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!
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.
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 Châteauneuf-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.
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!