My texts and emails have slowly changed from “what is your favorite restaurant in NYC or Austin” to “where should we go for dinner and out during a bachelorette party in Austin?” Well, here are a few options to live like affordable, casual, locals or to spice it up with some fancy pants.
- FACE COOKIES: Girls, you gotta get rid of those lousy fake veils and get your gal some cookies with her face on it! Call up Kellie’s Baking Co. who created the first ever photo and instagrams on cookies and upload a selfie photo of your bride here. Have it delivered to the house/hotel you are staying at, and for $3 a pop, you are all set. *** I will admit, I couldn’t bring myself to eat the cookies with my face on them below.
- STYLISH GEAR: If you plan on spending time outside, you need to look cute, right? Head to the Outdoor Voices (OV)headquarters on Blanco Street which is known for their recreational clothes that are colorful, loose and tight in all the right places. Workout and hangout clothes never felt so good. #DoingThings
Chances are you want to know a good place to get breakfast tacos and queso. Since most are located in trailers and food tucks, you can get in and out quickly, or bring them with you on a hike or day on the water. Try Vera Cruz al Natural, Pueblo Viejo, El Primo (below), Taco Deli, Fresa’s, Tyson’s Tacos, or Valentina Tex Mex if you want a BBQ/ brekkie combo. They are all most likely under $5.
- Head to the rooftop at El Alma, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, on Barton Springs. Don’t miss the mango margarita or ceviche with those thick and fried, handmade tortilla chips (go ahead and ask for extra when you originally order).
- Central Standard is located at the swanky and fresh South Congress Hotel on South Congress Avenue. Start with the a fresh baked donut or cinnamon roll and share the Hot Crab dip to line your stomach before the Michelada’s and Margs come! If you plan to stay here, they have a nice tucked away pool as well.
- You didn’t fly all the way to Texas to miss the best brisket in the world. Franklin’s may be stuck in your head, but there are tons of great places that don’t offer a wait and don’t run out of ‘cue. Freedmen’s BBQ is in West Campus and also a cool bar with stellar cocktails and margaritas. Brunch is served every Sunday, so you can pack in the meat right before your flight takes off and not have to worry about being in a swimsuit after indulgence. Go for the ribs, brisket, barbecue Benedict with a buttermilk biscuit, and DO NOT miss the Smoked Chocolate Mousse. I’m telling you, I don’t regret eating that entire pint topped with the amazing sea salt.
It might be a little hard to walk the trail at Lady Bird Lake with a handful of bachelorette goers, but no fear, you can still partake in some lovely festivities in the sunshine.
- Rent a Boat on Lake Austin- You can rent boats that come with boat drivers and hang out on the water in a nice party cove while earning yourself a tan. Use Float On. They even have a lily pad that can hold all of you in the water. Grab a Texas Tea at Cain & Abels on the Lake beforehand.
- HOPE Outdoor Art Gallery – Add some community graffiti to your life and partake yourself.
- Barton Springs – Lay out on the grass and enjoy the cold springs that stay the same temperature year round. Good people watching here.
- Deep Eddy Pool– It’s like a country club pool, but natural.
- Stand Up Paddle Board – Get some activity in on Town Lake where you can rent your own board and have a ball on the water at your own speed. Rent for $15 per hour or $35 all day.
- Walk South Congress Avenue and pick up some cheap trinkets, fancy vintage clothes, a coffee at Jo’s or a nutella pretzel milkshake at Hopdoddy.
- Umlauf Scultpure Gardens – A fun little getaway if you want to see something different
- DELIVERY: Too busy getting dressed and downing bottles of rosé in can at home? You can use Uber Eats or Favor for any kind of food or delivery. Thai Fresh gets you gluten free Thai options and New Fortune is an authentic Szechuan spot up north. You can also pre-order from Franklin’s or LA BBQ and have your own little BBQ party at home with the best of the best.
- FOOD TRUCKS @ BARS: If you don’t want to get yourself into a bill battle with 12 girls at the end of a dinner, just head to bars like Stay Gold (who has a grilled cheese truck) or The Liberty which is also on the East Side and has Paul Qui’s East Side King Japanese street food truck.
- CASUAL MEXICAN: At Polvo’s, you can order pitchers of margaritas and plates of enchiladas and fajitas. I know you are thinking this is what you are supposed to eat in Texas. Licha’s on the East Side is a little higher up in atmosphere, and they have a great Mexican menu that is more interior than Tex-Mex. Or if you just want to drink and have some Mexican food on the side, go to Baby A’s and get the purple margaritas which contain Everclear and an order limit per person.
- TRENDY YET AFFORDABLE: Elizabeth Street Cafe is colorful, cute and trendy without being too cool. While they don’t take many reservations, they do for a group of 8 or more.
- June’s All Day is full of delicious bubbles, ever changing wines by the glass, and has a whole Zine dedicated to making you feel comfortable ordering wines you don’t know about. A jukebox and live DJ’s fill the room on Friday and Saturday night, and the Fried Chicken Sandwich, Catch of the Day with Leeks, Citrusy Snapper Carpaccio, and hot, homemade sourdough steal your heart. This is also a great brunch place, and don’t miss the Monster Cookie with M&M’s, pretzels, peanuts, and chocolate chips. They also won a place on Food & Wine’s Best New Restaurants of the Year in 2017 list which includes only 10.
- Emmer & Rye is another new popular restaurant and on Rainey Street so you can hit the bars after. Skip the dim sum cart service but go for the Farmer’s Cheese, Carnitas with Roti, and any of the greens offered that day. Also, I love their orange wine.
- Kemuri Tatsuya is the first ever Texas Japanese Izakaya with a menu that I guarantee you’ve never seen before. It’s in an old BBQ restaurant space, so they kept the smoker to make Fish Collar, BBQ Eel, Brisket, and Duck Breast in. I love the back patio that’s airy, and indoors it is pretty comical with Japanese paraphernalia and Texas twang. P.S. Only beer, liquor and sake here.
You might want to check out Dirty 6th street if you want to relive our UT college days. However, it’s gotten pretty ghetto since then, but Iron Cactus still has their amazing frozen cactus juice and $2 “you call its.” Dance your face off at Barbarella. If you want to hang out at bars that are casual and a little more classy, I say go for the East Side across I-35. Check out Whisler’s, Weather Up, or Yellow Jacket Social Club.
Rainey is very popular for bachelorette and bachelor parties, so it could be fun to run into another group there. You can pick any bar there seriously. They will all be equally as fun.
For live shows or concerts, check ahead to see what is playing at Moody Theater (below) or ACL Live. You can always walk into Antone’s, Continental Club, C-Boys, or hit up White Horse for some Texas country music.