The Bitches took over Austin for the ultimate girl trip—eating, drinking, and shopping our way across Austin. Here are our must-visit recommendations for the best B’s: brunch, BBQ, bars, and boutiques.
Elizabeth Street Café
Elizabeth Street Café is an absolute do not miss for brunch, as this unique spot serves incredible Vietnamese food and house-made French pastries like croissants, macarons, Kouign Amann, and more. The Vietnamese dishes like pork belly buns, crispy vermicelli rice cakes, and Singapore noodles are fresh, flavorful, and beautifully executed while the pastries are utterly divine. The coffee program is exemplary and the space is adorable—be sure to make a reservation or go early. Elizabeth Street Café, 1501 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
We loved the clean, chic, organic aesthetic at Pitchfork Pretty, which is a great brunch spot for any occasion. The brunch cocktails were spot on—and the biscuits were utterly divine. 2708 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Do you love waiting in lines? Of course you don’t. But this spot is worth it. Grab a group of friends, road beers and folding chairs and show up early for a few hour wait in line for some of the best barbecue in town. It’s a must-do at least once. Franklin’s, 900 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
Swing by Stubbs at night for dynamite BBQ and live music. The brisket sandwich is some quintessential barbecue and Stubb’s is a great introduction to the Austin live music scene. Stubb’s, 801 Red River St, Austin, TX 78701
For Anything & Everything —including Instagram
Austin is filled with absolutely darling spots that exude Southern charm—it’s hard to know where to begin. Here’s our list of must-visit Austin destinations; a few spots that are a solid option for brunch, lunch, or dinner—cute decor, great food, solid cocktails, and open for all three meals.
From every angle, there’s no denying that this place is CUTE. This charming restaurant has a gorgeous, vintage-inspired bistro interior with a gilded, old school style bar and seated. Outside, sit on striped patio seating beneath bright yellow umbrellas on the patio’s walls, with walls covered in greenery. It’s a highly Instagrammable garden oasis—with impeccable craft cocktails and great food. The food is New American meets French—think steak frites, oysters, burgers—you can’t go wrong. Hillside Farmacy, 1209 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702
After a day well-spent cruising around Lake Austin, you’re doing to need a hearty lunch. We enjoyed the shade of a thatched umbrella on the patio of Hula Hut, which overlooks the lake. Don’t miss the fish tacos and the stuffed avocado as you cool down with a crisp Corona and Mexican bites. Hula Hut, 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703
This highly Instagrammable spot is built into—you guessed it—a former laundromat. It’s pastel color palette and charming aesthetic make it the perfect spot for a girls lunch, brunch, or dinner. The patio is also a great option to drop by for an outdoor drink. The cocktails, seafood entrees, and dessert are all solid bets. Launderette, 2115 Holly St, Austin, TX 78702
Relax on the spacious patio at this popular oyster spot across the river. Cool off with a frozen drink under the fans and people watch all the tourists on South Congress. The oysters are fresh and the service, superb. After Perla’s head to our favorite Austin boutiques: co/ve, Favor In Kind, and Blackmail. 1400 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
This chic, contemporary Mexican spot in East Austin is the perfect destination for a long, boozy dinner before a night on the town. We loved the shareable, inventive Mexican fare, especially the snapper tostadas, mushroom frito, and ceviches. Suerte, 1800 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
Austin is known for Sixth Street, a.k.a the Dirty Six, a rowdy street of bars with live music and sticky floors. If you’re looking for a New Orleans-style vibe, Sixth Street is your best bet. As for us, we preferred Rainey Street, and a few other cocktail bars around town. Here are our top picks.
This East Austin neighborhood bar feels like a bit of divey living room when you first enter, but head to the back for a funky tiki bar. Our guy Scotland mans the bar and makes a mean painkiller served in a pineapple. Prepare to get lei’d and sip on a watermelon margarita as you enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and friendly service. Craftsman, 2000 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
For a more sophisticated, adult place for drinks, head to Geraldine’s located on the roof of the Hotel Van Zandt, a Kimpton property adjacent to Rainey Street. The rooftop pool and bar offers a great view of the city and the general vibe is older and more sophisticated. (The cocktails are more expensive as a result.) There’s live music from a local rock band most nights, so this is a great place to go for after dinner drinks and tunes on a more relaxed evening. Geraldine’s 605 Davis St., Austin, Texas
There are so many cute cocktail bars nestled into little houses on Rainey Street, it’s hard to know where to start—Half Step, with a cute blue exterior and dark, glam interior, is a great option for craft cocktails or local beers to begin your night on the town. We’re not against stopping for mini doughnuts at the food truck out front, either. Half Step, 75 1/2 Rainey Street, Austin, Texas.
Lucille is in the heart of Rainey Street, a drag of adorable bars built into charming little cottages, most offering live music in the back with food trucks in the front. Rainey Street is truly a gem—a perfect place to start for a night out in Austin. We loved the gilded and glam yet playful décor at Lucille, plus the expansive back patio, which was screening the NBA Finals at the time. The cocktails were fresh and pretty good—in particular, we loved a cocktail with Bourbon, basil, lemon, and Topo Chico soda water. Lucille, 77 Rainey St, Austin, Texas.
This chic hostel reminds us of the Freehand hotels in Miami, Chicago, and New York, in that it’s a hostel with cool vibes where locals actually go on a night out. It’s the current top spot for discerning Austinites. We enjoyed the vibe and the DJ. 807 E 4th St, Austin, Texas.
Upstairs at Caroline
We picked Upstairs at Caroline because of the activities—Bitches love activities, and Upstairs has a lot of them, from cornhole to giant Jenga. We weren’t the only gaggle of girls who felt the same—there were no less than three bachelorette parties present at the same time. The frozen cocktails and Mexican food make it a fun open air space to go, stay, and drink a while, working your way through playful cocktails, street tacos, and plenty of games. Upstairs at Caroline, 621 Congress Ave #201, Austin, Texas
Our Must-Visit South Congress Shops
No girls trip is complete without a little bit of shopping, so here are out favorite shops, all conveniently located on South Congress, adjacent to some great bars and restaurants!
This bright, cheeky retro motel on South Congress in Austin is a great place to stay, drop by for a drink, buy a pool pass, or visit the gift shop. The colorful shop matches the hotel’s aesthetic perfectly, with bright Solid & Striped swimwear, organic Sun Bum sunscreen, and playful branded t-shirts, towels, and bandanas. Austin Motel, 1220 S Congress Ave., Austin, Texas
We Bitches went crazy for this cheery shop. From kitschy knicknacks, to chic swimsuits and homegoods, every one of us gals ending up making a purchase here. There are plenty of cute gift ideas for you to bring home from your trip. Favor the Kind, 1204 S Congress Ave, Austin, Texas
This chic women’s boutique features some of our favorite brands, like Soludos, Boys + Arrows, Amanda Uprichard and more. You’ll be sure to find something cute to wear while traipsing around the city. Cove, 1318 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704
The vibe at Black Mail is girly goth—there’s a lot of black, pagan, sex and drugs inspired decor but in a playful, unoffensive way, as this is Texas, after all. The boutique offers cool jewelry, candles and gifts, and chic, minimalistic clothing. Black Mail, 1202 S Congress Ave., Austin, Texas