I recently took a trip to drink frosé in Austin and bask in the warm weather – and to hang out with my girlfriends, eat amazing food, see some bats and drink some coffee, too. Coming from Seattle in the spring, 80 degrees and outdoor patios were extremely welcome. Here’s the path we traveled and some of our favorite spots. It’s not exhaustive of course, but if you want to know what a group of registered dietitians do on vacation – this is pretty much it (and it was a blast). Thanks to dietitian buddies Natalie, Amy, Christy, and Shannon for the best time ever!
Licha’s Cantina (East Austin)
YUM this place was good but super busy. Make sure to nab a res or just go before dinner in the afternoon for some drinks and apps on the lovely front patio. The menu features unique options like hibiscus flower quesadilla and has an extensive menu of creative cocktails. I had a Paloma and appreciated how balanced it was – and not overly sweet! Chips come with a variety of really spicy salsas which were delicious.
Hotel San José (South Congress)
I’m TOTALLY staying here next time; the hotel looks awesome. Spend an afternoon by the pool, surrounded by tall bamboo rustling in the breeze. Better yet, people bring their dogs to hang out there, too! It can be difficult to get a table for your group but the servers were friendly and helped us by bringing extra chairs. We planned on spending an hour but stayed for at least three. Every person on the whole patio drinks the frozen rosé – these pink slushy drinks are lightly sweet and tart and go down a little too easily in the hot sun. In order to drink frosé in Austin, this hidden hotel patio is an absolute must.
Café No Sé (South Congress)
Definite must-go brunch spot, stop in for pre-shopping for eggs, avocado, fresh bread and mimosas. The menu is light and packed with veggies, herbs and spices. It is quite busy so make sure you’re not starving upon arrival. Our entire trip, we always requested to sit outside and while it’s hot, there’s also a breeze so it’s a lovely experience that will make you want to linger at each meal.
Sway (Bouldin Creek)
Another busy spot, pull up to the bar to nab a drink while you wait for a table. Austin is all about the communal seating and this restaurant offers these large square-shaped tables where you sit with your friends and with other people as well. Most of the dishes here are SUPER spicy (I loved it) and plates are meant to share so definitely go with people who are open to a more gourmet style of Thai food and love all the spicy peppers. This spot offers a nice wine and beer list as well as non-alcoholic drinking vinegar. Some of us loved them and some not so much but it certainly compliments the food if you’re up for experimenting!
Hound’s Tooth Coffee (Downtown)
I was so impressed with all the independent coffee in Austin. My only souvenir? A bag of beans : ) When you’re walking miles and miles around Lady Bird Lake, checking out the bats at sunset and dining out brunch to late night food trucks, you definitely need a few coffee stops along the way. Best yet, they’ll serve espresso with the side of sparkling water which is so refreshing and fun.
What am I missing? What are your favorite spots in Austin?