Spring is a pretty loose term in Minnesota, but April has become one of my favorite months in recent years. April 4 is the anniversary of Brandon and I dating, and we’ve planned a trip each year to celebrate. This has brought us to Stillwater, Las Vegas (bit of a jump there), Chicago, and now Austin.
While I’m pretty behind on this summary of the MANY amazing recommendations I received for Austin, this trip will always stand out in my mind. Before we left for the airport, Brandon suggested we take our dog, Maya, on a special walk to Boom Island Park to make up for leaving her for a long weekend.
That walk, on our four year anniversary, ended up being the location where Brandon got down on one knee, forgot everything else he wanted to say, but asked me to marry him.
More of this to come in another post, but leaving an hour later for the airport was the perfect way to celebrate. There’s no better excuse to celebrate on vacation than it also being a celebration of being engaged!
Truly, the recommendations from friends who have visited or lived in Austin were endless (most of these bullets are in their words) so hopefully you have a week there to work through all of these.
- Mickelthwait: saturday morning is a must, free beer
- Ramen tatsu ya is right across the street if you like ramen. very good
- Cisco’s is a historic landmark also right across the street. diner style tex-mex
- Easy tiger, ah sing den, the whistler
- Torchys tacos has the most amazing tacos (breakfast and regular) and queso.
- Rudy’s is my 2nd fave (they give you free samples if you tell them it’s your first time there.)
- South 1st street for food trucks: Torchy’s Tacos, Gordoughs Donuts, dock & roll, regal ravioli, con madre
- The Oasis is a restaurant/bar on Lake Travis. Touristy but the best place to watch the sunset.
- La BBQ food truck or Franklin’s BBQ (get there early and be prepared to wait in line) or Coopers downtown on Congress (less of a line), Micklethwait craft meats.
- RockRose at the Domain
- Wu Chow: Chinese Cuisine, 8 styles of Chinese cuisine as well as dim sum service on Saturdays and Sundays*
- Swift’s Attic: Modern American Cuisine, farm to table small plates
- Odd Duck: New American, from scratch ingredients from local Austin farms
- Frank Restaurant: exotic hotdogs
A lot of the BBQ recommendations were lost on me, but Torchy’s has my heart forever.
With all of this amazing food, having some active options was a god send. We hiked the last two days and kayaked the last morning of our trip, which was gorgeous. The stakes were high for not falling in considering we already checked out of our hotel, so that made life exciting.
- South congress street is full of boutiques and restaurants
- Hiking on the greenbelt, bull creek, or river park place
- Barton Springs in Zilker Park is nice to walk around and has cute cafés.
- Go kayaking or Stand up paddle boarding on Lake Austin.
- All the photo ops at the many murals
- Check out www.do512.com for all bars with live music / events all over Austin.
- Clark’s and la perla are great day drinking spots
- Rainey Street for bars – Half Step, container bar, Clive (go to the back room looks like a dungeon- Bar Ilegal for a mezcal flight), bungalow, craft pride, Lucille, bangers for brunch, icenhauers for Sunday Funday and sangria, always end at Javalina for 90s rap!
- So many different breweries: St Elmo, Jesterking, there’s a deep eddy vodka distillery as well, Live Oak Brewery, Blue owl brewing, zilker brewing co, abgb to make a few.
- 6th street of course at least one night
- Kava bar- described as super euphoric
*Secret bars / speakeasys*
- Red-headed stepchild is in Floppy Disk Repair Co., there’s a texting list but girls in here usually have the code.
- Firehouse Hostel and Lounge (near the Driskill) is a bar behind a bookcase.
- Small Victory and Garage Cocktail Bar are both parking garage bars
- Midnight Cowboy modeling is awesome
- Milonga Room is on the east side behind Buenos Aires Cafe – its by reservation only and open Thursday – Saturday.
- Vinyl – downstairs below Tellers
- Jade Room is upstairs from C-Boy’s Heart & Soul on South Congress
- Bar Illegal – in the backyard of Clive on Rainey Street and serves amazing Mezcla.
- Tobalá aka Mezcaleria Tobala – upstairs of Whisler’s
- The Red Room – basement lounge behind Vince Young Steakhouse. Open Tuesday – Thursday, 5PM – 11PM / Friday & Saturday, 5PM – 12AM.
- Secret Bar – located in the Living Room at the W Hotel.
- Techo Mezcaleria & Agave Bar – above Mi Madre’s Tex Mex Restaurant
- Good Life Bar Bar – behind Good life barbershop has brews on tap & wine, but is BYOB if you want liquor.
I hope this helps you plan your next trip after quarantine! Regardless of the occasion, a trip of any kind will be something to celebrate.