10 MOST ANTICIPATED AUSTIN RESTAURANT, FOOD TRUCK, AND BAR OPENINGS OF 2024

It’s time for Eater Austin’s look ahead to the most anticipated restaurant, food truck, and bar openings of 2024. And there’s a lot to be excited about this year, at least when it comes to great food and drinks.

As per usual, there are a bunch of holdovers from 2023, such as Black-centered community space, cafe, and bar Origin Studio House. There’s also a number of New York neighborhood-leaning bars making their ways into Austin for the first time — Irish bar the Dead Rabbit, Aussie/Midwesternish the Flower Shop, and dive-ish bar Mother’s Ruin.

Elsewhere, there’s Austin food truck Micklethwait Craft Meats’ first Austin restaurant, an expansion of South African chain Nando’s Peri-Peri into the city for the first time, and an actual hotel pool bar that’s open to the public courtesy of a Nickel City co-owner.

And, as the year progresses, these places will open and Eater is tracking those too. These already include Tare, an omakase restaurant with South Texan flairs; the mega-exciting physical restaurant from new-school barbecue food truck LeRoy & Lewis, out-of-state chicken chain expansion Hattie B’s, the eagerly awaited Korean fried chicken of Donkey Mo’s, a high-end cocktail bar from a lauded chef Prélude, and Laotian truck Sekse Fud Ko’s upcoming full-on restaurant.

Without further ado, here are Eater Austin’s most anticipated food and drink openings of the year 2024. Let us know about other upcoming restaurant/food truck/bar/etc. openings through email to [email protected].

Swim Club

Address: 701 East 11th Street, Downtown

Opening: Monday, June 24, 2024

Downtown hotel the Sheraton at the Capitol transformed into the Downright Austin this past spring. And the revamp was originally supposed to feature two bars/restaurants from hip Miami hospitality group Lost Boy & Co., but a rep shared that those are no longer happening. Instead, one of those places is becoming a bar and restaurant set up at the actual swimming pool, led by Nickel City co-owner Travis Tober. Swim Club will have open-to-the-public access for swimming (!!!), food, and drinks in a space that feels very Miami Vice-slash-1980s. There’s also a disco lounge dubbed Randy’s Radio Room and the outdoor Lawn at Swim Club.

The Flower Shop

Address: 1300 East Seventh Street, Central East Austin

Opening: July 2024

Here’s the first of three New York bars aiming to expand into Austin. The Flower Shop is a retro-y bar and restaurant with what it describes as an Australian bar approach with a Midwestern American diner angle. Food-wise, expect pub-style dishes like meat pies, disco fries, and chicken wings; drinks span beers, well drinks, shots, and a short-but-sweet cocktail list. It’s taking over the unique space that had previously been home to gluten-free restaurant Wilder Wood.

The Dead Rabbit

Address: 204 East Sixth Street, Downtown

Opening: Summer 2024

And now, the second of the three New York bars: the expanding acclaimed New York Irish bar is making its way into Austin for the first time by and taking over the former B.D. Riley’s this spring. The Irish pub is naturally known for Irish whiskies, Irish coffee, Guinness, and a pub-style menu that includes fish and chips, Scotch eggs, and the like.

Loudmouth

Address: 1209 Rosewood Avenue, Central East Austin

Opening: Fall 2024

Way-popular brunch spot Paperboy is getting into the pizza game this year. In fact, it’s turning its neighboring vacant sprawling restaurant space — formerly upper-scale New Texan spot Rosewood — into a casual pizzeria focused on wood-fired pies, drinks, and lots of family-friendly nods.

Mother’s Ruin

Address: 1401 East Sixth Street, Building A, Suite 204, East Cesar Chavez

Opening: Fall 2024

Finally, the last of the three New York-to-Austin bar expansions. This time, it’s this dive-bar-ish spot with cocktails, pickleback shots, beers, and bar-adjacent foods like Old Bay-seasoned waffle fries, breakfast burritos, and brunch. It’s opening within mixed-use development Centro.

Micklethwait Craft Meats

Address: 4602 Tanney Street, East MLK

Opening: Early winter 2024

The essential barbecue truck is finally opening a physical restaurant in Austin proper this year (there had been one out in Smithville for two years). Owner and pitmaster Tom Micklethwait is turning the truck’s commissary and catering kitchen space into a whole market-style restaurant with indoor and outdoor areas, all the better to enjoy the smoked meats, sides, and sweets. Once the new Micklethwait restaurant opens, its food truck and beer bar Saddle Up will close at the end of the year.

Origin Studio House

Address: 2925 East 12th Street, Rosewood

Opening: 2024

Co-founders Brittney Williams and Dante Clemons envision this new coffee shop and bar as a welcoming community space for Austin’s Black population. That means featuring food trucks owned by people of color — think Mama A’s and Better Say Grace — and drinks taking its cues and ingredients from Black-owned brands and the African diaspora.

Ling Wu at the Grove

Address: 2625 Denali Summit Pass, Rosedale

Opening: 2024

Prolific and renowned Austin chef Ling Qi Wu — who is behind some of the city’s best Chinese and pan-Asian restaurants, see: Lin Asian Bar, Qi, Ling Kitchen, and Ling Wu Asian Restaurant — is opening her fifth Austin restaurant sometime this year. This one will focus on simpler Asian dishes made with local ingredients (let’s assume dumplings will be involved too).

Black Gold

Address: 1521 West Anderson Lane, Crestview

Opening: 2024

Now-closed food truck Wünder Pig is opening a new full-on barbecue restaurant sometime this year. Owner and pitmaster Mems Davila plans on offering a high-low smoked meats menu — think mac and cheese made with burnt ends and truffle oil, smoked duck with a peach chutney-barbecue sauce, and steak fries. The physical space will include an indoor dining room that shows off its smoke room, a patio, and much more.

Nando’s Peri-Peri

Address: 1825 McBee Street, Mueller

Opening: 2024

This is the year national and international chicken chains descend upon Austin. The first is this South African chain restaurant opening its first local spot this year within the Origin Hotel. The chicken is made using peri peri marinade, plus lots of salads, wraps, sandwiches, and sides and drinks.

Already Opened

Tare

Address: 12414 Alderbrook Drive, North Star

Opened: January 18, 2024

Chef Michael Carranza — known for his former restaurant Salty Cargo, as well as food truck Texas Sushiko — turned his pop-up omakase into a full-on physical restaurant. He and the team serves up kappo-style casual omakase with nigiri and cooked fish and meats in the 10-seat space within an office building.

LeRoy & Lewis

Address: 5621 Emerald Forest Drive, Garrison Park

Opened: February 28, 2024

The team behind acclaimed (and Eater Award-winning) new-school barbecue truck — pitmaster Evan LeRoy, director of operations Sawyer Lewis , Nathan Lewis, and Lindsey LeRoy — finally (finally!) opened that long-awaited physical restaurant. On deck is its fun smoked meats menu that makes ample use of whole-animal butchering thanks to more actual space, while adding in more snacks, wine, and beer. The space also includes a retail section with dry goods, foods, and packaged barbecue to-go for sale. The original truck at Cosmic Coffee off of South Congress has reopened too.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken

Address: 2529 South Lamar Boulevard, South Lamar

Opened: February 28, 2024

The first of two big chicken chains opened to Austin opened in the early winter. The Nashville hot chicken restaurant chain moved into the former Maria’s Taco Xpress as its first Austin location. The fast-casual spot serves its signature spicy fried chicken in sandwiches and platters along with desserts (banana pudding, cobblers), and cocktails (like boozy slushies).

Donkey Mo’s

Addresses: 5312 Airport Boulevard, Suite D, North Loop & 1100 South Lamar Boulevard, Suite 2140, South Lamar

Opened: The North Loop restaurant opened on March 14, 2024; the South Lamar restaurant on March 21, 2024.

The popular Austin Korean fried chicken restaurant came back with not just one new physical location, but two this year. Founder, owner, and chef Youngmin Noh focuses on that signature dish, alongside beers, sandwiches, and more. The South Lamar restaurant took over what had most very recently been the Jjim Korean BBQ space.

Bambino

Address: Springdale Road and Airport Boulevard, Govalle

Opened: March 14, 2024

Lauded Austin Italian restaurant L’Oca d’Oro got into the pizza game with its next new spot. Through the pizzeria, co-owners Adam Orman and chef Fiore Tedesco focus their attentions on sourdough and rectangular Roman-style pies cooked in electric ovens, paired alongside snacks, burgers, tinned fish, and drinks.

Redbud Ice House

Address: 2027 Anchor Lane, MLK

Opened: March 19, 2024

The Olamaie team opened this very casual bar and restaurant in the former BBQ Ramen Tatsu-ya/Contigo mostly patio space. This means burgers, beers, and soft serve.

Half Moon

Address: 2316 Webberville Road, East Austin

Opened: April 7, 2024

Fresh off opening New York City-styled Murray’s Tavern in December, co-owner Travis Tober opened this standalone bar on the former Gourmand property’s patio. The casual alfresco bar serves up rum and agave-based drinks, plus beers, etc. There are also monthly free pig roasts.

Busty’s Bar and Jukebox

Address: 6214 Cameron Road, Windsor Park

Opened: April 9, 2024

Some of the unnamed members of hot-new-bar Daydreamer — plus the White Horses’s Busty Morris and Kinda Tropical chef James Durham — opened this new casual neighborhood-centric bar and restaurant. The menu is full of “truck stop food,” with all-day breakfast, sandwiches, burritos, and more. And, for drinks, look for easy beers, cocktails, and tiki options.

Lao’d Bar

Address: 9909 Farm to Market Road 969, Building 4, Far East Austin

Opened: April 24, 2024

Sekse Fud Ko’s Bob Somsith opened a full-on restaurant serving up Laotian American dishes plus cocktails and lagers (including rice ones) in this new physical space.

P Thai’s Khao Man Gai

Address: 4807 Airport Boulevard, North Loop

Opened: April 30, 2024

Though chef Thai Changthong had to close his very popular food stall P Thai’s Khao Man Gai earlier this year because his host site Hong Kong Supermarket closed down, he already found a new location. The full-on Thai Chinese restaurant took over what had been Tex-Mex spot Vamonos, serving up the namesake chicken and rice dish. Plus the larger space allows him to expand with other Thai Chinese foods too.

Prélude

Address: 707 West 10th Street, Downtown

Opened: May 2, 2024

Chef Mathew Peters opened the first of his two-part-dining-experience plan in Austin this spring. Prélude is his vision of a reservations-only high-end cocktail lounge with drinks and New American canapes. To come later will be the full tasting menu restaurant Maven next year.

Lil’ Easy Fine Cajun Food & Bar

Address: 5000 East Cesar Chavez Street, Govalle

Opened: May 7, 2024

The teams behind New Orleans-ish diner Sawyer & Co. and Mexican restaurant and bar De Nada Cantina is opening this Southern Louisianan restaurant just in time for Mardi Gras. This third spot will focus on Southern Louisianan cuisines with many Cajun dishes. Think boudin links, meat pies, gumbo, and rum bundt cakes, plus related drinks like hurricanes and Painkillers.

Update, June 13: This guide, originally published on January 3, has been updated to include openings and readjusted projected opening dates.

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