Guide to Austin, Texas


Austin is an incredible city and in four short days, I fell in love. I just wish I had a bit more time. I went at the end of January and the weather was about 55-65 degrees during the day and 30-40 degrees at night. I saw the city entirely on foot and I highly recommend it (I imagine it would probably be too hot to do this during the summer months though).

I stayed in Airbnb’s in East Austin and walked downtown often, although I realized there was a lot more going on in East Austin than I originally thought. When I go back, I think I would stick around that area a bit more.

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The architecture is really fascinating. You’ll see everything from tiny, rustic bungalows to sleek, modern structures. I loved them both and they somehow worked together really well. They knew their place and fit well within the landscape, as I believe all architecture should or it’s failing in my opinion.

Okay, let’s talk about the food—arguably my favorite part. Austin’s primary culinary identity is Tex-Mex and you’ll find tacos and amazing slow cooked meat everywhere you go. I’ve noticed though, there’s a strong Asian influence throughout the cuisine as well (in a different way than most major cities). For example, two of the modern cafe/bakeries I went to—Elizabeth Street Cafe was Vietnamese based and Sour Duck Market had some touches of Asian influence, like dirty fried rice on their menu.

If you go during the week, pay attention to happy hours to save money—it definitely helps!

Mexican

These are just three that I ended up at based on reviews and locations, but I’m sure you really can’t go wrong getting tacos most places in Austin.

Pueblo Viejo

Taco Joint

Las Trancas Food Truck

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Cute branding & designs I saw on my walks through East Austin.

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BBQ

I decided to avoid the over hyped Franklin’s. There was just so much else to see and eat, that I just wasn’t excited. I was also by myself so I felt like I would just be wasting food at that point.

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue (Happy hour 5-7)

I had the chopped beef brisket sandwich with white onion, jalapeño & pickle relish on a sesame bun with jimaca slaw. Absolutely amazing!

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Asian

Tatsu-Ya Ramen East Austin

Just absolutely incredible ramen. I was in heaven.

Elizabeth St Cafe (Happy hour M-F 3-6pm)

A neighborhood Vietnamese cafe and French bakery.

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Brewery

Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden (Happy hour M-F 4.30-6.30pm)

They had an incredible beer list, I got to try a couple local ones and I got a housemade sausage on a housemade bun for happy hour and it was great.

Lazarus Brewing

Really cool atmosphere and great beer.


Coffee/Cafe

I went to a few other coffee spots, but these are the ones I fell in love with.

Wright Brothers Brew & Brew

I absolutely loved the atmosphere in here. I could spend hours on end getting work done, sipping on great coffee, having lunch and then finishing the day with a beer all in one place.

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Elizabeth St Cafe (Happy hour M-F 3-6pm)

I’m mentioning it again here because it’s both a really cute spot for coffee and baked goods as well as lunch and dinner.

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Sour Duck Cafe (Happy hour S-Th 2-6pm)

I got a savory pulled pork pastry here and it was out of this world.

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Other/American

Via 313 Pizza

Rockstar Bagel

Royal Blue Grocery

This is a really cute small grocery store that has everything you need and more (including Jeni’s Ice Cream).

Places I Wanted to Go

Swift Attic

Josephine House

Grizzelda’s

Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

Other Things

Paramount Theater

Zilker Park

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Hotel San Jose, Saint Cecilia & Austin Motel

These gorgeous hotels are found in the South Congress area which is such a rad retro part of down with incredible designs and architecture.

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MacKenzie Kuhns