After hearing lots of great things about Austin, we finally got the chance to visit this tech hipster city. Besides great music, shared scooters, and amazing history, we also enjoyed the foodie options that were as good as all of what this city has to offer.
If you live in DC metro area you can get to Austin by direct flight arriving in (amount of hours). It’s a perfect weekend getaway from c-span and DMV delayed metros. Austin it’s considerably small to get around. If it was up to us, we probably would have stayed one more day to see everything at a slower pace and eat one more delicious breakfast taco.
How we spent two days in Austin (and yes most of it was eating):
Breakfast taco, here we go
After grabbing a coffee off of a robot at the airport we headed directly to the best breakfast taco place in town. I still dream about Veracruz tacos! They offer several options; we asked around and The Migas came highly recommended. The secret to this addictive taco is to having crunchy chips inside a juice taco. We also tried the chicken mole which I also liked (but nothing like The Migas).
Texas Capitol & Downton Murals
As political junkies we could not skip the tour on the Texas Capitol. Did you know the capitol building in Austin is one of only several taller than the United States Capitol here in D.C.? We spent a few amusing hours in the Capitol building exploring the more than 400 rooms and a rotunda below the dome where students were engaged in a chorus battle. Taking advantage of the convenience of a city full of shared scooters, we hopped on a pair and wondered downtown discovering murals.
Our first BBQ in Texas
We decided to stop in a classic spot for live music beer and BBQ. (I mean, what else can you ask for if you are in Austin?) Stubbs is famous for their music venue and the famous artists that have performed here.
Tears of Joy
Full and happy, we walked around the area to stop by a very particular store: Tears of Joy. As you probably guessed by the name, it is a hot sauce shop, with all the types of hot sauce you could ever imagine. Tears of Joy used to be a tamale shop but in 2003 decided to concentrate on what they love most: the tears of joy when eating with the perfect hot sauce. We bought the Humble House Habanero & Aji Amarillo sauce based on their recommendation and we looooved it.
A few beers in Easy Tiger
We walked a little more to arrive at a very scenic place called Easy Tiger. You enter into a nice small bakery with artisan bread and local coffee. When you go down the stairs, though, it’s a pub with a beautiful garden with a view to a canal. Here you can enjoy nice house made homemade meats and charcuterie by their kraut and mustard. We said we were only stopping for a beer and ending up buying several from their large selection of more than 30 local beers. We also ordered sausages that we then had to re-order because one round was just not enough. We had a great time chatting with the bartender and other clients as they all recommended beer to each other.
Check-in at East Austin
With the few beers we added to our plans, time to check-in to our room had passed, so we headed to East Austin where our Boutique hotel was located. Based on Condé Nast recommendations we decided to stay on The Guild, “luxury hotels rooms in apartment buildings” and we really liked the experience. We were within walking distance to one of the coolest streets in Austin and only 20 minutes from Veracruz Tacos (again, THE BEST ONES). If you plan to visit Austin, we recommend this place for sure!
Nos vamos con la Suerte
We’d heard about Suerte, a Mexican inspired restaurant that was up-and-coming. We walked by and, oh surprise! It was full. With no reservations and with a renewed eagerness to try the place we hung around and begin talking with others in the same waiting area. We were lucky enough that the people we were talking to had a reservation for 3, they had a booth so they invited us to dine with them! Amazing, right? The lesson learned here is that if you are planning to go to Suerte have a reservation or be lucky enough to find amazing people to share the evening with. We tried a bunch of dishes, all were so good. Their most popular and definitely our favorite was the Sudadero Tacos: confit brisket, black magic oil, and avocado salsa cruda. They also had a “carrot tostada” on the menu we weren’t paying much attention to until our waitress highly recommended we try it. We’re so glad we did! It had smashed avocado, pickled carrots, peanut walnut yum yum sauce.
Mezcal is what we need to end the perfect night
To end the night we decided to go to Whisler’s and Mezcaleria Tobala, a bar right next to Suerte with such a nice ambiance. Downstairs they have an indoor and outdoor area with a bar. Even though downstairs was beautiful, the second floor caught our attention. It’s a teeny tiny room with dim red light and a few small tables dedicated to a Mezcaleria. The music was not live, but it was a perfect selection. The bar had an expert on Mezcal; were you could tell him how you like your drinks and he would choose the best one to try based on your preferences. Energized from the mezcal we ended up and walking back to the hotel we stopped in Domo Alley-Gato. Such a cool place! If we had stayed one more night we definitely would come back again. With a big lucky cat welcoming you, you had a few spots inside to order food and drinks. We chose a Mellon Ball Z in Karé Ban Ban. We definitely wanted to try the Ban Ban Dog, probably next time.
Breakfast taco, here we go again
We went walking to Tamale House, a breakfast taco spot recommended in a Bon Appetit article. The breakfast taco was good, but the tamales were the star of the show for sure.
Burning calories with a bike tour around the city
Later, we went to Austin Bike Tour and Rental to learn more about the city and its people. We had an amazing time wandering around all the neighborhoods listening about urban legends, city growth and South by Southwest. We drove by the Lady Bird Lake, passed by the Treaty Oak, and got the chance to visit the University of Texas, among other Austin icons.
Our second BBQ in Texas
Our guide recommended a local spot for BBQ to avoid the long lines for Texas most famous spots. Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ was soooo good. We almost ordered all the meat variety they had to offer and we did not regret it! After that amount of food we needed a coffee and across the street we enjoyed a macchiato at Caffe Medici.
Now, let’s have a beer (or more)
How could we go to Austin and not visit a brewery? We headed out to Hops and Grain and did their tour. While waiting for the tour we saw a food truck they had in the outdoor area and enjoyed some parmesan fries.
The iconic Rainy Street
Rainey street is a must when visiting Austin. We began in Craft Pride where we were welcomed by dogs. Yes, this is a very, very friendly area for dogs, you can even bring them indoors! We were so happy we were drinking beer and petting every dog that came by to accompany their owner for a beer. We finished the night by dining in G’Raj Mahal, an Indian restaurant. We ordered butter chicken, palak paneer, naan, and an amazing biryani.
Closing the trip with a Breakfast Taco
Even though we left early morning, I was able to grab a breakfast taco from Tacodeli at Royal Blue Grocery. It had beans, potato and cheese, I think it was the second very best after Veracruz tacos.