Austin wouldn’t be Austin without someone telling you how the city “isn’t the same anymore.” Don’t believe the rumors. Austin’s popularity may be on the rise, but there are still plenty of authentic spots that have stayed true to their roots. Don’t just take our word for it, take our local team’s word for it. They searched everything from South Lamar to North Loop to find the latest recommendations to share with you.
Spokesman Coffee Bar
Located inside of a converted warehouse (as all cool breweries should be) their first thing you’ll notice about Spokesman are the walls decked out with murals by local artist Bricks. The owners, C.J. and Trey are committed to their craft and their hometown. They worked for years at craft breweries and coffee shops before deciding to join forces and open their own space. All of the coffee is roasted in-house and most of the nearly two-dozen draft beers are brewed locally. You can leave your lock at home if your roll up on your bike—there’s hanging rack inside. Plus every Wednesday, anyone who comes in on two wheels gets happy hour pricing.
Ah Sing Den
Ah Sing Den is named after the famous opium den where authors like Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde would “gather inspiration.” The bar lives up to the name with its antique Victorian-style furniture. Only difference is Dickens couldn’t order delicious Thai Curry Udon or Chinese Gumbo at his spot. The food’s great, but the cocktails are really where it’s really at. We recommend the Guyanese Sour. It’s made with aged rum and cayenne chile syrup.
Milk + Honey Spa
We’re still trying to convince our boss it’s necessary for us to personally try each and every spa treatment at Milk +Honey “for our blog and SEO purposes.” Their signature massage made us reach new levels of relaxed. Plus, they only use natural, organic ingredients and after the treatment you’ll be guided to a lounge with tea and light treats where you can hang out for as long as you’d like. Well, I’m sure eventually they’d ask you to leave eventually but you know what we mean.
McKinney Falls State Park
When our team in Austin told us to add a waterfall to our City Guides, we thought they were messing with us. Turns out there really is a waterfall within Austin’s city limits. Go for a swim, explore the remains of an early Texas homestead and follow winding trails through the Hill Country Woods at McKinney Falls State Park. If you only have a short amount of time, definitely go to the lower falls. There are fewer people than the upper falls and the rock formations are unbelievable.
It’s hard to imagine South Congress being “sleepy” but that’s what Steve Wiman says it was like when he opened his antique shop 25 years ago. It was one of the only businesses in the area. For nearly three decades, Wiman has done his part in keeping Austin weird. Uncommon Objects is loaded with eccentric goods. Some will make you feel nostalgic, others curious and a few just downright confused. The shop is moving to a new location three miles south off Ben White Boulevard along with some other well-known SoCo businesses. Swing by their new spot and check out their awesome assortment of relics.
If you’re looking for more carefully curated Austin recommendations, you’re in luck. We have a Austin City Guide that’s exactly that.