Yet another delicious year of eating my way around the best Austin restaurants in 2023! 2023 was full of scrumptious bites around Austin and I still have so many spots on my ever-growing list. Oops! Some of these opened in 2023, others were open and I just got to them. Regardless, there is no shortage of restaurants opening (and closing 😓).
Keep in mind, these are MY favorites of the year. If I didn’t include one of yours, that’s ok! We can still be friends!
This all gluten-free restaurant in North Austin quickly became my go-to for an incredible meal. It’s a sister restaurant to the beloved ATX Cocina so you know they’re making delish food and cocktails! Hit them up for happy hour and take advantage of super deals at the bar or outdoor patio. Get the branzino, whole chicken, ceviche, papas, Pasion y Paraiso!
Address: 9400 Arboretum Blvd.
Honeymoon Spirit Lounge
It took me longer than it should have to get to Honeymoon Spirit Lounge but I’ve been back a few times since my first. The decor is stunning, it is perfect for a date night or a group hang, and the menu is solid. Happy hour is a good time to visit, since you’ll get a deal on a bunch of yummies but the burger, oysters and drinks are worth it any time of the day!
Address: 624 W. 34th
I tried this spot a few times this year and was so impressed every visit. Probably in my top 3 meals of the year, honestly. Every dish is just exquisite. Enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine downstairs in the Agave Bar while you wait for a table if you didn’t reserve ahead of time, or even ask for a table down there. It’s a vibe! Definitely order the Morata Shrimp, Scallops, Wagyu Steak, and Beef Fat Potatoes.
Address: 800 W. Cesar Chavez
Looking for a date night spot? Remember, gal dates are date nights too! Here are my favorite spots for date night -> http://atx-bites.com/best-date-night-spots-in-austin/
Holiday on 7th
Feel like you’re transported somewhere tropical when you check out Holiday on 7th! They have fancy cocktails, mocktails, some of my favorite small plates and gorgeous interior design! Order the shrimp cocktail, kale salad, cashew onion dip and a few cocktails and enjoy!
Address: 5020 E. 7th
One of several of Chef Ling’s restaurants, Ling Wu is not only a jaw dropping spot, but the food is exceptional. Order the Soup Dumplings, Lobster Cheese Puff, Crab Meat Fish Maw Soup Dumplings, Akashi Beef Potstickers, Kung Pao Chicken, and Peking Duck. Be prepared for your tastebuds to sing!
Address: 2625 Perseverance Blvd.
Uptown Sports Club
Aaron Franklin opened this spot in a long-time abandoned spot on E. 6th and it’s been this Cajun gal’s go-to for poboys and gumbo ever since. The cocktails are dang good and strong. Hit them up for lunch and order the burger – trust me!
Address: 1200 E. 6th
When Chef Reyna opens a brick-and-mortar, you stop everything and go! This new spot in Mueller was such a hit – staff are amazing too! You can get breakfast tacos in the AM, but stop on later and order the Shrimp Ceviche, Veracruz Antojito, or Mole Enchiladas and get your socks blown off! So good!
Address: 1905 Aldrich St.
Yet another hotel restaurant that truly impressed! I checked them out for brunch and it was easily one of the best brunches of the year! Start with a mimosa flight, and skip straight to dessert and order the Pecan Praline French Toast. Y’all, I have no words for the French toast. You just need to order it and you’ll understand. I mean, look at it 👇🏼
Address: 304 E. Cesar Chavez
Korean-influenced food and a wine bar? Yes, please! Underdog definitely isn’t the underdog in Austin! What a delightful meal and stellar wine list. Loved the sweet potato donuts, pork belly ssam, and miso blondie. I’ve heard the ebi burger is one for the books so I’ll try that next!
Address: 1600 S. 1st St.
I was impatiently waiting for something to open in the shuttered Pitchfork Pretty space, and Ezov knocked it out of the park with their Televiv decor and vibe! It’s a louder spot, so if you’re looking for an intimate date night, maybe sit out on the patio. Order the smashed cucumbers, Frena, and chicken shawarma. It was all divine!
Address: 2708 E. Cesar Chavez
Imagine Greek island vibes and YAMAS will take you there! Austin needed this fine dining Greek restaurant! Make your reservation now because this one is hard to grab a seat. Order the Hamachi Ceviche, Whole Branzino, Spring Roll Moussaka, Fried Feta, and Baklava. Wash it down with a cocktail or Greek wine!
Address: 5308 Balcones Dr.
Brunch or dinner, just go! This cute spot in Bouldin Creek serves up some of my favorite ‘za in town but also salads, pasta, cocktails! The brunch pizza was to die for!
Address: 1816 S. 1st St.
This SoCo sushi spot has some of my favorite sushi (and kakigori)! It’s pricey so of course, I’d recommend for a special occasion. Cocktails are great here too!
Order any of their unique tempuras, the yellowtail scallion roll, fluke roll, spicy tuna roll, lots of sashimi, and treat yourself to kakigori!
Address: 1716 S. Congress
Can’t forget about the oldies but goodies around town! We hit up Hillside Farmacy for brunch after a long time and I was blown away! The pancake craving hit hard and theirs slapped! Get a side of bacon with it trust me!
Address: 1209 E. 11th St.
Diner Bar is worth several visits if you ask me! Cocktail game is strong here! Obsessed with their east coast oysters. Nom on the snapper crudo, deviled eggs, and steak frites! Thank me later!
Address: 500 San Jacinto
Probably the hardest omakase to get a seat to and getting a spot was like winning the lottery! Chef Mike’s omakase is the most reasonably priced traditional omakase in Austin! Keep trying to get a res because it is worth it! Seats are limited so this experience is pretty intimate. I loved the dialogue along with the meal and hope to attend another one day! Chef Mike flies his fish in from Japan regularly and has eliminated the middle man!
Address: 4600 Mueller Blvd. #1035
I do not eat strictly plant-based and def love my meat, but if I could eat Fabrik everyday, I’d gladly go vegan! They offer a 5 or 7-course menu but I was full after the 5-courses! Each dish is beautifully plated and instaworthy! Chef Je is a magician in the kitchen! Make a reservation stat!
Address: 1701 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
Last but not least, Chef Gabe Erales’ Bacalar was such a dreamy spot! I’ve always loved his dishes anywhere he’s been and the high praise and accolades he’s earned over the years are well deserved!
Sit upstairs in the lounge-y dining area if you can. Start off with a Templo de Piña, the masa dumplings, Sikil Pak, Kanpachi Ceviche, Cochinita Pibil (best I’ve had), and King Prawns!
Address: 44 East Ave.
What a delicious year it was! I have sooooo many restaurants to try in 2024, so I hope the new openings slow down lol!