The Ultimate Guide to Austin, Texas!

 

Austin, Texas will always be one of my favorite places. The atmosphere alone is enough to put a smile on your face. Austin has some of the best restaurants, bars and cafes along with some of the greatest breweries, wineries and distilleries. You really feel like you are living life to the absolute full when you’re thriving in the downtown scenery. There are so many fun things to do and great places to see, I wanted to share all the information I’ve collected over the last three and a half years so everyone can experience Austin like a local. This is less of a blog post and more of a giant list I compiled over my time spent in Austin. With Austin is becoming an ever-so popular vacation spot, friends and family are constantly asking me for recommendations, this is the way I feel I can best share Austin with everyone (P.s. it’s alphabetized and categorized, because OCD, and my absolute favorites are starred*) !

 

The Best Restaurants

Abels on the Lake
Bar Peached
Cannon & Belle
Caroline’s (or Upstairs at Carolines)
Central Standard
Cedar Door
Deckhands
East Side Tavern
Easy Tiger
Eberly
El Alma
Fareground
Flower Child
Geraldine’s
Gino’s Vino (the risotto will not disappoint)*
Grizzeldas
Guerros
Hillside Farmacy
Holy Roller
Home Slice (ATX staple)*
Hopdoddy
Hopfields
Hula Hut
Il Brutto (frozen aperol spritz)*
Irene’s
Juliet Italian
June’s All Day
Kemrui Tatsuya
Lambert’s
Launderette
Local Post Pub
La Volpe
Le Politique
Loro
Lucky Robot
Lucy’s 
Mandolas
Matties
Max’s Wine Dive
Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill 
No.28 (this is my favorite restaurant in ATX, don’t tell anyone)*
Odd Duck
Olive & June
Opa
Patrizzi’s Italian Food Truck
Perry’s (Friday pork chop special)*
Ramen Tatsuya
Ranch 616
Rebel Cheese
Red Ash
Revelry
Roaring Fork
Salty Sow (must get the duck fat fries)*
Sawyers
Second Bar and Kitchen
Stella San Jacinto
Shady Grove
Sour Duck Market
Sour Sop Food Truck
Swift’s Attic
The Grove
Torchys (south congress staple)*
Tumble 22 Food Truck (Nashville hot chicken)*
Uchi/ Uchiko
Wu Chow (the best food ever)*
Z Tejas

 

The Best Cafes

1886 Cafe
Alfred Coffee
Batch Craft Beer & Kolaches
Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
Blenders and Bowls
Brew & Brew
Cafe Medici
Cafe Nenai
Cafe No Se
Cosmic Coffee
Easy Tiger
Fareground
Halycon
Jo’s Coffee
Manana Coffee
Merit Coffee
Mozart’s Coffee
Nate’s Baked Goods & Coffee 
Sixth and Waller
South Congress Cafe
Spokesman
The Russian House 
Tom’s
Zhi Tea 

 

The Best Sweets

Amy’s (Austin staple)*
Baked Bear*
Big Honey Bakery (the best cookies in ATX)*
Bougie’s Donuts (the best donuts in ATX)*
Cafe Creme
Cafe Nenai
Cauldron Ice Cream
Cold Cookie Co.
Churro Co.
Cow Tipping Creamery
Dolce Bacio
Dolce Neve 
Gordoughs (chocolate on chocolate on chocolate on a donut)*
Hollamode 
Lick (dairy free)*
Nada Moo (dairy free)*
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Prohibition Creamery (alcoholic ice cream)*
Roll With It
Ooga Booga Waffles
Taco Sweets
The Yard Milkshake Bar (you need this)*
Thoroughbread
Walton’s Fancy & Staple (their cookies are as big as my head)*

 

The Best Brunch

Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
Bird Bird Biscuit (you need this)*
Cafe No Se
Caroline’s 
East Side Cafe
East Side Tavern
Emmer & Rye
Fixe (I dream about their biscuits)*
Geraldine’s
Gloria’s
Grizzeldas
Hanks
High Note
Hillside Farmacy
Holly Roller
Il Brutto
Jacoby’s
Javalina
Josephine House
Juan in a Million
Le Politique (pastry happy hour y’all)*
Matties
Max’s Wine Dive
Moonshine
Nervous Charlie’s Bagels
Olivia
P
icnic
Revelry
Sawyers
Second Bar and Kitchen
Snooze
South Congress Cafe
Swift’s Attic (my favorite)*
The Brewers Table
The Russian Room 

 

The Best BBQ

Big cat BBQ
Blacks BBQ (Austin staple)*
Browns BBQ
Coopers BBQ (my personal favorite)*
County line BBQ
Franklins (order 5lbs for p/u and skip the line)*
Ironworks BBQ
Micklethwait
Old 300 BBQ
Salt lick BBQ (you need to go here)*
Schmitts BBQ
Slab BBQ & Beer
Texas Ranch BBQ

 

The Best Bars

Azul- Westin (the best sunset in ATX)*
Black Sheep Lodge (the best dive bar food in ATX)*
Brew & Brew
Buzz Mill
Cats Pajamas (instagram worthy bar)*
Colorado- street of bars
Cru Wine Bar
Dirty Bills
“Dirty” 6th Street- Blind Pig Pub, Buck Shot, Maggie Mae’s, Midnight Cowboy, Rooftop, Shakespeare’s
Draught House Pub
DuMonts Down Low- plus upstairs
East 6th Street- Lefty’s Brick Bar, Volstead, Whistlers, White Horse
Garage Cocktail Bar
Geraldines
Gibson’s
Handlebar
Haymaker ($2 margs all day Friday)*
House Wine
Italic
Lala’s Little Nugget*
Lenoir
Mezcaleria Tobala
Moontower Saloon (you need to go here)*
Mort Subite (tons of rotating beer on tap)*
P6- Line
Rainey Street- Craft Pride, Javalina, Lustre Pearl, Tipsy Alchemist, Unbarleaveable*
Red Headed Step Child
School House Pub
Swift’s Attic
Techo Mezcaleria
The Broken Spoke (Austin staple)*
The Domain- Punch Bowl Social, The Park, Wonderbar, Yardhouse
The Driskill (my favorite bar)*
The Elephant Room
The Grove
The Russian Room
The Wheel
TNT
West 6th Street- Beaufords, Little Woodrows, Parlor & Yard, Rustic Tap Beer Garden, The Cats Pajamas, The Ranch, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Whislers 

 

The Best Speakeasies

Firehouse Lounge
Red Headed Step Child
Garage (my second favorite speakeasy)*
Green Light Social
Midnight Cowboy (my favorite speakeasy)*
Vinyl- Inside Tellers

 

The Best Happy Hours: See Also My Favorite Happy Hours in ATX

Barlata
Bar Peached
Barchi Sushi
Black Sheep Lodge
Central Standard
Colleen’s Kitchen
Corner
Cru Wine Bar
Dumot’s Down Low
Driskill
Easy Tiger
Fareground
Garage
Gerarline’s
Hank’s
Haymaker
Hillside Farmacy
Holy Roller
Hopdoddy
Il Brutto
Italic
June’s All Day
La Condessa
La Volpe
Lefty’s Brick Bar
Lenoir
Le Politique
Loro
Mattie’s
Nicolaza’s
North Italia
Numero 28
Odd Duck
OP Italian
Parkside
Perry’s
Prohibition Creamery
Rosewood
Roosevelt Room
Salty Sow
Second Bar & Kitchen
Sway
Swifts Attic
The Grove
Uchiko
Velouria
Whistler’s
Winebelly
Z Tejas

 

The Best Hotel Bars: See Also ATX Hotel Bars You Won’t Want to Miss!!

The Driskill Hotel Bar
Hotel Granduca Bar
Line- Deans One Trick Pony, P6
JW Marriott- Corner Bar, OP Italian
San Jose Bar
South Congress Hotel Bar
The Library
East Austin Hotel- The Upside
Van Sandt- Rooftop Bar, Geraldines
Westin- Azul 

 

The Best Bars for Wine

Apt 115
Avairy Kitchen
Cru Wine Bar
Gino’s Vino
House Wine
Italic
Josephine House
June’s All Day
Lenoir
Le Politique
Olive & June
Opa
The Grove
Vino Vino
Winebelly (ask about wine roulette)*

 

The Best Dives Bars

Aristocrat
Barton Springs Saloon (yummy watermelon marg)*
BB Rover’s
Bender (go for the bar food)*
Black Sheep Lodge
C Hunts Ice House (seriously cheap beer)*
Deep Eddy Cabaret
Dirty Bill’s (bonus points if you get a photo with Dirty Bill)*
LaLa’s Little Nugget (Christmas 24/7)*
Mean Eyed Cat (Johnny Cash themed bar)*
Mister Tramps

 

The Best Breweries: See Also 100+ Places to Drink ATX Craft Beer

4th Tap
512 (personal top 5 favorite)*
ABGB
Adelberts
Austin Beerworks
Austin East Ciders
Black Star Co Op.
Blue Owl (personal top 5 favorite)*
Bouldin Acres
Celis
Central Machine Works
Circle (personal top 5 favorite)*
Distant State Beer Co
Draught House
Family Business
Friends & Allies
Hi Sign
Hitmaker
Hops & Grain
Independence
Infamous Brewing Co
Jester King
Last Stand
Lazarus
Live Oak
N Land
Nomadic Brewing
NXNW
Oasis
Oddwood Ales
Orf Brewing
Oskar Blues
Pecan Street Brewing
Pint House Pizza
Real Ale
Skull Mexhanix
South Austin Beer Garden
Southern Heights
St. Elmo (personal top 5 favorite)*
Strange Land
Suds Monkey
The Brewer’s Table
The Brewtorium
Thirsty Planet
Treaty Oak
Twisted X
Uncle Billy’s
Vista Brewing (personal top 5 favorite)*
Whitestone
Wimberly Brewing Co
Zilker

 

The Best Wineries & Distilleries

Austin Winery (support Adrien, their female winemaker)*
Deep Eddy
Driftwood Estate Winery
Fall Creek Winery (Tow & Driftwood locations)
Garrison Brothers Distilling
Iron Wolf Distillery
Los Olivos
Revolution Spirits
Solaro Winery
Spicewood Winery
Texas Hills Vineyard
The Austin Wine Merchant
Still
Wimberly Valley Winery

 

The Best Outdoor Activities

Austin Ghost Tours 
Bats @ Congress Bridge
Commons Ford Hike
Farmer’s Markets
Greenbelt
Hill Country Galleria
Kayaking
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Lake Travis
Movies in the Park
Mt Bonnell 360
Murals
NLand Surf
Nutty Brown Concerts
Paddle Boarding
Picnic in Zilker Park
Pub Crawler
Round Rock Express
South Congress Shops
Swimming
Texas Hill Country Olive Co.
UT Sports Games
Volente Beach Resort
Zilker Botanical Garden 

 

The Best Indoor Activities

Alamo Drafthouse
Antonellis Cheese Shop (classes)*
Austin Public Library
Blanton Museum of Art
Bullock Texas state History Museum
Cap City Comedy Club
Crux Climbing Gym
Epic Fun
Half Price Books
K1 Speed
Longhorn Cavern State Park
Pinballz Arcade
Punch Bowl Social (always fun)*
State Capital
Top Golf 
Trampoline Park
Upstairs Circus
Vigilante Game Bar
Visit Breweries & Wineries

 

The Best Trips from Austin

Burnet
Dallas
Driftwood
Enchanted Rock
Fredericksburg/Johnson City
Georgetown
Houston
Inner Space Caverns
Kingsland
Krause Springs
Los Maples State Park
McKinney Falls
New Braunfels
Pedernales Park
River Place Nature Trail
San Antonio
Tow
Waco
Wimberly

 

The Best Summer Activities: See Also Surviving Summer in ATX

27 free Pools
12 free Splash Pads
Austin Party Boats  
Barton Springs Pool
Deep Eddy Pool
Greenbelt
Hamilton Pool
Jacobs Well
Lake Travis
NLand Surf
Paddle Boarding at Lady Bird Lake
The Blue Hole
Tubing in San Marcos or New Braunfels
Volente Beach Resort 

 

The Best Fall Activities

Apple cider & mulled wine
Barton Hill Farms
Crowe’s Nest Farm
Farmer’s Markets
Jersey Barnyard
Oktoberfest
Pumpkin Patch
Robinson Family Farm
Sweet Berry Farm
Wurstfest in New Braunfels

 

The Best Winter Activities: See Also It’s the Holiday Season: ATX Edition

37th Street Lights
360- Decorate Trees
 Christmas Cookie Exchange
COTA Winter Wonderland
Johnson City Lights
La la’s Little Nugget
Mozarts Light Show
Roosevelt Room Miracle on 5th Street
Santa’s Ranch in College Station
Trail of Lights (Austin Staple)*
TX Stars Hockey Game
Westin Gingerbread House
Whole Foods Ice Skating

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There it is, my complete guide to Austin. It can be overwhelming, I know. I am always happy to talk about Austin, give recommendations and answer any questions you may have!

See Also:

It’s the Holiday Season: ATX Edition

Name Someone with A Bigger Sweet Tooth Than Me… I’ll Wait.

The Happiest of Hours in ATX

ATX Hotel Bars You Won’t Want to Miss!!

100+ Places to Drink ATX Craft Beer

My Favorite Places to Drink Wine in ATX

5 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Austin, Texas!

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