Austin-Best Restaurants In Austin

Best Austin Restaurant Of The Year Is Emmer & Rye

December 17, 2015

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Emmer & Rye

You know that feeling when you meet someone for the first time and they unexpectedly just blow you away? That’s how I felt after dining at Emmer & Rye, and I haven’t felt that way in awhile towards any Austin restaurant this year. Three things I remember from that night at Emmer Rye:

  • Ryan, our amazing server, who just moved to Austin to work at E&R
    • Sadly, I don’t remember the last time I remember any server’s name. Mostly a fault on my end, but Ryan made such a memorable impression that night.
  • Savory polenta
    • I kept telling the boyfriend to enjoy each bite and let the polenta sit on your tongue to experience all the different flavors. I’d devour that polenta every single day.
  • Goat cheese panna cotta dessert
    • Simple but soo good.

Over 100 new restaurants opened this year in Austin but of that bunch, there are only 7 or so restaurants that would make a best of 2015 list. Multiple New American concepts (what is New American anyway?), and tons of ‘eh’ concepts.


Emmer & Rye

Emmer & Rye is the first contemporary American restaurant in Austin to offer dim sum service as part of their meal. You can order items directly off of circulating carts in addition to ordering from a seasonally influenced menu that changes weekly. To be honest, I wasn’t sold on the “dim sum service” portion of Emmer & Rye because dim sum should be at Asian restaurants with little carts of xiaolongbao.

I don’t want to overhype Emmer & Rye too much because that’s how restaurant experiences get ruined IMO. For me, Emmer & Rye was such a memorial experience because the food was not just beautifully plated but also elevated, and reminded me of my stay at 1 Hotel South Beach this summer in Miami. Scroll down for food porn photos and be sure to add Emmer & Rye to your dining list!

What To Order: Freshly milled polenta,  goat cheese panna cotta


Emmer & Rye

Emmer & Rye

Emmer & Rye


Grain Salad

Grain Salad

With cherry tomato, pure luck feta, and kabocha squash.


Freshly Milled Polenta, Cremini Mushroom, Mint Marigold Spuma

Freshly Milled Polenta

With cremini mushroom, and mint marigold spuma.



Cacio e Pepe

Housemade blur beard durum spaghetti with challerhocker cheese, black pepper,  and chickory.


Mangalitsa Bone-In Pork Chop, Beef Fat Aioli, Arugula, Chicory

Mangalitsa Bone-In Pork Chop

The Wagyu version of pork with beef fat aioli, arugula, and chicory.



Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash, with butternut squash fermented in grain husk nuka, pork broth, and pecan milk.


Emmer Johnny Cake

Emmer Johnny Cake

With deer creek cheddar, roasted pork shoulder, and sauerkraut.


Goat's Milk Panna Cotta, Honeycomb, Hibiscus Tomato Preserve 2

Goat’s Milk Panna Cotta

With honeycomb and hibiscus tomato preserve.


Emmer & Rye

51 Rainey St #110
Austin, TX 78701


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.