South Congress Shopping
Austin's shopping hub filled with stores and restaurants
Filled with shops, restaurants, and nightlife, all ranging from classic Austin funky to modern cool kid chic, this is the commercial hub of the city. This strip has tons of cool stores, but our favorites that are listed from north to south are: Cove Boutique for travel inspired women's clothing, ByGeorge for chic designer fashions, Stag Provisions for high end menswear and the Willie for President mural, Tesoros for folk arts and crafts from around the world, Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds for costumes galore, Allens Boots for cowboy boots and hats, South Congress Books for used and rare books, Feathers Boutique for vintage and original women's wear, the Kendra Scott flagship for jewelry, and Big Top for candy and whimsy. The Yeti flagship is just north of the main commercial section as well. In terms of places to eat, Jo's Coffee for coffee, breakfast tacos and th I Love You So Much mural, Amy's for ice cream, Perla's for seafood, Hopdoddy for burgers, Home Slice for pizza, Cafe No Se for healthy-ish bites, June's All-Day for wine, pastries and a meal anytime of day, Torchy's for inventive tacos, and Magnolia Cafe for diner food 24-hours a day.
Cathedral of Junk
Whimsical structure made of junk in a suburban backyard
Vince Hannemann started building this feat of engineering in his backyard in 1988 and has been adding to it ever since. He estimates that the tower, spiral staircase, and many rooms add up to over 60 tons of junk. Visits to this whimsical wonderland are by appointment only, so give Vince a call to set up a time to stop by. He requests a $5 donation per adult.
The Continental Club
Austin institution for live music
This cozy, casual spot may not seem like it when you walk in, but it has been the hub of the Austin music scene for years. All of the greats who got their start in this city have played here at one time or another, often returning multiple times. While the main stage is downstairs at this classic venue for rock, country, blues, and rockabilly, don't discount The Gallery upstairs for a more low key listening experience.
Taco stalwart that is as good as ever
The people of Austin are very discerning when it comes to tacos. So if a taco truck can not only stick around but continually earn rave reviews since 2004, they have to be doing something right. Just like it was back when they opened, this is the perfect spot for breakfast migas tacos in the morning and meaty, delicious tacos in the afternoon. Another thing that hasn't changed since they opened is that they don't take cards, so make sure to bring your cash.
Chic, Parisian wine bar, bistro and cafe
As their name suggests, there is no wrong time of day to stop by this beautiful but casual spot. They offer full breakfast and dinner menus, a smattering of small plates, and delicious pastries. No matter what you order, you should pair it with a wine selection from their master sommelier June Rodil, who the restaurant is named after. Reservations are recommended. If you enjoyed your time at this impeccably designed spot, Josephine House, Clark's Oyster Bar, Pool Burger, Elizabeth St. Café, Jeffrey's, Perla’s Oyster Bar, Lamberts Downtown Barbecue, Swedish Hill, Lou's, and Joann's Fine Foods are all run by the same group.
Cafe No Se
Stylish, all-day cafe with healthy food options
Tucked inside the South Congress Hotel, this trendy place is a favorite for breakfast, lunch and brunch. While most of the food on this California-style menu is fairly healthy, their less healthy desserts and pastries shouldn't be missed. If you want something a bit fancier, try Central Standard, a raw bar and grill that is also in the hotel.