Welcome to Austin, TX, one of my favorite cities for a quick weekend road trip from Dallas! My husband and I love to visit cities where we can do a few outdoor activities and then eat some good food...and that's definitely Austin! If you're a foodie or just love being outdoors, a visit to ATX should be on your calendar. I've visited Austin so many times over the last 10+ years living in Dallas, and even got married in Austin in 2020, so the last few visits with Adam have been especially fun to explore some new spots. Enjoy!
Best Restaurants in Austin
We are huge Eberly fans after eating there for the first time on our mini-moon! We came back with friends on a Friday night during our last trip and it was just as good as we remembered! Food and drinks are all so good. Highly recommend the side of potatoes. ;) This room is the best seat in the house and Adam specifically requested this spot for our dinner, but the other dining rooms, bar area and patio are all beautiful, too! Location: south of downtown, Zilker
We visited Forthright with our friends Molly & Dom, and it was so good! it's right next door to The Line Hotel, where we stayed for our wedding, but I didn't notice it because it's tucked away at the bottom of an office building. Everything we had was so good! Dom got the Pork Belly Chilaquiles and it was beautiful; of course I went for the sweet option, the blueberry waffle stack- omg so good. Sometimes I'm disappointed by waffles, but not here! Def give it a try! Make a resy. Location: Downtown
More on this later, but we stayed in a new part of town - just east of downtown! We walked to Revival Coffee from our hotel and how cute is it?! There are more photos in my ATX IG Highlight, but it was pink pink pink, and had plants everywhere - my vibe! We ordered regular coffee because we didn't want to spoil our brunch (lol) but everything looked and smelled delish! They had some specialty Chai lattes that sounded so fun!
This one gets two photos because it was such a surprise find and we all LOVED it. I have to mention the queso because I think we ended up getting two orders of it. I should also mention that this was the meal we had after our afternoon at Barton Springs Pool and we were tired and hungry, and De Nada was the perfect fit. Good tacos, margs, and queso! Location was also great because it's East Austin... and it's a super casual atmostphere (Tulum vibes) so we didn't feel like we had to go get dressed up for dinner. Highly recommend for a casual din! Fun fact: I only have glassware at my house - no plastic cups allowed. But now I have 2 pink souvenir cups from our frozen margs. Ha! Location: East Austin
Of course we had to hit some dessert after dinner Saturday night and this was the spot! It looked like they had burgers and tacos and all sorts of good things on the menu. We went after dark, but it looked like their patio was a great hangout spot; we sat on their front deck, and it ended up being the perfect weather for ice cream with friends! Location: East Austin on Cesar Chavez
One of my favorite brunch spots from past trips. Sit on the rooftop patio when the weather is nice or inside the beautiful interior space! Love everything we've had here. I've been with friends and with Adam, and had great experiences every time. Second photo from an old Instagram story - see more on my ATX IG Highlight. Grab a resy for sure. Location: Central East Austin
I wanted to go back to Josephine House on this trip, but only had so many brunches to go to! I'll be back soon though. We went here during our Austin mini moon and it was so good, AND so cute. I want to say that I ordered a lemon ricotta pancake or something like that, but can't quite remember. Everything we had was so good though. You must try. Make a resy in advance, especially for weekend brunching. Location: Downtown, Clarksville neighborhood.
Classic brunch spot! Tons of natural light inside and a great patio, too. Of course I got the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, and they were amazing. I went with girlfriends on one of my last trips, and everyone's food looked and tasted amazing. Also, random bonus: it's not downtown so it has a parking lot and is easy breezy to deal with. Details from my Austin Bday post. Location: Northeast Austin
Can you make an Austin guide and not include Franklin BBQ? ;) If waiting 3 hours for really good bbq is your style, then step right up! I've had Franklin BBQ a few times and it IS really good. But I'm not about that wait time. SO here's what to do: place a bulk order online and do curbside pickup! Minimum order is 3 lbs., so plan a trip with a friend or get excited for leftovers! Check their website to see if their dining room is open or curbside only when at the time of your visit. They do sell out of bbq early in the day, so plan on brunch/lunch timing. Location: Central East Austin
There is so much to do in Austin but here are a couple of my go-to activities!
It's a pool, but it's also a natural spring! Think natural spring plus lifeguards and a diving board and that's Barton Springs Pool! The water is CHILLY so be ready! Bring a blanket to relax on the grassy knoll overlooking the large pool - perfect for people watching! You can bring in water, but food is discouraged in an effort to keep the park clean and free of trash. The website is *terrible* but you can buy tickets in advance online or at the door. I recommend buying in advance to avoid the entry line. Tickets are $5 for Austin residents and $9 for out of towners. Worth it!
If walking, shopping, and eating are among some of your favorite activities, then South Congress is for you! We always stroll down South Congress (or scooter/bike!) and pop into local boutiques and vintage shops. You'll also find well-known brands here, along with local eateries like Jo's Coffee and Amy's Ice Cream. Again, people watching is excellent here! It's just south of downtown Austin and has a great view of the capitol building and downtown!
There are SO many trails for running, nature walks, or jogs along the river in and out of the city! We love strolling along Lady Bird Lake just south of downtown, but there are a ton of options! Pack your Chacos or hiking boots!
Where to Stay
We love The Line and it was our wedding guest block hotel! We also spent our mini-moon there in the RWB Apartment suite and the views of Lady Bird Lake are amazing! If you want to be in downtown with easy walking access to restaurants and entertainment, then The Line is what I would recommend!
On our most recent trip, we were excited to explore East Austin...I think it's the up and coming area of Austin and we loved the casual and fun vibes! We stayed at the East Austin Hotel right on 6th street! The vibes were casual and fun and I think it's a great price/night value for the area! You're still 2 minutes away from downtown (just east) and it's easy to get around town. If you want a casual stay that's a little more budget-friendly, this is the spot!