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The Best Restaurants in Austin

The Best Restaurants in Austin

In the Where to Eat: 25 Best series, we’re highlighting our favorite restaurants in cities across the United States. These lists will be updated as restaurants close and open, and as we find new gems to recommend. As always, we pay for all of our meals and don’t accept free items.

East Austin | Wine bar

Birdie’s is not just another wine bar. Chalk that up to the partnership of Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel and her husband, Arjav Ezekiel — she’s a highly skilled chef, and he has the energy and affability of the dancing tableware in “Beauty and the Beast.” Birdie’s is the place to be whether you just want to drink something interesting or you’re planning the big night out. In Ms. Malechek-Ezekiel’s hands, simple food — a creamy vegetable soup, roasted carrots with pesto — feels anything but simple. Add to that an electric atmosphere and wine glasses that seem to magically refill themselves — you’ll want to return just to see what the couple might cook or pour next. PRIYA KRISHNA

2944 East 12th Street, Unit A; no phone;

The chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph made a name for himself in Austin with the pastries at Emmer & Rye and Hestia, which he co-owns. Here at Canje — an ode to his Guyanese roots, with a menu that also stretches across the Caribbean — he has switched gears, with brilliant results. The food is a tangy, spicy, coconutty dreamscape. Tilefish soaked in tamarind and rum butter. Prawns brushed with a verdant green seasoning and smoked chiles. A tres leches cake drenched in coconut milk. What makes the jerk chicken so supercharged with flavor? Mr. Bristol-Joseph ferments his seasoning. And plan on at least one order of the buttery Guyanese-style roti per person. PRIYA KRISHNA

1914 East Sixth Street, Suite C; 512-706-9119;

East Austin | Bakery

Hidden in an unassuming building in a residential neighborhood is the concha-meets-funfetti-pastry fever dream that is Comadre Panadería. Here, conchas dusted with Barbie-pink strawberry jamaica powder share space with a sheet cake topped with prickly-pear buttercream and a black-bean honey bun. Every creation from the baker Mariela Camacho feels simultaneously innovative and nostalgic — as if a panadería took a trip through the snack aisle of an American grocery store. PRIYA KRISHNA

1204 Cedar Avenue; no phone;

East Austin | Mexican, Tacos

In a city of superlative tacos, the ones that Luis “Beto” Robledo (above) makes at Cuantos stand out….

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