Coming from Motown, we appreciated the heavily influenced live music scene that formed in this state capital. Austin was a much different experience than we had all planned for. The city had much more grit and much less cowboy than we imagined in this southern situated area. We were delighted to find so much character and passion towards what the area had to offer, similar to many of the areas around Detroit. Surrounded by large bodies of water and filled with incredible art and food offerings, we found ourselves right at home. Hop on in the line dance and come along with us!
M | K | N
8:00 am | The LINE Hotel is the new kid on the block in ATX- it recently opened in July of 2018. Properly affixed along all of the nightlife, museums and restaurants you could imagine and boasting the “best views of the city” and an infinity pool to (cowboy)boot! These modern minimalistic rooms accompanied with the world’s COMFIEST beds make it hard to want to leave. But alas, there are Austin adventures ahead. If you’re feeling sluggish - Alfred coffee is the perfect pick-me-up and right in the lobby!
111 E Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701
9:00 am | Erica Foster started the coffee shop 3 years ago, adjacent to her husband’s reclaimed wood store that sells to the general public. Everything around the trailer-coffee-outpost is made from reclaimed materials, speaking to the term “flitch” which is “is a slab of wood that has been cut from a log”. Grab yourself a maple latte and step in line behind Jake the coffee dog (The couple’s pup that hangs out all day at the shop).
10:00 am | ATX is most commonly admired for the breakfast taco scene, but these guys wanted to start the conversation around the breakfast biscuit, and that’s just what they did. This AM quick stop opened in June of 2018 by two friends. All of their ingredients are made in-house, even the biscuits! The most popular sandwich on the menu is the queen beak, but everyone that’s visited will tell you not to skip out on the donuts.
2701 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
10:45 am | After you’ve filled your belly, head to the newly renovated library to feed your brain! The Austin Central Library is much more than just books, it has become it’s own cultural hub brimming with natural light throughout the six-story atrium.
710 W Cesar Chavez St
12:00 pm | Across from the LINE is Austin’s first food all, Fareground, which highlights the “fare” curated with seven locally famous food operators and the “ground” of an open space with communal seating that brings people together. All of the vendors offer happy hour from 3-6pm! See below for a few of our favorite items from each stop inside of Fareground!
Antonelli’s Cheese Shop - cheese & mac bowl with a grilled cheese
Contigo - burger and crispy green beans
Dai Due Taqueria- carnitas tacos
Easy Tiger bake shop- any of the baked goods, especially the croissants
Henbit- CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE! and honestly, get some to-go because you’ll be craving them the rest of your trip.
Ni-kome ramen/sushi- nigiri and shio ramen bowl
111 Congress Ave.
1:30 pm | Driving to desert door we felt like we were finally in TX, passing the dry land filled with cacti and arriving to what felt like another country. Located in driftwood, it sits on the eastern edge of the wild sotol country. As the only location in the USA offering the sotol spirit, the distillery has a tasting room featuring craft cocktails and snacks among their cozy fireplace and modern bar. Take an afternoon to tour the facilities and learn about the creation process. Pro Tip: Definitely make sure you take your own car out this way, as Uber’s are few and far between in these parts!
211 Darden Hill Rd
Driftwood, TX 78619
3:30 pm | Back to the LINE to freshen up and maybe take a dip in the infinity pool to cool off for a bit.
5:00 pm | We thought Quonset Huts were unique to Detroit, but it turns out they’re all over Texas! The Brewer’s Table founder, Jake Maddux, transformed one of those huts into his own personal haven (and his adorable son, who you can catch playing in the kid-friendly outdoor space!). The restaurant itself incorporates beer into mostly every dish, and focuses on sustainable practices throughout their kitchen, that you can taste in every bite. We opted for a sharable feast for the table, which included enough food for the three of us (and us gals can eat). Pro Tip: Play a round of bocce ball outside while you wait for your table!
4715 E 5th St
Austin, TX 78702
6:30 pm | Dedicated to serving authentic Italian food to the local neighborhood, il brutto welcomes patrons with their wood-burning pizza oven in the open-air kitchen. In true Italian fashion, il brutto specializes in home-made pasta and pizza, but the grilled octopus and eggplant caponata are also complete show-stoppers. The outdoor patio is lined with charming lights during the evenings (& live music on Thursdays!). Pro Tip: Ask for a table outside for a serenade to transport you straight into Lady and the Tramp.
1601 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702
8:00pm | Simply walking through the lobby of the W gives you a sense of contemporary luxury that you can’t seem to put your finger on. We went straight for the “Living Room” which we kept accidentally referring to as the “library” as it’s lined with thousands of records, paying homage to Austin being the live music capital of the world. The warming glow of the interior fireplace kept our conversation flowing for hours, or maybe that was the cocktails… Pro Tip: Ask your server about the secret lounge hidden through the bookcases!
200 Lavaca Street
9:30pm | There are tons of speakeasies that line the streets of this city. A few of our favorites were Red Headed Stepchild and Midnight Cowboy, but you’ll have to figure out the password’s for yourself- we can’t give away all of the secrets!
9:00 am | Another coffee shop doing everything right and more is Hank’s. Not only can you grab a darn good cup of Joe, but their in-house made bread, pastas and pastries cannot be beat. The atmosphere consists of a light and airy surrounded with plants and eclectic outdoor furniture, simply adding to the sensory experience. Bring along your pup and your kiddos to Hank’s, where you can truly enjoy any meal of the day (cue the happy hour frosé!).
5811 Berkman Drive
9:45 am | Hillside was definitely a major highlight of our trip. The southern hospitality mixed with farm to table food really hit all of our heartstrings. Combine that with a waiter that sings to you as he’s delivering your french toast and we may have just died and went to heaven. The restaurant resides in a building owned by one of the oldest standing African American East ATX residents. As the story goes- In the 50’s, pharmacist Doc Young & his family operated Hillside Drugstore, which closed in the 70’s. The Hillside Farmacy team restored the building. Just what the doctor ordered.
1209 E 11th St
11:00 am | ByGeorge is offers both men’s and women’s city chic in this charming southern state, staying true to the sprit of Austin. They carry some of our fave brands, including Acne Studios, A.P.C., Boy Smells, Le Labo, Oliver Peoples, and many more to occupy your browsing time.
1400 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
12:00 pm | Josephine House is something you’d expect straight out of a movie. From the warm smiled greeting right when we walked through the door, to a kitchen that makes you feel like you’re part of the action, this charming quaint house was this trio of wannabe cowgirl’s dreams. Pro Tip: The menu changes based on the season, but if you’re around when the figs are an option, you do NOT want to miss out on them.
1601 Waterston Ave
Austin, TX 78703
1:30 pm | Located on the campus of the University of Texas, the Blanton Museum of Art is the primary art collection of ATX. Adjacent to the museum is the Ellsworth Kelly Gallery, gifted by the American artist himself from the design concept for his most notable piece, titled “Austin”. The stone building is lined with brightly colored glass windows. Inside you’ll find a wood sculpture and 14 black and white marble panels. Pro Tip: Free admission on Thursdays!
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin, TX 78712
2:30 pm | Better half was started by the same group behind brew & brew coffee (also one of our local favorites), but this joint is much more than just *incredible* coffee drinks. If you’re in town on a Wednesday, you’re in for the best pastrami sandwich of your life. If not, don’t worry, Better Half has a whole menu that you don’t want to miss out on - especially the cauliflower tots…. trust. Head to the back to enjoy your adult beverages on the kid and dog-friendly patio.
406 Walsh St.
3:15 pm | Head back to the LINE for a quick refresh and possibly a walk along the outdoor trail or another dip in the pool. If you need a snack Arlo Grey will not disappoint.
4:30 pm | APT 115 gives you that homey feeling of visiting your best friend’s apartment. This wine-focused curated establishment focuses on highlighting small producer wine makers. The owner believes that wine is meant to be fun and not pretentious, as it can sometimes fall into a category of. He includes wines from all over the world, and even from some unexpected wine countries. Charcuterie is also on the menu, with cheeses that are hand cut to order and cured meats that are sliced on their 1930’s meat slicer. Pro Tip: The wine list of 8-12 offerings changes and is printed daily, so you can go twice in one trip for a different tasting!
2025 E 7th St. Apt115
6:00 pm | L’Oca d’ora, this Italian joint that’s inspired by celebrating family, community and sustainability, is located in the city’s Mueller neighborhood in the northeast part of town, previously the site of the city’s airport, now filled with residential, office and retail offerings. If you didn’t plan ahead, the bar is saved for walk-ins, which was where we opted to sit and observe the craft that it took to prepare and plate each of our dishes and libations. The menu items change with the seasons, but you can’t go wrong with the grilled focaccia or fresh mozzarella and a hand-made pasta, our personal favorite being the ricotta gnocci. Pair all of that with a sparkling rose and you’re setting yourself up for a very successful evening.
1900 Simond Ave
7:45 pm | Just steps outside of your hotel room is the South Congress Bridge, sitting atop Lady Bird Lake. If you’re traveling from March through November, head outside around 7:30-8:30pm to join countless others who will line up to watch the “batty” phenomenon. Lasting about 45-60 minutes long, these bats put on a nightly show flying outside of their nook underneath the bridge to feed on the evening insects. Family friendly or a fun date night idea, this is a unique ATX experience you won’t forget.
9:00 pm | Rainey street is filled with renovated houses that have been transformed into bungalow bars. It’s hidden location gives it a charm unlike the dense city lights. Lined with food trucks and patios strung with lights, we had some of our favorite nights here! Start your night with some live music at the Parlor Room to get some photos of the hot pink living room while you’re still sober, then make sure to hit up Javelina for late-night food (kitchen is open until 1:30am).
Thank you to the teams of: L’Oca D’Oro, Apt115, Better Half, Bird Bird Biscuit, Flitch Coffee, Brewer’s Table, The W Hotel, Fareground, Desert Door Distillery and Il Brutto!
on to the next city!