Get to Know South Congress Shopping, Restaurants & Things to Do

This vibrant neighborhood south of Lady Bird Lake is a must-stroll for visitors and a popular hangout for locals. South Congress Avenue oozes homespun character and boasts the story of Austin’s yesteryear in its boutiques and eateries.


Start with an iced turbo coffee at Jo’s Coffee and a photo op with the famous “I love you so much” mural. Candy and more candy is the main attraction at Big Top Candy Shop, a veritable carnival of confections that will satisfy the sweetest tooth. Hopdoddy is home to some of the best burgers in the city, but don’t skip the parmesan truffle fries or the salted caramel shake. For a long time, Home Slice Pizza was the only game in town, and they continue to rival other pie shops with their giant, cheesy pies worth waiting in line for. Keep it coastal with a stop at Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar, an eye-catching patio setting ideal for people watching while shooting oysters.

Mediterranean-inspired Aba boasts a picturesque rooftop. Or claim a private outdoor cabana at Habana SoCo for Cuban specialties and mojitos. Experience an intimate omakase dinner at 12-seat restaurant Otoko. The Meteor combines coffee and approachable food with cycling culture. Before you leave SoCo, sample classic and inventive flavors from Amy's Ice Creams.

Person walking away from the line with a tall stack of pizza boxes at More Home SliceHome Slice. Credit Giant Noise/Julia Keim.


If you’re looking for a place to drink, Hotel San José makes a mean michelada, and often has live music on its patio. Kick back with an icy margarita and catch a live performance on Wednesdays and weekends in the Oak Garden at Güero’s Taco Bar. The Continental Club, upstairs Continental Gallery and C-Boy’s Heart & Soul are owned by the same folks, but have very different vibes. Find bluegrass, Americana, blues, funk and everything in between. Make your own music at Ego’s, a basement dive bar with cheeseballs, a pool table and nightly karaoke.

woman wearing cowboy hat in front of rows of bootsAllens Boots. Courtesy Contiki.


Walkable South Congress is a boutique shopping paradise. Visit the chic shops of Music Lane for jewelry, apparel and home goods.  Embrace your mischievous side with Monkey See, Monkey Do, a kitschy shop featuring everything from the wild and wacky to the straight-up bizarre. Parts & Labour has a well-curated selection of locally made art, apparel and jewelry. 

Wander the huge selection of western wear at Allens Boots, and get a custom-shaped topper at Maufrais HatsMaya Star offers on-trend women's clothing, jewelry and handbags. And at Prima Dora, you'll find fun Austin-themed magnets, mugs and clothing designed by local artists.

Find more downtown dininghotels and things to do in the South Congress neighborhood.