If you follow this blog on Instagram, you may have noticed that I was in Austin, Texas, for a few days around the beginning of this month. It was not my first time visiting, so it was something of a low-key trip where I attended a very relaxed, fun wedding and enjoyed my hosts’ homemade breakfasts of Migas and the like. I traveled light, didn’t go too crazy taking photos and … it was glorious.
But that said, I was in Austin, where even when the people you’re staying with are cooking you tasty homemade meals, there are plenty of food and drinks to be had. So here are some spots I checked out and enjoyed. While I’m not necessarily presenting this list of places I went as the quintessential Austin experience, they might come in handy for you at some point if you find yourself there:
District – We went to District for brunch and because I was in Austin, not New York, I wanted something that felt like a meal I should have in Texas. Enter the “Heart Breaker,” which featured buttermilk biscuits, duck fat gravy, cheddar, green onions and sunny-side up eggs. There was an option to add fried chicken or pulled pork, but I abstained, partially because I was eating enough and had also snacked on appetizers with my group — shishito peppers, bacon beignets and lamb kabobs. Everything was delicious and look at this beautiful cold brew-based cocktail, “I Like It Alatte,” that my guy ordered:
Weather Up – I enjoy going to Brooklyn’s Weather Up for cocktails, so I decided I needed to go to its Austin counterpart (which I believe came first). This Weather Up is much larger than the cozy one I go to in Brooklyn, but it has a similar decor with subway tile walls and cool atmospheric lighting and plenty of interesting cocktails. It also serves brunch and some other food items, but by the time we went, it was late, so all we got was cocktails. I’m a fan of both Weather Up locations I’ve been to at this point, so if you’re a cocktail fan, I would recommend it.
The White Horse – Looking for a divey bar that will give you that honky tonk fix? The White Horse is perfect for that. All I had was a simple Jack ‘n’ Coke, but my favorite thing about this place was people watching while a band played live — the dancing I saw was amazing and really made me feel like I was in Texas.
Amy’s Ice Creams – I forgot which location we went to, but Amy’s Ice Creams, which has spots in Austin, Houston and San Antonio, is an absolute delight. I got a cantaloupe ice cream in an effort to have something a little different from the norm and while it probably helps that I really like cantaloupe, I have to say it was really lovely ice cream. It’s definitely worth your time to stop by if you find yourself in any cities with an Amy’s.
Torchy’s Tacos – Another chain with locations in Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma, Torchy’s was where our hosts took us when I said I wanted some really good queso. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get a good meal here — I shared the green chile queso and chips with our group, while also having a “brushfire” taco (which had Jamaican jerk chicken and mango in it), and I was in heaven. I wish we could get more joints like Torchy’s in the northeast!