10 Local Eats That Impressed in 2022

Duck! Soup! Dumplings!

Courtesy of Show Me Pizza

Duck Soup Dumplings at Apt 115

Chef Charles Zhuo's tasting menu at this intimate East Seventh wine bar is a treasure-strewn journey of gustatory pleasure, but these smol dumplings filled with spicy duck soup – like savory Chewels of God! – may be its apotheosis.

Black Pepper & Gruyère Popover at Foreign & Domestic

This brunch item is a warm, bready nimbus of delicate cheese and peppercorn flavor, a tear-apart savory the size of a softball, a divine blessing to your wake-up coffee time.

Waffles at Wax Myrtle’s

We're a bit in love with Wax Myrtle's Mediterranean-inflected brunch spread. The waffles, though, are further above and beyond, the dough a revelation of yeasty goodness that's not too damn sweet.

Verde Sauce at Second Bar + Kitchen

Not that the rest of the menu's a snooze – the burgers rival Jack Allen's own Fat Jack – but why has this bright and piquant salsa never been entered into The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival? It's a sure winner.

Jambalaya at Sawyer & Co.

Because you think the Googie style of this New Orleans-inspired diner is delightful, but surely the kitchen can't do justice to a Cajun classic? And then you take a few palate-orgasming bites and STFU forever.

Beef Short Rib at Aviary

This wine bar's most powerful ingredient is the chef: Andre Molina's take on slow-cooked cow flesh – with whey caramel, miso mushroom duxelles, and local kale – will make you pity all the world's vegans.

The Margherita at Show Me Pizza

At first we suspected the watch-your-pizza-being-cooked-via-video-stream deal was a cheap gimmick to obscure mediocre pies. But chef Dimitri Voutsinas isn't fucking around: This parlor is among the best in Austin.

Basque Cheesecake by Tavel Bristol-Joseph

Sorry, it's not always on the menu at Canje, but chef Tavel's signature dessert was the stunning capper of a meal presented by Andrew Zimmern for Fed by Blue during this year's SXSW and we still can't even.

Cold Almond Soup With Spanish Ham Tartare

Here's a one-time-only that we wish was always available: the creamy, nut-based brilliance of a soup course, spiked with ham and served up by guest chef Periko Ortega for the recent Spain Fusion showcase at El Naranjo.

Snack Board at Bobo’s Snack Bar

It's not just that the array satisfies with smoked chicken spread from Three Six General, Lira Rossa C'mon Berto cheese, Sour Duck crostinis, hand-pickled veggies, and more; it's that Bobo's itself is the most old-school-Austin-feeling, most charmingly quirky and comfortable spot to chill in town.

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Apt. 115, Foreign & Domestic, Wax Myrtle's, Second Bar + Kitchen, Sawyer & Co., Aviary, Show Me Pizza, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, El Naranjo, Top 10s 2022

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