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Old 03-17-2010, 08:46 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo - Kensington
5,178 posts, read 11,905,270 times
Reputation: 3045

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A friend and I are visiting Austin for the first time next week and we're wondering what are the must-sees during our quick 2-night stay (2 other nights will be in San Antonio)? Best places for BBQ and Tex-Mex? Cool places for breakfast? Our hotel near the State Capital and we will have a car. Are the bats under the bridge now? The funkier the better.

Looking forward to your suggestions!
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Old 03-22-2010, 03:03 PM
 
2,627 posts, read 6,056,336 times
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The local chain Rudy's is very good and inexpensive for BBQ in my opinion. There are a few around Austin. Salt Lick in Driftwood is well reviewed by most people. I personally prefer Rudy's, but I think I'm in the minority.

There are probably too many good Tex-Mex places to list, so hopefully other people will add their favorites. Trudy's on 30th St. just North of the UT campus is one of my favorites. Chuy's and Hula Hut are good places as well for people visiting the area. I'm not a huge fan of Chuy's myself, but just about everybody else loves it. The one on Barton Springs Road would be the one to hit up.

Definitely check out the SoCo area for funkiness (on Congress just South of Town/LadyBird Lake).

Some favorite breakfast places are Kerbey Lane, The Omelettry, Upper Crust Bakery (for pastries and cinnamon rolls, etc.)
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Tex Mex and BBQ is such a personal preference thing around here, like mark311 alluded to. Around here, it's like asking what the best car is -- some people may find the question too vague.

Chuy's (only the one on Barton Springs Road) and Hula Hut are neat for the experience. So is the Oasis, but really just for the view. Coming from SD I don't think it will impress that much. But it will show you the "scenic" part of Austin.

A slight notch up food-wise (IMO), but still with nice funky Austin atmosphere are: Polvos (south first), Maudies (south lamar), Guero's (south Congress), and El Arroyo (5th street), and Torchy's Tacos.

For BBQ, I'd recommend Iron Works (downtown, next to convention center).. or Lambert's (2nd street) if you don't mind a little more expensive and upscale. Salt Lick is also a favorite of mine, but it's a bit of a drive southwest to Driftwood. Other notables would be House Park BBQ, and County Line (both locations).

The bats? I believe they are back, or should be any week now.

Other must-sees? I'd say the Ladybird Lake trail (you'll be on it if you watch the bats), the live music clubs downtown, SoCo area, Whole Foods HQ store, capitol building and UT campus (LBJ library, tower, art museums). If you are outdoorsy you might add the Barton Springs Pool or hiking/biking the Barton Creek Greenbelt, or rent a kayak or canoe and paddle on the river.

When are you coming? Austin has some great festivals going on, especially in the spring, and it's a really nice way to experience the city.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:43 PM
 
Location: The Woo
247 posts, read 806,137 times
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FWIW, my fave Tex-Mex places are Curra's for breakfast/brunch, El Mercado for lunch, and Polvo's for dinner.

The Salt Lick in Driftwood is a bit of a drive to get to, but it's a cool place and the BBQ is good. The drive is nice, it lets you know there are trees and hills around here. And it's BYOB, so remember to come equipped.
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Old 03-22-2010, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Austin,Tx
1,691 posts, read 3,359,003 times
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Matt's is a good place to go for tex-mex on South Lamar the've been in Austin a long time

Welcome to Matt's Famous El Rancho

Another Tex-Mex place that has been in Austin a long time is El Patio

Also try Gueros on South Congress

http://www.guerostacobar.com/

http://www.austintexas.org/


I can come up with a long list of Tex-Mex Places in San Antonio that I love going to when I go down there but i'll just give you a few lol

Market Square is a fun area to go to and has a good Tex-Mex places I ate at Mi Tierra last weekend and it was really good

http://www.sanantonio.gov/dtops/mark...estaurants.asp

These aren't in DT but are good places too

http://www.tomatillos.com/

http://www.lafogata.com/main/index.php (broken link)

For places to visit in SA you of course have the Riverwalk which is fun to go to if you haven't been before and there's a ton of restaurants and bars and shopping along the river

http://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/

There's the Alamo http://www.thealamo.org/

Tower Of Americas it has a really pretty view of San Antonio and the surrounding area from the observation deck and there's a revolving restaurant

http://toweroftheamericas.com/

That's just a few of the things there is to do in San Antonio

http://www.visitsanantonio.com/index.aspx

And if your in San Antonio in April they have Fiesta down there i've never been buut I hear it's fun

http://www.fiesta-sa.org/

Last edited by bgrn198; 03-22-2010 at 06:50 PM..
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Old 03-22-2010, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Milwood
132 posts, read 459,686 times
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I don't think the bats have migrated to central Texas yet.

All the recommendations made have been good. I'll add Shady Grove to the list of places to eat. It's not BBQ or Tex Mex but does have great food and an awesome patio beneath a large oak tree right on Barton Springs Road.

Go take a short tour of the state capitol building. Walk along 6th Street from Congress to Red River and back for some shopping options. Someone already mentioned South Congress (aka SoCo,) and it has a few eating options, too, like Homeslice Pizza, Guero's, and Amy's Ice Cream.

Further down Barton Springs Road is Zilker Park. You could see the spring fed pool from right next to the parking lot, as well as go for a short hike along the creek. The Ladybird Johnson Hike & Bike Trail is also a great place to get a walk in and see the sites and people.

For night life, check out 6th Street for a college/early 20s crowd & the Warehouse District (between 2nd and 6th/Congress and Lavaca) for 30s and up. These age ranges are not exclusive, though, so don't rule out either are based on age.

Have fun!

D
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo - Kensington
5,178 posts, read 11,905,270 times
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Yowza! Thanks to all for more suggestions than I could ask for! I'm printing this thread and taking it with us on our trip. Next round of rep points on me!!
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
544 posts, read 1,554,036 times
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gonna whip this horse again -- if you're gonna be here on thursday, you really shoud trot down 1st street to Jovita's -- there are real people there, the music's good, and for me it's a slice of pure austin
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Cedar Park, TX
580 posts, read 1,009,194 times
Reputation: 393
Definitely want to check out South Congress (SoCo) for all the cool eclectic shops. Specifically YardDog, Lucy in Disguise, Uncommon Objects, etc. etc. etc. Downtown Austin is of course also pretty funky in general,a nd you definitely want to walk along Sixth Street. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights they actually block off Sixth Street and let thousands of people wander drunk all over the place, so long as you don't pick a fight with the bouncers XD
I don't know is Leslie's back on the street again, but if he is, try to get a picture with him. Can't get any weirder than that!
For the more outdoorsy stuff, there's plenty of hike and bike trails around Town Lake (it's officially Lady Bird Lake, but I'll never get used to it), and you can go kayaking/canoeing in it as well.
Also, try and get a pedicab ride Downtown. They're the bicycles with the carts attached. They're kinda fun, especially when Downtown traffic can be a bit of a biznitch.
Hope I helped even a little. Enjoy your stay!
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