Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the Mexican army's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. What is wonderful is that no matter where you live in the US, you can take the time on May 5th to join the celebration and enjoy the unique aspects of Mexican culture, especially the food and drink. You can head out into your city or town and sample the festive atmosphere, the delicious tacos and guacamole (among many other dishes) and of course, the endless margaritas.
The atmosphere, the food, the service, and the location put these establishments over the top and onto our list of the best restaurants for Cinco de Mayo in Austin:
(2330 W North Loop Boulevard)
Authentic Mexican food with a seafood focus, Fonda San Miguel has a towering reputation in the Austin area, with people coming from near and far to experience this culinary wonder.
(606 Trinity Street)
Perfect for groups of friends or a large family, Iron Cactus is the ultimate in casual Mexican dining with delicious dishes and drinks, all for reasonable prices.
(3201 Bee Cave Road, #122)
Although the popularity and prestige of Las Palmos has been growing steadily over the years, it has not lost the small-restaurant touch that made it so great in the first place.
(1306 E 6th Street)
Licha's has unique and authentic Mexican dishes, all with super fresh ingredients. Don't be overwhelmed by the menu, whatever you choose is most likely incredible.
(310 Congress Avenue)
Wonderful authentic Mexican in an upscale comfortable atmosphere. Servers are knowledgeable and friendly. Everything freshly prepared with local ingredients.
(1110 W Sixth Street)
Sure there are better Mexican places in town, but the funky lay-out (big old repurposed house), full bar, happy hour specials, and excellent wait staff ensure a delicious meal and time well spent.
Austin is full of inspiration. Music venues, movie shoots, delicious restaurants and art galleries stand as a feast for all five senses. No wonder some of the most talented bloggers are based here, the imagination, inginuity, and imagination is endless. Whether writing about food, about their travels abroad, or about the local flavor - following an Austin-based blogger will be the smartest thing you do today. So we've created a list of our favorite Austin bloggers, along with a bit about each award-winner.
A Taste of Koko: A Taste of Koko is the premier food and travel blog featuring the hottest getaways and most delicious finds in the city through mouth-watering food photography.
Austin Eavesdropper: Tolly, a writer, yoga teacher and aerialist, talks about all things Austin adding plenty of anecdotes about life along the way. The name Austin Eavesdropper comes from Tolly's habit of listening to other people's concersations in public, so her blog has become semi-autobiographical.
Free Fun in Austin: Free Fun in Austin is the go to website for fun-loving families looking to plan adventures on the cheap. Voted Best Local Blog by Austin Chronicle readers and Best Website by Austin Family Magazine readers, Free Fun in Austin daily curates the best upcoming free festivals, movies, concerts, date nights, and more!
Girl Eats World: Though Girl Eats World aspires to document eating around the world, home base for me has been Austin for over 14 years now. I love the thriving food scene here and have been honored to witness and write about the coming of age of Austin's food story.
Keep Austin Stylish: Keep Austin Stylish is all about style and fashion from the perspective of an Austinite who has lived here for over 10 years. From street style to upcoming events, it’s an authentic and truthful blog about the fashion scene in Austin, TX.
Leah Travels: A native Texan, Leah shares her tales of luxury travel and food across the globe. Living by the motto "Life's too short to live with a 'someday' mentality", Leah hopes to inspire others to step out of their comfort zone and explore - whether it be a new country or their own backyard!
Nick's Travel Bug: Nick is an adventure travel blogger and craft beer enthusiast. Through his crazy stories and advice, he encourages his readers to travel often, create adventures, and live vicariously through themselves.
Oh Hey: Oh Hey is meant to be an escape from the everyday when you can't take a vacation -- full of fun links, recipes, fashion, and travels. Corrin has a lot of fun writing and sharing and hopes her readers can feel that when they visit.
R We There Yet Mom: Rebecca, an Austin-based mom of three, loves creating vacation memories for her family and inspiring others to travel by telling her tales on R We There Yet Mom. You'll find plenty of stories and tips for Austin, for Texas, but also for plenty of destinations beyond the Lone Star State!
Republic of Austin: Republic of Austin will take you off the beaten path in all things Austin. They strive to be the city's only truly alternative press and to keep Austin weird! Check in on this group of writers in their 20's and 30's, blogging about life, art, people, music, food, style and events in Austin.
Shoestring: Shoestring is your source for finding that "Champagne life on a DIY budget." Check out our Austin guides to the best places for margaritas, gluten-free food, vintage & thrift shopping, meeting local makers, experiencing Austin's outdoors & live music, and more creative, clever ways to have fun with money or without!
Trading Places: Many of today’s world travelers are yearning for authenticity; for genuine cultural exchanges and to immerse themselves in the soul of a place and connect in a real way. I am one of those people; and if you are, too, then you’ll want to check out my Trading Places blog, about experiencing the lives of locals, the real soul of a place, where I travel.
Austin is the state capital of Texas and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Lone Star State. With an array of nightlife, music festivals, outdoor activities to attend, here are some tips to make your next visit to the Texas outback a memorable one.
When to go: One of the unofficial mottos in the city is "Keep Austin Weird." While this is a phrase that Austinites have famously adopted to help promote small and local business, the saying has taken on a cult following for travelers, so feel free to apply this phrase keep this in mind when planning your itinerary to ensure you have the most fun! Austin is a wonderful city to visit any time of year, however the mid-summer months can average in the mid 90's, so spring and fall months are an ideal time to explore the city if heat is not your preference. During those times, temperatures are more comfortable in the 70's and 80's and many of the more popular events in the city take place. During the spring months from March to May, the calendar is full of unique festivals. Annual events include South by Southwest, Star of Texas Fair and Festival Rodeo, and the Pecan Street Festival. September and October are also fun times to visit, with options to explore the Austin City Limits Music Festival, the Austin Film Festival, and the opportunity to catch a Texas Longhorns football game.
Where to stay: Austin is consistently ranked as one of the safest major cities in the country, so plan your stay accordingly based on the activities that you plan to do. Austin currently has 325 vacation rental properties on FlipKey, many of which are also in close proximity to major tourist attractions in the downtown area. The city follows a numbered street system from south to north including the world-famous Sixth Street Historic District, with old historic buildings that are now ideal venues for music festivals, entertainment, and rooftop bars galore. My recommendation would be to search anywhere downtown between Highway 1 and Interstate 35 and book in the lower numbered streets or near the Colorado River.
How to Navigate: As a large city, Austin has quite a few different options available for how you can efficiently visit all of the places on your bucket list. Given the large size of the city, the logical options would be to travel via rental car, taxi, or bus using Austin's Capital Metro system. Walking is always a great way to explore and stumble upon your new favorite bar or café. However, part of any "Keep Austin Weird" experience should absolutely include renting a Rocket Electrics bike. Unlike a normal bike, these are electric powered, so you can navigate the city without exerting any exercise. Cycling is very popular in Austin as well, with over 80 miles of trails and bike lanes available to navigate, so you can easily access locations such as the Texas State Capitol, Lady Bird Lake, and Zilker Park.
The capital of Texas is a hotbed of great music, food, and culture. Every month brings a new event or festival that keeps the residents and visitors of this self-proclaimed "weird" city thoroughly entertained. If you're looking for the hottest spots to party and drink the night away, there are more places than you can get to during your stay. Here are a few of Austin's top spots to check out.
Cocktails and Desserts: Elizabeth Street Café
If your idea of a party is a girls' night out with creative cocktails and inspiring desserts, Elizabeth Street Café is the place to go. This south side Austin eatery offers exotic punch cocktails with Vietnamese-French fusion food. But honestly, who notices the food when the drinks and desserts are enough to knock you out of your seat? Who knew how well a little bubbly went with croissant bread pudding? Ooh la la!
One of Playboy's Best Bars in America: The Continental Club
This bar opened in 1957 as one of the Austin area's swankiest private supper clubs. Now it's the top place for rockabilly and swing music. You'll find custom hot rods lined up in front of this neon-lit club on South Congress Avenue. Inside, you can play a rousing game of ping pong or kick back with a delicious local brew. Pay a visit and find out why Playboy magazine named the Continental Club one of the best bars in America.
Dance Your Heart Out: Barbarella
This downtown club draws a diverse crowd and features several theme nights and dance floors. Barbarella is featured on many lists as one of the best dance clubs in Austin. Its wild theme nights include '80s-themed Footloose Fridays and TuezGayz. Locals lovingly refer to the club as "Barbs" and flock to Barbarella for its playlists and cheap drinks.
Hops-solutely the Best Brewery: Hops and Grain Brewery
Austin claims a place at the forefront of the microbrew movement, and Travel and Leisure magazine backs up this assertion by listing Austin on its Best Beer Towns list. Selecting the best brewery may be difficult, but Hops and Grain Brewery makes the list. In addition to producing some mighty delicious suds, the place also hosts tastings on Friday afternoons in their taproom, an event not to be missed. But if you do, they'll replay it for you on Saturday afternoons. Hops and Grain Brewery is a World Beer Cup Gold Medal winner.
Ditch Your Books: Check Out The Library Bar
The Library is a casual bar for enjoying a beverage or two. The lively atmosphere here is a decidedly younger college crowd, but drink specials and pool tables keep the nightlife here interesting for everyone. This place has been a mainstay on the Austin bar scene for years and still draws a crowd.
Austin's eclectic vibe means there's a hotspot for both beer lovers and dance clubbers. The Texas capital is the ideal place to let loose, whether you're looking to party with the Billy Idol look-alikes or beer snobs.
Austin, Texas is world reknowned for its offerings of entetainment, music, theater, food, and sports. If you want to time your visit to coincide with one of the major events that happen yearly in Austin, we've compiled a list that will hopefully help you out. Here are some of the must-see annual events in Austin, what they are all about, and when they take place:
SXSW: The list of Austin festivals HAS TO begin with South by Southwest. The #1 event of the year in the USA combines 10 days of film, interactive, and entertainment conference sessions, parties, and innovation. More than 2000 bands play across Austin in over 100 venues. This event put Austin on the map and has brought business, art, and innovation to a city that was normally an afterthought in those areas. It has to be seen to be believed.
Austin City Limits: Zilker Park once again hosts a major event, this time it is Austin City Limits in October. Typically recorded and broadcast by PBS, ACL put Austin on the map as the "Live Music Capital of the World". Founded in 2002, the ACL Festival welcomes over 75,000 each day and besides music has arts, crafts, kids play areas, food and drink. Headlined by some of the most famous bands and solo artists, all music tastes are represented here.
Pecan Street Festival: On Sixth Street, the main drag of downtown Austin, you'll find lively street fairs in both May and September, known as the Pecan Street Festival. This free, two day arts festival crams the streets full of hundreds of artisans. More than 60 of Austin's finest musical acts bring three stages to life, and family-friendly activities from street magicians to a petting zoo delight both adults and children. Thirty food vendors provide both healthy and indulgent choices, often supported by and benefiting charitable partners.
Formula One Weekend: 120,000 fans cram themselves into the Circuit of the America's track to watch Formula One drivers have little to no care for their own well being as they blaze around a 3.5 mile circuit track for the checkered flag. The track is located southeast of Austin and the race takes place in late September/early October. The accompanying Austin Fan Fest takes over downtown as well.
Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo: If you're looking for bucking broncos, cowboys, hog tying, prized pigs and massive ferris wheels you'll find them all at the Star of Texas Fair & Rodeo in mid to late March. With musical acts, a full rodeo competition, a fair, a stock show, a cowboy breakfast event and a BBQ cook off - there is something for everyone at this event.
Trail of Lights: During mid-December Zilker Park in Austin is turned into a twinkling example of everything "holidays". The massive tree lighting is the crown jewel as 120 foot wide Zilker tree standing more than 150 feet tall and decorated with over 3,300 Christmas lights and a giant star that is over ten feet wide.
Eeyore's Birthday: Everyone's favorite depressed donkey (does anyone know more than one depressed donkey?) from the Winnie-the-Pooh stories has his own holiday here in Austin. The most important part of this event is it collects money for non-profit groups in Austin. Activities for the day include live music, artists doing face painting and temporary tattoos, costume contests, and even Maypoles for the young or young at heart. Admission to the park is free. This event is held in late April or early May.
Keep Austin Weird Fest: For a such a creative title, this is more of your traditional fair or festival that you'd see in a city. With a mix of road races, family entertainment, product tents, food, music, and rides - the Keep Austin Weird Fest celebrates everything that is unique to this wonderful city. This festival typically takes place in June.
Right when you step off the plane - that's how long it takes for you to realize Austin houses an iconic and electic music scene. In Austin, every genre is represented, and represented well. As you make your way past your gate and through the airport, you'll be wowed by musicians strumming guitars and singing along to probably a country hit. That's before you even grab a taxi and head into the city.
You'll find live music everywhere in Austin - from town hall meetings to grocery stores and coffee shops. With more than 250 live music venues it can be hard to choose where and when to go. To make it easy on yourself - why not start with the major festivals that happen every year in Austin: Austin City Limits and South by Southwest. In October, the ACL Festival brings dozens of artists over a two weekend period to Austin for an incredible mix of music and fun. In March, SXSW combines interactive, music, and entertainment panels into three weeks of massive parties, business meetings, conference sessions, and more. Both of these events showcase Austin at its best and busiest.
Visit Austin in a more quiet time to get a real feel for the music scene in this mid-size city. Besides the big two festivals mentioned above, there's also Pachanga Latino Musical Festival, Urban Music Festival, Chaos in Tejas and many more worth checking out annually. Overall though you'll find musicians plying their trade all over town, you just need to know where to look. As we mentioned before there are too many live music venues to parse through in one trip, but they are as different as the bands playing in them. Sixth Street will have your touristy, young, wild crowd where country bands and others play deep into the night while beer flows abundantly.
The Broken Spoke and Continental Club are widely considered the town's top venues. The Broken Spoke is a classic country dance hall where you can line dance and wear a ten gallon hat. If you love acoustic guitar, you'll want to check out the Austin Acoustinal Cafe. The Sahara Lounge has hand crafted cocktails and music selections from Africa to South America. For something totally different, grab a mimosa at the Gospel Brunch at Stubb's BBQ for a southern style buffet. They also have live music at night.
For those who want to learn more about Austin's music history - visit the Texas Music Museum or the South Austin Pop Culture Center. Both museums feature exhibits that focus on the rise and influence of music in the city. On an Austin Live Music and Electric Bike Tour you'll ride on an electric bike past legendary live music venues, enjoy a music performance on a rooftop overlooking Lady Bird Lake, and hear fun facts about artists that have graced Austin's stages.
Food trucks have exploded into the public consciousness over the past decade. Now instead of a just a greasy sauage or a cold pretzel, you can dine daily at many food trucks in a city near you. One of the most prominent and award-winning food truck spots is in Austin, TX. The truck owners in Austin have redefined the game, brinigng incredible dishes outdoors, and easily grabbable on your lunch break. If you're considering heading to Austin soon, skip the lunch out at a restaurant, and grab a bite from one of the below listed food trucks instead.
The unbeatable food, the unparalleled service, and of course, the right location, put these businesses over the top and onto our list of the best food trucks worth traveling for in Austin:
The eclectic Austin food scene is not to be missed when you visit this amazing city. Restaurants not only line famous Sixth Street, but also award-winning establishments are scattered throughout the city. With so much to do and see in Austin, you don't want to be wasting time trying to find the perfect place to eat. FlipKey has you covered.
The atmosphere, the unbeatable food, the unparalleled service, and of course, the right location, put these establishments over the top and onto our list of the best restaurants worth traveling for in Austin:
Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden
East Side Pies
Fonda San Miguel
Foreign & Domestic
Jack Allen's Kitchen
Max's Wine Dive
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill
Noble Sandwich Co.
Second Bar + Kitchen
South Congress Cafe
Austin should absolutely be included in any list of top mid-size American cities to visit. With a bustling music and food scene, not to mention sporting events and a managable city to explore, Austin should be on your list of must-see spots.
With so much to see and do in Austin, how do you narrow it down? We came up with list of the top 10 things to do in Austin, so you won't have to worry about it. You can't go wrong with these activities:
Explore Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library: Rated as the #1 attraction in Austin on TripAdvisor, the LBJ Presidential Library features an interactive look at his presidency and the legislation he passed that still affects us today. The most popular area is the Vietnam War exhibit where visitors can read about the history of the war and understanding LBJ's decision process.
Visit Texas State Capitol: This National Historic Landmark, situated four blocks away from University of Texas - Austin (see below) has incredible sweeping views of the city and is a prime example of late 19th century public architecture. Views of the buildings dome are protected by law, and no one may build a structure that obstructs it. Be sure to head inside and take a tour of the complex and see how all three branches of Texas government are run.
Swim in Barton Springs Pool & Lady Bird Lake: At Lady Bird Lake, go out in the day time or even take a cruise around at night. Do not miss out on the bats flying around at night. Rent a kayak or a paddleboard and just chill out and enjoy the views of Austin. Barton Springs is a 1000 foot long natural limestone pool fed by several underground springs. The cool (compared to the outside temperature) water can be quite refreshing. It is a great place to bring children to as well!
See a concert: It is well known that the music scene in Austin is a major draw for tourism. Make sure you see a famous or local band while you're in town. The best places to catch live music are Emo's, Stubb's, ACL Live, and Mohawk.
Grab a drink: Exploring a new city is thirsty work. Thank heavens that Austin has ample bars and restaurants for you to imbibe. Really though Austin is on the cutting edge of the microbrewery movement and there are plenty of delicious local brews to enjoy. Check out the Austin Brew Bus, a ticket gets you access to tours of a few local breweries, with an updated tour pretty much every month, so you can try it more than once! Check out Sixth Stret aka the Dirty Sixth for a wild night of fun.
Stay full: Running around the city engaging in all these activities - you'll sure work up an appetite. Austin food scene (and even the mobile food trucks) is Grade A. Try to go during Austin Restuarant Week to enjoy specials and save some cash. Overall you can't go wrong where you choose to eat, but some of the favorites are: Perla's, East Side Pies, and Arro. To take them all down in one swoop, try the Austin Food Tour for a brilliant way to explore the Austin food scene.
Hike Mount Bonnell: Considered the highest point in Austin at 775 feet, Mount Bonnell it remains one of the most popular attractions in Austin with spectacular views of the city, Lake Austin, and surrounding hills. With paths and stairs for both amateurs and experts, this mountain is accessible for all athletic skill levels. There are many lookout points on the way up too. Revel in the beauty of Austin from its highest point.
Experience University of Texas - Austin: High school football in Texas is a religion on Friday nights, but on Saturday, its all about college. University of Texas at Austin is one of the biggest colleges in the entire country. Their athletic program is incrediby well funded and catching a football game or basketball game on campus is quite an experience. If sports aren't your thing, take a tour of the campus and take in the sheer size and scope of such a massive school. If you're feeling young enough, check out some of the popular bars around campus or even sit in on a class. The history and architecture around campus should not be missed either.
Party at a Festival: On the Austin yearly calendar there are a number of must-do events that run the gamut from wacky to straight laced. Nothing is bigger than the South by Southwest Festival that takes place in March with thousands of music, film, and interactive lovers storming the city to share ideas and have a blast. For the family, check out the Zilker Kite Festival, also in March, where you can fly your kite and check out the newest models. It is also free! Eeyore's Birthday Party in April and benefits non-profit organizations. Celebrate everyone's favorite sour puss from Winnie the Pooh with games and contests galore. Costumes are encouraged! For runners, there are plenty of road races throughout the year like the Keep Austin Weird Fest and Cap 10K.
Stay active: Hiking Mount Bonnell (above) is a great way to get some cardio when in Austin, but there are many other activities to get the blood flowing and work off all that BBQ. Lady Bird Lake (also mentioned above) has a hike & bike trail that rings around its outside, a fun workout in the Austin heat. Try out City Runnings Tours for a heart-pumping way to view the area.
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