Austin City Guide: Where To Eat, Stay & Do In Austin

November 02, 2016

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This is a sponsored post by Chase Ultimate Rewards. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Taste of Koko.

I’ve lived in Austin for over 9 years (blogging for 6) and became a permanent Austinite 3 years ago. While I still discover local gems and visit new openings every week, I’ve explored most of the city. As the resident local food blogger in Austin and the official restaurant expert for Visit Austin, here are my top picks on where to stay, do, and more importantly, eat in Austin.

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There are plenty of hotel options in Austin but I highly recommend staying at a local boutique hotel.

Hotel Saint Cecilia – Hotel Saint Cecilia is a luxury property located on South Congress with a bohemian vibe. Popular with the locals and celebs. I’ve always wanted to stay here and the boyfriend surprised me with a staycation here for my birthday this year. I loved the property and it’s dog friendly! (pictured above)

Hotel San Jose – Run by the same hotel group, Hotel San Jose is located just down the street on South Congress. This bungalow-style hotel only has 40 rooms, each a unique reflection of Austin. We also stayed here for another birthday and I definitely recommend it. Dog friendly too!

Hotel Indigo – Affordable option in downtown Austin that’s in walking distance to restaurants, music venues, and 6th st. Just stayed here last month!

RELATED: Austin City Guide – Where To Eat, Stay & Do In Downtown Austin




We have a ton of restaurants in Austin so it can be tricky to navigate through all the lists. After four years of Austin restaurant coverage, may I present to you my wealth of knowledge? I do plan my days by what I’m having for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour.


Tacodeli – you cannot visit Austin without eating the breakfast tacos at Tacoli. This is a must.
Epicerie – French American comfort food. Order the beignets.
Paperboy – swing by this farm-to-table trailer for a hot breakfast with fresh coffee and the daily newspaper
The Steeping Room – healthy and local breakfast with a vast hot tea selection
Cafe No Se – California inspired cafe inside the South Congress Hotel

SEE ALSO: 15 Best Breakfasts In Austin



Torchy’s Tacos – mandatory taco stop in Austin. The location on South Congress has frozen margaritas.
La Barbecue – best barbecue in Austin. Unfortunately no longer a secret so the lines can be an one hour wait. Order the dinosaur beef ribs.
Hillside Farmacy – cute pharmacy turned restaurant
Launderette – New American cuisine served in a laundromat turned restaurant
Odd Duck – upscale farm to table restaurant



La Condesa – modern Mexican with my favorite margaritas
Fresas’s Chicken – wood-grilled chicken, steak, and fish with frozen margaritas.
Sway Thai – upscale Thai at it’s finest
Wu Chow – upscale Chinese cuisine with dim sum
Justine’s – Justine’s is a staple in Austin with the best French food. I always order the steak frites.



Contigo – my top recommendation for brunch in Austin. Great food and an incredible outdoor atmosphere.
Emmer & Rye – this restaurant locally sources all of its produce from local restaurant and mills their own grain. Chef Kevin was named best chef of the year by Food & Wine Magazine, and I named it the best restaurant of 2015.
Italic – I’m still craving the French toast (made with bread from their own bakery, Easy Tiger) and duck hash.
Snooze – giant pancakes, crispy hashbrowns and sunny-side up eggs will send you straight back to bed
VOX Table – fries with VOX burger, olive oil pancakes, and Saturday Morning Toons

SEE ALSO: 19 Dog-Friendly Brunch Restaurants In Austin



Caffe Medici – us locals love this Austin original coffee shop
Houndstooth Coffee – premium craft coffee for your morning pick-me-up
Jo’s Coffee – famous for their iced turbo
TOMS Roasting Co Coffee – coffee and community at TOM’s very own coffee shop on South Congress
Mañana – cute coffee shop inside the South Congress Hotel

SEE ALSO: Best Coffee Shops In Austin



Parkside – Austin’s most popular happy hour spot with a great view of 6th St from their rooftop balcony
Uchiko – one of Austin’s top restaurant happens to also have the best happy hour in the city
Alcomar – Latin cuisine with a killer happy hour. Order the margaritas with the queso flameado.
Jeffrey’s – half price bar food, and $2 off each cocktail, beer, and glass of wine at this fine dining institution

SEE ALSO: Ultimate Guide To Best Happy Hours In Austin
SEE ALSO: Oyster Happy Hours In Austin For Every Day Of The Week



Garage – cool hidden bar inside a garage with craft cocktails and menu
The Townsend – excellent craft cocktails and food menu
Backbeat – midcentury-style bar with a rooftop that serves great craft cocktails and menu.
Whisler’s & Weather Up – both cool bars in East Austin

SEE ALSO: 7 Best Bars In Austin For A Craft Cocktail



Amy’s Ice Cream – Austin’s favorite ice cream shop
Lick Ice Creams – my favorite local ice cream made with local, organic ingredients
Prohibition Creamery – boozy ice cream paired with craft cocktails
Cake & Spoon – best pies in Austin. They don’t have a storefront so check out their website

McKinney Falls


Austin is all about the outdoors (it’s it not 100 degrees), so be sure to hit up one of the swimming holes in Austin. Barton Springs Pool, Hamilton Pool, Jacob’s Well, McKinney Falls, Deep Eddy Pool, Krause Springs, and the Greenbelt are popular picks.

Paddleboarding or kayaking on Lady Bird Lake.

We’re all about craft beer and we’re lucky to have many local craft breweries in town. Hops & Grain, Jester King Brewery, Austin Beerworks, Independence Brewing Co., Zilker Brewing Co., Live Oak Brewery, and South Austin Brewery name a few.

Hang out at Zilker Park and watch the dogs play.

You are here in the “Live Music Capital of The World”, so you have to listen to live music when visiting Austin. Local favorites include Mohawk, Stubb’s, ACL Live, and Emo’s.

Take pictures in front of the iconic murals. The “Greetings From Austin” mural is on S. 1st & Annie, “I Love You So Much” is at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress, “Welcome to Historic Sixth Street” is on 6th and I35, and “You’re My Butter Half” is on 2000 E. MLK Blvd.

Explore the local shops on South Congress. Shop at ByGeorge, Cove Boutique, and Limbo Jewelry, full up on old-school confections at Big Top Candy Shop, try on vintage costumes at Lucy in Disguise, and discover unique antiquities at Uncommon Objects.

Watch the bats fly out from Congress Bridge.

And in case it is raining in Austin, here are the 15 Best Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Austin.

SEE ALSO: 45 Top Things To Do In Austin, Texas, Updated 2020

What do you #LookForward to doing if you ever make it to Austin?

This is a sponsored post by Chase Ultimate Rewards. The content and opinions expressed below are that of A Taste of Koko.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.