La Condesa is an award-winning Mexican restaurant located in Austin’s vibrant 2nd Street District. Helmed by Executive Chef Rick Lopez, La Condesa’s menu features modern Mexican dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, plus a renowned bar program with the largest collection of 100% blue agave tequila and mezcal in the city.
Executive Chef Rick Lopez
A native Texan, Rick began his culinary journey in Maine where he accepted a seasonal internship at Oakland House Inn in the heart of the Blue Hill Peninsula. He soon found his way back home in San Antonio working for Chef Scott Cohen in La Mansion’s fine dining restaurant Las Canarias. He concurrently attended ACF accredited Austin Community College and received his Associates of Applied Sciences in Culinary Arts. He then returned to New York City to build his resume, working at Café Boulud, 81 and Picholine before returning to Texas in 2009.
Back in Texas, Rick accepted the position of sous chef with fellow Café Boulud alum Shawn Cirkiel. Shortly after, he was given the opportunity to become Sous Chef alongside Executive Chef Rene Ortiz at James Beard Foundation Award-nominated La Condesa. After his first year, he was promoted to Chef de Cuisine, and in August of 2013 was named Executive Chef at La Condesa.
Beyond serving at the helm of La Condesa, Chef Rick has a true passion for connecting his team and restaurant with the surrounding community by focusing on sourcing ingredients from local producers and farmers, in addition to serving numerous civic community organizations and nonprofits through time, talent and charitable giving.
For the past seven years, La Condesa has supported Urban Roots, which works to cultivate leadership skills with local youth through food and farming. Chef Rick also volunteers with Fresh Chefs Society to empower foster youth to make nutritionally sound decisions by leading farm tours and other educational initiatives. Rick and La Condesa have also participated and donated to many of Sustainable Food Center’s charitable dinners, an organization which seeks to improve access to healthy, affordable food for Central Texas residents.
Rick’s goal for La Condesa is to always stay inventive, fresh and keep with the changing tides, attitudes and appetites of the city, and attributes the restaurant’s ongoing success to his motivated team working alongside him each and every day.
La Condesa is a community partner that works closely with farmers, ranchers and regional producers in order to provide fresh, locally-sourced dishes.
Some of the organizations we love to work with and regularly support include 44 Farms, Fagan Family Farms, G&S Groves, HausBar Urban Farm, Joe’s Organics, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, Urban Roots, Richardson Farms, Farm to Table, Animal Farm Center, Good Flow honey, Mill-King Market and Creamery, Capra Foods Lamb Cooperative, Village Farms and Francis & Thatcher.
We’re also a proud partner of The Farm Project, an organization that empowers initiatives that reconnect people with food. You can watch Chef Rick Lopez discuss the importance of supporting local farmers with The Farm Project co-founder Zooey Deschanel here.