Austin Recommendations

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SunshinePoke

Hard Headed
A/V Subscriber
Feb 23, 2011
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Austin, TX
#21
Best craft coffee: Fleet (if you know, you know)

BBQ: Try La Barbecue ... it's getting busier all the time

Breakfast: Magnolia Cafe

Milkshake and a Beer (and maybe a movie): Alamo Draft House ... don't have to watch a movie to enjoy their amazing shakes and/or a barley pop

Jim-Jim's Water-Ice on 6th is an iconic little hole in the wall (literally just a service window) if you have kids wanting a treat or just crave a sno-cone in the Texas heat.

Cool place to have a beer: Yeti flagship store. Yeah, it's just the expensive tumblers and coolers, but a nice deck where you can drink a cold one. Just south of the bat bridge on Congress.

Beer: Ginger Man has tons of offerings and is a low-key place to hang out ... lots of other places off of 6th Street. Sixth is overrated, imo ... or maybe I'm getting old. But it's kind of a seedy dump. Better options not far away.

Banger's Sausage House on Rainey is really good no frills spot, but you may end up fighting the crowds as Rainey has become a super popular strip.
I thought Ginger Man closed.
 
Apr 13, 2007
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#22
If it were me I would pick another game to attend. I might check if there are any shuttles from San Marcos.
 

Rob B.

I'm......Batman.
A/V Subscriber
Aug 13, 2007
46,301
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Rockin' the GL.
#24
Breakfast: Kerbey Lane cafe should be on your docket. Don’t skimp the queso and chips even for breakfast. Best queso in town. Add the guacamole. You’ll thank me later (or probably not.. cuz.. I’m me).

Juan in a Million is the best breakfast in town. Real Mexican food. Not stupid texmex stuff. The real deal. Order a Don Juan breakfast taco with extra tortillas. It’s packed so full everything falls out and boom... ya got another taco.

Lunch/dinner: The Salty Sow has the best happy hour in town. The entire menu is discounted and the drinks and food are redonkulous. Don’t miss the duck fat fries and the Moscow Sow (their version of the mule). Also their entire charcuterie board is made in house.

Food trucks: go there. Go to any you can find. If you can’t speak Spanish, at least learn to speak taco. If the people there can’t speak English, then you’re in for a treat. The trucks/stands are heavily regulated and are all up to code. I went to a pastor stand off the east end of congress last time I was three. No one spoke a lick of English. Pastor was carved straight off a vertical spit and there was one guy whose job was solely to clean. This ain’t your grandpas food trucks or stands. Go for it.


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Perfect example of why you should be restricted to posting in B&F. You don't even troll good.
 
Mar 31, 2011
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#25
I haven't been since the illustrious 2011 season, but I'd hit up Round Rock Donuts on your way down and get the huge donut. Delicious and starts your day off with a feeling of accomplishment.

Definitely Juan in a Million for breakfast tacos. We also went to Kerbey Lane and it was good, but it didn't change my life.

Hula Hut was cool on the lake, but I don't recall the food being anything to write home about (might be a chain?).

We parked at a bar where the OSU tailgate was and shuttled to campus for the game. I'm drawing a blank on the bar name right now, but they were good people.
 
Oct 7, 2015
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St. Elmo, CO
#27
La BBQ is no where near the top. Last time I visited, the brisket was fatty, tougher than most I've been to and not that impressive. In any other city, it would be one of the best, but not in Austin. It's overrated.

Now, Mickelthwait is better (IMO) and just down the street from Franklin. It's no brick and mortar place, so outside dining (covered) is your only option. However, they have the best side dishes of them all. The jalapeno/cheddar cheese grits and poppyseed slaw blow other boring, typical BBQ sides away. That's worth the visit.

East Austin is booming. Many bars to hang out in the 5th, 6th and 7th street areas. More local flavor than Dirty 6th.
Rainey Street is happening with tons of live music, bars, food trucks and restaurant options. Sunday is Funday on Rainey and West 6th so if you're still in town, tear it down. It gets started around noon on Rainey.

Hula Hut on the lake is a great place for scenery. The food is okay, but it's a good place to grab a drink on Lake Austin. There's a couple of other places right next door, but their reputations are not stellar.

Other great views at County Line BBQ On The Hill overlooks the Hill Country to the west. Great patio for sunsets and there's an OSU fan/server, Nathan, out there that would love to hear a "Go Pokes!" for everyone.

The Oasis is much farther out, but probably the best sunset view over Lake Travis one could possibly see. It's just about a mile from Hippy Hollow so after you get your skinny dip on (and it's not all gay -- just people that like to free swim and sunbathe).

Near Barton Springs pool (there's a free side, too) are a few places to grab food and drink: Chuy's, Shady Grove, Green Mesquite BBQ, Juliet. Farther down is El Alma, Terry Black's BBQ, Uchi for sushi on S. Lamar.
Take a walk on the bike/hike path from the pool toward the pedestrian bridge for a premier photo op of Downtown Austin and Lady Bird Lake looking toward the west.
 
Sep 26, 2011
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#30
Trudy's, the Cholua Honey Chicken is devine.
I like Kerby Lane, their fall seasonal stuff is good, as well as the fried chicken green chili mac n cheese. P. Terry's is a cool little burger chain too. Those are my usual spots when I spend a weekend in Austin.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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Texas
#31
Breakfast tacos at pretty much any non-chain Mexican restaurants are a must. If you find yourself down south, you've got to get to Valentina's BBQ for breakfast AND lunch. Also, I know it's a bit of a tourist trap now, but I'll never get over the Don Juan taco at Juan in a Million.

As others have said, La Barbeque is just as good to me as Franklin's and a shorter wait. If you're north of downtown I'd reccomend Stiles Switch BBQ.

Not much of a drinker anymore, so can't say much on that front. Rainey Street used to be my area, but that's blown up like the rest of Austin.

And FYI, the Pecan Street Festival is going on this weekend. So all weekend most of 6th Street is going to be filled with crafts and art booths, live music, food, etc. Could make for a good detour is you're willing to handle all the traffic added on to the norm.

Tailgating is spread throughout random parking lots and grassy areas near the stadium. Were always friendly to me in the past and the harshest insults I've gotten are that I'm wearing the wrong shade of orange.
These are good recommendations, and if you're ever in doubt on which BBQ place to go, consult Daniel Vaughn.

The Skylark Lounge is a pretty awesome spot for some jazz. I like Fareground for the variety of food, and if you don't get to Austin a lot, they have several stalls from some really good restaurants (Contigo, Dai Due, etc.). Probably not what most people are after, but if you have time or the means, Odd Duck or Emmer & Rye are great options for nicer meals and drinks. Other places I'd recommend: Loro, Noble Pig (RIP the beef tongue sandwich) Suerte, and then Better Half or Launderette for brunch.

Pinthouse Pizza has a huge beer list and good pizza (Via 313 has better pizza though and is on Rainey). Banger's has a big beer list and some decent food on Rainey. Lick has some of the best ice cream around.
 
Jan 5, 2015
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#32
Besplat BBQ hands down is Franklin, but it's hard to get into. Next best is Terry Black's on Barton Springs Road.
I've tried them all and these two are the best. Franklin's is a OMG good brisket, but Black's has great BBQ and it has a better line system so you don't have to wait for 3 hours.

Best tacos by far: Valentina's on Manchaca (S. Austin). The bbq brisket is to die for. And their burger was Guy's favorite on D,D and Ds.
Veracruz has a couple of truck locations (E. Austin, S. Austin near Radio Coffee and Beer). their tacos are awesome and award winning.

Best Pizza is Home Slice on S. Congress. Best in Austin. East Side Pies is meh.

Best breakfast: Juan In A Million, Magnolia Cafe (S. Congress and in Tarrytown).
Best breakfast taco: The Dirty Sanchez at Torchy's (all locations)

All around food: Jack Allen's
Best place to try: Odd Duck on S. Lamar. Really creative, awesome food.

Threadgill's on N. Burnett is the only place for Chicken Fried Steak. The South Austin store is gone.

Guerros', Matt's El Rancho, Juan In A Million (closes at 3pm), Maudie's for Tex-Mex. Guerro's has the best atmosphere.

Party on West 6th for a better looking crowd than Dirty 6th.
East Austin has the White Horse for some good, country dancing and also The Broken Spoke on S. Lamar is a classic honky-tonk.

That should keep you.
Another pretty good set of recommendations, but what we doing recommending Torchy's in Austin. Also, you can preorder at Franklin's if you order 5 pounds.
 
Dec 6, 2011
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#33
6th Street is where all the restaurants and bars are near campus. Large alumni group from OSU live or work in Austin and they will be tailgating and OSU Alumni Association should have a tailgate party.
Do not go to sixth street...at least the parts between The Driskill and I35...it’s become a somewhat dangerous frat boy and homeless scene. If you want to go to a place where you have to yell all night standing arsehole to elbow with a drink in your hand that took 30m waiting at the bar to get, then whoop it up on ‘dirty sixth’.

If you want to stay in that general downtown area then I’d recommend the Kung Fu Saloon/Dogwood/Key Bar part of 6th (west of the dirty sixth part). Kung Fu has arcade machines as a fun diversion.

Closer to the stadium is Scholz Garten which has been a mainstay of pre-game here for ages, it’ll be massively crowded but it’s a large place and an Austin thing I suppose.

If you want a little more laid back atmosphere but still downtown, Rainey Street is covered with bars like Lustre Pear where you can grab a game of Jenga or Craft Pride with a ton of local Texas beer...512 Pecan Porter is something I’m addicted to. There’s good street food down there too with G’Raj Mahal and Bangers. If you want to try some upscale food but can’t stomach the wait or prices at Uchi, our second favorite restaurant in Austin is also on Rainey called Emmer and Rye...love that place. Do not even think about driving on Rainey yourself.

I made fun of The Domain when it opened, a North Austin mixed development...but the Rock Rose area there is our go to for ‘we want to walk about and drink/eat but don’t feel like facing downtown.’ There’s a Kung Fu Saloon there too. We watched the Texas/LSU game at Yard House and it was great, not very Austin-y but after a day getting squashed around campus tailgating it was nice to chill out.

Otherwise catch a Master Pancake show at The Drafthouse while comedians make fun of movies as you drink and eat. Check out the bats at sunset under Congress bridge. Take a day trip out to Jester King, or see whoever is playing at Stubbs/Emos/etc...I lived at Stubbs my first decade here but ACL Moody theater is my preferred venue now (the racetrack sucks).

I haven’t read the whole thread so probably wrote a novel that repeats what others have said...but wanted to jump in to clarify on which parts of sixth I’d recommend for anyone over 25 years old...and maybe you can cross reference places we all mentioned to narrow your list.
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2008
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Austin, Tx
#34
Margaritas: El Alma - They'll hit you hard. Food is also solid, especially the tacos.

Drinking Spots: Check out Rainey St. Will be much more tame than E. 6th. West 6th. is also really nice with lots of bar options. Key is to find a place in the A/C.

BBQ: La BBQ is who I'd recommend. Owner came up through Franklin's and is definitely that caliber, you can pre-order and skip the line. Going to disagree with the poster above on Cooper's. It's much better out of their Llano location.

Mexican: Matt's El Rancho is always a good time. Food won't be top but way better than you'll get anywhere north of the Red River.

Pizza: If you're on Rainey Street check out the Detroit Style Pizza trailer in the back of Craft Pride. It's called Via 313.
Good suggestion on the drinking spots. Avoid East 6th Street.

Bad suggestion on Mexican. You can do waaaaay better than Matt's, though it is a landmark

Terrible suggestion on pizza unless you are into 90% crust. I can't even believe Detroit style pizza is a thing it's so bad. Actually, it's not bad, it's just not pizza. It's like a thick piece of bread with some marinara sauce on it and some toppings.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#36
Good suggestion on the drinking spots. Avoid East 6th Street.

Bad suggestion on Mexican. You can do waaaaay better than Matt's, though it is a landmark

Terrible suggestion on pizza unless you are into 90% crust. I can't even believe Detroit style pizza is a thing it's so bad. Actually, it's not bad, it's just not pizza. It's like a thick piece of bread with some marinara sauce on it and some toppings.
Normally I would agree with you on the Detroit style pizza. Then we happened into the Brown Dog in Telluride. I hate this hackneyed expression, but... Oh...my...God. Nirvana on a squareish pan. Still not a favorite, but there is good Detroit style out there.

Anyway, the crust thing is why I like East Side Pies in Austin. All the good stuff of your choice with a crust just thick enough to hold everything in place.
 
Oct 22, 2008
2,714
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Austin, Tx
#37
Normally I would agree with you on the Detroit style pizza. Then we happened into the Brown Dog in Telluride. I hate this hackneyed expression, but... Oh...my...God. Nirvana on a squareish pan. Still not a favorite, but there is good Detroit style out there.

Anyway, the crust thing is why I like East Side Pies in Austin. All the good stuff of your choice with a crust just thick enough to hold everything in place.
Interesting. I'm a lover of pizza so if I ever get a chance to try Detroit style again, I'd probably have a piece just to try to figure out what the attraction is. Chicago style? Not my thing, I'm a thin crust guy. But I definitely see the attraction and I ate the hell out of it when I was in Chicago. But this Detroit stuff was just weird. Maybe it was just Via311 that I don't get and most Detroit style pizza is better. It just seemed like it was all bread with a little cheese and sauce. I'm going to Google Detroit style pizza because, dammit!, I love pizza and I don't like the thought of there being a style out there that I don't like.

Ok, back to sports and stuff.