Austin, Texas Travel Guide: Where To Eat, Drink, Shop & Explore
Over Memorial Day Weekend Rob and I met up with some friends in Austin, Texas. I had never been there before and it was towards the top of my travel bucket list. We had an amazing time eating and drinking our way through the city! It’s such a fun city, full of unique restaurants, bars, boutiques and street art. My cousin who lives in Texas sent me a bunch of suggestions and I also looked through the Instagrams of my favorite Austin bloggers beforehand. I wish we could have spent more time there because three days was not enough! I love the cool, urban vibe of Austin and there’s so much to see and do. Below are some of the places we enjoyed during our trip. What are your favorite spots in Austin? I would love to visit again!
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WHERE TO EAT:
Hillside Farmacy. First of all, this restaurant is just begging to be Instagrammed! It has an antique-chic vibe with eclectic, yet modern décor. We had brunch there and it was amazing! The ham and parmesan cheese grits were so flavorful and I also ordered one brown butter blueberry pancake, which was a good decision because I love anything with brown butter! I was way too full, but it was worth every calorie!
Péché. This French restaurant has an amazing happy hour! It runs all night on Sundays and Mondays, so we had a few craft cocktails and delicious bites. If we lived in Austin this would definitely be our weekly hangout spot!
Chicon. This gastropub has a really nice atmosphere and tasty menu. We had dinner here on our first night in town and enjoyed sitting out on the patio. I had the fried chicken sandwich, which was pretty good and we also started with the pretzel bites. We didn’t have dessert, but everything sounded amazing!
Terry Black’s BBQ. We originally wanted to go to Franklin Barbecue because we had heard so many good things and our friend swears by their cookbook. However, you had to wait in line for hours so we asked an Uber driver for some other suggestions. Terry Black’s BBQ was one of his recommendations and it did not disappoint! We only had to wait for about 30 minutes and the food was still fantastic! There were a lot of delicious looking meats, so we tried a little bit of everything. The brisket and turkey were probably my favorites. Let’s just say we were stuffed and still had a box full of leftovers.
Cenote. This neighborhood café was walking distance from our Airbnb and had a delicious breakfast menu! I ordered the eggs Benedict, which was served on a homemade biscuit and topped with chipotle hollandaise sauce—so flavorful! Rob’s breakfast taco was also delicious! I ate most of his breakfast, too, since he was feeling a little too hungover for it ;) The atmosphere there is really cute and casual.
The Pizza Press. We stopped here on a whim before driving to the airport and it was a great find! You can create your own thin crust pizza or they have suggested combinations. I love white pizza, so I topped mine with mozzarella, roasted garlic, spinach, chicken, artichoke and pesto. It was delicious!
Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts. This pink food truck was parked outside of a bar on Rainey Street and I couldn’t resist a late night bite. And by late, I mean like 10pm, we are so lame haha. I ordered the chocolate hazelnut flavor, which was really good, but not as chocolatey as I’d hoped. Next time I would order a chocolate dipping sauce.
Capital City Bakery. We passed this cute bakery as we were walking near our Airbnb and had to stop in! I got a Chocolate Chip Sammie, which was two chocolate chip cookies sandwiched with buttercream. It will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth and their cupcakes look really good, too!
WHERE TO DRINK:
Lazarus Brewing Co. We love checking out local breweries when we travel, so we stopped here after dinner on our first night in town. They had a great selection of beers, but also rootbeer, a full espresso bar and a kitchen dishing out street Mex food.
Blue Owl Brewing. This brewery only serves sour beers, which is fine by me! You purchase a cute glass and then get four fills. My favorite was the Dapper Devil, a special release that has a delicious raspberry flavor. The atmosphere is really cool and they have a patio full of colorful furniture.
Zilker Brewing Co. I love dark beers, so this brewery was right up my alley! They had a delicious coffee milk stout and a blackberry sour that were AMAZING!
Austin City Lemons. After walking around the city I was hot, thirsty and cranky until we came across this adorable lemonade stand. It is literally the shape of a lemon and after a refreshing “Cup of Happiness” you’ll be ready to continue exploring. You can also make it fancy by adding in other flavors to this classic lemonade. And if you need a sweet treat, it’s right next to Hey Cupcake! which is a cute Airstream trailer bakery.
Rainey Street. This street is lined with cute bungalow houses that have been turned into bars. You can walk from one to the next and stop at one of the many food trucks if you get hungry. We really liked Lucille because of the craft cocktails and nice outdoor patio. It was quiet enough that you could actually talk and the outdoor misters and fan felt amazing! This street gets very crowded and lively at night and we felt so old and lame after like an hour. We just wanted somewhere quiet that served craft cocktails.
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SHOP, SEE, DO:
Shop at the Boutiques. South Congress Ave has a ton of cute stores and you’ll at least want to stop in to get some AC! Gypsy Wagon was one of my favorites. They had a mix of clothing and home goods, plus non-cheesy Austin souvenirs. I bought some cute “Party Time” cups to use in a future recipe post and would have purchased more things if my carryon wasn’t limited on space! Luckily they have an online shop.
See the South Congress Bridge bats. I think this tourist activity is hit or miss because I thought it was very underwhelming. Every night during the summer 1.5 million bats fly out from under the bridge around sunset. Sounds cool, right? We found a spot on the very crowded bridge right around sunset and waited for at least an hour for the bats to fly out. By then it was too dark to really see them and they seemed to slowly trickle out rather than there being one big mass of bats. I didn’t think it was worth the wait, but it does look cool in the photos and YouTube videos I had seen before going. Maybe we just hit it on a bad night.
Find Interesting Murals. There is fun street art all over the city, but a few famous spots include the Greetings From Austin, You’re My Butter Half and the I Love You So Much murals.
Take a drive out to Waco and see Fixer Upper’s Magnolia Market. We flew into Dallas and drove down to Austin, so Waco was any easy pit stop! It was fun to see the store, food trucks and overall atmosphere. You can see more pics and a video in this post!
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