48 Hours in Austin

November 27, 2017

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Stubbs Bar-B-Q. Image by Tolly Moseley.

Austin has long beckoned creative souls, musicians and offbeat misfits. But in the past few years, its appeal has extended to techies, indie filmmakers and foodies, too. It’s a mix that elsewhere might struggle to find common ground — not so in Austin.

A blend of Southern hospitality and earthy crunchiness imbues the air here, making the locals friendly and the city eco-conscious. Despite tremendous growth over the last half-decade, Austin is still a land of craggy creeks, shimmering lakes and natural springs — it’s not uncommon, for example, to see stand-up paddlers moseying along Lake Austin at all hours of the day, or South Austinites taking their lunch break at Barton Springs.

“Hunting” in this city of delightful weirdos is effortless: there is always a fantastic band lighting up the night, or a newly opened restaurant luring you in by the nostrils. So consider this guide a collection of the most potent sources of wonder, by a local who is still discovering Austin’s sunny, lovely corners.

Day One

Kerbey Lane Cafe. Image by Tolly Moseley.

9am: Swing into the original Kerbey Lane Cafe in Rosedale for a helping of gingerbread pancakes, or try the Eggs Francisco: an English muffin piled high with scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, tomato and Kerbey’s famed queso.

10:30am: Go vinyl hunting near the UT campus at Antone’s Record Shop, and nab yourself a coveted blues album for next to nothin’.

11:30am: Stop by The Contemporary Austin (Jones Center) for a look at the latest multimedia art show.

Take Heart. Image by Tolly Moseley.

12:30pm: Get a coffee and settle in with a good read at BookPeople, Austin’s award-winning independent bookstore.

1:30pm: Cross on over to the East Side and, if your stomach has started rumbling, have a taste of local Austin barbecue: there are about a million options over here, like Franklin Barbecue.

3:30pm: Pick out a perfect little something at Take Heart, be it handmade soap or an indigo-dyed cloth napkin set.

5pm: Sip a fancy drink with fancier ice over at Weather Up, the unmarked bar with a big, luscious courtyard out back.

7pm: Hopefully you’ve worked up an appetite for dinner at nose-to-tail Salty Sow, where the best is brought out of all meat — be it candied pork belly or a slow-cooked beef shoulder.

9pm: For an indulgent dessert, Justine’s is just the ticket: the crème brûlée is divine, and the kitchen stays open ‘til 1am.

10:30pm: Go over to South Congress to take in a live show at The Continental Club, a one-time burlesque outfit turned Austin music institution.

Day Two

Allen’s Boots. Image by Tolly Moseley.

10:30am: Drop by South Congress Cafe for brunch on one of Austin’s most colorful strips. If you’re feeling savory, order up their mango aioli-topped crab cakes; if in the mood for sweet, their famed carrot cake French toast.

11:30am: While on South Congress Avenue, pop into Allen’s Boots for a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

12:30pm: Head to South Lamar and pay a visit to MOSS Designer Consignment for designer duds at a fraction of their original cost.

1pm: Grab a gigantic wedge of New York-style pizza from Home Slice Pizza: every variety, including the daily special, is reliably, insanely, delicious. Or, stop for a Vietnamese lunch in lovely light-filled surroundings at South Austin’s Elizabeth Street Café.

3pm: Take a walk in a park. If the weather is nice, don a bathing suit and have a refreshing dip in Barton Springs Pool, Austin’s mystical (and slightly freezing) swimming hole in the middle of the city.

Elizabeth Street Café. Image by Tolly Moseley

5pm: Cross the river up to Tarrytown and enjoy a coffee and a slice of cake with a view of the lake at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters.

7pm: Tuck into a bursting plate of oysters at Clark’s Oyster Bar, and don’t forget to savor the s’mores bread pudding while you’re there.

9pm: Catch a movie at the Ritz Alamo Drafthouse, the Downtown branch of Austin’s homegrown, rollicking movie theater chain. With movie-themed cocktails, waiter service and cabaret-style seating, I promise, this is quite the experience.

11pm: Wrap up the night Downtown with the thing Austin does best: live music. You can walk up and down Red River for some down and dirty rock ‘n’ roll, or take the basement stairs down to the Elephant Room if jazz is more your thing.

About The HUNT Austin Writer: Tolly Moseley is a writer, aerial silks dancer and yoga teacher. All of which means that she spends half her time performing an array of bodily contortions and the othe rhalf hunched over a computer. Her work has appeared in Salon, Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine and the Austin-American Statesman, and on National Public Radio Austin, a well as her parents’ refrigerator. She tells stories about her life on her blog, austineavesdropper.com.

For more great insider recommendations, pick up
The HUNT Austin on gatehousepublishing.com.

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