The list of 50 nominees for Bon Appetit’s 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014 has been released and unsurprisingly included three eateries taking off in Austin. The Texas city has long proven to be one of the country’s foodie havens, boasting a strong farm-to-table culture and a local culinary academy. The three burgeoning Austin eateries that made the shortlist are Odd Duck, Thai-Kun and Qui. Several other major cities had a few restaurants on the list as well. Los Angeles had five restaurants nominated and New York tied Austin with three. Chicago, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle all also had multiple nominees make the cut. Bon Appetit will announce the top 10 on Aug. 19. In addition, the magazine has announced that it will be working with the television station Bravo to create a show that pits new restaurants against one another in a series of challenges. The series is to be titled “Best New Restaurant.” Here’s a look at the restaurants from Austin included on the list of nominees:
Like many modern celebrated eateries, Odd Duck started out as a local food truck with a loyal fan base. Odd Duck has seven different menus, focusing on providing options for diners with common allergies such as nuts or gluten. The restaurant seats 110 and has an outdoor patio. With a Texas-inspired cocktail menu and an emphasis on farm fresh food, it’s no surprise Odd Duck made Bon Appetit’s shortlist.
Thai-Kun is a food truck stationed behind the Wonderland Bar, creating a gorgeous outdoor aesthetic with picnic-style seating, cheap beer and top-notch street food. The truck is covered in vibrant artwork designed by Peelander Yellow, a Japanese punk rock artist. Luckily, the Austin heat makes it possible to enjoy Thai-Kun’s al fresco offerings year round.
Restaurateur Paul Qui has been an Austin legend for some time. The contemporary culinary master has won a slew of honors and was the winner of the ninth season of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” Known for East Side King, a collective of food trailers and eateries, his newest project, Qui, establishes him as a staple of the Austin food scene. The restaurant makes the best of both local Texas fare and Qui’s Filipino roots.
Of course, these are just a few of the up-and-coming places to eat in Austin. The city’s multiple entries on Bon Appetit’s list of nominees prove that Austin – and really the entire Lone Star State – is making a big impact on America’s culinary landscape.