Back in February 2014, Jason and I spent a short weekend in Austin, TX to celebrate my birthday. Why Austin? It’s a lively town full of weirdos (don’t worry they embrace the label) and it is also home to the greatest movie theater in the country, The Alamo Drafthouse! Take a look at the few things we accomplished while we were in town and maybe you’ll see why we’ve been dying to go back again ever since.
As you might be able to tell, it was an unseasonably cold February weekend in Texas but still bright & sunny. We stayed at a great Airbnb apartment* located a block over from 6th Street – the main downtown area of Austin. We were able to traverse most of the city on foot but did use an cab to get to and from the airport. Here’s a few places we checked out:
Day 1 Breakfast at Walton’s Fancy & Staple
Located right on 6th Street, Walton’s was a happening little spot. You order at a counter and can seat yourself so we snagged one of the last spots left outside. The shop had plenty to offer including a wide selection of pastries but we needed a full breakfast to start our day.
I think I ate French Toast all weekend in Austin. It’s a hard craving to tame. Walton’s Challah French Toast was made with crème brulee batter and it was every bit as good as it looks. Sweet but that’s how I like it. Jason tried out some delicious biscuits and gravy.
Now on to some sight seeing…
The graffiti on this bridge was an unexpected highlight.
Trailer Park & Eatery
I’ll be honest, these weren’t the best tacos I ever had. I thought they were tasty but I think the glowing praise set the bar a tad high. I would eat here again in a heartbeat but I wouln’t go out of my way to visit this spot the next time I was in town.
The Eatery was a little ways away from the central downtown area so we decide to turn on our heels and head back. We stopped at another coffee shop called Cafe Ruckus. They specialize in hand crafted espresso, coffee & tea. Jas & I had a great dark roast here that was the best coffee I had while I was in Austin.
In the evening, we had already booked tickets for a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. If you’ve never heard of the theater its catered to the movie lover in all of us. You order food at your seat and can choose from a huge selection of beer. They also put on a lot of theme night films like Quote-alongs and Action Pack events that involve the audience in the film experience.
Since my birthday is close to Valentine’s Day, we went to see a “Master Pancake” screening of The Notebook. Master Pancake is a comedy troupe that pokes fun of movies while you watch them similar to Mystery Science theater. The whole experience was a blast.
The original Alamo is in Austin but they have since branched out in franchises across the country. You should check if any are close to you and if you have the opportunity – GO!
I’m obsessed with this place so I’m sure you’ll hear me rave about it again at some point.
Bars on 6th Street
So up until this point on our trip, Jason and I were having a nice time but we kept wondering “Where is all this Austin weirdness we keep hearing about?” The city’s slogan is KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD but we just weren’t feeling it. I mean, there were a handful of hipsters hanging around and a gay bar with Santa’s sleigh on the roof but there was no way that filled the weird quota.
Then we walked out of the Alamo Drafthouse around 10:00pm and walked into a totally different world. After hours, 6th Street goes crazy. The whole street shuts down, all of the storefronts open and the bars are jam packed. Everyone in the city woke up and music was everywhere. Bar hopping was so much fun and we were glad we were able to experience what we had read about. By the way, this is early February we’re talking about so I can only imagine how insane it is in the summer or during SXSW.
Right next door was The Jackalope bar where we ate our first small meal of the night. Reviews I read of this place referred to it as a “dive bar” which isn’t entirely accurate but the place was still a cool spot.
There was a great Barcade with various pinball, table & video games to be played. They also featured the classic bar game Drunk Jenga which much like every other bar jenga set I’ve come across included a delightful dick related dare.
Easy Tiger is a “Bake Shop & Beer Garden” which translates into greatest bar idea ever. Check out their awesome outdoor space below:
We also picked up a little food truck BBQ. I would have loved to have made it out to Franklin’s but when we arrived in the city our Airbnb host said it was quite a long wait for food and we were short on time. Plenty of reason to go back.
And for my favorite meal I had in Austin? Giant bratwurst from a van. I will hold no shame in my food related game.
Breakfast Day 2 at Magnoila Cafe
Before heading out to the airport, we made time to grab another full breakfast and decided on Magnolia Cafe.
And before you know it, the weekend was over. We were back on a plane to Baltimore with one last coffee. I hope to visit Austin again soon – perhaps I can check SXSW off my bucket list.
Have you ever been to Austin?
What are your thoughts on the city?
Make sure to comment with your own recommendations!
*If you’re interested in checking out Airbnb, click HERE to receive a $25 credit!