Eating and drinking my way through Austin (with Graffiti Park photos)

Everything’s bigger in Texas, right? Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Austin, Texas, and I must say, my appetite was definitely bigger. Over/under, I think I ate 20 tacos over four days.

I didn’t do much research before going beyond reaching out to some friends for some food and drink suggestions. (Shoutout to photographer and Austin dweller Chelsea Francis for a plethora of amazing options.) We also stayed with some friends who recently moved from NYC to ATX, so they had plenty of good suggestions for things to do.

Since I wasn’t overly prepared for my four-day stay, I was SO pleasantly surprised by how amazing this city is. The nightlife is wild, the culture is fantastic and the food is just so good. I can’t wait to visit in the summer since there’s so much to do outdoors, including paddleboarding, boating and running.

While this list isn’t comprehensive, here are a few places I definitely suggest:

Food:
Taco Joint – Cheap, fresh tacos and wonderful chips. Definitely opt for the street taco.
Guero’s Taco Bar – This place was super crowded on a Friday evening. The tacos and other food were really good, and the atmosphere was very Texas.
Cooper’s BBQ – Uh, my eyes were way bigger than my stomach here. Definitely try the brisket, it’s so good. Other standouts were jalapeño mac & cheese and beef ribs. I heard nothing but amazing things about Franklin’s BBQ, but unfortunately, you have to wait in line for hours. BBQ isn’t my favorite food, but I had to try it in Texas!
Odd Duck – This farm-to-table restaurant was unreal. In addition to having a great happy hour, the restaurant had fantastic service. The menu is limited, so don’t take a picky eater, but it featured some of the best bites I had. (Check out that bread.)

Odd Duck Happy Hour

Bread at Odd Duck

Drinks:
I was so surprised to see such a crazy atmosphere in Austin. First of all, I think every bachelorette party in the world was in Austin that weekend I visited. There were two main areas we visited: Rainey Street and Sixth Street.

Rainey Street has unique historic homes turned into bars. These bars were really fun and young, but not as rowdy as Sixth Street. Most of the places on Rainey Street have outdoor seating, and many had fun outdoor games and DJs. Plus, you know I hit up multiple food trucks at the end of the night.

Sixth Street was unreal. My friend told me that it was “New Orleans Light.” I didn’t really believe her… until I saw it. The amount of rowdy bars in one area was crazy! It’s not for the faint of heart, but I LOVED it.

I participated in “Dry January.” This margarita tasted sooo good on Feb. 1.

To start off the day, we visited Stonehouse for lattes and breakfast tacos every day. It was close to where we were staying, and the coffee was great.

Other bar I loved: Gibson Street Bar

Things to do:
Graffiti Park – I’m so glad I got to see the well-known Graffiti Park since it’s being torn down soon. The amount of artistry here was so cool. Check out my photos at the bottom of this blog (taken on my Sony A6000 and iPhone).

Oasis – Our friends suggested this place because of the views of Lake Travis. and it did not disappoint. Oasis features some shops and a few restaurants. The area is up high, overlooking the HUGE lake. We ate a surprisingly great lunch at Oasis Brewing Company. Check out the spread.

Lunch at Oasis

Love locks at Oasis

Shopping on Congress Street – There were some really great boutiques and other unique stores in this area. I left with some great new outfits, souvenirs and more.

Austin didn’t succ.

Overall, I didn’t get to see everything in Austin, but I cannot wait to return!

Olivia Witherite is currently serving as the Social Media Director at MASN. You can learn more about her career on her new resume and more about her personal life on Twitter.

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