A Bistro for All Weather

Blue Dahlia is a Perfect Place to Start or End a Summer Day.

Words by Ben Haguewood  Photos by Ashley Haguewood

What do you want when you’re hungry and it’s 100 degrees outside? One of the best antidotes to Austin’s endless-feeling summer doldrums is fresh, uncomplicated food and a soothing beverage.

Blue Dahlia Bistro offers ideal summer fare from its Mediterranean-inflected European menu with meal-worthy salads, fresh tartines (open-faced sandwiches dressed with meat, cheeses, and local produce atop fresh-baked bread), and an inspired rotating cast of seasonal gazpachos.

While many east Austin eateries strive to give diners something they could never imagine, some things should be left alone or at least altered with subtlety, to not risk losing its essence. Blue Dahlia offers satisfying French bistro standards like the ham and gruyere tartine and some with a subtle addition like the Salad Niçoise (pictured) topped with seared Ahi tuna. Tucked among other well-executed classics are other surprises like inventive daily organic egg frittatas and chilled gazpachos ranging from cucumber to mango to watermelon jalapeño.

While Blue Dahlia does offer the best of classic French breakfast (crepes, croissants, soft-boiled eggs with a baguette), it has one of the best happy hours in east Austin for the hungry office fugitive. There are $2 Lonestars if that suits you and a break on the local draft beers, but the selection of $5 glasses of wine are the perfect companion to the generously discounted tartines and the exceptional, and exceptionally shareable, house specialty plates–cheese, charcuterie, hummus, and smoked trout – all accompanied with fresh bread, olives, and spreads.

Patio, porch, or dining room, Blue Dahlia is a welcome escape to something satisfying and familiar.

Native Knowledge: Blue Dahlia’s happy hour extends to 6:30 for one more glass before dinner or heading home.

1115 E. 11th Street

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