Austin Visitor Guide

AUSTIN Visitors Guide
Austin Visitor’s Guide was created for both Austin visitors and Austinites. After living in and around Austin since about 1990, I still discover delightful restaurants and fun things to do. My team and I collaborated for months, putting together the ultimate Austin Visitor’s Guide just for you.

Clickable CONTENTS

Coffee Places ~ Brunch Places ~ Food Trucks ~ Budget Eats

Romantic Restaurants ~ Kids Restaurants ~ Healthy Eats

BBQ Joints ~ Bars ~ 6th Street Hangouts ~ Iconic Venues

Landmark Hotels ~ Museums ~ Must See Austin Events

Shopping Spots ~ Downtown Tours ~ Free Activities


Editors 5 TOP Restaurant Picks:

I get it that the sheer number of choices on this page can be overwhelming. You might be wondering how the heck you choose. So, I’ll be updating this spot right here as I eat my way thru Austin! Haha

If you want to be notified when I update the Editor’s Picks, be sure and sign up for our Newsletter here >>>

1) Food truck –
2) Budget eats –
3) Romantic dinner –
4) Healthy meals –
5) BBQ –
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Best Coffee Places:

You’re going to need more hours in your day to experience all that Austin has to offer. While we can’t physically add the time, we can make sure you stay awake as long as possible with some of the best coffee venues this side of the Rio Grande. From early morning until late into the night, we keep you going, caffeine style. It’s not coffee until you drink it in Austin.


Mozart’s Coffee Roasters
3825 Lake Austin Blvd Austin, TX 78703
Mozart’s Coffee Roasters is located at scenic Lake Austin. Enjoy live music six days a week at the outdoor deck. Relax in the old world European style as you enjoy flame roasted coffee and heavenly scenery.Wireless Internet Access!

Houndstooth Coffee
Austin – North Lamar: 4200 N Lamar Blvd STE 120 Austin, TX 78756
Austin – Downtown: 401 Congress Ave STE 100C Austin, TX 78701
Houndstooth Coffee, named after the first known Scottish simple plaid. “The Pattern of Coffee and People” thrives on the interactions and knowledge shared between patrons and staff. Stop by either or both of these Austin locations for coffee, tea, pastry and good conversation. If it’s later in the day, enjoy beer or wine.

Frank Hot Dogs Cold Beer
407 Colorado St, Austin, Tx 78701
A sausage may be just a sausage any place else, but at Frank’s it’s an art form. As a premier sausage maker, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sausage dog. Experience dogs with a regional flair like the Southern Belle or Chicago Dog. For something a bit more extreme, try the Jackalope. All sausages are made in house or sourced locally, keeping the great taste in the Austin Family.

Caffé Medici
200 Congress Ave #2B Austin, TX 78701
It may be hard to find a parking space for this downtown gem, but it will be well worth the effort. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the downtown area from this laid back venue. Spend an afternoon with friends, get away from work for a little while or hold a meeting in this trendy location. Are you on your own? Chat it up with the barista as they prepare your delicious coffee at the stand alone coffee bar.

Best Brunch Places:

Brunch is the best of breakfast and lunch rolled into one. Start your weekends off right.  Enjoy food, fun and even a mimosa with family and friends. Feast on traditional breakfast fare as well as regional favorites. You won’t be disappointed in what Austin has to offer.

Elizabeth Street Cafe | Austin TX

24 Diner
600 N Lamar Blvd Suite G Austin, TX
It sounds like a late night diner dive but it’s not. While they serve similar foods, they have taken it up several notches to create an art form. Find elegantly prepared comfort food, a full bar and organic food options. The 24 is true though. The establishment is open 24 hours a day.

Iron Cactus
Austin Downtown: 606 Trinity St. Austin, TX 78701
One of the best choices for brunch — and kids under 4 are free. Peel and eat shrimps are the best! Must try for special occasions like Easter, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s…

Elizabeth Street Café
1501 S. First Street Austin, Texas 78704
A very sunny ambiance with shady green patio which is great for brunches.  Don’t forget to order The “shaking” steak and eggs sunny side.  And how about the Passion Mimosa for brunch?  Great menu choices!

South Congress Café
1600 South Congress Ave Austin, Texas 78704
An out-of-the-blue brunch?  This is the spot!  Brunch served DAILY!  If you’re up for a Mexican themed eat-out, South Congress Café is definitely a place to go.

Stubb’s BBQ
801 Red River Austin, TX 78701
Southern style grits, migas, fried catfish and BBQ Brisket with live Gospel music here at Stubbs!  Just be sure to come in between 10:30 AM and 12:30 PM for sitting times.  Have brunch at Stubbs and check out their world-renowned BBQ Brisket

2307 Hancock Drive Austin, TX 78756
Delicious and inviting menu served by really friendly owner, chef and staff.  Special events with special menu at very reasonable prices.We

Copper Restaurant & Dessert Lounge
3401 Esperanza Crossing Suite #104 Austin, TX 78758
Farm to table menus, really fresh food.  A cool thing about Copper’s brunch is the mix-your-own-mimosas and shareable plates.  It’s a great place to relax, unwind and be with family and friends.

Opal Divines
3601 South Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78704
Naturally cooked American food.  They use 100% hormone free Angus beef.  Everything is fresh and organic.  What’s attractive about Opal Divines is the food variety.  When you come here, you know they always have sufficient stock and you’ll get what you order.  Wifi, outside seating and dog friendly

Blue Star Cafeteria
4800 Burnet Rd. C-300, Austin, TX 78756
Blue Star is a great place to relax with family and friends.  The ambiance is really clean, fresh with their modern interior.  Very casual and stylish dining experience.

Russell’s Bistro
1601 West 38th Street #1, Austin, TX 78731
The Bistro Life!  Really cozy and familiar place to dine in.  Their patio looks over Kerbey Lane Street which adds to the experience.  If you want to feel the vibe of what Austin has to offer while having brunch with friends or family, check out Russell’s Bistro and enjoy the Chef’s seasonal familiar menu.  Artworks are for sale and the you won’t want to miss the Bakery as well.

Zack’s Bistro
5145 North FM 620 Bldg C Austin, TX 78732
Zack’s never fails to deliver freshly prepared food.   Food is exceptional and the service is great.   The setting is very casual.  Watch as your food is prepared thru their expo kitchen.
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Best Food Trucks:

Food trucks are no stranger to Austin. In fact, they have sparked an entire movement! Over 2,000 Airstreams and concession trailers fill the city blocks providing inexpensive and varied cuisine as well as dessert. Why sit down when you can stand up, spend less and enjoy a wide variety of culture from Korean barbeque to falafel to African beef with jollof rice to stuffed ravioli. Eat something different every day.

Austin Food Truck 3 Little Pigs

East Side King Food Truck
1618 1/2 E 6th St Austin, Texas 78702
Ever heard of “Asian fusion” cuisine? If not, you can try it here at East Side King @ Liberty Bar. There’s something for everyone including vegetarians. Enjoy curry buns and other unique fare early or late. Pair it with a beer after work.

3 Little Pigs
1209 Rosewood Ave. Austin, TX, 78702
Phone: (512) 653-5088
Owned by Ray Tatum, this Austin food truck offers a variety of delicious food that is more than filling for a great dinner. Try the Pork Belly Slider or Cracklin’ Meatloaf and collards. Want a more Asian flare? Don’t miss the Spicy Pot Noodles or Pan fried pork belly with Kimchi. Now that’s good eatin’!

Unity Vegan Kitchen
415 Jessie St, Austin TX 78704
Meat isn’t on everyone’s menu. When you favor the veggies, try Unity. Located in the South Austin Social Food Park, this gourmet fare is made from scratch with mostly organic ingredients. Sandwiches made with fresh baked bread and delicious desserts are just two of the items on the menu. If you are curious about meatless in Austin, stop by.

Gourdough’s Big. Fat. Donuts.
1503 S 1st St., Austin, TX 78704
They may spend a lifetime on the hips but they taste so good going down. Indulge your sweet tooth at Gourdough’s for donuts like you’ve never experienced before. They aren’t the typical neighborhood donuts. Try one of the unusual combinations and be amazed.

The Peached Tortilla
Different truck locations
It’s a restaurant that also runs a food truck. The truck locations vary so check the website for the next sighting. You’ll discover a sort of Asian fusion mix with tacos filled with BBQ brisket both traditional and Chinese and Banh Mi, Vietnamese pork belly. The food is affordable and tasty.

The Mighty Cone
1720 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704
Located in “The Picnic,” get whatever you want in an easy to manage “cone.” Enjoy avocado, shrimp, crunchy chicken and even sausage in their signature cone. Vegetarians are also welcome with a couple of special menu items just for them. Yum is all we can say about this truck.

Micklethwait Craft Meats
1309 Rosewood Avenue Austin,TX 78702
The tender brisket, with a lovely smoke ring and peppery bark, is on par with many of the region’s best barbecue spots. But Tom Micklethwait’s homemade sausage—varieties like duck and cherry, lamb and apricot, which rotate daily—is what truly distinguishes his operation.

Blue Basil Mobile
611 Trinity st. Austin, TX 78701
For a taste of Asian fused cuisine with an artistic flair, visit the Blue Basil food truck. Mouthwatering Vietnamese dishes include Bahn Mi, Fried Pie, Tofu over rice and much more. It is as much a feast for the eyes as it is the stomach.

The Seedling Truck
1720 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704
This truck is sponsored by The Royal Fig Catering. It provides gourmet comfort food made from scratch with fresh ingredients from local farms. The menu is always changing so hurry by for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Be More Pacific Truck
Different locations
We’re talking Pacific Islander here. It’s a truck that provides a delicious glimpse into Filipino American cuisine. You’ll learn new words like Adobo, Longanisa and Atsara. Try their fried rice dishes, pork and chicken sliders as well as noodles and egg rolls.

Fried and True Food Truck
1104 East Sixth Street Austin, Texas, 78702
Love fried foods? Try this food truck that offers light and crispy fare like deep fried Oreos, funnel cake and even deep fried pickles! They use fresh canola oil for cooking. Used oil is recycled for use in green vehicles around town. Eco-conscious and delicious – what more could you ask for?

Tommy Want Wingy
603 W. Live Oak (South First Food Court) Austin, TX 78704
Who doesn’t love chicken wings? Try their delicious “chicken wing lollipops” with a different sauce each visit like sweet chili, spicy pineapple or holy schnikes. All orders are served with veggies.

Guac N Roll
Different locations
If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, this food truck caters to you specifically. Guac N Roll provides fresh made guacamoles in a variety of flavors as well as tamales and salsas. All food (except their burrito) and drinks are gluten free. Enjoy fresh mint limeade while listening to mood music from this big green monster truck.

DFG Noodles Food Truck
Mobile around Austin
Get a true taste of Singapore from this chef who used to work for Steven Seagal. The fare is as authentic and interesting as the truck itself. Combining her love of food with her love of cooking, DFG offers a variety of noodle dishes like creamy coconut curry noodle soup and broths featuring a variety of noodle types. She calls it DFG, we call it TDF (to die for) because that’s exactly what the food is.

Best Budget Eats:

We’re listing some of our fave budget eats but also remember the food trucks (listed above) can be considered budget eats. Other budget eats can be found under “Best BBQ Joints” and “Best Kid Restaurants.” With so much to do in Austin, it only sounds expensive.

Austin Restaurants PIZZA

FoodHeads Cafe & Catering
616 W 34th St Austin, TX 78705
Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner inside or on their heated patio seating. Bread is delivered fresh daily. Eat soups, salads, quality sandwiches and sides made from scratch. Dessert and coffee are on the menu, too.

Hoover’s Cooking
2002 Manor Road Austin, TX 78722
This is just good old-fashioned comfort food at its best, served since 1998. Dine in, take out or have your meal catered. This menu is a mix of the cultural favorites that make up Austin. Get stuffed and then come back for more. Don’t miss the chicken and biscuit trailer!

All Star Burger
12921 Hill Country Blvd. Ste 105 Bee Cave, Texas 78738
Want the best burgers in town? The beef comes from cows fed a vegetarian diet. The focus is on fresh ingredients and food that has had very little processing if any. All burgers are served on preservative free buns. Pair your meal with bottled or draft beer or wine. Here’s what’s crazy: “All Star” has some of the most colorful, healthy salads you can find (with homemade dressings to boot!)

Nau’s Enfield Drug
1115 W. Lynn St. Austin, TX 78703
Remember the days of full service drug stores? There is still one in Austin. Nau’s has been around since 1951. Enjoy breakfast and lunch and their old school soda fountain drinks seven days a week.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
117 San Jacinto Austin, TX 78701
What could be more American than fried chicken, besides apple pie and baseball? Gus’s serves up the most amazing hot and spicy chicken you’ve ever tasted. All chicken is fried in 100% peanut oil and served with a variety of sides. You must, MUST, must order the collard greens. If I didn’t love fried chicken so much I could make a whole meal out of the collards.

Via313 Pizza
The Violet Crown Social Club: 1111 East 6th Austin, TX 78702
Craft Pride: 61 Rainey St Austin, TX 78701
In addition to their food trucks, as of April 2015 you can eat this crispy (nearly caramelized edges) pizza at their new Oak Hill location. Named one of the best pizzas in the country by Tony Gemignani and I can see why… with unusual creations like the Cadillac: Gorgonzola cheese, shaved prosciutto, fig preserves, shaved Parmesan and balsamic glaze.

Torchy’s Tacos
1822 S. Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78704
Sounds hot and spicy just from the name. Torchy’s offers a variety of tacos for every varying taste. You can even get breakfast tacos filled with your early morning favorites like bacon, eggs and potatoes. There’s plenty for the meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
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Most Romantic Restaurants:

Why not take in the gorgeous view with someone special? Forget the food trucks and budget eats. You want to splurge a little on a dinner made for two. Pop the cork, pour the wine and gaze at each other over shareable appetizers and sumptuous main courses. We’d advise that you make reservations whenever you can. While the food is worth the wait, it’s better to plan ahead.


Green Pastures Restaurant
811 W Live Oak Austin, TX 78704
Named as one of America’s most beautiful.  Definitely a spot for romance.  This is a neighborhood retreat for gourmet dishes, fine wine.  Dubbed as ‘Grande Dame’ of Austin restaurants; really cozy with picture windows overlooking manicured lawns and grand live oaks.  The service is great and is true experience of Southern hospitality.

Palmer’s Restaurant, Bar & Grill
218 Moore St San Marcos, TX 78666
Romantic dates will never fail at Palmer’s Texas.  The beauty of their shaded courtyard and soothing fountain will already score you major points.  Add to the fact that the service and hospitality is great, plus food is exceptional.

Chez Zee
5406 Balcones Dr. Austin, TX 78731
Need to impress?  Check out Chez Zee and hit the spot.  Their eclectic décor and outstanding service and their great desserts will surely create an impression and spell out romance.

Blair House Inn
100 W Spoke Hill Dr Wimberley, Texas (TX) 78676
What’s a romantic getaway without sunsets?  Blair House Inn will surely be one for your bucket list.  Newly in love or been together for a long time?  The place creates and environment that will strenghten your bond of love, recharge spirits. Very relaxing environment.  Opt in to either enjoy leisure time or with various recreational activities they have to offer.  Perfect location for romantic weekends.

Carmelo’s Restaurant
504 East 5th Street Austin, TX, 78701
Great food, amazing wines, friendly staff.  Very authentic experience.  Come for the food, stay for the experience.  Really worth the visit.  Create a memorable experience here and you’re sure to come back every time.

Jeffrey’s of Austin
1204 West Lynn Street Austin, Texas 78703
Fine dining experience to the tee.  The setting is perfect.  Every little detail is checked so you’ll know you get what you’ve come for.  Simply prepared professional food, delicious wines, professional service.  Really magical and must-visit for romantic dinners

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Steaks
9400 Arboretum Blvd Ste B Austin, TX 78759
How about seafood?  Eddie V’s Prime seafood only asks you to try them.  Very charismatic restaurant.  If you’re looking for private  dining, check out one of their locations in Austin.

La V Austin
1501 East 7th street, Austin, Texas 78702
Enjoy the South-of-France comfort food at LA V.   It’s a great place for dining.  You really know you’re getting the best selections for wine with the owner being so passionate about it.  It’s a new kind of ambiance.

Best Kids Restaurants:

A family getaway wouldn’t be complete without family dinners. Traveling with kids is fun but finding a place that serves wholesome kid-friendly foods is not always so fun. We list the best kid-friendly restaurants in Austin. While you get to eat delicious food of your choice, so do they. Examine this list and make your choice.

Austin Restaurant Cantina Laredo - KIDS

Brava House
1108 Blanco Street Austin TX 78703
Brava House is a perfect family getaway. Children will come and enjoy staying here with the friendly environment and neighborhood pools. A great place to go to for vacation.

BJ’s Restaurant
10515 North Mopac Expressway Austin, TX 78759
BJ’s is a very family friendly restaurant. Their Kid’s menu is packed with with high quality entrees, sides, and drinks designed specifically for kids. The setting is very fun with delicious food. Which kid wouldn’t love a 6″ deep dish pizza, corn dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese? Healthy options available as well for sides.

Jim’s Restaurant
9091 Research Blvd Austin, TX 78758
7101 Hwy 71 W Austin, TX 78735
Great place for children to eat. Kids even eat for free every Sunday and Monday 5pm-9pm. Real Texas food. Kids Menu are really affordable and they even offer fresh fruits along with the expected cheeseburgers, cheese pizza and corndogs.

Café 1626
11600 Manchaca Road Austin, Texas 78748
Pizza, pasta, salad? Prett much a no-brainer for the kiddos. They also have a game room and a 106 inch giant TV.

Boat House Grill
6212 N RR 620, Austin, TX 78732
This joint has “family” written all over it. If you have a taste for fish but the kids want burgers, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy your fish and seafood while the kids have exactly what they want. Friendly atmosphere, patio seating, playground and affordable prices make this a great choice for tired parents who want to eat and relax.

Cantina Laredo
201 W 3rd St Austin, TX 78701
Want to try a little Mexican fare but afraid it’s too spicy? Try Cantina Laredo. It offers a variety of modern Mexican dishes with fresh ingredients. Authentic tastes made fresh daily. Kids can enjoy smaller portions of the same great food.

Green House Craft Food
1400 E. Old Settler’s Ste. 110 Round Rock, Texas 78664
Want the freshest taste of Texas you can get? Green House Craft Food offers artisan sandwiches, steaks, chicken, and pastas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The atmosphere is friendly and the food is good. And, on Mondays, kids eat for $1 with every entrée purchased!

Mama Fu’s
100 Colorado St Austin, TX 78701
Craving Asian? Mama Fu’s is the best spot for that. Need to eat healthy? You won’t be disappointed by the offerings here. Taste the best of Chinese, Korean, Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese in one place. There are so many choices, you’ll have to come back again and again.

Zocalo Café
1110 West Lynn Austin, TX 78703
For another take on Mexican food, try Zocalo Café. They serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Eat tasty tacos, tortillas, enchiladas, burritos, salads and more made with fresh ingredients. Kids have their own menu with delicious eats to choose from.

Best Healthy Eats:

Everyone’s worried about their health these days. Health is important and so is great tasting food. Let’s face it, you won’t eat it if it doesn’t taste good. In Austin, we’re all about food that is as good to you as it is for you. Here are some of the best places to eat when you want to enlarge your taste repertoire but not your waistline.

Austin Restaruant Super Natural Foods - HEALTHY

Supernatural Food
Austin, Texas
Motivate yourself to eat healthy by having your food delivered to you.  No need to worry about the things that you’ll eat every day. Supernatural food will have that covered for you.  All you need to do is sign up and get a permanent healthy lifestyle change.

Soup Peddler
501 W Mary St, Austin, TX 78704, USA
2801 S Lamar Blvd, 78704
13219 N Hwy 183, 78750
Soup is love.  Very authentic food delivery service but surely healthy. Aside from soup, they also have fresh juices, whole food smoothies, salads, and grilled sandwiches! Check out his amazing story and belly-warming food.

Eastside Café
2113 Manor Road Austin, TX 78722
Comfort food served in charming bungalow in the heart of the city.  Delicious and healthy choices.  With non-gluten served daily, you’re sure to follow that healthy lifestyle you needed to start the 2015 with.

Casa de Luz
1701 Toomey Road Austin, TX 78704
Eating out but worried about your health?  Casa de Luz’s trained chefs handcraft plant based, 100% organic, vegan, vegetarian, alkalizing, nutrient-rich meals so worry no more.  The kitchen water is flouride filtered and meals are gluten-free.  You can always ask the chefs if you have allergies, Casa de Luz is Allergen Aware.

The Studio Kitchen
2111 Sam Bass Rd Suite 1600, Round Rock, Texas
Starting a diet?  Want to eat healthy?  Can’t prepare the food yourself because you’re busy or just don’t know where to start?  Studio Kitchen offers a Gluten Free Paleo Plan that they can deliver to you.  Check out their 28 day Paleo so you can start eating healthy and eating clean.

UT Campus Area | 2530 Guadalupe Street Austin, TX 78705
A perfect place for those who want to eat healthy and for Vegans as well.  Take off your worries about counting calories because VERTSKEBAP will help you out.  Meats are locally sourced.  Breads are vegan, low calorie and trans fat free.   Sauces are made with yogurt – not cream or mayo.  They’re delicious, better for you if you’re concerned about health and calories.

Picnik Austin
1700 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704, United States
Eat healthy with Austin’s first Paleo Café.  Picnik Austin serves primal, gluten free, grain free, clean and healthy ancestral cooking and baking.   Organic and farm-to-table ingredients are used for the menu.  Healthy eats to perfection served with coffee.

O’s Campus Café and Catering
727 E Dean Keeton St, Austin, TX 78705, USA
On campus but need to eat healthy but also love flavor?  O’s Campus Café serves them every day.  Prepared from scratch and without preservatives.  Definitely your healthy, fresh food option.

Café del Sol
6002 Jain Lane Austin, Texas 78721
Traditional Latin food but with a healthy twist.  The staff is committed to providing healthy options for students and regular customers.  Very friendly staff as well.

Blenders and Bowls
206 E 4th St Austin, TX 78701
Dessert can be fun, sweet and filling. At Blenders and Bowls you get all three. They offer the Acai bowl. What’s that? Come by and find out. Enjoy natural smoothies and acai bowls filled with tasty granola, fresh fruit and whatever additions you choose.
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Best BBQ Joints:

It wouldn’t be a Texas city if there wasn’t barbeque offered. If you are ready to sink your teeth into some of the most delicious, mouthwatering, melt-in-your-mouth barbeque, then make a study of the list below. Oh, and carry a big bib. You’re gonna need it!

Austin Restaurant Salt Lick BBQ

John Mueller Meat Co.
2500 E. 6th Street Austin 78704
It’s a meat company but you can eat there too. Their smoked meats are legendary in Texas and the world over. Enjoy brisket, ribs and some of the best barbeque around. Come see the biggest backyard barbeque. All are invited!

Franklin Barbecue
900 E 11th St, Austin 78702
This food’s so good the owner is writing a book about it (due to hit stores April, 2015). Enjoy a bevy of smoked meats from brisket to falling-off-the-bone ribs, pulled pork and turkey and sausage. Order it by the pound or between two pieces of bread. Don’t forget the sides.

The Salt Lick
3350 E Palm Valley Blvd Round Rock, TX 78665
The Salt Lick offers delicious barbeque just like they experienced hundreds of years ago on a wagon trail around the campfire. Come because you’re curious. Stay because the beef brisket, sausage, ribs and sides are to die for. If you miss it while in the city, you can enjoy Salt Lick BBQ at the Austin airport – just without the ambiance.

Best Bars:

Some days, you just got to have an ice cold beer or a nice tall glass of wine. Relax after work, on the weekend or whenever you want to unwind and get away from it all without leaving town. Here are a few of the best bars in Austin complete with atmosphere and scenery.

Austin Restaurant Vino Vino - BAR

Fado Irish Pub
214 W. 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
Top of the morning to ya! If you are in the mood for a little Irish luck, check out the premier Irish pub in Austin, Fado Irish Pub. They offer live music every Friday and Saturday night featuring the best bands in the area. Enjoy authentic pub food like fish and chips, burgers, corned beef and cabbage along with regional favorites like quesadillas and hummus. Pair them with your favorite beer, wine or spirit.

Skylark Lounge
2039 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78722
Happy hour isn’t happy without music. And, since you are in the Live Music Capital of the World, the Skylark Lounge offers it all. Have a drink or two and enjoy the cool vibes of the blues. Want to laugh? Every Monday is Comedy Open Mic night.

Vino Vino
4119 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78751
Let them all drink wine and lots of it. Get your favorite vino and some delicious food at Vino Vino. Pair some of the best wines in Austin with the chef’s fish offerings, flatbread pizza or even gnocchi. Happy hour offers discounts on beer, wine and appetizers.

Casino El Camino
517 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Travel to this neighborhood bar on historic 6th Street in Austin. They feature award winning burgers, a classic jukebox, Happy Hour drink specials, ambiance and artwork. Come for the drinks and stay to get to know the locals.

Draught House Pub & Brewery
4112 Medical Pkwy Austin, TX 78756
Offers a variety of beers for the discerning palate both American and imported. There’s a new special every day of the week. In their parking lot, they feature some of Austin’s best and most delicious food trucks. There’s a different cuisine each day.

The Ginger Man
301 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701
You don’t have to be a redhead to hang out here despite the pub name. If you are taking in the downtown area, stop in for your favorite beer and some fun. Wednesday nights are trivia nights (stretch your brain). Play a game of darts or just laugh and enjoy the outdoor beer garden.

The Trophy Club
310 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Located on historic 6th street in the heart of downtown Austin, The Trophy Club is a favorite for locals and visitors alike. It’s not a saloon but has that feel. Once a stable, then a hardware store and now a club, the mechanical bull outside is just a hint of the fun to be had here. Drink, dance and enjoy the entertainment at this country bar.

Red Shed Tavern
8504 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78745
This bar has been featured in a few movies. It was rumored to be a hangout for infamous criminals (the Newton boys). To the locals, it’s a great place to unwind on a daily basis. Drink a beer, cocktail or a glass of wine indoors or out on the patio. Play a game of billiards or pinball. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself.

The Brew and Brew
500 San Marcos St #105, Austin, TX 78702
They not only brew good beers but also good coffee. Their slogan, “Good Beans & Good Beers” says it all. If you need a pick-me-up, hit the espresso bar. On the other hand, if winding down is more the order of the day, there are 38 craft beers just waiting for your taste buds. Open daily at 7 am.

The Ranch
710 W. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Sure there are plenty of ranches in Texas, but not like this one. The Ranch on 6th Street is known for its nightlife. Enjoy DJ music, games and a taste of the late night scene. The dark ambiance will set the mood. Open Thursday through Sunday.

Best 6th Street Hangouts:

If you are looking to experience the heart of Austin, then 6th Street is the place to be. It is seven blocks of eclectic art, food, music and culture. Suits mix with artists; young professionals mingle with street people. There are no pretensions here just old, new and everything in between. Become engrossed in the place where it all happens. Here are some of the best 6th Street hangouts in Austin.

Austin Hangouts Street

Old School Bar & Grill
401 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
This huge 2nd story patio overlooks the busiest corner in the historical 6th Street District of Austin at 6th and Trinity. Enjoy the great food and atmosphere while overlooking the activities on the street below.

Third Base Sports Bar
9600 S I H 35 #B, Austin, TX 78748
It’s a locally owned sports bar and restaurant in the 6th Street district. Enjoy food and incredible drinks every day. Eat outdoors on the patio. Take part in movie night, live music and Yappy Hour (free dog treats for man’s best friend).

Soho Lounge
217 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Come in and enjoy the night life in this trendy bar. It’s a two-level night club with dancing, plasma TVs a VIP section and access to rooms for private parties. They offer competitive pricing for your events.

219 West
612 W. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Everything you want all in one place when it comes to the nightlife in Austin. 219 West hosts 6 bars with themed drink menus. There is even a rooftop lounge enabling you to take in the entire city’s panoramic view. Enjoy lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch as well as Happy Hour daily. All guests must be 21 years of age or older.

Paradise Café
401 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
In business for 30 plus years, the Paradise Café is home to good food, good music and good fun. Have your favorite frozen drink or spirit during Happy Hour. Enjoy appetizers or a full menu depending on your appetite. There are two levels to see along with a patio and deck for kicking back.

Austin Ale House
301 W. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Half off is the name of the game here. Visit during Happy Hour for half off drinks, Mexican martinis and appetizers. Live music featured nightly. Select from a full menu of organic food choices.

The Aquarium Bar
403 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Everything’s better under the sea! Enjoy the fish tank ambiance at this two-level bar. There is a fully stocked bar of imported and domestic brews and spirits. All are welcome for witty banter with the bartenders, a game of billiards or chill with your friends. Private parties are welcome.

Jackalope Bar and Grill
404 East 6th, Austin, TX 78701
What is a jackalope anyway? Find one here and much more when you visit Jackalope Bar and Grill on 6th. This premier dive bar offers great food and atmosphere. It is also home of a scandalous drink called the Helldorado. Relish in the décor featuring a padded bar and velvet paintings.

Rooftop on Sixth
403 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Want to take in the night air? Get yourself down to Rooftop on 6th. Dance, listen to music and enjoy spacious seating for you and your friends. The old style wood interior is a great place for college students. Get wild with the photo booth and the “Money Booth.” How much money can you catch in 30 seconds?

Benji’s Cantina
716 W. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Enjoy authentic Mexican fare in this upscale restaurant and bar. Sit and enjoy the air on the rooftop. Happy Hour starts at 4pm. There is full menu for lunch, dinner and brunch on Sunday. Have your favorite beer, wine or Mexican drink.
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Iconic Venues:

These are the places that you simply can’t leave Austin without visiting. They have become famous for music, food and entertainment. You’ve probably heard something about them from people who don’t even live in Texas! That’s your clue that a venue is a must-see on your next trip to Austin.


One World Theater
7701 Bee Caves Rd, Austin, TX 78746
One World Theatre
Music is what it’s all about in Austin and One World Theater is no different. Begun as an extension of an educational arts program in music, Hartt Stearns uses it as a venue to host musicians from all over the world and all walks of life. Through music we express who we truly are, both children and adults. The venue is so breathtaking that many weddings taken place there.

Moody Theater
310 Willie Nelson Blvd, 2nd St District, Austin, TX 78701
Moody Theater
Ever heard of Austin City Limits? The show is live at The Moody Theater. This state-of-the-art venue hosts about 100 concerts a year and tapes the PBS show Austin City Limits. There are three levels that can seat almost 3,000 eager fans. They host not only musicians but also other artists like comedian Dave Chappelle.

Paramount Theatre
713 N. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Paramount Theatre
It’s an historic venue for live music and also as a movie theater. Built in 1915, this is their centennial year. The venue is a non-profit that thrives on the contributions of the public. See locals as well as big name stars performing here. A summer arts camp is also active for kids of all ages.

801 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
Want some good food and great music? You’ve got to visit Stubbs BBQ when you get to Austin. The restaurant serves a mean brisket and offers a Sunday Gospel Brunch. Fill your stomach and your soul. Enjoy a variety of bands several days a week. Oh and don’t forget to take home a bottle of that famous Stubb’s BBQ sauce.

2015 E. Riverside Dr, Austin, TX 78741
Emos is a nightclub venue in Austin. Beginning as a punk club in the 90s, Emos is now a premier rock n’ roll spot on Riverside Drive. If you are a bit rough around the edges, this is the place for you to express yourself.

Landmark Hotels:

Where will you stay when you visit Austin? You have a choice of the typical places that most people stay on vacation or you can splurge at one of Austin’s landmark hotels. Take your pick on your next trip here. Life is an adventure so dive right in.


Kimber Modern
110 The Circle, Austin, TX 78704
If you are looking for a place to stay that is just as breathtaking as the city, try Kimber Modern. Rated #2 best boutique in the USA hotels. The clean lines and ultramodern appeal will draw you in. situated in the SoCo district, you are right where you want to be to relax and enjoy the city. Enjoy a complementary breakfast each day, a beverage bar and free WiFi.

The Driskill
604 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701
When you walk in, you’ll think you’ve stepped back in time. The architecture of the Driskill is from a bygone time. Built in 1886, it is still a showplace and full of the hospitality that Texas is known for. Here, you are central to the State Capitol Building, historic 6th Street, shopping and other must-see venues. It boasts 189 guest rooms and suites.

Hotel Saint Cecilia
112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704
Located in the South Congress district, it is a trendy boutique hotel nestled on a secluded property with lush grounds. Named after the patron saint of music and poetry (of course), the décor is from the 60s and 70s. The hotel offers 5 suites, 6 bungalows (all poolside) and 3 studios for your pleasure.

San Jose Hotel
1316 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Built in 1936 as an “ultramodern” motor court, the San Jose Hotel is now a haven, behind stucco walls, boasting 40 bungalows-style rooms for your sleeping pleasure. Lounge or walk around the surrounding gardens. When you want a bit of fun, just walk a few blocks and you are downtown where the action is. Dogs are welcome. Hang out at Jo’s Coffee for good food and beverages, located in the hotel parking lot.

Heywood Hotel
1609 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
The newest addition to the boutique hotel set in Austin, the Heywood Hotel allows you to relax and enjoy your surroundings. It’s a simple walk to downtown for fun, shopping, entertainment and nightlife. The hotel boasts seven luxury rooms. Book one or rent out the entire property. You won’t be disappointed by the comfort.

Best Museums:

Museums are a great way to learn the history of a place. Find out how it all got started in Austin and discover what is going on in the here and now. As a city that is big on culture and music, in a state that has a lot to be proud of, you won’t mind the history lesson. Learn the history of this great state and the people who inhabit it. There is always something for the kids as well.

Austin Museums Lyndon B Johnson

Austin Nature & Science Center
2389 Stratford Dr, Austin, TX 78746
If we don’t take care of nature, it won’t take care of us. Since 1960, the Austin Nature & Science Center offers hands-on activities for teachers, adults and children. Learn about the natural world and how we are to care and protect it. They offer numerous seasonal programs. Kids might enjoy the Dino Pit and the Wildlife Exhibits. Open seven days a week.

Austin Children’s Museum
1830 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723
Learning should be fun for kids. The Austin Children’s museum has endeavored to make it so. Now called The Thinkery, the museum offers a place where kids can be instrumental in discovering the world. Kids learn to problem solve with hands-on activities. Visit the Spark Shop, the Light Lab, the Kitchen Lab, the maker lab, the outdoor climber apparatus and much more. Open Tuesday through Sunday.

Mexic-Arte Museum
419 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Considered “The Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas,” the Mexic-Arte museum highlights and educates the community at large about the Mexican and Latino community. Learn about the culture through a variety of art exhibitions. Through guided tours and the Screen It! project, students learn about careers in art and how art has influenced the Mexican and Mexican American cultural experience, both traditional and contemporary. Open seven days a week.

The Bullock
1800 N. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
The Bullock Texas State History Museum tells the thrilling story of this wonderful state. Through numerous exhibits, programs, artworks and more, discover the history of the people who settled this state from American Indians, Mexicans, Europeans, Missionaries, Texas Rangers, Buffalo Soldiers and Conquistadors. Start early in the morning to take it all in. The museum is open seven days a week.

Yard Dog
1510 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
Yard Dog Art Gallery boasts a remarkable collection of folk art, fine art, pop art and more. In business since 1995, they feature artists from all over the world and from all walks of life. Step in and experience what it has to offer seven days a week.

LBJ Library
2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705
Lyndon Baines Johnson became the 36th President of the United States after the assassination of JFK in 1963. His term saw the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, advances in the space program and the Voting Rights Act. His presidential library pays homage to his life, his presidency and the family that stood by him including his wife, Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson.

Pacific War Museum
311 E. Austin St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Many have fallen in the service of providing freedom for this country and mankind across the world. The Pacific War museum highlights the War in the Pacific during World War II. It honors Admiral Nimitz, Commander of the Pacific Fleet and all those who fought for the cause of freedom and justice.

Pioneer Museum
325 W. Main St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
This museum is sponsored by the Gillespie County Historical Society to celebrate a Texas Hill community that was created by early settlers. Visitors can visit a vast site on three acres with 11 buildings housing many thousands of artifacts. Four tours are conducted by the society so that visitors can experience what it was like as an early settler in this part of the country. Enjoy an authentic German meal; visit local points of interest and participate in hands-on activities like rope making and quilting.
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Must See Austin Events:

Why come to Austin if not to participate in some of the key events just like the locals. Below are a few events that you aren’t going to want to miss in this fair city. If you love music, formula one racing, rodeos and fun, this entire list is tailor-made for you.


Austin Rodeo

ACL Festival (October 2-4, 9-11, 2015) Zilker Park
2100 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
The PBS show “Austin City Limits” hosts a festival in Zilker Park. This is why Austin is truly the Live Music Capital of the World. Over two weekends, eight stages will be filled with hundreds of bands. Taste some of the best food Austin has to offer as you listen, dance and have a great time. Spend time in Zilker Park exploring when you are not be-bopping to music. There’s an Art Market, phone charging stations and mini-fest for kids.

SXSW (March 13-22, 2015) Austin Convention Center
500 E. Cesar Chavez Ave, Austin, TX 78702
It stands for South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals. It is a mix of music, independent films and emerging technologies. And, it all happens in Austin. This festival is a springboard for many filmmakers, businesses and artists. The music festival is in its 29th year. Attend trade shows, sessions with music makers and listen to the hottest sounds on over 100 stages.

Formula One
9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd, Austin, TX 78617
Formula One racing, once just a European sport, has come to Austin, Texas. It is the home of the United States Grand Prix, the only Formula 1 race in America. Other motorsports are also showcased at this venue. Within the track is the Austin360 Ampitheater which plays host to some of the biggest names in music like Kanye West, Maroon 5, Kenny Chesney, KISS and more.  Experience a rush on the track as well as on the stage.

Austin Rodeo (March 14-28, 2015)
9100 Decker Lake Road, Austin, TX 78724
If you like bucking broncos and brave men in chaps then you are ready for the Austin Rodeo. Beginning in 1938, this homage to western culture has continued and evolved over the years. Now, it features a ProRodeo ride, live music show, livestock show and lots of great food. The organization, Austin Rodeo raises millions of dollars for college scholarships.

Bats In Austin
100 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
We are not talking about baseball bats. These are the real deal. One of the largest colonies of free-tailed bat lives in Bracken Cave south of Austin. They are the South Congress Bridge bats, also known by their proper name, Brazilian free-tailed bats. From March until November, tourists and natives come to the area to visit the bridge and see the bats live and in person. From 6-9pm, they leave their home and go about their nightly feeding. It is a sight to behold. Bring cameras, blankets, a little picnic, hats and bug spray. Then, enjoy the show!

Best Shopping Spots:

What’s the point of a vacation if you don’t bring back a few souvenirs? Get a taste of the retail culture in Austin with the following list of the best shopping spots. Make sure you leave room in that suitcase for all the goodies you’ll be bringing back home.

best shopping in austin

South Congress Shopping
1200 South Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
The six blocks of Congress referred to by the locals as “SoCo,” offers shopping, restaurants and music. Eat a casual meal, brunch or go a bit upscale if you wish. Sit outside among the trees and enjoy the atmosphere. Find shops and boutiques that offer vintage clothing or the trendiest new fashions. First Thursday is an event where businesses stay open late to play host for a variety of community events and activities. Eat, shop and listen to music as the sun goes down.

San Marcos Premium Outlet Stores
3939 I-35 #900, San Marcos, TX 78666
Are you ready to do some serious shopping? Go for designer fashions, sportswear, shoes, fine leather, jewelry, housewares, gifts, foods and kid’s clothing at some of the best shops around. There is something for everyone including a spot for lunch at China Max or dessert at Haagen-Dazs.  Shop ’til you drop from Monday to Sunday beginning at 10 am.

1 Ikea Way, Round Rock, TX 78665
What’s not to like about IKEA? They have great customer service and even better furnishings for your home. See something you like about the eclectic décor in Austin? Order it and have it shipped to your house. It’s a great way to bring a bit of this dynamic city home with you.

Whole Foods
Several locations: 525 N. Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
Gateway Shopping Center, 9607 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78759
4301 W. William Cannon Dr #800, Austin, TX 78749
Even away from home you can eat some of your healthy favorites. Whole Foods hosts a variety of vegan and vegetarian items, a coffee bar (that opens at 6 am), a bakery and delicious prepared foods.


Best Downtown Tours:

Seeing the city can be done best on foot. Put on those walking shoes and tour the city. Smell the air, take in the atmosphere, feel the breeze and experience all that Austin has to offer by way of architecture, nature, wildlife and live entertainment.

horse-carriageDuck Tours
602 E. 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
Austin offers land and lake tours for those who want to do Austin in style. Tour beautiful Lake Austin using the Hydra Terra vehicles. For 75 minutes you can enjoy seeing the State Capitol, Bullock State History Museum, historic 6th Street district and the Governor’s Mansion. Tours begin at Austin Visitor Center for land and sea (the only exception is the week of SXSW Festival).

Historic Walking Tour
209 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Two free guided tours of Austin begin at the south entrance of the Capitol building. Start with the Austin Visitors Center to learn more about the walking tours and what to see around the city. Visit the iconic Driskill Hotel. The tour will take you ten blocks on Congress Avenue and nine blocks on 6th Street. Visit historic churches, 19th century buildings and more modern structures all mixed together in one area. The tours are free but reservations are required.

Eating Tour
Now that you’ve seen the historic buildings on a walking tour of the city, it’s time to eat your way through the city with the Austin Eats Food Tours. There are several tour options: South Congress (the original Eats tour), Austin Food Trucks, East Austin Bike, Corporate and Private. Different tours showcase on different days. the Food Truck Tour Bus runs on Saturday from 10am-12:45pm. Ride in style and eat like a king, or queen!
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Best Free Activities:

We saved this for last. Everything in Austin doesn’t have to cost. We’ve talked budget eats, food trailers, museums, shopping, hotels, music, events and nightlife. There should be something free, right? Here it is. Learn some things about Texas without spending a dime.


Austin Gov Mansion

Free Kids Activities in Austin
There are so many free kid-friendly activities to do every day in Austin, it would be impossible to list them all. From puppet shows to exploring Zilker Park, check out the links above for a variety of free activities for kids in the Austin city area.

Bats in Austin
See the famous Brazilian free-tailed bats for free from the banks near the bridge or spend a little bit and see the bats that live under the Congress Bridge from a paddle boat. Live Love Paddle offers daily kayaking trips on local rivers, corporate team building exercises, overnight river trips for campers or a two hour urban kayaking tour of downtown. All trips are guided.

The Governor’s Mansion
1010 Colorado Street, Austin, TX 78701
The Governor’s Mansion, at the corner of Eleventh and Colorado Streets, has been the official home of every Texas governor since being built in 1856. This beautiful home is the most historic home in Texas and is the oldest executive home west of the Mississippi River. Free guided tours are offered for visitors Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am until 12 noon. Tours last 20 minutes and reservations are required. They must be made at least a week in advance.

State Capitol Self-Guided Tour
1100 N. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Self-guided tours are available for visitors during business hours of the Capitol. You can request a guided tour in English or a foreign language, but a self-guided tour lets you move along at your own pace. Brochures for the tour come in English and various foreign languages. In addition to this guide, the Texas Forest Service has provided a guide to the various trees that can be found on the grounds of the Capitol. Tours are about 30-40 minutes and available Monday through Sunday at various times.

Mount Bonnell
3800 Mount Bonnell Dr, Austin, TX 78731
At 785 feet, Mount Bonnell stands as one of the highest points in the city and also one of Austin’s oldest tourist attractions. It spans 5.19 acres and offers a fantastic view of Lake Austin. Eat your Wheaties because you’ll have to do a bit of climbing to reach the top and that awesome view. Handrails are provided to help make the journey easier.


AUSTIN Visitors Guide