Happy Holidays from Around the World

By Alexie Rendon – November 30, 2021

The holidays bring about long-standing cultural and family traditions. While these treasured family events are wonderful, it can be neat to get out of your comfort zone to experience something new. So to get you in that international holiday spirit, here are some local Austin eateries that will expand your horizons and help you celebrate the holidays in a whole new way.

The Black Forest

Growing up in a military family, Neil Joiner spent most of his childhood living in Germany. He spent a lot of time cooking and enjoying food from a variety of European cultures. After culinary school, Joiner worked in different restaurants before planting roots in Austin to start The Black Forest food truck, serving traditional German dishes. 

In the spirit of the holidays, customers can enjoy a German pasta called spaetzle, or pastries such as apple strudel and stollen, all of which are traditionally eaten in the winter months. 

Located next door to Live Oak Brewing company, The Black Forest uses Live Oak beer and locally produced Smokey Denmark sausage to create the mouth wateringly delicious bratwurst many cannot get enough of.  Stop by and see what all the fuss is about! 

Ballkan Café and Grill

Ballkan Café and Grill was established in 2014 by Zivoin Zekic. Tracing from his Serbian, Austrian and Amsterdam roots, the café serves a variety of must-try European ethnic foods. 

Celebrate the holidays with the Zekic family and try something new this season! Ballkan Café offers a range of seasonal specials made by the whole family. 

Many people love Mrs. Zekic’s famous sarma, a traditional Serbian dish. It is made by rolling ground beef, veggies and rice into pickled cabbage leaves. It is then slowly cooked over beef ribs. Zivoin says it’s heaven on earth. 

If beach volleyball is your thing, Ballkan Café is the place for you. Located behind the restaurant, Zivion has two professional grade beach volleyball courts where he even hosts a weekly volleyball league. Bring your friends to join in on the good food and fun! 

Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches

Merry Christmas or “Vesele Vanoce,” from Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches! Stop by for traditional Czech Kolaches, locally brewed coffee made by Greater Goods Roasting and for beer, of course. 

Treat yourself to sweet Kolaches filled with fruit and cheese or spice things up with jalapeno sausage, the menu is endless. 

The goodness doesn’t just stop at the delicious food and drinks. Take a seat at one of the spacious outdoor picnic tables and join the regulars for trivia night. Many also love to participate in the Batch Bocce league. There is something for everyone!

Tio Pepe Chicken

Meet everyone’s favorite tio, Pepe Garcia. According to the Tio Pepe Chicken website, Garcia is a man of many travels. He has lived in places such as London, Thailand and Mexico — just to name a few. 

While these places were all very different, one thing remains the same, Garcia’s love for good food and its ability to gather friends around a table

Tio Pepe Chicken is inspired by the flavors of traditional Portuguese Peri-Peri sauce. Dishes are cooked over an open flame and meant to be enjoyed around a table with loved ones.

Bon Appetit. 


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