The most romantic restaurants in Austin for a perfect date night
Ballooning with a young, urban population, Austin’s got romance dancing through the streets; the city is packed with date activities and, of course, romantic restaurants. Swiping right sure is exciting when there are so many options for canoodling. Maybe you’re the sporty sort, looking for a hike and bike day date culminating in an organic farm-to-table spread. West is your playground of green. Or you’re a Texan through and through, and nothing beats a big ol’ steak to say ‘I love you’? Brisket or wagyu, there’s plenty of meat here. And since downtown is such a hotbed of award-clad restaurants, lovers with a taste for authentic Asian, Mexican and European fare will be licking their lips at the melty kiss of delicacies on offer. Basically, the most romantic restaurants in Austin have every ingredient for the perfect date—first, second, or a number so high you’ll never guess. No matter how casual or fancy the endeavor, we’ve just the sultry spots to swoon the other half. And if you’re looking for an aperitivo, check out our favorite wine bars, too. RECOMMENDED: The best restaurants in Austin
The best bars in Austin for great drinks and good vibes
Austin is a playground for many boozy occasions: with bachelor and bachelorette parties and festivals being two of the most frequent. When you compare ATX to the rest of Texas, it’s safe to say that this is absolutely where the party's at. The thirst is real all year round thanks to ever-sunny (maybe even too sunny) skies. You’ll find Austinites quenching out in the parks with massive coolers, chilling up on rooftop bars that allow for a poolside dip, and raving out to the sounds of up-and-coming bands. Whatever your tastes, be it fine European wines or shots so cheap you can afford a round with the spare change in your pocket, it’s here. Y’all can don your finest at Austin’s best luxury hotels, or hit up Sixth Street, a strip that's synonymous with debauchery. There are also plenty of in-betweens, like tiny hidden speakeasies, which will impress a date, and beloved digs that the locals come to kick back at after a long day WFH. We’ve handpicked the very best spots in Austin to savor your poison, mingle with singles, and party with your pals. Below, the best bars in Austin. RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Austin 🏘️ The best hotels in Austin
13 spots serving the best breakfast in Austin
Austin’s breakfast scene is sizzling and the best Austin restaurants really are putting their best efforts into the first meal of the day. Here, patrons are kicking the feast off early, whether that be with a hearty bowl of avocado and grains, or a big greasy plate of crispy waffles and fried chicken. In Austin, you can totally do you at brekkie (boozy or otherwise) with no judgment whatsoever. Before you start hitting up all the best things to do in Austin, be sure to line those stomachs with our picks of the best eggs, bacon, coffee and smoothies in town. Recommended: The best brunch in Austin
The 8 best hotel bars in Austin
Who doesn’t love a day at Austin’s best hotels? There are social-media-perfect pools, lush spas for pampering, acclaimed fine dining and best of all, sultry hotel bars. You see, in Austin, things are a little on the casual side when it comes to watering holes, and sometimes we just want to get dressed up like it isn’t a hundred degrees out. For that, we have the best Austin hotel bars in Austin—think places to glam up and feel like you’re on vacation without actually leaving the city. Best of all, most of these are downtown hotels, so you need not wait long for a rideshare to get home. Take our advice: skip the overnight stay and the flight out of town and spend the weekend raising a glass at one of Austin’s most sophisticated hotel bars. RECOMMENDED: The best spa hotels and resorts in Austin
The best first date ideas in Austin, Texas
Hit it off with someone on Hinge? Been set up with a mystery suitor by your best pal? Finally plucked up the courage to ask your crush out? Then you’re now probably onto date ideas. Sure, you can grab a drink at a dive bar or go to a romantic restaurant, but this city is filled with things to do that are far more adventurous. After all, the goal of the first date is a second, and chemistry is best induced by fun time activity, great conversation, and delicious accompaniments. We’ve rounded up the best activities in Bat City to help ignite a spark no matter what your personality. Bond, laugh, and have a smashing time: here’s how to have an unforgettable first date in Austin.
The best cocktail bars in Austin
The best way to beat the heat in Austin? A cool and refreshing cocktail. Though Austin’s traditionally been a college town where booze flows like water, now that the population of graduates and grown-ups has ballooned things have gotten a lot more exciting on the palate. You could even say that right now we’re experiencing a long-awaited food and drink renaissance. The cuisine is getting more diverse, the new openings more acclaimed, and the bar scene, well, it’s overflowing. From casual dive bars and hotel lobby bars to happening rooftop lounges and hidden speakeasies, here are some of the excellent craft and classic cocktail bars defining our city’s modern bar landscape. RECOMMENDED: The best bars in Austin
The best spas in Austin
Exploring all the best things to do in Austin often leaves a dire need for quality spa time. Live music venues, rooftop bars, and hiking trails burn a lot of energy, after all. A great thing about Austin is the variety of R&R experiences that can be enjoyed. Start with the big spa resorts, where you can check-in and spend the entire weekend basking in outdoor infinity pools, holistic treatments, and nutritious meals. How about the fabulous day spas downtown, where you can pop in for a specific focus via a manicure, pedicure, or caviar facial? And if you’re up for something out of the box, why not try Infrared sauna, compression therapy, and an IV drip for a boost (yes, you can do these all in one session!), and it ain't Texas without rhythmic horse riding. We’ve rounded up the best spas in Austin to help soothe yourselves inside and out. Recommended: the best spa hotels in Austin
The 11 best Austin bars for singles to mingle
If apps aren’t your thing, why waste time swiping when you can meet someone IRL at one of these hip Austin bars for singles? Whether you’re in town alone and hoping to recruit a couple of travel buddies, or you’re in search of a long-time lover, Austin has plenty of fish—known for some of the most friendly and open-minded folk in the entire state, you’re in good company.From downtown’s trendy hotel bars to sultry speakeasies or mood-lit dive bars all across the city, the options are endless for singles of all ages looking to mix and mingle. To give you a head start, we’ve narrowed down the most friendly, social spots in town where you’re likely to bump into someone new. And while you’re here, why not take it another step? If you hit it off, make it a proper date at one of Austin’s most romantic restaurants—cheers, lovers. RECOMMENDED: the very best bars in Austin
The 14 best Austin bakeries to visit now
While you might find some pretty good sweets and pastries when visiting the best food trucks in Austin or at one of the best restaurants in Austin, there's something about these Austin bakeries that make them the absolute top spots to devour the best desserts, pastries and baked goods around town. From bustling Mexican panederias to cinnamon buns the size of your face, it’s time to indulge your sweet tooth like never before. And, since you're already indulging, you might want to really enjoy yourself at the end of the day with a cocktail in hand at one of the best bars in Austin.
The best whiskey bars in Austin
What makes a great whiskey bar? Is it about carrying the finest, most expensive whiskey available? Or is it more important to offer spirits that are accessible to everyone's palate (and wallet)? In Austin, you can find it all, from killer well whiskey at one of Austin's best dive bars to $125-a-pour whiskey at fancy cocktail bars to Japanese whiskey paired with the best Japanese food in town. The next time you're on the hunt for outstanding brown liquor, head to these Austin whiskey bars that are stocking the best bottles in the city.
Stock up on booze at the best liquor stores in Austin
What a time to be alive. In today’s boozy renaissance, hitting up the best liquor stores in Austin means we can eschew low quality hooch for top-notch booze like Japanese gin, small-batch rye and bergamot liqueur. The next time you want to reproduce that seven-ingredient concoction you had at one of Austin’s best speakeasies (there’s a phrase we never thought we’d utter) or cocktail bars, or relax with a single malt scotch you tried at a local whiskey bar, there’s a liquor store close by with an array of spirits. And if you fancy yourself a wine or beer person, these well-rounded shops are also stocked with limited release craft beer, Old World wines and everything in between.
A guide to the best craft beer in Austin
Sour, hoppy, stout, bright, malty—whatever your preferenec, you can find it all when searching for the best craft beer in Austin. And we're not just talking about ordering a pint at Austin's best breweries (though there are plenty of those to check out). Great local, craft beer can be found at Austin's best dive bars and pubs (and even a few hotel bars). Cheers to the much-improved beer boom, and check out the impressive, always-changing tap lists at our favorite craft beer spot in town!
Listings and reviews (103)
June's All Day
From the McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group comes June’s All Day, a café and wine bar boasting pastel walls, black and white tile and gilded café tables. The breakfast offerings will make you want to wake up a little earlier than you have to, with treats that range from grab-and-go pastries and crème fraîche cake donuts to “lamb in a blanket.” Have time for a heartier meal? Stop by for their Sunday Pub Nights, which focus on Indian dishes. And this goes without saying, but the wine list here is spectacular—sommelier and namesake June Rodil has brought in her favorites, including local Texas wines like pet-nat champions William Chris Vineyards.
Owner Josh Loving’s Small Victory is actually a huge victory; the bar serves cocktails borrowed from the past in a gorgeous space that still feels like a secret, despite all of its acclaim. Nestled in the corner of the parking garage behind the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental Hotel, the bar is found up a flight of stairs and behind a heavy wooden door. The space has been transformed with plush banquette seating that spans the length of the room, as well as a large, round booth in the back that you just know is the epicenter for wheelings and dealings. In addition to a customizable martini menu, there are expertly crafted house cocktails like the Artist’s Special—adapted from a 1927 bar book, it's a variation on the whiskey sour using Scotch instead of American whiskey to add alongside the sherry, lemon and grenadine.
The original ‘Midnight Cowboy Modeling & Oriental Massage’ sign has been taken down, but a single red bulb still lets you know where to find this hidden bar, a beacon of refuge amongst Dirty Sixth’s bush-league. Guaranteed entry requires a reservation made through their website—upon arrival, buzz the button labeled “Harry Craddock” and a host will seat you. Bar manager Tacy Rowland's menu changes seasonally, but you'll always find wildly inventive cocktails like The Icebreaker made with gin, St. Germain, saffron rice syrup, green tea and basil.
Consider drink.well. the quintessential neighborhood bar, offering both a great menu of hearty fare and inspired cocktails—all in a relaxed, friendly setting. Owner Jessica Sanders is always coming up with creative concoctions, like the Oaxacan Maid, a vibrant libation made with mezcal, fresh cucumber, lime, orange blossom honey and wild fennel. The space is intimate—37 seats with just a handful of highly coveted bar spots—and on weekends it’s packed to the gills with couples and groups.
In 2011, the iconic Rabbit’s Lounge closed its door forever—for 40 years Rosalio “Rabbit” Duran’s humble bar had been the meeting place for Austin’s Chicano politicos. Veteran Austin bartender Scranton Twohey purchased the building from Duran and in the summer of 2013 opened Whisler’s. Twohey’s renovation highlights the space’s raw feel—the archaic stone walls are lit by flickering religious candles—while adding a stunning cocktail program which includes both classic cocktails and those with a modern spin, like the umami-rich Beware of Sleestak made with whiskey, celery, lemon, rice wine vinegar, fenugreek and wasabi sesame seed. In addition to the main inside bar and a large open patio, upstairs is Mezcaleria Tobala—a speakeasy-style one room bar with a large selection of the agave-based spirit. Nationally acclaimed food truck, Thai-Kun, has a permanent spot on the back patio as well.
You’ll find Half Step in a small renovated house like many other Rainey Street bars, but the concept and bar talent sets it far apart from its neighbors. The previously run-down, sketchy structure was gutted and restored, and is now decked out in tea-stained wallpaper and church pew-like booths. Founder Chris Bostick has used his experience in the beverage industry—he was formerly the general manager of Los Angeles’s covert cocktail den the Varnish—to create a stunning bar program with meticulously crafted offerings, including a cult-favorite, the Ginger Paloma. The easiest way to find Half Step is to look for the baby blue house emblazoned with the motto, “You earned it.”
The Roosevelt Room
Co-owners and operators Justin Lavenue and Dennis Gobis have created something both impressive and accessible with the Roosevelt Room. A giant chalkboard above the bar reads as the history of cocktails, with drinks categorized by era from Early Years (pre-1880) to Modern Classics (2000s-present). But there's also a signature cocktail menu that's wildly inventive, with a selection of noteworthy concoctions such as the aromatic Cigar Box (mezcal, smoked black tea syrup, lavender bitters, tobacco bitters, flamed cinnamon stick). Exceptional customer service is one of the hallmarks of this bar, and an evening spent here can happily turn into an educational lesson on noteworthy spirits. One surefire way to become a regular: Snag their booklet that lists every single drink; once you make your way through it, you'll get a plaque on their wall.
The Austin Shaker
Connoisseurs and novices alike flock to the Austin Shaker, a bartender-centric shop known for their expertly curated selection of spirits, wine and beer. Not only that, but it’s a great place to educate yourself: A trip to the Shaker always includes browsing the collection of books, bar-approved tools and one-of-a-kind vintage glassware—all for sale, of course. Both Kirstyn Litchfield and David Maguire have spent the better part of the last 20 years either bartending or managing bars (including stints at Odd Duck, The Cloak Room and Easy Tiger) and wanted to create a store that catered to bar industry folks as well as enthusiasts. While you can find high-end whiskeys as varied as Willett Pot Still Reserve and Compass Box Spicetree Extravaganza, the Austin Shaker also prides itself on their considerable selection of bitters as well as Amari, vermouth, rum, liqueurs and mezcal.
The Austin Wine Merchant
Whether you’re considered the somm of your friend group or responsible for keeping your local Whole Foods restocked in two-buck chuck, the Austin Wine Merchant has a bottle with your name on it. It would be an understatement to say that the staff merely knows wine; John and his team have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of regions, grapes, tasting notes, vineyards and winemakers as well thoughtful pairing advice. Expect an extensive selection of Old and New World wines and Champagne, along with a discerning liquor selection that includes hard-to-find mezcals. Austin Wine Merchant has a loyal customer base that flocks to the shop on Wednesdays and Saturdays for tastings with experts.
Travis Heights Beverage World
You've probably passed by Beverage World plenty of times; it’s found on the I-35 access road next door to beer and Indian food hangout, Whip In. While the exterior may be modest, the treasure trove of unique and hard-to-find spirits, wines and beers inside is unbelievable. Owner Rohit Topiwala started buying beer and wine for Whip In in 1993 and after noticing that many customers were asking for liquor, seized the opportunity to open Beverage World in 2003 when the adjacent space was up for lease. Rohit was joined by Eric Pelegrin, former chef at Chez Nous, who serves as the shop's wine buyer. Beverage World is revered amongst both connoisseurs for their ability to secure exceptional bottles and by neighborhood residents as the place to stop and grab a bottle of limited edition craft beer, rosé and even of-the-moment natural wine.
A Clarksville booze institution, Wiggy’s expanded from a single, diminutive shop to adding a climate-controlled vault for vintage wines and walk-in humidors and a second location on Lamar. Open since 1973 and found directly across the street from Clark’s Oyster Bar, the liquor store has a charm that’s hard to find, from its creaky floors to the friendly staff who offer honest and informed recommendations. When it comes to booze, Wiggy’s has a more focused, streamlined approach, offering core selections and a commitment to regularly adding new products so that each visit reveals discoveries. This convenient neighborhood shop is ideal for trying out a new spirit brand, restocking your go-to and for grabbing a chilled bottle on your way to a get-together.
J & J Spirits
Found next door to Nickel City on the Eastside, J & J Spirits is a cozy neighborhood liquor store with a small but respectable selection of bottles. Don’t expect to find rows of wine or coolers full of beer (although 'hood favorites can be found)—this shop focuses on spirits. The most notable liquors are single-barrel whiskeys selected by Nickel City partner Travis Tober. Of the bottles emblazoned with Nickel City badges, we’re especially fond of the High West Double Rye, Old Scout 107 and Elijah Craig Small Batch. J & J also carries other unique products like Nikka Japanese whisky and Gem & Bolt mezcal infused with damiana, an ancient herb with aphrodisiac qualities.
The 16 things Austinites do better than anyone else
We're not going to brag, but—well, yeah, we're going to brag. Austinites are awesome at a lot of things, even when it goes beyond shoving breakfast tacos in our mouths. What things, you might ask? Check it: 1. Taking care of animals For six years, Austin has been the largest no-kill city in the U.S.; the average save rate for all of our shelters lies between 95% and 97%. Cue the Sarah McLachlan song. 2. Festivals We host so many incredible festivals each year: ACL, Sound on Sound, SXSW, Levitation, Fusebox, Austin Television Festival, Euphoria... 3. Outdoor movies There's something magical about watching Labyrinth or Pee Wee’s Big Adventure with a couple thousand people as Austin’s skyline twinkles in the background. 4. Live music No matter your preferred musical genre, there is always something happening at live music venues around town (the ones on Red River do not disappoint). 5. BBQ Franklin Barbecue, La Barbecue, Micklethwait, LeRoy and Lewis, Freedman’s—our BBQ game is on point. 6. Food trucks You can find the most surprising and unique food from our huge network of food trucks, from new Texas-inspired Peruvian Killa Wasi to vegan munchies-worthy Arlo’s to comforting Northern Thai from DEE DEE. 7. Keep it casual Don’t expect to see stiletto heels, tight dresses or ties. We’re known for our easy breezy style. 8. Eating local It can sometimes seem a little over the top (just like a very well-known Portlandia skit), but it’s nice to know that what’s on your plate suppor
Meet the duo behind the rainbow-fueled, all-inclusive Cute Nail Studio
You may have seen Cute Nail Studio on East Seventh Street already—a former barber shop transformed into a jarringly-cute, rainbow fantasy—where the people responsible, Jason Darling and Maria Russo, are the living embodiment of their brand. We chatted with the colorful couple about their technicolor studio, where everyone is welcome for cute and creative manicures—including 3-D and texture, with shapes that range from sharp to coffin—plus waxing services. Tell us about yourselves! Russo: Jason and I met at Barton Springs. He had a beautiful [OPI Katy Perry Collection] crackle manicure; I complimented it and he told me he had the supplies in his bag and asked if he could do my nails. On our second date we started planning a business. Darling: Maria fell for my best trick, and seven years later we have a three-year-old, a nail salon and an art studio that specializes in mermaids. Russo: Sirenalia is Austin's one-stop mermaid shop! We make realistic silicone mermaid tails, have a squad of mermaids (and a giant tank) available for events ranging from kids’ parties to SXSW corporate madness—and we throw international mermaid retreats in paradise. Photograph: Ashleigh Amoroso Why did you decide to open a nail salon? Darling: I’ve been getting colorful manicures for over a decade and am more or less what [comedian] Eddie Izzard calls an “executive transvestite.” As a guy, the nail salon experience has a tendency to make you feel like you’ve walked into the wrong room, and I want
Smoky cocktails are taking over bar menus across Austin
’Tis the season for Christmas lights, caroling and spending every day after work at a holiday party drinking festive cocktails. We're not just sipping on boozy eggnog and hot toddies, though—some of the best bars in Austin are serving smoky cocktails this winter, using smoked wood chips and smoke-filled glasses to evoke an earthy flavor profile. Here are five cloudy cocktails we're loving right now: Cigar Box at the Roosevelt Room Photograph: Courtesy The Roosevelt Room The Cigar Box ($14) was created in 2013 by Justin Lavenue at Whisler's then later updated when he opened the Roosevelt Room. Smoky Vida mescal and Lapsang souchong black tea syrup are enhanced with floral lavender bitters and house-made tobacco essence, then presented with a flaming cinnamon stick, resultin gin an ethereal indulgence for imbibers. The Tejano at El Chipirón Photograph: Damon Luu At Spanish newcomer El Chipirón, the Tejano ($14) uses Dripping Springs gin, rosemary, orange and lime peels, exotic star anise and whole peppercorns, combined and smoked with applewood chips before Mediterranean tonic is added. The result? A drink that morphs from fresh to citrusy to smoky as you sip. Off-menu cocktail at the Hollow Photograph: Ricky Cobia Served in a coupe glass under a bell jar filled with hickory smoke, the off-menu cocktail ($15) is a visual stunner. Creyente 100 percent Espadin mescal, Ancho Reyes and Cynar are infused with roasted coffee beans, while St-Germain, honey and ginger reductions
10 things you'll miss when you leave Austin
We all know one: the friend who left Austin in search of (seemingly greener) pastures. They are recognized by their social media posts lamenting the things Austinites take for granted, status updates that read “Why can't I find a decent taco?!” We have it good, y’all, but should you happen to consider leaving Austin, just remember these 10 things you'll definitely miss about our beloved city. Seeing your favorite bands (practically) whenever you likeFrom festivals to live music venues that book top acts regularly, we are truly spoiled. Watering holesBoth the kind you swim in and the kind you drink in. Parks and GreenbeltsWe’re not saying that these don't exist elsewhere, but our access to so many gorgeous parks and trails is a privilege. TacosVeracruz All Natural, Tacodeli, Torchy’s, Taco Joint, Tyson’s, Papalote—there are insanely good tacos in this city and don't you dare forget it. Happy hour on a patioIt’s rarely intolerably cold here, and we all know how refreshing a giant margarita is. Alamo Drafthouse CinemaSure, they exist in other cities now, but we can claim OG status to the theater who started the STFU policy along with tasty eats and drinks. Food TrucksVia 313, Deedee Thai, East Side King, Valentina’s Tex-Mex, Tommy Want Wingy, Patrizi’s, Thai Kun and one of our new faves, Hummus Among Us. Posing in front of/making fun of people posing in front of the “i love you” wall.Hey, you do you. BBQLa Barbecue, Franklin, Micklethwait, LeRoy & Lewis...need we say more? T
10 ways to feel like it's finally fall in Austin
With summers that linger much too long, it’s no wonder Austinites celebrate a drop in temperature. Between football season, holiday lights and, yes, pumpkin spice, we're craving that fall feeling any way we can get it. Here are a few ideas to get you into an autumn mood before you start hearing holiday music at Target. 1. Visit a cideryThe taprooms at Texas Keeper in Manchaca or Argus Cidery on Fitzhugh Road are open on weekends. 2. Plan a trip to WurstfestGet the gang together and head on over to New Braunfels from November 3 through 12 for German food, music and lots and lots of beer. 3. Dust off your insulated North Face vestHey, who needs sleeves when your core is toasty AF? 4. Visit a pumpkin farmThese fall wonderlands are found on the outskirts of Austin and make for fantastic ’gramming. 5. Switch to a darker spiritFrosés and Aperol spritzes are so last season. Sip on an old-fashioned or hot toddy, which basically kill all seasonal colds (so, you know, they're totally good for you). You can find one of our favorite old-fashioneds from happy hour hot spot, The Roosevelt Room. 6. One word: tailgateDon’t forget your burnt orange and a koozie. 7. See fall colors up close and personalBoth Lost Maples and Garner State Park are three-hour drives from Austin, and during peak season—usually the last week of November—the orange and red foliage are at their best. 8. Grab a fall-inspired brewHead to Rainey Street’s Craft Pride or Banger’s for craft beers infused with fall flavors
Get into the Halloween spirit with these eight gothic cocktails
Halloween is upon us, and with it comes an onslaught of events, obsessing over costumes, stocking up on candy and finding the perfect pumpkin. Relax, guys. Sit back. Have a cocktail. Better yet, have one of these super gothic cocktails now available around town—skull vessels and all. 1. Robert Johnson at Firehouse LoungeIt has long been rumored that Robert Johnson, a blues legend, was given his mastery of the guitar only after selling his soul to the devil at a crossroads. So it makes sense that this namesake drink is made with tequila, lime, fiery cayenne pepper, even more fiery Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub, and cassis, a sweet blackberry liqueur. 2. Black Pearl at Roosevelt RoomThe Black Pearl oozes Halloween spookiness! This glittery, black punch is made with Johnnie Walker Black Label, Talisker Storm, Smith & Cross rum, Barolo Chinata, walnut liqueur, Abbott’s bitters, charcoal powder and liquid silver, and served in a skull vessel inside a smoky treasure chest for maximum Halloween effect. 3. Black Flag at Holy RollerPunk rock diner, Holy Roller, doesn’t shy away from menacing drinks. In this case, it's the Black Flag—a blend of Jim Beam Black, lemon, red wine and balsamic reduction. The blood red color is perfect for channeling your inner vampire. 4. Blood & Sand at Odd DuckThis cocktail first appeared in 1930 and was named after a 1922 film by the same name. Dewars White Label Scotch, Flor de Caña Nicaraguan rum, cherry heering, Carpano Antica and orange contrib
Austin-inspired Halloween costumes that you can make in a day
The most stressful part about Halloween? Coming up with a sweet costume that's timely, easy to make and won't require help unzipping every time you need to use the bathroom. If you've procrastinated, relax—we've come up with eight, totally Austin costumes that you can throw together for the holiday. Topo Chico BottleHit up FedEx (RIP Kinko’s) and have them print a life-size version of the (now official) Coke product of Austin. This refreshing costume will ensure both high fives and plenty of “I love Topo Chico!” declarations from tipsy partygoers. Breakfast TacoDIY a tasty taco costume with colored felt (you know, or just buy one) and prepare for all the drunk revelers trying to bite you while their friends document it for Instagram Stories. Bacon and egg, bean and cheese, crispy beef: what breakfast taco represents you as a person? Photograph: Courtesy Mi Madre's Restaurant BatSpread your wings and fly as you channel the number one attraction in Austin (sorry, Duck Tour). Your brown/black costume will need wings, tiny ears and fangs for maximum bat-ness (guano odor optional). Hang out near the Congress Avenue Bridge for extra points! David KomieDavid Komie, “The Attorney That Rocks,” is quite possibly the most Austin your costume can get. Sport a leather jacket, goatee, dreads and a microphone while you hand out business cards emblazoned with metal band fonts. Just know that no one will ever top this woman: Photograph: Leeann Terwilliger UT Sorority Girl / Frat GuyDisg
Keep summer going with nine refreshing Aperol Spritzes
The Aperol Spritz consists of three ingredients: Aperol (a coral-colored, bittersweet Italian liqueur), prosecco (Italian sparkling white wine) and a splash of club soda, all typically served in a large wine glass on ice. The cocktail dominated this year—and may have bumped rosé out of it’s spot as the reigning summer “it” drink—thanks to its citrus aroma, sweet-with-a-bite flavor and low ABV. Though summer is coming to an end, Austinites know that our warm weather likes to linger long into fall; keep the sunny vibes going with these fantastic Aperol Spritzes—and modified versions—at some of Austin’s best bars. 1. The Roosevelt Room Photograph: Courtesy The Roosevelt Room Co-owners Justin Lavenue and Dennis Gobis stick to the classic iteration, but as with many of their cocktails, the build and portions of the ingredients have been modified slightly to ensure that they've made the most balanced and refreshing Aperol Spritz possible. 2. Holy Roller Photograph: Jen Keyser As if Holy Roller’s all-day Sunday brunch wasn’t heavenly enough, they also serve Aperol Spritz pitchers. For a cool $25, get a large pitcher filled to the brim with iced Aperol and prosecco, topped off with sparkling soda water and fresh orange wedges. 3. Small Victory Photograph: Mike Herschenfeld Small Victory’s Aperol Spritz is served long in a tall collins glass with hand-cut large format ice and is topped with a sparkling wine, Franck Peillot Bugey Montagnieu Brut, for a French spin on the classic
The 17 ways you can spot a transplant in Austin
There are signs that someone grew up in Austin, and there are signs that someone definitely came from another planet, er, state, altogether. Not that we're watching your every move (so creepy), but let's just say that when an individual posts a photo of every breakfast taco they eat, we know they're likely a newbie. Here are other signs that you've run into a transplant in Austin: 1. They form single file lines at bars. 2. They own coats, plural. 3. They try to walk places in the summer. 4. They act like fangirls/fanboys when they see celebrities during SXSW. 5. As soon as you are introduced they don't feel the need to add, “...Austin born and bred.” 6. They wait in very long lines. Like, for a bagel pop-up. 7. They get excited for ACL. 8. When introduced, they ask “How long have you been here?” so that they can tell you how long they have been here, and you can have the requisite conversation about when one can call themselves a real Austinite. 9. They don’t pronounce Manchaca “man-chack”. 10. They paid for their house with cash. 11. Topo Chico: Either they're not on board or they’re way too on board. 12. They naively offer up their couch during SXSW to friends from back home. 13. They're confused when someone refers to a suburb like Circle C or Jollyville. 14. They eat at Stubb’s BBQ. 15. They Instagram every taco they consume. 16. They have a blank look on their face when you mention Leslie or Townes or Daniel or Gibby. 17. They have a Texas license plate. (That
The 29 things you'll never hear an Austinite say
You'll hear plenty of phrases uttered by an Austinite on a weekly basis, mainly focused around topics like the weather, traffic and which taco spot has perfected the ratio of eggs to cheese. Things you won't hear an Austinite say? Let's just say that mentioning any bubbly water other than Topo Chico is sacrilege. Here are 28 other things you'll never hear a native say: 1. It’s Friday! Let’s go see some live music on Dirty Sixth. 2. I just don’t have time for any side gigs. 3. Topo Chico? No thanks, I prefer San Pellegrino. 4. I can’t believe how reasonable my rent is. 5. The cocktail bars here suck. 6. I work a 9 to 5 job. 7. West Austin is so diverse! 8. Wanna call a cab? 9. I can’t make happy hour; I’m working late. 10. I’m craving pizza. Want to order Papa John’s? 11. I wish it were warmer. 12. Let’s go walk up and down South Congress! 13. The Oasis has great food and great service! 14. Margaritas have no place in my life. 15. Dinner and a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse? Nah—Regal Cinema has a dope snack bar. 16. There’s nothing to do tonight. 17. Austin is a goddamn craft beer desert. 18. My Tinder date paid for dinner. 19. This Whole Foods trip was hella cheap! 20. Thank god half of East Sixth was replaced with condos. 21. SXSW is pretty chill. 22. Pflugerville is the place to be. 23. I cannot find one Game of Thrones watch party. 24. Let’s go have our photo taken in front of the “i love you so much” wall. 25. I’d like to shake hands with whomever planned thi
Fat-washed cocktails are showing up in Austin—here's where to find them
Tired of frosé already? It's time to go a little heavier, as Austin’s hottest cocktail bars are fat-washing their latest libations for your guilty drinking pleasure. In this city, artery-clogging habits don’t stop with BBQ. Austin’s top bartenders are adding fats to booze using a technique—borrowed from the perfume industry—known as fat-washing. The process involves infusing spirits with plant or animal fats, then freezing and removing the fatty solids; the resulting liquor has an unctuous oomph and a silky mouthfeel. Curious? Here are five fatty drinks around town to try. All photos by Jessica Attie 1. Brisket Mary at Trace Head to TRACE restaurant and bar at W Austin Hotel during its weekend brunch for the Brisket Mary ($12), a savory cocktail using George Dickel rye whiskey infused with fat saved from house-smoked Niman Ranch brisket. The concoction is followed with Zing Zang bloody mix and a splash of Austin Beerworks’ Pearl Snap pilsner for a truly Texan take on the OG Bloody Mary. 2. Cloak of Feathers at Kuneho This fat-washed beauty lies somewhere between an Arnold Palmer and a michelada. Kuneho’s Cloak of Feathers ($13) is made with two coconut-oil–washed rums from Jamaica and Barbados (which coat your tongue with a mild nuttiness), aromatic five-spice powder and black-tea kombucha. It’s rounded out with maple, lime and Angostura bitters. 3. Silver Meadows at the Roosevelt Room The Roosevelt Room’s bar team spent months perfecting the Silver Meadows’ ($15) formula.