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Mar 21, 2010 05:22 PM

Food + Activities = Your fav itineraries for our trip

hi folks

Philadelphia chowhound coming to Austin later this week for a five-night vacation. I’ve been reading your board for a while as well as getting recs from friends and friends of friends, etc. Overwhelming! I’ve started lists of what people seem to like, but what I’d love some help on are some itineraries that center on hitting some of your favorite locations.

We have early evening reservations for Uchi on Friday night, and are planning a Monday trip to Lockhart for Smitty’s and then on to San Antonio for an Alamo trip and Riverwalk stroll. Other than that, we’re trying to hit museums, fun shopping areas, architectural landmarks, food trucks, good food/farmers markets (I haven’t found anything like our Reading Terminal Market, does it exist?) and gourmet food shops.

Mostly interested in BBQ, tex-mex, interior Mexican, beers, and breakfast tacos (read the NY Times article), but are open to anything else you think we don’t get much of on the east coast (like eating outside! And eating from trucks!).

Would love to hear what you’d tell your friends and family to do for a morning, afternoon, or evening to see and eat the best of Austin. (ie Grab coffee at xxx, shop South Congress, grab a taco at xxx, walk around the lake). Don’t need your comprehensive list of everything to eat, this board is a great resource for that! Doesn't need to be fancy, dive bars work for us.

We’re staying near East Riverside and I-35 and will have a car.


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  1. This is a fun question!
    For a fun and quintessentially "Austin" experience, go swimming at the lovely Barton Springs in Zilker park (the spring-fed pool is cold but maybe it's warm enough for northerners). Then recharge with a smoothie at the Daily Juice. I recommend the Manic Organic. The Daily Juice is a raw-food place--old school Austin hippie stuff.

    Daily Juice
    1625 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

    1. Last August, when I was looking for a romantic restaurant for my wedding anniversary, scrumptiouschef posted this quirky and very Austinesq idea:

      <<Not sure what your idea of romantic is but I'll take a crack at it.

      Go to Asadero Nuevo Leon on Montopolis for a smoked chicken pak[lots of grilled chicken,fried onions,beans,tortillas and red and green salsa]. Walk next door to the quick mart and buy a six pack of beer. Hike a few blocks north to the Colorado River,find a big flat rock with a nice scenic view.

      Chowhound style romantic pic-nic ensues hopefully followed by some skinny dipping in the river.I like to take a boombox and play some Gram Parsons tapes to complete the tableau.

      Maybe some Marta's Flan[highly portable and delicious]for dessert?>>

      1. This *is* a fun question!
        If you're looking for interior Mexican, you can't do better than to hit up Fonda San Miguel. Others might also suggest Garrido's or La Condesa (James Beard nominee, whoo!). Don't know if you'll be around for Sunday brunch, but the brunch at Fonda is seriously not to be missed. Also, look up El Borrego de Oro. It's some of the best Mexican food being produced out of a hole in the wall I've had.
        Go to Jo's on S. Congress, have yourself a Lone Star, and just sit and people-watch for a while. It's not a great beer, but I think the rule is that you can claim to be part Texan once you've had one.
        Are you going to be on 6th street at any time? Parkside is one of my favorite places to eat. Raw bar, bar food, and small plates, basically. If you're here on a Wednesday, oysters and bubbly are half-price. The bone marrow on toast is yum.
        Vespaio on Congress has pretty great Italian food, but for my money, you're better off eating at their smaller cafe' Enoteca, just next door.
        Lastly, you should be aware of the burgeoning trailer scene in Austin right now. As luck would have it, our local rag just published a story about this last week. Here's a link:
        I'll leave it to my fellow 'hounds to debate the merits (or lack of) of the places selected, but give the list a look-see and you're bound to find something you're interested in.

        1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

        1610 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

        Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
        2330 W North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

        La Condesa
        400-A W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701

        1 Reply
        1. re: gilintx

          I'm sorry, I have to disagree on brunch at Fonda San Miguel. For $40, you can go and have a bunch of buffet food that all tastes remarkably similar. Maybe another meal there, but not brunch!

          We had dinner at Odd Duck Farm to Trailer the other night, as well as at Texas French Bread, and were wowed by both. I highly recommend either one. Hopefully I'll have time soon for a more detailed review.

          Fonda San Miguel Restaurant
          2330 W North Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756

        2. If you are here on a Sunday, hit up Ginny's Little Longhorn for Chicken Sh*t Bingo and some excellent good old fashioned honky tonk. Goes from 4 - 8 and is divey and fun. Also, any night of the week (except Monday) there is a band playing and there is never a cover. Cash only, beer, wine and set ups sold. Bring your own liquor.

          Paggi House has excellent food and an amazing patio. You can do dinner or drinks and apps on the patio. Please let us know what you end up doing!

          Paggi House
          200 Lee Barton Drive, Austin, TX 78704

          1. As a Philly transplant, I haven't found an Austin version of the Reading terminal, but I have a few suggestions for your itinerary.... Take a ride out Hamilton Pool Rd. and visit/ hike the Hamilton Pool Preserve, both to the pool and the trail out to the Pedernales River - It may remind you of walking Valley Green... Also you'd enjoy a drive to Wimberley , a quaint beautiful town 14 miles south of Hamilton Pool on Ranch Road 12.

            After a week here, you'll not want to go back to Philly !!