Where to Eat & Drink in Austin

I first visited Austin six years ago when I lived there for a few months while doing a summer internship. Before moving there, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After only a few days in the city though, I started falling hard for Austin. So hard, that it’s become one of my three favourite places in the world.

Locals love Austin’s laid-back vibes, start-up culture, live music and unique spirit- #KeepAustinWeird. How can you not love a place where there’s a public celebration every year for Eeyore’s birthday?

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Not only is Austin an incredible place to visit (post coming soon on the best things to see and do!), but the food and drink scene is unreal.

If you’re visiting Austin for a long weekend, you’ll have just enough time to check out a few of my go-to’s for food and drink whenever I’m in the world’s live music capital.

Where to Grab Coffee

  • Thunderbird Coffee: Big, airy space- perfect for a morning catch-up with friends, or space to settle in and work for a few hours. Try the thai iced coffee, delish!
  • Jo’s Coffee: Do the iced turbo and a breakfast taco
  • Caffe Medici: Can’t go wrong with cortados and breakfast tacos (you’re going to notice a taco theme pretty soon 😉 )
  • Seventh Flag Coffee: Stellar cold brew
  • Hideout: Comfy couches, plus good almond milk lattes
  • Fleet Coffee Co: A++ espresso
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This mural is nearby Thunderbird 🙂

Where to Eat

  • Josephine House: The cutest place with one of the best brunches. A must-visit. If the weather is nice, ask to sit on the patio
  • Irene’s: Another strong contender for brunch-  what’s not to love about biscuits & booze? The cheesy shells and ricotta toast with orange marmalade were also two-thumbs up. PS. The drinks are super cheap during Sunday brunch ($3 bloody marys, #YAS)
  • South Congress Cafe: Hope you’re ready to get your brunch game on in Austin, because this is another place not to be missed- the carrot cake french toast and migas benedict are ah-may-zing
  • Magnolia Cafe South: Adorable diner, the gingerbread pancakes and migas are so good
  • Hillside Farmacy: Ridiculously cute decor and v. good food- the mac and cheese is a standout. Love this place for lunch
  • Kerby Lane: The stuff local legends are made of, migas and queso should be required orders
  • Eastside Cafe: Y’all know I love a place that serves homegrown vegetables, bonus points when they do an ace job of it as well
  • Launderette: Renovated gas station turned gorgeous restaurant. I went with a few friends, and everything we ordered was incredible- especially the sticky brussels sprouts and birthday cake ice cream (trust me on the birthday cake ice cream, I was skeptical, but it surpassed expectations)
  • Chuy’s: THE place for outstanding Mexican food
  • Hopdoddy Burger Bar: Everyone raves about the burgers, and I feel just as enthusiastic about the vegetarian one (aka La Bandita), as well as the truffle fries and milkshakes
  • Easy Tiger: Bar and bakery, this place is ideal for sunny Saturday afternoons- grab an outside table, a few pitchers and order some snacks
  • Franklin BBQ or Salt Lick: I’d be remised if I didn’t mention a bbq place here- bbq joints in Austin have cult like followings. Even though I don’t eat bbq, I do love the sides, and can assure you that you won’t be disappointed at either of these places. Please don’t leave Salt Lick without trying the berry cobbler- it’s life changing
  • Uchiko: Truly a treat for the senses. Japanese farmhouse cooking means you can expect twists on Japanese classics. Out of this world food doesn’t come cheap though, go here for a special occasion
  • East Side King: Always on the late night noms contender list, the beet fries and veggie meshi are particularly impressive
  • Home Slice Pizza: New York slices. Perfect after a night out
  • Bufalina Pizza: Craving artesian pizza while in Austin? Come here
  • Flower Child: A lot of my recos fall within the ‘cheat meal’ category, but Flower Child is delicious and healthy. Super good salads, try the Mother Earth bowl

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Where to Have Dessert

  • La Mexicana Bakery: Mexican pastries, dig the tres leches cake
  • Voodoo Doughnut: Straight from Portland, you’ll find all of the classics that made this place so popular to begin with. Their storefront in Austin is huge and beautiful
  • Gourdough’s: The most outrageous doughnuts. So into the Miss Shortcake, Fat Elvis and Heavenly Hash doughnuts
  • Bribery Bakery: Super cute bakery with so many yummy treats (the oatmeal cream pies, ohmygoshhhh)
  • Churro Co.: The best churros I’ve ever had. Just do it
  • Amy’s Ice Cream: Some of the flavors are wacky, but they’ll let you try as many as you want before you order. So rich and creamy, you can’t really go wrong flavor wise
  • Lick Ice Cream: The caramel salt lick is soooo good. Also love the goat cheese, thyme and honey- weird in a really good way

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Where to Eat Tacos

(obiv important enough to have its own section) 

  • Torchy’s Tacos: Do not leave Austin without coming here. The breakfast and lunch tacos are both incredible. Also, the queso is legit- it’s a must-order item
  • Juan in a Million: Get the Don Juan taco- huge, delicious and cheap
  • Maria’s Taco Xpress: One of my favs for three reasons 1) its cheap 2) so many vegetarian options & 3) some of the best breakfast tacos in Austin (my go-to order: a migas taco and potato, egg and cheese taco)
  • Veracruz: More outstanding breakfast tacos. Gotta try them all, right? 😉
  • Tacodeli: MORE BREAKFAST TACOS
  • Taco Shack: Mandatory stop on a Sunday morning for breakfast tacos after spending Saturday night out

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Where to Drink

  • The Townsend: Great cocktails, low-key atmosphere makes it perfect for having a conversation
  • Trudy’s Texas Star: Okay, yes, the food is great- especially the migas and queso, but the Mexican martinis are what keep me coming back. There’s a two drink limit for a reason, the martinis are good, but strong
  • Cedar Door: Home to the Mexican martini, sit on the patio and relax with one of them
  • Peche: One of the city’s most popular cocktail bars. The fig manhattan is popular for a reason, it rules
  • June’s: An all day wine bar #HeartEyes
  • Perla’s: Oyster happy hour! Also, really great seafood, worth considering staying for dinner or ordering a few things to share
  • Whisler’s: Brooklyn vibes in Austin, great outdoor seating and a lovely Old Fashioned
  • Yellow Jacket Social Club: Good selection of local craft beer & a chill atmosphere
  • Driskill Hotel: The oldest operating hotel in Austin. Come here for a swanky cocktail before kicking off your night out
  • The Ginger Man: Great for a relaxed scene
  • Spider House: Grab a beer, head to the patio and just chill
  • The Belmont: One of my go-to’s for live music and good drinks
  • Midnight Cowboy: Former brothel turned beautiful speakeasy (aka cocktail heaven)
  • Icenhauer’s: You can’t go wrong with the bars on Rainey Street (live music, lots of outdoor space, great drink deals), but Icenhauer’s is one of my favs. Get the sangria and hang on the patio, you’ll feel like you’re at home
  • Hotel San Jose: $5 Frose happy hour during the week, grab a glass and head to the shaded patio
  • The Oasis on Lake Travis: Technically outside of Austin (~30 minute drive), it’s a bit touristy, but watching the sun set over the lake is unbeatable. Plan to order wine or a beer and have dinner back in Austin afterwards (the cocktails and food aren’t great). Despite some of its shortcomings, this place is special- when the sun sinks below the horizon, the staff rings a bell and everyone applauds

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