Hidden at the end of a rather stark commercial building sits one of the shiniest hidden gems in the treasury of Austin dining spots. There are many choices for lovers of food and libation in Austin, but Hopfields is the only bar I have discovered so far that manages to please the pickiest eaters, as well as the most discerning craft beer fans.
As an eager drinker of brews both local and distant, the copper wall of taps is a welcome sight. It can be overwhelming to the uninitiated, but the bartenders here are helpful experts. Let them know your tastes and they will make recommendations accordingly. If beer isn’t your thing, Hopfields also has a lovely selection of Ciders, with a rotating tap as well. There is a very complete wine list – and a list of clever sounding wine cocktails. Enough to tempt even the most stoic beer-drinker away from their old standard.
The accompanying food menu at Hopfields is where true loyalists are created. Heavily influenced by the owner’s French family, the bar fare is traditional in the old world sense, and is definitely worth reinstating. The simple cheese plate always seems to appear with house-made pickles, and anything with the frites is worth ordering. They are perfect, lightly salted, and paired with a garlic aioli.
If you happen to be craving a burger, be careful. The Pascal Burger will ruin you for all past and present burger experiences, and you can even order it medium rare! The lighter fare is just as well considered, and the savory tarts are perfect for lunch breaks.
On a recent visit, we expanded our traditional Hopfields experience beyond our tried and tested favorites. We stopped by for a Sunday brunch and found French press coffee and a full English breakfast awaiting us. I still managed to sneak a beer in post-coffee, and I noticed many of the other morning patrons indulging as well. It seems like any time of day this bar will shine, but I did feel a bit odd seeing a bar before my first cup of coffee.
As a quick disclaimer, I’ve been frequenting Hopfields since it first opened in 2011. While this makes me somewhat biased, it also makes me impressed. It is rare to find an eatery that can maintain such a high level of food quality, while also expanding their menu. I also just found out that their kitchen stays open until midnight most nights, so I now have plans for my next late dinner outing!
Hopfields is located at 3110 Guadalupe St.
Have you been to Hopfields before? Share your stories in the comments below!
All photos courtesy of Trevor Yopp.