Austin is one of my favorite places in the world. I went to college in Austin at UT and ever since I left, I’ve missed it so much. Now that my boyfriend’s family lives there, I’ve been heading back more often so I’m loving that! IT just has that big city-little city feel and there are so many good places to eat, drink, and be outside. Plus it’s just a couple hours from Dallas.
I know I promised y’all this city guide – but I feel like I’ll have even more to add eventually, so stay tuned. But for now, I think this is a really good start (especially with food options…obvoiusly).
Places to Eat
Jeffrey’s of Austin (Clarksville) – This place can get expensive but it’s SO worth it! Some of the best food in Austin, so if you’re a foodie or want a meal you won’t forget, come here.
Josephine House (Clarksville) – Same owners as Jeffrey’s and just an adorable little spot. Like a lot of places in Austin, it’s a cottage/home turned restaurant and a cute place with an eclectic menu (and lots of yummy drinks!). Fun for a date or brunch with the family, pretty low-key.
Cipollina Bistro (West Austin) – Traditional Italian with an Austin twist. A hidden neighborhood and spot, really delicious Italian food. Great for date night.
Red Ash Grill (Downtown) – One of my favorites! Such good Italian craft food – everything tastes super fresh and the service is great. It’s really good for any kind of dinner – it’s a little loud but not in a bad way, just lively and good energy. Get the burrata to start with!
Texas Honey Ham – OMG y’all have to come here if you visit Austin. It’s been a fave of mine for a long time. Just good, comfort-style food, like mac n’ cheese and the best dam breakfast tacos ever. Super casual and a good amount of UT kids – good for anyone looking to eat eat eat.
Torchy’s Tacos – Another Austin establishment that the local people love. You have to come early or else you’ll wait, so definitely keep that in mind. Really yummy tacos of all kinds and an easy, casual spot. Also, ask about their secret menu!
Magnolia’s Cafe (late night) – This place is open 24 hours so it’s always been a go-to for me for last night meals. And the food is good! Very very casual slash diner style.
Fresa’s Chicken – Few locations and good Mexican food. Walk up and drive thru so good for a quick meal.
Clark’s Oyster Bar (Clarksville) – First of all, this place is beautiful. It’s all white and nautical and I love the style. On top of that, the fresh fish and burgers are to die for, and then the oysters hello! Great happy hour too (M-F 3-6) for their cocktails which are just as good. My parents always loved coming here when visiting.
Pitchfork Pretty (East Cesar Chavez) – Rustic Texan menu that’s kind of different but so dang good! The fried chicken is where it’s at so don’t forget to order that – it’s kind of Korean style and delish. They also have a lot of unique cocktails if you like to try new things.
Blue Dahlia (east 11th location specifically) – Southern food that tastes really fresh (not super heavy) and overall cute place.
Places to Drink/Go Out
Rainey Street – If you’re coming here as a tourist and want to go to bars but don’t want to feel like you’re in college, go to Rainey Street. It’s fun for day drinking and eating, too. It’s a street of houses turned into bars and restaurants and it’s all very Austin and adorable. Once you’re here, you don’t need to go anywhere else all day or night – lots of options.
Ranch 616 (Downtown) – Good spot for a fun dinner with friends but warning that some of the pictures are a little risque (so maybe not a good idea to bring grandma LOL). There’s a DJ on the weekends.
Abel’s On The Lake – This is out on Lake Austin. The food sucks but it’s definitely a pretty view for a quick drink if you want to see the water.
Deep Eddy Cabaret – If you’re coming here with friends, you’ve gotta stop by this Austin classic dive bar. Divey but always a good time, and it’s pretty old school which is just fun!
Hula Hut – Another place on the lake and with decent food. It’s Tex-Mex so the queso is a go-to and I also like their chicken fajitas. It’s pretty touristy but has a good view and is worth visiting!
Dancing at Broken Spoke – Fun place to dance and lots of live music, an old-school Austin establishment.
Antone’s is another good place for live music for a night out – another Austin legend and really strong drinks (don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
Stubb’s BBQ – real Texas BBQ that’s soooo good! Plus they have a few stages with live music, so it’s a fun night overall to see a concert and eat lots.
June’s All Day (South Congress) – Super cute wine bar for a bite with the girls and good food too!
Places to Get Coffee
Cosmic Coffee & Beer Garden – If you like to sit outside and grab a cup of coffee or a beer, this place is really cute y’all. Very casual – could be a good first date option or good for meeting up with friends. I’d come hang here solo too!
Houndstooth Coffee – They have a few locations (downtown, east side, and north lamar). also some in Dallas but I prefer Austin one. Great coffee, great place to work (and they have a decent amount of tables).
Jolt and Summer Moon Coffee are also supposed to be cute – haven’t been though!
Things to Do (Outside)
Mount Bonnell – If you’re looking to be active while seeing a pretty view, head here. Some nice short trails.
Barton Springs Pool – The essential Austin summer spot. There’s a big natural pool which is usually pretty cold but it feels great if the Texas heat is real. Nice place to lounge outside on the grass either way!topless.
Zilker Park – A MUST! Tons to explore right in the heart of Austin and really pretty.
Kayak on Lady Bird Lake
*Austin map via Merry MeinSpring
Brighton Your Day
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