Austin, TX Travel Guide

My daughter Kennedy at Lake Austin Spa Resort

My daughter Kennedy at Lake Austin Spa Resort

Austin, Texas has my heart! Although I am not an Austin native, I have indeed been there for quite a while…twenty years! When my daughter Kennedy was born in 1999, her dad and I made our way from the Dallas area to Austin to begin the Austin way of life. For the past ten years, my husband Greg and I split time between Austin and Fort Worth. We love both cities but there is a huge place in my heart for ATX. The hill country, the lakes, the beautiful sunsets overlooking our infinity pool into the Balcones Preserve, friendships and just Austin life. We live in the suburbs of Austin in the wonderful community of Steiner Ranch. The school districts in Austin are amazing. We raised our daughter attending the fabulous Leander ISD, graduating Vandegrift High School. We love Austin and all the city offers which is why I decided to compile a mini Austin Travel Guide with a few of our favorites. I hope you enjoy!!


Emmer & Rye

I love this little jewel!  Two ways to dine, off the menu which offers small plates, pastas and desserts to be shared.  You can order directly off the circulating carts that stops by during your meal to try ‘dim sum’ bites.   

Must order: Wagyu Beef Brisket with Peach BBQ Sauce. (the menu rotates seasonally but this is one of my all time favorites!)


Modern amenities and southern charm are found at this wonderful eatery.  A few of my favorites are listed below but you must try their house made biscuits! You can order biscuits, pimento cheese and chocolate pecan bundt cake from their website!  I often pre-order biscuits and pimento cheese for a host gift.  YUM!!

Must order: Hoppin’ John, Homestead Gristmill Hush Puppies, Field Peas & Country Ham.

Barley Swine 

The menu is always changing based on the availability of ingredients from local farmers and ranchers.  I love how the chefs and kitchen staff are so creative with their cuisine. 

Must order: Shiitake Dumplings, the tasting menu is fabulous!! 

Red Ash

Oh my goodness, my hubby LOVES Red Ash!!!  Influenced by Northern and Southern Italy’s culinary traditions with craft Italian cuisine.  Handmade pastas, pristine seafood and prime roasted meats are off the charts fabulous!  

Must order: Bruschetta Of Wood Roasted, Capelletti “Bishop’s Hats”.

Odd Duck 

What began as a trailer named “Odd Duck” is now a fabulous upscale eatery with locally sourced New Amercian food.  The craft cocktails are out of this world!  

Must order: Pretzel Sticks, Melon and Cucumber Salad, Draft Watermelon Fresca, Peach Grilled Quail.


Contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with so many interesting menu items that never disappoint.  

Must order: Deviled Eggs, Plancha Burger, Sunshine Bowl.


One of the first paleo-friendly concepts in Austin, with wholesome food that is convenient and nutritious.  We love going here for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner!

Must order: Grass-fed butter coffee, Creamy Queso (vegan), Picnik Cobb, Fried Brussels Sprouts.


This is our neighborhood “Cheers” in Austin!  We adore this place, truly…”everybody does know our name” as we dine so often.  Gluten-free menu that just does not disappoint.

Must order: Spinach Dip, My favorite drink “The Puppy”, fresh grapefruit and vodka, up, French Dip.


Magnolia Café 

Must order: Three Alarm Taco 

Bar Peached 

Must order: Avocado Toast 

Carpenters Hall

Must order: Donut special and migas scramble

SWEETS I am not a huge fan of sweets but these two places are irresistible!  

Tiny Pies

Just as the name says….TINY pies…Coconut Cream is devine!!  

Must order: Coconut cream pie, Grab and Go empanadas.

Lick Honest Ice Cream

Seasonal and sustainable artisan ice cream that celebrate the flavors and cultures of Texas.

Must order: Melon Margarita Ice Cream (seasonal), Milk Chocolate Ice Cream.


Lake Austin Spa Resort: fabulous resort on Lake Austin where wellness meets the water.  I LOVE this place!!  So peaceful, so relaxing and so tranquil. Throughout the years, I have taught culinary classes for them and their culinary team is fabulous! 

Hotel St. Cecilia: created in honor of the patron saint of music and poetry.

Park Lane Guest House: the greenest little hotel in Austin.

Kimber Modern: so cool near the SoCo district

Dixie Daisy: for Airstream “glamping” 


Shopping on South Congress “SOCO”. 

Comedy show at Esther’s Follies, HYSTERICAL!! If you have not been….GO…JUST GO!!!  

See a play at Paramount Theater.

Paddle board or kayak on Lady Bird Lake.

Swim at Barton Springs, brrrrr!

Walk the Zilker Trails or Lady Bird Boardwalk.

The Live Music Capital of the World, South by Southwest, ACL and Stubbs (try the BBQ while you are there).

Watch the bats as Austin is home to the world’s largest urban bat colony, under the Congress Avenue Bridge. 

Enjoy the view of Lake Travis while sipping margaritas at The Oasis.

Climb to the top of Mount Bonnell, Austin’s highest point at 775 feet!

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