Get Your Sweet Fix at Snowy Village Dessert Cafe

A base of creamy bingsu ice loaded with fresh strawberries, fruit and milk syrup, a layer of Fruity Pebbles, and a dollop of whipped cream. You've probably never seen or tasted anything quite like the strawberry Fruity Pebbles bingsu at Snowy Village Dessert Cafe, which just opened in May.

The specialty shop is the first Texas offshoot of a California-born chain that specializes in Korean bingsu, which is similar to shaved ice, but with a frosty milk-based foundation. Most of the decadent treats feature fresh fruit and unexpected ingredients like green tea matcha powder and sweetened red beans. In addition to the bingsu sundaes, Snowy Village also offers fish-shaped croissants stuffed with either sweet ingredients (think red bean paste) or savory fixings (like ham and cheese). So the next time you need your sweet fix, try one of the unique confections at Snow Village Dessert Cafe.

Public Domain/Pixabay/kkam50

Steel City Pops: A Cool Place to Treat a Sweet Tooth

The artisan treats on the menu at Steel City Pops aren't your average popsicles. These are gourmet creations that come in three varieties: fruity pops, creamy pops, and cookie pops. And since Steel City Pops opened an Austin outpost in May, its frosty desserts have already earned acclaim from sweet-toothed locals.

Cool down with a refreshing fruity pop like the Arnold Palmer, a frozen blend of sweet tea and lemonade. Indulge in a creamy peanut butter pop, which features Teddie's All Natural Creamy Peanut Butter with coconut milk, organic cane sugar, water, and sea salt, so it's vegan-friendly. When you're really craving a treat, try the coffee-brownie cookie pop. It actually showcases a whole gluten-free brownie surrounded by a frosty layer of brewed local espresso, Turkish ground coffee, cream, and a handful of other simple ingredients.

Dig Into a Fusion Feast at the Newly Opened Lin Asian Bar And Dim Sum

Chef Ling grew up in China with her grandmother, who was an artist in the kitchen. Ling loved to help her grandmother in the kitchen and then enjoy the spoils of their hard work. As an adult in the U.S., she started to appreciate the benefits of eating healthy and organic cuisine. When she opened Lin Asian Bar and Dim Sum in June, Chef Ling's two worlds collided.

At this new eatery, Chef Ling and her kitchen team enlist fresh and organic veggies, local ingredients, MSG-free seasonings, and other healthy components to craft their traditional Chinese cuisine. They focus on dim sum, savory dumplings filled with eclectic ingredients. Order a few different types of dumplings to start, such as the Shanghai jumbo seafood soup dumpling, the steamed veggie dumpling, and the barbecue pork buns. Make a full meal out of the dumplings or enjoy them as a side to an entree such as smoked duck or crispy jalapeno shrimp.

Share a Specialty Pie at Home Slice Pizza

Whether you want to grab a slice of pizza to go or dig into a pie at a table just yards from the oven that baked it, Home Slice Pizza can oblige. The locally owned eatery recently debuted a new location in the North Loop where you can enjoy some of the inventive Italian grub that made the original pizzeria such a hit in South Congress.

Try the #7 pizza loaded with chopped clams, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and oregano, and pecorino romano cheese. Savor a slice of pie decorated with quality pepperoni and fresh mushrooms. Or keep it simple with a margherita pizza that features mozzarella, diced Roma tomatoes, and a blend of extra virgin olive oil, basil, and garlic. You can also opt for an overstuffed calzone, a hot or cold sub, or a salad topped with fresh ingredients. And if you decide to dine in, enjoy a pint of beer or a glass of wine on the side.

Public Domain/Pixabay/Engin_Akyurt

Suerte Puts a Modern Spin on Authentic Mexican Fare

One new fan of Suerte, which just opened in March, likens his experience to savoring a cup of coffee crafted from freshly ground beans at an artisan coffeehouse. Except, instead of coffee beans, the kitchen team at Suerte grinds up corn fresh every morning and transforms it into masa. Then when someone orders a tostada, the chef sears it to-order, resulting in a fresh and authentic meal.

Despite its very recent debut, Suerte already has customers raving about its cuisine. Come to Suerte to try it for yourself and start with a nosh like the potato-quesillo taquitos or the ceviche. Then enjoy one of the larger plates, perhaps the goat rib barbacoa seasoned with a mint-epazote rub or a beet tostada topped with smashed avocado, pickled onions, and peanut-walnut "yum yum" sauce. Complement your meal with a specialty cocktail like the Don Dario, a blend of Blanco tequila, tamarindo, sarsaparilla, and lime.

Public Domain/Pixabay/StockSnap

Mandala Kitchen & Bar: Fusion Vietnamese, Thai and Cajun Cuisine

Chef Kieu Pham takes the Vietnamese and Thai recipes that she learned from her mother and tweaks them with her own contemporary flair, resulting in the modern fusion fare you'll find at Mandala Kitchen & Bar. Chef Kieu debuted her new Austin eatery in March and it immediately started racking up rave reviews from customers throughout the city.

Start your meal with the Mandala chicken wings, served with pickled veggies and coated with sweet chili sauce, or the crispy egg rolls stuffed with shrimp, pork, and taro root. Or skip straight to an inventive entree, like the Cajun fried rice. It's loaded with crawfish tails, beef sausage, and hickory-smoked pork, plus eggs, sweet corn, sweet onion, and green onions. The black mussels curry shaken ribeye features chunks of USDA Choice steak tossed with mushroom, bell pepper, scallions, and sweet onions, the combination perched atop a pillow of white rice. Come to Mandala to devour one of these dishes or any of the other fusion bites.

Public Domain/Pixabay/huahommag

Fareground At One Eleven: A Modern-Day Food Court With Something for Everyone

Austin has always been on the cutting-edge of culinary trends, as evidenced by its food trailer parks and collection of roaming food trucks. So it should really come as no surprise that Austin innovators recently debuted a new concept: an upscale food court/park called Fareground At One Eleven. It just opened in January.

The food court consists of six distinct food counters and a central bar, as well as ample amounts of chic and comfy seating. You can savor a locally sourced salad from Henbit, dig into a German pretzel with beer cheese from Easy Tiger, or grab a couple of artisan tacos from Dai Due. Enjoy them inside the food court or, on a warm day, head out to the adjacent park and eat your lunch in the fresh air under the shade of old oak trees.

Enjoy a Cup of Java or a Glass of Wine at Houndstooth Coffee

In Scotland of years past, plaid patterns like houndstooth distinguished the people of one region from another. The minds behind Houndstooth Coffee believe that in contemporary America, coffeehouses do the same thing. An independent coffee shop gives out-of-towners a glimpse into the community and serves as a source of unity for locals. So Houndstooth is the perfect name for this Texas-based chain of cafes.

The Houndstooth Coffee on North Lamar is just a stone's throw away from home and offers only top-notch java and much, much more. You can come to Houndstooth to savor a cup of joe or hot tea in the morning or swing by after work for a glass of wine or bottle of beer. Either way, for a true treat, pair your chosen beverage with something sweet from the pastry case. Then sit back and enjoy the atmosphere as you sip and nibble at Houndstooth Coffee.

Build a Healthy Bowl at Honest Mary’s

Organic chicken. Free-range steak. Non-GMO tofu. At Honest Mary's, the owner only allows high-quality ingredients like these to enter his kitchen—as he calls them, "honest" ingredients. All of the food is free of antibiotics and hormones, devoid of refined sugar, and organic whenever possible. Much of it is also local, and the staff crafts everything from scratch on a daily basis. This is why Honest Mary's already has a loyal following, despite only opening at the end of last summer.

Come to Honest Mary's to build your own healthy bowl, starting with your chosen protein, like roasted chicken or line-caught ahi poke. Then select a base such as black rice or organic spinach and sides like Texas sweet potatoes and French green lentils. Next, load on the toppings, from local goat cheese to Asian slaw. As the final flourish, dress up your bowl with spicy peanut sauce or apple-cider vinaigrette.

Enjoy Early-Morning or Late-Night Java and Treats at Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery

If you're someone who routinely burns the midnight oil in the name of finishing up some work or studying, then you know that caffeine is an essential part of the evening grind. So it's important to have a go-to coffee shop that's open late, like Quack's 43rd Street Bakery, which welcomes patrons until 11 p.m. every night.

In addition to pouring hot coffee all day long, the staff at Quack's also whips up some sweet and popular treats, like the Salty Oat cookies. They're similar to your classic oatmeal-raisin cookies, but with the addition of just a touch of salt to highlight the sweetness of the treats. You can't go wrong with a traditional chocolate chip cookie, either, or a chocolate chip cookie infused with gooey peanut butter. You can also skip the sweets and pair your coffee with something from the deli, like a Cajun turkey sandwich or an Italian grilled cheese.

Public Domain/Pixabay/Engin_Akyurt

Pin It on Pinterest