Best places to go with young children
We are from the New Orleans area, and will be staying at the Hollows on Lake Travis. We are four adults, two babies, and one very well behaved toddler. We are ready to drive for really good food in Austin and surrounding areas, but it does have to be a place where children are ok. We especially would like recommendations for Tex-Mex, BBQ, Dessert/Ice Cream, and something truly eclectical Austin. We will be taking a tour around UT as one of us is an alum, and doing some walking tours as well as staying by the Lake, so we are open to all possibilities. Also, we would like to know of a unique or good supermarket where we could pick up groceries as well as some gourmet items. We only have Winn Dixie and Albertson's, so anything above that would be exciting : ) Thanks for your help!
For ice cream you definitely need to go to Amy's. www.amysicecream.com
There are plenty of Austin locations and it's funky and kid-friendly. Ask your scooper about the Amy's interview process to get a job there...Oh, and try the Mexican Vanilla!
BBQ is everywhere here, but I like Rudy's the best. Very friendly and fun and the moist brisket is yummy. www.rudys.com
Whole Foods Headquarters is downtown on 6th and Lamar. Probably the most incredible grocery store you'll ever see! www.wholefoods.com
For Tex Mex, Chuy's is THE experience you want. It is great for kids and fun for adults. I love the chicken chile relleno with tomatillo sauce. www.chuys.com
Hope you enjoy Austin!!!
To be more detailed on Culry's responses:
1) Amy's Ice Cream on Burnett is also Phil's Ice House, so you can get a burger, Ice cream and there is a play ground right there in the parking lot
2) Whole Foods downtown has a playground up on the second floor
3) Central Market is a huge gourmet shopping market, they have a giant patio/deck/playground out back. And on most nights they have live music out there.
4) Zilker Park as a great playground
5) Brentwood Tavern on Burnett has pub grub and a great playground
Green Mesquite BBQ on Barton Springs, very kid friendly, good service, chalk available in the patio area for the kids to draw on the ground and giant chalk board.
While you're touring UT, be double-sure to stop by That Popcorn Place behind Veggie Heaven at 19th and Guadalupe to get a wonderfully unique walkin' around snack. You can read more in the separate Popcorn Place thread. Oh, and if you make it up to North Austin, the MK Supermarket in Chinatown center (1/2 block south of the N. Lamar and Burnet intersection) is a great place to stock up on reasonably priced Asian sauces, spices and ingredients. Check out their cookie and candy aisle for treats - some great, and some just plain weird, and the kids are fascinated by the wall of live seafood tanks. A good Bar-B-Q place close to the lake is the County Line. I think that they would be OK with kids, but maybe an actual parent in the group could shed more light on that subject.