Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin
AUSTIN FOOD BLOG ALLIANCE CITY GUIDE 2023 – Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin
Click HERE for access to full guide.
I consider myself a charcuterie and cheese enthusiast! I am far from being an expert; however, I have indulged in more than my fair share of each, hundreds of varieties across the globe. When I sit down for meal, I really enjoy diversity (I guess that’s why I’m such a huge fan of traditional tapas and other small plates that are a current trend that doesn’t seem to be going away, yay!). While most people might consider charcuterie and cheese as perfect starters, I sometimes enjoy making them into a delightful, personal entrée (albeit I am willing to share…a bit). Gone are the days of simple sausage and cheddar (although still yummy). Establishments have expanded their range of offerings to satisfy people’s ever-growing discerning palates. Many plates or boards now include beautiful terrines, pâté, confit…and regional, as well as global cheeses made from cow’s, sheep’s, and buffalo’s milk. Welcome to my list of Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin.
I have complied a handful of suggested places to enjoy charcuterie and cheese in and around Austin (including your own home), with varied geographical locations, restaurant styles, and budgets in mind (no particular order). By no means is it an exhaustive list! Austin has a lot to offer these days. If you would like to suggest an addition, please, feel free to do so in the comment section. Cheers!
NOTE: At time of press, the main floor dining room is temporarily closed. Upstairs is open for private events. Please call for updates.
Parkside has been serving patrons upscale gastrofare to its fans on “Dirty 6th” since 2008. Fondly referred to as a “dinner and a show” by chef/proprietor Cirkiel, the rustic meets modern space allows diners to enjoy great food and drink while watching all the bar hoppers. Chef and staff have been focusing on “farm to table” practices before the approach became common in the ATX. Using only the highest quality and sustainable food sources [when possible], Parkside offers an amazing array of fantastic bites. From their very large raw bar (that includes the best and freshest assortment of oysters from around the U.S. IMO) to perfectly executed osso bucco and everything in-between, Parkside never disappoints. And, of course they offer a beautiful charcuterie board to pair with a nice glass of wine, your favorite cocktail, or tasty craft beer. This delectable board definitely deserves a spot on my “Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin” guide!
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 5-9PM; Friday – Saturday 5-10PM. Reservations recommended; however, walk-ins are welcome.
Parking: 10$ valet on side of building, San Jacinto for patrons.
Specials: one of the best happy hours in town! Tuesaday-Saturday from 5-6PM. 1/2 off designated items. All day Wednesdays offer 1/2 price oyster platters and glasses of bubbles. Pro tip: get there early for prime bar area seating. Visit Parkside Projects to to check for information on sister restaurants. [Prices and menu subject to change]
Small Victory is my favorite “hidden” bar in Austin. Located in an old parking garage, finding it is half the fun. Go up the stairs, enter through the large wooden door and step into a smallish space that will take you back in time a bit. Dimly lit, blue velvet covered seating, with stellar mixologists behind the bar that could easily double as mad scientists with all of the small bottles of fresh juices, bitters, and other “potions.” And while they do make some the best cocktails in town, they also offer very respectable build-your-own charcuteire and cheese plates…served on beautiful china. Items are priced separately and vary. That’s how they ended up on my Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin list. I always just ask the “kitchen-keep” to give me a bit of a few of the best currently in house and I have never been disappointed. Small Victory is the perfect spot to start or end a night out! Just do me a favor and don’t tell anyone, please?
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 5PM-after midnight
Parking: adjacent garage, valet at nearby The Driskill Hotel, other paid lots.
[Menu and prices subject to change]
With a name like Salty Sow, you know there will be meats. This swine-themed gastro-eatery sources locally to create their “contemporary farmhouse fare.” Whether you opt to sit in one of the cozy indoor dining areas or outdoor patios, you’re certain to have a fine time. Salty Sow’s laid back atmosphere lends to the experience of eating “things in a jar” and sipping on great local craft beer or wine of your choosing. If candied pork belly isn’t enough to incentivize you enough, how about several house cured chacuterie? Mousse, terrine, and more, SS’s board is something for the eyes and palate to splendor. Add fresh baked bread and “all the fixin’s” as they say, and I personally have a delightful meal…or of course it’s great to share with the table like normal people.
Hours: Sunday & Monday 4:30-9PM; Tuesday-Thursday 4:30-9:30pm; Friday & Staurday 4:30-10PM.
Parking: free private lot located on Manor Road and Dean Keaton or street.
Specials: Call for inquiry. [Prices and menu subject to change]
I cannot express how thrilled I was when Oz Tap House opened last year! I had been to a couple of other self-service pour by the ounces places and really enjoyed the experience. Oz (as in Ounce) is a very welcomed and needed addition to Austin! With over 30 beers on tap (click here to see what’s currently available), wine, and even sake, there is surely something to please every discerning palate. Try little tasters, pour half or full pints, build your own flight – whatever your heart desires and your dedicated customer card will keep track of your taps and keep a running tab. What better to pair your adult libation with? Well charcuterie and cheese of course. Owner/operator Sean (and his lovely wife) aims to only source responsibly, sustainably, locally, and hormone free foods. Oz is super family friendly and offers great eats, including two fun and fantastic “boards” to choose from (i.e., there’s even one for the kiddos) that earns them a spot on the “Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin” guide With game viewing parties, trivia nights, and the like, Oz enhances the overall “experience” when you visit. Casual indoor and outdoor seating available.
Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11AM-10PM (kitchen 9:30pm); Friday – Saturday 11AM-11PM (kitchen 10:30pm).
Parking: free private lot.
Specials: Happy hour Monday-Friday 3-6pm with 50% off select apps & taps. [Prices and menu subject to change]
THE GROVE WINE BAR & KITCHEN
Four Austin area locations:
800 W 6th Street, #100
Austin, TX 78701
6317 Bee Cave Road, #380
Westlake Hills, TX 78746
3001 Ranch Road 620S
Lakeway, TX 78738
1310 E. Whitestone Blvd, #500
Cedar Park, TX 78613
With four locations in and around Austin, The Grove is a nice choice for anyone seeking convenience and for the more budget conscious foodies so I decided I had to include it in my “Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin” list. They have a vast menu, featuring New American cuisine sourcing local and organic ingredients when possible. The kitchen caters to personal needs/preferences and can accommodate gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets. Each location is unique; however, they all have great al fresco options. As their name suggests, The Grove has a strong emphasis on wine with over a hundred to choose from (including several on tap) by flight, glass, or bottle. All locations offer one board for 16$ [price subject to change].
Artisan Cheese Board: includes chef’s selection of cheeses and meats. Featured is a nutty manchego, an aged gouda, creamy brie, genoa salami, shaved prosciutto, fresh grapes and crisp apple slices, marcona almonds, olives, accompanied by local honey, fig spread, and two types of yummy bread (one white and one grain). [Items vary]
Hours: Vary by location. Please visit their website. Brunch available on weekends during select times. Reservations available online.
Parking: Cedar Park, Lakeway, and Westlake all have free private lots; Downtown options are street meter parking or valet for 6$, accepts cash or credit.
Specials: Grove Social Hour varies by location. Select discounted food and drink; however, the Artisan Board is not included. Please contact the restaurant of your choice for specifics [information provided on their website at time of publication is not accurate; confirmed by conversations with management].
I would definitely be remiss to not include SALT & TIME in my Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin guide. SALT & TIME is a full-fledged butcher shop and salumeria, so they know meat! The sleek, classic meets modern dining area is directly adjacent to the shop and market. They focus on farm to table dining, using only the highest quality, sustainable, and local ingredients whenever possible. Their menu is innovative and changes often depending on what cuts of meats are currently available, while also offering fresh salads and house-made pastas. ALL of their vast variety of salumi (chorizo, lonza, mortadella…) and charcuterie (country terrine, duck confit, pork rillettes…) are cured, smoked, and dried in-house…including an homage to the Lone Star State, Salumi de Tejas. They offer a full bar (including some signature cocktails), a nice selection of wines, and about a dozen local Austin craft brews plus many other imports by tap, bottle, or can at any given time. Such a wonderful place to grab a great meal or shared bites before hitting up one the area’s many hip and trendy lounges.
SALT & TIME offers lovely charcuturie and cheese options on their lunch and dinner menus. Featured are the Butcher’s Board and Cheese Board, both of which offerings rotate regularly.
Butcher Board (left): delectable head cheese, thick cuts of summer sausage, salty Genoa salami, peppery Mezcal ham, accompanied by pickled turnips, Dijon mustard, and crustini. [Items vary]
Cheese Board (right): creamy Grafton (VT) one year aged raw milk cheddar, nutty Granbury Gold (TX) raw milk Gouda recipe aged for less than five years, a creamy and not overpowering Andazul bleu (Spain) goat’s milk, served with fig jam, a quenelle of pecan pesto, and fluffy honey buns. [Items vary]
Restaurant hours: Monday – Friday11AM-10PM; Saturday & Sunday 10AM-10PM. Reservations available online.
Parking: free private lot.
Specials: food and drink happy hour offered throughout entire restaurant, including bar, Tuesday – Sunday 3-6PM. [Menu and prices subject to change]
Dai Due is a lovely restaurant with a warm, inviting environment that has an open kitchen and small bar. Many of the menu options vary daily, as Dai Due really emphasizes seasonal, regional, and farm-to-table friendly fare. Their dedication to using Texas ingredients (fruits, meats, vegetables, cheeses, olive oil, and even all of their beer and wine offerings) is quite impressive and takes “support local” to another level. They have a classic butcher shop inside the restaurant and get all of their meats from local Texas producers. All sausages and other charcuterie are done in-house, and pay honor to their Mexican, German, and Cajun roots. They stock about a dozen craft beers on tap or in can, and have a very respectable wine selection sold by glass or bottle. Dai Due is great for any occasion. Stop in for some libations and a snack or go all in and enjoy one of their various prie fixe “Supper Club” features (e.g., Tallow fried chicken on Sundays!).
Dai Due has many offerings on their dinner menu, including Chicken Liver Mousse and a Cold Meat Board.
Chicken Liver Mousse: very delicate texture, fantastic flavor, served with pickled blueberries and house buttermilk bread.
Cold Meat Board: easily shareable for four people as an appetizer, a very generous serving of a selection of their house-treated meats. The board includes thick slices of wild boar city ham, moist roast beef, delightful summer sausage, masterfully crafted bierwurst, wild boar rillettes, served with pickled green tomatoes, chunky chow-chow, Dewberry mustard and plenty of grilled house-made rye bread. Truly a carnivore’s delight. [Items vary]
Dinner Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 5PM-10PM; closed Mondays. Reservations recommended.
Brunch: Friday – Sunday 10AM – 4PM.
Parking: free private lots at front and rear entrances of restaurant.
[Menu and prices subject to change; some menu items change daily]
TAKEOUT ordering available online.
Of course there’s always the Build Your Own option if entertaining or dining in. Why not include it in the “Best Charcuterie & Cheese in Austin” guide? You can do it! Simply pick up some meats, cheeses, fruits, pickled stuffs, crackers, and more…arrange on a cutting board or tray…and serve. It’s whatever you want, whenever you want! Below are just a few of my creations. Now the only question, is what wine are you going to serve? Cheers!
Here is a list of a few great Austin area and Lone Star State places to buy some fantastic items from [some items can be ordered online]:
Antonelli’s Cheese Shop – Austin, TX
Austin Cheese Company – Austin, TX
Easy Tiger – Austin & area, TX
34DegressCrisps – shop online or locate
Fat Belly Pretzels – Hudson Bend [Austin], TX
Salt & Time – Austin, TX
Central Market – various
Central Texas HEB – various
Whole Foods – various
Spec’s – various
Slovacek’s – West, Texas
Fredericksburg Farms – Fredericksburg, TX
Rustlin’ Rob’s Texas Gourmet Foods – Fredericksburg, TX
Gourmage of Texas – New Braunfels, TX
New Braunfels Smokehouse – New Braunfels, TX
My other contribution to AFBA City Guide:
Best of Lake Travis area
Small Victory: My Fav ATX “Hidden Bar”