Austin, Texas prides itself as being the “Live Music Capital of the World”, and the tech boom that started back in the ‘90s has earned the city the nickname Silicon Hills. And sure, every March, everyone’s abuzz about SXSW, but Austin’s a mecca with its own kind of singular food, drink and adventure. Don’t be Dazed and Confused; we’ve used Localicious to round up the must see Austin haunts.
Breakfast: Kerbey Lane Café
You’ll flip for the lemon poppyseed pancakes here. Open 24 hours, you can get your Kerbey queso fix (guacamole covered with queso and topped with pico de gallo) any time of day. Vegan and gluten-free options, too.
Chuy’s is an Austin original. Elvis’ birthday is celebrated like it’s a national holiday. Each Chuy’s restaurant in Austin (5 in all) has a personality of its own, but all have authentic Tex-Mex, and their sauces (creamy jalapeno, anyone?) and recipes are lauded, along with fine margaritas and happy hours every night of the week.
Coffee: Jo’s Coffee
Hard to pick a favorite for coffee—and that’s a big perk in this town. Figure you’re in pretty good shape if you avoid that chain with the round green and white logo – your taste buds deserve better. Austinites like Jo’s Coffee for the people watching – and the original location is convenient if you’re downtown. Tip: Get there early in the day if you want one of their breakfast tacos, but be prepared to wait for your java fix; no lines in the afternoon to refuel.
The Sweet Stuff: Amy’s Ice Creams
It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like ice cream, and Amy’s delicious, unique recipes keeps people coming back for more. Recommended flavors: Chocolate Guinness, Shiner Bock, Mexican Vanilla and the Sweet Cream either “straight” or with “cameo cookies and strawberries”.
Legendary. Food and music – a young Janis Joplin honed her chops here, and worked as a server to pay the bills. Jimmie Dale Gilmore led the house band in the ‘80s. Shooter Jennings just had his album release party here. Food: Smothered anything, chicken fried steak or a three-veg plate – you’ll be happy.
Beer: Craft Pride
Newly opened, the city’s first Texas craft beer bar serves over 50 selections from 23 Lone Star State breweries. Hungry? The Bacon Truck’s out back.
BBQ: Franklin Barbecue
In Texas, Barbecue warrants its own category. Named the best in the country by Bon Appetit magazine, at Franklin’s the secret’s in the post-oak wood and a half-salt, half-pepper rub for their brisket, slow smoking it for up to 18 hours. Line up early: they often sell out by 1PM.
Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood, 20 miles outside of Austin, is worth the gas money; some BBQ tipsters say “avoid the airport outpost”.
Stubb’s is one of the granddaddies here…because great blues and rock and roll under the stars is just magical…and yes, the ‘cue is delicious, too. If you’re out in daylight, their Gospel Brunch is its own kind of religion.
The Sights: Barton Springs Pool
Open nearly year-round, this natural, spring-fed pool is an iconic spot to ward off the Texas swelter, at a constant 68 degrees. A bargain at $3 for admission.