Where We Eat
We could send you straight to some of the many hyped BBQ joints (Franklin Barbecue is not to be taken lightly) of Austin, and we’ll get to that. But first, allow us to take you down a different path to explore lesser-known culinary delights of this Lone Star city.
Getting Warmed Up
For starters, try having a little dinner at the spectacular Olamaie in Downtown or local favorite (and widely acclaimed) Launderette, a picture-perfect–see below–eatery that’s made waves in the Austin food scene.
In the mood for post-dinner drinks? Though certainly not the only spot on Rainey Street (an ideal area for cocktails), Half Step gets our first shout out—it’s really worthy of the praise. We also like Lucille for a low-key date vibe that involves fancy drinks and outdoor seating.
A Bit of Everything
If you’re looking for something a bit rowdier, Bungalow is where you want to go. So now that you’ve had a few drinks, it’s time to figure out the next move. Not too far from Rainey Street you’ll find Rositas Al Pastor, a taco stand said to make the best traditional street tacos in the city:
Other notable mentions nearby are Odd Duck in South Lamar, and Juan in a Million–a Tex-Mex breakfast spot featured on Man vs Food. Venturing into the North Loop, you’ll learn of this area’s fame as vintage shopping and cafe haven. It’s also home to plenty of great eateries, like Foreign & Domestic and Fonda San Miguel. For lighter fare and heavy cocktails, drink.well should fit the bill (regardless of the bad name).
The Main Event
Austin’s piece de resistance: barbecue joints. First and foremost, there are the long lines at Franklin Barbeque for a reason. Secondly, the finer dining at Lamberts is definitely worth a taste. Not to be outdone, Micklethwait Craft Meats have specialty sausages and beef ribs that locals adore. You also cannot go wrong at Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew, or La Barbecue. We could keep going but we’d rather put our brisket where our mouth is.
Where To Stay
Now that we’ve told you where to eat and drink, we really think you’ll love the hotels we picked out. The comfy bed will make for a great place to recover from the inevitable food coma.
Lone Star Court is Americana and then some. This retro Texas-inspired hotel features nods to the bygone days of Hill Country, and celebrates the love of the open range. Famous country singer Garth Brooks would probably love this place, if he doesn’t already. They are near top dining, nightlife, and shopping areas, but feel like a real getaway amidst the city landscape. They even have “glamping” and romance packages, if that’s your sorta thing.
The Heywood Hotel isn’t on Rainey Street, and it isn’t in North Loop, either. So why is it on this list? It’s all about the vibe and spirit that’s conveyed through design, good taste, and quality–those who want to explore beyond tourism and come face-to-fact with city’s eating, drinking, and cultural scenes… this could be a perfect spot for you. Their bungalow-style rooms are the perfect retreat after a day of BBQ, Mexican eats, and cocktails
The Archer Hotel is a premier hospitality destination located within Austin’s newest development, Domain NORTHSIDE. The large, modern building is a huge upscale shopping, dining, cinema, nightlife, and hotel destination. The design blends Texas limestone with wildflowers, and aims to create a trendy, modern vibe. The area is literally brimming with things to do–from shopping local to enjoying killer dining and drinks. Warning: you may never want to leave Domain, but the North Loop is close, so you can just see it all.
The Four Seasons Austin is a little slice of glitzy luxury nestled right on Lady Bird Lake. The Rainey Street area is close to the waterfront, so expect views and skyline. After a day of exploring north of the city, come back to home base at the Four Seasons, go for an evening stroll by the waterfront and grab drinks on Rainey Street.
You can’t miss The Driskill. This grand hotel shines as an old-world, glamorous destination near the Rainey Street area. Warning: you may spend your days trying to uncover elegant hidden rooms (and ghosts of unfortunate guests) within the hotel. The Driskill Bar has been chosen as Austin’s best cocktail bars, but we encourage you to seek out your own favorite from Rainey Street.