2023 Neighborhood Guide To South Congress In Austin

February 01, 2023

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In collaboration with FLASH. Thank you for supporting the brands that support A Taste of Koko!

Ultimate Guide To South Congress Austin TX

South Congress Ave, also known to us locals as SoCo, is my favorite neighborhood in Austin Texas. I love walking up and down the trip and looking at the shops and eating at the restaurants.

South Congress map

SEE ALSO: 45 Top Things To Do In Austin, Texas, Updated 2021

Best Restaurants On South Congress

Cosmic Coffee on South Congress Austin

For coffee:

  • Cosmic Coffee – coffee shop & beer garden with a big backyard
  • Manana – chic coffee shop at South Congress Hotel with housemade pastries
  • Jo’s Coffee – a walk-up coffee shop with the iconic I Love You So Much mural
  • The Meteor – coffee, natural wine, Roman-style pizza with bike shop vibes
  • Little Brother Coffee – a walk-up coffee shop inside Maufrais

SEE ALSO: Best Coffee Shops In Austin, Sorted By Neighborhood


Magnolia Cafe - best restaurant in Austin Texas

For breakfast:

  • Café No Sé – all-day cafe located inside South Congress Hotel
  • Magnolia Cafe – 24-hour cafe loved for its breakfast, Tex-Mex, & pancakes
  • South Congress Café – daily brunch & drink specials at this retro cafe

SEE ALSO: 27 Best Breakfasts In Austin Worth Waking Up For


Home Slice Pizza in Austin Texas

For lunch:

  • Home Slice Pizza – New York-style pizza by the slice or pie with a walk-up window, curbside pick up, or opt to sit down next door
  • Hopdoddyburger joint known for its all-natural meat patties, housemade buns, & shakes
  • Lucky Robot – Japanese restaurant focused on Tokyo-style street food & sustainable sushi
  • Vinaigrette – big, hearty salads & healthy cocktails


Best margaritas in Austin at Guero's

For dinner

  • Leroy and Lewis – smoked meat food truck specializing in unusual cuts of meats & side dishes
  • Otoko – 12-seat Japanese omakase restaurant hidden inside South Congress Hotel
  • Thai Fresh – authentic Thai dishes, homemade ice creams, & gluten-free bakery
  • Enoteca – my favorite spot for fresh Italian pasta
  • Guero’s Taco Bar – Tex Mex restaurant with queso, tacos, frozen margaritas, and live music
  • Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar – big outdoor patio for fresh seafood & people watching


Amy's Ice Cream In Austin Texas

For dessert:

  • Amy’s Ice Cream – order scoops of ice cream & milkshakes from the walk-up window
  • Big Top Candy Shop – whimsical circus-themed candy shop
  • Hey Cupcake – airstream trailer that serves cupcakes

Allens Boots in Austin Texas

Best Local Shops On South Congress

  • Limbo Jewelry – modern, architectural gold & silver jewelry, and gifts
  • Triple Z – custom tees, and gifts for men
  • Noah Marion – handmade leather goods shop
  • Parts & Labour – gift shop with handmade gifts exclusively from Texas-based artists
  • Odessa – beauty and home goods
  • Allens Boots – iconic store in Austin with more than 4,000 cowboy boots
  • Maufrais – custom hats and apothecary
  • Prima Dora – local gift shop that celebrates that authentic small-town “Old Austin” vibe with local artist goods
  • Stag Provisions For Men – trendy men’s boutique with classic and modern styles
  • South Congress Books – a local bookstore that sells used, collectible, and unique books, vintage posters, and records
  • Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds – iconic costume shop with vintage clothing, boas, masks, wigs, and everything you need to glam up your look

SEE ALSO: My Favorite Local Shops To Go Shopping In Austin

For live music on South Congress

Austin is the Live Music Capital Of The World and you will hear live music playing on South Congress from these music venues but also by street performers. 

  • The Continental Club – this traditional blues club has been the launching point of many musical careers since the 1950s
  • C-Boy’s Heart & Soul – bi-level club hosting weekend performances on the main floor with a Japanese-American bar upstairs
  • Guero’s outdoor pavilion – order a margarita and head to the outdoor pavilion to hear from local acts

Murals on South Congress

I Love You So Much wall in Austin Texas

I Love You So Much – 1300 South Congress Ave.

Hotelier Liz Lambert and musician Amy Cook were drunk, got into a fight, and broke up. Amy spray-painted “I love you so much” on the side of Jo’s Coffee so Liz could see it when she opened up the next day. The couple has been together ever since.


Wilie Nelson mural in Austin TX

Willie For President – 1315 South Congress Ave.


Love From Austin mural in Austin Texas

Love From Austin – 1912 South Congress Ave.


South Congress Mural in Austin Texas

South Congress Mural – 1800 South Congress Ave.

SEE ALSO: 24 Most Instagrammable Murals In Austin

Best Hotels On South Congress

Click here for my list on the best hotels in Austin

Austin Motel

Austin Motel

  • 41 guest rooms
  • rooms start at $120
  • restaurant & pool
  • dog-friendly


Hotel San Jose

One of my favorite boutique hotels in Austin to stay at.

  • 40 guest rooms
  • rooms start at $190
  • courtyard & pool
  • dog-friendly


Hotel Saint Cecilia

If you’re feeling splurgy, Hotel Saint Cecilia is gorgeous. 

  • 14 guest rooms
  • rooms start at $500
  • lounge, pool, & Shinola bikes
  • dog-friendly


South Congress Hotel

  • 71 guest rooms, 10 suites, & 2 suites
  • rooms start at $190
  • three restaurants (Café No Sé, Central Standard, Otoko), coffee shop, pool, bar, and lobby bar
  • dog-friendly

Flash Parking

Parking can be a pain on South Congress, so I’m excited to share that you can rent a BirdOne electric scooter for a half-day from FLASH! These fully-charged escooters are available for $20 half-day rentals, and $5/ hour after that (12 hours max). Located on a docking station inside the parking garage at 823 Congress Ave, is a fleet of FLASH scooters. We parked inside the parking garage, booked our scooters, and scooted through downtown Austin, over the Congress Avenue bridge, to South Congress! After our adventure, we returned the scooters to the dock. So easy!


Austin skyline

If you’re new to town, South Congress Avenue is just south of downtown Austin past the Congress Avenue bridge over Lady Bird Lake but not as south as south Austin. This is the ultimate neighborhood guide to South Congress by a local Austinite.

Visit FLASH.com to learn more!

Did I miss a spot on South Congress? Comment below!


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.


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