2014 was a whirlwind year for Austin, and if your head is spinning, don't worry, you're not alone. New bars and restaurants have been popping up left and right, and you may have missed a few while you were busy eating turkey/shopping for loved ones/drinking in order to tolerate your family. Here are some places you need to get to before getting too deep into 2015:

Ane Urquiola

Taco Flats

Burnet Road
Back in the '70s, Taco Flats was a relaxed drinks and music venue, but Simon Madera has revived the brand for a new generation. The cocktail program (which has an agave focus... i.e. mezcal, tequila, sotol) is headed up by Aaron Fresas (of Midnight Cowboy and the Highball), so you can be sure your drink is in good hands. For the menu, expect fresh, creative tacos and appetizers inspired by authentic Mexico City cuisine. 

The Peached Tortilla

The Peached Tortilla

Burnet Road
Beloved food truck The Peached Tortilla has opened their first brick and mortar location, and it was worth the wait. Beautiful digs, a cult following, and a menu full of dishes ready to blow your tongue's mind. Try the crispy umami chicken wings (fish sauce vinaigrette, herbs, shallots) with a Japanese whiskey on the rocks.

Fork And Taco

Fork and Taco

Burnet Road
From the clean-but-playful interior to the fresh flavor combinations, Fork and Taco is bring a dose of fun to the booming Burnet Rd restaurant scene. In the tradition of new restaurants, they're serving only all-natural meats and source local and organic. You're going to be hooked on the Pulled Pork 5 Spice (topped with soy maple creme, asian slaw, and cilantro). 

Knox Photographics

Fixe

Downtown
Fixe is what you could call "brand. spanking. new." A welcome addition to Downtown dining, Fixe and it's very experienced chef/management team is doing upscale Southern with a "dedicated grits menu" and a barrel-aged craft cocktail program. Get there.

The Aristocrat Lounge

The Aristocrat Lounge

Burnet Road
Housed in the former sketchy-but-fun Poodle Dog Lounge, the Aristocrat adds unpretentious, dive-y charm to this strip of Burnet. You can play skee-ball and pool, but you're here for the drinks... and they are good. Check out the Mexican Painkiller (100% agave pineapple- and jalapeño-infused tequila, coconut cream, fresh-squeezed OJ, and Peychaud's bitters).

Due Forni

Due Forni

Sixth Street
Just a couple of blocks from the madness of Dirty Sixth sits Due Forni, the new classic Italian pizzeria with a fun spin. From the Spaghetti Westerns being projected onto the soaring walls, to the lengthy Italian wine selection, Due Forni is the perfect spot for a weeknight dinner or for treating when the 'rents are in town.

Fork & Vine

Fork & Vine

West Anderson Lane
This North Austin newcomer combines New American cuisine with a playful Austin twist. That means fried free-range chicken, which comes with Gouda mac & cheese, watermelon salad, and a jalapeño-cheddar biscuit. Also, last but not least... beer. Craft beer. They have lots of it. 

Stouthaus Coffee

Stouthaus Coffee

South Lamar
Located in the same building as (the also very new) St. Phillip, Stouthaus is bringing some serious coffee cred to South Austin. In addition to serving Cuvee coffee, they'll have baked goodies and a selection of local craft beers. 

Radio Coffee & Beer

Radio Coffee & Beer

South Lamar
Good luck finding parking or a seat at this already super-popular new coffee hangout. They've acquired a gaggle of regulars thanks to their spot-on coffee service and the Veracruz All Natural truck parked onsite. Thankfully, they now have a "no Wi-Fi at night" policy that sends the laptop jockeys (like us...) back to their caves and allows for live music and socializing. Try the Stumptown Nitro cold brew on tap.

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1. Taco Flats 5520 Burnet Rd #101, Austin, TX 78756 (Allandale)

Despite the name, Taco Flats is much more of a bar than a taco joint -- though it would serve you well to arrive hungry and thirsty. This famous hippie hangout of the 1970s shuttered almost 30 years ago, and has now been revived in its original Burnet Rd location. The dive bar has received a facelift and has a sleek sports bar look, over 30 craft beers on tap, six wines on tap, and a cocktail program helmed by veterans from Midnight Cowboy and Eastside Showroom. Must-tries include the Agave Old Fashioned (reposado tequila, mezcal, honey, mole bitters), El Chuco (Sotol Blanco, fresh lime, orgeat, mole bitters) and the No-mah-mes (espadin mezcal, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, fresh lime, spicy bitters). True to old-school Austin, their menu runs the gamut from carnitas tortas to hemp seed burgers and "hippie tacos" with grilled Oaxaca cheese, refried black beans, and house pickled escabeche -- all on delicate, house-made tortillas, of course.

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2. The Peached Tortilla 5520 Burnet Rd #100, Austin, TX 78756

By its name, it’s not all too clear that Austin’s The Peached Tortilla specializes in simple southern food with an Asian flair. But a restaurant by any other name couldn’t smell as smoky and sweet as Peached Tortilla’s dry rubbed brisket and pork belly, which are each braised for over 3.5 hours, low and slow. The rest of the menu consists of Asian-influenced greens, Mexican street fare, big plates, and shareables. These flavors might jolt your taste buds, but worry not; you’ll be placated by The Peached Tortilla’s bright, pleasant atmosphere.

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3. Fork and Taco 4801 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756

From the clean-but-playful interior to the fresh flavor combinations, Fork and Taco is bring a dose of fun to the booming Burnet Rd restaurant scene. In the tradition of new restaurants, they're serving only all-natural meats and source local and organic. You're going to be hooked on the Pulled Pork 5 Spice (topped with soy maple creme, asian slaw, and cilantro).

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4. Fixe 500 W 5th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Fixe, with its very experienced chef/management team, is doing upscale-Southern with a dedicated grits menu and a barrel-aged craft cocktail program.

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5. The Aristocrat Lounge 6507 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757

Housed in the former Poodle Dog Lounge location, The Aristocrat adds unpretentious, dive-y charm to this strip of Burnet. You can play skee-ball and pool, but you're here for the drinks... and they're good. Check out the Mexican Painkiller (100% agave pineapple & jalapeño infused tequila, coconut cream, fresh squeezed OJ, and Peychaud's bitters).

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6. Due Forni 106 E Sixth St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Due Forni is a casual pizza and wine spot where you can watch spaghetti Westerns and choose between pies from one of two ovens -- a Roman oven turning out thin and crispy-crusted 'zas, and another Neapolitan oven making a thicker, softer bread.

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7. Fork and Vine 3010 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX 78757

Located in North Austin, Fork & Vine offers New American cuisine with a playful Austin twist. Be sure to try the fried free-range chicken, which comes with Gouda mac 'n' cheese, watermelon salad, and a jalapeño cheddar biscuit. They also have lots of craft beer.

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8. Stouthaus Coffee 4715 South Lamar Blvd #102, Austin, TX 78745

Located in the same building as St. Phillip, Stouthaus brings serious coffee cred to South Austin. In addition to serving Cuvee coffee, they have baked goodies and a selection of local craft beers.

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9. Radio Coffee & Beer 4208 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Radio Coffee & Beer in South Austin is the perfect combination of Stumptown coffee, cozy backyard dog-friendly patio, extensive amounts of beer on tap and a constant presence of food trucks outside selling breakfast tacos. Every Wednesday night, catch a movie on the patio, and other nights of the week, Radio often hosts live music or comedy. The cozy interior provides the perfect environment for studying and working during the day.

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