Guadalupe gastropub channels Sporty Spice and Posh Spice
With more than 150 people added to the Austin population every day, and new restaurants opening almost weekly, it's not impossible for newbies to miss out on some staples, or for longtime residents to forget about the true-blue favorites. This new column – In Case You Missed It – aims to shine a spotlight on Austin institutions, under-the-radar spots, and hella good places that don't land on trending listicles. We'll kick things off with one of my favorite hang zones in the city. – Jessi Cape
In reverse-mullet style, Hopfields brings their party to the front and sits business down in the back – and by business, we mean fine dining. Known for its craft beer, the UT campus gastropub boasts a tap wall with more than 40 rotating brews (including a surprisingly large selection of sours and goses). Uniquely, the French-inspired hot spot strikes a fine balance between easygoing beer bar and swanky, high-quality bistro, and their expansive drink menu creates harmony between beer aficionados, cocktail fanatics, and wine connoisseurs. It's a great spot to try something new – maybe some on-tap local kombucha.
With so much emphasis on drinks, perhaps you're wondering if the food takes a backseat, but that's certainly not the case. Like the beer menu, Hopfields offers regular menu updates, while keeping favorite dishes like moules frites (mussels in a delightfully spicy white wine and chili flake sauce with pommes frites) and salade niçoise available. The entire menu is made in-house, from scratch with local farm produce, and they run nightly dinner specials.
On any given night, Hopfields is ready to fire up the projector, pull down the white screen, and display that super-important sports game for the rowdy patrons communing at the picnic-table style seating near the bustling bar and peekaboo windows along Guadalupe. Down the hallway though, hidden like coves in a bay, are smaller nooks with varying personalities and fringe-iced aesthetics reminiscent of a more refined time and place. The dimly lit tables for two (complete with carpet underneath to help reduce noise) are perfect for a date. Chandeliers illuminate larger tables toward the back that are ideal for sharing blistered shishitos with a writers' group or steak tartare for girls' night out. With the big bonus patio, Hopfields proves itself a shape-shifting perennial favorite.
Mon.-Fri., 11am-12mid; Sat., 10am-12mid; Sun., 10am-10pm