If you are planning a weekend trip to the great, weird, super fun city of Austin, Texas, I’ve got ALL the 10/10 recs.
Must-Try Austin Foods
Matt’s El Rancho- This Austin fave first opened in 1952 and has been faithfully serving GREAT Tex-Mex ever since. There is no need to make reservations, because they don’t take them, but the wait is never bad! And there is free parking with an expansive lot!
The Oasis on Lake Travis- The Oasis is a restaurant with an experience. It’s something you just have to see to believe. The Oasis offers a dining experience with an amazing view of the water from anywhere you sit, great Mexican food, and a brewery across from the restaurant. However, they do not take reservations, so you have to be prepared to wait or get there early. There is free parking with an expansive lot!
Home Slice Pizza- Who doesn’t like pizza? Well, Home Slice is a neighborhood pizza joint with NY-Style pies the size of your face! This is a must.
Kerbey Lane Cafe- If you are a brunch connoisseur like me, I definitely recommend Kerbey Lane Cafe that serves breakfast all day. And you HAVE to try the cinnamon roll pancakes! Free parking is available at all locations and reservations can be made through YELP.
Juiceland- If you are visiting for the first time, you are not a local until you have tried Juiceland… truly an Austin favorite with smoothies with hemp protein to get you feeling extra good and extra healthy. They have many locations and some are drive-thru. My recommendation is always the “Honey Beary” smoothie.
Amy’s Ice Cream- This ice cream shop was founded in Austin in 1984 and is a solid choice to get some good ice cream and satisfy your sweet tooth. My recommendation is your choice of the Belgian Chocolate or Mexican Vanilla ice cream, but make it a shake with Oreos. You’re welcome.
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters- Mozart’s is a true work of pastry and coffee art. Enjoy supreme coffee and baked pastries on a patio overlooking Lake Austin. There is free parking across the street.
Tiny Boxwoods- Tiny Boxwoods is the cutest restaurant and perfect for a fancy day out in Austin. Definitely need to make reservations here but they do have free parking. After you finish your meal, head across the way for melty milk + cookies from the Tiny Boxwoods walk-up bakery.
Mount Bonnell- Take a picnic to Mount Bonnell and climb up the stairs to watch a beautiful sunset over the Lake Austin portion of the Colorado River. Free parking along the street.
Blue Starlight Drive-In- Find a movie at Blue Starlight’s downtown location on the rooftop of a parking garage in the middle of the high-rise buildings and lights. Be sure to bring blankets and a radio if sitting in the back of your car.
Butler Pitch and Putt- Rent clubs and play short game golf in the middle of downtown Austin. Such a fun and unique experience that has been hosting good times since 1948.
360 Pennybacker Bridge- The climb up to the 360 Bridge is a little steep but definitely worth the view of Lake Austin. Free parking along the street.
Texas Rowing Center- Rent paddle boards, kayaks, or canoes with SUP ATX. You may have to pay for parking and rentals but it is definitely worth the experience. You can bring coolers and a waterproof speaker to set on the paddle board and spend the day out on Lake Austin. Finish the day with a big burger at Pool Burger down the street (no need to dress nice).
Rainey Street- The night life on Rainey Street is more classy than 6th and great for bar hopping. You have to pay for parking but you can walk easily from place to place on this street. Many historical houses along the street have been turned into upscale bars with dj’s and dance floors or restaurants with good food. I recommend starting at Anthem for the best appetizers and a good pre-game drink and then after a few fun bars, finish at the food truck park on the opposite end and hit up the Grilled Cheese Truck to replenish yourself after a night of drinking.
Stubb’s BBQ Concert Venue- In the midst of downtown Austin, find concert tickets and experience the surreal atmosphere of Stubb’s live-music concerts. You can buy drinks at the venue during the concert and can easily find your way close to the stage. But get there early, because the entry line can sometimes look intimidating.
Meanwhile Brewing Company- This hipster brewing company is perfect for watching football or experiencing live music. It is a family place and kids can enjoy a playscape area.
In Austin, you will simply NEVER run out of things to do or new places to go try- so have fun, be safe, and keep Austin weird, my friends!