A-T-X!! How could anyone not love the state of Texas?? Dallas (catch up on our last stop here!) is always a good idea, but Austin might be an even better one. Max and I both agreed my birthplace is at the top of our shortlist – should we ever be fabulous enough to live there. We spent a rainy couple of days exploring Austin through their margaritas, shopping, and of course – more BBQ.
First things first. Austin Eastciders makes the best. cider. ever. I was loving Bishop Cider in Dallas, but Austin won me over with their Ruby Red Grapefruit and Blood Orange ciders. I can’t get over it and I don’t know what else to say, it was just that good. Oh, and the food truck serving poutine out front didn’t hurt either.
We also found a cool wine shop called The Austin Wine Merchant, that is stocked floor to ceiling with just about anything you could want. Max explored the rows for awhile, but I also found this mural around the corner!
We couldn’t miss a margarita crawl up South Congress. There’s a lot of shopping to do here, so you’re obviously going to need to take a few breaks for margs! We’ve tried the South Congress Cafe and Guero’s, but my favorite for this trip was Joann’s – a retro style diner and bar attached to the Austin Motel.
I wish we had made it back to Rainey St, but just ran out of time. When we were here a couple of years ago we had so much fun here. Our favorite bar, Lucille’s, played movies on their projector screen outside and even created a couple fun themed drinks for the night.
la Barbeque. She is my personal best bbq in Texas winner for this trip. Max is still holding on to Cattleack because of their brisket, but this was the real deal. Their house-made traditional, chipotle, and jalapeno sausages are what brought us in the door. In addition to those being incredible, their sides are tops (hello, they make their pickles). We agreed this mac and cheese was a highlight of the trip – and Max doesn’t even typically like mac and cheese!!
Elizabeth St Cafe. Mmm. Pho is great in all weather, but especially when it’s chilly out. And don’t forget the dumplings, and yes we ordered two servings. This is definitely in the running for top 5 (maybe top 3??) restaurants on this whole trip! They get 6/5 stars for having the cutest decor that extended to the bathroom (hellooo selfies). The Welcome to Austin mural at the top of the post is just a few blocks from here!
If you missed Torchy’s in Dallas, Austin is their original home so you can still get their delicious queso and tacos here! I’m currently craving their bomb avocado tacos. I’m also dying to try Perla’s on South Congress on our next trip.
But most importantly, no trip to Austin is complete without a trip to Magnolia Cafe for breakfast. They’re open 24/8 so you really have no excuses.
If you’re not vintage hunting in Austin, you’re probably not keeping it weird enough. If you find yourself in Austin on the few days of the year it’s actually cold out, shopping is the best option. We explored a few vintage spots but there’s several great spots for clothes on South Congress! You’re probably not going to find the most amazing deals here, but there is some pretty cool stuff. I found some cool 70s band tees in great condition, but with a pretty serious price tag. My other favorite (non-vintage) shops on this strip are Tesoro’s Trading (#1) and the Austin Motel shop (so cute!). Room Service is worth a visit for a more traditional vintage store, with a lot of vintage home decor and some clothes too. But how sweet is their sign???
We’ll always be back for more Austin. I’m hoping attending the Texas Monthly BBQ Festival is in our near future!
Up Next: Houston – The Last Stop