Cold-Weather Comfort Food

Austin's 15 essential cold-weather comfort foods to keep you warm this winter

Austin's 15 essential cold-weather comfort foods to keep you warm

Michi Ramen Texas ribs noodle soup
Texas-themed ramen from Michi Ramen. Michi Ramen/Facebook
Micklethwait Craft Meats brisket frito pie
Brisket Frito pie from Micklethwait Craft Meats. Micklethwait Craft Meats/Instagram
Epicerie restaurant French onion soup
French onion soup from épicerie. épicerie/Facebook
Michi Ramen Texas ribs noodle soup
Micklethwait Craft Meats brisket frito pie
Epicerie restaurant French onion soup

Wintertime demands comfort food. When the weather outside is frightful, cozy up to one of these 15 delightful dishes from some of Austin's hottest restaurants.

This Japanese noodle dish transcends a childhood spent slurping Top Ramen. We suggest the Texas-themed bowl from Michi Ramen, which comes with ribs and other spicy ingredients sure to heat you up: jalapeños, hot barbecue sauce, and sinus-clearing red onions.

If you're hankering for chili, look no further than the Texas Chili Parlor. The basic chili bowl is the way to go, but the heat level varies from mild to spicy to "hot, hot, hot," so be careful with picking your spice level — the folks here don't play around.

Frito pie
Frito pie is a relatively easy creation: chili plus Frito chips equals deliciousness. However, nobody does it quite like Micklethwait Craft Meats. These protein masters offer brisket Frito pie, a heartier version of the cafeteria classic with cheese, cilantro, escabeche, and more.

Macaroni and cheese
For most people, mac and cheese is a side dish — but not at Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill. Their green chile macaroni is a cheesy concoction that comes with grilled chicken, black beans, corn, green chiles, bell peppers, and bacon gratin, making for a great winter entree.

If you want tamales, head to Tamale House East. Their handmade creations come in three varieties for the holidays: pork, chicken tomatillo, and vegetarian-friendly.

This Vietnamese noodle soup is often touted as a cure-all, especially for hangovers. Although tons of joints in town have great pho, Pho Saigon Noodle House is one of the best. There are tons of options, all equally as meaty (and delicious) as the next, but we suggest going classic with No. 9 Special Combination that comes with a stacked blend of different beef cuts.

Pot pie
Although Royers Pie Haven's claim to fame is sweet and fruity desserts, this little baked goods outpost also offers an array of savory pies. The chicken pot pie satisfies our comfort food craving with a flaky crust that houses a mess of chicken, carrots, peas, creamy sauce, and more.

French onion soup
The French onion soup at épicerie is so good, it's almost criminal. A warm bowl here is hearty, cheesy, and flavorful — everything you want in a soup and more.

We have to give props to Kin & Comfort for their unique take on meatloaf. The folks here have taken the Southern dish and added Thai flair along with a side of mashed potatoes and pickled mushrooms. Follow that up with a slice of pie (sweet cabocha is the current special) and you have a well-rounded winter meal.

Bring your appetite to Patrizi's and order the Carbonara Alexandra — you won't be disappointed. This filling pasta plate comes topped with coddled egg yolk and bacon. Be forewarned: This is a food truck, so we suggest takeout to avoid eating outside during bad weather.

Caldo de pollo
Caldo (aka soup) is the quintessential dish for cold temps. The version at Amaya's Taco Village is very traditional, and comes with onions, cilantro, and jalapeños if you like the extra kick. You can also take your order to go and enjoy it at home.

If you're a fan of sweet and savory, then the yellow curry from 888 Pan Asian Restaurant is a must this holiday season. Your choice of meat or tofu bathing in a delicious coconut yellow curry with tasty vegetables will definitely warm you up.

Biscuits and gravy
Trying to get out of bed when it's cold is hard — unless you're waking up to biscuits and gravy. Dai Due kicks up the Southern classic with venison breakfast sausage. The menu at this east side restaurant is constantly changing, so if you want some biscuit and gravy action, get it while it's hot.

Chili relleno
A little spice is a surefire way to warm up. Habanero Mexican Cafe has a tasty chili relleno chock full of ground beef or chicken (you decide) and fried to perfection. All that plus rice and beans means you won't walk away hungry.

Steak and eggs
The only thing better than steak and eggs is steak and eggs wrapped in a tortilla. We suggest swinging by Taco Joint for this hearty breakfast delight, which comes with steak, scrambled eggs, and smoky gouda on your choice of tortilla.