Tuesday, November 17th

First Look: Wu Chow

Wu Chow, Austin Texas

The most anticipated restaurant opening of the year (for me, at least) has finally happened. Wu Chow has appeared at various events over the last year treating us to samples of egg rolls and soup dumplings and the city has worked itself up into a lather while we waited for more.

Ever since I went to the dim sum pop-up, I’ve been obsessed with checking out the dinner offerings. A couple weeks ago I had my chance at the soft opening. Our group of four sat outside on the patio to enjoy the beautiful weather, although I took a quick stroll inside and saw that it was equally chic and modern. There’s not a bad seat in the house and the music is mostly 90s hip hop, just like at sister restaurant Swift’s Attic. I completely dig this vibe.

Chicken & Taro Eggrolls at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

Shanghai Soup Dumplings at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

In addition to the aforementioned egg rolls ($6) and soup dumplings ($10), pictured above, we ordered a few more starters. The Hot & Sour Soup ($4) was close to the version I grew up eating, just a little less spicy. Did your mom feed you hot and sour soup from your favorite Chinese take-out when you were sick? Mine did, and it’s such a comfort food to me.

We also had the Pork Steamed Dumplings ($8), which are delicious in their own right. Soup dumplings get all the attention, but I have enough love to give all the dumplings. It’s been a long time since I’ve had Mushu Pork ($11), many years, actually, but it was such a treat. I won’t let so much time pass before ordering this again. A steaming mound of savory pork, eggs, and veggies was served with delightfully thin pancakes and house-made hoisin. It was one of the most filling dishes we ordered.

Hot & Sour Soup at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

Pork Steamed Dumplings at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

Mushu Pork at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

Pancakes at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

A dish that came highly recommended by our server was the Twice Cooked Pork Belly ($15). He did not steer us wrong. The slices were perfectly cooked and loaded with saucy and oniony flavor. It was the unanimous favorite at the table.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly at Wu Chow Austin Texas

Another dish that’s getting a lot of attention is the Mapo Tofu ($14). The tofu is pillowy soft and the black bean sauce and ground meat make for a hearty bowl of goodness. Mapo Tofu normally packs an intense heat and numbing quality, but this version is mellow. Wu Chow has a house made chili oil that’s loaded with flavor and like fire in your mouth, so you can add more heat if you want.

Mapo Tofu at Wu Chow Austin Texas

The Spicy Deep-Fried Chicken ($12) is one of the best values on the menu. The tender, crispy bites of chicken are ideal for sharing and the plate felt bottomless. The Singapore Noodles ($17) were lighter in texture and flavor than expected. Those looking for the curry to pack a bigger wallop might want to ask for that when ordering.

Spicy Deep-Fried Chicken at Wu Chow Austin Texas

Singapore Noodles at Wu Chow Austin Texas

Salt & Pepper Squid ($16) is a personal favorite and I was so happy with Wu Chow’s rendition. It was light, tender, and uncomplicated. The fresh squid was allowed to shine and wasn’t buried under heavy batter or overcooked. Dry Fried Green Beans ($10) were tasty and bright. Like the chicken, this is a great dish to share with a table of friends and nibble on throughout the night.

Salt & Pepper Squid at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

Dry Fried Green Beans at Wu Chow, Austin Texas

A note about the quantity of food you should order and portion size: Upon seating, our server described the portions as small plates and even used the term “Chinese tapas.” So we ordered quite a few things to share. These are decidedly NOT small plates, but normal portions. So there’s no need to go crazy. Go with a few people, order a few things to share, and enjoy.

Have you been to Wu Chow yet? Tell me what you think.

Wu Chow

500 W. 5th, Austin, TX 78701

M-Th 5 pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 5 pm-11 pm, Sun 11-3 

Monday, September 28th

Heritage BBQ by Cochon 555

We have no shortage of barbecue events in Austin. This city is crazy for meat, and dare I say, our barbecue is the best in the world. I might be biased. So we’re an obvious choice for a stop on the Cochon Tour, where a nose-to-tail competition featuring the heritage breed pigs helps support family farms and treat ticket holders to damn good eats.

Cochon 555 Heritage BBQ

The event takes place at the Driskill on October 18th. It will be my first time attending a Cochon 555 event and I’m excited to see what the local talent brings to the table. Competing this year:

  • Josh Jones (Salt & Time)
  • Andrew Wiseheart (Contigo, Gardner)
  • Sarah McIntosh (Epicerie)
  • Thai Changthong (Thai-Kun)
  • Quealy Watson (Hot Joy)

Each chef will create six unique dishes from a 180 pound heritage breed pig, so attendees should bring their appetites. As if that wasn’t enough food, some badass chefs who aren’t competing will also be cooking.

  • Daniel Olivella (Barlata)
  • Andrew Curren (Italic)
  • Shane Stiles (Stiles Switch)

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To learn more about the competition or to purchase tickets visit their website. 


Tuesday, September 22nd


This post is sponsored by Topgolf International in the promotion of the #FirstTimersClub.

Top Golf Austin

I’d always been curious about Topgolf but until recently had never been. I confess, I’m a little intimidated by golf because I think of it as an older gentleman’s pastime. But the truth is, golf is for everyone: men, women, young, old, my Pop-Pop, Justin Timberlake, and everyone in between and beyond. I don’t know that I’m ready to take on 18 holes yet, but practicing driving balls is fun. Add brunch + friends + cocktails for a relaxing way to spend some downtime on the weekend.

Top Golf Austin

Top Golf Austin

There are lots of games to choose from and you can get as competitive as you desire. My group was more competitive at the Bloody Mary bar, seeing who could cram the most olives and bacon into their drinks. That’s a game where everyone wins.

Bloody Mary bar at Top Golf Austin

We took turns swinging from our two bays, complete with comfortable couches and attentive servers. You don’t have to be a pro, obviously, or even any good at all. But you can take lessons if you’re looking to improve your game.

The menu is surprisingly diverse. Our resident banh mi afficionado gave her meal a thumbs up and other favorites included Asian Sesame Wings, the flatbreads (we tried three!) and the Cobb Salad, which was what I ordered.

Pepperoni and Sausage Flatbread at Top Golf Austin

Cobb Salad at Top Golf Austin

Topgolf Wings at Topgolf Austin

Smokehouse Burger at Topgolf Austin

Char-grilled Steak Flatbread at Topgolf Austin

Mushi at Topgolf Austin

The dessert offerings are also interesting. We tried the Sensational S’Mores (on chocolate chip cookies) and Injectable Donut Holes. The group loved the interactive nature of the donuts, trying the chocolate, raspberry, and Bavarian cream fillings.

Sensational S'Mores at Topgolf Austin

Injectable Donut Holes at Topgolf Austin

Maybe you don’t identify with the labels golfer or foodie. That’s okay. They love newcomers and will walk you through the process so you don’t have to feel weird. In fact, there’s an official group for Topgolf novices, the First Timers Club.

First Timers Club, Topgolf, Austin

Sign up by October 31st and you’ll receive a free Lifetime Membership to Topgolf as well as $10 off Game Play. This is the time to try something new. Still have reservations about trying it? This hilarious video might change your mind:

There are plenty of TVs and a comfortable bar if you’re just looking for a place to watch a game and grab some good grub. But give the golf a try. You might be surprised at how much fun it is!


2700 Esperanza Crossing, Austin, TX 78758

M-Th 9 am-12 am, F 9 am-2 am, Sat 8 am-2 am, Sun 9 am-12 am

Thursday, September 17th

All Aboard the Meal Train

Japanese Beef Noodles

A month into parenthood, I can look back at the following weeks and am grateful for our survival. I’ve mostly been hunkered down at home with Violet following her endless demands for food, diapering, and snuggling her tiny face into my neck. I’ve accomplished little else and am finding it difficult to even respond to texts or emails. My house is messier than I’d like it to be. So it’s been an adjustment, having little control of my days. I’m learning to go with the flow…most of the time.

Sausage Mac & Cheese

Boozy Chocolate Covered Strawberry

But overall, it’s been less stressful than I anticipated. I have to credit much of that to my fabulous friends who have taken such good care of Chris and I. My friend Mary Helen organized a Meal Train, which essentially is an online scheduler where people can sign up to drop off meals at a specific date and time. And sign up, they did! We didn’t have to worry about cooking for weeks. Almost everyday brought a new visitor, along with something tasty and nourishing.

Jambalaya and Cheddar Biscuits

In fact, since Violet was so late, we had some meals delivered before she was even born. Nelly made some of her famous salads, South Austin Foodie hit up Central Market’s one-day barbecue special and brought us sandwiches, and Addie worked on a crab cake mac and cheese recipe for The Statesman and we reaped the rewards.

Cuban Meal from Whole Foods

Having a bunch of foodies for friend certainly has its perks! We had homemade stromboli, lactation cookies, dal, and Linda‘s sausage mac and cheese. Lots more salads. Beef noodles and salad and kimchi with produce right from Melody and Pete’s garden. Jambalaya and cheese biscuits from an authentic Louisiana girl. Beautifully presented enchiladas and salted caramel bars from Girl Gone Grits.

Enchiladas, Chips and Guacamole, Salted Caramel Bars

Tempeh Salad

We savored Black Bean Soup, Vietnamese spring rolls with chicken and tofu, a recreation of my favorite menu item at the JW downtown, Faro Salad, a couple key lime pies (Chris’ favorite!)


Faro Salad

This list is by no means exhaustive, nor are the photos. Chris and I would dig in and relish every bite and then I’d jolt awake from my food and baby induced delirium and realize I didn’t take a picture. In addition to all the homemade food, we had lots of restaurant favorites, too. South Austin Foodie and Jodi brought us Vietnamese noodle bowls. Michelle knew we couldn’t go too long without Indian and we dined on curries together. Elizabeth brought a decadent Cuban feast from Whole Foods. Natasha brought us popcorn tofu sandwiches from Wheatsville and yummy vegan cupcakes.


Lactation Cookies

So, yes. We ate well. And we are so very spoiled by the kind and generous friends around us who showered us with love. I shed more than a few tears over the thought of each of them taking time out of their busy lives to feed us, choosing things that were special, that they knew we would love.

To those of you reading this, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!


Kristin, Chris & Violet

Monday, August 31st

Chen Z

Scallion Pancakes at Chen Z in Austin, Texas, Oak Hill

It’s been a while since I’ve actually eaten at Chen Z, but as I’m making my Thanksgiving plans to travel back east, I have Chinese on the brain. And look at those scallion pancakes. Tell me that doesn’t have you craving some Chinese now, too.

Scallion pancakes are just one thing Chen Z is known for, another being hand cut noodles which are made fresh every day.

Spicy Cold Noodles at Chen Z, Austin, Texas, Oak Hill

Like most other good hole-in-the-wall Chinese spots, this one offers little in the way of ambiance. The copper penny countertop is as fancy as it gets, but you’re not here for the decor. You’re here for the stir fried noodles.

Penny countertop at Chen Z, Austin, Texas

Pork Stir Fried Noodles at Chen Z, Austin, Texas, Oak Hill

The dumplings are serviceable and I’d recommend the pan fried over the steamed. I can’t think of another place that serves this many dumplings in a single order, so this is ideal to share.

Dumplings at Chen Z, Austin, Texas, Oak Hill

The menu is fairly small, with most dishes offering a combination of meat and noodles, topped with sauce in varying heat levels.

Spicy Oil Noodles at Chen Z, Austin, Texas, Oak Hill

Black Bean Noodles at Chen Z, Austin, Texas, Oak Hill

Everything I’ve tasted has been delicious, but there aren’t any dishes I’m loyal to just yet. Which means I can try something new each time. How about you? Have you been to Chen Z? What are your favorite dishes?

Chen Z

6705 Hwy 290, Ste 606, Austin, TX 78735

Tues-Sun 11 am-9 pm

Thursday, July 23rd

St. Philip

Pizza at St. Philip, Austin, Texas

When St. Philip opened last fall, the buzz was hot. Everyone was ready to see what kind of amazing pizza was going to come out of the Uchi group’s imagination. After all, if anyone could afford to do it right, it’s them. I envisioned chefs living in Italy for months to learn classic technique which they would then bring back to Austin with modern twists in ways only they could do. However my dreams of world-class pizza on an Uchi scale were not realized. This isn’t a pizza place. It’s a restaurant and bake shop that just happens to also make pizza. And that doesn’t mean it’s not good, only that expectations should be adjusted accordingly.

Perhaps I’m the only one trying to turn Austin into New York or Italy. What can I say? I’m greedy. It’s not enough to have the world’s best barbecue and tacos. I want the pizza, too.

Kale Pizza at St. Philip, Austin Texas

So about the pizza…it’s fine. You can order it and it’s tasty enough, presented well, and the menu offers a variety of white pizzas, which is a bonus. But you don’t come here for the pizza. You come for the other menu options. The rotating salads, which feature fresh seasonal ingredients. Fancy salads that make you realize you should be doing more with salads at home.

Bread and Fresh Margarine with Salad of Pickles from St. Philip, Austin Texas

Come for the Golden Cauliflower, which has no business being so good with raisins or parsley in it—two ingredients I don’t love—but sings on the plate.

Golden Cauliflower at St. Philip, Austin Texas

And for the love of all that is holy in cheese heaven, come for the Tomato and Burata Toast which is only $4 at happy hour. Their offering of the decadent cream and mozzarella cheese is my very favorite in the city.

Burrata at St. Philip Austin Texas

The bakeshop has a magic all its own, and despite some major misses upon opening, they seem to have found their groove. From the creative pop tarts and donuts, to scones, cookies and other fine treats, there’s something for everyone behind those glass cases. And it’s all very special.

Donut Holes at St. Philip, Austin Texas

S'Mores at St. Philip, Austin Texas

Glazed Donuts at St. Philip, Austin Texas

Bread at St. Philip, Austin Texas

When St. Philip started making breakfast sandwiches our collective ears perked up. No offense to the breakfast taco, but it’s nice to have another option. And these are really, really good. House pancetta on a homemade English muffin? Come on…

Breakfast Sandwiches at St. Philip, Austin Texas

English Muff Sandwich at St. Philip, Austin Texas

Bagel Sandwiches at St. Philip, Austin Texas

Part of the charm of St. Philip is that it’s simply nothing like Uchi. I guess one can make comparisons in the customer service or beautiful, attention-oriented decor, but it aims to stand on its own and it does. While the unfortunate troubles of since-departed chef Philip Speer may have stolen the headlines at first, it’s clear that St. Philip has rebounded and is making their own news.

St. Philip, Austin Texas

J Rose at St. Philip, Austin Texas

Have you been to St. Philip? What are your favorites?

Tuesday, July 7th

Sala & Betty

I’ve been holding onto these Sala & Betty photos for a rainy day. It was a while ago that Craft Taste and I met Foodie is the New Forty and her hubby for dinner—the soft opening, actually—but the memory is fond and I wanted to share.

Sala & Betty, Austin, Texas

The space is comfortable with modern industrial touches and cozy seating, a dog-friendly patio, and a bar. Oh, and there’s a drive-thru that serves quick food but not the kind of “fast food” you’re thinking of…unless fast food to you is organic home cooking. So there’s a lot going on in this little place.

They perfected the ready-to-go food during the soft opening, so that is what we tried. I need to make return visits to try the lunch and dinner menus, but on this day we all really loved what is now the drive-thru menu.

Mister T sandwich at Austin, Texas

It was hard to choose a sandwich, but we settled on the Mister T with its Wagyu Smoked Sirloin, avocado aioli, fries and bleu cheese sauce. The perfectly balanced flavors are topped with lots of fresh greens and housed in crusty bread. This was a really good sandwich and worth the trip alone.

Ready to go menu at Sala and Betty, Austin, Texas

We also shared a few more dishes, pictured above. Meats are available a la carte so we tried the Beef Sirloin which was tender and juicy, and the Pork Shoulder which was the favorite dish of the evening. Expertly seasoned and so succulent, we happily devoured the plate. For sides we had fresh garlic green beans and what is perhaps the most talked-about menu item, the fries. In fact, we ordered a second plate because we couldn’t get enough of their perfectly cooked, salty crunch.

Bake at home chocolate souffle at Sala and Betty, Austin Texas

For dessert, we couldn’t resist the Bake-at-Home Chocolate Soufflé. Of course, we didn’t have to bake it ourselves at the restaurant, so it was served warm and gooey. There’s nothing like a decadent chocolate dessert to cap off a meal. Except maybe a creme brûlée. Sala & Betty offers a Brûlée of the Day and on this day it was a black tea flavor which was shockingly good and the perfect size to share.

Brulee of the Day at Sala and Bess, Austin, Texas

Where’s the last place you had a fun dinner with friends? Have you been to Sala & Betty?

Sala & Betty

5201 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

M-Th 10:30am-9pm, F-Sat 10:30am-10pm

Tuesday, June 2nd


Banger's Sausage House and Beer Garden, Rainey Street Austin Texas

What can be said about Banger’s that hasn’t been said a million times before? Everyone loves this place. It boasts the largest draft beer selection in the city. The menu built around sausages is so popular that the massive location is always full of hungry dudes. (Indeed, it’s a veritable sausage fest. Take note, ladies.) It’s got a great atmosphere, tons of live music, and is so dog friendly that I think a couple canines actually help run the place.

Sausage at Banger's, Austin Texas

Actually, the place is run by owner Ben Siegel, beer manager Courtney Strange, and a whole slew of other dedicated staff. Craft Taste and I had the opportunity to chat with Ben and Courtney, and while we were already big fans of Banger’s, we walked away with an almost evangelical love for the place.

First, why sausages? Mostly because Ben was a huge fan of Best Wurst in college and thought Austin could benefit from a larger sausage offering. No argument there. The menu is huge and really well thought-out. Obviously it’s a carnivores paradise, but there are plenty of offerings for the more plant-minded as well. Pickles (also the name of one of Ben’s dogs) and krauts, potatoes, and what was a new discovery for me…boiled peanuts.

Boiled Peanuts, Banger's Austin Texas

If you haven’t tried boiled peanuts, put it on your list of must-eats in Austin. The Southern specialty is made from raw peanuts that are boiled in a salty, flavorful brine until soft. Best served with beer and good conversation, one squeezes the peanut shell, popping the soft peanuts and juice into ones mouth. It’s one of those active snacks that’s delicious, fun, a bit exotic (to a Yankee like me, at least) and just perfection in its simplicity. Note that I was enjoying the outside seating area when these were served and my dark photo doesn’t do the peanuts, or any of the food justice. But it was a lovely night to sit outside and I have no regrets!

Banger's, Austin Texas

Cajun Boudin is another menu highlight that’s a novelty to my northern palate. Split open the casing and spread onto a saltine, topping with red beans and rice and a healthy dash of hot sauce. This was another fun dish to share and I’ve thought about it more than a few times since.

Cajun Bouldin Plate, Banger's Austin Texas

As the menu and the tables are so large, Banger’s is the perfect spot for large groups. They are used to accomodating big parties and everyone can order different things to share. As I’ve mentioned, the outside seating area is huge and fabulous, but the inside is not to be overlooked. German-style or beer hall seating means lots of long tables in a big room. It’s loud, it’s festive, it’s efficient.

Beer taps at Banger's Austin Texas

Since I’m married to a craft beer nut, I’ve sat in front of this tap wall, many, many times. His tastes are much more diverse than my own and he’ll be writing his own post about Banger’s eventually. I’m always thrilled with the rotating wheats and anything on nitro, and now that I’ve got a little passenger on board, I’m grateful when I see root beer on tap. On Mondays the beer staff meets for their legendary beer meetings. Bottles are tasted, hops discussed and the second half of the meeting is open to the public. I hope to drop in myself one day and learn a few things.

Have you been to Banger’s? What are your favorite beers and brats you’ve had there? Leave me a comment and tell me what else I need to try.

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

79 & 81 Rainey St

Sun 10 am-11 pm, M-W 4 pm-11 pm, Th-Sat 11 am-12 am

Monday, March 2nd

SXSW 2015: Fun Without a Badge

So you can’t shell out for a pricey badge, nor will your job pay for you to attend SXSW 2015. Does that mean you have to miss out on the fun? Hell no! Each year the unofficial events get as much, if not more, press than the official programming. There’s no reason why you can’t join in on the fun!

First, if you haven’t participated in South by Southwest before (or just need a refresher) you can check out my survival guide. Whether you are in it for the swag, the free noms and drinks, parties, networking, etc, you’ll want to be prepared for long days, crazy nights, and sensory overload.

Here are my picks for free events and parties at SXSW this year. This is not a comprehensive list, not even close. Don’t forget that you can tap RSVPster to do the legwork for you. Note that RSVPing does not guarantee you’ll get in to anything, so show up early to the events you really care about.

ATX Startup Crawl

Startup Crawl. Austin’s finest pre-conference (March 12) kickoff is a night of startup hopping downtown. It’s free and you can hit as many offices as you like, most of whom have free booze, casual eats, and kickass DJs. Those of us who live in Austin get to do this twice a year, but the excitement of the spring crawl can’t be beat.


The BIG BASHH. Another regular local event, the Big Ass Social Happy Hour is how many of us network, blow off steam, and just enjoy Austin’s fun professional scene. The big BASHH, the one that leads into SXSW is the best of the year. It’s buzzing with energy and those who travel in for the conference know that’s the best place to get a real taste of Austin with the locals. (March 12)

Umbelmania. Local tech company Umbel will pack the Moody Theater with interactive attendees (and the general public) with live performance by Spoon and (my personal favorite DJ) DJ Chicken George. RSVP and do your best to get there early as badge-holders will get priority access. (March 13)

Gigya Grill. Those seeking refuge and some satiation can stop by El Sol y La Luna for complimentary breakfast, lunch, or happy hour, 10-6. More than just some free noms, Gigya offers networking opportunities and panels. (March 13-15)

Awesomest Journalism Party. Ever. Sponsored out the wazoo, this annual session is a merging of journalism and tech. 5-8 at the Palm Door. (March 14)

Awesomest Journalism Party Ever

Spotify House. Five days of music and fun, plan on waiting in line to get in. But waiting in line is part of SXSW, so embrace it and make friends with the people around you. (March 15-20)

Do512 Family Picnic. For family-friendly fun, head out of the crazy zone to Midway Park for music, food trucks, face painting, magic shows, and more. It’ll be crowded, so bring the kiddies closer to 2:00 and hope they can stay awake till 8. (March 17)

Hype Hotel. The tenth year of this event promises big names paid for by big sponsors like Mazda, Taco Bell, Miller Lite, and Tito’s Vodka. Crazy crowded, plan to be packed in like a sardine any day or time that you go. (March 17-21)

Music Tech Mashup. The fifth anniversary of this event brings a really good music lineup to Empire Control Room and Garage. RSVP on the Facebook page for a chance to win VIP entry. (March 17)

Waterloo Records. The line-up is always fantastic at our favorite little local music shop. This is always the first place I recommend for those who want free access to the biggest acts. It’s a classic Austin location that we’re all so proud of and they always bring some of the magic of SX to locals who may otherwise feel left out of the festival. (March 18-21)

Pandora Discovery Den. Four days of eclectic bands means there’s something for everyone: Electronic, Hip Hop, Americana, and Rock. Head to The Gatsby 1-6 when shows are open to the public. (March 18-21)

Ray Ban\Boiler Room Official Showcase. As hip hop becomes increasingly popular at SXSW the showcases get more and more impressive. You might have a shot at getting into this one to see Ghostface Killah and plenty more great acts by applying for a ticket on their site. (March 18)

KUTX Live at the Four Seasons. Early birds flock to the Four Seasons where $10 gets you entry to four hours of live music, breakfast tacos, coffee, and granola bars. First come first served, there’s no RSVP list. (March 18-21)

Austin Party Weekend. There’s not much info about the APW party yet, but you can show up at Empire Control Room and Garage for day parties March 18-21 and you’ll be sure to have a good time. Don’t forget to RSVP.

APW 2015

Culture Collide. Rainey Street is normally a perfect spot for more intimate—if packed—shows and surprise artists pop up there from time to time. More than 100 bands will be on three stages. RSVP and scroll through the website to handpick your music schedule. Bonus, SouthBites Trailer Park is close by so you can sample the yummiest trucks when you get hungry.

Party in My Pants. The Live Vibe day party will take place at Little Woodrow’s March 20-21st with new bands each hour. Should you hang out all day you’ll get to taste a nice chunk of the music offerings this year.

If you want to check out even more parties and events, Austin 360 has a handy, easy-to-search database of every side party. You can also see who applied for city permits this year, both official and non-official SXSW events.

Want to tell share another event? Leave a comment with the details.

Friday, February 27th

2015 Guide to Indian in Austin

As part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance’s City Guide, I give an annual update on all the Indian restaurants in Austin. While some complain about a lack of Indian options to be found in our fair city, I beg to differ. Each year I get to add more restaurants to this list, proving that our options continue to grow and thousands of Austinites get to satisfy their curry cravings. So let’s get to the list! 

Austin Food Blogger Alliance 2015 City Guide


801 E. William Cannon Dr, Ste 205, Austin, TX 78745

T-Th 11-2, 5-9:30, F 11-2, 5-10, Sat 12-3, 5-10, Sun 12-3, 5-9:30

Don’t let the rundown strip mall or sparse decor fool you, Asiana makes some great food. Delicious dosas, fluffy naan and some of the spiciest vindaloo in the city. Ask for it spicy and you shall receive.


Biryani Pot

12407 N. Mopac Expy, Ste 200B, Austin, TX 78758

T-Th 11-2:30, 5:30-10 F 11-2:30, 5:30-10:30, S 11:30-3, 5:30-10:30, Sun 11:30-3, 5:30-10

This chain has high quality food, friendly service, and is a very popular lunch destination. Formerly Taj Mahal Indian Cuisine.

Bombay Bistro

10710 Research Blvd. #126, Austin, TX 78759

4200 South Lamar #300, Austin, TX 78704

M-Th 11-2, 5:30-10, F 11-2, 5:30-10:30, S 11:30-3, 5:30-10:30, Sun 11:30-3, 5:30-10

The elegant, romantic decor of the south location makes for a great date spot.

Bombay Dhaba

1207 S. First St, Austin, TX 78704

M-Sat 11-2, 5-10

This South Austin food truck puts out consistent food at a great value, making it a popular local stop for diners and lunch and dinner. Like all trucks that have good food, they’ll occasionally run out of things so head there early if you’ve got your heart set on a particular item.

Bombay Express

13000 North I35, Bldg 12, Unit 216, Austin, TX 78753

Tues-Sun 11-9


Bombay Grill Indian Restaurant

3201 Bee Caves Rd. #148, Austin, TX 78746

Sun-Th 11-2:30, 5:30-9:30, F-Sat 11-2:30, 5:30-10

Cheery service and wide range of options on the buffet.

Chaat Shop

Mobile at lunch, 1104 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 in the evenings

M & W 11:30-1:30, 5-11, Th 11:30-1:30, 5-1, F-Sat 5-1, Sun 5-11

Check the website to see when the food truck will be in your area. With a menu that caters to vegetarians and vegans, but also offers meat options, there’s something for everyone. Food is high quality and a favorite among locals.

Chapli Kabobs n Curries

1200 W. Howard Lane, Austin, TX 78753

Sun, T-Th 11-2:30, 5-9, F-Sat 11-2:30, 5-10

Indian dishes are served alongside Pakistani and Afghani food in a traditional or banquet setting.

Chicken Lollypop

1005 E. Braker Lane, Austin, TX 78753

11-9 daily

The Mumbai-style Indian Chinese menu satisfies vegetarians and meat eaters alike.


2601 S. I35, Ste. B-400, Round Rock, TX 78664

M-F 11-2, 5-10, Sat-Sun 12-3, 5-10

Leans on Southern cuisine although has some Northern offerings. Known for their lunch buffet.

Clay Pit

1601 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78701

M-Th 11-2:30, 5-11, F 11-2:30, 5-11, Sat 12-3, 5-11, Sun 12-3, 5-10

downtown favorite, Clay Pit offers a modern setting and delicious Bombay-inspired cocktails. The curried mussels alone are worth the trip.

Curried Mussels

Curry in a Hurry

2121 W. Parmer Lane #114, Austin, TX 78727

Daily 10-9

This vegetarian spot features a daily curry. Bonus: free wi-fi!

Daawat Indian Cuisine

500 Canyon Ridge Drive, Austin, TX, 78753

M-F 11-2, 5-10, Sat-Sun 11:30-3, 5-10

Formerly Indian Spicy Kitchen, the extensive menu and online ordering system makes takeout a breeze.

G’Raj Mahal

73 Rainey Street, Austin, TX 78701

Once a popular food truck this lovely Rainey Street restaurant has lots of outdoor dining in the front and chic backyard, as well as indoors. It’s a great date night spot or a place to fill up on carbs before or after hitting the bars.

Beautiful outside seating area @grajmahalaustin #afbahh #indian

A photo posted by Kristin Sheppard (@madbettyatx) on

Gandhi Bazar

3421 W. William Cannon Dr, #133, Austin, TX 78745

https://instagram.com/p/mBeO3DTGL8/?modal=true12809 N FM 620, #3, Austin, TX 78750

2121 W. Parmer Lane, #113, Austin, TX 78727

Daily 10-9

Prefer to cook your own Indian food? Stock up on spices and other essentials at one of Gandhi Bazar’s locations.

Hot Breads Bakery and Cafe

7318 McNeil Drive, Ste 102, Austin, TX 78729

Daily 10-10

So much more than a bakery, choices run from traditional Indian dishes to savory spiced puffed pastries. A unique concept in Austin.

Inchins Bamboo Garden

3107 S I35, Ste 760, Round Rock, TX 78664

M-Th 11:30-2, 5-10, F 11:30-2, 5-10:30, Sat 12-3:30, 5:30-10:30, Sun 12-3:30, 5:30-10

This Indo-Chinese chain features street food inspired dishes and a buffet.

Indian Palace

3616 Far West Blvd, Ste 113, Austin, TX 78731

Daily 11-8:45

North Indian cuisine; delivers to surround area.

Kabab Food Corner

9717 N. Lamar Blvd, Ste C2, Austin, TX 78753

M, W, Th 11:15-9:30, F-Su 11:30-9:30

Halal Pakistani and Indian cuisine.



Th-Sat 8:30-3:30 am

Check the Facebook page to see where the Indian Mediterranean fusion will be on any given date. Most popular dish is the Chicken Tikka Masala Wrap.

KP Indian Grocery

1212 W. Parmer Lane, Unit F, Austin, TX 78727

Daily 10:30-9:30

Small Indian grocery store stocked with the essentials.

Lamba’s Royal Indian

414 Waller Street, Austin, TX 78702

Spicing up farmer’s markets, Lamba’s sells a wide range of frozen Indian dishes. They can be found at HOPE and other farmer’s markets in and around Austin.


Madras Pavillion

9025 Research Blvd, Ste 100, Austin, TX 78758

M-F 11-3, 5:30-9:30, S-S 11-10

The vegetarian favorite has cuisine from both North and South India.

Man Pasand Grocery

3601 W. William Cannon #750, Austin, TX 78749

Daily 10-9

A great place to stock up on spices, snacks, frozen meals, grains and more. The freshly made hot samosas for $1.00 at the counter are some of the best I’ve ever tasted.

Masala Dhaba

75 Rainey Street, Austin, TX 78701

T-Th 5 pm-12 am, F-Sat 5 pm-3 am, Sun 5 pm-10:30 pm

This food truck is a Rainey Street staple and reviews are extremely positive. Perfect for late night eats while bar-hopping.

Masala Wok

1100 Center Ridge Dr, Ste 300, Austin, TX 78753

10515 N. Mopac, Ste. A-155, Austin, TX 78759

Daily 11-10

This chain has classic Indian and Chinese options.

MTM Indian Foods

9225 W. Parmer Lane, Austin, TX 78717

Sun-Th 11-8:30, F-Sat 11-9

Grocery store with a range of Northern and Southern Indian items.

Naanful Indian Grill

11101 Burnet Rd, Ste A130, Austin, TX 78758

Sun-Th 11-3, 5-9:30, F-Sat 11-3, 5-10

2000 S. I35, Round Rock, TX 78681

Sun-Th 11-9, F-Sat 11-10

Quick, build-to-order dishes. Will deliver, but order early, as their site estimates 60-75 delivery time.


1614 E. 7th St, Austin, TX 78702

Sun-Th 11 am-12 am, F-Sat 11 am-2 am

The sister restaurant of New India Cuisine has a full bar, moderate prices, and favorites such as Millionaires Curry and lots of seafood dishes. Their tagline Get High on Indian Food is perfect for its East Austin home.

New India Cuisine

2304 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

M-F 11-10, S-S 12-10

The South Austin Marathi-style restaurant offers lots of fish and yeast-free naan. While not my personal favorite, many love this place.

New India

Paradise Biryani Pointe

1779 Wells Branch Pkwy, Ste 102, Austin, TX 78728

M-Th 11:30-2:30, 5:30-10, F-Sun 11:30-3, 5:30-10

They specialize in biryani, but if that’s not your thing, there’s a large menu with lots of diverse options.

Royal India

4894 Hwy 290 West, Austin, TX 78735

M-Th 11-2, 5:30-9, F 11-2, 5:30-10, Sat 11:30-2:30, 5:30-10, Sun 11:30-2:30, 5:30-9:30

1150 Research Blvd, Austin, TX  78759

M-F 11-2:30, 5:30-10, S-S 11:30-3, 5:30-10

Favorites include a dosa bar and the Royal Feast, a $44 multi-course dinner for two people. In my opinion, Royal India has the best buffet in town.

Samosa Spot

12809 FM 620, Austin, TX 78750

Th-Sun 12-9

This truck parks in front of Ghandi Bazar and serves up classic fried Indian eats and chaat.


8440 Burnet Rd, Ste 100, Austin, TX 78757

M-Th 11-2:30, 5-10, F 11-2:30, 5-11, Sat 11-3:30, 5-11, Sun 11:30, 5-10

This old Austin favorite specializes in thali and surly waitstaff.



9310 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753

Sun-Th 11:15-10:50, F-Sat 11:15-11:50

The biryani is a favorite.

Star of India

2900 W. Anderson Lane, Ste 12D, Austin, TX 78757

Sun-Th 11-2:30, 5:30-9:30, F-Sat 11-2:30, 5:30-10

Standard buffet of classic dishes in a comfortable setting.


9225 W. Parmer Lane, Ste 108, Austin, TX 78717

M-Th 11-3, 5-10, F 11-3, 5-10:30, Sat 11-3:30, 5-10:30, Sun 11-3:30, 5-10

All vegetarian, specializing in thali options.

Suvai Indian Kitchen

12920 W. Parmer Lane #105, Cedar Park, TX 78613

M-Th 11-2:30, 5-9, F 11-2:30, 5-9:30, Sat 12-3, 5-9:30, Sun 12-3, 5-9

Formerly Kadai Indian Kitchen, Cedar Park residents are delighted by large portions, fresh spicy dishes, and fast service. A must do if you are in the area.


9515 N. Lamar Blvd #156, Austin, TX 78753

Daily 11:30-9

Vegetarian favorites and fun street food. The big-as-your-head dosas are a must try. You won’t even mind the lack of atmosphere. Prices are low and service is fast and efficient, if not personable. Not a place for a date, but still one of my favorite places in Austin.

Mysore Masala Dosa

Taj Palace Indian Restaurant and Bar

6700 Middle Fiskville Road, Austin, TX 78752

M-Th 11-2, 5:30-10 F 11-2, 5:30-10:30 S 11:30-2:30, 5:30-10:30, Sun 11:30-2:30, 5:30-10

For more than 20 years the extensive buffet has been delighting loyal customers. This was one of Austin’s first Indian restaurants.

Tarka Indian Kitchen

201 University Blvd, Round Rock, TX 78665

2525 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757

5207 Brodie Ln, Austin, TX 78745

Sun-Th 11-9, F-Sat 11-10

The little sister of Clay Pit offers many of the same classic curries and fantastic pakoras. The fast, casual counter service has proven to be so popular that they keep expanding, with three locations in the area and one in San Antonio.

Mirch Masala


Taste From India

519 E. 7th Street, Austin, TX 78758

Th-Sat 7 pm-4 am

Indian kabobs for the late-night bar crowd.

Teji’s Foods

2100B Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705

Sun-W 11 am-10 pm, Th-Sat 11 am-3 am

1205 Round Rock Ave #115, Round Rock, TX 78681

Sun-Th 10:30-9, F-Sat 10:30-10

Part grocery, part restaurant, the widely-respected Teji’s has the fluffiest naan.

Whip In

1950 I35 South, Austin, TX 78704

Daily 10 am-midnight

A funky South Austin staple, Whip In is a convenience store with indoor and outdoor live music, a massive selection of craft on draft, and a large menu of fusion Indian eats. Namaste, y’all.