It’s no secret that Austin, Texas is a mecca for eclectic tastes and counter-culture (read: #KeepAustinWeird). But aside from the scruffy art galleries and music venues, the food and hospitality scenes are also sure to please those with more luxurious palates. With outdoor spaces aplenty, the mid-size city’s bustling restaurants and bar scene offers a romantic and leisurely setting. For a mix of authentic Austin vibes and an elevated lifestyle experience, keep an eye out for quirky wall murals and food trucks peppered throughout the city—and follow our step-by-step guide for the ultimate weekend in Austin below.
Where to Stay:
Newly opened, the Fairmont Austin guarantees guests an unforgettably lavish stay, paired with the cool charm Austin is celebrated for. Choose from the hotel’s five restaurant and bar experiences, including the Rules & Regs bar on the 7th floor, which boasts glass doors opening onto the spectacular outdoor pool and cabana area. The luxury hotel is situated in the Central Business District, with direct access to the Austin Convention Center.
Where to Eat:
First, bite off a piece of Austin’s hugely popular food truck culture on Rainey Street, where handheld fare from Taco Baby, Big Fat Greek Gyros, Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts and more reigns supreme. For a more upscale dining experience, reserve a table at Peché on West 4th Street. The pre-Prohibition style cocktail program lends its hand to the bar’s distinctly dark atmosphere. With rich French fare from executive chef John Lichtenberger and a specially curated wine list from bar manager Shaun Meglen, Peché aims to satisfy patrons with each and every menu item.
For a literary-inspired cocktail experience, head over to Academia, a former Bar Rescue expert’s new outpost. With mysterious flags hanging throughout the bar, each representing a different author, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a heady cocktail.
What to Do:
The spirit of Austin comes to life through the city’s raucous live music venues, but the city’s food and drink options offer much needed stations to recharge. Some must-visit spots for any audiophile include Cheer Up Charlie’s, The Mohawk and Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden.
Once you’ve discovered an iPod’s worth of local Austin music, make your way to the Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery and get a taste of Austin’s liquid spirit. With a specialty in flavored vodka, Deep Eddy does not disappoint in the fruity cocktail arena. Plus, you can’t miss out on the Instagram-opp in front of the retro Deep Eddy Vodka-branded trailer.