server aprons - best restaurant

For many visitors to Texas from outside the state, it is cities like Houston and Dallas that attract the attention. Whether it is their general higher profile, the football teams or even a chance to visit Dealey Plaza with its grassy knoll and a million JFK conspiracy theories, they get a fair bit more attention than Austin.

What that can mean for diners is that eating in Austin is often a local affair, one in which the overwhelming majority of restaurant visits will be made by locals. That means proprietors who flourish will be those whose meals are so great the same people will keep on coming back.

However, staff putting on new server aprons for the first time in the newest restaurants in the city may have some more tourists in 2024. There is always the Formula 1 Grand Prix, of course, but come April there will be an unusual influx of astronomy geeks as Austin will be one of the largest cities in the US to directly witness a total solar eclipse.

It might be pertinent to ask at this point, therefore, just which new restaurants might eclipse the competition and put the rest in the shade. Notwithstanding the movements of the new moon on April 8th, there are certainly a few worth shedding light on, whether you are a discerning local diner or a visitor with a telescope.

The very latest new places to go have been highlighted by Austin Eater, which has produced its own roll call of the top new establishments for November 2023.

A small grocery store might seem an unusual place to look, but Tiny Grocer has joined forces with top chef Jo Chan to create a new French bistro, with recommended dishes including its steak frites, duck legs and roast chicken.

Texas may be a land of big steaks, but vegans can enjoy a trip to Fabrik, which has a range of plant-based dishes based on Japanese, Italian and Nordic food editions, while those who like the most traditional Italian food can try the Neapolitan fare at Palm Pizza.

November’s update is just the latest among many great new places to eat emerging in Austin over the course of the year. In April, Texas Tasty listed its top 20 new Austin establishments, judging these by their “specialties, ambiance, and overall experience”.

For traditional southern-style food, Diner Bar at the Thompson hotel may be the place to go, with alternatives including the Pecan Square Café.

If you want novelty, what could be more exotic than a speakeasy with a Japanese theme? That is what you can get at Toshokan, which serves a 14-course sushi meal. If Ramen is your preferred Japanese food, try Tiki Tatsu-Ya or Ramen512.

For a Caribbean taste, look to Canje, described as being “one of the best new restaurants in Austin” because it brings styles nowhere else in the city offers, while those who like a good slab of meat can try Dean’s Italian Steakhouse, where the finest offerings include a 28-day aged Wagyu steak.

This array of great new places to eat opening in Austin in 2023 mean that 2024’s diners will have lots to enjoy. The city may spend a few minutes in the shadow of the moon in April, but there will always be lots to light up the day of any discerning diner, be they a visitor or a local resident.

November 27, 2023 — Jake Blakey