The Ultimate Austin City Guide

February 17, 2018

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the ultimate austin city guide

If you all follow me over on Insta (haaaay friends!) you know that besides Seattle, Austin is slowly creeping it’s way to the top of my list for best cities in the U.S., and for good reason. Austin is unabashedly weird. And I like that. Because we’re all a little weird. It’s quirky. It’s got such an exciting food & drink scene.  Be forewarned: after you read this, you’ll be able to eat and drink your way through Austin with the best of ’em. The design details everywhere are straight out of a dream. Not to mention, Austin happens to be home to one of the biggest music scenes in the entire country, with over 250 funky and fun music venues, to be exact. It’s the perfect destination for a girls getaway, a romantic trip for two, or truly anything you heart desires, because there’s something for everyone here in ATX. 

Where to Brunch with the Babes

If Austin knows how to do one thing right, it’s brunching. In fact I believe Austin-ites created brunching. Maybe. But for the sake of this, let’s pretend they did in fact create the illustrious meal we know as brunch. When you’re in ATX, don’t skip out on the following amazing brunch spots. Perfect for sippin’ mimosas with your main gals. 

Josephine House

I’d say Josephine’s House takes the cake for dreamiest interior, but seriously all of these spots are to die for, so it really is a toss up. I truly appreciate how much detail and design work goes into some of the best dining spots in Austin. It creates such a unique feel for the city as a whole, and Josephine’s House is no exception. You can’t go wrong sitting inside or outside here, as both locations are impeccably designed. Inside you’ll find a whitewashed interior that would make Joanna Gaines swoon, and outside you’ll find the most perfect patio your eyes have ever seen. Don’t skip getting the homemade almond milk with your coffee, you won’t regret it. 

Elizabeth Street Café

Elizabeth Street Café was recommended to me by so many people, and it does not disappoint. Featuring a Vietnamese-French fusion focused menu, Elizabeth Street not only has creates a funky-fun ambiance (those chairs..and the patio..!), but the food truly puts it over the top. My pick? Beignets. If you’ve never had a beignet in your life..change that immediately. They are fluffy pillows of puffy pastry goodness, sprinkled with powdered sugar that are dropped straight from heaven. Slightly dramatic? Maybe. But taste them for yourself and I guarantee you’ll be singin’ their praises. 

Hillside Farmacy

The first time I tried to come here for brunch it was sooo busy (rightfully so) that we weren’t able to get in. I came back in the evening, and am so glad I did! This place was actually once an actual pharmacy and has since been transitioned into the “farmacy” of your dreams. Locally sourced produce will leave your tastebuds watering. Again, Austin is killin’ it with the interior here. This place was made for the ‘gram. If you go for brunch, go early. Otherwise, pop in for happy hour, the ambiance is perfect for both! 

Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile

Remember when I said we couldn’t get into Hillside Farmacy for brunch? Turned out that was a lucky day for us, because we instead made our way to Jacoby’s Restaurant and Mercantile. This place was memorable for many reasons, but one of which: the best Bloody Mary I’d had in a loooong time. Extra bonus points? A killer patio. Give me a Bloody Mary and a sunny patio and I’m weak in the knees. Extra, extra bonus points? It’s also home to a super chic boutique, hence the mercantile portion of the name. This was a pleasant coincidence we landed here, and I would head here again without a doubt!

Irene’s

It’s like the owners of Irene’s know exactly what the basic millennial needs to have a trendy, delicious, and grammable brunch. Wall covered in ivy? Check. Hot pink neon sign? Check. Outdoor patio? Check. Avocado toast that is as delicious as it is instaworthy. Come here for the vibe, stay for the delicious bites.

Where to Sip Drinks with Your Gals

June’s All Day

ALL. DAY. June’s was one of the first places I went during my first trip to ATX, and instantly made me fall head over heels in love with this place. This place wins for best wine list in the city, which is hand drawn and focuses on a different region monthly. Come here to explore fun new wines you wouldn’t try otherwise. Have I mentioned yet that Austin has the dreamiest decor on earth? K, great. It can also be found here. 

Hotel San José and Austin Motel

Do you know the way to San José? La la la la la la la la la la. I can’t be the only one who grew up listening to Dionne Warwick with my mom in the car, right? Even if you weren’t a huge fan of Miss Warwick, I can guarantee you’ll be a huge fan of the Hotel San José. Part hotel, part incredible outdoor bar, this is the place to get the unofficial drink of Austin: frosé. Yes, frosé does in fact mean frozen rosé and I didn’t even know this delightful concoction was a thing until I came to Austin. The HSJ will make all your frosé fantasies come to life. Head next door to the Austin Motel, and you may just be privey to a pool part AND frosé. Now who says dreams don’t come true?

Rainey Street

A list of drinks with you laaadies would not be complete without a mention of Rainey Street. Rainey Street is impossibly fun both day and night, but daytime is truly when it thrives in my humble opinion. Lemme give you a quick breakdown of the magic that is Rainey Street. This street of dreams is actually completely made up of old homes that have been converted into bars and restaurants. The result…perfection. Wander up and down this street and you’ll undoubtedly find the backyard patio haven that only existed in your dreams. Well, it now also exists on Rainey Street. My advice is to pop into as many places as possible, and enjoy that Texas sunshine!

Grizzelda’s

You don’t think I could make it this far down a list of Austin locale’s without dropping a Mexican joint in the mix, did you? Didn’t think so. Grizzelda’s takes the cake (or the queso) for dreamiest interior on this entire list, and that my friend, is saying something. From the gorgeous outdoor patio, to the plush velvet green chairs, you won’t ever want to leave this one. Don’t miss the margaritas. You won’t regret it.

Easy Tiger (a taste of 6th street)

So, while Rainey Street is a joy to walk down during the day, it’s counterpart is the Bourbon Street of Austin. Enter, 6th Street. The first time I was in Austin, I didn’t realize how close we were staying to this party zone. It’s definitely worth a stroll after the sun goes down to see how Austin does nightlife to the extreme. If you’re wanting a taste of 6th street without signing up for the whole enchilada, head to Easy Tiger. Part bakery, part beer bar, all parts charming. 

Tiny Boxwood’s

Tiny Boxwood’s is the place for a refreshing glass of rosé with your ladies. It’s beautiful with a crisp clean aesthetic, and you won’t be disappointed if you sit indoors or out. 

Where to Caffeinate

Café No Se

This. place. is. a. dream. Snuggled up on South Congress, it’s as delicious as it is beautiful. I’ve only popped in briefly for a pick me up, but it’s worth a return trip. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner so there’s really not a bad time to come, but it’s perfect for your morning cup of jo. Speaking of jo…

Jo’s

Looking for the iconic “I love you so much” sign in Austin? You’ve come to the right place. Potentially the most instagrammed wall in all of Austin, but even if you’re not willing to wait in line to snap a pic, you should wait in line for the coffee. The cold brew is incredible, and the breakfast tacos? Taco-bout deliciousness. 

Wright Brothers Brew & Brew

Brew & Brew is double the fun because it not only serves up some of the best cold brew I’ve ever had, but it also serves up local brews when the sun goes down. Clever name, no?

Halycon

Halycon has a few locations, but the one on Mueller is stunning and the perfect place to take your laptop and get some work done. The menu is simplicity at its best, and the best thing about this location? There is SO much seating. This is sometimes so overlooked when it comes to picking a coffee shop but Haylcon overdelivers. If you’re looking for a place to get some work done–this is it!

Where to Get Bomb BBQ

Franklin

Franklin is what BBQ dreams are made of. I didn’t know what BBQ was until I experienced the religious experience that is Franklin for the first time. But I’m not the only one who thinks so. Franklin BBQ has a deep and dedicated following..a following that lines up for BBQ in the wee hours of the morning. And I mean line. Get here early enough, bring your cooler and your cornhole (yes..really) and get comfy. The BBQ that lies in your future will be more than worth it.

Where to Shop

Gypsy Wagon

In the heart of South Congress lays my favorite store in Austin–enter: Gypsy Wagon. I first came in here because of the name and how much I love the adore the word gypsy. To my pleasure, the inside did not disappoint. This is now my go-to place in Austin to buy gifts that represent the area but aren’t overly cheesy. Stop in here while you’re strolling South Congress. You’ll love it! 

Where to Catch Some Tunes

The Continental Club

Remember what I said about Austin being the music town of must towns? Nowhere is that more prevalent than The Continental Club. Billed as the “grand daddy” of music venues. Pop in here for some classically Austin tunes, and head to explore South Congress when you’ve gotten your musical fill. 

Mohawk

Two levels built for pure musical magic? Part indoor, part outdoor, the Mohawk is a multi-level venue featuring both local and traveling acts. Perfect for that musical snack you’ve been craving.  

Where to Dine for Dinner

Le Politique

J’etaime Le Politique! Perfect for anyone suffering from Paris withdrawls (raises hand..) this place is to die for. From the marbled counter tops to the pink woven chairs, to the best French Onion Soup I’ve ever had, I could go back to this place again and again. If you’re in the Austin area do not stop, do not go, and get yourself to Le Politique. 

Olamaie

Southerner’s know how to do a few things well, and a few things great. One of the things they do great? Biscuits. And there is NO better place to get that buttery flakey goodness than Olamaie. If you’re looking for a lovely night out, Olamaie is your place. 

Launderette 

Much as one may infer from the name itself, Launderette actually exists within what was previously a laundromat. But don’t let this deter you, if anything, let it intrigue you. Austin has a way of making what was once old, new again. Thing the pharmacy turned Farmacy we talked about earlier. Launderette is home to one of the best meals I’ve had in Austin. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, you truly can’t go wrong here.

What’s on your Austin must-do list? I plan to keep updating this bad boy as I go head back to one of my favorite cities out there. Share with me here, or over on Instagram! 

The comments +

  1. Brooklyn | La Ti Do

    February 23rd, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Looove the photography in this post!
    <3 Brooklyn | latidoblog.weebly.com

  2. Stephanie

    February 24th, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Thanks Brooklyn! I feel like I’m finally starting to find my groove photography wise, and Austin makes it so easy because it is SO gorgeous!

  3. Erinn

    February 25th, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    I have never been to Austin but with this guide I feel like I am more than prepared to visit AND have a wonderful time. Thank you so much for your post!

  4. Stephanie

    February 25th, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    I am so glad you enjoyed reading it, Erin! Thank you so much for reading and stopping by! xo Stephanie

  5. Sandy

    April 28th, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks Stephanie for this trip to Austin. I lived in Austin for 30 years – where were these cute places when I lived there? Haven’t been back to Austin the 20+ years and I’m thinking I need a trip back home. Next time you go to Austin, you should check out what’s going on out at Lake Travis and Town Lake. You definitely need to go to the Oasis for sunset and a Marg.

  6. Stephanie

    April 30th, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    Sunset and a marg? You’re speakin’ my love language Sandy! Austin has grown so much in recent years, it’s crazy!! It might be time for a trip back home, if nothing else, I bet the sunset marg is callin’ your name 🙂

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