The Required: Austin

The Required: Austin

A definitive guide to Austin's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

October 14, 2019
The Required: Austin

The Required: Austin

A definitive guide to Austin's tried and trues, as chosen by over 5000+ of chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, & other food and beverage pros.

October 14, 2019

Hello, Austin. Welcome to The Required club.

The Required is our expert version of a "best list," comprised of the stand-out restaurants that have garnered the all-time most recommendations from our expert community. That's 5000+ all-star chefs, sommeliers, bartenders, and more–no black box of food editor committees or user surveys, just plain, crave-able cred.

Read on to plan your next trip—or just to be sure you've checked all the boxes on your home turf. 

Ramen/ Kemuri Tatsu-ya

The story of Ramen Tatsu-Ya and its spin-off Kemuri Tatsu-Ya is one that could only be told in Austin. Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto met when they were making waves as DJs in Austin’s Hip Hop scene. It turns out the two not only had music but cheffing in common. It makes sense: matching beats and pairing flavors in stand-out ways are similar skill sets–you’ve got to master the material before you start breaking rules. When you look at the mash-up of Tex-Mex meets Japanese flavors on Kemuri Tatsu-Ya’s menu, backed with the more Old School Japanese flavors of Ramen Tatsu-Ya, you can see where the duo’s time spent as DJ’s, as well as chefs in Michelin starred restaurants, have informed their technique. At Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s three locations, Tonkatsu Original is the staple dish: a 60-hour broth made with pork imported from Southwest Japan, served over thin noodles. The vibe at all three locations is one of inclusivity and fun, in fact, it is written into the house rules that you must slurp your broth loudly and ask for more noodles if you want them. Meanwhile at Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, the duo spins some Tex-Mex into the mix. Our experts say to go for the Texan Ramen, with Beef Broth and Smoked Brisket and the Chili Cheese Octopus Fritters with Smoked Jalapeño. Kemuri Tatsu-Ya also rocks a Texas-style Izakaya that has a very impressive list of Japanese whiskey cocktails, beer, and sake list.

Ramen Tatsu-ya
Hot Spot
North Austin Civic Association, Austin
$$, Happy Hour, Asian, Ramen, Noodles
11 Recommendations

Bufalina

When you’ve had your fill of barbecue and breakfast tacos (if that’s humanly possible) and find yourself craving pizza (a human inevitability), Bufalina is our Austin experts’ first choice. It focuses on Neapolitan style wood-fired pies with thoughtfully sourced ingredients. The idea of eating a Fresca with Prosciutto Piccante, Arugula, Lemon, and Mozzarella on a hot Austin day has us swooning, as does their world-class list of natural wines. In fact, we’re told Bufalina has one of the best Happy Hours in all of Austin, if not the world, offering half-off prices on all bottles of wine $160 and under as well as half-off on their creative offering of pies. Bufalina is a great place to meet Austin locals, who are well worth talking to, as they have a tendency to be disarmingly friendly and funny. 

Bufalina
Hot Spot
East Cesar Chavez, Austin
$$, Reservations, Italian, Pizza
14 Recommendations

Juniper

For dinner, Juniper, a restaurant at the higher-end, modern style of Northern Italian dining makes the list. Pulling from his tenure with the Uchi group, Chef Nic Yanes creates simple, ingredient-forward dishes that demonstrate the confident yet delicate restraint, that is the hallmark of a Chef whose instincts are to be trusted. For dinner, the simple Roast Chicken with Rosemary Marinade and Lemon is a reminder that it is sometimes the most uncomplicated things in life that bring us the most pleasure. The Pappardelle with Short Rib Ragu and Horseradish makes our Old World hearts sing, while the Grilled Okra with Bagna Cauda and Mint is a successful nod to both Texas and Italy. Juniper’s cocktail list smartly incorporates various Amari into the mix and their wine selection boasts many irresistible Italian imports. 

Juniper
Hot Spot
Holly, Austin
$$, Outdoor Seating, Happy Hour, Italian, Modern, Full Bar, Modern European
9 Recommendations
Displaying items 4 - 6 of 19 total