After several moves all over the country, I’ve found that more often than not, people assume I’m originally from California, since I never shut up about it. But actually, I grew up in Texas. Specifically, Austin.
What I’m about to say next is most definitely a little blasphemous: I don’t love Austin the way the average person — native or visitor — typically does. For me, it was a good place to grow up. I sorta prefer living elsewhere. (Don’t hate me).
BUT. That being said, you can’t live in a city for 18 years (and visit for many years thereafter) and not hold a few places very near and dear. I recently had a friend ask me for recommendations on where the hip, cool places were to eat and visit in Austin, and I realized I had no recommendations to give her. I just don’t visit enough, and truthfully, Austin has changed SO MUCH from when I was growing up there and going back frequently. Each time I go back, it’s amazing to see how much the city has grown and evolved!
I may not know the newest and hippest places in Austin, but I know the places I would go if I were in town and meeting up with friends. In fact, I’ll probably hit up one or two of these while I’m there this coming weekend for a wedding. So here they are, a few recommendations for the Austin I remember as a kid — when ACL was just a broadcast on PBS, and SXSW was a small music festival.
One thing which I realized I neglected to put in my round up (and leaving it out IS blasphemous): Amy’s Ice Creams. Mexican Vanilla, FTW you guys.
Current Texans/Austinites — any that I missed? Share in the comments!
Image of Barton Springs via Alex Archambault