Ultimate Austin Guide for Out-of-Towners
Welcome to Austin, Texas! We’re the “live music capital of the world”, home to the largest bat colony in North America, the only city in Texas with a nude beach AND the only city in the world to still operate moontowers (google it!). If you find yourself either planning or attending an event in Austin, there’s a lot to know about us! To help make your visit the best it can be, we’ve compiled our team’s favorite coffee shops, restaurants, and bars as a quick reference for any visitors!
Austin Coffee Shops
Starbucks, who? When you’re in Austin, do as the Austinites do and drink way too many oat milk lattes for one day. Seriously, there are no shortage of local coffee shops in the Austin area and it’s seriously hard to rank them. So, we posed two different questions to our team and are sharing the results below!
Favorite coffee shop to get work done or read a book?
- Cosmic Coffee and then break for tacos at Pueblo Viejo! (South Congress)
- Cherrywood Coffeehouse is a hidden gem & good meal-worthy food. (Central-North)
- Café Créme has limited menu but good food and an easy printer system too if you need to print something! (South East)
- Thunderbird Coffee has lots of seating and studying students. (East)
- Juan Pelota—delicious cappuccinos. (Downtown)
- Once Over Coffee (South First)
- Figure 8 Coffee (East)
- Cookbook Café—lots of space and good food. Attached to the main Austin Public Library (downtown)
Favorite coffee shop to meet a friend or client?
- Any Summermoon location!
- Cenote (East)
- The Halcyon location in Mueller (Central North)
- Cuvée Coffee (East)
- Café No Sé or Mañana in the South Congress Hotel. Has food too, so great for breakfast or lunch meetings as well. (South Congress)
- Greater Goods on the Eastside. Best aesthetic and best matchas in town.
The food scene in Austin is unreal, but because there are so many options, it can be overwhelming to settle on a spot! There are also tons of new restaurants opening every day, so it’s hard to keep on top of it! Nonetheless, here are our top picks for a weekend brunch and our go-to restaurants when trying to impress family or friends when they come to visit!
Favorite brunch spot with the girls?
- Hillside Farmacy (East)
- Irene’s (Downtown)
- June’s All Day (South Congress)
- Elizabeth Street Cafe (South First)
- Swedish Hill (Downtown)
Favorite dinner place to take out of towners?
- Homeslice Pizza (South and Central North)
- Oseyo, Korean (East)
- Launderette, American (East)
- La Condesa, Mexican (Downtown)
- Patrizi’s, Italian food truck (East)
- Justine’s, French (East)
- Uchi or Uchiko, Japanese (South and Central North)
- Eberly, American (South)
- Manuels, Mexican (Downtown. Great, surprisingly not crowded option during SXSW)
- BBQ Category
- Black’s BBQ (South)
If you’re coming to Austin, you’ve likely heard of what we refer to as “dirty 6th”. While it is an experience in and of itself, it’s not really the place to mingle with actual Austinites. Here’s the neighborhood breakdown for you in terms of bar scenes:
- Dirty 6th (6th Street from I35 to Congress Ave) — Think of Bourbon Street, but without the open container. It’s loud and well, dirty. It’s redeeming quality is that there is a Voodoo Donut that’s open until 2 am. The majority of the bars here sell their space to brands to throw their parties during SXSW, so if you’re coming for the festival, you will most likely be around here at some point. There are a few hidden gem places to eat: Parkside, The Backspace and Casino El Camino (burgers only, in a punk rock bar)
- West 6th (A two-block concentration of bars between Nueces St. and West Avenue on 6th) It’s less rowdy that dirty 6th, but only by a few drinks.
- East 6th—The new(er) kid on the scene. More spread out than dirty or West, but still walkable and home to a few of the intimate bars below. If you’re down to earth and over 30, this is where you want to be.
- Rainey Street—Little houses turned into bars with food trucks and yard games in the backed. It’s very crowded on the weekend, but worth a stroll. It’s basically all bars (some with food), very few actual restaurants…but there are lots of food trucks. The Hotel Van Zant is a good oasis here for a drink or meal in their restaurant, Geraldines. Also a good spot for Sunday Funday! Can’t go wrong at Banger’s (big german style beer garden with sausages and fries.)
Most intimate bar scene?
- Ah Sing Den feels very adult and the cocktails are always good, even though I don’t know what half the ingredients are! (East)
- Small Victory (Downtown)
- Whisler’s Mezcal room (East)
- The W Hotel—multiple rooms (Downtown)
- Driskill Hotel Bar is super old school Texas—great to get a sipping drink and find a cozy couch or corner (Downtown)
The place to go for an all-out party?
- Two votes for Barbarellas
- Icenhauer’s on Rainey Steet
- Highland Lounge
- White Horse (hipster honky-tonk)
- The Volstead Lounge
- Summit Club (after midnight)
And there you have it—some of our top spots in our fair city! We hope you drink all the coffee, eat all the food and dance the night away. Party on!