Dan and I spent a long week in and around Austin, Texas earlier this year for Dan’s cousin Claire’s wedding! It was my first time in Austin, and Dan’s first time back in years. So of course, we had to hit all of the food spots on our one totally free day in Austin! Also, the wedding was super fun and totally worth the trip!! Congratulations, Claire and Talor!
To start, Austin was awesome! We walked all over town and I really loved the small town feel of the city! We strolled though the State Capital grounds and shopped on South Congress Street, but the highlight was obviously the food and drinks! I had done some research in advance, and we had quite the itinerary when we started out Friday morning.
Our first stop was for – what else – Texas barbecue! I had initially wanted to go to Franklin Barbecue (the really famous Austin barbecue joint) but then I read about the wait and switched to Micklethwait Barbecue, which is just down the road from Franklin Barbecue. This was a good decision, as there were LINES of people waiting for Franklin Barbecue when we walked by that morning.
We arrived at Micklethwait just before opening at 11:00 a.m. There were a few people waiting in line when we arrived (maybe 10) but by 11:30 the line was quite long! Good call to get there early. We got in line and were ordering by 11:15. Surprising to us, Austin is really into food trucks, and Micklethwait is just a glorified food truck in a parking lot.
Food truck or not, the barbecue at Micklethwait is excellent! We ordered mixed barbecue plates with two sides and a lovely slice of pecan pie (although it is not as good as my Mother’s). My favorite meat was the pulled pork, but the brisket was terribly delicious as well. For sides, I LOVED my potato salad and Dan’s jalapeno grits were almost as good! Also, the pickles; they were really well done! All in all, a really great first stop!
Post-barbecue, we slooowly made our way to South Congress street for coffee at an Austin institution, Jo’s Coffee! We stopped at Jo’s Coffee’s South Congress location, and we loved its open-air seating. Definitely made us feel like we were on vacation! We both enjoyed iced lattes, which were excellent. Jo’s on South Congress is also next to an adorable retro-chic hotel called the Austin Motel. I must stay there on my next trip! This Jo’s Coffee location is also the home of the famous “love you so much” mural. There will probably be a line for photographs.
After Jo’s Coffee, Dan and I walked around and shopped a bit before eating or drinking anything more – this helped a bit… LOL. After shopping , Dan decided that he needed a margarita “since he was in Austin” (or maybe because I was shopping…) and began googling “best margarita in Austin.” This led us to the most adorable restaurant called Curra’s Grill and honestly, I wish that we had dined here because it just looked so fabulous! From the menu to the totally amazing Kelly green booths, to the tile detail. It was just totally cute! We ended up splitting four margaritas (whoopsie!). Our favorite was the avocado margarita, which is apparently one of their most popular offerings… It tasted like liquid guacamole, in a way that totally works!
After a number of margaritas (…), we walked back up to South Congress for a snack. After all, it was hot and those margaritas were strong. Our next stop was my choice – Torchy’s Tacos! Originally started as a food truck, Torchy’s is now an Austin staple and even President Obama went here! Since we had dinner reservations and had been eating all day, I went with the Trailer Park taco and Queso. My trailer park taco came with fried chicken, green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo, and cheddar jack with poblano sauce. I loved Torchy’s and my food, but I would note that it is more Tex-Mex than Mexican food!
Done with eating for the afternoon, we moved on to beer! In our research, so many people suggested that we go to Craft Pride for Texas Craft beers so we tried it! As you know, we LOVE craft beer and Craft Pride ended up being really cool and a great place to try local Texas craft beers, including the famous Yellow Rose of Texas and Jester King (but you should really try to hit the brewery if you are in Austin!). Craft Pride also has a bottle shop and a pizza food truck that comes by in the evening. We skipped the pizza truck ( SAD).
We ended our big day of eating and drinking with dinner in the North Loop at a restaurant called Fonda San Miguel. I love Mexican food and I figured that Texas is probably a good place to get real Mexican food outside of Mexico! While a bit out of tourist-central Austin, Fonda San Miguel served really good food in a fun atmosphere. It was a bit pricey for Austin, but the food and service were great and the restaurant was filled with locals! I had a few delicious margaritas and a cheese enchilada with salsa verde – my favorite!! This one was done particularly well and I would definitely go back in Austin (especially if you are looking for more Mexican than Tex-Mex food!).
Before we left Austin the next morning (for Jester King!!), we walked through Downtown Austin a little more and picked up our rental car. All in all we had a great time in Austin and I would love to go back!!
STEAL OUR TRIP
Airbnb: We stayed at this (linked) Airbnb apartment near Downtown Austin. The apartment was easy to find and was within walking distance to Downtown Austin. Uber got us everywhere else we needed to go. The apartment was fine, but, next time, I will definitely stay at the Austin Motel. It looked so, so cute when we walked by!
Micklethwait Craft Meats: 1309 Rosewood Avenue, Austin, TX. Open Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 – “till its gone.” No reservations.
Jo’s Coffee: 1300 South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX (South Congress location). Open daily 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. No reservations. There are three other Jo’s Coffee locations in Austin.
Curra’s Grill: 614 E Oltorf St., Austin, TX. Open Sunday – Thursday 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. You probably do not need a reservation.
Torchy’s Tacos: 1822 S. Congress Ave. Austin TX. We visited the South Congress location, but there are numerous locations throughout Austin (and elsewhere). The South Congress location is open Monday – Thursday 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m., Friday 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., and Sunday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. No reservations.
Craft Pride: 61 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701. T: 512-428-5571. Bar and bottle shop specializing in Texas craft beer. Monday – Friday 4:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., Saturday 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m., and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. No reservations. Food only served in the evening when a food truck stops by outside!
Fonda San Miguel: 2330 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756. T: 512-459-4121. Open Sunday 11 – 2, Monday – Thursday 5 – 9:30, and Friday and Saturday 5:00 – 10:30. Reservations recommended.
ON A BUDGET
Austin is a city, but its a lot cheaper than many cities on the East and West coasts. Austin is also a student town and there are tons of cheap eats! Of the restaurants mentioned, Torchy’s Tacos was definitely the most budget friendly!