Your Summer calendar is likely pretty full already, but surely you can make some room in it (and your stomach), for these 10 new restaurants that have graced Austin recently. From Asian-fusion outposts to Cuban-inspired rum bars, you have some serious work to do.
Noble Sandwich Co. (address and info)
Popular sandwich shop Noble Sandwich Co. did residents of central Austin a solid and opened a second location on Burnet Rd. Their breakfast menu (which also includes lighter picks) has expanded to include goodies like the Oxtail Waffle (a potato and leek waffle topped with braised oxtail and an over-easy egg). The new space is bright and inviting -- as is the Pecan Smoked Beef Brisket, a moist brisket sandwich served with kimchi, onion, and sambal mayo.
A-OK Chinese (address and info)
Former Alamo Drafthouse Executive Chef John Bullington and business partner Jerry Reid have opened A-OK, a 44-seat eatery serving American-style Chinese. Fresh vegetables, house-made sauces, and fantastic service are what people are talking about. Pro tip: try the shrimp toast and five-spice baby back ribs.
Kin & Comfort (address and info)
Perhaps the most quiet and most intriguing opening of the season is Kin & Comfort. Tucked away in the Hana World Market Center, Ek Timrerk, (Uchi, East Side King) and Bonnie Wright (recently of East Side King) are serving up a Southern-comfort-meets-Thai double threat that we've never seen done. Wrap your brain around these mouth-watering mashups: Panang Mac & Cheese, Tom Kha Shrimp & Grits, and Thai Meatloaf & Gravy. Then wrap your mouth around them.
Radio Coffee & Beer (address and info)
If someone asked us to design the perfect coffee shop, it would include Stumptown coffee, lots of beer on tap, East Side Pie by the slice, a Veracruz All Natural truck, and a dog-friendly patio. Oh wait -- we just described new South Austin oasis Radio Coffee and Beer, helmed by musician, Austin native, and coffee shop vet Jack Wilson. As if that wasn't enough, they are the only place in town serving Stumptown Coffee’s Nitro Cold Brew on draft, which "pours with a rich head similar to a stout beer".
Bar 2211 (address and info)
Housed in a formerly run-down neighborhood ice house, the newly remodeled Bar 2211 has a huge, comfortable patio, a totally respectable whiskey and bourbon selection (ahem, Balcones), and aspirations to serve one of the state's largest selections of canned beer. Sold!
Aroma (address and info)
Right across the street from honky tonk institution The Broken Spoke sits Italian newcomer, Aroma. It's a project from Dave Whitney (former Threadgills GM) and Jason Garcia (from San Antonio standouts Bohanan's, Biga on the Banks, Il Sogno, and Dough). The menu at Aroma includes Italian bistro fare but with an emphasis on their genuine Neapolitan pizzas. Pair that with an impressive wine selection and classic cocktails and your next date night is all set.
Pleasant Storage Room (address and info)
Nestled between Fado and Péché on 4th St is Pleasant Storage Room. Alfonso Hernandez, formerly of East Side Show Room, is heading up the rum-focused craft cocktail program, serving modern interpretations of classic cocktails and punches. With a selection of around 80 rums, you'll want to try a flight -- always served with a description of flavors and origins. Executive Chef Paul Hargrove, also formerly of ESSR, is providing a menu of Cuban street food-inspired treats like street corn, empanadas, and ceviche.
Mezcalería Tobalá (address and info)
Many patrons discover Mezcalería Tobalá by accident -- it's that little room just upstairs from Whisler's, and there's no sign but what you find inside will surprise you. A short chat with the barman will help you figure out what to order, but don't expect any mixers. All mezcals at Mezcalería Tobalá are served neat in a tiny clay copita. Try a flight of mezcals from different regions served with orange slices and a sprinkle of sal de gusano aka worm salt.
Terry Black's Barbecue (address and info)
Twin brothers Mark and Michael Black are the great-grandsons of the late great Edgar Black, founder of Lockhart's acclaimed 'cue joint. They've set up shop on Barton Springs Rd after putting in many years at Black's original location with plans to personally work the pits, and all sides will be made from scratch.
Tap 24 (address and info)
Opening up just days before the World Cup, Tap 24 filled the space -- literally -- that Cuatro's closing left on campus area fútbol fanatics. Still owned by Cuatro Kowalski, the space has a fresh coat of paint, drink specials, and a new food menu including a focus on burgers.
This list -- and all the rest -- look even sexier in our iPhone app. Get it now!
1. Noble Sandwich Co.12233 620 N, Austin
2. A-OK Chinese1509 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
3. Kin & Comfort1700 W Parmer Ln, Austin
4. Radio Coffee & Beer4208 Manchaca Rd, Austin
5. Bar 22112211 Webberville Rd, Austin
6. Aroma3403 S Lamar Blvd, Austin
7. Pleasant Storage Room208 W 4th St, Austin
8. Mezcalería Tobalá1816 E 6th St, Austin
9. Terry Black's Barbecue1003 Barton Springs Rd, Austin
10. Tap 241004 W 24th St, Austin
With a serious commitment to "real food," Noble Sandwich Co. will serve you nothing boxed, canned, shipped or pre-sliced. Sandwiches here are pieced together purely with handcrafted ingredients -- house-smoked bacon, hand-made chorizo, famous Noble rye pickles, and of course, house-baked bread. The menu lists a collection of biscuit breakfast sandwiches (the biscuits are fresh-baked, of course), but the savory lunch options are inarguably the standout offering -- smoked duck pastrami, thai chicken with jalapeño-cabbage slaw, potato chip-encrusted catfish, and the crowning jewel of the sandwich options: The Noble Pig (spicy ham, pulled pork, AND bacon with provolone and mustard), all of which are served between slices of still-warm, thick-cut bread. If the triple-meat combo sounds a little heavy, all sandwiches can be served on a lettuce wrap or gluten-free bread.
Finally, a restaurant where you can admit you're going for Americanized Chinese food. A former Alamo Drafthouse executive chef is bringing this American-style Chinese joint to South Lamar, slinging the likes of shrimp toast and five-spice baby back ribs using fresh ingredients and house-made sauces.
Kin & Comfort is a rare opportunity to taste what happens when Thai cuisine meets Southern comfort food -- try the Panang Mac & Cheese, Tom Kha Shrimp & Grits, and Thai Meatloaf & Gravy.
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.
With a huge patio, a totally respectable whiskey and bourbon selection, and an ambitious selection of canned beer, Bar 2211 makes for a great hangout in a variety of situations.
Come to Aroma looking for Italian bistro fare, with an emphasis on their genuine Neapolitan Pizzas. You won't go thirsty, either -- they've got classic cocktails and an impressive wine selection to complete your meal.
Pleasant Storage Room is a throwback to "golden age Cuba and the Caribbean", where you can find yourself dining on island street foods, like their ceviches, while sipping on a sweet rum cocktail.
A semi-secret bar perched above Whisler's on East Sixth, the rusty, tin interior Mezcaleria Tobala is as close to Mexico as you'll come in Austin, thanks to its rare selection of sweet mezcal. You won't find any wacky cocktails here -- they really mean business, serving the smokey liquor up just the way it was intended -- straight in half or full pours with cinnamon-spiced orange slices. Non-believers are changed by the first sip.
The great-grandsons of Lockhart's founder have set up shop on Barton Springs Rd and are pumping out brisket, ribs, and all the other meats you'd expect, alongside homemade, from-scratch sides.
Owned by the man behind Cuatro's (Cuatro Kowalski himself!), Tap 24 is filling the old space with a fresh vibe, including sweet drink specials, plenty of TVs so you can catch the game, and a burger-forward menu that'll help keep your stamina up.