Fresh off of a wild bachelorette party weekend in Austin, Texas, I’m a still a bit hung over to say the least, but am already planning my return to this town a mere week later to take part in the festival of all festivals, South by Southwest.
I have two agendas while visiting Austin for this next eight day stint, first and foremost checking out some of the most amazing interactive, film and of course live music related events via SxSW, and second, repeating those favorite Austin mainstays that I’ve just discovered and can’t get enough of.
For those first timers to Austin here are my Top 10 Must See or Do Austin Staples that I’m giddy with the knowledge that I’ll be able to revisit them beginning in less than 24 hours:
10. Chic Mexican fusion at La Condesa – One of the more elegant picks around town, La Condesa has phenomenal and authentic ceviches and taquitos, all presented in a more modern artistic way. As a mescal fan, the Nueva Moda cocktail can’t be missed.
9. Wine with a View at Uncorked Tasting Room and Wine Bar – Although it may look like you’re pulling into the Shell gas station on the corner, turn in, and drive past and up the hill to try wines from one of Austin’s most extensive wine lists while taking in the best view in town.
8. Virtual Office at Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden – Come in for breakfast of delicious baked breads and a coffee, “stay a while”, as their sign suggests and then grab an afternoon beer and soft pretzel over a game of ping pong in the beer garden.
7. S.I.P at The Living Room Bar at the W Hotel – Artsy creative types meet startup hipsters at my favorite Austin happy hour. Get there early and enjoy their surprisingly low drink and bite specials.
5. Country Dancing at The White Horse – Brush up on your two step and prepare yourself to grab a dance partner at this hip East Side local Honky Tonk.
4. Dinner and Drinks at Lenoir Restaurant – Make sure to call a few weeks in advance to reserve your space at this tiny gem of a farm to table, unbuttoned gourmet experience, as it’s the hottest ticket seat in town. You’ll find yourself equally mesmerized by intimate, tent like indoor setting and the delicious and unique dishes on their 4 course pre fixe menu. Certainly take the time for a drink outback afterwards.
3. Brunch at El Alma Restaurante Bar – I’m a lover of brunches and quite possibly have found the best Mexican inspired brunch at this simple, white adobe restaurant that allows the food to shine. Huevos Franceses with the crab hollandaise, and the banana bread pudding with cajeta are not to miss. After polishing off your brunch drinks, stumble up to their rooftop area to enjoy the view and the rest of the afternoon.
2. Live Music at The Continental Club – Austin’s original live music venue, owning the scene since the 1950’s. Downstairs check out their main stage rock, jazz and blues acts in a small setting for a very affordable price, while drinking your can of PBR. Upstairs find yourself in a more relaxed MTV Unplugged style setting with no cover and bands performing in almost an open mic style.
1. Backyard Drinks on Rainey Street at Lucille and Bangers Sausage House & Beer Garden – I cannot think of a better neighborhood to spend a sunny afternoon in Austin than Rainy St. with all of their eclectic homes turned bars and restaurants, most boasting huge back yard spaces for lingering over drinks, as well as the neighborhood’s close proximity to Lady Bird Lake. Lucille, the retro patio lounge is the perfect setting to lay back in one of their hammocks and enjoy a Lucille’s Special Tea, one of their famous sweet tea vodka cocktails while Bangers is a super laid back beer garden with a fantastic selection of beers and great food to compliment, like the jalapeno mac and cheese, the bacon green beans and the spicy chorizo sausage.
So I’m off to Austin for round 2!!! I wonder what kind of favorites I’ll fall in love with this time? Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to share!