keep austin weird

Confirmed: everything is truly bigger in Texas.

In Austin, city law mandates that everyone must live and die by breakfast tacos. Bonus points if they’re trashy — trashy, as in doused in green chile queso. And naturally, no lettuce. My heart is racing 1,000,000 beats per minute just even thinking about it. As much as I want to pen a bottled love letter to breakfast tacos and then cinematically toss it into the Pacific Ocean at dusk, I’ll refrain. 

Austin is more than a haven where lost souls go to find Tex-Mex nirvana — it’s the decidedly less pretentious kin of Williamsburg. Where Karen the Uber driver will drop the ever-endearing “ya’ll” mid-conversation and her car will smell like the candle section at TJ Maxx. Where it’s OK to savagely dig into a barbecue rib and chase with $3 Lone Star. Where you’ll restart your high school love affair with all things fringe and suede. Where you’ll feel a sudden urge to rewatch Death Proof and ingest chartreuse shots at a chili parlor.

And may we never forget: in Austin, the cowboy emoji is a religious symbol.*

— D R I N K —

Manana Coffee: An ~extremely~ aesthetic cafe with pretty tiles, lush greenery, and a killer nitro cold brew. Go for your caffeine and Instagram fix.

Radio Coffee & Beer: Dogs. Hops & Grain IPA al fresco. All around feel-good memories.

Mezcaleria Tobala: If your idea of heaven is sipping on smoky mezcal in a cozy enclave that eeringly resembles a cross between a Louisana swamp and the Pirates of Caribbean ride at Disneyland, this is it.

Kitty Cohen’s: It’s the year 1971. You’re nursing a Singapore Sling poolside, surrounded by palm trees and neon signs. In the bathroom, you are greeted by a visual feast: a retro condom machine and a naked painting of Burt Reynolds. The dream team.

Shangri-La: Literally, $5 rum and cokes should be enough to win your heart. I repeat: FIVE DOLLARS. Imagine a grungy dive bar with subtle tropical oasis vibes, a photobooth for when you’re feeling tipsy and bold, and a ~massive~ backyard with, of course, a food truck.

— D O —

Go shopping at Blue Velvet. No, not the David Lynch movie, but a thrift store brimming with throwback treasures. AKA where you can score a vintage tie-dye Grateful Dead tee and ‘70s gingham blouse.

Channel your true “millennial tourist visiting Austin” at Hope Outdoor Gallery. Plus, if you ever want to name drop a “dope graffiti spot” on your next Tinder date, this would be it.

Catch a lofi dream pop band at Hotel Vegas. And don’t forget to strike a convo with a skater guy in the backyard who sold his iPhone for a flip phone and believes in “living off the grid”.

Slather on tanning oil at Barton Springs and people watch. Don’t question it — just do it.

Escape the heat and embrace the air conditioning at Blanton Museum of Art. Alternatively, you can also appreciate the actual art.

— E A T —

Torchy’s: A beloved staple in Austin’s breakfast taco scene. Disclaimer: you may fall into a deep, disoriented enchantment after consuming two “trashy” tacos and queso and chips in the span of 30 minutes.

Vera Cruz: Personally *my* favorite bfast taco joint. Yes, it’s served authentically out of a truck and yes, there will be an eternal wait, but it is 10000% worth it. Plus, I would MURDER for their mango agua fresca.

Marcelino’s: A true hidden gem for MAKE YOUR OWN breakfast tacos, where you can concoct everything from nopalitos (cactus!!) to spicy potatoes and chicharron.

Licha’s Cantina: For classic Mexican fare in a rustic home that definitely came out of a Pinterest “DREAM HOME” board.

Terry Black’s BBQ: After coming to the conclusion that we did NOT want to wait 5+ hours for BBQ, we settled on Terry Black’s. Manageable wait time, THE most divine mac and cheese, and brisket? Yes, yes, yes.

Via 313 Pizza: When you need a hiatus from BBQ and breakfast tacos, look no further than Detroit-style pizza. If you’re firmly team crust like me, prepare to indulge.

Until next time.