This guest poster might not need an introduction, but I’m going to introduce her anyway. Courtney is one of my best friends ever in the whole wide world. We lived together for five years starting when I was 19 or 20. I’m too old to remember exactly. She Gives It A Whirl every month on Inward Facing Girl and has her own blog (that she doesn’t update as often as I’d like) called Fig Takes A Holiday. She also secretly loves Nelson, no matter what she says.
I truly love the city that I’ve called home for almost a decade, and recently my husband and I decided to document a few days of our wanderings around town, to be tourists in our own city.
One of my favorite things to do on Saturday morning is go to the south location of Tacodeli. There is great debate in Austin about the best breakfast taco in the land, but in my book Tacodeli’s Otto (refried black beans, bacon, avocado, and cheese) is the indisputable champion. The tacos featured below are two lunchtime specialties, the Freakin’ Vegan and the Delibelly.
Tacodeli is right across the street from an entrance to one of Austin’s greatest treasures: the Barton Creek Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is an urban oasis, miles of hiking trails surrounded by vegetation, limestone rock formations, and when we’re lucky, streams of running water. Runners, mountain bikers, nature enthusiasts, dog walkers, rock climbers, and people looking to cool off in a shallow pool can all be found on the Greenbelt. I often walk off my Tacodeli meal with a stroll down to the rock climbing wall. The climber below was inspiring.
As y’all have probably heard, Austin gets quite hot in the summertime, and we take our liquid refreshments seriously. A popular and delicious summer libation is the Michelada, a spicy beer cocktail that is like a light beer mixed with a Bloody Mary. If you’re not in the mood for alcohol, a Mexican Coke can be quite refreshing too. A Mexican Coke is a Coca-Cola made in Mexico with cane sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup. We had the particular drinks shown in the photograph below at Hillside Farmacy, a wonderful new restaurant on East 11th Street.
I think most tourists in Austin get pointed to South Congress Avenue, and for good reason. I love to go to South Congress on Sunday afternoon and stop at Jo’s for my favorite iced coffee drink, the Belgian Bomber. I sip on my coffee while I wander in and out of the shops up and down the avenue.
The shop that is always a must visit for me is Uncommon Objects. Looking for some old fashioned metal letters? They’ve got them. How about a mounted llama head? Yep, it’s there. Maybe some awesome vintage light fixtures? Got those too.
One way that we escape the heat in Austin is by going to the movies, and one theater that we frequent quite a bit is the Violet Crown Cinema. It’s right downtown, offers free parking, shows great films, has a full cocktail bar, and you pick your seat online when you buy tickets. I love this because it means you can actually relax in the theater’s lovely bar area before the movie.
The past few years has seen a food trailer/truck explosion in Austin, and the one I most like to visit is East Side King on the back patio of the Liberty Bar on East 6th Street. East Side King is one of three food trucks co-owned by Paul Qui, recent Top Chef and James Beard award winner. The trailer serves scrumptious Asian street food. When we went recently, I had the fried brussels sprouts salad and peanut butter curry buns. I can’t wait to see what this incredible chef comes up with next.
Thanks for being so awesome, Austin.