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The Supercharged Flavor Guide to Austin

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This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.
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Flavor, it goes without saying, is a priority of just about every restaurant or bar. And there are dishes (and drinks) that knock each of the five basic flavors—sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami—out of the park. As part of Eater's partnership with MOFAD and Infiniti USA, we'll be mapping the biggest flavor hits of cities across the country. This stop: Austin. In a city filled with much more than just heavenly brisket and craveable tacos, here are 10 places that do wonders with the five flavors.

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1. Cow Tipping Creamery

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2512 Rio Grande St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 538-4039
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This 1978 Chevy emergency response vehicle—painted electric blue and parked near UT’s campus—is turning out softserve you have to taste to believe. Owners Corey and Tim Sorenson use only the best ingredients for their handcrafted sauces, toppings, and ice cream, which they layer into wild sweet creations called Stackers (because why should the top of the sundae get all the love?). There’s an inventive new special, like the Matcha Man (matcha green tea soft serve layered with toasted coconut, brown sugar hot fudge, sweet adzuki beans, sweet mochi and a cornflake crumb topping), every day.

2. Bribery Bakery

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2013 Wells Branch Pkwy Ste 109
Austin, TX 78728
(512) 531-9832
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After the immense popularity of her bake sale pop-ups, Jodi Elliot opened her own shop in Wells Branch this past spring and has just expanded to a second Mueller location. This pastry queen is constantly creating, so a trip to her colorful dollhouse of a shop could yield any number of sweet revelations. There’s everything from creamy parfait cups to get-em-while-you-can items like Heath bar butterscotch eclairs, coconut lime coffee cake with brown butter streusel, “hot chocolate” donuts topped with cayenne chocolate glaze and toasted marshmallows, over-the-top Nutella babka, or a picturesque strawberry and orange courtesan au chocolat inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel.

3. Emmer & Rye

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51 Rainey St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 366-5530
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While plenty of restaurants have been experimenting with pickling and fermentation in recent years, Emmer & Rye has elevated the process to a sour art form. Guests in the dining room can peer through french doors that lead to a pantry of experiments, where fermentation expert Jason White creates unique products like cauliflower leaf and sorrel vinegar, dried broccoli preserved in mushroom brine, fermented tomato and tangerine kosho, escarole fermented in preserved hibiscus relish, and persimmon fermented in pecan milk. Not only do these delicious experiments make use of salvaged discards, they also add tart notes and layers of brightness and depth to each dish they touch.

4. Apis Restaurant & Apiary

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23526 State Highway 71 W
Spicewood, TX 78669
(512) 436-8918
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Chef Taylor Hall and his team at Apis use their Spicewood test kitchen to experiment with a variety of fermented, brined, and aged products, many of which play in the realm of sour. These include pickled walnuts and beets, preserved lemon, fermented chilies, and a rainbow of fruit and vegetable vinegars. This winter, Hall will debut a new sourdough made from house-milled hard red wheat and an overnight fermentation sparked by an eight-year-old apple starter. Hot, crusty slices of the tangy sourdough will be served with their house cultured butter and a sprinkle of bee pollen.

5. Midnight Cowboy

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313 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 843-2715
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This former brothel turned sleek speakeasy in the middle of Sixth Street offers expertly crafted cocktails. A glance at their oft-changing menu makes it clear the bartenders at Midnight Cowboy understand the transformative quality a little bitterness can have on a cocktail. Not only do they make their own bitters, they also stock an arsenal of varieties made by many of the best bitters makers out there. Intricate house cocktails like the Winter Wolves—an intensely herbal, spice-rich libation made with Becherovka, Cynar, Carpano Antica, and Dutch genever—put bitter elements at the forefront.

6. Gelateria Gemelli

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1009 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 525-2170
This East Sixth Street gelato shop, which makes its small batch gelato using organic dairy and other locally sourced ingredients, carries a wide range of Italian amari, arranged behind the counter from most to least bitter. You can either make your own amaro float or enjoy a pairing of duos like fernet stracciatella (their take on mint chocolate chip) with a pleasingly medicinal shot of mentholated Fernet Branca, hand-ground pistachio gelato with a glass of elegant Amaro Miletti infused with saffron and anise, or a scoop of roasted hazelnut gelato paired with the herbaceous, orange-scented Amaro Montenegro.

7. Odd Duck

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1201 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 433-6521
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In Odd Duck’s practically zero waste kitchen, salt plays a major role. Many of the vegetable scraps not used in service get pickled in a salty brine, to be used later on sandwiches or in dishes like beer battered seasonal pickles nestled picnic-style next to a scoop of duck egg salad. And while many restaurants stick with a standard finishing salt, Odd Duck delivers the all-powerful mineral in a number of unique ways. In a twist on twice baked potatoes, sweet potatoes griddled with green chile are topped with their own fried and seasoned skins, then finished with a sprinkling of nacho spice. A blue crab salad made with briny caper mayo is presented on grilled kohlrabi rounds with a generous showering of house-made “Cheez-Its.” And boldly spiced, toothsome carrots arrive in a pool of carrot curry, topped with torn cilantro and crunchy, salty housemade beer nuts.

8. Clark's Oyster Bar

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1200 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 297-2525
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Salt is undoubtedly key at Clark’s, which feels, smells, and tastes like it was plucked from the East Coast and relocated to West Austin: it provides one of the best raw bar selections in town. Naturally briny seafood specialties aside, the white sand and aquamarine-toned cafe has gained some rightful acclaim for its pan-roasted Black Angus hamburger. The perfectly sea salted and griddled ground chuck patty is oozing with Gruyere and creamy sauce Gribiche, stabilized between two pillowy but substantial bun halves. Accompanied by a haystack of shoestring potatoes, also showered with just the right amount of salt, the only thing that could make this meal any better is a bowl of rich, bacon- and chive-laced New England clam chowder.

9. Lenoir

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1807 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 215-9778
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In focusing on cuisine from "warm weather climates" around the globe, chef Todd Duplechan tends to inherently create umami-rich dishes by using rich broths and an array of spices, fish sauce, miso, and more. The menu is split into four categories—field, sea, land, and dream (dessert)—and each dish is a delicious balance of bold flavors and textures. A soft egg tamale topped with wild mushrooms and a sprinkling of goat cottage cheese is served in a flavorful, but light, mushroom ragu. A tangle of black squid noodles and fish cakes arrives in a piquant herb broth with umami-rich oyster aioli and a drizzle of chili oil. Even many of the dessert options—like brown butter sponge cake with cashew butter and Camembert ice cream—are humming with umami notes.

10. The Peached Tortilla

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5520 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 222-8781
Visit Website
By fusing his Southeastern upbringing with his Asian roots, chef and owner Eric Silverstein packs each of his dishes with a world of flavor and savory umami from ingredients like fish sauce caramel, shiitakes, and fried eggs—often hitting sweet, sour, and spicy notes. Silverstein likes to combines classic comfort food with the bold flavors of Asian street food for options like the crispy umami chicken wings tossed in fish sauce vinaigrette, herbs, and shallots, or “Tres Cauliflower”: grilled cauliflower topped with nori cauliflower puree, punchy peach pickled cauliflower and a savory nori butter.
This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

1. Cow Tipping Creamery

2512 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705
This 1978 Chevy emergency response vehicle—painted electric blue and parked near UT’s campus—is turning out softserve you have to taste to believe. Owners Corey and Tim Sorenson use only the best ingredients for their handcrafted sauces, toppings, and ice cream, which they layer into wild sweet creations called Stackers (because why should the top of the sundae get all the love?). There’s an inventive new special, like the Matcha Man (matcha green tea soft serve layered with toasted coconut, brown sugar hot fudge, sweet adzuki beans, sweet mochi and a cornflake crumb topping), every day.
2512 Rio Grande St
Austin, TX 78705

2. Bribery Bakery

2013 Wells Branch Pkwy Ste 109, Austin, TX 78728
After the immense popularity of her bake sale pop-ups, Jodi Elliot opened her own shop in Wells Branch this past spring and has just expanded to a second Mueller location. This pastry queen is constantly creating, so a trip to her colorful dollhouse of a shop could yield any number of sweet revelations. There’s everything from creamy parfait cups to get-em-while-you-can items like Heath bar butterscotch eclairs, coconut lime coffee cake with brown butter streusel, “hot chocolate” donuts topped with cayenne chocolate glaze and toasted marshmallows, over-the-top Nutella babka, or a picturesque strawberry and orange courtesan au chocolat inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel.
2013 Wells Branch Pkwy Ste 109
Austin, TX 78728

3. Emmer & Rye

51 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701
While plenty of restaurants have been experimenting with pickling and fermentation in recent years, Emmer & Rye has elevated the process to a sour art form. Guests in the dining room can peer through french doors that lead to a pantry of experiments, where fermentation expert Jason White creates unique products like cauliflower leaf and sorrel vinegar, dried broccoli preserved in mushroom brine, fermented tomato and tangerine kosho, escarole fermented in preserved hibiscus relish, and persimmon fermented in pecan milk. Not only do these delicious experiments make use of salvaged discards, they also add tart notes and layers of brightness and depth to each dish they touch.
51 Rainey St
Austin, TX 78701

4. Apis Restaurant & Apiary

23526 State Highway 71 W, Spicewood, TX 78669
Chef Taylor Hall and his team at Apis use their Spicewood test kitchen to experiment with a variety of fermented, brined, and aged products, many of which play in the realm of sour. These include pickled walnuts and beets, preserved lemon, fermented chilies, and a rainbow of fruit and vegetable vinegars. This winter, Hall will debut a new sourdough made from house-milled hard red wheat and an overnight fermentation sparked by an eight-year-old apple starter. Hot, crusty slices of the tangy sourdough will be served with their house cultured butter and a sprinkle of bee pollen.
23526 State Highway 71 W
Spicewood, TX 78669

5. Midnight Cowboy

313 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
This former brothel turned sleek speakeasy in the middle of Sixth Street offers expertly crafted cocktails. A glance at their oft-changing menu makes it clear the bartenders at Midnight Cowboy understand the transformative quality a little bitterness can have on a cocktail. Not only do they make their own bitters, they also stock an arsenal of varieties made by many of the best bitters makers out there. Intricate house cocktails like the Winter Wolves—an intensely herbal, spice-rich libation made with Becherovka, Cynar, Carpano Antica, and Dutch genever—put bitter elements at the forefront.
313 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701

6. Gelateria Gemelli

1009 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703
This East Sixth Street gelato shop, which makes its small batch gelato using organic dairy and other locally sourced ingredients, carries a wide range of Italian amari, arranged behind the counter from most to least bitter. You can either make your own amaro float or enjoy a pairing of duos like fernet stracciatella (their take on mint chocolate chip) with a pleasingly medicinal shot of mentholated Fernet Branca, hand-ground pistachio gelato with a glass of elegant Amaro Miletti infused with saffron and anise, or a scoop of roasted hazelnut gelato paired with the herbaceous, orange-scented Amaro Montenegro.
1009 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703

7. Odd Duck

1201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
In Odd Duck’s practically zero waste kitchen, salt plays a major role. Many of the vegetable scraps not used in service get pickled in a salty brine, to be used later on sandwiches or in dishes like beer battered seasonal pickles nestled picnic-style next to a scoop of duck egg salad. And while many restaurants stick with a standard finishing salt, Odd Duck delivers the all-powerful mineral in a number of unique ways. In a twist on twice baked potatoes, sweet potatoes griddled with green chile are topped with their own fried and seasoned skins, then finished with a sprinkling of nacho spice. A blue crab salad made with briny caper mayo is presented on grilled kohlrabi rounds with a generous showering of house-made “Cheez-Its.” And boldly spiced, toothsome carrots arrive in a pool of carrot curry, topped with torn cilantro and crunchy, salty housemade beer nuts.
1201 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

8. Clark's Oyster Bar

1200 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703
Salt is undoubtedly key at Clark’s, which feels, smells, and tastes like it was plucked from the East Coast and relocated to West Austin: it provides one of the best raw bar selections in town. Naturally briny seafood specialties aside, the white sand and aquamarine-toned cafe has gained some rightful acclaim for its pan-roasted Black Angus hamburger. The perfectly sea salted and griddled ground chuck patty is oozing with Gruyere and creamy sauce Gribiche, stabilized between two pillowy but substantial bun halves. Accompanied by a haystack of shoestring potatoes, also showered with just the right amount of salt, the only thing that could make this meal any better is a bowl of rich, bacon- and chive-laced New England clam chowder.
1200 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78703

9. Lenoir

1807 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
In focusing on cuisine from "warm weather climates" around the globe, chef Todd Duplechan tends to inherently create umami-rich dishes by using rich broths and an array of spices, fish sauce, miso, and more. The menu is split into four categories—field, sea, land, and dream (dessert)—and each dish is a delicious balance of bold flavors and textures. A soft egg tamale topped with wild mushrooms and a sprinkling of goat cottage cheese is served in a flavorful, but light, mushroom ragu. A tangle of black squid noodles and fish cakes arrives in a piquant herb broth with umami-rich oyster aioli and a drizzle of chili oil. Even many of the dessert options—like brown butter sponge cake with cashew butter and Camembert ice cream—are humming with umami notes.
1807 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704

10. The Peached Tortilla

5520 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78756
By fusing his Southeastern upbringing with his Asian roots, chef and owner Eric Silverstein packs each of his dishes with a world of flavor and savory umami from ingredients like fish sauce caramel, shiitakes, and fried eggs—often hitting sweet, sour, and spicy notes. Silverstein likes to combines classic comfort food with the bold flavors of Asian street food for options like the crispy umami chicken wings tossed in fish sauce vinaigrette, herbs, and shallots, or “Tres Cauliflower”: grilled cauliflower topped with nori cauliflower puree, punchy peach pickled cauliflower and a savory nori butter.
5520 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756

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