The 5 Best Restaurants to Open in Texas in 2022 (So Far) – Inside Hook

Keeping tabs on every restaurant and bar opening in Texas is madness. But keep an eye out for the most deserving? Yeoman’s work, and we are proud to do it. So, we bring you Table Stakes, a look at five must-see spots that have opened so far this year. Let’s eat.

There were plenty of reasons not to open a new restaurant at the start of this year, but luckily enterprising parties continue to give us shiny new places to eat and drink. All we have to do is support them – which should be easy, as the newly christened spots range from golden and Tex-Mex steakhouses to sushi tacos and a biergarten co-signed by a real Bavarian prince. Here’s a five-pack of the most exciting new restaurants to eat right now.

Tacos Birria from Paloma Suerte.

Paloma Suerte

You are here because: It’s run by Chef Tim Love, a Texas icon whose restaurants include Lonesome Dove, Gemelle, and Love Shack. His latest venture is a colorful Tex-Mex joint named Paloma Suerte, which is located in Stockyards’ historic Mule Alley.

You dine on: Sizzling fajitas, bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with brisket and cheese, and classic dishes like enchiladas. But also birria tacos (short rib, Barbary duck or Texas goat) cooked at the table in a cast iron pan, and queso that can be personalized with a dozen toppings. The 32-seat bar offers beers, ranch waters, and 10 different frozen margaritas, so you’ll always have something new to try.

122 E Exchange Street, Suite 280 (map)

Chili from Wild Oats.

Chili from Wild Oats.

Claudia Casbarian

You are here because: It’s a new take on traditional Texas cuisine from Underbelly Hospitality’s Chris Shepherd and Nick Fine. Live fire is a key feature here (the grill was designed by Austin barbecue wizard Aaron Franklin) and many menu ingredients are sourced from nearby Houston Farmers Market vendors. The interior is a relaxed and comfortable ode to the state, with old-style schoolhouse lighting and walls adorned with Stetson hats.

You dine on: Texas-inspired cuisine with roots that stretch from the Gulf to the Panhandle. Expect prawn corn dogs, wagyu chicken fried steak, crispy pork knuckle, and fried seasonal vegetables mixed with mole. There’s plenty to drink, too, including craft cocktails, ice-cold beers, and a solid wine list. Don’t miss the Chilton, a refreshing Texas classic that fuses vodka with lemon, salt and club soda.

2520 Airline Drive, Suite C-315 (map)

Steak from Wits Steakhouse.

Steak from Wits Steakhouse.

Kathy Tran.

You are here because: This modern steakhouse builds on the traditional steakhouse menu with South African-inspired dishes drawn from owner Richard Ellman’s roots. The beautiful 4,000 square foot restaurant has a spacious dining room and bar, as well as a semi-private chef’s table and a large patio. Named after the University of the Witwatersrand, where Ellman’s mother went to school, Wits is adorned with gold accents as a nod to the huge South African mines that once provided the majority of the world’s gold.

You dine on: Entrees like biltong (South African-style jerky), tenderloin carpaccio, and bone marrow and bacon jam, as well as entrees like tomahawk steaks, peri-peri prawns, and Nova Scotia lamb Zeeland. The drinks menu features a handful of South African beers and wines, plus a long cocktail list anchored by the Mine Cart, a large-format drink (it serves four to six people) that combines tequila añejo with the Grand Marnier Cuvée 1880, alkaline spring water, yuzu and Manuka honey.

1628 Oak Lawn Avenue, Suite 110 (map)

A spread from Kokos Bavarian.

A spread from Kokos Bavarian.

bavarian kokos

You are here because: This former warehouse has been rehabilitated into a brasserie and beer garden specializing in German food and drink. The outdoor space can accommodate 400 people, so you’ll have leeway to hoist mugs. And, no kidding, one of the partners is Konstantin Prinz von Bayern (aka Koko), a real Bavarian prince.

You dine on: All kinds of sausages, from bratwurst and currywurst to rabbit-rattlesnake sausage, classic schnitzels and wood-fired meats like pork shoulder and half a chicken. To drink: beer, lots of beer. Choose from house-brewed pilsners and lagers, or opt for around 40 other German and non-German beers. To fully embrace the theme, throw in a glass of schnapps – they have 14.

4715 E 5th Street (map)

A selection of sushi tacos from Texas Sushiko.

A selection of sushi tacos from Texas Sushiko.

Texas Sushiko

You are here because: Anyone who’s ever been to Austin knows that sometimes the best food comes from a truck. After experimenting with an in-home omakase service over the past year, chef Michael Carranza launched Texas Sushiko, a hand truck parked in the yard of the Texas Sake Company.

You dine on: A well-curated menu of open hand rolls – or “sushi tacos” – stuffed with bluefin tuna, salmon, king crab, pork belly or oyster mushrooms. If you want a savory snack, you can also score edamame or, even better, a can of Russian Black River Osetra caviar served with sour cream and onion pringles. It probably goes without saying, but you should also have some sake.

440 E chemin St Elme (map)

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