New to Austin...moving off Tinnin Ford btw Lakeshore and Riverside
Hi, my sister is moving to Austin this weekend. She has no sense of adventure and will never find anything there. I'm seriously worried about her! haha...anyways...I was hoping people could please give me some tips that I could pass along to her. Good grocery stores to shop at (she is a real healthy eater so health food, organic, etc, is all great!), great restaurants to have her try, any farmers markets in that area that she can get great fresh produce, etc. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also...am I correct that there is not a Trader Joes there??? THANK YOU ALL!
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Hi KellBell and welcome. . . to your sister. I hope she'll find that there are tons of good tips on the Austin board on these exact subjects—and many more. Basic searches using the "search this board" feature at the top of the page ought to pull up the usual suspects. Search terms like "farmer's markets"; "organic" or "healthy"; "grocery stores"; "great" and "restaurants" should work.
I can tell you that there is no Trader Joe's here. Other than that, is there something specific that you're looking for?
One of the things I miss most about Austin is Central Market. That place runs the gamut from organic to processed, generic to snooty/rare, healthy to indulgent. Something for everyone, really.
And of course, Austin is the home of Whole Foods.
Trader Joe's has not made it to Austin; probably because there is no room in the Austin market for it. (no pun intended)
Otherwise, I second MPH's suggestion: introduce her to this site and encourage her to do a search or two whenever she has a question or hankering. The fact that Austin has its own board makes me hopeful that she/you will find plenty of answers to your deepest, darkest, and innermost questions! :-)
There is an HEB very close to her location which is nice for small trips, but if she likes more of the health food stuff I'd point her to the HEB on Oltorf and Congress. It has a nice little "naturals" section. Whole Foods isn't much more of a drive either.
The restaurants in the area are mainly taquerias and that sort of thing. E. Oltorf has a selection of Asian restaurants as well as a Greek one. Someone also mentioned Indian food in a shopping center just down the road from her. It would be one of the only ones in the south, I need to check it out! There are many places around town I'm sure your sister will find and enjoy.
The main farmers market is the Sunset Valley FM on saturday mornings, but there are a few in downtown throughout the week.
But, there's no Trader Joes :(
While the Sunset VAlley FM is the best in town, I also really enjoy the FM downtown in Republic Square park (and also now on Wednesdays at the Triangle at Lamar/Guadalupe and 48th-ish). I've always found good produce their and a nice mix of other vendors (flowers, honey, cheese, farm eggs, meat, and breads). This would be much closer to her new home and likely easily reached by bus or bike.
Of Course, You got's your Central Markets, and your Whole Foods Flagship Stores.
But after you play tourist at these 2 foodie theme parks, check out the smaller Sun Harvest there at Lamar and Ben White, or the cool little Wheatsville Food Co-op on Guadalupe.
For dining out close to her neighborhood, tell sis to try Mr. Natural just north of the river for a Mexi-Vegan lunch, and she's got to check out the Java Noodles Sunday buffet (Oltorf), the Dim-Sum at Marco Polo on weekends, and the daily macrobiotic vegan fare (with a serious hippy vibe) at Casa De Luz. While many consider it a little "touristy", Threadgill's on Riverside and S. 1st has good Southern cookin' with an impressive list of veggie side dishes. And if she's not coming from a big city with a similar theater, Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater on S. Lamar will let you kick back and watch a movie while a waiter brings you pizza, sandwiches, beer and wine.