News You Can Eat
Bakery shrinkage and a pizza rally top Austin's 10 tastiest bites of restaurant news
Editor's Note: The Austin restaurant scene does not really care that it's a new year. Sorry. It's chaos as always — restaurants opening and closing, asking for help, and teaming up together. But here's what can change: your commitment to trying (mostly) local food and drinks on a regular basis. We'll be here weekly to nudge you in the right direction.
Openings and closings
Swedish Hill, a popular bakery known for its fancy brunch and sandwiches, is going through an evolution; It's actually getting smaller, for now. On Instagram, the MML Hospitality business posted that the current spot at 1120 W. 6th Street would close on Sunday, January 14. It'll then move just yards to the west, at 1128 W. 6th. By late 2026, the bakery should be in a new building in the Sixth&Blanco development. Service will mostly be to-go in the interim. Some commenters are in a panic over the shreds of original-location energy being dissipated, but others are just hoping their favorite cakes will stick around.
According to vegan pizzeriaLi'l Nonna's, coffee shop and food truck parkAni's Day and Night is going through some leasing turbulence. Unfortunately, that affects both businesses, as the Li'l Nonna's food truck cannot usually operate when Ani's is closed. "This couldn’t have happened at a worse time for us financially," an Instagram post by the pizza truck says. The post announced a reopening on January 4 after a temporary closure, and urged supporters to come out and "buy lots of food"; They did until the truck sold out. More rallying is planned indefinitely.
Now that we're done talking about fiddly pastries, it's time to let the dogs out. California-based hot dog chainDog Haus Biergarten has opened its second Austin-area location in Cedar Park. The new restaurant at 3101 E. Whitestone Blvd. has two dozen beers on tap, several kinds of gourmet hot dogs, sausages, and burgers, and even meatless options. The cocktail list has a local slant, using Austin spirits. And, of course, dogs are allowed to the Dog Haus, as long as they stick to the patio.
ICYMI: One old-fashioned supper club called The Statesman is set to open on January 19, and wants to create a strong culture for socializing amongst regulars. Famous San Francisco bagel shop Midnite Bagel just started its residency at The Loren, an upscale hotel on the Colorado River. It brings its sourdough bagels for a month-long pop-up, to-go shop. This section is usually for openings, but this is a can't-miss: We shared our top meals of 2023 and hope you'll be inspired to try some of them, too.
Other news and notes
Longtime Austin taco joint Onetaco is getting creative with a new "Taco of the Month" program. These street-style tacos are usually very simple, but the debut monthly special gets a little more elevated. The "Yucateco Taco" combines black beans, pickled red onions, and cochinita pibil — traditionally a slow-roasted suckling pig, but the announcement does not distinguish with the word "pork" — on a corn taco. It looks like Onetaco will be previewing each special on Instagram. This taco, previously featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, is available throughout January.
We Are Blood, a blood donation organization servicing Central Texas, is celebrating National Blood Donor Month with a culinary contest. Blood or platelet donors from now until January 14 will be entered in a different kind of drawing for a private dinner at Austin's famous Franklin Barbecue. 20 donors will win. We Are Blood told KVUE on January 4 that it saw a dip in donations this week and especially needs more Type O and platelet donations. Let's get to drawing blood and replacing those lost calories soon.
In case a regular wine tasting is not fancy enough, Kuhlman Cellars out in Stonewall, Texas, is offering preview tastes of two current and two unreleased wines this winter. These sips come straight out of the barrel (or tank), and will only be available from now through February 9. It's a clever way to extend visits outside of wine season, and it shouldn't be too crowded because...well, you know. Tickets ($30 per person, $15 for wine club members) are available at kuhlmancellars.com.
Bill's Oyster has made waves in its first year of business, and influential collaborators are taking notice. The oyster bar has announced a new guest chef series on some Tuesdays from January 16 to February 20. Each will add three to five specials to the regular menu. First comes Rene Garza, Chef de Cuisine at Uptown Sports Club, followed by chefs from Justine’s, Zoe Tong, Ramen del Barrio, and Suerte. Reservations are available, but not necessary, via Resy.