Undoubtedly the hippest place in the Lone Star State.
South Congress Cafe [b/l/d]: New American fare and the perfect pit-stop for exploring South Congress. The Carrot Cake French Toast with pecan syrup was TDF.
Amy’s Ice Creams: Try to eat it without it melting all over your hand. I dare you.
Torchy’s Tacos [mexican]: Can’t really go wrong with any selection, but I recommend the Democrat, Green Chile Pork, Mr. Orange, and the Crossroads.
Terry Black’s Barbecue [bbq]: After the morning at Barton Springs we stumbled across this place in the search for smokey meats. No frills cafeteria-style serving and overly southern decor perfectly suited the fact we were in bikinis and tank tops. Sampled all the meats thanks to a friendly server – maybe thanks to our bikinis?
Korean Komfort Food Trailer [food truck]: Casual food truck close to the UT campus, solid option for a quick dinner if you’re staying in the area.
6th Street: If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, 6th street is like a wider, more spacious version of Bourbon Street. Country bars, shot bars, mechanical bulls are all viable options for your night.
Rainey Street: The slightly more chill, hipster alternative to 6th. Old houses converted to bars, many with outdoor areas.
South Congress: Hip area dotted with quirky thrift shops and food joints. Come hungry and stop at any one of the food trucks in between buying knick-knacks.
Barton Springs Pool: Literally like an oasis in the desert, this spring-fed pool stays a temperate 68F (20C) year-round. Get there early (I think before 12?) in the summer to avoid paying an entry fee.
Graffiti Park at Castle Hills: Verticals of cement painted with street-art. Catch it at sunset for a great view over downtown Austin.
Whole Foods: Worth a stop at their flagship store, which features in-store wine bar, beer on tap, juicery, taco and pizza bars…. and so much more.
University of Texas at Austin: Get the true southern experience and catch a Longhorns football game. Tailgates are abundant south of the stadium, where free barbecue and beer flow when you make friends with the right people.
Hotel San José: This place embodies the hippest vibes of Austin. Rooms are perfectly furnished with polished cement floors, wooden accents, and the best hotel shampoo I’ve ever used.
Drifter Jack’s Hostel: Austin continues with its trend of “bests” with this budget-friendly hostel. The most social hostel I’ve been to in the U.S., you’ll leave with friends from around the globe (mostly, Aussies).