FIRST PLATES

East

Two more distinct dining and socializing districts are busy developing in East Austin. The city's long-touted revitalization of the 11th Street corridor is finally coming to fruition, thanks in no small part to anchor tenant Franklin Barbecue overlooking I-35 and hot spots such as Hillside Farmacy, East End Wines, 3 Little Pigs, and Mickle­thwait Craft Meats attracting curious diners farther east. Sagra found a new home in this area in 2013, and the Quickie Pickie eat-in and take-out shop is attracting a following, as well. Farther north along Manor Road, the long-established Restau­rant Row lost El Chile and Flat Top Burgers, but neighborhood outcry inspired restaurateur Carlos Rivero to bring back El Chile and create an event space in the old Flat Top spot. Two new watering holes, School House Pub and Haymaker, are demonstrating serious "attractability" since opening in the fall, and denizens of the area are eagerly awaiting the spring opening of Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club and Sugar Mama's Dessert Cafe. – Virginia B. Wood

Contigo

Here's a winning equation: unique, reasonably priced drinks (nothing over $10) + consistently delicious food that transcends typical bar fare (charcuterie plate, anyone?) + a welcoming, open-air space that always feels like a party = three years and counting for an Eastside restaurant that feels like home away from home. – Melanie Haupt

2027 Anchor, 512/614-2260

East Side Pies

East Side Pies' thin-crust works of pizza art boast a plethora of fresh, local farm and ranch toppings. You can go full Kevin McCallister with a straight-up cheese pizza, or adventure into the land of spinach curry sauce, the Nacho with black bean sauce, or the pesto-sauced Half Nelson with jerk chicken. Simply put, some of the best pies in the city – and delivered right to your door, to boot. – Jessi Cape

1401-B Rosewood, 512/524-0933

John Anderson

Eastside Cafe/Elaine's Pork and Pie

For some, Eastside Cafe is perfect for Mother's Day brunch or a birthday dinner. For others, it's the appeal of garden-fresh vegetables in a wholesome weekday lunch. The addition of fast-casual Elaine's next door, which specializes in tasty pulled pork and scratch-made pies, ensures that this duo has all the bases covered. – Melanie Haupt

2113 Manor Rd., 512/494-1464
2113 Manor Rd., 512/476-5858

Franklin Barbecue

Legendary lines for this smoked-meat sensation. Frill-less ordering: by the pound, plate, or sandwich, with simple sides and delicious pies by Cake & Spoon Bakery. Aaron Frank­lin's mouthwatering brisket has sold out every single day since opening in an East Austin parking lot in 2009. The real deal. – Gracie Salem

900 E. 11th, 512/653-1187

John Anderson

Hillside Farmacy

Local and seasonal are the names of Sonya Cote's game, and this popular East 11th Street extension of her mission pairs the antique quirkiness of a restored drugstore with legitimately farm-fresh dishes. Hillside Farmacy offers perennial favorites such as craft cocktails, soup du jour, bountiful sandwiches, a raw bar for oysters, and, of course, splendid chef specials. – Jessi Cape

1209 E. 11th, 512/628-0168

Micklethwait Craft Meats

The recent winner of the inaugural Austin Chronicle Invitational BBQ Beef Rib Smackdown, Micklethwait's meats smoke out of a vintage refurbished trailer and romance the city with hand-crafted sausages, succulent pork loin, melt-in-your-mouth brisket, and sides that rival those of any barbecue dynasty. Both consistently creative specials and time-honored favorites abound, including homemade bread and desserts. – Jessi Cape

1309 Rosewood, 512/791-5961

Sagra Enoteca & Trattoria

Named for an Old World fair featuring top-notch fresh ingredients, this bright and inviting new neighborhood spot features elegant Italian cuisine made affordable. A few highlights include house-made flavored liqueurs and happy hour, a lovely prix fixe brunch, traditional pasta galore, and an herb garden. – Jessi Cape

1050 E. 11th, 512/535-5988

John Anderson

Salty Sow

Bubbly pink cocktails, crispy duck-fat french fries topped with a sous-vide egg, tasty glazed turnips, and salmon rillette in a jar – this is either a dieter's nightmare or fantasy come true. Either way, Salty Sow provides a decadent-yet-chic counterpoint to the burgeoning Manor Road bar scene. – Melanie Haupt

1917 Manor Rd., 512/391-2337

3 Little Pigs

Chef Raymond Tatum, formerly of Jeffrey's, churns out gourmet trailer fare with a South­ern soul-Asian fusion twist. Think maple-glazed pork belly sliders; bacon-wrapped, cracklin-studded pork meatloaf; and Asian fried chicken. Also, homemade pies. – Melanie Haupt

1209 Rosewood, 512/653-5088
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