Roadtripping to Austin, TX next week...
I've always wanted to visit Austin, so my wife and I are driving down there from Omaha, NE next week. We'll arrive Friday the 30th and stay in Austin through Tuesday the 3rd, so 5 nights in Austin. On Wed, Sept 4th we're driving down to South Padre. My concession since she likes to hang out on the beach...
So Friday night we are seeing Buddy Guy at Austin City Limits and Tuesday night we are seeing the Cult at the same venue. The only other things we know we want to do are see the bridge with the bats, eat at G'Raj Mahal, and go to some simulated wind-tunnel / feels like your flying without skydiving thing.
I'm totally open to suggestions on where to eat/see live music. We're 34 and 31, child-free, NOT into college / meat market bars. We like chill bars (where you can actually talk) with good beer and interesting cocktails. We like good food that isn't too expensive (BBQ/Mexican/Indian/brewpubs/breakfast places, etc) and try to avoid national chains while on vacation. As far as music, rock 'n roll, anything catchy, not so much into sleepy acoustic singer-songwriter strumming. We're staying at the Omni downtown and planned on doing a lot of walking.
Stuff we like to do when we explore new cities: mostly eating/drinking - a good pub crawl/walking tour that isn't too expensive would be excellent. Live music. Museums. Brewery/distillery/winery tours. Art galleries that aren't too abstract. Any tourist attractions that won't empty my wallet are fine. I usually avoid all-day city tours and stuff like that because they are expensive and exhausting. But anything that involves walking and drinking is fine in my book :D
We also love to meet new people with similar interests so if any TBers want to hang out, cool! (bring your spouse/SO though or bass-talk will make my wife fall asleep.)
This is great fun. We went when it had just opened. Long, high and fast ziplines, but lots of walking uphill. This one is shorter and slower, but much less walking.
Eats are easy and difficult at the same time. There are so many great, cheap, local places to eat. I'll list some of my favorites.
Franklin's (get there early, no later than 10am, and be prepared to wait)
John Mueller Meat Co.
Gordough's (fresh donuts)
Gordough's Public House (bar food with donuts)
Tam Deli - Bahn Mi
Flip Happy Crepes
Odd Duck (if open. Formerly a trailer, opening restaurant on old trailer site)
Casino El Camino on 6th for some killer burgers and that whole Rob Zombie Hellbilly Deluxe vibe. It is quite loud, but if you go upstairs and shoot some pool, it isn't as loud.
Check out a joint called lick some some amazing ice cream. You won't find all the traditional flavors at lick. But you will find cool combos like ginger mint, honey thyme, grapefruit basil, and others that are very good.
Around the corner from lick is a great place to eat, Sazon. It is not the typical Mexican food you get everywhere else, so you won't find tacos and burritos all over the menu. I recommend you try the Xni Pec (pronounced sh-knee peck) if you like spicy food.
If you venture across the bridge to take the obligatory pic with the SRV statue with downtown in the background, Sandy's Hamburgers & Frozen Custard is a cheap little greasy spoon across the street. Nothing special or expensive at all, but it's been a local staple here for what seems like forever. Also Stubbs BBQ right down the street from the Omni at 7th & Red River.
Plenty of good suggestions here already for good eats.
There are a bunch of locally owned restaraunts here, man. You can pretty much go in anyplace you don't recognize the name of and although it may not end up being your favorite, it's not going to suck.
If you're sitting at Garage Mahal and you look directly to the east across Rainey st., you will see an old yellow house that is all boarded up now. That was my home for about 10 years. My band used to practice in the middle room on the south side of the house. Lots of great memories in that place man, but alas, it is doomed to become a highrise condominium in the near future. :bawl:
I am 30, married, definitely not into the downtown/club scene, if you want to hang out sometime just let me know.
Frank Tuesday's list is pretty good!
Some other things I like around town
-Verts (doner kebap)
-Black Star Co-op (cooperatively run brewpub with great food)
-Whole Foods flagship store downtown
-Pinballz (BYOB arcade)
-Violet Crown (small, art-type movie theater downtown)
-North by Northwest (brewpub)
There are a couple of brewery tours on Friday. Real Ale is a bit of a drive, out in Blanco. Austin Beerworks has tours and they release tickets a couple of days ahead of time but they go very quickly. I am never around for the Saturday tours so I haven't done any of those.
Oh, and my favorite Indian place in town is Swad. It's tucked in a very ugly old shopping center, the inside is unimpressive, but the food is awesome.
Also since you like beer/indian, check out the Whip-In. It's Indian food and beer.
Have any of you Austin guys tried the Snack Bar on Congress? It is next to the Austin Motel. I stayed at the hotel on a business trip, and ate there. I liked it. I had the avocado quinoa.
Trudy's Texas Star, right across from The Spider House. Its texmex and everything is good. Drink a Mexi-mart and a Texas Star Limonade. You won't be disappointed.
If you like thrifting, Austin is a good place for it. Congress and Lamar, just to start, are full of awesome shops of which to find all kinds of neat stuffs.
Enjoy your visit.
I'll have to check out the Snack Bar then, haven't been.
I will +1 the Whip-in and Torchy's.
I will also say I have seen both The Cult and Buddy Guy several times and you are in for a real treat, man. If you didn't know those shows were happening and you asked what to do in Austin that week, I would say there are 2 shows you absolutely have to see. Those would be The Cult and Buddy Guy.
Based on your concert plans, you might like to see Black Joe Lewis at Waterloo Records on Sunday at 5pm.
The Harry Ransom Center is between exhibits, but they always have a Gutenberg Bible, and The First Photograph
The Blanton Museum of Art is right across the street from The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
You could start at The Contemporary, then walk to the Texas State Capitol, Bullock, Blanton and Ransom. Only 1.2 miles total. Then hop on a bus and head back downtown.
Looks like you guys have already covered my favorite restaurants in Austin proper.
If you're up for a trip a bit outside of town (30-40 minute drive), Lockhart is jam packed full of some of the best BBQ in the universe. Cute little town with to boot. I'm a personal fan of the brisket and sausage at Black's Barbecue.
Smitty's is my second favorite:
When you factor in the lines at Franklin's, driving to Lockhart may actually save you time. :)
If you take the highways from Austin to Corpus and on to Padre, you will pass through Lockhart (bbq), Luling (watermelons), Gonzales (TX history), etc. and see some country other than droning on I-37.
Then if you come back through San Antonio of course there's the Alamo, Riverwalk, etc.
Port Arthur is a cool little beach town by Corpus as well.
Yup, we'll make sure to check it out on a tuesday.
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