I finally did it. I finally made my way to Austin, Texas. After the past few years of hearing rave reviews about it from friends who lived there and people who have visited, I checked it out and I have to say, the hype was true. Even if you wanted to play it cool and act like it was “alright” just to stray from the crowd, someone would be able to call your bull shit quickly because it is just as awesome as they all say.
I have been to a lot of cool cities and this one has to be one of the most fun as it explodes with character. It has the artsy, hippie chic, weirdness of California with the food, sun and heart of Texas and in my personal opinion, I think that’s a cocktail of wonderfulness. It’s both liberal and conservative, colorful and classic and developing in every corner.
However, the thing I loved most was probably the charm. Wine bars, beer gardens, bars and restaurants were often times converted from old houses and surrounded by food trucks. Live music explodes from every corner and dancing and drinking is common on its rooftop bars strung with lights. Wafts of barbeque often smack ya in the face and one of my favorite things; gorgeous, quirky, colorful art can be found on most buildings. Is my picture painting making you have a wanderlust itch? It should!
It was also a special trip because it was a reunion with my friends from college who I haven’t seen in four years. I loved going out of state for school and it definitely gave me the college experience I was looking for since I met friends from all over and had exposure to a lot more but if that’s what you choose to do, beware, it is hard to see each other post college! On the flip side, it is also awesome when you do, especially when you get to catch up in a new, cool place!
So all that being said, here’s brief overview of some of the things we did and places we ate.
The Lonesome Dove
Delicious, classy cowboy-esque, upscale and one of the most flavorful meals I’ve had! The lobster croquettes, steak and fries with aioli sauce were all phenomenal, as were the boar ribs and the oysters with tiny jalapeños on them. Taste bud ecstasy!
The Blue Dhalia
Delicious, fresh and French. The back patio was so cozy and quaint, covered with greenery and lights. It would be the perfect spot for a date. The charcuterie plate was preeeetty amazing as well.
Terry Black’s BBQ
This was my quintessential Texas barbeque experience and it must be said, it did not disappoint. I had the brisket with potato salad, mac and cheese and Mexican rice. It was absolutely delicious and I need to find a BBQ place around home that is similar though I have a feeling I may be looking for a while since this is more just a Texas specialty. My friend’s husband also made friends with the guy who was smoking the meet so we took a little tour of where they do that. It was HOT!
This little coffee joint was quaint, hippie, and earthy on South Congress and true to Tom’s form, buying coffee also bought water for people in need. There was a Tom’s shop attached and it was a nice place to stop and get a coffee amidst shopping.
The Hillside Farmacy
This little joint used to be an actual pharmacy and as a writer, I most definitely appreciate the play on words. I had the most phenomenal breakfast sandwich complete with aioli, avocado, sprouts, a fried egg and drumroll…a fried green tomato! You may remember my obsession with fried green tomatoes with I visited NOLA. Scrumptious.
The Driskoll is a haunted, gorgeous hotel off of 6th street and the décor, architecture and details of the building were just as charming, classic and wonderful as the meal. Does it get better than that Texas waffle you see? Nope! Pecans, blueberries and bananas and of course, butter! Mmmm!
Via 311 at Craft Beer
Late night, post drinks Detroit style pizza. That’s all I really have to say I think.
Second Bar and Kitchen
Amazing décor (hey cute peace sign!) and even better food! The pizza was phenomenal!
The Impeccable Pig
An adorable boutique that my friends and I shopped at. See my lil romper below…an on sale purchase there! Score.
Pecan Street Festival
Kid-friendly, dog-friendly and filled with art, booths, food, and activities. It was the perfect event to venture to in Austin and gave a good feel for the vibe and culture of the city.
I haven’t been to a college tailgating party since well, surprise, surprise, college! Though it was the grown up version of it since it was with my friend’s husband’s company, it was fun being on campus, surrounded by orange, drinking beer and eating BOMB homemade BBQ! (Also, they were very welcoming to OSU who they were playing against…southern hospitality is real!)
Gorgeous views of water front homes and greenery! An easy little hike up too!
Adorable. The cutest neighborhood. It gave me faith that there are actually cute neighborhoods in this world that are both adult, young adult and kid friendly. I loved it.
Rooftop patio bar, music, rocking chairs, strung lights, drinks…doesn’t get much better than that!
This was a political satire comedy show with a window to the street as a backdrop and speakers aiming outside towards the sidewalk. It was fun watching a witty show on the street between bars and I loved the whole theater, artistic vibe of the experience.
The Blind Pig
Rooftop. Live Music. Drinks.
This place smelled miraculous. Fresh leather and a one of a kind cowboy boot selection. It really is every cowgirl fashionista’s fantasy!
An adorable place for afternoon wine. It was such a nice place to chat, catch up and sip on the vino and of course since it was formerly a home, it had what else but a homey vibe to it!
This is one awesome beer garden. It’s huge, has an awesome selection and I was definitely a happy camper with my beer and company when visiting this joint.
A cocktail haven. Like most places, its outdoor seating was abundant but the inside had the usual character but this one was unique in the fact that chandeliers, old props and cow hide and different textures were throughout. It added this haunted, trendy vibe to the place. And though I had a cava, I did sip my friends’ cocktails. Down the Rabbit Role was my favorite for sure!
Corn hole, an awesome bar, a wrap around porch….yup pretty great! I was having so much fun there and I noticed a contributing factor was all the space we had to hang out! I wasn’t rubbing shoulders with anyone and it made the whole going out experience much more enjoyable for this ole granny!
Please feel free to reach out if you are planning a visit and need more recs! I have lots of friends who can contribute to this list! :O) Safe travels!