AUSTIN, TEXAS | TRAVEL GUIDE
- Austin gets hot – really hot, try visiting in the off season if you can [october – march]
- See live music! It really is one of the best places
- Skip the line at Franklin's BBQ – it's not worth missing out on some of Austin's greatness to wait for that long
** Hotel San Jose One of the coolest hotels in Austin, and my favorite place to grab drinks and snacks on a warm afternoon.
Saint Cecilia An expensive cousin to Hotel San Jose, this bohmian boutique hotel is located in the South Congress (SoCo) District.
South Congress Hotel This trendy minimalist hotel has a sushi bar, a rooftop pool, and cool vibes.
BREAKFAST & LUNCH
** Elizabeth St. Cafe My favorite happy place in austin for really any meal. Offering french breakfast bites [my favorite is the eclair] and unique Vietnamese plates for lunch & dinner.
Epicerie This French "grocery" is bright, healthy and delicious. Their little back porch is perfect for mimosas and beignets.
Contigo Modeled after a ranch in South Texas, Contigo has a mix of Texan vibes paired with good drinks and fresh food.
Waltons This brick-walled bakery, deli and flower shop is sunny and cheerful inside, and you'll never be disappointed.
Josephine House One of my favorite places for grabbing a fancy cocktail and snack on the patio
** Justines An absolute must. French, chic, delicious, festive, takes reservations, is open late [really late]. Go!
Uchi Best sushi in austin and maybe anywhere. Trust your server and be prepared to spend a lot of $ [unless you're able to make it for happy hour!]
** Clarks Our neighborhood go-to, only if we can get a seat at the bar or on the patio. Some of my favorite dishes include the oysters [of course], the shrimp toast, the salmon plate, and the lobster roll.
La Condesa Fancy + contemporary mexican on 2nd street. Some of my favorite tacos and margaritas in austin.
Bufalina Awesome pizza, cool vibes, great wine.
Lenoir Unique and frenchy. the intimate interior and delicious prix fix menu makes any event feel extra special.
Launderette New american fare served in a polished space in a converted gas station/laundromat. So many toast options.
G'Raj Mahal Great Indian spot with some Austin influence, grab a seat on their patio.
East Side King Best asian fusion. ever.
Via 313 On the east side, and the most fluffy pastry like pizza you'll ever eat out of a food truck. ever.
Patrizi's Authentic, light and decilious Italian food. It has a great patio and shares it with a bar for drinks. Go here for a fun date night or with a big group of friends. It's crazy good!
SnoBeach: On a hot summer day a snocone is one of the few things that can cool me down.
[FRANKLIN'S IS GREAT AND ALL, BUT IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SPENDING 5-6 HOURS IN LINE]
La Barbecue #2 in the infamous Austin BBQ scene (a very close 2nd). Get in line by at least 10:30am - they have a keg waiting for you on the weekends. They only serve food until they run out, and it unfortunately goes quicker than you'd think. Yes, it's worth it.
Micklehwait One of our favorites and doesn't usually have as long of a line. In a very cute food truck too.
Freedmens More upscale BBQ spot that takes reservations and serves cocktails. Go for dinner as it is the best bbq option at night. Their back patio is perfect, too.
COCKTAILS | BEER | WINE
** Garage Intimate bar tucked inside a parking garage off 6th street. Cozy, vinyl, charcuterie and the best craft cocktails.
Weather Up Craft cocktails with hand-carved ice in a vintage setting & huge backyard patio.
Whislers Hand crafted cocktails and an epic patio [also try their food truck, thai kun]. Thurs - Sun Mezcaleria is open upstairs and it is straight out of Oaxaca, visit to see the vibe even if you don't like sipping straight booze.
East Side Showroom Cocktails in an art filled space that also hosts live music.
White Horse Live country music is served up in this upbeat, sprawling honky-tonk with a taco truck outside.
** Brew & Brew coffee and craft beers on the Eastside, in an old loading deck. This is one of our favorite places.
** My Name is Joe much more than just a coffee trailer. stop by to hear their story, try their food and stay a while.
Flat Track Coffee check out the vegan food truck and bookstore that flank either side of this cool & mega hip espresso bar
Houndstooth Coffee right in the middle of downtown, this is the best spot to grab coffee and run into the local working crowds.
Flitch Coffee east side coffee shop set-up in a vintage trailer with plenty of outdoor seating. Good small bites too.
Jo's on South Congress and 2nd St. One of the longest running famous Austin coffee shops.
** Outdoor Voices The best active apparel out there and their flagship store has all kinds of fun stuff to check out.
Stag Men's clothing, accessories and home goods.
Olive Vintage clothing, shoes, home goods, and accessories for women.
Sunroom Home goods, accessories, swimwear, & clothing for women.
Billy Reid Expensive – but awesome men and women's clothing.
Feathers Vintage clothing, shoes, & accessories.
Lake Austin Getting on the water is one of my favorite things to do in austin, and it's fun all year round. Blue Sky Boat rental is a good company to go through – and there are always deals on places like travel zoo.
Mount Bonnell This spot is great for two purposes: a good workout [it's quite the climb to get up to the top!] and a great view for sunset. Grab some take out and find a cozy spot on the cliff to enjoy one of the best views of the lake.
The Greenbelt Tucked behind the city is a batch of glorious swimming holes for locals to cool off in the summer heat. After following a small trail, you'll arrive at the pools where you can set up a small camp and picnic, swim, and even bring your pup!
Town Lake "hike and bike" Trail 10 miles of trail looping around lady bird lake make for the perfect place to run, bike, SUP, kayak, drink coffee, or just take a casual stroll. One of my favorite things to do when I'm back home. Stop at Alta's to grab coffee, happy hour drinks or snacks.
Barton Springs FYI, this spot is cool – but often gets completely overpacked with tourists. i recommend going if you can at a weird time [like maybe 10am on a tuesday], or explore their night swimming during the summer. Otherwise, it might not be worth it.
JUST OUTSIDE OF AUSTIN
Reimer's Ranch [1 hour from downtown] A great place to spend a day by the water – free to enter, and loads of room to make your own camp
EAT & DRINK
The Salt Lick A classic austin staple, and even though it has become more and more touristy – it's still a fun experience. Bring some beers to drink in the parking lot while you wait for a table or go wine tasting nearby.
The Leaning Pear Our favorite place to stop for lunch after a trip to blue hole/jacobs well.