Austin has no shortage of excellent food and drink options, and that number is only growing, thanks to a handful of new restaurants and bars that have landed in the live-music capital of the world. Whether you’re looking for rib-sticking Southern staples, hearty Italian classics or exotic wild game grilled up by a big-name chef, the Texas capital should rank high on your eating and drinking itinerary, now more than ever. As if this popular destination needed any more reasons to visit, we found them — six, to be exact.
You’ll know you’re in for some Southern hospitality with one glance at the menu here, which dedicates a whole section to grits (three different varieties). Then there’s the house specialty: “three fat biscuits,” an offering that often attracts more than 360 nightly orders and usually sells out. But between nightly “Sunday Suppers,” daily social happy hours and tantalizing bites like smoked trout dip and crispy beef tendon, there’s a whole lot more to like. 500 W. 5th St., Austin, TX 78701; 512-888-9133; austinfixe.com
Executive chef Frank Mnuk, pastry chef Callie Speer and head bartender Jennifer Keyser are behind the forthcoming Geraldine’s, a restaurant located on the fourth floor of Hotel Van Zandt, the latest concept from Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. Guests can expect daily live music, views of Lady Bird Lake and locally inspired sharing plates, such as sunflower seed risotto and smoked yellowtail tacos. 605 Davis St., Austin, TX 78701; geraldinesaustin.com
Lonesome Dove Austin
Fifteen years after opening his beloved Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth, chef Tim Love is opening a second location in Austin’s Warehouse District. Look for dishes that reflect Love’s appreciation for wild game and wood-fired cooking, from wild boar ribs and porcini-crusted, spatchcock-style guinea fowl to a wild game fettine trio of duck, elk and lamb. As such, opt for a cocktail that will carry its own weight, like the jalapeño cucumber margarita or TX Whiskey Ginger. 419 Colorado St., Austin, TX 78701; lonesomedoveaustin.com
What started as a butcher stand at the local farmers’ market in 2006 has since morphed into its own brick-and-mortar restaurant eight years later in East Austin, where guests can check in with cocktails like peach and nectarine white-wine punch and check out with any one of the butcher shop’s souvenir-worthy packaged goods. Come hungry: Chef Jesse Griffiths continues to reveal his meat-centric talents, whether it’s elk ceviche or a simple (but masterfully executed) pork chop. Items are served either à la carte or as part of his three-course supper-club menu. 2406 Manor Rd., Austin, TX 78722, daidue.com
Austin chef Jacob Weaver helms the menu at this recently opened restaurant, where he puts modern spins on classic Italian favorites, such as fontina-stuffed veal and pork meatballs, wood-fired pizza with soppressata and arrabiata and Texas quail al forno, with farro, prosciutto and fig mostarda. Don’t miss the Negroni flight, which includes four one-ounce servings of the bright and boozy Italian sipper. 1500 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, TX 78704; juliet-austin.com
Executive chef Ryan Shields teamed up with restaurateur Shawn Cirkiel for this September opening, which brings a taste of Spain to Airport Boulevard. Cirkiel and Shields did their homework for the opening, traveling to Madrid, San Sebastián, Bilbao and Salamanca to drum up regional specialties, such as paella with clams and chorizo, monkfish with potatoes and braised beef with Rioja and almond gremolata. 4807 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78751; 512-474-2029; bullfight-austin.com