Gaby’s Guide to Austin, TX

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I’ve been obsessed with Austin for the last 10+ years and there’s no sign of it ending anytime soon.

Each time I visit this fun/weird/awesome city there’s a new restaurant that I love, a new bar with killer cocktails, or a new kind of doughnut that is sure to rock my world! So after my most recent stint in Austin, there is more to add to my guide! Matt (my bff) and I took the city by storm and ate EVERYTHING! Details on where to eat / drink / stay below!

To Eat/Drink:

Odd Duck – what was one an epic food trailer in Austin is now a brick and mortar serving up delicious meals made from scratch and sourced from local farmers. 100% on board.

Elizabeth Street Cafe – It’s almost always about tacos in Austin – but there’s room for Vietnamese food too and the best is at Elizabeth Street Cafe! Lunch or dinner – just go!

June’s – an all day wine bar. I mean, it’s so on brand it hurts!!

Irene’s – if you love a biscuit, than a trip here is mandatory!!

Josephine – my favorite setting in all of Austin!! It can’t be beat.

Grizzeldas – upscale Mexican food with killer margs!

Launderette – You’d never expect this converted gas station/Laundromat to be one of the best restaurants in town but it certainly is! And the food is out of this world, as is the wine list.

Sway – easily the best Thai food I’ve ever had in my life AND they serve locally brewed kombucha.

Torchy’s – fried avocado tacos and the queso. That’s all you need to know. It’s perfection.

Contigo – go for the beer, stay for the charcuterie!

Fareground – a handful of Austin eateries all under one roof! Plus wifi so you can work from here and graze all day!

Blender and Bowls – If you need a break from all the tacos and queso, take a break here for a breakfast bowl or smoothie! It’s right smack in the middle of downtown, so perfect if you need breakfast before an event.

Veracruz All Natural – MIGAS!!! And Breakfast Tacos! The best breakfast ever.

Home Slice – You all know I go out of my way for pizza – and Home Slice is no exception.

Frankin BBQ – BBQ joints in Austin have cult like followings, and I’m partial to Franklin! It’s a must-visit if you’ve never been. Here’s the deal… go early. Right after breakfast, and then wait in line for a few hours until you get to the front and can order up a storm. Bring your friends, a game, or something fun to pass the time because it’s well worth the wait!

Uchiko – Japanese Farmhouse style dining at Uchiko is going to cost you a pretty penny but it’s going to be one of the best meals you’ll eat in town! Tyson Cole, owner and mastermind behind Uchiko and Uchi, along with his wicked staff of chefs will impress you from start to finish!

The Clay Pit – Just because we’re in Austin doesn’t mean we’re going to eat tacos the entire time (although I totally could if given the opportunity!) The Clay Pit is one of my favorite stops for some seriously great Indian Food. It’s the perfect place to take a big group of friends (who aren’t afraid of some spice) and chow down. Just be sure to ask for extra sides of each sauce, because they are so good you’ll want to drink them!

East Side King – This outstanding food truck is my go-to for late night dining. Their Thai Chicken Karaage and Poor Quis Buns are out of this world. Plus it’s situated right out back to a bar if you need a cocktail or two to accompany your meal.

Buffalina Pizza – hands down my favorite place for artisan pizza in Austin. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu and the restaurant itself is so cute! It’s perfect for a date night or a group outting! Just be sure you leave plenty of time to wait for a table because they are always packed!

Amy’s Ice Cream – Summer time in Austin is HOT!! And I grew up in Arizona so I can handle the heat. But a stop at Amy’s is pretty much the perfect way to cool down. Opt for a double scoop, it’s the right thing to do!

Tacodeli – Go for the breakfast taco, but be sure to order just about everything else they make. I think breakfast tacos need to be a way of life across the world, and Tacodeli needs to lead that movement! The Migas Taco is pretty much the best thing ever invented!

Gourdoughs Doughnuts – This place will literally knock your socks off. They are the creators of some of the most inventive doughnuts I’ve ever seen or tried and it’s absolutely not to be missed if you have any kind of sweet tooth! My personal favorite are Miss Shortcake (a strawberry shortcake doughnut doused in cream cheese icing and plenty of fresh strawberries), and Granny’s Pie (Caramel, Pecans, Bananas & Graham Cracker slathered over a doughnut)

La Condessa – Happy Hour at La Condessa is quite the scene and the cocktails are fun! They also have some of the best chips and salsa in town! (that’s coming from the professional chips and salsa eater in me!!)

City Guide // Austin, Texas

City Guide / Austin, TX

To Stay:

Hotel San Jose – without a doubt this is my favorite hotel in Austin… and probably all of Texas. Plus the happy hour here is BEYOND. Their seasonal sangria is what my dreams are made of!

Hotel Saint Cecilia – St. Cecilia is the sister hotel to San Jose, so it goes without saying how wonderful it is! It’s a bit more posh and swanky, and extra fab and totally worth it if you want to splurge!

City Guide: Austin Texas

City Guide // Austin

Hotel San Jose: Austin, TX

Hotel San Jose: Austin, TX

Hotel San Jose: Austin, TX

Hotel San Jose: Austin, TX


  1. I love love love Austin! La Condesa’s margaritas are fantastic too. I really hope you tried Cuvee Coffee somewhere…?

  2. I’ve lived in Austin for 5 years now, and I don’t ever regret moving here. I love your list, and I completely agree. Have you been to Blue Dahlia or Sway? Also Paul Qui’s new restaurant just opened, and I am dying to try it QuiAustin.

  3. Yay Austin is the best! It’s usually not as humid as it’s been lately I swear. I second Hotel St. Cecilia- their bar is adorable and a little more off the beaten path. La Condesa does make the best cocktails ever- and their elotes are so delicious! Really all the food in austin is awesome. You can’t go wrong!

  4. It makes me so happy that you love Austin so much! It’s such an amazing city. And La Condesa.. mmm! So delicious, every time. I’m excited for your sister to become an Austinite!

  5. Austin and the Hotel San Jose are so, so effortlessly cool! Tell me you walked up S. Congress and had the migas at Geuero’s! Yummmmmmm…

  6. I am totally smitten with Austin too! Love your recap, and I can’t wait to go back and stay at Hotel San Jose! I am so there!

  7. Fingers crossed that we randomly bump into one another in Austin because I may have a teensy girl-crush on you. 🙂 In a totally non-creepy way, promise!! #Austinite

  8. I was just in Austin and fell in LOVE! I also stayed at Hotel San Jose! I’m trying to convince hubby for us to move there 😉

  9. Thank you for posting this – very helpful. For 2016, are there any updated recommendations in Austin, Texas you recommend we stay at or visit?

    1. Updating this next week!! Here are my current favorites!

      Veracruz – Migas
      Home Slice
      Amy’s Ice Cream
      Odd Duck
      Taco Deli
      Elizabeth Street Cafe
      La Condessa – margaritas
      Sway – get EVERYTHING
      Franklins BBQ – brave the line and get everything
      Licha’s Cantina – chips and guacamole
      Torchy’s Tacos – queso
      The Clay Pit – family style indian food
      Buffalina – Pizza
      Uchi – best Sushi ever
      Blender and Bowls
      East Side King – Brussels

    2. We just moved back to upstate NY after a handful of years in Austin. Man, do we miss it, but summer is killer up here. We miss the breakfast tacos the most. 🙂

      Anyway, all the places you mention are on our list too! But also:
      Whip In
      Jack Allen’s Kitchen (weekly staple for us)
      Salty Sow

  10. We love Olamaie – they take comfort food to an incredible level of delight and delicious! Their biscuits are melt in your mouth perfect!

  11. I lived in Austin 33 years but moved to Seattle a few years ago to escape the heat. I go back yearly to visit. Your list is great, lots of Austin classics plus some newer restaurants. I recommend trying Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza in far SW Austin which shares grounds with Jester King Brewery. Both are great venues. As much as I would love to try Franklin’s BBQ I’ve never had the patience to wait in that line. One of these days…

  12. I live in this great city and next time you are here you need to go to Loro! It is owned by Tyson Cole (Uchi & Uchiko) and the owner of Franklin’s BBQ!!! It is hands down my new favorite restaurant in Austin!

  13. Have been to several of the places you wrote about and you are spot on with your recommendation. Love the Hotel San Jose!!

  14. You must try Trudy’s Texas Star Cafe!! It was our Sunday (hangover fix) staple when I went to UT (1980-1984). the fact that it’s still there all these years later is a testament to its yumminess. Also, you should go to The Salt Lick in Buda for BBQ!

  15. Great list!! Also, don’t miss Justine’s Brasserie (the best atmosphere for a romantic evening), Hillside Farmacy, Le Politique, Tiny Boxwoods, Lenoir, Italic, South Congress Hotel, Jeffrey’s and 24 Diner!! Great shopping at The Domain. Also good shopping at Wildflower, Sunroom, By George, Esby…so many great places in Austin!

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