Austin City Guide-Food & Shopping Edition (Part 1)
Austin is undoubtedly my 2ndhome. It’s known for being a hot destination for delicious southern food and great music, and that I can’t argue. There’s a lot to see and do, making it impossible to cram it all into 1 post so here’s part 1 of my food & shopping guide for ATX.
Let’s start with FOOD because who doesn’t want to travel and have amazing meals while traveling? I literally have planned entire trips around where to eat and those memories are as palpable as the environment and people. So here we go…
Café No Sé
Literally this may be one of my favorite places in the states. Everything I’ve ever eaten here has been incredibly wonderful and I come back every year for more. It’s a place that you want to linger and enjoy yourself rather than eat and run. (do they source locally?) Menu varies from veggie grain bowls and kale salads to burgers and my new favorite Chicken Milanese. The food feels like a blend of Southern food with a healthy California twist, which must be why I love it so much. It’s super delicious and has healthier options if you’re exhausted of heavy southern foods.
Wild Wood Bakehouse
We weren’t able to gather any Gluten-free baked goods this trip as the baker was out sick the day we arrived. However, I’ve been before and can vouch that the do indeed have yummy gluten-free treats. Pies, cakes, cookies…you name it, they have it.
Loro just opened up this past year so it was our first visit but definitely won’t be our last. It's the genius baby of James Beard award winning chefs, Tyson Cole from Uchi & Aaron Franklin of acclaimed Franklin’s BBQ. Think Asian fusion meets BBQ. Loro far exceeded my expectations and blew me away. In fact, each dish was better than the last as my mom noted. The flavor profiles were utterly SENSATIONAL. I would recommend getting an assortment of things and don’t underestimate the popcorn with burnt ends.
An Austin chain that you can find scattered throughout the city, Tacodeli is the place to go for tacos. Of course, Tex-mex is plentiful in Austin and it’s hard to get a bad meal, but if you want something special Tacodeli is it. Second up on my list would be Torchy’s Tacos near Hyde Park.
The name itself nods to Austin’s motto of Keep Austin Weird. And I have to say everythingabout this place is cool. Funkadelic is vibrant with bright colors and staffed by the friendliest folks. They were handing out super hero toys for the kids to play with ( I mean how cool is that?!). The food was equally as great, which is no surprise since they source locally and everything is made from scratch. You can order anything from traditional breakfast from classic scrambles and pancakes or dishes with a Mexican twist like papusas or huevos rancheros.
Continuing with the farm to table theme that never let’s you down, 24 Diner is has something for everybody. Open 24 hours, hence the name, I highly recommend avoiding the busy hours so you can experience the food and ambiance without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. They also have a special gluten-free menu, which I always appreciate.
South Congress is the place to walk around to experience the local flavors of Austin. You could spend a whole day here eating, shopping and exploring. Here are the places I hit every time:
Big Top Candy Shop
Shout out to my brother, the owner, for his brilliant eye, design and talent in creating an ambiance of joy, nostaligia and sweet treats for all ages to enjoy. With candy from all over the world, a classic soda shop, ice cream bar, chocolate everything, cookies and more… Big Top is a place you will enjoy and won’t ever forget. Go indulge your inner child, they deserve it.
(Photo by Shelley Neuman)
Monkey See Monkey Do
Another family nod as my brother is also the proud owner of this eclectic gift store. Here you’ll find collectible toys, a funny magnet wall and other unique gifts that will make you smile and laugh. This place is definitely worth spending some time in to appreciate its own unique odds and ends.
Now, I love the idea of shopping vintage clothing but am often overwhelmed with places that stuff old articles of clothing, hats and jewelry from the floor to ceiling. What I love and appreciate about Feathers so much is their selective curation with aesthetics in mine for those who don’t want to dig around too long. The clothing has space to breathe, the merchandise suits the season and each piece feels unique rather than 1 of many stuffed on a rack. They also have an assortment of beautiful home design pieces, crafts and apothecary items. A place that feels like it’s just for the ladies.
Even though it’s predominately menswear, I always enjoy shopping at this store. They carry a lot of American made brands with focus on quality over quantity. And I’m thrilled they have a small women’s section now, but I must say I prefer all the men’s flannels, sweaters and hats.
A new favorite boutique that we hit this visit, Esby carries brands that are designed in Austin and made in USA. With attention to quality craftsmanship and classical clothing with minimal design and earth tones, some pieces may feel like an investment but are sure to last you a lifetime for both women and men.
Another men’s store that includes great clothing and not to forget a really friendly staff. I love checking out the candles, shades and apothecary items they carry.
Coffee & Tea
There are some great coffee houses in Austin but honestly the coffee here is my fav. It’s a special blend made for the café. Their food is beyond as noted above so go for both.
Tucked behind but yet connected via the pretty courtyard of South Congress Hotel you’ll find Manana. Another hipster coffee shop for the coffee officianados. They also have matcha and yummy tea drinks for the non-coffee drinkers.
Seventh Flag Coffee
Beautiful coffee house located on 1ststreet (not far from South Congress). Staff is friendly. Coffee is great. Aesthically pleasing with modern décor where you can post up and get some work done or grab a spot on the couch in the back to catch up with a friend.
They have a location on North Lamar by a Tacodeli so I recommend hitting both! Usually packed with locals, but the coffee options are excellent.
Leave a comment