Cookbook Bar & Café the highly-recommend café began their official start of service back in June, 2018 located in the Austin Central Library. The eatery, led by Chef Drew Curren of ELM Restaurant Group, shows off the culinary-themed publications that are available for guests to browse in the library.

Chef Curren pulls recipes that inspire him from pages of cookbooks created by respected chefs across the country. While incorporating farm-to-table ingredients whenever possible, the menu will change seasonally. Breakfast served daily, includes dishes such as the Farmer’s Breakfast Grilled Cheese, from Grilled Cheese Kitchen by Heidi Gibson.  The lunch & dinner menu has great start to finish bites while adding kid friendly choices.  Pastry Chef, Mary Catherine Curren creates desserts such as the Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup, inspired by Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan.

As for the bar menu, it features local craft beers, a lovely array of wine, specialty cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages.  The cocktail offerings are a collaborative effort by Chef Curren, Beverage Lead Noah Gray, and General Manager Val Dahlgren.



“It was important that Cookbook Bar & Café was not only an amenity to the new Central Library, but an extension of it,” says Curren. “I wanted there to be an educational piece that tied back to the menu and the books from which the recipes were published. Not to mention, our guests will enjoy an ever-changing menu with no boundaries!”


Cookbooks Bar & Café’s interior was designed by VeroKolt, in partnership with architect Lake Flato. Therefore creating plenty of leg room with 50 seats inside and 75 seats outside on the patio. On the library’s rooftop, Cookbook offers  drip coffee, and pastries to enjoy while taking in views of the Austin.

Cookbook is also proud to showcase a special collection of over 500 cookbooks. Formerly belonging to the late Austin Chronicle food editor, Virginia B. Wood.  Upon Wood’s recent passing in March 2018,  close friends chose Cookbook as the new home for the Virginia B. Wood Memorial Cookbook Collection. Where cooks alike could have access to them. These books span from the 1950s until today, and it includes dozens of Texas-centric books and authors.


“The Austin Public Library is fortunate to have partnered with ELM Group in the creation of the Cookbook Café at our new Central Library,” says John Gillum, Facilities Process Manager at Austin Public Library. “We believe the café will be the perfect match for our award-winning programs now being offered at our landmark building and is the perfect amenity for our guests.”


Cookbook is located at 710 W Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78701.  The operating hours are Monday-Thursday, from 9 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.  The full menus can be found online at

Leave a Reply