Image Courtesy of Intero.
Every March, the masses descend on Austin for SXSW, and a glittering crop of brand-new restaurants opens to greet them. This year is no exception, and the March Hit List proves it. In the mood for Italian? Consider newcomers Intero, Il Brutto, and Oddwood Ales. Seafood, maybe? Try Guild. Count on the wild cards, too: not one but two food halls — Fareground and H-Mart’s Market Eatery. Diners, start your engines: it’s prime Austin restaurant season.
Because two spectacular concepts are packed into one former East Austin motorcycle shop. Chocolatier Krystal Craig sells her wares at a chocolate counter, which doubles as a host stand for her husband Ian Thurwachter’s modern Italian restaurant, Intero. In Austin’s crowded Italian restaurant scene, Intero is a stand-out that focuses on seasonal ingredients from Central Texas (the menu changes daily) and nose-to-tail cooking. Spring is the perfect time to try the house-made pastas and large-format family style dishes. //Holly. Book now on Resy.
Because we’re always down for a raw bar, especially when it’s from the folks behind Wu Chow and Swift’s Attic—and in a Michael Hsu-designed space, no less. Guild has oysters for days, alongside a seasonal seafood menu from chef Sterling Ridings (formerly of Uchiko). Check out the Oyster Sabayon or—if you’re up for it—the truly epic pork tomahawk for two. //Rosedale. 512-975-2626.
Because it’s six new concepts from some of Austin’s best restaurants, all under one roof. You’ve got Easy Tiger, Contigo burger-and-rotisserie chicken stand, the Emmer & Rye team’s casual new spot Henbit, Ni-Komé (a sushi and ramen counter from Komé), the first-ever restaurant concept from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, and groundbreaking hyper-local tacos by Dai Due Taqueria. Literally, what more could you ask for? //Downtown. Walk-ins only.
Because if this Italian newcomer is anything like its baby sister (next door sandwich shop, La Matta), we’re in for a treat. Il Brutto—Italian for The Ugly (after The Good, The Bad and the Ugly)—doesn’t limit itself to one region of Italy, instead choosing its pizzas and pasta from across the country. Add to that a great wine list, the promise of “a lot of late 70s-early 80s Italian psychedelic rock” music, and you’ve got destination Italian on the East Side. //East Sixth. 512-580-8779.
Because the all-female team behind this brunch-happy West Sixth spot is fresh off a great review from Statesman’s Matthew Odam, who calls it “a restaurant brimming with boss-lady swagger and a bit of subversiveness.” Not bad for eggs! Come for the soon-to-be-legendary migas kolache; stay for chef Callie Speer’s riff on the choco taco. //West Sixth. Book now on Resy.
Because an all-day cafe with coffee and cocktails is precisely what Austin needs right now. Better Half is from the same team behind Wright Bros. Brew & Brew, with food from MMH alums Rich Reimbolt (Josephine House) and Jennifer Tucker (Jeffrey’s). Not sold yet? There’s a 44 Farms cheeseburger on the menu. //Clarksville. Walk-ins only.
Because Austin’s breweries have evolved from their humble beginnings and are now boasting full menus. Take Oddwood Ales, where the team behind Adelbert’s is serving experimental beer alongside stellar pizza. At Brewtorium, enjoy kooky-but-wonderful riffs on German food, like brat-stickers (dumplings stuffed with bratwurst) and several varieties of flammkuchen. //Mueller & Highland. Walk-ins only.
8/Foreign & Domestic
Because new owners Nathan Lemley and Sarah Heard just launched a nose-to-tail tasting menu, and you’ve got to try it. The menu changes, but a recent iteration included boudin noir, charred beef tongue, seared lamb heart, and, for dessert, foie gras mousse. Pro-tip: they’ve been switching up the wine list in fun, new ways, so venture beyond the norm. //North Loop. Book now on Resy.
9/H-Mart Market Eatery
Because Austin didn’t get just an H-Mart (finally!), it got the beloved grocery chain’s first-ever food hall. Market Eatery includes two concepts from chef Deuki Hong: Sunday Bird (Korean fried chicken) and the first-ever location of Sunday BBQ (Korean barbecue). And if you want more options, there are six other restaurants at Market Eatery serving everything from boba tea to sushi to Korean pastries. //Lakeline. Walk-ins only.
Because this new East Sixth bar’s back patio is home to beloved Thai food truck Dee Dee and a Taco Flats Airstream. La Holly specializes in agave cocktails and, combined with the great eats out back, is a perfect patio now that the weather’s turning. So grab a margarita and some Dee Dee larb, and kick back. Cheers y’all, it’s springtime in Texas. //Holly. Walk-ins only.
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