We’re not sure that we can buy into Texas’ capital city being weirder than New Orleans, but it certainly is A LOT of fun. No matter your age, Austin is a great place for a quick weekend getaway. We flew direct on Spirit Airlines and snagged a round-trip flight for less than $100. You can’t get much better than that! Of course, flying Spirit tends to mean packing light, but when you are in it for the eating and drinking all you really need is a well-researched restaurant and bar list, a camera and a couple of brunch outfits!
After staying at The Fairmont in Dallas a few months ago, we decided to check out the Austin property. The Fairmont Austin is just steps away from Rainey Street, just a 10-minute walk from Lady Bird Lake and a mile from the Texas State Capitol! The hotel opened just a little over 2 years ago and it’s their most fabulous property yet – there are 5 restaurants and bars, along with a rooftop pool and a spa that has a salon, a gym and a hot tub!
Our first food stop was Emmer & Rye, a beautiful award-winning restaurant specializing in farm to table small plates. What makes Emmer & Rye special is how fresh everything is – the grains that go into the pasta are milled by the chef himself and the produce grown in an on site garden.
The restaurant is located on one of Austin’s best streets for nightlife, Rainey Street, so finding somewhere fun for after dinner drinks was not a difficult task. The bungalow bars of Rainey Street are mostly old homes that have been renovated and turned into bars. We ended up in UnBARlievable, a fun spot with a slide, hulu hoops and a silly vibe. Then, we hit up Container Bar , a super fun spot that has a DJ and is made out of shipping containers.
When waking up with a hangover in Austin, the answer is a no-brainer. Breakfast tacos! Juan in a Million is a no frills spot to get just that. The Don Juan El Taco Grande is a must. This gigantic taco is a secret combination of potato, egg, bacon and cheese in a deliciously hot tortilla. This baby comes with extra tortillas because you likely won’t be able to eat it all in one. Other favorite breakfast taco spots include Jo’s Coffee on South Congress (also home to the iconic “i love you so much” mural), Torchy’s, Taco Deli and Veracruz.
If you’re feeling like a sit down brunch with a party vibe, check out Grizzeldas in East Austin. Their chic pretty pink vibe had our Insta stories looking 🔥.
Suerte, named one of the best new restaurants in the country in 2018, is another trendy spot in East Austin not to miss. We went for the brunch and can’t wait to go back to try their dinner menu.
After brunching at Suerte, we stumbled upon the dreamiest cocktail bar ever. Located in a building that’s over 100 years old, Whisler’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once you are behind the velvet red curtain that flanks the entrance, you’ll never want to leave. Their day time happy hour menu makes it the perfect place to day drink if it’s cold or rainy or really anytime!
If you’re a fan of dive bars, check out Yellow Jacket Social Club after Whisler’s. The bartender directed us to this hidden spot off of East 5th Street.
The rooftop bar at Upstair’s at Caroline is a perfect place to spend a beautiful sunny afternoon. This adorbs spot is less than a year old and serves delicious cocktails and yummy tex-mex style snacks. We even mastered corn hole with a couple of locals!
For dinner, be sure to check out Loro. A collab between two of the best restaurants in Austin, Franklin Barbecue and Uchi Sushi, the Asian smokehouse meets Texas barbecue is one of the hottest new spots in ATX.
By the same restaurant group as Emmer and Rye, the new Kalimotxo is a super fun spot for before or after dinner drinks and snacks. The basque-style Spanish menu features pinxtos which are tiny snacks you can buy prepared at the bar and the porrón which is a small pitcher of wine meant to be poured directly into your mouth. The porrón is obviously what initially drew us to this place. Challenge accepted.
Another great dinner or Happy Hour option, Aviary Wine & Kitchen, is an adorable wine bar with delicious bites on South Lamar. The wine selection is varied with plenty of delicious rare finds including orange wines. We were pleasantly surprised by their amazing food as well.
We didn’t get a chance to squeeze in dining at Eberly, but we had to stop in for a drink just to check it out. The space is absolutely gorgeous featuring a cedar tavern bar and rooftop terrace overlooking downtown.
There are so many cute shops, bars and restaurants on South Congress. Strolling this street while in the city is an absolute must. Stop in at Hotel San Jose on South Congress to check it out and have a drink on the patio. If it’s warm enough, stick around to lounge by their pool.
Head to Barton Spring for little fresh air a exercise. It’s great for a hike and you can even get into the springs or get your tan on if it’s warm enough. Kayaking at Lady Bird Lake is another great option for an outdoor activity!