Looking for the best places to explore and stay while visiting Austin? We’ve put together a hit list of the city’s most happening neighborhoods. Just pick an area of town and discover the unique districts that are home to some of the hippest restaurants, shops and live music venues in Austin.
Rainey Street. Credit Geoff Duncan.
Rows of cute bungalows have been transformed into Rainey Street, a lively scene of restaurants, bars and food trucks. Have brunch at the newly expanded Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden or dinner at Emmer & Rye, hailed by Bon Appétit as one of the best restaurants in the country. Right outside draft wine bar The Drafting Room you’ll find the charming outdoor L’Estelle House, specializing in French fusion with a Texas twist. Find hotels near Rainey Street.
Red River Cultural District
Live music venues of all stripes can be found on Red River Street, including Stubb’s Bar-B-Q (featuring an awesome outdoor amphitheater), Mohawk rock club, hip-hop at Empire Control Room & Garage and local up-and-coming bands at the queer-owned Cheer Up Charlies. Stop in at Hoboken Pie after the bars have closed, when the people watching is outstanding and New Jersey-style foldable pizza slices hit the spot. Find hotels near Red River.
Sixth Street has always had a quirky allure, with its loud bars sharing space with world-class hotels. Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden is a popular place for craft beer, artisan soft pretzels and competitive ping pong games. Plan ahead to eat at Daruma Ramen, an intimate restaurant making some of the most authentic ramen in town. Maggie Mae’s rooftop is always packed with people dancing and drinking. You won’t get in without a reservation, but Midnight Cowboy, a speakeasy that takes pride in its creative cocktails, is well worth the extra effort. Find hotels near Sixth Street.
Fourth Street is home to some of the city’s best LGBTQ bars, where you can dance the night away at Highland Lounge, grab a drink and watch a drag show at Oilcan Harry’s, or lounge on the back patio at Rain. Catch concerts at ACL Live at The Moody Theater or Parker Jazz Club. Find hotels near the Warehouse District.
Jack & Gingers on Rock Rose. Credit Alex Hayden.
At The Arboretum, a park-like outdoor shopping center, try rich southwestern fare at Z'Tejas or wood-fired pizza at Brick Oven. Then shop for fancy olive oils at Austin-owned Con’ Olio or taste artisanal cheeses at Austin Cheese Company. Find hotels near The Arboretum.
At Domain NORTHSIDE, dig into Italian comfort food at Taverna or gastropub fare at Culinary Dropout. Once fueled up, set off on a shopping spree at STAG Provisions for Men for new and vintage menswear and accessories, or find a signature piece by jewelry designer Nina Berenato. Find hotels near Domain NORTHSIDE.
Wander down Domain NORTHSIDE’s Rock Rose entertainment corridor and pop into Thai-Kun for Thai food or Second Bar + Kitchen to try the bacon-and-bleu pizza with truffles. For a high-energy DJ experience, check out 77 Degrees, a Miami-style rooftop with craft cocktails. Or settle in with pub grub and a pint at Jack & Ginger’s, an Irish bar with 80+ beers on tap and an extensive selection of Irish whiskeys. Find hotels near Rock Rose.
Fresa's. Credit Nick Simonite.
South Congress Avenue
Start your day with an iced turbo coffee a Jo’s Coffee and a selfie snapped in front of the famous I love you so much mural. Then wander down South Congress Avenue and shop for kicks at Allens Boots locally made crafts at Parts & Labour, or jewelry at the gorgeous new Kendra Scott flagship store. Take a break with a frosé on the patio at the hipster Hotel San José, fresh oysters on the beachy deck at Perla’s, or Mexican food and live music at Güero’s Taco Bar. Find hotels near South Congress.
South First Street
South First Street is a fashionista’s dream, home to jewelry stores, vintage shops like Bloomers and Frocks and modern boutiques. Be sure to take a pic of the iconic Greetings from Austin mural. Dine under the majestic live oak trees at Fresa's or enjoy the all-day vegetarian breakfast served up at Bouldin Creek Cafe. Find hotels near South First Street.
South Lamar is a thriving neighborhood in the center of Austin's booming dining and entertainment scene. Check out Austin Art Garage for affordable local art in a funky setting, and Moss for consignment designer fashions. Feast on seafood and sushi at the contemporary Japanese Uchi, or sample the Korean barbecue and Mexican fusion fare at Chi’lantro. Then dance it off with some boot scootin’ at the famed Broken Spoke dance hall. Find hotels near South Lamar.
Contigo. Credit Nick Simonite.
East Sixth Street
Indulge in global cuisine, including empanadas at Buenos Aires Café,Mexican snacks at the nearby Hay Elotes and Japanese noodle dishes at Ramen Tatsu-ya. Then sip a craft cocktail at Whisler’s or get to two-steppin’ at the White Horse honky-tonk. Find hotels near East Sixth Street.
East Cesar Chavez
Drop by Quickie Pickie for coffee, wine, beer and the famous la Barbecue. Or try the Don Juan taco at Juan in a Million. Browse Resistencia Bookstore for Chicano, Latino, Native American and queer bilingual literature. Then grab a craft cocktail and settle into a sparkly lounge chair to listen to live music at Stay Gold. Find hotels near East Cesar Chavez.
The Mueller planned community includes its lively Town Center District, with popular spots like Colleen’s Kitchen (with clever cocktails), Lick Honest Ice Creams (try the sweet persimmon), Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Thinkery children’s museum. Find hotels near Mueller.
Cherrywood Coffeehouse offers a bit of everything, from all-day breakfast to beers on tap and live music on the weekends. Try Hoover’s Cooking, a Manor Road staple known for its soul food specialties. Check out the nearby Bird Bird Biscuit, serving house-made buttermilk biscuit sandwiches. Or order a hearty sandwich paired with a craft beer at Haymaker. Find hotels near Cherrywood and Manor.
LBJ Presidential Library. Credit Jay Godwin.
Eclectic Central Austin is located just north of the University of Texas at Austin campus, and is home to everything from country bars and record shops to cutting-edge restaurants and lounges. Find hotels in Central Austin.
The University of Texas at Austin‘s sprawling campus houses several impressive museums, including the LBJ Presidential Library, Harry Ransom Center and the Blanton Museum of Art. See live music at Hole in the Wall, where famous folks like Spoon and Gary Clark Jr. have played the small stage, or Spider House Cafe and Ballroom. Don’t miss the old-fashioned burgers and shakes at Dirty Martin’s Place. Find hotels near the University and the Drag.
Nestled in the shady hamlet of Hyde Park is the Elisabet Ney Museum, housed in what was once the German-born sculptress’ studio. The museum displays the largest collection of Ney’s work in the world, including portrait sculptures of notable 19th century Texans. Stop in for a homey meal at Hyde Park Bar & Grill, situated in a beautiful 1920s home. Or grab a deli sandwich from Avenue B Grocery & Market, the oldest grocery store in Austin. Find hotels near Hyde Park.
This happening road is lined with must-eat stops. Sample a handcrafted beer and juicy burger at Hopdoddy. Try a weekday lunch on the rooftop patio at Be More Pacific, serving up authentic Filipino fare. Pick up a healthy wrap stuffed with farm-fresh veggies at Baby Greens. Or stop in for an Iced Mojo (the house specialty) and a curried chicken salad sandwich at Epoch Coffee. Find hotels near Anderson Lane.
Burnet Road/North Loop
Both Burnet and North Loop and are home to fantastic dining and relaxed nightlife options along with several vintage shops selling retro clothing, home decor and mid-century modern furniture. Room Service Vintage and Blue Velvet are good bets for fantastic, affordable finds. Try the incredibly inventive dishes at Barley Swine, the brainchild of James Beard Award finalist Bryce Gilmore. Or go for Asian-Southern comfort food at The Peached Tortilla. Cap off your night with a craft cocktail at the cozy Tigress Pub. Find hotels near North Loop.
Better Half Coffee & Cocktails. Credit Alison Narro.
Escape the urban sprawl in West Austin, which gives way to rolling hills, scenic drives and postcard-perfect lakes. Find hotels in West Austin.
West Sixth Street
Experience the Whole Foods Market flagship store, which features restaurants, a beer and wine bar, a food truck, and a rooftop that hosts live bands and events. Flip through records and catch in-store jam sessions at Waterloo Records. Or attend an author event at BookPeople. Dine at Holy Roller, a punk rock, roller derby-themed restaurant that serves brunch all day, every day. Or dig into a steak at The Original Hoffbrau Steakhouse, one of the area’s first dining establishments. Find hotels near West Sixth Street.
Check out the art galleries in the Clarksville Historic District, including works by regional artists at Wally Workman Gallery, master artworks by Chagall and Picasso at Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery, and paintings by local artists at Davis Gallery. Have a drink on the patio at Better Half Coffee & Cocktails. Or try the Italian-spiced rotisserie chicken at Swedish Hill, a combination cafe, bakery and deli that offers an all-day menu. Find hotels near Clarksville.
This affluent neighborhood is located between downtown Austin and Lake Austin. Stop in at The Beer Plant, Austin’s first vegan gastropub, serving a fully plant-based menu and craft beer in a farmhouse pub atmosphere. Try Hawaiian-Polynesian fusion dishes like fajitas with pineapple at Hula Hut, situated right on Lake Austin. Explore the art museum and outdoor sculpture garden at the beautiful Contemporary Austin-Laguna Gloria, set on the Lake Austin waterfront. Find hotels near Tarrytown.
The Westlake area features natural wonders like the Bee Cave Sculpture Park, featuring rotating artworks in a seven-acre natural setting that includes a spring-fed pond and huge oak trees. Catch a concert at One World Theatre, an intimate venue that attracts world-class musicians. Grab a pancake breakfast at Kerbey Lane Cafe, or enjoy a craft cocktail made with local spirits and Texan cuisine at Jack Allen’s Kitchen. Find hotels near Westlake.