Category: Love Where You Live

30 Best Things to do in Austin

Recently I came across Air-bnb’s list of the 30 best things to do in Austin, I was skeptical at first but when I read the list I realized it had all the things I suggest Austin visitors do and see, and that we had already knocked at least 15 of their suggestions off the list. I became determined to finish the lists and our date nights lately have centered around this goal. Later, I realized they have a list like this for a lot of cities and decided I will be using it as a jumping off point when Josh and I visit new places. Below is the list I’m slowly ticking off one thing at a time, maybe a few photos as well as some commentary on the item because it’s my blog post and I’ll do what I want to. See if they have a list for your city, it’s a pretty cool way to be a tourist in your own town.
Welcome to Austin

      1. Barton Springs Pool
      2. Franklin’s BBQ
      3. The Continental Club  – A cool bar with live music, ended up here one night when our friend was visiting. They were playing country music and I even got Josh to dance with me.
      4. Bouldin Creek Cafe – Vegetarians rejoice! This sweet little joint Josh had already been to and a few date nights ago, I got to go with him. It takes a VERY good vegetarian place to keep Josh coming back. I also credit this place with inspiring the yogurt bowls that have been his go-to breakfasts of late.
      5. HopDoddy – Another SoCo location place so we had the advantage of getting to go here during non peak hours so we got to skip the long lines and walk right in. Seriously DELICIOUS burgers.
      6. Uchi
      7. Homeslice – Another SoCo spot that was a 2 minute walk from our old apartment. I heard a new yorker say that it was as good as NYC pizza. I say it’s better, because you get to be in Austin when you eat it.
      8. Alamo Draft House South Lamar – This is our go to date night more often than not. Hard core enforcement of no talking and no cell phones partnered with food delivered to you in your seat makes for the perfect movie experience.
      9. South Congress Cafe – This is a fancier place than I think the word Cafe makes you think. It’s our more expensive date night pick. The steak au poivre which is no longer on the menu, made me into a steak lover.
      10. The White Horse
      11. Blue Dahlia Bistro – I dream of the coq au vin blanc. Legitimately dream about it. Also their cheese plates are top notch.
      12. Jo’s on South Congress – Probably better known for their “i love you so much” wall than their coffee; however, Belgian Bombers were our every Saturday morning treat for the year we lived across the street from this location and they are AMAZING.
      13. Elizabeth Street Cafe – A Vietnamese place and a french bakery had a baby. Anywhere you can get Pho for dinner and macaroons for dessert is a magical place.
      14. Torchy’s Tacos – All day every day. Give. Me. Tacos. Also, their very spicy queso is awesome.
      15. East Side Show Room
      16. Sway – Date night a few weeks ago, we sat at the bar that looks into the kitchen which was fascinating. Super delicious too.
      17. Austin Convention Center
      18. Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar – I think more expensive than it’s worth for dinner, but they have an great brunch.
      19. Hillside Farmacy – LOVE. This was one of our first places we went after moving to Austin so it would have a special place in my heart no matter what, BUT, the food is incredible and the vibe of the restaurant is just perfect.
      20. Cenote – Coffee coffee coffee. So good. Also, they have good food and a cute frog statue out back.
      21. Guero’s Taco Bar – Delicious Tacos – Obvs. But here’s a little secret, they have the best pancakes I have ever had in my whole life on the breakfast menu. They come with fresh fruit and are seriously life changingly delicious
      22. Broken Spoke
      23. Zilker Park – Green green grass, tons of off-leash puppies, a beautiful view of downtown, and the place where Blues on the Green happens. There’s no downside to Zilker.
      24. Contigo – I’m obsessed with this sweet little rustic joint. I freaked out a little more than is acceptable that they have magnet clips to keep their menus on the side of your table so you have room to eat. I enjoyed the drinks more than the food, but this place has a great vibe and is worth swinging by.
      25. Magnolia Cafe South Congress – “Sorry we’re open.” is what the sign says. Also, fun fact: This place was on Diners Drive-In’s and Dives. Of course, the food they featured is not what I would order there. They have some killer queso though, get that. Not to mention they’re open 24/7 so you can always get some delicious food.
      26. Justine’s
      27. Black Sheep Lodge – Delicious burgers – your basic bar food, but you know, genuinely delicious. This place gets REALLY rowdy during sports games so if that’s not your scene – steer clear until the offseason.
      28. Quickie Pickie– Think organic convenience store meets cute little coffee shop meets delicious cafe. Since first trying their coffee and food, I’ve been back 4 times with friends for brunch/lunch, and stopped in for the random grocery need. This place embodies Austin for me, and I can’t express enough how much I LOVE it.
      29. Thunderbird Coffee – A lot of seating, fast internet, delicious coffee. It’s the trifecta for coffee shops.
      30. Polvos – AMAZING Mexican food. Get some margaritas and order the queso. It comes with the mix ins that you can add yourself so everyone’s queso can be just the way they like it.

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Take me out to the date night

Summer is in our rear view mirror, and with it, baseball season. So, a few weeks ago Josh and I drove up to Round Rock to see the Round Rock Express play! I normally hate beer, but at a baseball game, it seems so de rigueur and it was actually delicious. We had no idea that tickets to a Triple-A game would be so affordable, I think we paid $16 each, which left plenty of date night money for beer, hot-dogs and peanuts. It was a blast! Come next April, especially if you have a local Triple-A team near you, consider heading out to a game instead of dinner & a movie. I guarantee, you’ll love it.


Tapas & Wine Bar

A couple nights ago Josh and I made our way over to WineBelly, a wine and tapas bar just south of downtown. We were there for a low-key, last minute date night and this was the ideal place. From the wine-based cocktails that we ordered (I recommend the ella fitzgerald) to the perfectly balanced meat and cheese plates that we split. Everything was delicious and really affordable compared to other tapas places I’ve been to. The vibe was chill and cozy without feeling cramped. Our waitress was so sweet, knowledgeable and helpful while we were making up our minds on what to order. I’m sure Josh’s delightful company didn’t hurt- but the next time you’re in the mood for tapas and some delicious wine I highly recommend this spot. Check it out at 519 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704


vegan fare in atx

Just a few miles east of downtown Austin there exists an oasis of delicious food vegan called Counter Culture. I’ve been vegan sporadically during different parts of my life and vegan food holds a very special place in my heart.IMG_0156.JPGIMG_0153.JPGIMG_0154.JPGIMG_0152.JPGIMG_0155.JPGSo, the other day Josh took me on a wonderful date night to this amazing restaurant. We both had the basil lemonade that they make with basil but they grow in their own garden. I have a raw version of vegan ravioli with a vegan Cesar salad and roasted root vegetables. Josh had an vegan version of what they called baked “chicken fried steak” but it looked more like meatloaf with smashed lima beans (sounds weird but was delicious) all covered in delicious vegan gravy. We finished our night out by splitting a piece of raw avocado vegan key lime pie. Our waitress was the cutest thing you’ve ever seen and super knowledgeable about everything vegan and especially about everything on the menu. So, if you’re ever near Austin and jonesing for some amazing raw and/or vegan fare make your way over to Counter Culture at 2337 E Cesar Chavez St.


moonshine patio bar & grill

I’m pretty sure that moonshine patio bar and grille was made up of the combined dreams of Josh and Myself. It has this classic vibe, SERIOUS comfort food, hand made drinks even Don Draper would approve of, like an old-fashioned; not to mention popcorn (josh’s favorite thing) instead of bread waiting at your table when you arrive. The special that night was shrimp & grits, which is what I ordered and it was worth every penny. Josh got the chicken and waffles and he was a very happy man. I got a margarita and Josh got an old fashioned. There were no TV’s to distract us, making this an ideal date night destination.
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We may have left weighing 1,000 pounds more than when we came in, but this place will change your life. We will be back.


Moonshine Bar & Grill: 303 Red River Street Austin, TX 78701

Hillside Farmacy

After instagram stalking this lovely little eatery for months and months, I finally live close enough (read: in the same state) to actually eat there. Yay! Hillside Farmacy on East 11th in Austin is one of the greatest places I’ve ever eaten. The everything is local, come as you are, vibe isn’t uncommon here in Austin – but it’s executed to perfection here. It is so choice, if you have the means, I highly recommend it. 

We will be back. Probably soon.

Some Dive

One thing is certain, here in Austin, there is no shortage of dive bars. I love it. So many little communities of beer connoisseurs, in their very own episode of cheers. I am also lucky enough that after a long day at the office, my husband still wants to hang out with me, and not just ‘the guys’ (who he will eventually have a very large local group of, I’m sure). So, the other night Josh picked me up after work, we drove around and found some bar, in a strip mall, that wasn’t very clearly named and just hung out. Had some drinks, deep fried foods, and awesome conversation.20140604-171236-61956165.jpg20140604-171236-61956961.jpg20140604-171238-61958712.jpg20140604-171237-61957776.jpg
I am a very very very lucky girl.