It takes a lot of talent, dedication, ability, and endurance to successfully keep a blog going, especially as, the vast majority of the time, it's a labor of love (read: working for free). Nevertheless, Austin has more than 100 active food blogs covering all aspects of our collective culinary life. Here are the ones I found most outstanding in 2012. (Note: I considered all the members of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, plus any nonmember blogs that came to my attention one way or another. If you have a food blog and aren't a member of the alliance, email me and I'll be sure to consider your blog next time.)
1) Love and Lemons (www.loveandlemons.com) Although all of these blogs are marvelous, and all demonstrate the three major attributes of a great blog (regular posting, personality, and useful information), what lifts Love and Lemons into first place is how beautifully designed it is – both a wellspring of great information and a joy to look upon.
2) Hilah Cooking (www.hilahcooking.com) This Internet cooking show produced by Hilah Johnson and Christopher Sharpe is slowly clawing its way to the top of the heap. Begun with a handheld camera in 2010, it is now pretty darn slick, hilarious, and awesome. Special kudos for tackling really interesting topics, such as how to butterfly meat.
3) Local Savour (www.localsavour.com) Self-admitted "food geek" Elizabeth Van Huffel created this site to promote a lifestyle of 80-90% locally grown food, and in the process became one of the most notable (and prolific) bloggers in town. This blog has attracted national recognition for years and is one of the best of the best.
4) Way Out West Austin (www.wayoutwestaustin.com) "South Austin is cool, and East Austin may be chill, but it's time we fans showed some love for West Austin!" is the motto, and it is more than fulfilled. WOW Austin covers Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Dripping Springs, and Spicewood (along with the rest of West Austin) like an adrenalin-addicted 1940s reporter.
5) Bitch Beer (www.bitchbeer.org) A blog dedicated to kicking the sexism out of "Beer Culture" with writing by the 20% of serious beer drinkers who are women. As often happens, those overachieving women end up creating a wittier, more comprehensive, and more engaging blog than those who came before.
6) Edible Aria (www.ediblearia.com) I was happy to see that my former No. 1 Austin food blog (Jan. 1, 2010) is still in the game, though no longer posting daily. But to counter this, Edible Aria has widened its scope, now addressing food politics, food activism, kitchenware, and other topics along with the original mission of sharing "recipes for an interesting, healthy diet on a reasonable budget."
7) Austin Urban Gardens (www.austinurbangardens.wordpress.com) Austin Urban Gardens covers a lot more ground than the name suggests; although there are indeed posts about building and working urban gardens, there are also posts on a score of other food-related topics, like what to do with what you grow, local chefs, cookbooks, farmers' markets, local food businesses, and, honestly, just about everything an Austin foodie is interested in. Great reading, and very professionally done.
8) Ginny's Austin (www.ginnysaustin.com) Ginny's Austin describes itself as "one girl's take on everything happening around Austin," but I'd make that, "one very energetic girl's extremely comprehensive take on everything happening around Austin." Covering not only food, but also music and events, it's a great resource to find out what's going on around town.
9) An Avenue (www.anavenue.blogspot.com) The beer blogs are really up and coming this year! An Avenue is an ongoing "beer culture" discussion from the standpoint of reviewing a beer a day – an excellent resource for brewpub, small brewery, and even large brewery aficionados.
10) Gourmet Veggie Mama (www.gourmetveggiemama.com) It was a tough choice between this and Aneelee, as both address the world of vegetarian moms doing their best to make rewarding food the ankle-biters will eat. I ended up going with GVM, due to its greater comprehensiveness and absolute ton of recipes. A wonderful resource and fun to read.
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