Austin-Things To Do In Austin

Best Pocket-sized Austin Travel Guide Book By A Local

March 06, 2020

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Travel guide to Austin Texas

Welcome to Austin – the live music capital of the world! Koko here from A Taste of Koko (IG: @atasteofkoko) – I’ve been a resident of Austin since 2007 (blogging on Austin since 2010) and I’ve been voted the best local blogger in Austin by the Austin Chronicle in 2018 and 2019. 

If you’re from New York, California, Dallas, we’re all about living the casual life here in Austin with hipster vibes while staying true to our motto: Keep Austin Weird.

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

Koko's Guide To Austin travel guide book

Koko's Guide To Austin travel guide

After blogging for 9 years and answering thousands of questions on where to eat and things to do in Austin, I finally published a guidebook to Austin Texas – the city that I love and live in!

Koko’s Guide To Austin features

  • 330+ local restaurants and businesses
  • 190+ beautiful, full-color photographs (that I photographed!)
  • 3 hand-drawn illustrated maps of Austin
  • In-depth restaurant guide that breaks down the best spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, date night, tacos, margaritas, Tex-Mex, and more
  • Neighborhood guides featuring the popular neighborhoods of Austin with the best spots for coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner, shops and more
  • Calendar listing of iconic events like Austin City Limits (ACL), South by Southwest (SXSW)
  • Weekend getaways from Austin
  • Austin bucket list that you can check off!

It took me 5 solid weeks to put this book together (why the rush? Well I went through a little mid-life crisis called my 30th birthday) and this Austin travel guide book was truly a labor of love.

Koko's Guide To Austin Texas

Koko’s Guide To Austin was written, designed, photographed, edited, and printed 100% in Austin Texas. I dedicate this little book to the city of Austin ❤️.

Consider this your ultimate pocket-sized guidebook to Austin Texas with everything you need to know before you go or if you’re a local, everything you need to know to experience the city you live in! Everything from best food spots to essential travel tips. 

Best Margaritas In Austin in austin travel guide

Best Margaritas In Austin

(actual pages from Koko’s Guide To Austin)


Koko’s Guide To Austin starts with an in-depth restaurant guide to Austin on the best spots for all of the following:

  • Breakfast – start your morning off right
  • Lunch – casual spots for a quick weekday lunch
  • Dinner – everything from pizza, Tex-Mex, Indian, Italian, and Thai
  • Brunch – I live for weekend brunch in Austin so this is an extensive list of the best brunches in the city
  • Dessert – best spots for ice cream, cupcakes, and snowballs 
  • Happy Hour – we triple checked this section. Not only did I put the location but also the happy hour times and the happy hour deal so you have it right in front of you.
  • Date night – rated with price ranges so if it’s just your first date or if you’re wanting to splurge $$$$
  • Special occasions – anniversaries, birthdays, and everything in between
  • Late-night – because I get late-night munchies all the time
  • Group meals – for parties of 5 or more
  • Coffee – there are SO many amazing coffee shops in Austin but I listed my 25 top picks
  • Bars – organized by downtown, Rainey, East Austin, secret bars, bars for dancing, and LGBT-friendly
  • Breweries – organized by North, Central, East, South, and West Austin
  • Wine Bars – Apt 115, House Wine, L’estelle House, and more
  • Healthy – for when you need a healthy meal here and there
  • Vegan & Vegetarian – we have so many great vegan and vegetarian restaurants!
  • Dog-friendly – organized by dog-friendly restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, bars, off-leash parks, and best hotels
  • Food trailers/food trucks – grilled cheese, authentic Thai food, doughnuts, and barbecue
  • Tacos – us Austinites love our tacos so listed my 12 favorite tacos
  • Margaritas – margaritas for every day of the week and more
  • Queso – the 10 best quesos in Austin
  • Mexican – there’s a difference between authentic Mexican food and Tex-Mex
  • Tex-Mex – Grizzelda’s, Juan In A Million, Matt’s El Rancho, and more
  • Barbecue – because there’s more than just Franklin Barbecue
  • Asian – sorted by Japanese (sushi, ramen), Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Filipino, and Indian (all rated by price range)
  • Kid-friendly – did you know kids can eat free almost every single day of the week at different restaurants in Austin?
  • Live music – the music scene in Austin is HUGE so I had to put together the best music venues to listen to live music.

SEE ALSO: 9 Reasons Why Austin Texas Is The No. 1 Best Place To Live

You know I’m all about the food scene in Austin so I picked the 10-15 best spots for each category and noted the neighborhood and price range in this Austin travel guide!

Amy's Ice Cream In Austin Texas


Hey Koko! I’m staying on South Congress, what’s a good happy hour?


Hey Koko! I’m moving to Austin soon, do you have any recommendations for a good neighborhood? What are the coffee shops or lunch spots nearby?

These are questions that I get weekly so I knew I had to include a neighborhood guide in this Austin travel guide and I even broke it down by breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, happy hour, bars, breweries, and shops!

  • North Austin 
  • Central Austin 
  • East Austin – East Austin has the most amount of restaurants and shops out of all the other neighborhoods in Austin!
  • Downtown Austin – if you work in downtown Austin, you’ll reference this section quite often so you know where to eat for lunch, happy hour after work, and nightlife
  • South Congress – SoCo (South Congress Avenue) is easily walkable with restaurants and boutique shops 
  • South 1st – I love this quiet street that has a lot of great food options like this little street taco stand
  • South Lamar – a lot of great restaurants are located on this strip
  • South Austin – I get a ton of questions all the time on where to eat in South Austin

Magnolia Cafe in Austin Texas


This was my favorite section of the book to put together because I didn’t realize that there were so many things I haven’t done in Austin like chicken shit bingo!

Weekend Guide To Austin

Here’s a snippet 😉

Day One


First stop: migas breakfast tacos at Veracruz All-Natural. If you’re really hungry, go to Juan in a Million for the legendary Don Juan.

Next, grab a coffee at Cenote and go take a picture at the You’re My Butter Half mural.


Get in line for barbecue at La Barbecue.

KOKO TIP: Grab a beer from Quickie Pickie before you get in line! If the wait is too long, Micklethwait Craft Meats or Kerlin BBQ are solid barbecue spots, too.


Bar hop on Rainey Street–Half Step, Clive Bar, Lustre Pearl, Container Bar, and Bungalow are popular spots.


Murals of Austin

We have so many murals in Austin so I put together a spread on my favorite ones with photos in this Austin travel guide

  • I Love You So Much
  • Greetings From Austin
  • You’re My Butter Half
  • Little Limbo
  • South Congress
  • Love From Austin
  • Historic 6th Street
  • Tau Ceti

SEE ALSO: 24 Most Instagrammable Murals In Austin


Austin Bucket List

  • #3: Try on cowboy boots at Allen’s Boots – bonus points if you buy a pair!
  • #10: Snap a photo in front of the I Love You So Much mural on South Congress
  • #14. Play with dogs at Zilker Park – my favorite weekend activity in Austin
  • #15. Run the full loop around Lady Bird Lake – try to go during sunset
  • #17: Tour the state capitol – tours are available every Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m
  • #26. Jump into Barton Springs Pool – it is a chilly 68 degrees
  • #27: Two-step dance at Broken Spoke – as a Texan that has lived in Texas for almost my entire life, I finally went two-step dancing for the first time last month! Broken Spoke is an experience in itself.
  • #49: Go to a Texas Longhorn football game (fall) – University of Texas alumni right here 🤘
  • #51. Experience Halloween on Dirty Sixth Street (October) – highly recommend dressing up in costume


Weekend Road Trips From Austin



DRIVING DISTANCE: 25 miles west


  • Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery
  • Desert Door Distillery
  • Hamilton Pool Preserve
  • Jester King Brewery


Event Calendar

Important events that are happening every month in Austin so you can plan for it or around it like

  • Austin City Limits music festival (ACL)
  • South By Southwest (SXSW)
  • Rodeo Austin
  • Austin Marathon
  • Balloons Over Horseshoe Bay Resort
  • Austin Food + Wine Festival
  • Blues on the Green
  • Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival
  • Texas Monthly BBQ Fest
  • Trail of Lights



A couple of blank pages so you can add notes on your adventures in Austin 🙂

Bookpeople bookstore in Austin

Koko’s Guide To Austin is available throughout Austin at the following locations:

  • Austin Bergstrom International Airport
  • Atown
  • Amanda Deer
  • Bee Grocery
  • Blue Elephant
  • Caffe Medici
  • Hearth & Soul
  • Lilla & Beth
  • Luxe Apothetique
  • Limbo Jewelry
  • Merit Coffee
  • Triple Z Threads
  • Little Limbo
  • Plant Party
  • Prima Dora
  • Succulent Native
  • Wood | Rose


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.