This past weekend, I met up with my “PLP” (platonic life partner) Andrea for a fabulous weekend of face-to-face catching up in Austin, Texas.
Andrea and I met in law school and quickly became inseparable. And while life has taken us in a lot of different directions since then, we’ve always managed to stay in touch and even carve out time to see each other in person.
We chose Austin because it was a city we could both get to easily (Cleveland has direct flights there now on both Southwest and Allegiant, woot) and we had heard great things about it. So, here’s where we went and what we loved:
The South Congress (or SoCo) neighborhood reminds me of Gordon Square or Tremont, with lots of great restaurants and fun boutiques to explore.
On my first day in Austin, while I was waiting for Andrea to arrive, I popped into the South Congress Hotel for a tasty drink in their adorable lobby bar.
Andrea and I both relaxed with pedicures at Ten Over Ten, a salon that exclusively does nail appointments and is totally relaxing, as well as totally focused on non-toxic products.
Also in the SoCo area, we fell in love with the adorable Maya Star boutique, as well as the tasty Amy’s Ice Creams (think Coldstone-style treats, but yummier).
This street art says it all…we loved SoCo!
Another great neighborhood in Austin is Rainey Street, which has bars and restaurants galore, all built into adorable bungalows. Rainey Street also boasts some of Austin’s “trailer parks,” which are areas that have food trucks permanently parked.
I had a drink and food truck chicken wings at Lustre Pearl on Rainey Street. I sipped on a Clive Davis (Bulleit rye, lemon juice, ginger beer, and Peychaud’s bitters) while hanging out in the backyard-like patio with giant games, lawn chairs, and astroturf.
Later in the weekend, Andrea and I returned to Rainey Street for margaritas and guacamole at El Naranjo.
Rainey Street was definitely hopping on a Saturday night! For a fun collection of restaurants and bars, with tons of options for whatever your taste, I highly recommend a walk (or two) down Rainey Street!
The Roosevelt Room
From the laid back to the fancy, Andrea and I spent an evening sipping fabulous cocktails at The Roosevelt Room, a reservations-only speakeasy nestled in downtown Austin.
The menu is divided by era and offers a huge selection of craft cocktails, with everything from a Manhattan to a Long Island Iced Tea. We scored seats at the bar, where we got to see the amazing bartenders work their magic, as well as enjoy our own delicious beverages (I got the Air Mail Special, with champagne, dark rum, honey, and lemon).
The Roosevelt Room was a treat for all the senses!
While we received tons of different recommendations for places to go in Austin, one place almost everyone mentioned was Mattie’s.
Mattie’s feels like something out of “Gone With the Wind,” with a beautiful plantation-style house and a distinct feeling of southern hospitality. We went for brunch and loved everything from the amazing buttermilk biscuits to the duck confit hash.
Both the food and the setting were unique and lovely! Mattie’s famous peacocks were strolling the grounds while we were there and Snowball the peacock definitely enjoyed showing off for the camera.
Mattie’s is a not-to-be-missed southern experience!
While in Austin, I also got to catch up with my friends Shannon and Steven, who took me to Still Austin and The Austin Winery, both located within steps of each other in an industrial park.
I highly recommend the cocktail flight at Still Austin, which gives you a great taste of their different varieties of whiskey mixed into tasty drinks.
Also in the same industrial park is a local brewery, so you can get whiskey, beer, and wine all in one spot!
When your AirBNB doesn’t have coffee, you end up at the nearest coffee shop, which is how we discovered the lovely SummerMoon.
We also ended up at a lovely lunch spot by happenstance: Laundrette. Located in a former laundromat, this bright, charming restaurant served up a lovely ladies lunch.
The fried chicken sammie was delicious, as was the beet hummus!
We also hit Barlata Tapas Bar, for delicious small plates. Andrea and I had a favorite tapas restaurant in law school, so Barlata was a nice bit of nostalgia, as we shared tapas standards like patatas bravas, garlic shrimp, and blistered shishito peppers.
Yay for eating local! Austin definitely has no shortage of great places to eat!
Getting my Om On
If you know me, you know I also snuck in some time on my mat while in Austin. I practiced at Sukha Yoga, which has a beautiful studio and a warm, welcoming vibe. Seriously, if you’re in town, check out this studio!
I also picked up a class at barre3 Austin. Because barre3 is standardized across the franchises, I knew exactly what I’d be getting, which was a great workout that felt instantly familiar.
So, that was our weekend in Austin! Tons of time exploring a fabulous and fun town, but even better, tons of time catching up with a fabulous and fun friend!