Tracing Austin's Italian Food Boom

Jan 24, 2017 438

In Austin, new types of cuisine tend to arrive in distinct waves, as if savvy restaurateurs all had the same great idea at once. Ramen, fusion tacos, or New American small plates all had their predictable moment, but our city's recent saturation of Italian restaurants was less expected, quickly changing the landscape for local diners. Yelp Austin's Italian category lists 99 restaurants that aren't chains or exclusively pizza places. 32 of them opened between 2014 and 2016, meaning nearly a third of our city's Italian restaurants have yet to make it out of their terrible twos.

Suddenly the city is crowded with pizzerias, trattorias, osterias. Name an -ia, we've got it. But what is it about Italian food that made Austin a prime place for primi piatti the past few years? We looked at how four Italian restaurants of different shapes and sauces make the scene.

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