Photo courtesy of Little Ola's Biscuits

Plenty of amazing local restaurants are going all out this year for Mother's Day. From a classic Sunday brunch, to curated to-go dessert boxes, to free ramen, there is something for all moms to enjoy on her special day.

Finding the right place to dine might be a challenge while browsing types of cuisine, menu items, prices, and hours of operation. Luckily for you, we’ve gathered some of the city’s best dining options in this must-read guide to help you celebrate the special motherly figure in your life.

To-Go Dining Options

Executive Pastry Chef Ariana Quant has curated a Mother’s Day Sweet Box for pre-order until Friday, May 12, with only 50 boxes available for pickup on May 13 and 14. The six pastries included in the Sweet Box include a Paris brest with apricot, almond, and creme fraiche; a milk chocolate bar with blueberry and hazelnuts; a coconut mango bar with frangipane, coconut mousse, and mango compote; a flourless chocolate cake with cream cheese and dark chocolate mousse; a tonka bean bar with raspberries and pistachios; and a cashew and coffee caramel bar. Pre-orders ($80 with an optional $25 bottle of Bouvet Brut Rose) can be made on SevenRooms.

Little Ola’s Biscuits
This neighborhood biscuit shop is celebrating Mother’s Day with three pre-order biscuit packs to-go: the Big Ola’s Mother’s Day Pack, the Pup Mom Biscuit Pack, and Little Ola’s Mother’s Day Biscuit Pack. Each pack consists of six biscuits with three, four-ounce containers of condiments, with the Pup Mom and Big Ola’s packs containing extra treats for your mother (or dog) and a Mother’s Day card. The biscuit packs ($31-$95) can be ordered online for delivery ($15) or free pickup at Little Ola’s or Olamaie on May 13 and 14 via Table22.

Sunday Brunches

Goldie’s Sunken Bar
You won’t want to miss this – Austin Proper’s cocktail bar and lounge, Goldie’s, has planned a Proper Afternoon Tea for Mother's Day weekend on May 13 and 14 from 12-4 pm. The elegant festivity features classic treats such as cucumber sandwiches, egg salad canapes, French macarons, and a curated selection of lively, health-focused teas. Reservations ($65) can be made via OpenTable.

Andiamo Ristorante
If your mother fancies unforgettable and indulgent Italian cuisine, Andiamo Ristorante will be opening for a special Sunday brunch service. Take your pick from one of their starters like the Prosciutto e Melone or their Verdura Fritta, then choose from a pan-roasted lobster tail with linguine or a mushroom and green pea risotto in a tomato and white wine sauce for your main course. If you happen to save room for dessert, treat yourselves to one of the indulgent treats like the Sicilian orange cake, tiramisú, and more. Reserve on Tock.

Punch Bowl Social
This special event is for the fun mom in your life. Check out the live music at any Punch Bowl Social location while taking advantage of their Bloody Mary bar, handcrafted cocktails, and made-from-scratch dishes just for the occasion. Special menu items include the crab and avocado scramble and dutch baby pancake. And if your mom has a competitive side, she can engage in one of the many arcade games, bowling, darts, cornhole, and other fun activities the restaurant has to offer. Reserve on OpenTable.

JINYA Ramen Bar
Did someone say free ramen? Bring your mother to Jinya at the Domain for Haha No Hi (Mother’s Day), and her ramen is on the house. This expectedly popular deal is limited to one free ramen per order, so plan accordingly.

Vixen’s Wedding
Vixen’s will host a floral design workshop for Mother’s Day, and provide their build-your-own mimosa kits for half price from 10 am to 2 pm in addition to their delicious Portuguese brunch offerings. Reservations can be made via Resy.

Cru Food & Wine Bar
From 10 am to 3 pm, both Cru Food & Wine Bar locations downtown and at the Domain will be serving up a delightful three-course prix fixe brunch. Start off with your choice between a blood peach bellini or a Cru mimosa, then try a few goat cheese beignets, a roasted asparagus and burrata salad, or a crab cake benedict. Complete the experience with either the chocolate molten cake or the butter toasted lemon pound cake. Reservations can be made on OpenTable.

Peached Tortilla
This festive brunch will have your mother feeling peachy keen with its Asian and Southern comfort influences. Just for her, Peached Tortilla will debut three new dishes: confit duck hash with golden potatoes, edamame, and fresno chimichurri, and a savory Thai curry shakshuka with tomatoes, red peppers, shiitake mushrooms, and a scallion pancake. If your mother has a sweet tooth, she might enjoy the Hong Kong milk toast with sweetened condensed milk, matcha powder, and fresh fruit. Brunch is served from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Reserve on OpenTable.

For the avid seafood lovers, Truluck’s is making Mother’s Day a day to remember with a specialty Summer Romance cocktail ($15) to go along with their mouthwateringly imaginative seafood dishes. The restaurant’s staff will be dedicated to making sure your mom’s every need is met during your dining experience. Their Mother’s Day hours are from 11 am to 8 pm. Reservations are not required, but are highly recommended, and can be made via OpenTable.

Lucky Rabbit
Get away from the city bustle with a special jazz brunch hosted by Lucky Rabbit in Jonestown. S7ven Jazz Band will perform from 11 am to 2 pm, followed by additional live music from Caterwaulers until 5 pm. There will be a special fresh fruit buffet, pastries, Round Rock Donuts to accompany the restaurant’s brunch specials.

Tillie’s at Camp Lucy
If you’d rather head west of town than north, you can’t go wrong with a lovely drive to the Hill Country for a delightful brunch at American-Nouveau concept Tillie’s. Their prix fixe Mother’s Day menu includes a green asparagus salad or tomato salad for starters, followed by your choice of ribeye steak frites or cauliflower “shawarma” as your main course. Diners can finish off their meal with either profiteroles “concha” or Texas pecan tart. Brunch will be served from 11:30 am to 7 pm. Reservations ($85 for adults, $45 for children) can be made via OpenTable.

Photo courtesy of Otoko and Watertrade

The 6 best bartenders in Austin are worthy of the buzz

Meet The Tastemakers

We hope you're already tipping your bartender extravagantly, but we still think they deserve a little more recognition. On top of employing all the creativity of a chef — finding great ingredients, balancing a menu, and executing a consistent product — these late-night heroes often have to entertain guests while they work.

Whether you appreciate a cocktail as a necessary, sensible part of a night out, or think it's all the more beautiful for its existence of total excess, these six bartenders remind us every Tastemaker Awards that excellence does not just happen on the plate. Our judges — last year's winners and some editorial staff — selected this crew based partly on their image as an individual, and partly on their influence on the industry. That's why this list is full of celebrated bars and perhaps shows the most overlap with other nominees of any category.

Here we celebrate these collaborators and trailblazers, and later they'll come together to find out who wins on May 11 at Fair Market for our annual Tastemaker Awards tasting event and awards ceremony. Tickets are on sale now.

Amanda Jones, Nickel City
Nickel City, one of our nominees for Bar of the Year, could appear in the dictionary under "neighborhood bar," if the dictionary had that sort of thing. And Amanda Jones would probably be in the photo. She has become a friendly, familiar face to many visitors over the years, and sometimes that's a lot more important than the drinks.

Caer Maiko Ferguson, DrinkWell
One Tastemaker Award in 2019 was not enough for Caer Maiko Ferguson — at least, not in our judges' eyes. From Péché to the Roosevelt Room, to her popup Daijoubu with fellow nominee Sharon Yeung, and many more, Ferguson's mark is all over the top bars in this city. DrinkWell, a current nominee, has been lucky to have its turn with her for almost three years, now.

Christopher Crow, Eden Cocktail Room
This bluesman and bartender knows that style is everything, and Eden Cocktail Room is proof. The candlelit speakeasy Christopher Crow founded off 5th Street in 2021 shows a true artist's touch in its semi-wacky decor and high standards. It's a natural next step from his time at Here Nor There, but the garden fantasy is palpable.

Erin Ashford, Olamaie
Erin Ashford spent seven years as bar manager, wine buyer, and assistant general manager at Restaurant of the Year nominee and former winner Olamaie. With all that practice, she's moved on to become the co-owner of brand-new cocktail bar Holiday with Rising Star nominee Peter Klein. It's a different venue but with Erin, it still feels like the same party — her favorite part of the job.

Nadia Hernandez

Photo courtesy of Otoko and Watertrade

Nadia Hernandez made a masterpiece of a menu at Watertrade.

Nadia Hernandez, Watertrade
Watertrade, the Japanese-style cocktail bar at sushi restaurant Otoko, is beautiful enough to get away with stocking just a few high-end sakes, but bar manager Nadia Hernandez always keeps the menu fresh, divided artistically by season. While the menu tells one story, her pop-ups and public appearances often center on empowering women in the industry.

Sharon Yeung, Daijoubu Pop Up
Sharon Yeung's traveling bar, Daijoubu Pop Up (which she started with fellow nominee Caer Maiko Ferguson), makes her a little hard to pin down. Still, Austin is the charismatic cocktail maker's home no matter where the cocktail bus goes, and it's her Asian upbringing that really makes her contributions stand out for five consecutive Tastemaker nominations, including this one.

Photo courtesy of Bulevar Mexican Kitchen

10 Austin places to enjoy Cinco de Mayo with a margarita in your hand


If you’ve been yearning for more ways to drink through Austin after National Margarita Day, CultureMap’s got you covered. While most of these events take place on May 5, we’ve sprinkled a few fun ones leading up to the day and throughout the weekend. From margarita-making classes, to slushies, to churros, we’ve explored the many ways you can enjoy Cinco de Mayo in Austin with (or without) a drink in your hand.

Tuesday, May 2

Moxy Austin
Austinites wanting to learn mixology techniques can find their teacher at Moxy YOUniversity with the make-your-own margarita class at the Guadalupe Street location from 6:30-8:30 pm. In partnership with Socorro Tequila, attendees will get to participate in a tequila tasting with complimentary chips and salsa provided by Zombie Taco, and then dive right into the process of making their own specialty margarita. Tickets ($35 for adults and $15 for 21+ students with valid ID) can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Friday, May 5

Bulevar Mexican Kitchen
ATX Cocina’s sister concept Bulevar is offering a special lunch service for Cinco de Mayo, inviting patrons to enjoy its killer signature cocktails and mouth-watering duck carnitas huarache much earlier in the day. The lunch menu begins service at 11:30 am and the happy hour specials will also begin early at 3 pm. Reserve on OpenTable.

La Popular
This Mexico City-based restaurant group recently opened its second U.S. location right here in Southwest Austin. Known for their authentic Mexican cuisine and their brilliant cocktails, they'll be serving all-day food and drink specials on Cinco de Mayo starting with their signature LP margaritas ($10), al pastor tacos ($5), and Corona beers ($5). Reservations can be made on their website.

Blue Owl Brewing
“Slushie de Mayo” is the theme for this year’s celebration at Blue Owl Brewing, featuring two delicious flavors that will keep you wanting more: paloma and spicy beer-rita. The slushie machines will be working double time to keep the drinks flowing for guests from noon to 5 pm. Take them to-go, or stay awhile to enjoy locally-made empanadas from Mmmpanadas with complimentary chips and dip. More information can be found at blueowlbrewing.com.

La Condesa
This James Beard-nominated Mexican restaurant in downtown Austin will provide six drink and food specials for diners, curated by Chef Rick Lopez. Drink specials include mezcal-oriented La Batalla and tequila-based El Soldado, and La Bandera, which is a flight of Carabuena Blanco tequila served between red and green sangrita. Guests can also take their pick of holiday food specials like the fish tacos, tostadas de chapulines, or grilled skirt steak. Reserve on OpenTable.

De Nada Cantina
East Austin's favorite cantina is going all out for Cinco de Mayo with a pig roast, giveaways, cornhole, face painting, and an outdoor bar in their parking lot tent. Live mariachi is scheduled from 6-8 pm, and a DJ will take over from 8-10 pm. Keep an eye out for a special edition release for their margarita cups. Reservations are fully booked, but walk-ins will be accepted.

Bar Peached
Who doesn’t love sipping on a marg while lounging on a beautiful downtown Austin patio? You can’t go wrong at Bar Peached, with beverage director Kevin Kok’s specially-made mixed berry margarita. Don’t forget to pair your cocktail with one of the unique food offerings like the bánh mì or miso garlic sweet potato tacos. And if you time your visit during the social hour from 5-6:30 pm, you can also enjoy fan faves like the margarita de peached, paloma, and more for $7. Reservations can be made via OpenTable.

The Salty
It’s not a holiday without a special treat. The Salty’s signature brioche dough is getting a Cinco de Mayo treatment for this one-day-only special all day on May 5. The bite-size mini churros will be sold in a set of three ($3.25), and guests can add The Salty’s indulgent homemade salted caramel or chocolate sauces ($2 each). Orders can be made in-person or online, to-go, and for delivery via saltydonut.com.

Saturday, May 6

Fiesta Austin
The city’s premiere Cinco de Mayo celebration will host an array of musical acts, cultural dances, arts, and food on May 6 from 10 am to 11 pm. Scheduled performers include Grammy-nominated group Houston’s Powerhouse, all-female mariachi band Las Valquirias, Chris Castaneda Band, and more. Presale tickets are $5, with no cover charge until noon ($7). Admission for children 12 and under is free. More information is available at fiestaaustin.org.

Sunday, May 7

All Tequila, All Shade Drag Brunch with DJ Eriq Stylez at La Condesa
La Condesa is bringing back its popular drag brunch for the Cinco de Mayo weekend with several of its well-loved brunch staples and themed cocktails beginning at 11 am. Indulge in rich flavors with the tostada de atún or a themed cocktail while Texas-based queens Nazareth, Joselyn Breezy, and Celia Light perform at 12:15 pm. A portion of all drink special proceeds will be donated to The Equality Alliance Texas. Reservations ($25) can be made via OpenTable.

Photo couresty of Bar Toti

5 things to know in Austin food right now: New Mexican restaurant opens garden bar outpost

News You Can Eat

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.


Recent East Austin darlingEste, known for Mexican seafood and charcoal cooking, is opening up a garden bar to share its spotlight called Bar Toti. The menu is "inspired by the bar cultures of Spain, France, and Mexico," according to a release, including an unexpected "smashburger" by Chef Fermín Núñez, a current Tastemaker Awards nominee. Visitors can snack on other à la carte bar snacks like marinated olives, seasoned nuts, mussels, and Basque cake. Only 750 square feet, the side venue can accommodate 75 standing guests. Bar Toti opens on April 21 and operates Fridays and Saturdays from 5 pm to midnight.

Two openings at The Shops at Arbor Walk this April have expanded the food options at the North Austin outdoor mall. Casa Do Brasil, an upscale churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse), brings fire-roasted meats straight to diners' tables alongside a salad bar, and opened on April 14. Teaspoon, which opened on April 1, brings teas, boba, coffee, and creative juice or milk mixes from the chain's Los Altos, California, origin. The Shops at Arbor Walk are located at 10515 N Mopac Expy.

Other news and notes

Topo Chico, the sparkling mineral water worthy of the cult obsession it's garnered since 1895, is branching out from its classic-but-safe flavor profiles with a whole new line called Topo Chico Sabores, launching on April 24. The three flavors come in cans containing real fruit juice and herbal extracts with no added sugars: blueberry with hibiscus, tangerine with ginger, and lime with mint. The new line will only be available in five regions: Texas, Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and New York.

Coffee drinkers who have found themselves wishing for a little more spice will be pleased to hear about Roasty Buds, a new Austin coffee brand since 2022 that just launched new flavors — and maybe even a little intimidated. Existing flavors include hatch chile, ghost pepper, and Carolina reaper, plus some non-spicy roasts. Joining the roster are Texas BBQ and cherry glaze BBQ, both smoky flavors, but the latter takes on more sweetness. Bags can be purchased at roastybuds.com.

Pasta Bar, the semi-Italian cousin of omakase restaurant Sushi by Scratch Restaurants, is not so new to Austin anymore as it celebrates its first anniversary in town. The 10-person chef's table has drawn much attention for its luxury plating and pricing, but the experience is surprisingly laid back, especially with wine pairing. A new spring menu features beautiful al dente cavatelli with Louisiana crawfish and nasturtium (an edible flower), a knockout Parisian gnocchi with bone marrow, and a Texas wagyu ribeye with acorn flour pasta. Reserve ($195) on Tock.


The 7 best bars in Austin are stirring up community


What makes a truly great bar in 2023? In Austin, it takes more than a cutesy name and borrowed nostalgia. A parade of Johnny-come-latelies provide plenty of distraction, but ultimately, we return to the tried-and-true.

That's why readers will see so many familiar faces amongst the seven CultureMap Tastemaker Awards nominees for Bar of the Year. Only one has opened in the past year. In a city that often seems drunk on its own buzz, it's essential to support those places that will call guests a cab at the end of the night.

Join us in celebrating the spots that have set the bar in Bat City — and welcoming a newcomer to the fold. Only one winner will be crowned during our blowout May 11 party at Fair Market, but the city would be lost without all of them. Buy tickets now before they sell out.

Austin has lost much of its previous identity amongst a flurry of Hermès scarves and Patagonia vests. Neighborhood bars are needed now more than ever. One could rhapsodize at length about DrinkWell owner Jessica Sander's cocktail wizardry or how the burger still hits after all these years. But DrinkWell's je ne sais quoi lies in the sense of community, whether in driving the conversation towards healthier hospitality workplaces or simply greeting the regulars sidling up to the bar.

In Plain Sight
The younger sibling to underground speakeasy Here Nor There, this pocket bar gets its name from its street-level visibility. But that doesn't mean it's any easier to score a seat. With only eight barstools and a small standing area, the joint is packed from opening to close. What draws the guests isn't just the exclusivity or even the promenade of rainbow lights: Irish import Conor O'Reilly plays pied piper with Italian-style sippers that dazzle as brightly as the neon.

Kitty Cohen's
A nude Burt Reynolds reclines in the bathroom. Thrift store bric-a-brac crowds a wood-paneled wall. This East Austin patio bar practically wallows in its Palm Springs kitsch. Dive bars often get stuck in trucker hat grit. With an expressive cocktail menu of frozen favorites and lively originals, this one cleans house with the sweep of an Elizabeth Taylor kaftan.

Nickel City
When this East Austin bar arrived, Capital City nightlife was under the thrall of mustachioed mixologists. The Nickel City team took the piss out with a frozen Irish coffee in a Styrofoam cup. It's not that the cocktails here require a less exacting palate (a current selection employs shiitake mushrooms and seaweed), it just turns out that barcraft with a sense of humor is a hell of a lot more fun.

Small Victory
A vanguard in Austin's shift away from boisterous mega bars, Josh Loving's downtown hideaway has always provided adults sanctuary from the Sixth Street roar of "shots, shots, shots." Now approaching its 10th anniversary, the operation is a bona fide classic. Reserve a spot before an elegant dinner or revive the ancient lost art of the nightcap.

The Roosevelt Room
Sure, cocktail nerds can get an education by thumbing through a reprint of Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide, but we've always believed in practical learning. Patrons of this downtown bar can drink their way through decades of America's spirited obsessions, from graceful Boulevardiers to exuberant Cosmos. Lest one think a mortarboard is required for a night on the town, the bar team plays hooky with some eccentric new creations. Run the Jules could be served at the Mos Eisley Cantina.

The opening salvo of an Otoko omakase, this South Congress Avenue lounge specializes in Japanese whiskies and carefully crafted tipples. Though there is a focus on seasonal and rare ingredients, Watertrade prefers not to namedrop. Instead, it leans into the vibe. Do you feel "fizzy and playful" or "amazing and robust?" Laze in one of the low-slung chairs and let the staff do the rest.

DrinkWell Austin

DrinkWell is one of Austin's best neighborhood bars.

Photo by Nick Simonite

Boutique Austin hotel amplifies the vinyl bar scene with a moody new listening room

Moody Blues

There’s no shortage of cool places in Austin to hear curated tunes, but a new effort by Hotel Magdalena amplifies the imagination beyond the laid-back trend. Although many vinyl bars, listening rooms, or jazz lounges provide lovely venues to chat and check out of the active listening — if that’s a guest’s preference — Equipment Room is almost too intimate to invite any kind of distraction.

Bunkhouse Group, the hotel’s parent company (along with other boutique hotels like Hotel San José and Hotel Saint Cecilia) designed and operated the space; executive chairman Amar Lalvani collaborated with Mohawk owner James Moody and Breakaway Records owners Josh LaRue and Gabe Vaughn, who supply the records. Rather than hiring a couple of DJs to set the tone, the team is leaving it to Breakaway Records employees on a rotating schedule.

All it requires is good taste; These spinners will be taking a more curational than transformative approach, playing full albums so visitors can hear each “the way it was intended.” Cocktail waiters will pass out handwritten cards so patrons know what’s playing, and can listen more at home. (On March 1: The Cooker by Lee Morgan, 2006.)

Although Equipment Room is not quite a speakeasy (despite having a perfect name for it), the listening room is certainly covert. The front door, in a different building than the hotel lobby, is barely marked at all save for a little floating “E” sign.

Inside, a public-facing seat or a covetous corner are a guest’s choice. A long bar allows visitors to interface with staff and lean into the cocktail experience; plus, they get to sit closest to the main speakers and the turntables. The main room is further segmented with plush furniture in a variety of configurations. Some tables stand alone in the center of the room as if in a restaurant, serving as a point of connection; others on a raised platform around the edge of the room serve as a thin barrier between the cocktail sippers and the rest of the venue.

Some seating creates conversation circles, while other outward-facing couches are placed in command positions to either social or voyeuristic ends. A side room creates a small den for a bigger party to retreat to, or perhaps a few smaller ones to converge in, like a chill room at a rave — were the entire venue not already deeply chill.

Where a guest sits notably changes the experience. Besides inviting conversation, facilitating people watching, or concealing a romantic date, each part of the room sounds different thanks to different speaker configurations and a curved ceiling to spread out the acoustics.

Of course, besides the obscure and nonchalant implications of the name, the Equipment Room must be outfitted with the best audio tools LaRue and Vaughn could source, with the help of acoustic engineers at Klipsch. A full list of equipment on the venue’s website illuminates speakers, amps, and more, including a vintage cassette deck. Recording capabilities will come in handy on some special nights when the “guest selectors” record that night’s repertoire, and the especially high-fidelity equipment will be broken out for album releases and other more pointed listening events.

Audiophiles or otherwise, all do best with a cocktail and some snacks to settle into the space, and an eclectic menu delivers. Divided into A-sides and B-sides (classic and experimental drinks), it includes everything from a traditional French 75 to the ostentatious “Gold Dust Woman” with Still Austin gin, macadamia nut liqueur, Linie Aquavit, granny smith apple juice, spiced demerara, sparkling wine, and “ice gold leaf.”

Four virgin cocktails and seven sakes also grace the menu, along with snacks like a suspiciously tasty “caramel puffed cheese corn” (“like Pirate’s Booty,” explains a staff member, but with a sweet, glossy coating) and onigiri. The Japanese bites tie into the jazz kissaten, or Japanese vinyl cafes, that inspired this decidedly Western Austin treat.

Whatever’s on the audio menu that night — cowboy ballads, Afrobeat, or something psychedelic — every moment just gets tastier as visitors settle into the sensational space.

Equipment Room is open at 1101 Music Lane from Tuesday to Thursday 5-10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 5 pm to 2 am. More information including recommended albums is available at equipmentroom.com.

Hotel Magdalena's Equipment Room interior

Photo by Nick Simonite

Hotel Magdalena opened a chic listening room with speakeasy vibes, called Equipment Room.

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Upscale Greek restaurant brings coastal cooking to a stunning interior in West Austin

All Greek to Me

Austin and Greece don't have tons in common, but that's why husband and wife team Hristos and Roxie Nikolakos wanted to bring a slice of the islands over with them. Yamas (stylized YAMAS) brings the "Aegean blue" to the Lone Star State (5308 Balcones Dr.) this June 23, carrying with it traditional Greek cooking and an upscale coastal interior.

Hristos Nikolakos is chasing a big dream: He wants to "own the only authentic Greek restaurant that [is] up to par with the food from back home." Since this venture came out of hosting at home, it sounds like he has a shot. Although Austin does have more homey Greek restaurants than glittering modern eateries in our downtown acropolis, there is certainly a gap in upscale Greek food after the sudden disappearance of Simi Estiatorio, whose owner allegedly skipped town.

Ingredients come first in this plan, either locally sourced or imported from the homeland. The menu promises a "culinary journey across Greece's diverse regions," all prepared with traditional techniques by Chef Dimitrios Kelesoglou. The third-generation chef previously headed culinary efforts at Nisi, the Mediterranean restaurant at the Hilton Long Island in Huntington, New York.

Diners will enjoy this meticulousness in a variety of distinctly Greek dishes, like fried feta with sesame, honey, and walnuts; a grilled octopus salad with lentils, tomatoes, scallions, and dill; and several meat dishes featuring lamb, cod, and lobster. These things paired with orzo, horta, and lemon sound light and refreshing, although the full menu has not been finalized yet. Pair them with wines from Greece and America, plus beer and craft cocktails. Be sure to say "Yamas" — cheers in Greek — before sipping.

Even if the food turns out to be excellent, visitors will likely remember the space first. Like any great Greek restaurant, Yamas is almost entirely white with cerulean accents, and made unique from surrounding buildings with its wall niches housing Greek art and artefacts. Everything was designed by the couple and executed by Greek TX, Hristos' building company.

The cozy bench seating encircling the dining space gives it the air of a beach resort, even though the West-Central neighborhood is decidedly landlocked. Murals by Cabo-based artist Aurora Covarrubias include a giant octopus and Medusa, bringing a living Greek spirit to the space, which could otherwise appear museum-like.

"At Yamas, we aim to transport our guests to the coasts of Greece through rich flavors, warm hospitality, and cherished traditions," said Roxie Nikolakos in a press release. "We want to create an inviting space where everyone feels like family and can forge lasting connections over Greek cuisine that is so close to our hearts and heritage.”

Yamas is starting operation with limited hours from 4 pm to midnight every day of the week. Soon it will expand to brunch service on the weekends, and lunch service from 11 am to 3 pm. A soft launch on June 10 invites a limited number of guests for a preview during the two weeks before the official public opening. Call 512-243-7499 to reserve.

More information about Yamas is available at yamasatx.com. The restaurant is hiring "front and back of house professionals" with career days on May 30 and 31, from noon to 5 pm. Apply in-person at Yamas for an interview "on the spot."

Yamas interior

Photo courtesy of Yamas

Yamas opens in West-Central Austin on June 23.

UT Austin's Texas Exes awards 43 of the fastest growing, Longhorn-run businesses in Austin


Maybe it's not as much of a surprise given how big our city is, but did you know dozens of our favorite local businesses are run by University of Texas at Austin grads? Now, 43 of Austin's fastest growing, Longhorn-run businesses are receiving the recognition they deserve by their alma mater.

UT Austin's alumni association, the Texas Exes, celebrated 100 nationwide companies who were founded, owned, or led by Longhorns over the past five years with the inaugural Longhorn 100 Gala on May 18. Award recipients must have held a minimum annual revenue of $250,000 since 2019 to qualify, in addition to their Longhorn status.

Of course, Austin-area businesses took home the most awards, whose winners include popular restaurants, beverage brands, real estate groups, and more.

The five Austin-area shopping and retail businesses that were recognized include:

  • Poncho Outdoors
  • BURLEBO (Dripping Springs)
  • Korman
  • Texas Standard(not to be confused with KUT's statewide radio program)
  • Home Trends and Design, Ltd
Seven Austin-area restaurants, breweries, and beverages were also awarded:
  • El Arroyo
  • Rambler Sparkling Water
  • Beatbox Beverages
  • Desert Door (Driftwood)
  • Garrison Brothers Distillery (Hye)
  • Zilker Brewing Company
  • Independence Brewing Co., Inc.
Real estate groups, construction and architecture firms, and home improvement providers that won awards include:
  • OJO
  • Watters International Realty
  • Maestro Integrations
  • Amazing Exteriors
  • RiverCity Cabinets
  • Freedom Solar Power
  • The Steam Team
  • Austin Deck Company
  • Michael Hsu Office of Architecture
The five Austin science and technology companies that were celebrated are:
  • AlertMedia
  • Fractilia, LLC
  • E & Co Tech
  • Pushnami, LLC
  • Blacklake Security
Business and legal services providers that won awards include:
  • AffiniPay
  • Daito Design
  • Palisades Group
  • SOAL Technologies, LLC
  • Willi Law Firm, P.C.
  • Potts Blacklock Senterfitt, PLLC
Other Austin businesses that won awards include:
  • Carbon Better
  • Tower Rock Oil & Gas
  • Cypress Industries
  • Roots Behavioral Health
  • College Inroads
  • A Taste of Koko
  • 365 Things Austin
  • Third Rail Creative
  • Giant Noise
  • GSD&M
  • Stems
The full list of Longhorn 100 winners from around the state can be found on texasexes.org.

14 Austin icons star in new Texas Monthly book documenting most influential Texans of last 50 years


Texas Monthly's editors have released the next book for reading list queues. To commemorate the publication's 50th anniversary, they've collected and bound the stories and photographs of 50 iconic Texans that have shaped our great state and the country over the past 50 years. And 14 Austin megastars have made it on the roster.

Lone Stars Risingis Texas Monthly's third book, created in collaboration with Harper Wave Books. Among the book's 256 pages are not just the rich histories and commentaries about our most recognizable Texas legends, but a few "lesser-known individuals who have been toiling on the sidelines, quietly and intentionally shaping" our perception of our vast and great state.

The 14 Austin idols that made it into the book include state political figures, business magnates, legendary musicians, inspirational writers, and more.

  • Willie Nelson, because, Willie Nelson
  • Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson, wife of former president Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Américo Paredes, author and founder of the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Folklore Studies
  • Richard Linklater, film director and mastermind behind Dazed and Confused andSchool of Rock
  • Louis Black, co-founder of the Austin Chronicle and South by Southwest
  • Molly Ivins, Texas newspaper columnist
  • Ann Richards, former Texas Governor
  • Karl Rove, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff
  • Bob Bullock, former Lieutenant Governor of Texas
  • Rick Perry, former Texas Governor
  • Aaron Franklin, founder of Franklin Barbecue
  • Liz Lambert, owner of hotel empire MML Hospitality
  • Dan Patrick, current Texas Lieutenant Governor
  • Michael Dell, founder of Dell Technologies
Lone Stars Rising will be available for purchase on June 6. More information about the book can be found on texasmonthly.com.

Willie Nelson
Photo by Pamela Springsteen

Willie Nelson leads the list of Austinites.