First Time in Austin - staying at Four Seasons
I'll be there without a car. Can some suggest some 'don't miss' spots? I am specifically looking for:
1) Local favorites
3) Tex-Mex or Mex
5) Fine Dining Bistro
Any suggestions for breakfast/lunch/dinner/sight seeing would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Breakfast: El Sol y La Luna
Sight-seeing: You're right next to the bats on the Congress bridge. Check the local weekly paper, the Austin Chronicle, for what's going on. Sixth street is a party at night-- mostly for university kids, Fourth street is for yuppies. Good people-watching and live music.
Alamo Drafthouse has great movies, and they serve you food and beer in the theater! There is one on Sixth Street called the Alamo Ritz. The Paramount Theater on Congress has vintage movies playing through September, which is great.
Dinner: Threadgill's is just on the other side of the river, and is very Austin. They have a gospel brunch- call to check if you're interested in that. La Traviata on Congress has amazing Italian food.
Take a bus or walk down to South Congress between Riverside and Oltorf for the scene there-- lots of food trailers (cupcakes!) with yummy stuff, shopping, and Vespaio is great if you want fine dining.
BBQ is contentious around here, and I have no expertise in that area. Sorry!
Barton Springs is on the bus line for the #30, I believe. Take a swim! Make sure to get good maps from the concierge or go to the Visitors' Bureau on Sixth Street. Welcome!
yeah what time of year? are you here for ACL?
Bakeries: Upper Crust. Kinda far. But I'd call Amy's can't miss, and they are everywhere.
spend a day on south congress for sure.
I would second lwier on the creme brulee at the Four Seasons, it is dynamite. I have eaten at Trio several times and always had an outstanding dinner with excellent service. Shoreline (which is next door) is a great lunch or dinner spot with a recently revamped menu with a lot of local suppliers. I would also recommend Max's Wine Dive which recently opened on the corner of 3rd and San Jacinto (straight out the front door of Four Seasons). They have great happy hour specials but I would eat there without the lure of discounted prices. Service has been marginal for me two times but the food makes up for it. The sliders, cabrito tacos, and oyster nachos are excellent for apps. The fried chicken, grilled cheese, fried egg sandwich, and chicken fricasee have all been big hits with the groups I have eaten with. The Four Seasons bar is a great people watching spot, always an interesting assortment of people. I would also utilize the conceirge, they have one of the best I have come across in my travels.
"Friendly staff," yes, but we've also had some truly strange servicepeople at Parkside. Waitstaff ranges from superb, helpful staff (and wonderful food + vibe) to peculiar, indifferent service. Also, valet parking outside, in addition to being ridiculously expensive, is unreliable. At 11 pm, we ambled out to find our car out front, unlocked (on 6th!) with no one in the restaurant or nearby having any idea where to locate our keys. Anyone had similar experiences?
I go once a week or so, sit at the bar, and don't valet. I'd rather not name-drop, but there's one bartender who's really great-- knows her menu, polite, makes consistent drinks, etc. I'll note that they just changed the menu a bit and dropped (thank goodness) some of their wine prices.
This exact question comes up at least once every couple of weeks on this forum. I would recommend a search, and you'll come up with literally dozens of posts that will answer everything.
Note: Just trying to avoid another "Barbeque War" on Chowhound!