Opening alert

Cult Houston fast-casual restaurant crops up in downtown Austin

Cult Houston fast-casual restaurant crops up in downtown Austin

Local Foods
Local Foods is opening its first Austin location in late summer. Photo by Julie Soefer

One of Houston’s most popular concepts is heading to the Capital City. Fast-casual fave Local Foods will open its first Austin location at 454 W. Second St. in late summer 2020, according to a release.

Founded by Houston restaurateur Benjy Levit and chef/partner Dylan Murray in 2011, the counter-service concept has become a phenomenon in the Bayou City and now has five locations scattered across the city. True to the name, the restaurant focuses on seasonal produce and meats sourced from area farms and ranches.

Overseeing operations will be a familiar name in Austin: Martin Berson. The Austin-based restaurateur helped open acclaimed eatery Benjy’s with Levit in 1995 before going on to found Snap Kitchen in 2010.

“I’m beyond thrilled to bring the Local Foods concept to Austin and have the opportunity to work with Benjy and Chef Dylan again after all these years,” said Berson via release. “What these two have created with this unique approach to everyday sandwiches and salads is best in class in a growing space of fast-fine concepts. The local farms, vendors, and amazing Austin vibe is a perfect fit for Local Foods.”

The menu details have not been released and each location has slightly different offerings, but Austin can expect sandwiches made with unexpected ingredients like duck confit and truffled egg salad, farm-fresh salads and sides, and several vegan mains.

“We truly believe in forming our menu around as many high-quality, local ingredients as we can and look forward to doing so in Austin,” said Levity in the release.

In addition to the main fare, guests will find an assortment of daily desserts. Craft beer and a curated selection of wines will also be available.

And since this is Austin, the location will include a patio. Lauded architect Michael Hsu is helming the project alongside interior designer Aaron Rambo. Together, the pair will outfit the 4,500-square-foot space, which spans two levels. 

Local Foods is the latest project slated for downtown’s ever-growing 2nd Street District. Nearby, upscale hotel Austin Proper welcomed its first guests in mid-December.