Brit’s Guide to Austin

Brit’s Guide to Austin

Austin has been my home for a year now. When we moved in March of 2020, the world seemed to be crumbling around us and it took me a while to get acquainted with the city. But now, a little more than a year since we moved, I feel like I’m fully at home here and want to share my favorite parts of the city with all of you.

If you’ve been following me for a while or follow my Instagram account, you’ll know that I’m a pretty big foodie. So it’s only fitting that I start off this list by talking about my favorite restaurants in Austin. I broke this one up into two categories–my favorite places for brunch and lunch and another one for my favorite dinners in Austin. I did this because Austin is very vibey. I usually enjoy places with great patios more during the daytime and a sophisticated interior for the evening. So here we go!

Clark’s, Josephine House, Aba

Whether you’re visiting Austin for a quick weekend or live here full time, you’ll want to check these brunch/lunch spots out. I personally live for a Saturday brunch or long, bougie lunch during the week and Austin has the dreamiest restaurants that were basically made to do just that. First things first, Clark’s is my Mecca. I live for everything about Clark’s. In my eyes, they can do no wrong–even though most of their seating is now in their parking lot and it backs up to king of a noisy street, I just love it! Order yourself a bottle of wine, oysters and some shoestring fries and just enjoy your day! Truly the best.

I also love Josephine House and Aba for lunch and brunch. I will say that Josephine House is more of a vibe place for me than great food, but it is lovely and so nice for a girls brunch. Now Aba is a totally different story. They have the best patio in Austin, in my opinion, and incredible food! If you go, make sure you’re sitting outside and order some cocktails, the lamb ragu hummus, the whipped feta and the hamachi.

Jeffrey’s, ATX Cocina, Launderette

When it comes to dinner, I live for these three spots. They are totally different cuisine wise and by occasion. If you’re looking for a good, somewhat casual dinner, I would definitely recommend Launderette. Located in the up-and-coming East Austin, this spot is very hip and the food makes me feel like I’m hanging out in the south of France. When we go, I order the Brussel Sprouts, whole fish and french fries.

If you’re looking for an upscale, cosmopolitan Mexican restaurant, look no further than ATX Cocina. Our friends took us for the first time when we were preparing to move to Austin and we go back all the time now! In addition to having the coolest interior, they also have incredible cocktails, an impressive wine list and AMAZING food! We always get the chips and guac (duh), the octopus, the queso fundido and the pork tomahawk.

For special occasions and VERY romantic date nights, you have to go to Jeffrey’s. The Austin staple is located in Old Clarksville (the cutest neighborhood in Austin) and has the most sophisticated and cozy interior of any restaurant in town. If you can, ask to be seated in one of the booth enclaves. Pre-pandemic, Jeffrey’s was known for their martini cart–where they would make you a martini table side. I can say even without the cart, the martinis are incredible and not to be missed. Once your mini-time is over, take a look at their impressive wine list (we love the Ch√Ęteauneuf-du Pape and Frog’s Leap) and literally anything on the menu. The steaks are SO good and the sides and starters don’t disappoint either. Jeffrey’s is the nicest restaurant in Austin and probably the most expensive too. If you’re looking to save some money, but have a great experience, go on a Sunday night when their entire wine list is half off!!

Thank the lord Austin is such an active town so I have a chance to walk off all of the food I eat here! When we moved to Austin last March, pretty much the only thing that was open was the trail around Town Lake and I pretty much went every day. The Trail Foundation made a huge effort to make the trail safe to all during the pandemic and it was such a solace for me. I still walk it regularly now with Charlie and we also love to go paddle boarding on the lake! It is such a fun workout and you and your significant other/friends can pack a picnic on the water by connecting your boards and floating together.

Although we have lived in Texas for more than seven years, we never really explored anything outside of Houston and Dallas until we moved to Austin. We have barely scratched the surface when it comes to visiting all of the Lone Star state, but we have totally fallen in love with the Texas Hill Country and wineries. The best part is that most of these within an hour of Austin so we can do a quick day trip or have a nice weekend away. Our favorite places in the Hill Country so far are Round Top, Dripping Springs and Fredericksburg.

Enjoying the day at Signor Vineyards in Fredericksburg.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Austin Favorites! What are your favorite things to do in Austin? Leave me a comment and let me know!

XO,

Brit

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

Brit’s Summer Travel Series: Austin, Texas

For the third stop on Brit’s Summer Travel Series, we are heading to the Lone Star state! Until a few months ago, I was just a visitor to Austin, not a resident. Through my visits to Austin over the years and after living here for a while, I have learned a few things about the capital of Texas and am sharing them with you for your next visit!

I’ve always thought Austin is where Texas meets L.A., and it’s crazy to think that nestled in the rolling hills of Texas, there is a burgeoning tech hub with chic restaurants and more outdoor activities than you can imagine. The first thing to figure out for your trip is where to stay and Austin hotels do not disappoint.

The coolest hotel in my opinion is the Hotel Saint Cecilia. This boutique hotel is in the heart of the city, just off of South Congress and a quick jump across Lady Bird Lake from downtown. If you’re interested in proximity to town, the South Congress Hotel and W Austin are both great options.

The Commodore Perry Estate is brand new and I haven’t had a chance to visit yet, but it looks incredible! Auberge Resorts brought the nearly one hundred-year-old Commodore Perry mansion back to life and the storied estate looks better than ever.

Austin’s restaurants are as delicious as they are well designed. My absolute favorite restaurant has to be Clark’s Oyster Bar. It is my vibe to a tee and the food is SO good! If you are a seafood lover like me, then this is the place for you. My husband and I love going for dinner together and it’s also a wonderful brunch spot with your girlfriends! I’m not sure if there is anything better than a dozen oysters with Clark’s famous French fries and a glass of one of their many fabulous wines. Their sister-restaurant, Perla’s, is also fabulous and is a larger space if you’re looking for a group outing.

If you’re interested in Mexican food or TexMex, ATX Cocina and Matt’s el Rancho are my favorites. Matt’s el Rancho is more traditional and great for larger groups and families… you can’t leave without getting the Bob Armstrong Dip! ATX Cocina is a gorgeous restaurant in downtown and they serve modern Mexican food and delicious margaritas.

For sushi, we prefer Soto on South Lamar, we love going for happy hour and getting the Chef’s Choice–it’s five pieces of some of the most amazing and innovative sushi I’ve ever had! We also can’t get enough of Sway…I think about their Blue Crab Fried Rice all of the time and the design of all of their restaurants is just so cool.

For lighter fare with subtle French vibes, I highly recommend Launderette and June’s All Day. The food is incredible and again, the vibe will not disappoint. If you’re looking for the most romantic spot in Austin, I suggest Mattie’s. The food is described as southern and it is delicious. But the setting in out of this world. The restaurant is in an old mansion and the grounds have the most beautiful oak trees that have…Peacocks in them! It is so wonderful and perfect for a date night or special occasion.

Austin is known for its taco scene and for good reason. We are still working on this list, but trying out taco trucks and restaurants in Austin has been one of my favorite things to do with my husband since we’ve moved here. If you’re not interested in driving around to look for a taco-focused restaurant, but still want a taco, you’re in luck. I’ve noticed all of the coffee shops here also sell breakfast tacos, which is something I am more than okay with!

The activities in Austin are endless and if you love the outdoors, you will be in heaven here! Unlike many other parts of Texas, Austin is jam-packed with lakes, rivers, hiking trails and plenty of bike lanes!

Whether you’re a Texan looking for a weekend getaway or from out-of-state, Austin will be the perfect destination for you! Come back next week to see Brit’s next stop on the Summer Travel Series!

XO,

Brit