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9 New Spots to Drink and Dine in Austin This Winter

Take note of these new and soon-to-be unveiled restaurants and bars adding to Austin's lively culinary and cocktail scene

Gina's on Congress (photo by Jody Horton)

With the start of a new year comes the start of a new season of exciting restaurant and bar openings in our fair city. These nine eateries and drink destinations will make their Austin debuts this winter, and we’re already adding them to our calendars. After reading about the menus, locations, and vibes, we’re sure that you’ll want to do the same!

Gina’s on Congress

What: A French-meets-Italian bistro in Downtown Austin from the team behind Gusto and Gracìa.
Where: 314 Congress Avenue, 78701
When: Opened in December 2023

Gina’s on Congress (photo by Jody Horton)

Gusto and Gracìa have become flavorful and widely-beloved staples of Rosedale’s restaurant scene, so when their team announced plans to open an eatery in Downtown Austin, we knew that downtowners were in for a real treat.

Gina’s on Congress, which opened at the end of 2023, draws inspiration from the cuisines of both France and Italy, resulting in a lively menu starring comforting dishes with continental flair. The elegant (but not stuffy) dining room makes an ideal setting for a hearty repast of rabbit rillettes with black currant mostarda, bone marrow with sourdough, lemon zest, parsley, chive, and horseradish, mussels and frites, malfadine pasta with locally-sourced mushrooms, brown garlic, escarole, and grana padano, and much more. The playful cocktail list similarly combines French and Italian ingredients; The Diplomat, for example, features Carpano Antica (an Italian vermouth), Dolin Dry (a French white vermouth), Luxardo Maraschino (an Italian cherry liqueur), and orange bitters. 

The Statesman

What: A Downtown Austin “supper club” with midcentury flair, classic cocktails with a twist, and a pedigreed chef.
Where: 710 West Sixth Street, 78701
When: Opened January 19

(photo courtesy of The Statesman)

Downtown office workers, residents, and barflies will find lots to enjoy about The Statesman, a new American-Texan restaurant inspired by traditional restaurants that double as social clubs. The aesthetic of the space, with leather booths, pendant lights, and brass-and-copper accents, feeds into the concept, as does the menu. Steakhouse standbys like Caesar salad, seafood towers, ribeye, and filet are all present, along with housemade pastas and whimsical appetizers like upscale mozzarella sticks. The cocktail list pulls from Prohibtion-era traditions with takes on Old Fashioneds, Paper Planes, and more, all mixed and served with variations that allow the Statesman bar team to show off their creativity. 

Powder Room 

What: A “secret” cocktail bar tucked inside a sandwich shop with libations designed by an accomplished San Francisco mixologist.
Where: 303 West 5th Street, 78701
When: Opening this February

This February, Lobos Hospitality, a brand-new restaurant group out of Las Vegas, plans to make its entry into Austin with a big splash, launching the Toasty Badger Diner on South Congress Ave., a downtown sandwich shop called Manny’s, and an intimate “speakeasy” inside said sandwicherie. The cocktail bar will be known as Powder Room. Here guests will be able to expect retro-inspired decor, live music, tableside drink service, and a cocktail menu developed by Drew Record, a bar owner and beverage director from San Francisco whose previous projects include SF hits like Trick Dog and Chezchez. 

Sushi Roku

What: The first Austin location of a stylish Southern California sushi concept with artisanal rolls, creative Japanese-inspired bites, and an impressive collection of Japanese whisky and sake. 
Where: 405 Colorado Street, 78701
When: Opening this February

(photo courtesy of Sushi Roku)

Sushi Roku, a popular mini-chain of sushi bars mainly found in Southern California, will open a location in Downtown Austin in February. Enjoy Sushi Roku’s signature dishes, like their “Hanabi” with spicy tuna and avocado on crispy rice. A full bar will be available with sake, Japanese whisky, cocktails like the Sencha Sour (tequila, amaro, lemon, Thai basil, matcha-infused syrup) and mocktails like the Zen Garden (muddled cucumber, mint, pineapple, lemon & lime juice, tonic water). 


What: A laid back “Texas ice house” in East Austin from the Armadillo Den team featuring large patios, food trucks, draft beers, signature cocktails, and plenty of music.
Where: 1700 East Cesar Chavez Street, 78702
When: Opening this winter

“Ice houses”, or casual and primarily-outdoor bars with snacks, brews, and strong community spirit, are staples in Texas regions like Houston and San Antonio, but they haven’t had a major presence in Austin in recent years. The team behind beloved South Austin bar Armadillo Den wants to change that, so they’re collaborating with Chef Nic Yanes’ (Juniper, Uncle Nicky’s, The Dirdie Birdie, Murray’s Tavern) Excelsior Hospitality to create Chalmers. This will be an East Austin spot to kick back on a spacious outdoor patio. Enjoy a cold brew or a house-designed cocktail or mocktail. Grab a bite from a food truck, and to catch up with friends and neighbors.

Dainty Dillo

What: An East Austin reinterpretation of Armadillo Den with food, drink, abundant outdoor seating, and big-screen TVs.
Where: 3201 E. Cesar Chavez Street, 78702
When: Opening this winter

(photo courtesy of Armadillo Den)

The Armadillo Den gang isn’t limiting their East Austin takeover to just one venue! Instead, they’re also launching Dainty Dillo, a bar that brings everything that Austinites love about Armadillo Den to East Cesar Chavez Street. Expect plenty of outdoor tables and benches, fire pits, an onsite kitchen serving up Texan pub grub, house cocktails and local draft beers. There are also areas for live music performances, and enough TVs spread throughout to make this an ideal location for Game Day. 

LeRoy & Lewis

What: The hotly anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant in South Austin from the team behind the legendary BBQ truck LeRoy & Lewis.
Where: 5621 Emerald Forest Drive, 78745
When: Opening this winter

(photo courtesy of LeRoy & Lewis)

It’s hard to think of a 2024 restaurant that’s drumming up more early buzz and excitement than LeRoy & Lewis. The talented “new school BBQ” team helming LeRoy & Lewis’s smash-hit food truck will bring their skills to a full-scale restaurant space in South Austin where they’ll continue to serve the expertly-butchered and smoked meats that made them famous, along with a menu of bar snacks, a beverage list including wines, low ABV cocktails, beers that pair nicely with barbecue, and dishes that help LeRoy & Lewis continue the story they’ve been telling at their truck for years about modern Texan cuisine. 

Busty’s Bar & Jukebox

What: A casual neighborhood bar in Windsor Park brought to you by the people who created Day Dreamer in East Austin.
Where: 6214 Cameron Road, 78723
When: Opening this winter

When alums from Kitty Cohen’s, White Horse, High Noon, and Frazier’s joined forces to open Day Dreamer in East Austin last year, bar aficionados knew that we were in for something special. And indeed, Day Dreamer has proven a magical place to enjoy a perfectly-calibrated craft cocktail or a top-notch glass of wine on the party-heavy drag of East 6th Street. But fans of Day Dreamer (and Day Dreamer’s gifted team members) who yearn for a more low-key locale for hanging with friends and knocking back some drinks will find plenty to love at Busty’s Bar & Jukebox. This casual watering hole is scheduled to open in Windsor Park this winter. Expect relaxed vintage vibes, frosty beers, and a truck stop-inspired food menu crafted by Kinda Tropical chef James Durham.

Lao’d Bar

What: A full-service Laotian restaurant from Austin food truck pros with spicy eats and complementary beverages.
Where: 9909 Farm to Market Road 969, Building 4, 78725
When: Opening this March

(photo courtesy of SXSE Food Co.)

The SXSE truck, which has been serving up vibrant Southeast Asian fare to visitors of Vacancy Brewing off of St. Elmo since 2022, will soon expand into a full-service restaurant in Far East Austin right near Donn’s Depot and Sign Bar. At Lao’d Bar, guests will find lively modern Laotian dishes with American influences. Choose from cocktails and local beers with a particular emphasis on brews designed to pair nicely with spicy Southeast Asian dishes (like lagers and rice lagers).