Dining

Austin's Most Exciting Fall Restaurant Openings

The chicken-and-waffles and pizza you'll want to try, plus Franklin BBQ's take-out window
Photo: Courtesy of Franklin Barbecue
BBQ

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Austin isn’t short on good food, booze and coffee. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more, and this fall, a slew of long-awaited and exciting restaurants are filling the city with even more mouthwatering options.

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From Franklin BBQ’s take-out window to a boutique hostel that will offer a unique dining experience to a Wi-Fi-free café where patrons are actually supposed to talk to each other, this fall’s openings are all over the map—just the way we like it.

Rustic East: Come mid-fall, East Cesar Chavez will have a new BBQ joint to call its own in the form of a sit-down restaurant where Top Dawgs Bar & Grill used to be, offering salads, fries, sandwiches and, of course, BBQ. There will also be a focus on classic cocktails and barrel-aged drinks, which diners can sip in the restaurant or on the rooftop deck.  

Take-out Window at Franklin: This is huge news for Austin—and the whole country for that matter. Hungry BBQ fans no longer have to wait in the notorious line at Franklin Barbecue. That’s because the famed joint kicked off late-summer and early-fall openings with a trailer where customers can order in advance. That’s right: You can preorder and pick up your brisket without waiting in the three-hour line.

Illustration: Pizza Fingers

The Factory - Cafe with a Soul: Couple Wendy Wu and Wallace Kusumo are aiming to open this retreat-like café, open early until midnight, this fall. Meant to be a creative sanctuary of sorts, The Factory (named after Andy Warhol’s infamous studio) will offer a relaxed setting for customers to brainstorm ideas over comfort food like chicken and waffles, nutella-and-banana waffles, house-made pastries and, of course, good coffee. Expect of-the-moment beverages like the Viva Matcha Latte and Golden Age Milk Tea, as well as wine and beer. One more thing: There will be no Wi-Fi. “You’re supposed to talk to each other, just like the Europeans do,” Kusumo says. We’re in.

Pizzeria Sorellina: The long-awaited pizzeria from the Apis Restaurant & Apiary team will finally open this fall with fresh vegetable dishes, homemade bread and, obviously, pizza. Guests could start a meal with house-milled red wheat sourdough bread or snap peas with turnips, pistachio, blood orange and whipped ricotta. Next, they should turn their attention to the margarita pie or one of the more eccentric offerings, like a mushroom pizza with taleggio cheese, fried rosemary and wild boar “speck” ham. There will also be a clam pizza.

Salt Traders Coastal Cooking: The team behind Jack Allen’s Kitchen is opening a restaurant in Round Rock that will “offer the best of land and sea” some time between late summer and early fall. Everything from the ambiance to the seafood-centric menu is inspired by the team’s coastal travels. Expect a raw bar and a wide range of unique and familiar dishes, including a smoked fish dip, deviled clams, seafood gumbo, chowder fries, a seafood Cobb salad, shrimp and grits, and a lobster roll. Non-fish eaters can bite into wood-fired chicken and bone-in rib eye.

Oysters at Salt Traders | Photo: Kenny Braun Photography

Kuneho: Paul Qui’s arrest earlier this year had a strong impact on his businesses, including his flagship, the well-regarded Qui. The chef recently revealed that he will close that restaurant on September 3 and install Kuneho, which means “rabbit” in Spanish (though spelled as it is in Tagalog) in its place in November. Details on the new spot are scant at the moment, but Qui says diners can expect sushi, pintxos and Japanese cooking techniques applied to global flavors. The space will also be the home to a cocktail bar called Rabbit Hole.

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