Austin's Top 10 Restaurants of 2009

This year has been a stellar one to open an innovative restaurant in Austin. In spite of a sluggish economy, many openings in 2009 have been instantly successful, delicious, and true to the roots of this city. One caveat: No food trucks or mobile vendors in this list, though at least 10 notable ones have opened and made an impression this year. And now, in no particular order, find the best restaurants in Austin of 2009.

Updated: December 09, 2009

Where We Dined in '09

Annie's Cafe and Bar

319 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

This lovely spot on Congress Avenue features a full bar with svelte signature cocktails, and is a gorgeous spot for a meal. Sit down for a proper one, hot or to go; all three are served here. Salads and sandwiches make for gourmet takeaway for the day job set, and the baked goods displayed in a glass case are drool-worthy.

East Side Show Room

1100 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

This deluxe spot displays their artisanal tendencies in more ways than one. With rich baked goods changing daily, extremely local and fresh cuisine and every sauce made in-house, this place is localvore ground zero. The owner's own metal light fixtures add another interesting layer.

Fortune Chinese

10901 N Lamar Blvd Ste A-1, Austin, TX 78753

This spot, in a shopping mall already overladen with decent restaurants, offers excellent dim sum seven days a week and finer entrees with rare ingredients, all in its opulent dining rooms.


407 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701

This place is all hot dogs, all the time. From hand-made artisinal sausages to the classic all-beef to the Chicago dog, it's here, and it is with beer. The meatiest bourbon ever sipped is made in-house: bacon-infused Makers' Mark.


360 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78701

Another new leader in the fresh-local-organic movement is this place, named for the owner who previously led Jeffrey's into the hearts and minds of Austin diners.

House Pizzeria LLC

5111 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

Gourmet pizza can be pricey or feel snobby to even read about, but even toppings like Stilton, pear, balsamic reductions, and the yuppiest leaf, arugula do not make this joint overly fancy. The wood-fired crust is a crisp, bubbly miracle, and the prices are so decent weekly visits are not out of the question.


4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702

This charming French bistro adds a lot to the East Side's new glamour. Chefs here embrace the localvore aesthetic and uses produce grown within a few miles of the restaurant, but the cooking is classic and a pure joy, peppered with rich confits and terrines.

La Condesa

400 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

This glam joint slings upscale Tex-Mex from which all the ingredients are as locally procured as possible. Only the most cruelty-free meats farmed close to the restaurant are used--and that includes the whole roast pig, which takes 72 hours to complete, so calling ahead for that is a must. The Austin Chronicle dubbed its martini made with watermelon and elder-flower foam one of the best in the city.

Mama Roux

13000 N Interstate 35# 600, Austin, TX 78753

While this restaurant doesn't maintain a highly visible presence on the web, it doesn't have to: Austinites already know and love its food and friendly owners. Portions are uber-generous, and the smoky, spicy, familial taste of New Orleans is in every innovative dish.

Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar

1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

While Esquire Magazine isn't exactly known for its culinary instincts, it did give props to this restaurant in the first few months of its opening. Maybe because it is cool, has a killer location, and hearty, fresh, upscale seafood and great key lime pie.