2015 AFBA City Guide
Favorite Austin Specialty Food & Wine Shops

UPDATE: You can find my updated guide to Favorite Austin Specialty Food & Wine Shops for the 2016 #ATXBESTEATS City Guide, including unique and friendly shops both new to the guide, and new to me, please visit this link, which will go live on March 2nd. Have a great visit in Austin!

When I was younger, I imagined I'd be middle-aged (at about 35), and I'd be a writer. I'd sip on tiny cups of nuclear espresso. I'd ride my candy apple red bicycle down the sidewalks, my straight ashe-blonde hair pulled back in an insouciant ponytail, streaking behind me in the wind. I'd wear wools and flannels and leather, because you know how frequently Southern women wear wools and flannels and leather, I'd be effortlessly chic, because I'd read that in my mother's not very well hidden copy of Cosmopolitan, and I'd have a worn copy of Jack Kerouac tucked under my arm. I'd carry a sleek gold pen and a tattered leather diary. On a perfumed sheet of pale pink stationary, folded and tucked into my pocket (my big wool pocket), my hastily sketched grocery list, decorated by absentmindedly doodled stars and hearts, of course.

I'd stop, first, for a bottle of champagne, and sample port with the wine stewards before I leave. I'd cycle on for charcuterie, then bread, and stay a bit too long for the jazz, then on to pick up cheese, maybe fish--and a chat about politics, perhaps a dessert. Of course every stop along the way I would have nibbled and sipped and snacked, so that when I slowly rolled myself home--edible treasures tucked securely in the wicker basket attached to my bike, I'd be almost full before dinner. I'd slip into some vinyl Edith Piaf crackling on the turntable, and finish the evening curled up early with a luscious cashmere lap blanket and a book, a flute of chilled champagne, and a plate of my favorite light nibbles. And oh, yeah. I'd be French.

And here I am at middle age (which is way older than 35). Among the aprons I wear and the pens I carry, I'm a writer. A food writer by trade. A writer who drinks too much espresso, probably. I don't have long, straight hair, I don't wear wools and flannels very often (I've never lived anywhere north of  South) but you might catch me dressed in a little leather rebellion occasionally. I tote all kinds of diaries and journals around, I'm on my third Kerouac, And in the pocket of my cardigan, you'll find at least one slightly crumpled, hastily sketched grocery list (and likely those stars and the hearts, too.)

I have that vinyl Edith Piaf, and the turntable with which to spin her. I have a pretty blanket, so soft, not cashmere. I never seem to call it an early night, and champagne is a rare treat (but I stash an emergency bottle. A girl should never be too cautious about champagne). And I have that candy apple red bicycle with a wicker basket attached to the front in which I tuck the treasures of shops like those that populated my younger dreams, Imported Cheese and a fresh baguette for dinner? Sure--just a bike ride away. You'd think, just maybe, my dreams had come true. Well, I live in Austin, Texas. My dreams have come true.

And I'm Southern. Not French. Kinda like it that way.

I'd like to welcome you to Austin, if you're visiting, and congratulate you, if you're a resident. This city guide, My Favorite Austin Specialty Food & Wine Shops, is just one in a collection of many culinary guides written by members of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance, to which I proudly claim membership. Do yourself a flavor favor and check it out. The 2015 AFBA City Guide, #ATXBestEats, is an annual collection of guides covering a wide range of Austin food offerings, including ethnic cuisines, food events and experiences, best of's of all shapes, sizes, geographic regions of the city, and beyond. The Guide is published just prior to SXSW Interactive, Film, and Music festival that takes over the bustling center of the city for 10 exciting days in March. I'm fortunate to live pretty close to the thick of things. A bike ride away, if you will.

With proximity to the action in mind, I've curated a list of my favorite food and wine specialty shops in the area where you can grab a nibble, collect a picnic lunch, or pull together an impromptu after-concert dinner for friends. Some even serve prepared meals-- look for their restaurant hours, which may be different from retail shops, along with menus, at the links provided below. Not an exhaustive list, certainly, but spots that are easy to get to from downtown or the UT campus, providing quality food and service. I've left off of the list anything that was a little out of the way, is a national chain, or is service-challenged. Those below are top-notch choices that won't disappoint.

Antonelli's Cheese Shop
artisanal cheeses, cured meats, bread & sundries, wine & craft beers.

Hyde Park Area
4220 Duval St
Austin, TX 78751
Phone:(512) 531-9610
Hours: Mon-Sat 11-7   Sun 12-5
Con' Olio Oils & Vinegars
premium olive oil tasting bar serving complementary samples of fresh extra virgin olive oils and aged traditional balsamic vinegars

2ND Street District
215 Lavaca St
Austin, TX 78701
Phone:(512) 495-1559
Hours: Mon-Fri 11-7 Sat 10-8 Sun 12-6

Dai Due Butcher Shop
grass-fed beef, pastured pork, feral hog, free-roaming venison, goat, lamb, fresh chicken, quail and more, sourced from local ranchers, restaurant

2406 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
Phone:(512) 524-0688
Hours: Butcher Shop - Tue-Sun 10–10
Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden
house-made bread, pretzels, sausages and corned beef and hand-selected cheeses, craft beers, wines, and spirits.

709 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
Phone:(512) 614-4972
Hours: Bake Shop 7a-2p Beer Garden 11a-2a

henri's cheese & wine
gourmet cheeses, charcuterie, fine wine, craft beer, coffee and tea, and cafe' fare

2026 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
Phone:(512) 442-3373
Hours: cheese and charcuterie 11:00 am – close

Mandola's Italian Market 
imported salumi, cheeses & antipasti dishes, authentic Italian cookies, cakes & pastries, imported groceries, wine, restaurant

Triangle Location
4700 W Guadalupe St #12
Austin, TX 78751
Phone:(512) 419-9700
Hours: Store Hours Mon - Fri 11 - 10 Sat 9a - 10p Sun 9-9

Quality Seafood Market
fresh, high-quality seafood, filleted in house, FDA-approved fish processor, restaurant, oyster bar, food truck open for breakfast

Highland Mall area
5621 Airport Blvd
Austin, TX 78751
Phone:(512) 452-3820
Hours: Market open 8-8

Salt & Time Butcher Shop & Salumeria
full service butcher shop, salumeria, restaurant, fresh cut meats from local sustainable ranches, house-made sausages, salumi and charcuterie, fine artisan foods, coffee, beer and wine.

Address: 1912 E 7th St,
Austin, TX 78702
Phone:(512) 524-1383
Hours: Butcher Shop Tue - Sat 10 - 8 Sunday 10 - 6

Texas French Bread
freshly-baked artisan breads, pastries, and desserts from scratch, homemade sandwiches, soups, salads, locally roasted coffees. French country bistro fare for eat-in.

West Campus
2900 Rio Grande St
Austin, TX 78705
Phone:(512) 499-0544
Hours: Mon - Thur 7a-9:30p Fri-Sat 7a-10p
Sun 8a-3p

If you found this guide helpful, you might be interested in the additional guides I'm working on-- the 2015 Guide to Austin's Farmers' Markets, and coming later today, A Creole Crawl-- The 2015 Guide to Cajun & Creole food in Austin, and the 2015 Guide to Barbecue East of Austin. Don't forget to check out the complete 2015 City Guide: The Best Places to Eat in Austin, #ATXBestEats.


  1. Another great list! Now I am hungry.

    1. Hi there, Cathy. Thanks so much for stopping by and cheering me on!
      Let's go grab a sandwich sometime!


  2. Well It's been awhile since I sat down with my morning coffee and enjoyed Maggie's notes. As in the past, and was this morning, a lovely moment of daydreaming with your stories.I can't think of a better post to start off the this years city guide. I'm loving the subjects this year that don't just pertain to ethnic or price choices but more to lifestyle choices. Thanks for this list of golden nuggets to pick up those much needed specialty items for guests. And thanks for making my coffee/morning a little brighter. :)

    1. What a joy to receive your comment. It's been a long time since I had time to write again, but now my weekly schedule is my own, and I'm so enjoying writing-- not reporting, not displaying, not instructing, but just, ahhhhhhh, writing! I thank you so much for your encouragement. Know that I'm virtually sharing that morning coffee with you!


  3. Fantastic post! It was a pleasure doing partial duty on some of your restaurant reconnaissance. Hope to do more soon!!!

    1. Hi lovely! ALWAYS have fun trying out the eats around town with you and absolutely, YES, can' t wait to get together again!

      LURVE YOU!

  4. I love this list so much. I just saw that Monger's is now open. And also, East End Wines is a great spot for getting the good stuff.

    1. Thanks for the head's up! I'll check out Monger's asap! And I have to admit I haven't stopped in East End Wines, but that will now be scheduled, in addition to Austin Wine Merchant. We have an embarrassment of riches in Austin!


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