairs, bright lighting and art deco paintings adorning the walls. It also proffers light, fresh produce from local farms and natural meats. Open every day of the week, the restaurant boasts about its promotion of ‘taco-centric, creative’ Austin. One may choose from myriad tacos with distinctive sauces, including the Asian Pear Taco, the 24-Hr Flank Steak taco with avocado, cilantro, and chimichurri or the Pulled Pork 5 Spice taco with soy maple crema, Asian slaw, and cilantro. Add to a taco with a side of beets with grapefruit or Mexican street corn for a truly Austin experience.
Fork & Taco, 4801 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 838 6768
Vegetable lovers will delight at Gardner, the swanky new restaurant on 6th Street. As one approaches the restaurant, a line of herbs and other plants welcomes the diner to a sleek, contemporary establishment offering a fresh and flavorful menu that features a plethora of deconstructed plates. Gardner offers a unique dinner menu accompanied by an ‘after dinner’ list of wines, beers and ciders and a patio menu, featuring items such as potato dip with Dill, eggplant and red wheat crackers, to be enjoyed on Gardner’s modern patio. For dinner, Gardner offers starter ‘bites’ like brussels sprouts with almond, miso and green garlic and ‘firsts’ such as cabbage with monkfish, jalapeno and marjoram. For ‘seconds,’ one can enjoy dishes such as gnudi with ricotta and smoked mushroom and a Japanese pumpkin cake with kumquat for dessert. Gardner proves a great place for a date or a night out on the town.
Gardner, 1914 East 6th St., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 354 1480
Fixe, ‘celebrating the soul of the south’, is a newly opened restaurant in downtown Austin which aims to create traditional tastes in creative, innovative ways. Fixe proffers a warm, welcoming ‘southern charm’ atmosphere with an indoor patio feel and an ‘open’ kitchen allowing one to observe the workings of chefs James Robert, Keith House, Zach Hunter and Bryan King. With locally sourced ingredients, the chefs at Fixe create dishes such as pork shoulder with potlikker pinto beans, mustard greens and a jalapeno-kale emulsion, lobster and crawfish pot pies with mushrooms and a pecan miso béchamel or ahi tuna muffulettas. Adorn your meal with a potato salad composed of peewee potatoes, pickled quail egg, mustard greens and lemon aioli and finish it off with sticky toffee cake or sweet potato pie.
Fixe, 500 West 5th St., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 888 9133
Fork and Vine
An up-and-coming restaurant in Austin, Fork and Vine offers both an indoor and an outdoor patio and a wine tasting room that boasts over 250 different labels. Amongst the clean, modern atmosphere of the Fork and Vine restaurant and its modern, edgy bar, you may peruse the extensive wine and beer list. For lunch, you can enjoy one of Fork and Vine’s many delicious sandwiches, such as the beet, lettuce and tomato sandwich with green onion aioli on whole grain bread, share a side of goat cheese grits with egg or gouda macaroni and cheese with apple and indulge in creamy peanut butter ice cream or a delicious buttermilk creme brulee with roasted pear. Fork and Vine’s dinner menu proffers a selection of distinctive dishes, such as the Niman ranch short rib wellington with a potato puree or fried alligator with sriracha and green onion aioli.
Fork and Vine, 3010 West Anderson Ln., Austin, TX, USA, +1 512 489 7000