Are you heading to Austin for this years SXSW? If you're a first timer, the city can be a bit overwhelming with thousands of great things that you'll want to try and do. Let me give you a few key tips to a handful of great spots around town to get your day started right, so you can set out on your 2017 SXSW journey. In addition, I will to provide you with some additional resources of where to find great music, killer bites, and great places to absorb the SXSW experience. As you make your way around an entire city that comes to life, you will experience sensory overload in its most amazing form. SXSW has something unique for everybody that is mind blowing. To take advantage of all of SXSW has to offer, you should have some resources that will help you to navigate the perfect experience. I will share some of my favorite places to get your day started right, along with some cool funky places to find unique items that can only be found in a city like Austin.
Every morning in Austin starts with a good breakfast. Sometimes a healthy one, but also sometimes a good ole' down home Texas breakfast (you know, like BBQ, tacos, or anything chicken fried). I certainly have my go to spots around town that make for the perfect start to your SX day.
*** HERE'S A BREAKFAST TIP - Go early, because these places get busy...
Below is my short list of must hit breakfast spots...
This is a cozy little spot made famous in the Richard Linklater classic Slackers. Nowadays it serves up some of the cities most incredible brunch items, from killer variations of the classic Eggs Benedict, some scrumptious breakfast tacos, scratchmade biscuits & sausage gravy, to one of Austins best burgers. Despite the small nearly hidden building, this spot packs a punch that will leave you wanting to come back again. For me, I sit at the breakfast counter, just so I can watch the awesome display of teamwork between 2 chefs working magic in a small space. Its really quite amazing how they work so seamlessly with each other, and turn out dish after dish guaranteed to put a smile on their customers faces.
*** A TIP FOR WHILE YOU WAIT FOR YOUR TABLE TO BE AVAILABLE - Put your name on the list, and head across the street to Waterloo Records to kill your 30 to 45 minute wait. Pick yourself up some classic vinyl, then go back and enjoy breakfast
Yet another killer spot, made famous by my personal favorite Tarantino classic, Death Proof. Gueros has some great Tex Mex classics, and they feature a weekend brunch menu of traditional favorites like Migas, Huevos Rancheros, and Chilaquiles. The highlight is again the unique breakfast counter that sits across from the ladies banging out fresh tortillas on the flat top.
*** HERE'S A LITTLE SECRET -
Flirt with the tortilla makin' ladies, and maybe you can convince them to
flip them straight from the grill to your plate. Works everytime!!!
Killer Texas BBQ without the line at Franklin or La BBQ...
Everyone that comes to Austin knows the legend of Franklin BBQ and the 3-4 hour wait to get in. Yes, Franklin is truly that good. However, Franklin is not the only game in town serving up some of the best BBQ in the great BBQ state of Texas. Stiles Switch is as good as it gets, and sits about 5 miles north of downtown, making for a perfect escape from the chaos of the downtown area though out the week. When you walk in, this place is the epitome of what a Texas BBQ joint should be. Get in line, grab an ice cold Shiner Bock, order up a 3 meat plate, and feast on mouthwatering smoked deliciousness. The brisket melts the second it hits your mouth & the ribs are fall off the bone and need no sauce (although the 3 sauces they make are pretty damn good). What makes Stiles Switch special and different is the corn casserole. I mean seriously people, this stuff is the shit. And they do not play on the portions. All you need after your feast of meat, starchy sides, and several beers is a mid-afternoon siesta. OK, maybe a quick 45 minute power nap, because you got more great shit to see & do.
*** TIP FOR WASHING DOWN THE BBQ - An ice cold Topo Chico with a squeeze of fresh lime juice... And a few cold beers and some banana chocolate pudding for dessert to satisfy that sweet tooth
What about if I just want donuts & coffee? I got 4 great spots to hit you with...
The cool thing about these 4 spots is that they are all completely different from one another, that it changes the way you will think about a traditional donut and cup of coffee. Fast, easy, and incredibly delicious. What makes each one different is a simple recipe of keeping things simple. Like killer tacos, fried dough, crazy toppings, & just a damn good cup of Jo. How you decide depends on your mood that morning. If you feel stressed, then the voodoo doll chocolate glazed raspberry filled treat with a pretzel stick to stab the doll is the way to go. If you crave more of a dessert/breakfast, then Gourdoughs is the ultimate decadent treasure that takes a basic fried cake donut and load it up with everything in the kitchen sink. Well, you may also just want a traditional glazed donut and an escape from the chaos. Round Rock Donuts Texas Sized glazed donut will feed a family of 5. It may just be the worlds best glazed donut (even over that crack we call Krispy Kreme). Whichever one you choose, your making a good choice.
*** DONT WORRY, NOBODY IS JUDGIN" - Even if you hit all 4 on the same day
Do you like the funky and weird style of Austin, Texas. This unique shop of embroidered "crap" is great. I stop in every trip just to see what they have new. Since they sell vintage clothing, you just never know what you'll find. You can even get some serious throw pillows or a unique selection of star studded Mexican holy candles. This cool ass little shop exemplifies everything that is "Keep Austin Wierd". You can walk a block down after to get some highly priced cowboy boots at the world famous Allens Boots.
While my list is just a small handful of great ways to enjoy your SXSW experience, there are other great bloggers & social media links to follow to help give you a full robust Austin experience during your stay. My recommendations to follow...