Photo courtesy of Tiny Pies

Do you get texts or calls challenging you to recite the most digits of pi on March 14? If you can remember more than 3.1415926, you must be a wizard or fanatic. Or rather just better at memorization than most folks. Pi Day is a great way to get together with some friends over a slice of a wonderfully fruity dessert or a savory slice of pizza. And we can’t forget about our local businesses putting in the work to make it a great day for everyone.

Whether you’re in it for the love of pie or the mathematical constant, here’s seven Pi Day specials and events to look forward to around the Austin area.

Tiny Pies Pi Day menu

Don’t be fooled, these tiny pies pack a punch of flavor. Austin’s darling pie company has baked up several special pies for Pi Day. In addition to a 12-pack of tart cherry, apple crumb, Texas two-step, and sweet Texas pecan tiny pies, there will also be seven different flavors of nine-inch pies for enthusiasts to try. Other flavors available for their full-size pies include cherry crumb, chocolate cream, key lime, and coconut cream. Reservations for their Pi Day pies ends at 5 pm on March 13.

North Italia’s Pi Day Takeover

Modern Italian restaurant North Italia is having a month-long campaign with a special takeover for Pi Day until March 14 with plenty of pizza pie slices to go around. On Monday (3/13), street teams will be surprising SXSW attendees with 175 pizzas per day while driving branded Vespas. On Tuesday (3/14), a commemorative block party will be held at 415 East 7th Street. The public will be able to enjoy more free pizza such as a special Texas BBQ brisket pie, mocktails, charcuterie cups, and more. For some added excitement, a BMX team will be on site to wow crowds with a “Globe of Dough”-themed stunt show. For guests who would like a more permanent commemoration to Pi Day 2023, several local tattoo artists will be giving free limited-edition Pi Day tattoos to a select number of guests.

Tumble 22’s first-ever Pie Eating Contest

Just for Pi Day, Tumble 22 is offering customers a slice of pie for just $3.14. Both Austin locations will also host a pie eating contest for up to 20 contestants. Participants must eat a slice of pie without using their hands, and whoever finishes their slice the fastest gets a chance to win a custom Tumble 22 trophy. All contestants will get a whole pie to take home and some Tumble 22 swag. Tickets to enter the contest are $25 each that will be donated to Dell Children’s Medical Center. Registration can be found on Eventbrite.

Quack's Bakery pie menu

This renowned Austin bakery serves five different flavors of pie among many of their other mouthwatering desserts: cherry, apple cinnamon, chocolate cream, coconut cream, and key lime tart. If just a slice isn't enough, you can take a whole pie to go to hoard in your fridge.

Blaze Pizza’s Pi Day offers

Fast-casual pizza joint Blaze Pizza has some special offers just for guests who download their app and join their reward program. Austin area pizza lovers can enjoy $3.14 off any signature or build-your-own pizza on Pi Day just buy joining their Blaze Rewards through their app. The offer is only valid in-restaurant.

Austin Public Library’s Puzzles and Pi(e)

Test your patience and your brain while trying not to be distracted by a nice slice of pie. If you're looking for a free fun activity for yourself, your friends, or your family, the Austin Public Library’s Old Quarry Branch has the laid back afternoon for you. From 2 to 4 pm, they’ll be providing plenty of puzzles and pie for visitors of all ages and abilities.

City of Kyle's PIErate Treasure Hunt

All residents of the Pie Capital of Texas are invited to participate in this year’s treasure hunt from now until March 22. Four treasure chests are hidden all around the city which contain your chance to enter a raffle to win $314. Though the locations won’t be revealed, clues will be shared on the city’s Facebook page to help hunters find the booty. The city asks that participants who find the chests please leave them for others to find.

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6 Austin museums are offering free admission for military families all summer long

spread the museum love

Half a dozen Austin museums are honoring active-duty military personnel and their families with free admission through the Blue Star Museums initiative, May 20 through September 4, 2023.

Established by the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the U.S. Department of Defense, the Blue Star Museums program annually provides military families free access to 2,000 museums nationwide throughout the summer. The program begins yearly on Armed Forces Day in May and ends on Labor Day.

Free admission is extended to personnel currently serving in the U.S Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard (including those in the Reserve), and all National Guardsman. Members of the U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps and NOAA Commissioned Corps are also included in the program.

Those who qualify can use their military ID to bring up to five family members – including relatives of those currently deployed. More information about qualifications can be found here.

There is no limit on the number of participating museums that qualifying families may visit. Admission for non-active military veterans, however, is not included.

According to the National Endowment for the Arts website, the initiative was created to help "improve the quality of life for active duty military families" with a specific focus on children. The site states two million have had a parent deployed since 2001.

"Blue Star Museums was created to show support for military families who have faced multiple deployments and the challenges of reintegration," the website says. "This program offers these families a chance to visit museums this summer when many will have limited resources and limited time to be together."

Among Austin's participating museums, the Blanton Museum of Art recently held its grand opening celebration to debut their new grounds, complete with a new large mural by Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera.

“As a museum that has long been at the forefront of collecting work by artists of Latin American descent, as well as the place where Ellsworth Kelly realized his last great work of art, entering the collection at this moment marks a high point in my long career," Herrera said.

Here's a look at all the museums in Austin that participate in the Blue Star Museums initiative.

For those looking to take a drive around Central Texas, the Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum and Taylor's Moody Museum are also participants in the Blue Star Museums initiative.

More information about Blue Star Museums and a full list of participants can be found on arts.gov.

Awe-inspiring new exhibit debuts at the Alamo with sneak peek


Ask first-time visitors about their experience at the Alamo, and you're likely to hear a frequent refrain. Guests accustomed to hearing about the mission's heroic history are surprised that the grounds are so small. But that's slowly changing with ambitious plans to bring the site's original footprint back to life.

Starting May 25, visitors will get a sneak peek at the complex's newest structure, the Mission Gate and Lunette exhibit, before it officially opens in 2024. Funded in part by a $3 million donation from the Joan and Herb Kelleher Charitable Foundation, the exhibition gives guests a broader understanding of the Alamo's scale.

The historical recreation was crafted by lauded San Antonio artist Carlos Cortés. A third-generation concrete faux bois artisan, his work is featured throughout the city, most notably on the River Walk, where his fantastical The Grotto greets thousands of Museum Reach visitors each year.

The life-size sculpture stands in for the original main gate of the fort at the southern boundary of the complex. Cannons and placards scattered throughout give crucial context to the structure. Though early renderings show the beams and spiked fence with more verisimilitude, the forms currently stand in ghostly concrete — inviting quiet contemplation.

When the exhibit is finished next year, guests will be more fully immersed in the hallowed grounds, which extend far beyond the walls of the iconic Church and Long Barrack. Coupled with the upcoming Alamo Visitor Center and Museum and the recently debuted Ralston Family Collections Center, it will turn the grounds into one of Texas' most awe-inspiring historical sites.

"We are deeply grateful to the Joan and Herb Kelleher Charitable Foundation for their support of the Alamo and our ongoing efforts to preserve this important piece of Texas history," said Dr. Kate Rogers, Executive Director of the Alamo Trust, Inc., via a release. "Their generosity will allow us to continue to educate and inspire visitors from around the world, ensuring that the legacy of the Alamo lives on for generations to come."

Alamo Mission Gate and Lunette exhibit

Photo courtesy of the Alamo.

The Mission Gate and Lunette exhibit gives visitors an understanding of the original ground's scale.

Texas' best restaurants and bars reign at 2023 Tastemaker Awards


It’s another one for CultureMap’s history books, folks. Our statewide journey to recognize some of the best chefs, restaurants, and more in 2023 has finally come to a close.

The series kicked off April 13 with our sold-out Houston Tastemakers at Silver Street Studios, then we moved to Cowtown for our Fort Worth event on April 27. The Texas culinary tour steered us to our Metroplex neighbors in Dallas at the Fashion Industry Gallery on May 4. From there, we took a drive to the Hill Country for Austin’s evening festivities at Fair Market on May 11, then concluded our journey with our second-ever fête in San Antonio on May 18.

The 2023 Tastemaker Awards honor the state’s most innovative culinary pioneers, allowing nominated chefs and restaurants to showcase their talents for guests before announcing the winners during a live ceremony.

Guests sampled chefs’ specialty bites and imbibed a variety of creative cocktails or mocktails, with a few Topo Chicos sprinkled in throughout the evening. But as always, our nominees and winners are the main focus of our program and are the reason we can bring these celebrations to life.

Nominees are brought forth by a panel of previous Tastemaker winners and CultureMap editors. While the panel choses a majority of the winners, the winner of Best New Restaurant is determined by our readers in an online, bracket-style tournament. New this year in each city, a sizzling on-site Burger Throwdown sponsored by Goodstock Beef by Nolan Ryan.

Without further ado, let’s meet our 2023 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards winners, listed by city:


  • Restaurant of the Year: Birdie’s
  • Chef of the Year: Amanda Turner, Olamaie
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Joaquin Ceballos, Este
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Mariela Camacho, Comadre Panadería
  • Bar of the Year: Nickel City
  • Bartender of the Year: Erin Ashford, Olamaie
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Nixta Taqueria
  • Wine Program of the Year: Bufalina
  • Brewery of the Year: Lazarus Brewing Co.
  • Best Burger: Dai Due
  • Best New Restaurant: Maie Day


\u200bChef Amanda Turner of Olamaie
Photo courtesy of Olamaie

Chef Amanda Turner of Olamaie is Austin's 2023 Chef of the Year.

  • Restaurant of the Year: Bludorn
  • Chef of the Year: Mark Clayton, Squable
  • Bar of the Year: Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar and Spirit Lounge
  • Best New Restaurant: Aiko
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Emmanuel Chavez, Tatemó
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Shawn Gawle, Goodnight Hospitality
  • Bartender of the Year: Kristine Nguyen, Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Craft Pita
  • Wine Program of the Year: Nancy’s Hustle
  • Best Pop-Up: Khói Barbecue
  • Best Burger: Burger Bodega

Fort Worth:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Fitzgerald
  • Chef of the Year: Juan Ramón Cárdenas, Don Artemio
  • Bar of the Year: Birdie’s Social Club
  • Best New Restaurant: Calisience
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Angel Fuentes, Guapo Taco
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: Cafe Bella
  • Best Burger: Dayne’s Craft Barbecue
  • Best Brewery: Martin House Brewing Company


  • Restaurant of the Year: Shoyo
  • Chef of the Year: Junior Borges, Meridian
  • Bar of the Year: Lounge Here
  • Best New Restaurant: Quarter Acre
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Mike Matis, Fearing’s
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Maricsa Trejo, La Casita Bakeshop
  • Bartender of the Year: Haley Merritt, Midnight Rambler
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: El Rincon del Maiz
  • Wine Program of the Year: Pappas Bros.
  • Best Burger: Wulf Burger
  • Brewery of the Year: Manhattan Project Beer Co.

San Antonio:

  • Restaurant of the Year: Carriqui
  • Chef of the Year: Robbie Nowlin, Allora, Arrosta
  • Bar of the Year: Amor Eterno
  • Brewery of the Year: Künstler Brewing
  • Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year: The Magpie
  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Sofia Tejeda, Hotel Emma
  • Best Burger: Last Place Burger
  • Best New Restaurant: Reese Bros BBQ