While Austin has a unique culture, state pride still permeates the city. There are flags everywhere, which students recite a pledge to each morning. High school football is a way of life, with nearby Westlake often winning in front of 10,000 fans. And whether you realize it or not, you will talk to multiple people who have a Texas tattoo.
Originally the term referred to Mexicans native to Texas before it became an independent country and later state. Now the term more broadly refers to Texans of Mexican descent. It is also the name of the music genre Selena brought to the world's stage.
While there are many greenbelts (trails along the side of a creek) in Austin, when people talk about the greenbelt, they are usually talking about the Barton Creek Greenbelt. This is a great place for some mountain biking, rock climbing, walking or even swimming if there is enough water in the creek.
If you are thinking it can't possibly be what it sounds like, you'd be wrong. A chicken is in a cage with lots of numbers on the bottom and you fill up your bingo card based on where it does its business. Both the originator, The Little Longhorn Saloon, and the newcomer, C-Boys Heart & Soul, play on Sundays.
Chicken Shit Bingo
The section of Guadalupe Street that runs along the western edge of UT's campus is known as The Drag. It is filled with shops, restaurants, and bars, as well as UT students during the school year.
The Hole in the Wall
Austin is home to the University of Texas as well as their sports teams known as the Longhorns. So when fans are cheering for their team they yell hook 'em (sometimes hook 'em, Horns), which is often accompanied by the horns hand sign.
These tall structures were a popular type of streetlight in American and European cities in the late 1800's. Austin is the only city in the world where they still remain and therefore they have become distinctly Austonian, especially since the one in Zilker Park was featured in DAZED AND CONFUSED.
This iconic Austin street is broken into three parts. The section of Sixth from Congress to I-35 is know as Dirty Sixth due to the fact that it is filled with drunk tourists. Everything west of Congress Avenue is West Sixth and everything east of 1-35 is East Sixth, which each have their own nightlife scenes.
If you hear someone talk about SoCo, they are talking about the store, restaurant, and mural filled South Congress Avenue.
If you've heard someone talk about MoPac, they were probably complaining about traffic. The freeway that runs north to south in the western part of Austin is officially Texas Loop 1 (even though it isn't a loop), but everyone calls it MoPac after the Missouri Pacific Railroad whose tracks ran through the median of the original highway.
In Texas, beef brisket is king, though menus always have sausage and pork ribs as well. Your meat (ordered by the pound) comes with pickles, onions, and white bread but you can buy sides as well if you think you can handle more food. And while most places make their own BBQ sauce, people here don't use it. Try it out at La Barbecue.
While the area has been known for it's Tex-Mex food for many years, interior Mexican food in the city has gotten better and better over time. Try some interior cooking at the contemporary Suerte, the upscale Fondo San Miguel, or the casual Sazon.
This breakfast dish is made by mixing scrambled eggs with fried tortilla pieces, often with onions, chiles and cheese as well. Some restaurants up the ante by adding meat into the mix. It is a favorite in breakfast tacos, especially at Veracruz All-Natural, but can also be found as a stand alone dish, like at Tamale House East.
The city's best version of this Tex-Mex staple is hotly contested, but everyone can agree that it is most definitely not called cheese dip. Load your tortilla chip with this mixture of melted cheese and peppers that often has other treats added like ground beef or chorizo. Head to Kerbey Lane for their Kerbey Queso.
Kerbey Lane Cafe
The Texas take on chili is leaves out an ingredient that is crucial to most others: beans. This type of chili, which is actually the state dish of Texas, is essentially just beef and chilies. Head to Texas Chili Parlor to try a bowl of their Texas red.
RL Reeves, Jr.
Texas' favorite cut of meat has a lot of lingo that goes with it. Brisket has two ends; the leaner part or the flat and the fattier part, or the point. The whole thing is covered in a flavorful outer crust of bark. And the burnt ends are the crispy, coveted, cubed chunks of the brisket bark. If you don't mind waiting in line for half a day, Franklin's does it best.
This regional American cuisine is the result of Mexican immigrants and Tejanos recreating traditional Mexican dishes with locally available ingredients or adapting them for the American palate. Typical dishes include fajitas, queso, cheese enchiladas, and nachos among others. Try some of these at Tamale House East.
Breakfast in Austin is synonymous with breakfast tacos; restaurants sell them, food trucks sell them, cafes sell them, you can buy them pretty much anywhere in the city in the morning. These flour tortillas filled with eggs and other breakfast items are good most everywhere, but you can't go wrong with El Primo or Vaquero Taquero.
Though this sweet, fruit-filled, breakfast pastry is Czech in origin, it has been fully embraced by Austin and Texas as a whole. And even though the savory meat filled versions are technically called klobasnikies, they are usually sold next to their sweeter brethren as savory kolaches. Try one of each at Batch Craft Beer and Kolaches.