Starting up a new series (maybe monthly) of Must Try Spots in Austin according to yours truly! I get asked this question a lot whenever I meet up friends I haven’t seen throughout the pandemic – “what are some of the best restaurants you’ve tried lately” – knowing full and well that my list of new restaurants to visit is never ending and I’m slowly making a dent in it. I’ve tried a few spots lately and there were some standouts which I’ll list below for your dining pleasure!
1618 Asian Fusion
I’ve heard from so many of my friends (vegetarian and non-veg) that 1618 Asian Fusion needed to be one of my next stops. I dined with a girlfriend and first of all, I loved the interior. I went to that space when it was a sports bar and you’d have no idea it was ever a sports bar! The interior is so stunning – lots of plants and modern decor.
Anyway, order a cocktail – a few are tiki-ish drinks and not only beautiful but super tasty and strong!
You have to order the X-ray Long Bao (soup dumplings) – holy wowzers I could have eaten the whole basket of them! The 5 Sampler comes with a great variety of apps which were all super delicious and satisfying! Do not leave without trying the Banh Trang Da Nang (Vietnamese pizza) – I hadn’t eaten anything like it before and let’s just say, pizza should all be made with rice paper as a crust!
If you go with a few friends, definitely order the Peking Duck. It’s huge, comes with bao to make your own little duck bags and y’all, it was so so crispy – I loved every bite! The Saigon Lamb was so tender and fell off the bone. Incredible flavors too…simply wow! We didn’t have any room for dessert but I will definitely go back for some because I saw other tables’ desserts and they had me drooling.
Simi Estiatorio recently launched an Early Dinner Prix Fire menu that is available Monday-Friday from 4:00-6:00PM daily. It’s quite a deal and if you’re up for an early dinner downtown (before it gets crazy down there) then Simi has to be next on your list.
The interior is jaw dropping! The music gradually becomes more Mykonos party vibe as the night goes on. They have a doorman to greet you when you arrive. Are you getting a feel for the vibes?
They fly in their seafood which is available for display over ice near the kitchen.
The food is outstanding and I’ll definitely go back for their regular dinner menu – I have to try their octopus!
We had the Omo Lavraki (Greek ceviche), lamb kabobs, shrimp casserole, chicken souvlaki, baklava and karidopita – two prix fixes each for $39.95!
We left stuffed and blown away by every dish. And the dishes were huge! They don’t skimp just because it’s a prix fixe. Order you a glass of wine or a cocktail to wash it all down.
Headed to East Austin and you’re looking for an excellent restaurant by a cuisine? Check out this Best of East Austin Restaurants Guide for a yummy roundup!
The long anticipated Birdie’s from co-owners Chef Tracy Malechek and Arjav Ezekiel is finally open and let me tell you folks – I’m slightly obsessed! I’ve been a handful of times, each with a different friend/friends because everyone needs to experience Birdie’s!
It’s a order-at-the-counter spot, serving up a huge selection of wine, beer and food! They have wines by the glass or grab you a bottle and share with a friend. The menu changes all the time so I can’t recommend anything specific but I’ve tried multiple dishes from the snack, small plates and large plates menu and have never been disappointed. The Sicilian Chocolate Chip cookie and the vanilla soft serve are constants on the menu and you must save room for both!
Their interior is adorable, I’ve sat at the Chef’s counter and was enamored by all going on in the kitchen as well as batches of cookies being baked and cooled! The backyard is delightful, has ample seating, and well-thought out touches at the tables. You can order more at the table using the QR code.
Overall, I’m crushing on Birdie’s and will happily go with anyone who invites me 🙂
Guess what? Sammataro has moved permanently to East Austin and officially opens in its new location off 12th and Navasota on October 20th. They’re soft open until then Thurs-Sunday so if you find yourself on the east side and are craving some of the best Neapolitan pizza you’ve ever had, Sammataro needs to be your next bite!
The pepperoni pizza came straight outta the oven and straight into our mouths (in our car because we refused to drive home and eat cold-ish pizza). There is no shame in this game and I’m not mad about it! The pizza crust had the big bubbles and the pepperoni was cooked just like it should be – crispy on the edges! I’m so so thrilled they have a permanent spot next to Cuantos Tacos at Arbor Food Park and we can no enjoy their pizza on the picnic tables out there!
The space is BYOB too, so perfect hangs for a group of friends, outside, with pizza (and tacos from Cuantos) and a bev in hand!
Biru Cocina Peruana
Another joy of living in East Austin is that Biru Cocina Peruana is posted up at Springdale General and you can get your hands on some of the most incredible Peruvian food in Austin for dinner! Simply order online, pickup and enjoy at Springdale General or take it to-go!
We had the Arroz Negro, Empanadas and the Ceviche Mixto and let me tell you – I LEGIT COULDN’T STOP DREAMING ABOUT IT ALL! Chef Florez has struck again with some of the brightest, tastiest flavors your mouth will have the pleasure of enjoying! He also is hosting Supper Clubs – check your calendar and reserve a seat if you can make it work with your schedule!
Make your reservations for these spots of plan your next takeout meal. Grab a friend, your date, or go solo! Just go to these 5 Must Try Spots asap!
Look for another one of these roundups coming soon. Until then, comment below if you have a spot you’d like to suggest I try!