The capital of Texas is more than just home to the seat of Texas Government, the Texas Longhorns and flying bats. It’s the birthplace and hangout of some of the most successful, famous and coolest people in the US.
On a recent trip there with some friends, we enjoyed seeking out some of the popular residents and their businesses to see what they were offering to the Austin weekend visitor.
Sandra Bullock ~ Movie Star
Bess Bistro on Pecan ~ setup on the lower ground floor of an old bank vault on W 6th St & Pecan St, this cozy gastropub style restaurant has a glamour touch with its chandeliers, antique mirrors and leather booths that contrast perfectly with the exposed brick walls. Not knowing what to expect and thinking maybe the hype around its owner could be the main attraction, we were pleasantly surprised to find a great menu, excellent food and friendly staff. We will all be back for sure…Sandra (rarely in town) or no Sandra. Reservations a week ahead advised.
Walton’s Fancy and Staple ~ co-owned by Sandy and her cake baking sister, this funky cafe opposite Bess Bistro in another beautifully restored building on 6th St, has a tasty breakfast menu, good coffee and tasty pastries. A florist shop inside provides for a fragrant ambience to your morning coffee fix.
Allens Boots ~ every new Texas resident needs a pair of cowboy boots and this is the perfect place for urban cowboys and girls to get their piece of leather. Just ask Sandy who gets hers off the racks of these beautiful hand-made boots. Located on groovy South Congress Ave.
Lance Armstrong ~ Cycling Champion
Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop ~ bike heaven for people who love road biking, mountain biking and sport in general, with a great coffee shop and some of the legendary Tour de France winners bikes on show. On Nueces St near W 4th St.
Brad Womack ~ Season 15 Bachelor (Season 11 also in fact!)
The former (and newly single again) Season 15 Bachelor star co-owns several bars in Austin on and around busy, bar hopping W 6th Street. Pop in for a beer and some live music @ Molotov Lounge, The Chuggin’ Monkey, The Dogwood or the Dizzy Rooster.
Whole Foods Market HQ
The Original ~ The natural, organic product promoting supermarket chain was started in Austin by an ex-Houstonian in 1980 and has grown to become one of the biggest and according to its employees, best to work for companies in the world. The Lamar & 6th St 80,000 sqft Flagship store and World HQ is just down the road from where the small neighborhoodgrocer began and includes a culinary centre with cooking lessons, a beer & wine tasting bar and dessert & gelato bar for lots of tastings.
Other famous Austinites:
- Dell HQ, IBM HQ, University of Texas, Matthew McConaughey, Willie Nelson, Andy Roddick, Owen Wilson, Renee Zellweger, Drew Brees, Tom Ford
Also whilst you’re there:
- Boomerang’s Pie Shop – set up by an Austin local who loved the ol’ Aussie meat pie whilst living in Sydney – the pastry was pretty spot on too!
- A morning dip at Barton Springs
- Brunch on South Congress Ave @ South Congress Café or Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
- Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum for a comprehensive view of Texas history and a great escape from the heat
- Drive 20 mins to Lake Travis for a dip in crystal blue waters (Warning! @ Hippe Hollow bathers are optional…) followed by a drink at the gigantic Oasis Restaurant overlooking the lake
- Live music nightly on the outdoor terrace @ Cedar Street Courtyard Bar on W 4th St