This past weekend I met my best friend for a food filled girls weekend in Austin,TX. Even though I am from Texas, this was the first trip I have been able to spend an extended amount of time downtown Austin. The city is constantly growing and new construction is everywhere, including some incredible new restaurants popping up across town. This is by no means a “Best Restaurants in Austin” kind of list, but these were some of the places we enjoyed or came highly recommended by friends. Here is a glimpse at our weekend and some tips for planning your next trip to Austin!

Things to know before you go:

  • Austin is very outdoorsy & dog friendly
  • The homeless population is very high right now
  • Cocktails range upwards of $14 most places
  • Masks are mandatory in public (October 2020)
  • The city is walkable, but also very spread out
  • South Congress is very busy on the weekends – try to go on a weekday if you can

Downtown Austin Restaurants

As soon as I landed in Austin, my first thought goal for the day was to find street tacos for lunch. I happened upon Veracruz near our hotel and was greeted with three of my favorite Texas things I’ve missed living in South Carolina: tacos, aquas frescas, and Topo Chico. These are three MUSTS when you visit (plus margaritas of course). Throughout the weekend we ate and drank our way through the city, here are some of my recommendations:

  • Suerte $$ | Modern Mexican | East Downtown | Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Wu Chow $$ Chinese | Downtown | Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Lin Asian $$ | Chinese | Downtown | Reservations
  • Aba $$ | Mediterranean| South Congress | Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Perla’s $$$ | Seafood | South Congress | Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Eddie V’s $$$ | Fine Dining | Downtown | Reservations
  • Veracruz $ | Tacos | Downtown | No Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Salty Sow $$ | Gastropub |NE Downtown | Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Coopers $ | BBQ | Downtown | No Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Home Slice $ | Pizza| South Congress | No Reservations | Outdoor Seating
  • Chuy’s $ | Tex-Mex | 6 Locations
  • Juan in a Million $ | East Downtown | Hole in the wall Taco spot | No Reservations
  • Pelons $$ | Tex-Mex |Downtown |Reservations| Outdoor Seating
  • Loro $$ | Asian BBQ | Zilker/So-Co Area | Outdoor Seating
  • Central Standard $$ | Southern | South Congress | Outdoor Seating
Austin Rooftop Bars
Cocktails at Zanzibar Rooftop
Things to Do in Austin, TX
Home Slice Pizza Picnic in Zilker Park

Austin Brunch Restaurants

Downtown Austin Hotels

  • JW Marriott- We stayed at the JW Marriott, but also had the opportunity to check out a few other downtown hotels while exploring. The JW is very centrally located near the lake and multiple restaurants and hosted a more mature crowd than other hotels in the area. Our room was very quite and the hotel pool/deck was wonderful. My only complaint is the lighting in the bathroom is moody and not good for girls getting ready.
  • The Line- This dog friendly hotel is located right on Town Lake and has a super chic and happening lobby. With a coffee bar, full restaurant, and pool all located on the first floor entrance, there’s always something going on, but the crowd was definitely on the young side. It seemed like the kind of place that stays up till the wee hours of the morning.
  • Austin Proper- A sophisticated new hotel in the West 6th are of downtown with a super eclectic vibe and award winning restaurant.
  • The Marriott- A brand new hotel just a few blocks from Town Lake and great restaurants with a huge rooftop pool and bar.
Austin Downtown Hotels
View from our room at The JW Marriott

Cute Cocktail Bars in Austin

  • Kalimotxo– Craft cocktails on the back patio for a great sunset
  • Zanzibar– Rooftop at The Marriott with really cool tiki vibes
  • P6– Gorgeous views of Town Lake for sunset & bat watching
  • Whislers– Dark and moody cocktail lounge with a breezy outdoor patio
  • Upstairs at Caroline– breezy hangout with daily happy hours and games on a second floor “rooftop” downtown
  • Fresas– Cute spot for a margarita on their huge patio
  • Bar Peached– fun happy hour spot with food and drink specials on the patio
  • Taquero Mucho – All pink restaurant with cocktails and photo ops
  • Goldie’s– Floral intimate cocktail lounge in the Austin Proper hotel

Things To Do in Austin

  • Shop & eat on South Congress
  • Boozy Brunch
  • Paddle board or kayak Town Lake
  • Rent a boat for a lake day
  • Hit the trails
  • Enjoy a rooftop pool
  • Margarita happy hour
  • Have a picnic at Zilker Park
  • Go shopping at The Domain
  • Explore the art scene
  • Eat tacos
  • Eat more tacos

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Thanks so much for checking out my guides on Austin restaurants and things to do. I hope you found something amazing for your next trip. You may also like some of my other city guides like:

Charleston, SC | New York City | Chattanooga, TN | Columbia, SC | Hilton Head

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One comment


Veracruz tacos are out of this world!!!

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