• UO Guide: Austin, TX

    Tacos, Lone Star beer, and non-stop music: leading up to the opening of our newest concept store, Space 24 Twenty, here's our guide to what to see, do, eat, drink, and experience in the great city of Austin. And locals: head to 2426 Guadalupe St. in Austin on November 5th from 6-8pm to celebrate the opening of our newest store! 
    Photos by Kate LeSueur

    Counter Cafe

    626 North Lamar Ave.
The long and narrow Counter Cafe is basically just that — a counter. Come early to catch a great breakfast and watch the short-order cooks whip up hearty fare with local and organic ingredients. A new Eastside location also just opened for business. 

    Flat Track Coffee
    913 E. Cesar Chavez St.
    Tiny pop-up coffee operation in the back of Farewell Books, Flat Track roasts their own beans and brews some of the best coffee in town (also visit their coffee+beer combo spot Brew & Brew, on E. 5th St.)

    Jo’s Coffee
    1300 S. Congress Ave.
    Our vote for the best people watching in town involves an iced coffee from the Jo’s window and a spot on their wooden bar to watch the South Congress crowds pass by (their north-facing exterior is also home to the beloved “I love you so much” tag if you’re looking for a good ATX spot to ‘gram).

    Easy Tiger
    709 E. 6th St. 
    Bakery by day and biergarten by night, we’re convinced Easy Tiger makes some of the best fresh bread in the city (and one of their soft pretzels paired with a draft beer is a pretty unbeatable late-night combo). 

    Home Slice Pizza
    1415 S. Congress Ave.
    South Congress slice joint that’s incredibly popular and delicious. No matter what you get, it’s delicious.

    Veracruz All Natural
    Multiple locations
    It’s not Austin without a tinfoil-wrapped taco served from a truck window. Everyone’s got a favorite spot, but our pick is Veracruz: freshly-pressed tortillas, homemade salsas, and an unbeatable migas. Washed down with a Topo Chico, there’s no better breakfast (or lunch. or dinner).

    Multiple locations
    For when you need a break from all that those tacos and BBQ…JuiceLand is a beloved Austin staple for fresh juices and smoothies. Try the Valley Girl or Moontower.

    Uncommon Objects
    1512 S. Congress Ave.
    This South Congress antiques spot is a treasure trove of all things vintage, kitsch, taxidermy, and curiosity. A stroll through the sprawling store always leaves us inspired.

    Hotel San Jose
    1316 S. Congress Ave.
    Even the locals like to hang out at the Hotel San Jose, whose zen-like patio bar is one of the chillest spots in town. It’s also a top choice for out-of-towners (but reserve a room early! The small boutique hotel books up fast, especially on weekends). 

    Sandy’s Hamburgers
    603 Barton Springs Rd.
    After a long night, Sandy’s is the cure. Greasy burgers and frozen custard, curing Austin’s hangovers since the 1940s.

    Food Heads
    616 W. 34th St.
    Fresh, inventive sandwiches and salads — we’re convinced this cute North campus cafe is basically the ideal lunch spot. Get the chicken special. 

    2027 Anchor Ln.
    A favorite East side outdoor (and dog-friendly!) bar and restaurant. Great place to bring a group — be sure you try their cocktails, too. 

    Elizabeth Street Cafe
    1501 S. 1st St.
    The brightly colored, detail-driven dining room of Elizabeth Street Cafe is reason alone to stop in, and the French-Vietnamese cuisine always hits the spot — especially for breakfast, where we love the crispy vermicelli cakes topped with a runny egg.

    Franklin BBQ
    900 E. 11th St.
    Yep, it’s the spot where people camp out all morning. Yep, it’s amazing. An Austin rite of passage. Pro tip: you can skip the line by pre-ordering enough for a group on their website.

    East Side King
    Multiple locations
    Chef Paul Qui’s riff on Asian street food, served out of a food trailer. With multiple locations around town, each is slightly different and all are incredibly delicious. 

    Sister Coffee
    1223 Rosewood Ave.
    An East side coffee trailer that makes a mean pour-over or almond milk chai. Good spot to hang outside on a nice morning.  

    Wheatsville Co-Op
    3101 Guadalupe St.
    You’re not a true Austinite without a membership to Wheatsville, the hippie food co-op just north of UT where you can get vegetarian popcorn “chicken” and hit up the bulk bins. 

    La Barbecue
    1906 E. Cesar Chavez St.
    The line is (slightly) shorter than Franklin, but equally worth the wait. At the La Barbecue trailer, BBQ is sold by the pound and cooked all day, low and slow. Messy, no frills, insanely good.

    SFC Farmer’s Market
    422 Guadalupe St.
    Open every Saturday, the Sustainable Food Center’s downtown market is the biggest farmer’s market in the city. Go early before it gets too crowded to stock up on fresh produce, homemade jams, fancy cheeses, and other local goodies. 

    Friends & Neighbors
    2614 E. Cesar Chavez St.
    East Austin bungalow that’s a one-stop shop: vintage clothes, homewares, jewelry, coffee, and backyard hangout spot. An equally good place to buy a gift or meet a friend for a cold afternoon drink. 

    Farewell Books
    913 E Cesar Chavez St
    A mix of new and used art, rare, and esoteric finds, Farewell is a spot to find both a new read and a steady dose of artful inspiration. 

    Mt. Bonnell
    3800 Mt. Bonnell Rd. 
    The best view of the city, hands down (but first you have to climb up a very long staircase). 

    Roy and Ann Butler Hike and Bike Trail
    There’s no better start to the day than a morning run around the lush trail circling Lady Bird Lake — one of the most popular outdoor spots, and a place to (literally) cross paths with all walks of Austin life. 

    Hwy 360 Bridge Overlook / Pennybacker Bridge
    AKA “make-out spot.” Just kidding (kind of). If you’re willing to schlep to the top, the the bridge across the Colorado River is one of the most epic spots to soak in your surroundings. 

    Blanton Museum of Art
    200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    The Blanton features a wide-reaching rotation of art, and their evolving exhibitions are always compelling and inventive; a slice of international culture in the middle of the UT campus. 

    Barton Creek Greenbelt
    3755-B Capital of Texas Hwy.
    Hiking, biking, rock climbing, running, swimming: the crisscrossed trails of the Barton Creek Greenbelt zigzag through miles of Austin, and are a city dweller’s ideal escape into nature. 

    Deep Eddy Pool
    401 Deep Eddy Ave.
    At any given point in Austin, it’s best to know where you can find the nearest swimming hole. Just next to the Hike and Bike Trail is Deep Eddy, the neighborhood pool you always wanted (they also host movie nights in the summer!) 

    Laguna Gloria
    3809 W. 35th St. 
    The original location of the Austin Museum of Art, Laguna Gloria now houses some collections as well as hosting classes in art, ceramics, and more. The beautifully landscaped, pristine grounds are an inspiring place to spend a Sunday. 

    Violet Crown Cinema
    434 W. 2nd St.
    Reserving your seat at this downtown movie theatre (where you can also eat dinner and get drinks) just feels…civilized. Plus, they always screen a good balance of indie and mainstream films.

    Barton Springs Pool
    2201 Barton Springs Rd.
    There’s nothing more refreshing on a 100 degree day than a plunge into Barton Springs — 68 degrees year round, and framed by grassy hills perfect for lounging all day long. 

    Bats at Congress Bridge
    See a uniquely Austin experience witnessing the largest urban colony of bats in North America emerge from under the Congress Street bridge, billowing out like clouds on a nightly pilgrimage between March and November.

    912 Red River St.

    Nestled into a cliffside, this indie rock venue hosts some of the best touring acts in the country on both their intimate inside stage and larger outdoor stage, which has multi-level balconies and a roof deck bar.

Cheer Up Charlie’s
    900 Red River St.
    A beloved dive bar with regularly great live music and impromptu dance parties. No matter what’s going on at Cheer Up’s, it’s probably always fun.

    Continental Club 
1315 South Congress Ave .
A mainstay on the iconic South Congress strip, the Continental Club has played host to some serious legends in rockabilly, swing, and blues since 1957. 

    The Broken Spoke
    3201 S. Lamar Blvd.
    There’s no more definitive Austin dance hall than the Broken Spoke. Blaring country music, Lone Star longnecks, and a 99% chance a crusty old Texas cowboy will ask you to two-step. Bring your out of town friends here for a real “Texas” experience. 

    908 E. 5th St.
    Equal parts gallery, shop, and event space, Stadium is a newish East Austin collective with an ever-evolving roster. Stop by and chances are there will be something new and cool to check out, with a focus on local artists and creatives. 

    The White Horse
    500 Comal St.
    Gets no better than a good dive bar. The White Horse is a no-frills favorite.

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