Greetings From, well Portland, but this post is about the 4 days we spent in Austin, TX. Now that it’s cool and rainy again in Portland, I’m really wishing we had more time to spend in the warm, sunny weather of Texas, my pasty skin would seriously appreciate it.
Before our trip I spent an extensive amount of time researching where I needed to visit for the best Austin Foodie experience. We were traveling for a wedding so a large portion of our 4 days there were already dedicated to the ceremony, reception, and rehearsal dinner. Luckily, I got to check some BBQ off the list as soon as we landed since the rehearsal was at Salt Lick Driftwood. The BBQ was good, but not my favorite of the weekend. However, if you have the time I highly recommend checking it out for the experience. The spring drive there is beautiful and filled with Blue Bonnets and I was incredibly impressed by just how expansive Salt Lick was.
So what was on my ABSOLUTELY, NO MATTER WHAT, MUST TRY list?
- Arlo’s Curbside: Yes, I do eat meat again, however, I will always love a good vegan burger and Arlo’s did not disappoint. Not only was their food delicious, but they make their own burger patty and seitan bacon instead of using mass produced options. Also, get their tots, you won’t be disappointed.
- Kerlin BBQ & Vera Cruz All Natural: Yes, this is two different places, but the two trucks occupy the same lot. While you’re there just get both. I went to Kerlin specifically for their Kolaches, we got one of each and my belly was happy. Andrew and I split both a Migas and Al Pastor Taco at Vera Cruz. I’ve realized on this trip that I don’t like scrambled eggs so the Al Pastor was my favorite, but everything at Vera Cruz is locally grown and raised so I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with anything you get
- Torchy’s Tacos: Torchy’s is an Austin staple. Literally, everyone I met who has gone to Austin has mentioned Torchy’s so this was our first stop for breakfast after landing. I again ordered the Migas and a Mr. Orange (yep, salmon for breakfast). You know my stance on scrambled eggs, but I would highly recommend Mr. Orange.
Should I continue my list? Probably, because I haven’t even told you about my favorites yet
- Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ: Valentina’s is a bit of a drive outside of central Austin, but this was my ‘Worth It’ winner. Because of the location I thought the prices were more reasonable, there wasn’t much of a line, and this was the BEST BBQ that we had while in Austin. This was the last stop on our trip so our bellies were full but we split a Cerveza Beef Taco, Chopped Brisket Sandwich, and Chips and Queso. Everything was incredibly flavorful, perfectly smoked, and so so tender.
- Gourdough’s: I’ll be the first to admit that I am a doughnut snob. We were actually on our way to get ice cream before I made the impulse decision to hit Gourdough’s instead (for the sake of everyone else in the car). This was the best impulse decision I’ve made in a while. If you’ve never had a warm, fresh made doughnut covered in frosting and brownie pieces, get yourself to Gourdough’s ASAP!
- Blue Owl Brewing: I’m typically more of a cider person than a beer person, but I do LOVE sours and all of the beers at Blue Owl Brewing are Sour Mashed. I also loved that you get to come home with a souvenir glass. Actually, everyone gets to leave with their glass. You pick the size you want (4, 8, 12, or 16 oz), purchase that glass, and then you get 4 fills for the price of the glass. Their current seasonal Tropical Brut was light, refreshing, and great for a warm day.
- Cuvee Coffee: This actually wasn’t even on my list until we boarded the plane and I happened to sit next to Alisha, a content creator who just spent the week in Vancouver checking out all the local breweries and wineries. As someone loyal to Stumptown Coffee, I gotta say, this was good!
At this point you’re all probably wondering if we did anything other than eat. The answer is “Yes, we did,” however, when I travel I travel for food. I always think that this is the best way to experience the culture of a city and connect with those who live and work here everyday. And if you ask my dad (my personal escort on this trip) I’m pretty committed to get everywhere on my lists.
Most of our day Saturday was spent at and preparing for the wedding we were attending, but we did go out after and ended up on 6th street (yes, Dirty 6th St) with the bridal party after. The night was spent at Buckshot, a bar that’s primarily focused on shots at different price points. It’s been a minute since I: 1) drank primarily shots and 2) spent the night in a crowd of kids much closer to 21 than 30. It was definitely an experience I recommend at least once on your trip to Austin, but maybe not any more than that.
We were in Austin after all so we also made sure to check out some music. Sunday night we got tickets to Tyler Childers at Stubb’s BBQ. The outdoor concert venue was a great way to enjoy the beautiful Texas weather. Drink prices were reasonable, they offered BBQ outside, and the venue was large enough that we didn’t feel like we were all packed in. Just a heads up though, there is no seating available so you do have to stand the entire time.
The Airbnb that we stayed at was in the most perfect location. It allowed us to be within a mile of the wedding, several breweries, food carts, Zilker park, and all of downtown Austin. It was right off Cesar Chavez, had driveway parking available, and comfortably fit all 6 of us that were traveling together. If you’ve never stayed with Airbnb before feel free to use this link for a $20 discount:
What are some of your favorite things to do or eat in Austin? What should I plan for our next visit? Have you been to any of the places we went to? Comment and let me know!