As the holiday season is upon us, Austin is hosting a collection of festive culinary experiences at restaurants all over the city. This year’s events and pop-ups feature a collection of tasty menus that allows guests to celebrate the season in a safe and memorable fashion, from magical holiday cocktails, creative culinary delights, surrounded by stunning seasonal décor.
The holidays are a special time for drinking and eating our way around Austin with friends and family and for creating memories that will last a lifetime. This year’s celebrations will be much different with COVID-19 looming in the air. If you’re up for a socially distant celebration while wearing your mask, several Austin bars are here for you with festive cocktails, snacks, and sparkling lights to lift your holiday spirits. CLICK HERE to see our list of holiday bars in Austin.
Stiles Switch welcomes hungry Austinites to the 12 Days of Smoked Meat. This year they’re spreading the joy at all 3 locations in Austin, Dripping Springs and Cedar Park. Join the pit crew starting December 8th featuring Brisket King Ranch Casserole with smokey arbol tomatillo sauce served by the plate with spanish rice & brisket pinto beans, in collaboration with Joel Fried of El Dorado Cafe. Each day through December 20th features a different specialty meaty smoked dish and is served until sold out!
In partnership with American Express and Resy, Arlo Grey has debuted their own unique Yurt Village at LINE Austin, featuring heated custom-designed tents just in time for the holidays. These 8 miniature private dining rooms will provide a safe and cozy outdoor F&B experience this winter for parties of four to six guests on the LINE hotel’s pool deck, with reservations exclusively available for American Express Card Members at Resy.com/yurtvillages. Guests are transported to their own Arlo Grey for an evening with a special menu prepared exclusively for the experience by Chef Kristen Kish. The meal can be complimented by specially curated large-format cocktails, a wine-pairing for each course, and other celebratory offerings that turn an evening into an occasion. Each yurt is ventilated through ceiling portals with its own air purifier.
The menu itself is call “Upstairs at Caroline’s Naughty and Nice menu”, featuring three winter-themed cocktails one to entice anyone’s taste buds as well as our “Naughty” shot called the “Naughty Irishman”. The cocktails include “Honey I’m Comb” – Brugal Anejo, spiced rum, cinnamon, clove, house made Coco lopez, Honey comb cereal – This is our play on a traditional Spanish Christmas cocktail called a Coquitio; “Maple me Crazy” – Old Forester bourbon, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, maple syrup, walnut bitters – Our elevated play on a traditional old fashioned meant to tingle the taste buds, and keep you warm this winter; “Good Toddy meet Bad Toddy” – Wild Turkey 101 Rye, ginger, honey, lemon, orange spice – A naughty spiced up version of a traditional hot toddy; and “The Naughty Irishman” – Jameson Cold brew, cinnamon, house made coco lopez, chocolate spice – A naughty shot that speaks for itself
The Koko Holiday Pop-Up: a limited-time pop up featuring fun, festive menu items including themed boba drinks, bubbles waffles featuring Amy’s Ice Cream, and new Asian Hot Pots including Korean Army Stew, Japanese Sukiyaki, and Taiwanese Beef Noodles, with a full at-home hot pot set up for takeout orders. The Koko Holiday Pop Up menu will be available daily from 11:30 am to 8 pm at 101 by Tea Haus at 6929 Airport Blvd. #132 and Tea Haus at 10815 Ranch Road 2222 #207. For more info on the pop-up, visit https://teahaus101.com/
Join us on Sunday, December 13th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm for our Annual Holiday High Tea with Santa. We will be having individual outdoor Santa visits for guests and a wide range of bites and teas to enjoy. Adults $40, kids 5-12: $20, under 5: Free.
Celebrate the holiday season safely at home with a “homakase” (at-home omakase) from Osome. Former Hai Hospitality and Musashino sushi chefs John Gocong and Michael Carranza curate Classic Omaskase and Platinum Omakase experiences. 15-23 courses, $250-$320 per person. Book online at osomeatx.com
Outdoor Austin bar, restaurant, and dog park Yard Bar has teamed up with Bumble to offer free “Holiday Pawtrait Sessions” for Austinites and their pets. On Sunday, December 13th from 12-4 p.m., you can receive a free portrait with your pet. Sign up for a time slot here and come dressed in your holiday best. Photos are complimentary with the donation of at least one non-perishable food item to the Central Texas Food Bank, courtesy of Bumble. They’ll have a fun holiday backdrop prepared and some props for you and your furry friend to pose with.
Yard Bar will also be offering holiday drink specials all day long on December 13th for those who simply want to get outside and into the holiday spirit. Stay warm with a hot chocolate, hot toddy, coffee, cider, or a festive spiked cocktail. Guests who show their Bumble profile to the bartender will receive a little extra holiday cheer.
Desert Door is excited to host its second annual holiday market featuring exclusive Texas makers in addition to seasonal cocktails, savory bites from Eden West, and live music on Saturday, December 12 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the distillery in Driftwood, Texas (211 Darden Hill Rd.). The brand’s family-friendly and pet-friendly distillery will welcome Texas makers and creatives such as Karacotta ceramics, Bob’s Photo, Uncle Ray’s peanut brittle, and more. While browsing the market, guests can enjoy the fire on the patio or cozy up in the desert-inspired tasting room, with a live performance by Meagan Tubb from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m and of course, Desert Door’s special holiday cocktails. Guests can also explore the brand’s CARGO room and Rack House where their holiday kits and seasonal merchandise will be available for purchase.
For locals and visitors alike, a highlight of Austin’s Christmas season is the spectacular annual light show at Mozart’s on Lake Austin Boulevard, where for eleven years awestruck crowds have gathered at the city’s favorite lakeside city bakery and global coffee roastery. This year is unique in myriad ways because in 2020 health and safety are at the top of everyone’s wish list. For months now, Mozart’s innovative owners Stacey and Ken Leonard and Katrine and Bill Formby have worked with State and City governments and their own technology, production, and service teams to create a glorious and safe 2020 “COVID Cautious Christmas Light Show” which runs November 11, 2020 – January 6, 2021 nightly.
A drive-thru holiday experience happening November 27 – January 3, 2020 at Circuit of The Americas, boasts millions of twinkling Christmas lights that are synchronized to holiday songs and dancing elves. Also enjoy snacks from Chick-Fil-A, fun rides, and even an appearance by Santa.
Alamo Drafthouse celebrates the holidays with a celebration of the greatest holiday films ever made. Each Secret Santa Cinema ticket includes a free Santa or Elf hat filled with holiday treats and other surprises. Enhy your favorite in-theater snacks, including seasonal holiday offerings like their Peppermint Schnapps Shake. You’ll never know what sort of surprises you’ll find at each screening! Be sure to arrive early for Alamo Drafthouse’s beloved preshow, a curated ad-free presentation of themed clips. So, gather your crew, strap on your mask and don your favorite cozy holiday sweater at Secret Santa Cinema.
In celebration of Jester King Brewery’s 10-year anniversary, the brewery and kitchen are releasing unique, housemade beer and food items during “anniversary week,” December 7-13. The beers, a DDH IPA and Saison, have hand-drawn 10-year anniversary labels, and the two food items are Flan de Queso Affogato, a Caribbean twist on the traditional Italian Affogato, and Smoked Saint Louis Pork Ribs. These creations were specially crafted in celebration of the brewery’s 10-year anniversary, ending a long, challenging year on a high note.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa will provide socially-distanced holiday experiences for guests. The activities will range from the nightly “Holiday Light Stroll” and cookie decorating kits to–go, to appearances from Santa in a life-size snow globe.