Be sure to bring your appetite when you come to Austin, as you’ll quickly find out there’s a lot to sip, sample and savor everywhere you go. From craft beers and creative cocktails to melt in your mouth brisket and savory breakfast tacos, we’ve got what you’re craving. Take it all in with this weekend itinerary.
Barley Swine. Credit Richard Casteel.
Kick start your weekend with a must-try Austin specialty: breakfast tacos. Grab a flavorful chorizo and egg taco from the legendary Juan in a Million, or pull up a chair at the new brick-and-mortar location of Veracruz All Natural (which got its start as a humble food trailer), famous for its migas stuffed with eggs, tortilla chips, avocado, pico de gallo and Monterey jack cheese.
Enjoy the outdoors (and maybe work off some of your breakfast) with an easy stroll along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, an urban green space along the scenic shoreline of Lady Bird Lake. Once you’ve worked up your appetite again, walk right on over to The Picnic, an outdoor food truck park offering a variety of local food trailers and plenty of picnic tables. Must tries include Hey Cupcake! and The Mighty Cone.After lunch, spend some time at Zilker Park and Barton Springs Pool, where you can either take a dip in the cool waters or just relax on the grassy shoreline. Spend the rest of your afternoon sightseeing on an East Austin Happy Hour Walking Food Tour with Austin Eats Food Tours, or on a leisurely electric bike tour with Rocket Electrics, which offers a Gastro Pubs and Trailers Foodie Tour.
If you have space in your stomach to spare for supper, try one of Austin's hottest dining concepts. A few notable mentions this year are - Bonhomie, Kemuri Tatsu-ya, Mattie's, Le Politique and Aviary and Pool Burger. Or, opt for the 10-course Chef’s Tasting experience at James Beard Award-nominated Barley Swine for an Instagram-worthy feast.
Start your morning with indulgent dishes, such as ricotta hotcakes with bananas, pecan butter and maple syrup, at local fave Cafe No Se. After breakfast, stroll up to the famous I Love You So Much mural for a picture, and then shop Big Top Candy Shop—boasting more than 300 varieties of bulk candies—to stock up on specialty sweets.
Eden East. Credit Travis Hoggard.
Continue your foodie shopping adventure by browsing the homemade treats, gourmet snacks and more at the SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown, open Saturdays at Republic Square Park from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., or the flagship Whole Foods Market on Sixth and Lamar, where all kinds of freshly made sandwiches, buffet items, baked goods and more await. Make an excursion to Springdale Farm in East Austin to shop the farm stand (Wednesdays and Saturdays 1 a.m. - 1 p.m.) for seasonal produce, jams, handmade goods and more, before dining at the farm's sister restaurant Eden East (open for pre-fixe dinner on Friday and Saturday or a la carte breakfast on Wednesday and Saturday 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.).
Spend your afternoon letting an expert show you around with a Live Music and Brewery Tour with Twisted Texas Tours. This 2.5-hour tour features a live band that provides entertainment on the bus ride to two breweries, where you can sample locally brewed craft beers.
After your tour, you can’t miss a taste of world-famous Texas barbecue. Sink your teeth into the ultra-tender brisket at Franklin Barbecue, helmed by James Beard Award-winning pitmaster Aaron Franklin (re-opening this fall), the beef ribs at Stiles Switch BBQ, or the decadent pork sliced belly at the new LeRoy and Lewis trailer.
VOX Table. Courtesy Paula Biehler PR.
Once the sun goes down, get a taste of Austin’s vibrant nightlife scene and its incredible cocktail culture. At mezcal hotspot Las Perlas, sip on creative cocktails topped with gorgeous garnishes such as wild hibiscus flowers. At VOX Table, boozy concoctions include modern twists on old classics, such as a Jalisco Old Fashioned, made with Altos Anejo tequila, ancho reyes, pineapple and Bittercube Corazon bitters. Experience the Live Music Capital of the World in action at The Townsend, where music is paired with specialty cocktails. At the sultry Midnight Cowboy, enjoy the low-key speakeasy vibe while sipping on a classic libation.
Pitchfork Pretty. Credit Richard Casteel.
Before departing Austin, make your last day count by indulging in decadent breakfast dishes at Holy Roller (think cookies-and-cream pancakes, meatloaf sandwiches and “trash fries” that are smothered in gravy, egg, sour cream, corn, lime and cotija cheese). Or opt for reinvented Southern cuisine—dubbed Hill Country cuisine—at Pitchfork Pretty, serving up gourmet breakfast sandwiches, fresh oysters and seafood, and sweets such as pecan scones with maple bourbon glaze.
If you’d rather sightsee and taste your way around Austin, don’t miss the Sunday-only Salt Lick & Winery Shuttle Tour by Austin Detours. This five-hour tour will take you to The Salt Lick BBQ in the Texas Hill Country, as well as two wineries to sip your way through made-in-Texas wines.
Antonelli's Cheese Shop. Credit Elijah Whites, Serving Social.
Looking for even more fun ways to experience Austin’s culinary scene? Check the upcoming tasting classes at Antonelli’s Cheese Shop and Con’ Olio olive oil shop, shop for something sweet at the Maggie Louise Confections flagship store, or browse our directory for more restaurants and bars in Austin.