News You Can Eat
8 things to know in Austin food right now: Wine, coffee, and tacos come together on Barton Springs
Editor’s note: We get it. It can be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of Austin’s restaurant and bar scene. We have you covered with our regular roundup of essential food news.
It's still early — more specifically, it's a soft launch — but Wanderlust Wine Co. is now operating its third location, this time at 1601 Barton Springs Rd. The two existing locations are known for commitment to the bit, through events and popups, as well as a fun wine tasting system that works on visitor-operated tap. The new location partners with Tacos TJ, which offers Tijuana-style birria tacos, and Vision Coffee, which serves up adaptogens in its brews. (Think helpful herbs and mushrooms.) During this stage of opening, this Wanderlust location operates Tuesday through Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm, and Sunday from 8 am - 6 pm.
OneTaco (stylized ONETACO.) is certainly more than just one, and it's growing. A new location at 5425 Burnet Rd. #110 makes eight of the fast-casual restaurants. The simple menu offers breakfast and street-style tacos with a few twists here and there, but an emphasis on authenticity since the restaurant's inception in 2009 as a food truck. A grand opening event on April 30 runs from noon to 3 pm with margaritas, face painting, a DJ, and a giveaway: the "Golden Ticket Taco" promises free tacos for a year. The location will donate 15 percent of proceeds from the opening week to the 4ATX Foundation.
Other news and notes
Rules & Regs at Fairmont Austin is changing its rules with a new happy hour (Thursday to Sunday, 6-8 pm) for deals on Modelo ($5), margaritas ($8), and suadero or carnitas tacos ($10). It also added two cocktails to the lineup: "The 7th Four" daiquiri sampling tower presents four cocktails — strawberry, mango, banana, and lime — on an Instagrammable stand, and the ‘Haily Mary’ Bloody Mary uses Grey Goose as a canvas for a guest to choose the perfect toppings. Reserve on OpenTable (or just walk in).
Bijan Mustardson, the alias of Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson in the form of a condiment for sale, is celebrating the upcoming NFL draft at Koko's Bavarian with a watch party on April 27. There will be drinks, snacks, "custom swag, and autographed gear," while the draft plays alongside a live performance by Thebrosfresh. Students get in free with a school ID, and further proceeds go toward Tankproof, a national swim lessons nonprofit. Tickets (starting at $10) available on Eventbrite.
The 2023 round of University of Texas graduates are about to embark on their post-grad lives (or maybe stick around the best grad school in Texas). To send them off, Cookie Rich and UT alum Lorin Peters collaborated to make a burnt orange treat (in color, not flavor) with a "dollop of salted caramel," perfect for a low-key gift ($39). Zombie Taco, the restaurant at The Moxy hotel, is also congratulating folks in a cap and gown on May 6 with buy-one-get-one tacos all day.
Zanzibar, a tiki bar on the rooftop of the Austin Marriott Downtown is turning up the tiki knob with a rotating cocktail series called Tiki Tuesdays. Once a month on a Tuesday, a different bartender will present a speciality cocktail in the tiki tradition. There's no one flavor profile to stick to, so some drinks may be sweet, spicy, or entirely unique, but they're all inspired by tropical flavors. Zanzibar also has a meals and snacks menu to work through on these repeat visits as new cocktails come out.
Austinites curious about growing food in their semi-urban home can get a closer look at the food system at Urban Roots' annual Tour de Farm. The organization says it's "the only farm-based youth leadership organization in Austin," and operates two farms with paid learning opportunities. During the May 3 event at Meanwhile Brewing, the organization will highlight some of its youth participants' ideas alongside cooking by Chef Damian Rockway of Distant Relatives. Tickets ($175) available at betterunite.com.
Maie Day, the steakhouse offshoot of southern restaurant Olamaie, is celebrating its first birthday with a party on May 4. Visitors can purchase a wristband ($35) to sample bites by the restaurant and access the bar all night through a sort of pre-existing afterparty; The South Congress hotel, Maie Day's home, hosts a monthly event called First Thursday that brings together local businesses and up-and-coming artists for a community get together. Birthday visitors get early access to First Thursday. Tickets available on Tock.