Austin is known for being a super hip city in Texas, and I’m happy to report, it’s true, it is super hip. My first visit met all expectations – great music, great food and great drinks. One thing I didn’t expect was for it to feel so big. It’s a big city with some really cool neighborhoods, and thanks to Fasten, I had no problem getting around.
Without further ado, here are my favorite spots from my first trip to Austin.
WHERE TO SLEEP
1. HOTEL ELLA
The Hotel Ella is a charming hotel housed in a former mansion close to the University of Texas. From art to decor to happy hour, no detail is overlooked. If you’re looking for a cozy hotel that’s great for brunch, a swim or a nightcap, the Hotel Ella is your place.
HOTEL SAN JOSE
An amazing bungalow right on South Congress. This is the place for a weekend getaway with your girlfriends or significant other.
SOUTH CONGRESS HOTEL
The South Congress Hotel is so damn cool. This is the place to see and be seen. Definitely stay here if you want the chicest room in the middle of the shopping action.
WHERE TO EAT
1. EMMER & RYE
Emmer & Rye is one of my favorite meals of the year so far. From locally sourced ingredients to a creative take on dim sum, Emmer & Rye is a must when you’re in Austin. While the menu changes daily, I suggest getting recommendations from your server but really you won’t go wrong with anything. The wine list is excellent as well.
2. JOSEPHINE HOUSE
Josephine House, where do I begin? For me, it has the perfect vibe. Housed in a small bungalow with a great back patio, you feel like you’re visiting a friend.
3. PERLA’S SEAFOOD & OYSTER BAR
Perla’s is one of those perfect happy hour spots. Head here for cocktails and oysters or, if you’re feeling brave, split the Oyster Po Boy with a friend. It’s so damn good.
WHERE TO SHOP
1. FEATHER’S BOUTIQUE
Feathers is one of the coolest vintage stores I’ve ever stepped foot in. Beautifully curated, this is a must for any fashionista. The only downside is seeing a pair of shoes you love, and they don’t have your size. Saddest thing ever.
2. OUTDOOR VOICES
Outdoor Voices is my favorite athletic apparel company. They only have two brick and mortar store fronts, and one is in Austin. If you’re in the market for some new leggings or workout clothes, OV is a must.
WHERE TO EAT TACOS
1. GUERO’S TACO BAR
Guero’s is an institution. Not as flashy as other popular taco spots, Guero’s serves reliably delicious Tex-Mex. I say get the fish tacos and a classic marg and call it day.
3. LA CONDESA
La Condesa is a beautiful spot that serves modern tacos and cocktails. Bright and airy with cool decor. Everything is fresh and spiced to perfection.
WHERE TO DRINK
1. THE BLACKHEART
The Blackheart is super cool bar with live music on Rainey Street. Rainey in general is the place to go for after dinner drinks. I fell in love with The Blackheart and actually went twice while I was in Austin. Please go here for some bourbon, a beer and the band.
Located in a refurbished gas station, Laundrette is a fun spot to grab drinks or dinner. With a very retro vibe, you can’t help but feel super cool here.
3. GOODALL’S KITCHEN & BAR
Inside Hotel Ella, Goodall’s is the best happy hour in Austin (IMHO). Half priced drinks and bar bites (including their legendary burger). Cozy up to the bar, grab a bourbon or a glass of wine and devour a burger.
There are so many places that I tried to hit while I was visiting Austin, but I just didn’t have time. (That’s usually the case.) I guess that gives me a reason to go back and try out some more hotels.
So I guess this is to be continued…