The Locals’ Guide to The Best of Austin

Excited to be in Austin? So are we. Umbel is proud to be headquartered in beautiful, exciting and friendly city. For those who aren’t entirely familiar with Austin, we thought we’d dispel a few myths. We don’t all eat barbecue and tacos every day, or paddle board during lunch. Not all Austin locals are into yoga, public pools, craft beer and waiting in long lines to eat at a hot brunch spot. But yes, Austin truly is a quirky, friendly, unforgettable city. You’ll find an interesting mix of hipsters, hippies, liberals, libertarians, professionals and yuppies. Many of us refer to work as our “day jobs,” and can often be found “working” in coffee shops, parks, bookstores and even bars. And yes, we love shelter dogs, patios, local businesses, live music, food trucks, startups and all things quirky and independent.

Here’s a list of what we locals love most about Austin. It was so hard to choose from so many great spots, so we polled our friends, families and colleagues to compile a list of their favorite places to eat, drink, listen to music and unwind. We made a special effort to include as many places as possible that were within a few miles from downtown so you can use Uber, taxis, bikes or public buses to get there.

If you’re in town for SXSW, these insider recommendations will help you experience the best of Austin, and in some cases avoid the crazy lines at many of the downtown spots.


Best Breakfast Tacos

Taco Deli
Veracruz All Natural (food truck)
Taco Joint

Best Anytime Tacos

Taco Deli
Veracruz All Natural (food truck)

Best BBQ

la Barbeque
Franklin Barbecue
Rudy’s BBQ & Country Store

Best Pizza

Home Slice
Via 313 (food truck)
East Side Pies

Best Margaritas

La Condesa
Polvo’s mexican Restaurant
Trudy’s Tex Mex Restaurant

Best Mexican Restaurant

La Condesa
Fonda San Miguel

Best Healthy Food

Juiceland (multiple locations)
Bouldin Creek Cafe
Conscious Cravings (Food Truck)

Best Vegetarian/Vegan Restaurant

Bouldin Creek Cafe
Counter Culture
Mother’s Cafe

Best Dessert

Lick Ice Creams
Amy’s Ice Creams (Downtown)
Mozart Coffee Roasters

Best Wine Bar

Wink Restaurant
House Wine
Cru Food & Wine (Downtown)

Best Coffeeshop

Cafe Medici

Best Free Wi-Fi

Mozart Coffee Roasters
Cafe Medici

Best Dive Bar

The White Horse
The Liberty
Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon

Best Live Music Venue

ACL Live at The Moody Theater
Continental Room
The Mohawk

Best Brunch

Hillside Farmacy Eatery & Grocery
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Most Quirky Austin Spot

The Whip-In (Bar & Restaurant)
Lucy in Disguise (Store)
Bats Under Congress Ave Bridge (watch them fly out at dusk)

Best Hotel Bar

Driskill Hotel Bar
The Living Room at The W
The San Jose Hotel Bar

Best Quiet Place

Town Lake Hike & Bike Trail
Casa De Luz (Cafe)
Zilker Park