As far as we’re concerned, Easter is the flagship holiday of 2021. It’s been a long year, and this spring is looking a lot like the finish line. It’s fair to say we’re all ready for the resurrection of Austin’s social calendar.
Whether you’re stuffing candy in eggs as an excuse for an outdoor activity or it’s all going straight down the hatch, leaving the main feast up to the pros is really in the spirit of this holiday weekend. If you’re ready to refresh your list of restaurants to support, here are 14 eateries inviting Austinites to their Easter tables or sending complete feasts home to yours.
Second Bar + Kitchen
It’s farm to city to table — and then maybe to your home. Second Bar + Kitchen is offering an in-person special ($75 per person or a la carte), as well as a four-course take-home meal ($125 for two people). Both dinner menus feature the same spread of deviled eggs (It is Easter, after all!), an asparagus and sun-dried-tomato tart, sugar snap pea and burrata salad, slow-roasted ham and, finally, orange-honey cheesecake. The Easter Heat & Eat menu includes indulgent add-ons like cinnamon rolls, a meat and cheese board, and cocktail ingredients, just to name a few. Make sure you order takeaway before 2 pm March 31.
Serving Mediterranean fare on South Congress by way of Chicago, Aba offers some zesty take-home twists on holiday comfort food. On the menu this Easter is spicy hummus, village salad, za’atar roasted chicken, beef tenderloin kebab with lemon dill rice, Brussels sprouts, and isot double chocolate cake ($54.95 per person, plus tax). There are even more add-on items, like charred oregano lamb chops, kids’ meals, and cocktail kits or wine selected by a sommelier. Order the day before you need it by 8 pm for pickup or delivery. Deliveries go out April 3 and 4. Call (737) 273-0199 to order.
Anyone with an extravagant Easter hat to debut can be sure they won’t be overdressed at this Greek revival mansion turned boutique hotel. Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, Hotel Ella offers a classic Easter menu with deviled eggs, asparagus, smoked ham, and prime rib ($70 for adults, $25 for children; reserve online). Diners are also invited to a petting zoo by Tiny Tails to You from noon to 3 pm on the lawn. If the animals and architecture can’t tempt your adventurous spirit, you can pick up a picnic for four to go, including sandwiches, charcuterie, banana pudding, and more ($150). Preorder your picnic online.
Buona Pasqua to our Italian friends (and our friends who know the Italians are wonderful people to spend Easter with). Juniper, the chic Northern Italian restaurant known for its avant-garde plating, is celebrating the beginning of an ongoing brunch service this Easter. The prix fixe menu includes antipasti, honey shallot salad, potato frico (a potato and cheese pancake, aka an Italian latke), fresh pastries, lasagna, and selections from Austin’s beloved Uncle Nicky’s ($45 per person). Reserve online for the inaugural brunch (11 am to 3 pm) or for dinner (5 to 9 pm).
Café No Sé and Central Standard
Staycation can be just one meal at the South Congress Hotel. Café No Sé is keeping its offerings in line with the usual bright but rich fare. Nos sabemos, this is a great option for those looking for something light and spring-ready. Easter brunch and dinner will feature blueberry and lemon cheesecake pain perdu (French toast), a festive orange mascarpone Easter bread, and grilled quail with wild rice. Just next door, the Central Standard bar and grill is offering berry pastries made in-house, lamb and root vegetable hash, and spring vegetable pasta with sea scallops, available both Saturday and Sunday. Reserve online.
An East Austin favorite for its simultaneously refined and retro attitude, Launderette is going takeout-only this holiday. Choose between the arctic char with confit lemon and herb salad or the pine-nut-crusted lamb loin with honey, Dijon, and jus. Both are accompanied by haricots verts, heirloom carrots, mint chutney, pull-apart rolls, and ricotta pound cake, with lots of surprising supporting ingredients mixed in throughout, like citrus tahini dressing and black mission figs ($78 to feed two). Pair it with a classic carrot cake or a unique lemon yuzu tart with creme fraiche and fennel pollen ($40 each). Preorder online.
Good news for anyone who missed Contigo’s Passover catering (or is craving seconds). The proud Texas restaurant modeled after a ranch developed a prix fixe menu that could stretch over a whole day of rich grazing. Start with the frittata and morning buns, move on through the sugar snap pea salad, savor the whole chicken with spiced quinoa and roasted broccoli, and finish with the salted caramel chocolate tart ($195). Fill up on a few other a la carte items and keep sipping those wine and mimosa kits. Preorder online.
Easter doesn’t have to be a formal affair. Sometimes we just need some finger food to lighten up after a winter inside. TLC Austin is serving a coastal Eastern dinner right here in our landlocked city, with lobster deviled eggs, jumbo crab cakes, and Cuban sandwiches. It’s all available for in-person dining and takeout (for full-comfort finger licking). Preorder online.
If bread and charcuterie are must-haves at your holiday table, you have every excuse to make Easy Tiger your only stop. Better yet, have the nice bakery folks drop it off. The Austin staple is getting festive with its popular holiday pull-apart rolls and spring cookie tin (poppyseed shortbread, lemon sugar, and orange-honey). It’s also introducing two new quiches: bacon and spinach, and asparagus and tomato. If you’re taking the reins on the main course, there’s a ham bundle with glaze, house mustard, and Hill Country rye ($100 to serve five to six). Preorder online for pickup or delivery between April 2 and 4.
The Quack’s Bakery trio is one of Austin’s most reliable destinations for festive holiday treats, as well as last-minute, late-night cravings. This Easter, the special menus between the three locations include a bunny-themed carrot cake, assorted themed cupcakes, kits for DIY Easter egg cookies, lamb cakes, macaron Easter eggs, and more. Three new items will stay on the menu for a while: matcha green tea cupcakes; a coconut torte; and picnic baskets with sandwiches, chips, pickles, desserts of your choice, drinks (deep gasp for air), an actual picnic basket, place settings, and a blanket to spread all these Easter miracles out on ($35 to feed two, $70 for four). Call 512-453-3399 to order.
There is a right way to celebrate Easter, and it’s to focus on the sweets. To make it easy on you, Bakery Lorraine put together a holiday box with two egg-shaped moon pies and three tarts: one chocolate nest, one lemon blueberry, and one adorable bunny that’s almost too cute to eat ($28 bundle). So no one has to fight over the bunny, you can also order each item a la carte from April 2 to 4. Preorder the box or a show-stopping spiced carrot cake ($65) online by noon March 31.
Doesn’t doing nothing on a Sunday sound extra nice? The grab-and-go South Congress Hotel cafe Mañana can get that day started with some low-maintenance, high-reward specials, including chocolate bark and an iced matcha cooler. And if you’re more of an Easter overachiever, good news: Mañana will be selling those specials for a whole week before the big day. Stop by between 7 am and 7 pm any day.
Maybe a Sunday ham isn’t enough for you. Maybe you need to pregame with, oh, say, an adult Easter egg hunt on a historic farm illuminated by flashlight? If you search responsibly on Saturday night ($25 per person), you can get it all out of your system before Grandma’s more proper Sunday supper. There will be prizes, a swing band, and a barbecue chicken dinner included with each ticket. Beer and wine will be available for purchase. Get tickets online.