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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Ultimate Austin Restaurant Guide

Welcome to my guide to Austin’s restaurant scene. I lived in Austin for a little over four years and while there I tried to eat at as many places as possible. Everything here is my opinion and in order for me to keep this post as short as possible (ha!) I didn’t go into huge details about each place. However, if you have any questions or if you’re headed to Austin and want more personalized recommendations, feel free to reach out here or comment below! I truly love all of these spots and hope you do too - xoxo darling, Hayden.

Hyde Park Bar & Grill


1886 Cafe & Bakery

1886 Cafe & Bakery 

Located in the historic Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin, this cafe is absolutely magical. The
soaring ceilings, bright green doors and European stylings lend to making this an ideal breakfast/brunch spot. Have the Austin American Breakfast or the Texas Pecan Waffle (it’s shaped like Texas).

Baby A’s

This was a big spot for my spirit group to have brunch on our adopted street, Barton Springs Road. I would highly recommend the breakfast
Baby A's
tacos and a signature Purple Margarita. They limit you to two, that’s how strong they are!


Ahhh, one of the most Instagrammed/visited places in Austin. I love Banger’s at any time, for dinner or drinks or brunch. Get a Manmosa, it’s massive and wonderful, or opt for a beer because their selection is magnificent. Have the Chicken Sausage & Waffles - I adore it and sit outside!

Blue Dahlia 

Blue Dahlia
An East Austin brunch spot that I didn’t try until the week of graduation (everyone continued to recommend it, I was just stubborn or too busy). It’s very beloved and the sweet Belgian waffles are just like you would get in Brussels. Plus, it’s just an adorable spot for brunch any day of the week. Oh! And get a Cafe au Lait - it’s just like Paris!
Counter Cafe
The best friend and I “discovered” this spot our sophomore year on Lamar (they have another in East Austin) and fell in
love. To this day it’s one of my all time favorite breakfast spots - it also has both French and Pigott parental approval. Everything is super fresh, have the special of the day or the eggs any style. If you can, sit outside and people watch on Lamar. 
Chez Zee
If you have someone visiting Austin or need to plan a brunch event, Chez Zee is your best bet. They have private rooms and something on the menu for everyone. Prepare to be absolutely stuffed! I don’t like French toast but the Crème Brûlée French Toast is to DIE FOR.

Dan’s Hamburgers

Wait...it says hamburger in the name...how is it breakfast? Dan’s has been an Austin thing since the 1970s and is a classic spot if you need to get your stuff together early in the morning. My dad and I like to get a basic breakfast before heading out for the day.

Elizabeth Street Cafe

Elizabeth Street Cafe
Let me start by saying this is one of the most aesthetically pleasing spots in Austin. Everything about the restaurant is gorgeous and then you get to the food. I’m a sucker for a Vietnamese coffee and the Breakfast Banh Mi (house baked baguette, mayo, sambal, jalapeno, scrambled eggs and ginger sausage). The best friend loved the house baked brioche French toast that comes with sweetened condensed milk ice cream and blueberry Thai basil compote. I would highly recommend this spot for taking your friends from out of town to, it’s a great showcase of Austin’s food scene.


This was a big place for me freshman year, I don’t like hot dogs but their chicken and waffles is really good! And I like the space, sit up in the loft if you can and don’t forget to check out the rotating mural outside.

Hillside Farmacy

Hillside Farmacy
The best friend and I’s favorite breakfast spot...I think...yeah, let’s go with it. This spot located not far from Franklin in East Austin used to be a pharmacy. It’s been converted into the most
aesthetically pleasing space with wonderful breakfast. I can rarely clean my plate, but the Big Brekkie is so good I eat absolutely everything. Plus, the owners are incredibly sweet.

Hyde Park Bar & Grill 

I was a latecomer to the Hyde Park hype, but it’s an Austin staple. The menu on their website shows that they don’t do biscuits and gravy anymore, but if that is an option, get it. Taryn would kill me if I didn’t shout it out.
Josephine House

Josephine House

You want to talk about aesthetically pleasing spots? Good lord, Josephine House for brunch is the
most yuppie but amazing thing you could do. Debora and I both liked the food coming out of the tiny navy house’s kitchen and if you can, sit out on the lawn.

Juan in a Million

First of all, you have to go for the name alone. But also, the Don Juan is a t h i n g in Austin. Basically it’s a pile of breakfast taco materials and a fresh tortilla.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

Despite the fact that Kerbey got rid of my favorite
Kerbey Lane Cafe
omelette (RIP Chicken Verde Omelette!), this is a classic spot. The one by campus is a must if you’re new to Austin. Get the Kerbey queso (but realize, Torchy’s queso is better) and if you’re there in the fall, the cranberry pancakes are wondrous.


An Austin classic, both locations are open 24 hours. Sophie and I have been just for dessert pancakes before and it was where I ate right after commencement with the best friend. They also do gingerbread pancakes and a lot of people are either Kerbey or Magnolia people but I like them both for different things.
Old Pecan Street Cafe

Old Pecan Street Cafe

Serena and I discovered this place one morning before going to Trader Joe’s (could we be more basic?). I then took Marcus and the three of us all agree it’s a oft-forgotten but absolutely amazing place. The buttered pecan pancakes are a must!


This little yellow house on Burnet is a good place if you want to read or journal quietly while enjoying an organic chocolate chip pancake.
A newer addition to my list, Taco Ranch is by the people who brought us P. Terry’s (see below) and I love it. There are two locations, they serve great breakfast tacos and the atmosphere is awesome.
Texas French Bread

Texas French Bread

Maybe my favorite spot in the West Campus area of Austin, TFB is beautiful on the inside and good
lord is their breakfast/brunch delightful. The banana walnut pancakes are my go-to. Also, go for lunch and get the sandwich special with a ginger cookie. I could wax on for hours about how much I love this place!

The Omelettry

My mother’s absolute favorite spot, The Omelettry is where my dad and I ate our first breakfast in Austin before my UT tour, so a special place indeed. Get the gingerbread pancakes with chocolate chips and you’ll be full for the rest of the day.
Veracruz All Natural

Veracruz All Natural

The best breakfast tacos in Austin...in my opinion. And this is highly contested so others could be
right but this is my favorite. I like going to the food truck at Radio Coffee because I enjoy sitting outside and the coffee.

Walton’s Fancy & Staple

 A classic West 6th spot good for picking up some baked goods or grabbing a coffee and enjoying a meal. I like taking
friends because it’s a cute spot and their macarons are delicious.

Salt Lick


24 Diner

A very classic Austin spot, but no, it doesn’t look like a classic diner. This modern staple serves food 24/7 and it’s all delicious. But be warned, it is a little pricey...but that doesn’t stop me from loving it. Would recommend the cheese plate, chocolate milkshake, grilled cheese and breakfast platter.

Barley Swine

Oooo boy, this place is delicious and fun to eat at. Everything on the menu is delish, but please get the spicy, cheesy pretzel if it’s on the menu. And sit outside!


My favorite, easy BBQ place in Austin. Black’s is the perfect spot because the line is never long, they have a good atmosphere and they have delicious sides. Get that mac & cheese y’all.
Bouldin Creek Cafe

Bouldin Creek Cafe

A great vegetarian spot on South First. I love the grilled
Cabo Bob's

Cabo Bob’s

One of my all-time favorite restaurants in Austin. Cabo Bob’s is like Chipotle but 1000000x better, seriously. Get a burrito bowl with queso on top and you’ll be in heaven.


I read about this place in a Southern Living way before I decided to move to Austin (which feels like 800 years ago) and insisted my family go on our first visit. We were not disappointed, the restaurant is almost entirely outdoors and the food is delightful. Have the popcorn for an appetizer, the burger is superb and so is the half chicken. This truly is one of my all-time favorites and if I could I would have my birthday dinner there each year.

County Line

Dirty Martin's
Both locations of this Texas staple offer something different. One is on the river, so you have beautiful water views the other is located on a hill in south Austin so you have beautiful rolling hill country vibes. The BBQ is good and the atmosphere is classic. It’s great for large parties!

Dirty Martin’s

Maybe one of the only true college-type restaurants near campus, Dirty Martin’s is one of my college favorites. It’s pretty cheap, they do a mean grilled cheese & burger and you can get really cheap alcohol deals. Plus, they have wonderful milkshakes.


A gastropub located basically in a neighborhood, Drink.Well is super dark on the inside but the craft cocktails and gourmet Twinkies (the flavors are ever changing) and a to-die-for burger make up for it.

El Arroyo

Meaning stream (or in this case, ditch through the restaurant) El Arroyo serves up classic Tex-Mex and is a great place for a margarita with your girlfriends. Plus, you’ve probably seen their infamous sign on social media.
Easy Tiger

Easy Tiger

One of my favorite spots for a beer and a mini baguette, Easy Tiger is the classy part of 6th Street. Go down the stairs to your right when you enter the bakery and you’ll find yourself in what appears to be a dark, beer hall. Go outside and there are huge picnic tables full of people drinking Texas craft beer, Mexican coke and eating all of the carbs you could ever want.


Austin was seriously lacking food halls for the longest time but then Fareground got built in the heart of downtown and it is
special. The architecture is beautiful and all of the food options are delicious. Contigo (I miss you) serves up rotisserie chicken, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop does cheese plates & delicious sandwiches, Dai Due Butcher Shop has a taqueria and Easy Tiger serves up bread baskets and baked goods. Plus, there is a bar in the middle of all of it!


A classic little sandwich shop in an old house. It’s cute and it’s quality.


Okay, yes, I included it. Despite the fact I think there is better BBQ in Texas (hey Truth) but I do think everyone should do Franklin once. It’s such an experience and it can be really fun if you make friends with your fellow line people. I’ve done it four times and each time it surprises me...and the meat is some of the best! But the sides, in my opinion, are terrible.


I adore the South First location of this chicken
restaurant. Sit outside and gab the night away with friends while drinking a prickly pear margarita and snacking on some chicken and rice. It’s got great aesthetics and it’s a great addition to the amazing South First food corridor.

Fricano’s Deli

My second “very college” place aside from Dirty Martin’s is Fricano’s Deli. When you walk in you just feel like you’re in a college town. The sandwiches are all wonderful and very creative plus, you can make your own, which for me is a glorious thing.

Gabriel’s Cafe

Located in the AT&T Conference Center on UT’s campus, Gabriel’s is a great, underrated spot. I would highly recommend the tacos, tortilla soup and the tandoori chicken sandwich. The atmosphere is a classy UT bragging vibe but I love it.


This Tex-Mex spot on the edge of east Austin is so aesthetically pleasing I included it in this project.
But the food is actually really good. I recommend the queso, papas de la casa and any of the tacos. They usually have paletas for dessert too.
Halal Bros

Halal Bros

If you go to UT, you probably already know about this place, but
each time I eat there I am reminded why I love it so much. I like the Chicken Shawarma Over Rice. The place is tiny so plan to take your food to-go!

Home Slice

Have you even been to Austin if you haven’t had a slice at Home Slice? The place is a legend and people will wait hours for a spot in their South Congress restaurant. My tip: go at an off time, get it to-go or visit their new central Austin location.

Hoover’s Cooking

Home cookin’ done right! The best friend and I fell in love with Hoover’s the day I decided where to
study abroad. We had both been having weird/rough weeks in our own way and we decided to try out Hoover’s. The place is great, the waitstaff are amazing, the fried chicken is excellent and the mashed potatoes are just the right amount of fluff.


Right by Black’s Hopfields is a cool pub with
French flare...yes, that sounds weird but it’s true. Their ham & cheese sandwich is the best I’ve had outside of Paris and that bread is spectacular. Plus, tons of craft beer!

Hut’s Hamburgers

This special little spot on West 6th has every burger you could ever imagine. I love the Alan Freed Burger.

Jack Allen’s Kitchen

My parents and I really enjoy Jack Allen’s. It’s one of our family go-tos for dinner. Everything is made from scratch, we highly recommend the pimento cheese, the 5-cheese macaroni and the chicken fried chicken breast.


I love this place in east Austin. It’s in an old laundromat, they have a great wine selection and one of
the best gourmet burgers in town. I love sitting outside and make sure you stick around for dessert; it’s a birthday cake ice cream sandwich.

Le Politique

If you’re looking for an adorable, beautiful French place in Austin, this is for you! I haven’t had a full meal, but the menu looks amazing. I would totally recommend stopping in after work for french fries and some wine. Sophie would approve.
Lucy's Fried Chicken

Lucy’s Fried Chicken

Ohmlord Lucy’s is amazing. The fried chicken nachos, cornbread and bucket o’chicken are all wondrous. I like the one off Lamar but there is also one in south Austin.

Madam Mam's

My favorite Thai food...mainly because it was easily available in West Campus…by far! Their Panang curry is wonderful, their rice is delicious and if you ask it for hot you will need that water pitcher on the table. Serena and I would Favor this place to our apartments...it wasn’t even that far but we just loved it so much.


If you’re looking for fast-casual but good Italian, Mandola’s is one of the best. Highly, highly recommend the cheese ravioli. Make sure to ask for extra bread because that is the BEST part. They also do delicious gelato and Italian baked goods. Oh, and the lemonade! It truly is an A+ spot.


This became my favorite spot senior year for nicer meals. The best friend and I went for dinner on my birthday and then this is where we celebrated my graduation. Their biscuits are the best biscuits
my body has ever consumed. I adore them. I dream about them. And their portions are really good for a more upscale restaurant...clearly I speak from an angry place (hahaha). Their fried chicken is just the right amount of spicy with great mashed potatoes! It’s in the most adorable old house, there are peacocks and have brunch on their patio.

Matt’s El Rancho

 If you’re looking for a classic Tex-Mex place to take your whole family, Matt’s is the place. Their queso is delicious, the building is beautiful and it will accommodate big groups! Plus, those margs are to-die-for.


Yet another one of my Tex-Mex favorites, Maudie’s is just a classic. Their location on South Lamar is an OG for my dad and I but now I go to the Triangle. Get the queso, have a margarita and enjoy anything on the menu.

Mighty Cone

Mighty Cone
I dream about Mighty Cone and it’s sad because I don’t know the next time I can have it. Basically, Mighty Cone is a taco in cone form...the tortilla is put in a paper cone and then
things are shoved inside of it. The chicken cone is my go-to. They put coleslaw in it and I don’t even like coleslaw but I love that ish. The food truck is wonderful and you should visit!


If you’re looking for a great place to take your parents when they come into town Moonshine is great.
It’s southern comfort food done right. If you’re feeling it, get the moonshine flight for something different. And, it’s right by Esther’s Follies so schedule a show!

Nau’s Enfield Drug

Old school soda fountains are a rarity but Nau’s is just that! And old school pharmacy with a lunch counter serving up burgers and thick milkshakes. I love a chocolate malt and to sit in one of the booths.
Noble Sandwich Co.

Noble Sandwich Co.

If you’re looking to up your sandwich game, Noble is the place to go. They serve some of the most
interesting combinations on bread I’ve ever seen. And they do a mean breakfast.

Original Hoffbrau Steakhouse

Hannah K. took me to this odd spot on West 6th and I was pleasantly surprised. 1. The steak was good and it was in this garlic butter sauce, perfection. 2. It’s cool that it’s weird. I enjoyed it. 3. Parking is a challenge so go on a weekday and you’ll be fine.

P. Terry’s

As mentioned above about Taco Ranch, P. Terry’s is my favorite fast food burger place of all time. First, the architecture/design of these places is phenomenal. Then the food you get for the price is even better. Get a classic cheeseburger, fries, a lemonade and one of their massive cookies. My mom likes the cookies so much one time I bought 50 of them for her birthday and made a cake out of ‘em. She was happy as a clam.


One of my favorites, Pinthouse is a pizza place with their own craft beer and that of countless others. My family and I like both locations (although the south has way more parking). The vibe is always solid and you share mutual tables with people. It’s great, could not recommend enough! I recently saw one of their stickers at my parent’s favorite bar in the French Quarter.
Pizza Press

Pizza Press 

A West Campus newcomer, Pizza Press is one of those where you walk down the line and they make your pizza for a base rate with as many toppings as you want. Plus, they have a really
good selection of craft beer. It’s a great spot for a diverse group of friends.
Pool Burger

Pool Burger

I love this little spot near Deep Eddy pool. The theme is tiki classic Solo cups for the 90s kids out there.
hut chic? And they serve good cocktails, craft beer from Texas, soft serve ice cream and pretty good burgers. Oh! And they have those

Ramen Tatsu-Ya

The best ramen in Texas...there I said it. But seriously, they opened in Houston too and this stuff is just wonderful. Anything you order will be mouthwateringly good, but the Tsukemen is one of the best!
Rudy's BBQ

Rudy’s BBQ

I have two words for you regarding Rudy’s, cream corn. I would buy a vat of this if I thought it would
last and I would eat every bit of it. And I don’t even like corn. Oh, the BBQ is good too.

Salt Lick

A very classic Texas BBQ spot, go to the OG in Driftwood for some awesome Texas vibes. You’ll feel like a cattle owner on your ranch as you dig in and see some live music.
Salty Sow

Salty Sow

The duck fat fries. That is all. Just go and get the duck fat fries. Michelle Obama did it and so should you. Bonus: Get the Butterscotch Budino because the best friend and I reminisce on that dessert far too frequently.
Second Bar + Kitchen

Second Bar + Kitchen 

A great mid-tier price restaurant in downtown that serves up
really good flatbread pizza. And everyone can find something on the menu so it is good for parties!

Shady Grove

The first real “Austin” place I ever ate with my roommate Devi. We met up in person before officially signing our roommate agreement and had a broken table (if Devi moved her foot, the food would come crashing into my lap) but it’s a classic place. They do live music on the lawn and it has such good vibes.


Yummy yummy Thai in an interesting vibe. The peanut curry is worth its weight in gold and will light you up (and I love spicy foods so this is saying a lot). I will say, I lucked out when I visited and sat outside so I didn’t have any awkward seating arrangements, but friends have complained about awkward square tables with community seating. However, I think it’s worth it but maybe make a reservation if you plan on going on the weekend.

Taco Deli

A favorite of my more food conscious (be that allergy or vegetarian or vegan). Taco Deli is very inventive with their tacos. I like the Cowboy taco (dry-rubbed beef tenderloin, grilled corn, caramelized onion, roasted pepper, guacamole and queso fresco). But be forewarned, it is truly a deli, they are not open for dinner!

Taco Joint

This was a latecomer in my life, but deserves a mention because I love their chips. Get the queso and dunk those savory little bites in and you’ll be transported to heaven. The tacos are also great.


If you’re looking for amazing Indian cuisine without breaking the bank, Teji’s is your place. Yes, it is someone a college dive but good lord the food is amazing. And you’ll only spend about $10. I started eating it my freshman year and I still dream about their plain naan, baked to perfection.

Texas Chili Parlor

The first time I ever ate chili was in this classic Austin restaurant. And dang, it was good. It’s within walking distance of campus and everyone should go.
The Soup Peddler

The Clay Pit

Upscale Indian cuisine in a very Texas building on the edge of downtown. This is a go-to for when your mom comes into town and wants to treat you to dinner. Have any kind of curry, naan and a mango lassi.

The Soup Peddler

I love Soup Peddler after I’ve been doing something active like hiking on the Green Belt or going to a dance class. Their smoothies are great (they make this tiny size that’s adorable) and I like the grilled cheese & tomato soup.

The Steeping Room

Located on North Lamar, this is one of Serena & I’s favorite spots. The tea is delicious (they also do tea-tails, tea cocktails). Have some chai, napa rolls and a chewy double ginger cookie. It’s a great place to have deep chats, trust me.


My family always eats at Threadgill’s on Thanksgiving because it’s delicious. They make the classic
southern and home cookin’ you know and love. The chicken fried steak, chocolate pie and mashed potatoes are all amazing.
Top Notch

Top Notch

If you’ve seen Dazed & Confused you should know
about this place. It’s on Burnet and it’s a classic. Just go for the experience and stay for the fun menu items (Weight Watcher Special, just meat and lettuce).


Yes, I am basic. Yes, I know this. But consistently and because of ease of location Torchy’s is one of my all-time favorite restaurant chains. And the best thing is they have them in Denver! No, these are not the best tacos (Veracruz or Valentina’s are definitely better) but I love Torchy’s queso maybe more than life itself. And their margaritas, yaaaaas.

Tyson’s Tacos

A great spot on Airport for breakfast tacos at any time of the day and classic queso.
Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

Valentina’s Tex Mex-BBQ

My dad and I watched a video about this place a really long
time ago, but it’s in far south Austin so we hadn’t made it out. Until last year, but it was so worth the wait. Their BBQ tacos are some of the best tacos I’ve ever eaten. It’s truly a wonderful spot on the side of the road.
Via 313

Via 313

The best friend and I go to this place whenever we’re in Austin. I never knew I would love Detroit-style pizza so
much but holy moly, it’s so good. Get a classic cheese or spring for The Cadillac (gorgonzola, fig preserves, prosciutto di parma, parmesan and a balsamic glaze).
Thai Kun


Panang Curry is my all-time favorite curry and I like it spicy.
And let me tell you, if you enjoy crying while you eat (which I have no problem with) you will adore this spot in the Domain. Truly, that curry is the spiciest I’ve ever had and I love every minute of it.

Cow Tipping


Amy's Ice Cream

Amy’s Ice Cream

An Austin classic. Seriously, if you haven’t been to Amy’s, you’re living under a rock. They get the ice cream out and then mix the ingredients in front of you...sometimes they’ll even do crazy tricks like throw your scoops behind their backs and catch them. But the true stars are the flavors themselves. Mexican Vanilla is my all-time favorite. And they have toppings that other places just don’t have like golden oreos and those frosted animal crackers. The best friend loves Brittany's Party, which is sweet cream and aforementioned frosted animal crackers.

Big Top Candy Shop

I’m not a huge South Congress person, but I will visit for Big Top. You can buy tons of candy you can’t find anywhere else (I found some of my favorite British candy) and they have hand dipped ice cream. Mary and I loved the cookies & cream milkshake.
Cold Cookie Company

Cold Cookie Company

A West Campus food truck that serves up really good cookies and ice cream to tons of drunk college
students. But seriously, get a 1 scoop (it comes with a cookie) of coffee oreo and a cookie monster cookie.

Cow Tipping

Ahhh, the best friend and I talk about this and tag each other on social media on Cow Tipping’s posts all the time. Basically they make ice cream parfaits. Yeah, like those gross (sorry if you like yogurt) breakfast things. But this is 1000000x better. Because they make delicious soft serve and have sauces like white chocolate and toppings like red velvet cake. Make sure to follow them on Facebook where they post the crazy concoctions they come up with. P.S. This is also where we got bubble cones and churro cones in the past.
Cream Whiskers

Cream Whiskers

Located half a block from my college apartment, Cream Whiskers dishes up variations on the classic
cream puff. I like the classic and the cookies & cream. Plus, it’s a cute place to bring your laptop, get a latte and stay for a spell.
Dolce Neve

Dolce Neve

The best friend and I love this spot but her mother loves it more. They have the best gelato I’ve possibly ever had in the United
States. Truly, I love it. The Crema Dolce Neve (Custard with Lemon Zest) is quite possibly the best flavor. And they make so many options, get a chocolate covered gelato bar because you can!
Donut Taco Palaxce

Donut Taco Palace

You might have seen photos on Instagram of donuts shaped like Texas universities’ hand symbols and this is where they come from! Go get yourself a Hook ‘Em!


My mother requests this place frequently. They are basically insane pillows of fried dough covered in all kinds of stuff. She likes the Miss Shortcake (cream cheese & fresh strawberries) whereas I go big or go home and like the Blackout
(chocolate icing, brownie batter, brownie bites and chocolate chips). Go to the Public House on South Congress so you can enjoying these piping hot delights in the air conditioning.


A very “trendy” as in it’s a thing you have to do if you’re in
Austin and put on your Insta Story, Halcyon serves up s’mores. They bring you a little fire and all the fixins. It’s great but you know what’s even better? Their milkshakes.
Holla! Mode

Holla Mode

Thai style ice cream was huge a few years ago...but I still really enjoy it. And this place is the absolute best in Austin
for one reason. They use Toll House Cookie dough. If you go, one of your ingredients has to be cookie dough because they put the biggest dollop of that stuff and it makes the biggest difference. My mouth is drooling now.
La Patisserie

La Patisserie

Another of the best friend and I’s favorite spots. Located just off South First, this place has cronuts. YES, CRONUTS! And good macarons and the sweetest owners.


This place is perfect if you have friends (or if you) have food allergies/intolerance. Their ice cream is really good, a tad bit expensive, but everything is organic. Sometimes the flavors are not my favorite, so look on their website or call ahead before you go.

Prohibition Creamery

Serena and I visited this spot a while back and it is what it sounds like, boozy ice cream. I had the grasshopper shake and really liked it. This is a really fun spot to go on your 21st (unless it’s a Monday) to celebrate in a more unconventional way.

Quack’s Bakery

A great Hyde Park bakery and if you can get a seat on a Sunday morning, I am thoroughly impressed.
Their cookies are to die for and everything else looks incredibly appetizing.


My parents love this spot for a vanilla custard cone in the dead heat of summer.


I am incredibly picky about my snow cones because I grew up eating horrible versions in Florida. But Sno-Beach has soft ice that truly is more like snow. I like the watermelon, the best friend likes ice cream with cream.
Sugar Mama's

Sugar Mama’s

A Cupcake Wars contestant, Sugar Mama’s is one of the best friend and I’s favorite dessert
spots. I love getting their cupcakes for my birthday. Oh, and the lemon bar is glorious. We prefer the South First location for aesthetic purposes.
Taco Sweets

Taco Sweets

If you know what a Choco-Taco is, this is basically the gourmet version. And you get to choose what you want on it! Hannah K. and I discovered this food truck spot my senior year and really liked it.

Tiff’s Treats

A cookie delivery service that was started by UT alumni and has served warm cookies to UT students getting through studying or celebrating their birthday for years. The snickerdoodle and chocolate chip are my two favorites. You can get them delivered or you can stop in at any of their stores where they keep a case of cookies.

Tiny Boxwoods

Voodoo Donuts
The greatest chocolate chip cookies my mouth has ever tasted. I have had dreams about these cookies. The Houston chain also serves food, but I love the to-go desk at the Austin outpost for a glass of lemonade and those cookies.

Voodoo Donuts

I am only listing this because I think everyone deserves to go once. Then once you’ve done this, go to
Mrs. Johnson’s bakery on Airport. Also, if you need a ton of donuts get the bucket that’s day-old donuts for a really discounted price.


Coffee/Study/Work Spots


Maybe my favorite spot in Austin? Maybe? I seriously spent almost every weekend my senior year at Batch...and a lot of weekdays. It was where I applied for over 100 jobs (and got one!). They make wondrous kolaches with Micklewait Craft Meats (get the jalapeno brisket) and they make a delicious chocolate pecan kolache. They serve craft beer, have a huge bottled selection and make good coffee for cheap. Plus, the atmosphere inside is cozy on a cold day and the picnic table grove out back is perfect for those gorgeous Austin days. I cannot recommend this place enough!


A very classic student study spot, I like Cherrywood in the early evening. You can sit outside and watch the sunset as you cry into your laptop about whatever exam/project you have coming up while enjoying strong coffee and eating a, better than you would expect, breakfast taco.


Let me say this first, they don’t have wifi. But dang, that nitro cold brew coffee is delicious and the space is really cool.


Great for a meal or just for a cup of coffee, this fairly central cafe is in an adorable house and caters to a brunch crowd like no other. I went for lunch on my 21st birthday and was very happy with the


First, this spot is TINY. It can probably seat three comfortably. But their iced chai is one of the best in the city. And I love the people that work there and sitting on one of those three bar stools at the window. I passed finance through a lot of study sessions in that spot.


Yes, this is that place with the “I Love You So Much” mural. But I prefer the less-hyped version in downtown Austin on 2nd street. I usually walk up to the window, order my coffee and then sit outside for
a bit of people watching.
Lucky Lab

Lucky Lab

If you’re a UT student, you already know about this place. Located behind the Urban Outfitters, they have amazing lemonade. I really like the vibe of sitting outside on a cool morning and getting some sh*t done.


Yet another very traditional Austin spot, this coffee shop on the water has multi-tiered deck seating and beautiful views. Make sure you go to their holiday light show in
December because it’s magical. They also have really good baked goods and Amy’s Ice Cream...so you can’t go wrong. Tip: If you don’t want to sit inside, sit as close as you can to the building because the wifi can get real dodgy.


I mentioned this above with Veracruz, but Radio is such a cool spot in south Austin. They have all kinds of outdoor seating and I’ve had a lot of productive mornings/afternoons chilling here.


The name is truly what this place is, an adorable stone house on South Lamar. They stay open in the evening and the bench along one wall is great for studying.


Austin Beerworks

I love their taproom with it’s super long picnic tables and great lighting. Have the Pearl Snap, Bloodwork Orange or the Sputnik and stay for a while.
Cain & Abel's

Cain & Abel’s

Our classic college bar with really good, incredibly cheap breakfast tacos & amazing drink specials. Tuesday is $1 beer night, yes the beer isn’t great but it’s a DOLLAR. Wednesday is discounted margaritas and I can’t remember what the other days are (sorry mom & dad). Get a Texas Tea (lose the Coke), it’s a thing everyone has to do and it’s a right of passage.

Celis Brewery

Really good craft beer in an awesome taproom! Sit at the bar because it’s the best seat in the house. Apparently they’re building a beer garden and I’m excited to see it!

Container Bar

Friends & Allies Brewing
If you’re on Rainey Street after 10:30pm, this should be your go-to. Their playlist is second to none and as a person who hates going out I love it. Serena, Debora, Hannah and I have spent hours (I mean over 3 at one club is insane right?) at this place bopping to all of our favorites from the 90s to current. It is truly fantastic.

Friends & Allies

This brewery is very new to me but I love it! It’s located in east Austin and it’s really cute. I love their
logo and all of their beers are refreshing.


My favorite bar in Austin because it is located in a parking
garage (ha, get the name now?). But when you enter it you have no idea you’re located at the bottom of one of those spiral ramps. You’re transported to a dark, chic bar with delicious cocktails and some good snacks.


Live Oak Brewing
Yes, this is a #brunch spot. But I actually prefer to go for
happy hour for rose (or frose) and vanilla ice cream cones. Because you know what, I can! Make sure you take your photo with the #iconic Irene’s sign.

Live Oak

My favorite brewery in Texas (I realize these are fighting words, and that’s fine) serves up amazing beer in a beautiful beer garden. The live oaks shade the picnic tables as you chat away to your friends and eat German food from the resident foodtruck. This is a must visit and if you are flying into Austin stop here immediately after your flight, it’s less than two miles from the airport.
Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy

If you’re looking to class it up on 6th Street, skip all of the other bars and make a reservation at this speakeasy. It’s disguised and
you have to know what button to press but once you’re inside it’s dark, quiet and no one will talk to you except your friends and your server. Plus, the drinks are really good!

Roosevelt Room

Roosevelt Room
Alyssa and I really enjoyed our time at Roosevelt Room. First, make a reservation, the place fills up fast. Also, get some food we really liked it! P.S. If you’re in town during the holiday season, Miracle Pop-Up bar is usually next door.
St. Elmo Brewing Company

St. Elmo

My second favorite brewery in Austin is by far, St. Elmo’s.
First, their Carl Kolsch is amazing. Second, they have a really cute beer garden/logo/aesthetic. And three, they’re very supportive of UT. It’s a great brewery not far from my favorite, so go to both!

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