Every few months, I stop and take a moment to think about the restaurants that are really impressing me in the moment. Some are new, but often I try to think about the oldie-but-goldies that often get overlooked due to all the new restaurants in town.
This month, I’ve created a list of 5 places that I can’t stop thinking about! #justcantgetenough.
There are endless excuses to go out to eat in December (in-laws in town, celebrating accomplishments made in 2017, ringing in the new year), so I hope you’re starting to call your favorite restaurants to book that table!
Let me know the restaurants you’re crushing on. You now I’m never tired of talking about food. 😉
Juniper ended their Sunday morning brunch service and replaced it with a Sunday dinner service; I’ve gotta say, I’m a big fan of this idea. Sunday evening is a lovely time to go out to eat on a date night, and too many restaurants close their doors in the evening because they’ve just finished serving a huge, busy brunch.
Juniper’s Sunday dinner service is the same as the other nights of the week, with one exception: they offer lasagna on Sundays, and you must try it! It’s a big, thick piece of homemade noodles, béchamel, and oooh, yum. I ate a few bites and saved the rest for lunch the next day, and Monday was just a little bit better. 🙂
Juniper is known for their vast gin selection, so be sure to try out one of their gin-based cocktails, or order something off-menu. The bartender will know how to make it!
I hung out with 4 of my Austin food blogger friends last week, which is always a fun, rowdy, ridiculous time of stuffing our faces, swapping stories, and snapping insta stories. We would’ve made a little bit of a scene if we had been at Caroline, the downstairs restaurant which has a more sophisticated feel.
But Upstairs is a casual, fun, laid-back bar with snacky foods (my favorites were the walking taco: basically a chili/frito pie served in a chip bag, and the 4 types of chips: lime salted plantain, yellow corn, flour tortilla, and spicy kettle style.)
This is a unique space because it’s downtown, yet spacious. It serves yummy, cost-efficient food and drinks, but it’s still classy, tidy, and clean. It’s a well-designed, modern bar, but there are still big picnic tables and games of giant jenga, corn hole, foosball, and shuffleboard to make your inner child happy.
You need to try brunch here! I’m telling you…it’s one of the best brunches in Austin! I love the space (it has totally mastered that whole desert chic trend that everyone is talking about), and the food surpasses my expectations, every time.
Sne of my favorite parts about Chicon (and its sister restaurant, Contigo) are the pastries. Chef Kendall Melton has also made pastries at Sugar Mama’s, Contigo, and Odd Duck, just to name a few. If I could buy a whole loaf of that banana bread with pumpkin butter, I would!
Dining out is obviously about more than just the food; it’s about the entire experience. If we only cared about the food, we’d order everything through Uber Eats. Chicon does a lovely job of treating the customer with care, creating a happy, fun, memorable dining experience.
4. Full English
The first European city Nate and I ever travelled to together was London. Because of that (and because it’s just an all-around incredible place on earth), we get frequent cravings to visit again. Often (and I mean really often, like once a week), one of us will say, “don’t you wish we were at a Pub right now, drinking a half pint of bitter out on the streets of Chelsea?
I am SO excited to have heard about Full English! They’ve been on South Manchaca for 7 years after starting at a farmer’s market, but I just tried them for the first time recently. They’re a family-owned British restaurant serving all-day British breakfast, teas, and homemade sweets and savories.
Nate and I met up for lunch here, and enjoyed a full english breakfast (banger, brit bacon, egg, mushrooms, tomato, and fried bread) and two pasties (hand pies).
British food is simple, wholesome, and cozy. I felt like I was in a warm little breakfast cafe in London instead of a south Austin whole-in-the-wall.
This food truck is the new kid on the block, and it’s good! Owner Nahika is Haitian-born, Boston-raised, and she and her mom cook the scrumptious Caribbean food here.
If you’ve never tried Caribbean food, talk to Nahika or Christelle and they can tell you all about what’s in a typical island meal. A big combo of stewed chicken with peppers and onions in a spicy tomato sauce, fried plantains, red beans and rice, and potato salad fills you up, stomach and soul.
Have the best Monday! I hope that something wonderful happens for you today.