Austin is full of little dinners, barbecue joints and some great fine dining options. Just in time for SXSW, Librarian Lifestyle will direct you to some fabulous places that are near and far from the conference. Up first are places in downtown Austin where you can rest your weary feet and get a great meal, a fabulous coffee, a delicious cocktail, or all three.
One of my favorite downtown hangouts is Jo’s Coffee. Located in the urban shopping mecca that is commonly known as Second Street, they have free wifi, cozy indoor and outdoor seating, and great people watching. Try one of their delicious salads, a vegetarian chili frito pie, or the burger and fries. Insiders know to order the Belgian Bomber, which is a combination of their Turbo iced coffee and regular iced coffee. It’s the perfect antidote to a hot Austin day.
242 West Second Street
With a visit to Juan Pelota’s, you’ll get some of the best coffee in the city served by Austin’s friendliest barristas while experiencing the heart of Austin’s vibrant biking scene. Juan Pelota’s, the only place in Austin serving delicious Stumptown Coffee, is located inside of Lance Armstrong’s bike shop Mellow Johnny’s. Want to see Austin by bike? You can rent a bike at Mellow Johnny’s and join one of their many rides.
400 Nueces St.
Casino el Camino
Casino el Camino serves what is arguably the best “big” burger in Austin. A word of caution…You’ll wait nearly an hour for their 3/4 lb burger to cook, but it will be worth the wait. If you like toppings on your fries, definitely check out the chili cheese fries. For a delicious combination, order a Lone Star, the official beer of Texas, with your burger. It’s not Austin’s healthiest option, but it will be an experience best summed up by their motto “Your typical neighborhood bar (if your neighborhood is dark and twisted).”
Casino el Camino
517 East 6th Street
It was the stylish furniture and cool atmosphere that first drew me to La Condesa and it was the fabulous contemporary Mexican food and tequila-based cocktails that have kept me coming back. Nominated in 2010 for a James Beard award, La Condesa is one of the best restaurants in Austin. Any first time visitor should sample the Chips and Salsa that come with a variety of freshly made salsas and don’t miss the Mexican-style street corn, Elote.
400 West 2nd Street
Later this week, we’ll be featuring places to eat and drink that are outside of downtown Austin. Is there a place you like to eat or drink in downtown Austin? Share it with us in the comments!
Written by Karen Holt, a librarian living in Austin, Texas and the founder of Librarian Lifestyle.