Best New Restaurants

Austin hot spots dominate list of best new restaurants in Texas

Local hot spots dominate list of best new restaurants in Texas

Launderette Crab Toast
Launderette's signature toasts are one of the many reasons it was named one of Texas Monthly's best new restaurants. Photo by Melody Fury
Juniper grilled squid
"Food porn doesn't get any better than the picture-perfect stylings at Juniper," writes TexMo's Patricia Sharpe. Photo by Carla Williams
Vox Table Tasmanian trout
The "kitchen chemistry" at Vox Table earn the restaurant a spot on the top 10 list. Photo by Melody Fury
Emmer and Rye 2015 Austin restaurant polenta
Emmer & Rye's global menu, dim-sum service, and contemporary design make it a best new restaurant in Texas. Photo by Melody Fury
Launderette Crab Toast
Juniper grilled squid
Vox Table Tasmanian trout
Emmer and Rye 2015 Austin restaurant polenta

The Austin area is well-represented on Texas Monthly food critic Patricia Sharpe's list of the state's best new restaurants. Four restaurants making the cut, up from two in 2015

"Since I began compiling our annual roundup, in 2002, I’ve never seen as many exceptional new restaurants," Sharpe writes. "Austin in particular was on fire."

To qualify, these places had to open between November 1, 2014, and November 30, 2015. 

Leading the pack is Launderette, the east side hot spot that was also one of our favorite new restaurants of 2015. Sharpe praises the modern Mediterranean restaurant for Chef Rene Ortiz's "over-the-top flavors" and "pastry wizard" Laura Sawicki's sticky toffee pudding.

Juniper also makes the top 10, touted for the "picture-perfect" food styling, the restaurant's design, and the Northern Italian menu created by chefs Nicholas Yanes and Kyle Barker.

Next up on the list is South Lamar's Vox Table, helmed by Chef Joe Anguiano. The restaurant's "kitchen chemistry" and its stellar dishes like the smoked trout and hanger steak designate it as one of the best in the state.

Last but certainly not least is grain-focused Emmer & Rye, which opened on Rainey Street in November 2015. Sharpe writes, "the heart and mind behind the operation belong to 31-year-old Kevin Fink," whose unique, locally sourced menu does not disappoint.

Five more Austin eateries — Bullfight, Fukumoto, Italic, Mongers Market + Kitchen, and Apis — earn honorable mentions. 

The rest of the top 10 consists of three Houston restaurants (Helen, SaltAir Seafood Kitchen, and Cureight); two from Dallas (Rapscallion, Ten); and one from Fort Worth (Horseshoe Hill Cafe).

Looking ahead to this year? Check out our list of the 15 most anticipated restaurant openings for 2016.