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AUSTIN TX

Going to Texas this winter was not even my idea. Ricki had been dying to see Texas, so he suggested that, on our way out to California, we make a pit stop in Austin. I had already heard lots of good things about this southern city so I wasn't opposed, but I had NO clue how awesome it actually would be! I was given a list of recommendations for Austin that would last me about a month and we only had 4 days, so I will be sure to include all of the places we didn't make it to, but that you still should! *be ready to eat a lot if you go*

I really don't know where to begin, so just gonna lay out our itinerary this trip. I was so overwhelmed with recommendations and everytime we got out our Maps app just to search, 190 places would pop up and they were ALL COOL! 😩 serious #austinproblems.

DAY ONE

We were too hungry to go through our list of recs and take time picking out a place to eat some lunch, so we just hopped on our Maps and chose Hillside Farmacy for brunch. We were not disappointed. The decor is so cool, it actually used to be a pharmacy, so there are little touches all over of old school medicine bottles and the bar most likely used to be the pharmacy counter.

It was almost noon and we hadn't had coffee yet, so I had some coffee even though next time I would love to try one of their homemade fountain sodas...they sound so awesome, and they either come virgin or you can add alcohol. I wouldn't be able to choose between the turmeric with lemon, ginger and black pepper, or the pickpocket (strawberry, basil and balsamic)...YUM! 🍹

After we got some food, the exploring began. We made our way to South Congress where so many of the places we had heard about were located. We made a quick stop at YETI because their store is pretty incredible. They have a stage where live music is performed some nights, and there is even a really cool outdoor bar attached. The bar seats are cushioned YETI coolers. 👍🏼

Along the way, we stopped into some really cool shops, STAG for Ricki and The Gypsy Wagon for me. Resisted buying anything since we only have carry-on bags that are already filled to the brim...We passed so many amazing spots that we never had time to go back to but I would definitely recommend checking out Hotel San José and Perlas. Go to Hotel San José for the frosé and Perlas for the vibe and some oysters.

Keep in mind that every night in Austin, we had tacos for dinner...so our first night we went over to Austin Eastciders for an awesome cider tasting and grabbed tacos from the food truck outside. 👌🏼 🌮

The hopped cider and honey were my favorites! Then, if you want to switch over to beer, walk next door to Friends and Allies for some beers and board games.

DAY TWO

Started our day off with coffees from Houndstooth, then just kinda skipped breakfast and saved room for the burger at Launderette. BTW most of the recommendations I had were from stalking @shelbysorrel 's instagram, and messaging her for an even more extensive list. 😍 So when she told us the best burger was at Launderette, we had to go. The burger was so delicious, but I may have been an even bigger fan of the deviled eggs we shared to start.

It was surprisingly cold while we were in Austin, so we stopped for an afternoon latte at Flat Track Coffee - super cool, biker vibe with the coffee roasting right in the back of the shop.

That night, we were going to a show at the Historic Scoot Inn (such a cool venue!). We got there early during happy hour, then got tacos from a food truck (AGAIN) before the show started! Obviously there is live music all over in Austin, so don't miss out.

DAY THREE

I think I went overboard on the food on day three. Time was running out and there were still so many places to try! 😂 I knew I wanted to get a donut from Gourdough's so we headed that way but we got there before they opened at 10am. Luckily for us, it was right next to Elizabeth Street Cafe. We intended to go in for a coffee but left having eaten an entire breakfast - the menu is so awesome. I had a Banh Mi breakfast sandwich and Ricki had a heavenly nutella/banana crepe. And their vietnamese coffee was the best I've had.

So I was pretty full, but we had come for the donut so I still had to have one...Impossible to choose because Gourdough's menu is just INSANE, they have a donut with fried chicken and honey butter on it...I had to go simple since I had just eaten so I got a strawberry shortcake donut with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries. Don't get me wrong, it was so good, but it was a lot more like carnival fried dough than a donut.

The eating was still just beginning. Ricki insisted on heading over to Franklin BBQ and we naively thought on a Thursday morning, how long could the line be? We got there and the line was around the side of the building. 1 hour, 45 minutes, and some new friends from Boston later, we were ordering pounds of brisket, ribs and pulled pork. Was it worth the wait? Yes, for the food and the experience, but I wouldn't do it again. Next time, I'd check out La Barbecue which we heard is pretty much the same deal.

That night we hit up the legendary White Horse to see a band play - super country, very Texas kind of place but super fun! Once again, there was a food truck posted up right outside so obviously we had more tacos. 😝

LAST DAY

Found the best açai bowl that I've had this trip at Blenders and Bowls. This day was based on trying to be a bit healthier than the past three...

After the açai bowls, we decided to venture out of Austin about 40 minutes to a Sotol distillery called Desert Door. This may be my top recommendation if you like tequila and have an appreciation for amazing interiors. It is where they make their Sotol and the tasting room is so beautiful. Combine the atmosphere with an amazing spicy, strawberry margarita and it's way worth the 40 minute drive.

Worst part of living in Nantucket is that happy hours don't exist. Luckily, they're everywhere in Austin...which was perfect because by the time we got back into Austin from Desert Door we were pretty hungry and were just in time for happy hour at June's All Day. Half off all food and sparkling rosé! 👌🏼 We had the most delicious burrata appetizer, served with warm squash and mushrooms. Then I had a smoked salmon nicoise salad and Ricki got the matzo ball caldo which was huge!! It was the perfect stop.

I don't have any photos from it surprisingly, but last thing - RAINEY STREET! I am obsessed. It is such a cute street of houses that have been turned into bars so they all have amazing patios, great happy hours and lots of them have really fun games! Like ping pong, giant connect four, darts and other fun stuff. I loved it so much I think I'm gonna have to go back for my bachelorette weekend. 😁

I'd say we were able to fit a lot into our four days in TX, which is important because as you can tell, there's a LOT going on. For the best ideas, definitely resort to @shelbysorrel 's account, otherwise here is a list of restaurants we didn't make it too that I wish I could have.

created by @emilymentes. to see more of my photography (and my other travel guides!), visit emilyelisabeth.net or check out @emilyelisabethphotography on Instagram.

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Emily Mentes
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