I hope you had a delicious year of eating! Continuing with tradition, I looked back on my year of meals and picked out 10 of my favorite dishes. It was hard to narrow it down, but not that hard, as you’ll see below. All of these dishes were had in Austin.
Ziki Bites at ZIKI Kitchens
These crispy spanakopita balls surprised me and it’s a must-order when you visit this food truck.
Strawberry Book Club Cake Slice from Paper Route Bakery
This slice of cake made my year! And hopefully this year I’ll try every regular flavor at this favorite bakery.
Lobster with roasted kombu, sea urchin, dolce at Pasta|Bar
One of the best dishes of an extravagant meal at Pasta|Bar was this creative dish. The flavors were an explosion of elegance and something I wish I could enjoy regularly! See every dish in this post.
Tacos at Cuantos Tacos
There is an abundance of taco trucks in Austin. I have probably tried a tenth. But I crossed one of these off my list and it is something I still think about.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Lettuce Wrap at APT 115
Dining at APT 115 was one of the most fun chef’s tastings I had this year. The dishes were fun and creative. This lettuce wrap had delicious mushrooms in it! See the full meal in this post.
Grandma-Style Margherita Pizza from Pedroso’s Pizza
While not as many as tacos, pizza is also readily available in Austin. Pedroso’s Pizza brought us something new with their grandma-style pizza. It’s crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside, a style similar to Sicilian and hailing from Long Island, NY.
Peking Duck at Bamboo House
Bamboo House topped many lists this year because of their Peking duck. Crispy skin, juicy meat, and thin wrappers made this delicacy one of my favorite dishes.
Oreo Miso at Merry Monarch Creamery
This new ice cream food truck has been making waves with its creative, artisan ice creams. The Oreo miso is one of my new favorites.
Bone Marrow Tacos at Comedor
These decadent tacos are fatty goodness. Enough said? Learn more in this post.
Cornbread and Corn Ribs at Odd Duck
Meals at Odd Duck and/or Barley Swine are typical every year. During this meal, I really enjoyed the cornbread and these corn ribs blew my mind!
Reflecting on Austin Dining
With the pandi “over,” most restaurants tried to return to the previous normal, but it was easier said than done. Restaurants faced labor shortages, increased food costs, and wage competition, among other issues. Some restaurants weathered the years and sadly couldn’t do it anymore. I said goodbye to many bakeries and a few breweries. (List of 2022 restaurant closures on Eater Austin.)
It wasn’t only restaurants closing. With increased food costs trickling down to customers, restaurants have added some burden to diners, and many times, it was hard to see or maybe accept the value of dining out, especially when service and quality are subpar. I’ve left many meals disappointed this year, so much so I’ve been weary of eating out. You might have noticed fewer places on my quarterly flavors posts. While we’ve tried fewer new restaurants, we’ve also tried to be more discerning about where we go and saved money.
Altogether, Austin’s restaurant industry continues to evolve and I like to think it’s for the better. I hope restaurants of different cuisines continue to open and restaurants will re-focus on sustainability.
I’m excited to try new restaurants this year!
What was the best thing you ate this year?