Hi all- if you follow me on Instagram, you know I was recently in Austin. I’ve been to Dallas and Houston before, and had great experiences, so I was excited to check-off one more city of Texas off of my list. As a foodie, I was beyond thrilled to eat my way across the city. Not many people know this, but Whole Foods was founded in Austin and TONS of food trucks are open all year round.
I was worried how I was going to get around the city as Uber and Lyft are both not available in Austin anymore, but thankfully someone introduced me to Fasten, which is very similar to the other apps, and I didn’t have any trouble getting around. I had my very first airbnb experience too and was not disappointed. I stayed in a beautiful tree house bungalow equipped with a bathroom, kitchen and the works.
Hope you guys enjoy my city guide and reviews below. Comment if you have any questions.
- 6th Street/Rainey Street: A tourist/local must! A long strip of bars and eateries. I suggest going to Rainey Street if you want more of a yuppie scene.
- Hamilton Pool Preserve: I made the mistake of wearing a dress and sandals on this muddy day. It's a 10-12 minute walk to the actual waterfall, but I would definitely recommend wearing sneakers. The water had high bacteria so I couldn't go in, but the view was worth it. Make sure to reserve a spot ahead of time, or else you won't be able to go in.
- Mount Bonnell: Literally a three minute stair walk. View is amazing and there is a small picnic table so pack some snacks!
- Rowing Dock: Paddle boarding/kayaking is a must! There is a mountain view and a city view- your pick or you can do both!
- Murals: Best spots to Instagram!
- S First and Annie
- 1300 S Congress
- Hope Outdoor Gallery: This outdoor graffiti park is an Instagram photo opp must! You can climb to the top to get a great view of the city too!
- Freedmen's: When you're in Texas, you have to get BBQ! Although I wanted to try Franklin BBQ, ever since President Obama paid a visit, I wasn't planning on waiting over three hours to eat. My local friends recommended this restaurant as a second option, and let me just say, the bbq does not disappoint! It was LITERALLY finger lickin' good. The meat melted in my mouth and the it was so flavorful that I didn't need to drench it in BBQ sauce. I definitely recommend you visit!
- Gourdough's: Donut let this doughnut truck fool you. Seriously, one of the best donuts I've had in awhile. They are made to order so it's warm and soft with crispy edges. And you can pick from their numerous fresh topping options. Definitely a must-try as they have tons of locations throughout the city.
- In-N-Out: Who doesn't love this chain restaurant?! So fresh and tasty, I forget that it's considered fastfood. Make sure to get it animal style for your burger and fries!
- Voodoo Donut: Conveniently located on 6th Street. I was super excited to check this place out as I've seen the Instagram posts, yelp reviews and friends have raved about it, but it was NOT worth the 20 minute wait. Worth a visit to check it off your list though.
- Salt Lick BBQ:Beautiful property! You can visit their vineyard and see their brewery, while tasting on their smoked meat. The meat is a bit tasteless and you have to purchase your own BBQ, but great location for families and for the true Southern ambiance.
- Mañana Coffee: Blogger's dream cafe. They sell juices, macarons and have fancy latte art- what's not to love?! Perfect place to get some work done and/or read.
- Halcyon: If you want to meet some people or hang with your girlfriends, this is the place to go! They have lattes, cocktails and a s'mores station you can order.
- Waltons Fancy and Staple: Why, yes the rumors are true. Sandra Bullock owns this lovely restaurant! Fresh made-to-order sandwiches, salads, desserts and local KOMBUCHA! It kind of reminds me of a fancier version of Panera as it's a order and sit down kind of place. Definitely worth a visit.
- Mozart's Coffee: I couldn't tell you how many times I went here on my visit. It's a bit out of the city, but definitely worth the drive. They offer fancy nitro brew coffee on tap, fancy lattes, breakfast burritos (on Saturday's) and have plenty of seating both inside and outside, overlooking the water. The free wi-fi makes it easy to get some work done too.
- Kome Sushi Kitchen: Who knew you could find fresh sushi in Texas? Literally the fish melts in your mouth and isn't gamey like at some sushi houses. And they have tons of other options on the menu like ramen, udo, tonkatsu, kimchee and the works.
- Blenders and Bowls: Connected to a yoga studio and located in the heart of Austin. Fresh acai and pitaya bowls, smoothies and oatmeal. If you want a healthy fix/cleanse, this is a must-go!
- Sway: If you want a taste of authentic Thai food, this is where to get it. They have an extensive menu of dishes I've never even heard of. The dishes are made to share, so I suggest going with a group.
- Jo's Coffee: The Starbucks of Austin. There's a location on every block! You can cusotmize your drinks. And they have breakfast tacos!
- Torchy's Tacos: Went in thinking I was getting small street style tacos, and ended up getting huge, filled tacos. You know what they say, Texas makes everything BIGGER! You can't go to Texas and not try a taco!