Sure, we all have that recurring nightmare where we’re looking for the 12 hottest new bars and restaurants in Austin and all we can find are some lame old places (and also we’re naked for some reason). Well, saving you a lot of money in therapy bills, here are the dozen best new spots in town...

Juniper/Kristin Vrana

Juniper

The very highly anticipated Italian concept from Chef Nicholas Yanes and his hand-picked culinary team is finally open. The cuisine is a mash-up of Northern Italian & Central Texas, putting out such menu fillers as the blistered burrata, and oxtail & rosemary lasagna available on the brunch menu. Juniper’s beverage program will include wine, an extensive gin list, and cocktails like the Little Visitor (Tequila Ocho reposado, Gran Classico, Aperol, bitters).

Courtesy of Café No Se

Café No Sé

Café No Sé is the first of four restaurants slated to open in the brand-spanking-new South Congress Hotel. The cafe-style cuisine is decidedly eclectic, seasonal American, and the wraparound patio is perfect for people-watching. Try the café cheeseburger -- a double Pat LaFrieda beef patty, thinly sliced Vidalia onion, and house-made pickles on a freshly baked buttermilk brioche bun.

Marc Swendner

The Roosevelt Room

Acclaimed mixologists Justin Lavenue and Dennis Gobis, formerly of Half Step and drink.well. (respectively) are at the helm of the new West Fifth cocktail bar. The menu they’ve conjured up features over 70 cocktails, categorized by era. The ridiculously high caliber of creativity is evident in their offerings -- we’re kind of obsessed with the Cigar Box (mezcal, lapsang souchong, lavender bitters, tobacco bitters, flamed cinnamon stick) and White Tuxedo (gin, Dolin blanc, dry sherry, grapefruit bitters, salted tarragon olive oil).

Royal Jelly

Royal Jelly

If you live north-ish, you’re in luck. Royal Jelly is both a perfect neighborhood bar with a patio and a chill weeknight dinner spot. You can expect wine, local beer, and an insane michelada verde (Bohemia, roasted tomatillo, avocado, chorizo-stuffed jalapeño). The current dinner menu offerings include a pork belly Cubano and tom kha mussels.

Boise Fry Company

Boise Fry Company

Attention French-fry addicts: there exists a restaurant where fries are the main attraction and burgers are considered a (very tasty) side. You choose a specific potato and cut from spud types such as purple, gold, sweet, russet, Okinawan, even Brussels sprouts. Then go wild with flavored salts, and dips ranging from blueberry ketchup to garlic aioli. Oh, and burgers too.

Ramen Fukuya

Ramen Fukuya

Setting up shop in the space formerly occupied by Veggie Heaven is the new Ramen Fukuya. Students and Drag rats alike will love the rich broths and authentic add-ins. Try the tonkatsu or kimchi ramen.

Courtesy of Golden Goose

Golden Goose

Although we lamented the closing of Horseshoe Lounge (don’t worry it's re-opening off East Riverside soon) a worthy tenant has appeared in the space. Golden Goose has kept the vintage feel of the 'Shoe and added a stage for live music, some nice takes on classic cocktails, and (finally!) a credit card machine.

Unit-D Pizzeria

Unit-D Pizzeria

Sleek, modern interiors and wood-fired pizza make Unit-D a new standout in a sea of pizzerias. Start light with the kale salad (lemon, cashew, millet, pickled peach) and then feast on sausage pizza (tomato, lamb, fennel, mozzarella, fontina, Pecorino, dill). Oh, and don’t forget the wine -- it’s all biodynamic, and rotates to fit the current menu.

Bullfight Austin

Bullfight

Restaurateur Shawn Cirkiel (of Olive & June, Parkside, Backspace) just launched this beautifully designed new eatery that will feature modern Spanish classics including meats and cheeses, tapas, and larger entrees. The cocktail program will also reflect the Spanish concept, with an emphasis on Spanish spirits such as sherry and brandy.

Rebecca Feder

Voodoo Doughnut

The conic Portland-based donut shop has opened its fifth location right here. It’s nestled amongst the chaos of Sixth St and lucky for us, it’s open 24 hours. The quirky chain is known for its cereal- and candy-topped treats with tongue-in-cheek names, including the Froot-covered The Loop, and the cream-filled Cock ‘n’ Balls.

Burn Pizza + Bar

Burn Pizza + Bar

The new Italian concept from Bridget Dunlap (Mettle, Clive Bar) brings together pizza, pasta, and cocktails. Patrons can expect Roman-style pizza -- think large, thin, and crispy -- and classic Italian dishes such as lasagna. Burn is open until midnight, daily.

Courtesy of Lenoir in the Wine Garden

Lenoir in the Wine Garden

Lenoir has consistently topped lists since opening in 2012 -- and much to our delight it's expanded its offerings to its charming wine garden. Order bar snack or plates from the dedicated trailer in the very welcoming garden and enjoy sips from the meticulously curated wine list.

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Anastacia Uriegas is an Austin writer who is already planning her second trip to Voodoo.

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1. Juniper 2400 E Cesar Chavez St Ste 304, Austin, TX 78702

With Chef Nicolas Yanes (Uchi) at the helm, this East Austin restaurant serves cuisines native to that of Piedmont, Lombardi, Emilia Romagna, and even Central Texas. Classic cocktails are offered alongside entrees such as blistered burrata and oxtail and rosemary lasagna.

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2. Café No Se 1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Normally, when you're craving a burger, your first instinct is to hit up a local dive or stick to fast-food franchises but this artsy, airy cafe in Travis Heights is worth changing your ways for. Along with dishes you're used to seeing at restaurants of this caliber, like gravlax tartine, chicken milanese, and grilled lamb ribs, No Se serves up some of the best burgers in the city. You'll pay a little bit more for it, but with local, hand-pressed beef, sweet onion, pickles, and a buttermilk bun, it's just as much as piece of art as the rest of its cuisine (and the literal artwork lining its walls).

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3. The Roosevelt Room 307 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701

This industrial-chic cocktail bar supplies over 70 different mixed drinks categorized by era. The Roosevelt Room also features a comfortable upstairs lounge for a more intimate setting.

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4. Royal Jelly 704 W St Johns Ave, Austin, TX 78752

Royal Jelly is a gastropub in St. Johns is a gem in the Austin restaurant scene with great happy hour specials that include killer cocktails and rotating small plates. The patio with brightly painted furniture is perfect for lounging in the summer, and the laid-back vibe is perfect for catching up with friends. Bonus: many of their beers come from Texas, so you can ride that local vibe. No, this is not a jam shop but it is the jam. Take a right onto St. Johns from Lamar and you’ve arrived as this little gastropub is the first to pop up on this road but it’s assuredly not the last. Happy hour all day on Sunday and 4-7pm Tuesday through Saturday. Small plates change all the time but the goat meatballs and merguez sliders are consistently available. Wash it down with a Mole Old Fashioned or some house-made sangria.

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5. Boise Fry Company 11005 Burnet Rd Ste 108, Austin, TX 78758

Burgers on are the side at this casual American restaurant that offers inventive fries. Customers can chose from an assortment of spuds, cuts, and toppings to customize their crisps.

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6. Ramen Fukuya 1914 Guadalupe Street #A, Austin, TX 78705

You wanted ramen, you went to Ramen Fukuya, you ate ramen, you were very, very happy. That's called using your noodle.

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7. The Golden Goose 2034 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

This converted dive bar is now a sleek, trendy cocktail lounge and live music venue, offering creative drinks in a spirited atmosphere.

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8. Unit-D Pizzeria 2406 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

Unit-D Pizzeria offers wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, small plates, salads, and a dynamic craft beer and wine list at this modern spot on Manor Road. The oven, created by a Naples-based oven maker that has been in the business for over 100 years, cranks out bubbly crusted Neapolitans in winning combinations like the pepperoni primo (tomato, pepperoni, bresaola, lardo ibérico, mozzarella, spicy Calabrian peppers), which are taken to the next level thanks to fresh side garnishes like oregano sprigs and crushed chiles.

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9. Bullfight 4807 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

Modern Spanish and seafood dishes are presented at this chic restaurant. Urchin roe, veal sweetbread, grilled branzino, and paella are served alongside a variety of meat and cheese boards.

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10. Voodoo Doughnuts 212 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701

The ultra-famous Portland sweetshop brings its crude, sometimes X-rated, doughnuts to the heart of Austin's Dirty Sixth. Pastry options include Diablos Rex, Maple Blazer Blunt, Old Dirty Bastard, and Cock-n-Balls.

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11. Burn Pizza + Bar 1802 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

"Old World meets New Austin" at this Southern and Central Italy-inspired pizzeria. Thin, Roman-style pizza is supplied in addition to creative pasta and main dishes.

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12. Lenoir 1807 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

A locavore's haven, Lenoir serves French-inspired cuisine that unites community and fresh ingredients to cultivate a new food experience through a seasonal and prix fixe-style menu. Sample dishes from the sea like snapper ceviche with avocado puree, lime serrano and summer melons or rove the land with roasted guinea hen, kasu noodles, antelope ham broth, string beans, and sprouts. Guests can also dine at Lenoir's wine garden, which offers small plates and shareables alongside a variety of beer, cider, and wine.

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