Austin has a vibrant patio culture. Thanks to year round warm weather and little rain, almost every restaurant seems to have al fresco dining space. So what makes a patio area particularly special? Well, plenty of shade helps since Austinites are still willing to sit outside long after the temperatures exceed 100 degrees. Of course a relaxed space serving great food, beer, and cocktails doesn't hurt either.
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The third annual Austin Food and Wine Festival came to a close yesterday. Kicking off on Friday night with a "Taste of Texas" event showcasing restaurants from around the state, it was an educational but sometimes wild weekend of epic eating and drinking. Between chef demos, dishes from restaurants and comapnies around the country were available for tasting, and various chefs kept the fire pits smoking all weekend.
Where do Ben's tips and links fall in the Chicago barbecue pantheon? That depends. Do you like the finer chopped style of Honey 1 but prefer instead to seek out the next big thing? This might be your place.
Hey there, music-and-food-and-drink lover! (Allow us to say that you clearly appreciate the finer things in life.) Are you heading down to Austin for South by Southwest (SXSW) this weekend? Sure, the huge festival will be keeping you busy with music, films, new technology, and more, but festival-goers still gotta eat, right? And —just as importantly (some would say more importantly) —drink. Here's where to do it.
With several new restaurants opening every month, there's no shortage of great places to eat in Austin. But because most of these new places typically charge $20 to $30 per entrée, it can be hard on both your stomach and your wallet to keep up. Don't feel too bad for us Austinites, though—there are plenty of budget-friendly options out there if you know where to look. Here are ten of our favorites!
Shawn Crikiel, the chef and owner of Austin's Parkside, Backspace, and Olive & June, launched his latest venture, Chavez, earlier this month. In an unusual turn of events, the restaurant is in the former TGI Friday's space in the downtown Radisson hotel, causing Austinites who've long disregarded the location to take note of the revamped poolside digs once again. Here's a look at Crikiel's menu and space.
Specializing in cupcakes, cookies, and bars, this old school Hyde Park bakery also successfully executes fancier desserts. One in particular stands out as a good choice for Austinites who don't want to cook on Valentine's Day: the Chocolate Ganache Cake.
Beef with horseradish is, of course, nothing new, and Épicerie's sandwich arrives on the plate looking modest, if a bit larger than you might expect. But let this be a lesson in judging sandwiches by their covers, because that banal appearance belies some major flavor.
The Trail of Lights is Austin's most beloved Holiday attraction. Once you're in, there's no turning back. All roads lead to the giant Zilker Holiday Tree at the end of the trail. Prepare to get "hangry" if you show up on an empty stomach. If you're just looking for dessert after dinner, however, there are plenty of options along the Trail.
At this time of year, Austin bakeries and ice cream shops are simply bursting with both peppermint and eggnog flavored sweets. You'll also find Christmas cookies galore along with plenty of seasonal cupcakes, but there are also cranberry blondies, cream puffs filled with gingerbread cream, and boozy ice cream.
One of my favorite places to get fried chicken in Chicago is MacArthur's, the famous soul food restaurant on the West side. I go for the chicken, but also for the sides, the desserts, the line, and the experience. It's a place that's the de facto community center of its neighborhood.
Austin bakers are getting creative as they gear up for Halloween. So why just have another pumpkin flavored treat when you can celebrate with creepy cupcakes, gingerdead men, wormy doughnuts, and more?
The acclaimed burger joint will open its first location in Texas in late 2014.
Sugar Mama's Bakeshop is known for their cupcakes, but don't make the mistake of ignoring the other desserts in the pastry case at this Austin bakery. Their S'Mores Bar, made with freshly torched marshmallow, is the closest thing you'll find without actually being in front of a campfire, skewer in hand.
At East Side King at Hole in the Wall in Austin, chef/owner Paul Qui, head chef Yoshi Okai, and partner Moto Utsunomiya are known for turning out slightly gonzo, supremely satisfying ramens like beer bacon miso and chicken tortilla ramen. They're also all ramen aficionados in their own right, clocking serious mileage between Texas and Japan to scope out the latest in ramen trends across the country. We talked to the trio about their most memorable bowls of all time, ramen in the US versus ramen in Japan, and more.
Sometimes designing a successful new dish comes down to creating a hybrid of two simple, yet very different, classics. That's exactly the concept behind the Maytag blue cheesecake with red grape sorbet at Kenichi in Austin.
When I tweeted about my dislike for breakfast tacos on my way through Austin a couple weeks ago, I knew I was in for an earful. What I didn't expect was for the folks at tacojournalism.com—who literally wrote the book on breakfast tacos—to tweet back at me, suggesting that I meet them in person the next morning for what promised to be a mind-altering experience.
A modern new Rainey Street restaurant from former The Next Food Network Star star Brad Sorenson, serving updated American classics.
On Saturdays and Sundays, a cluster of vendors appear behind El Gran Mercado on Pleasant Valley Road in Southeast Austin. They huddle under a network of tents and tarps that just barely shields the compact market from the intense sunlight. Here, you'll find things like cowboy boots, phone cases, toys, and even used cars—and some of the best Mexican food vendors in town.
When asked about transitioning from the finance world to the restaurant industry, Steven Dilley humbly explained, "I'm passionate about what I'm doing, so I feel I can make at least something passable." Lifelong food lover casts aside desk job to open a restaurant? The story may be increasingly commonplace these days, but it rarely fails to inspire. No less so in the case of the half Italian, half Taiwanese chef, who returned to Austin after a decade in NYC to embrace his passion for cooking. Three years later, and his dream has finally been realized, in the form of Bufalina, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria.