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An Updated Guide to Austin, Texas

Quinn and I have called Austin home for the better part of a decade. It’s a city that drew us in with its distinct creative energy and is truly unlike any other place I’ve ever lived. Austin prides itself on a well-deserved reputation for some of the best restaurants, shopping, and entertainment for locals and visitors alike. In my humble opinion, the food scene alone could rival any coastal city. 

Outside of design-related topics, our team receives a lot of Austin questions, and we’re always happy to oblige. Read on for our latest and greatest guide to Austin, Texas with the best local places to shop, eat, stay, and play. For those of you who have yet to plan a visit, I can assure you this city lives up all to the hype and then some.

 

Mattie's outdoor dining in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022

Featured: Mattie’s | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Local’s Guide to Austin

WHERE TO SHOP: HOME

 

 

Austin’s creative community has produced a wealth of gorgeous brands and small shops that you don’t want to miss. We’ve broken down the shopping highlights into three sections covering home, gifts, and apparel. You’ll also find a few flagship stores of national brands that are fun to browse and see where it all started.

 

Supply Showroom:  Interior designers, this one’s for you. Housed into a converted bungalow, Supply Showroom is a trade-only showroom offering thousands of colorful fabric and wallpaper selections from small boutique brands. It’s an inspiration goldmine and taking a look inside their shop is always worth a visit.

address: 1513 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

 

Uncommon Objects: The BEST vintage store for home goods and collectibles. It’s packed with unique oddities, but everything is well-curated for a seamless shopping experience. After your visit, hop over to Radio next door for a pick-me-up and maybe some live music.

address: 1602 Fortview Rd, Austin, TX 78704

 

Garden House by Thompson & Hanson: You’ll find an amazing selection of tabletop accessories, vintage and antique furniture, clothes, gifts, and other home accessories.

address: 1515 W 35th St Building B, Austin, TX 78703

 

Wildflower Organics: The prettiest home store in a great location to check out the Whole Foods flagship, Anthropologie, and Book People (see below) across the street.

address: 524 N Lamar Blvd #101, Austin, TX 78703

 

Back Home Living: This home goods store boasts an ever-changing inventory that’s always reasonably priced, and the management couldn’t be more helpful. 

address: 4477 S Lamar Blvd #730, Austin, TX 78745

 

 

Supply Showroom in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022Wallpaper showroom in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022Interior design fabric showroom | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022Interior design fabric showroom | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022Interior design fabric showroom | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022

Featured: Supply Showroom | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Local’s Guide to Austin

WHERE TO SHOP: GIFTS

 

 

Yeti: Austin is home to the flagship store, and it’s worth a stop. Get your significant other a cool water bottle so they won’t notice all the other goodies you bought on your trip!

address: 220 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

 

Paper Place Austin: This shop is our favorite stationery store in Austin and a go-to for small gifts. 

address: 4001 N Lamar Blvd #540, Austin, TX 78756

 

Book People: Austin’s locally-owned bookstore with constant book signings, guest appearances, and events. Check their online calendar to see what’s happening during your stay.

address: 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

 

Lobby Shop in South Congress Hotel: This is a central location to shop so many local brands. We can’t walk through this lobby without making an impulse purchase. 

address: 1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

 

 

Where to shop in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022Vintage shopping in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022Vintage shopping in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022Home decor shopping in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin for 2022

Featured: Thompson & Hanson + Uncommon Objects | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Local’s Guide to Austin

WHERE TO SHOP: APPAREL

 

Maufrais: The coolest hat store in all of Austin—no question. It’s got hip Southwestern vibe, and if you purchase a hat in the store, they’ll make sure it’s custom-shaped for a perfect fit. 

Address: 1512 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

 

Tecovas: It isn’t Texas without boots, and these are the best. Stop by and try on cowboy boots for men and women while sipping a free cocktail or beer. The stunning interior was designed by Claire Zinnecker, and you won’t want to leave. 

address: 1333 S Congress Ave Suite 160, Austin, TX 78704

 

Esby Apparel: This Austin-based brand recently went to exclusively online, but it’s still a must for sustainable fashion enthusiasts. Once in a while they do pop-up shop, so be sure to keep an eye out. 

 

Stag: Originally a men’s only boutique, Stag recently released a women’s line of the world’s comfiest, coolest casual wear. No exaggeration. It’s worth popping in, even if just to browse the stunning shop. 

address: 1423 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

 

Estilo: A trendy, upscale boutique with the kindest owner in Austin. Always a first stop destination when we’re looking for something specific.

address: 2727 Exposition Blvd #121, Austin, TX 78703

 

 

Maufrais hat store in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin, TexasMaufrais hat store in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin, TexasThe best shopping in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin, Texas

Featured: Maufrais + Tecovas + Stag| Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Local’s Guide to Austin

WHERE TO SHOP: APPAREL

 

ByGeorge: When you want to be fancy, this is the luxury boutique of Austin. Think Chloe, YSL, Ulla Johnson, etc. Definitely a fun place to browse.

address: 524 N Lamar Blvd # 103, Austin, TX 78703

 

Service Menswear: Affordable and incredibly cool menswear, and an absolute favorite of my husband, Quinn. The boys in this shop are SO helpful and charming.

address: 1400 S Congress Ave A160, Austin, TX 78704

 

Good Company: This new Austin shop can take all our monies. Beautiful layers, pleats, airy fabrics, and all the luxe items. Good Company makes shopping small a joy.

address: 918 W 12th St, Austin, TX 78703 | 1714B S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 | 904D W 12th St, Austin, TX 78703 (home store location)

 

Kick Pleat: An upscale boutique for beautiful minimal clothes that feel elevated and timeless.

address: 624 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

 

Elizabeth Street Cafe | A Local's Guide to Austin, TexasPink and turquoise door at Elizabeth St Cafe | A Local's Guide to Austin, TexasElizabeth St Cafe | A Local's Guide to Austin, TexasElizabeth St Cafe | A Local's Guide to Austin, Texas

Featured: Elizabeth Street Cafe | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Local’s Guide to Austin

WHERE TO EAT

 

 

When people ask us where to eat in Austin, we ask, “how much time do you have?” Austin’s food scene could truly keep you busy and well-fed for weeks. We have all the great design, impeccable branding, and delicious eats of a larger city like LA, SF, or NY, with much more affordable prices. We tried to edit ourselves with these selections, but we could honestly write a book. 

 

LORO: If you can only visit one restaurant in Austin, make it Loro. The brainchild of two world-renowned chefs (one Michelin starred, the other a Top Chef winner), it is a Korean/Texas BBQ fusion. You’ll order at the counter and eat family-style with wait staff serving you at your seat. The design is gorgeous—very Korean-inspired in a rustic, Texas, minimal way. However, the food is the real star here. Don’t miss: brisket, corn fritters, chicken koragee, AND THE FREAKING FROZEN GIN + TONICS.

address: 2115 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

 

Tiny Boxwoods: This restaurant is the best combination of upscale, garden cafe surroundings and familiar American fare. Tiny’s Milk + Cookies is in the parking lot with the best coffee + pastries in town.

address: 1503 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703

 

El Chilito: If you want a breakfast burrito, this is the place. It’s so cute inside + the food is so good. Our recommendation is the Cherrywood Burrito, no eggs with the black roasted salsa. Trust us on this one.

address: 1623 E 7th St #3325, Austin, TX 78702

 

Elizabeth Street Cafe: This South Austin eatery has girls’ day written all over it. The menu features French-Vietnamese dishes served for brunch, lunch, and dinner. You can’t go wrong with their house-made phở and do not sleep on the vermicelli spring rolls.

address: 1501 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

 

Mattie’s: Set in a 19th-century Victorian home, a meal at Mattie’s is not to be missed. They serve fresh takes on Southern classics, but the real star is the overall ambiance. Between views of the live oak tress and the well-designed historic interior, choosing where to sit is always the hardest part!

address: 811 W Live Oak St, Austin, TX 78704

 

 

Loro restaurant | A Local's Guide to Austin, TexasFood from Loro in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin, TexasKorean BBQ from Loro in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin, Texas

Featured: LORO | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

 

El Alma: This quirky, super beautiful Mexican restaurant is owned by female Michelin star chef, Alma Alcocer, with incredible interior Mexican style food. The ceviche, crab chile relleno, and spicy margaritas can’t be missed. Enjoy on the mountainside patio looking over downtown for the ultimate Austin dining. 

address: 1025 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

 

Juliet: One of our favorites for fancy nights out, this patio feels totally French, especially on Wednesdays when they have live jazz music.

address: 1500 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

 

Mattie's outdoor dining in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin, Texas Mattie's outdoor dining in Austin | A Local's Guide to Austin, Texas

Featured: Mattie’s  | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Salt Lick: This is a 20-minute drive from downtown but an absolute MUST when in Austin. Set in a vineyard, it has the most Texas swagger you can get, plus it’s BYOB. The bison ribs and potato salad are not to be missed. Go for an early lunch to avoid the lines. When our whole IDCO Studio team comes to town, we take them to Salt Lick.

address: 18300 Farm to Market Rd 1826, Driftwood, TX 78619

 

Clark’s Oyster Bar: Located in Austin’s cute bungalow neighborhood just west of downtown, Clark’s is super tiny, quaint, and delicious. If you’re not into oysters, get the burger. It’s the best in town.

address: 1200 W 6th St, Austin, TX 78703

 

Banger’s: Bangers is a beer garden smokehouse on Rainey Street, and definitely the place you come to post up all day. Drink all the beer and get the snickers parfait for dessert.

address: 79 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701

 

 

The Wayback in Austin, TX | Where to Stay in AustinThe Wayback in Austin, TX | Where to Stay in AustinThe Wayback in Austin, TX | Where to Stay in Austin

Featured: The Wayback | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Local’s Guide to Austin

WHERE TO STAY

 

 

For a real Austin experience, skip the chains and stay at one of our stunning boutique hotels for Instagram-worthy design and true Southern hospitality.

 

The Wayback: As the setting for the Austin Design Camp, this one’s a given. The Wayback is perfect for quick access to downtown but feels like a true retreat. They’re all about laid-back luxury, and the on-site dining is second to none.

address: 9601 Bee Caves Rd, Austin, TX 78733

 

South Congress Hotel: Such a fun spot if it’s your first time to Austin. Right on South Congress, the design is hipster meets desert chic. We love the carefully curated gift shop in the lobby (mentioned above) and the easy parking below. Don’t miss breakfast at Cafe No Sé while you’re there.

address: 1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

 

Hotel St. Cecilia: Austin’s original boutique hotel, this splurge is worth every penny. Set under massive heritage live oaks, this motel turned private apartment suites is a bucket list trip. Renovated by the world-famous Bunkhouse hospitality group, the entire place is Instagram-worthy.

address: 112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704

 

Hotel Magdalena: Austin’s newest boutique hotel + another Bunkhouse property, this place is set just behind the Soho House off of South Congress. The vibes are 70’s retro chic with a nod to music legends.  The location gives you excellent walkability, but it’s tucked away just enough to feel like an escape.

address: 1101 Music Ln, Austin, TX 78704

 

Hotel Van Zandt: This is a Kimpton property that has live music almost every night and is right on Rainey Street—our favorite “night on the town” district. It’s made up of historic bungalows turned bars and restaurants and feels like a cool block party with games and music every night.

address: 605 Davis St, Austin, TX 78701

 

Peter Pan mini golf | A Local's Guide to AustinTiny Boxwoods | A Local's Guide to AustinWillie Nelson mural | A Local's Guide to Austin

Featured: Peter Pan Mini Golf + Tiny Boxwoods | Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Local’s Guide to Austin

WHERE TO PLAY

 

 

South Congress District: Also known as SoCo, this legendary stretch is the ultimate spot to see and be seen. It’s Austin’s most condensed and walkable neighborhood with enough shops, restaurants, and music venues to keep you busy all day. If you’re planning a first visit to Austin, we’d recommend starting right here.

address: South Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78704

 

Laguna Gloria at The Contemporary Austin: This beautiful sculpture garden is set right on the water and feels like worlds away from the city. Stroll on a sunny day and take in all the scenery. 

address: 3809 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703

 

Peter Pan Mini Golf: Whether you’re visiting Austin with your friends or your family, this iconic mini golf spot is always a hit. You’ll play on of their two courses filled with kitschy cool style across 18 holes. It’s also worth noting that this cash-only course is also BYOB. 

address: 1207 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704

 

Radio Coffee: This is our favorite hangout spot in Austin. There is live bluegrass on Mondays, and trivia, game nights, and standup the rest of the week. Mornings, we get coffee and sit in the garden with breakfast tacos from the taco truck on-site, Veracruz. Food Network named Veracruz the best tacos in the country. We agree.

address: 4204 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704

 

 

Photography: Madeline Harper for IDCO Studio

 


 

IDCO Studio is a boutique creative agency specialized in beautiful and unique marketing solutions for interior designers. Focused on branding, web design and Instagram marketing, IDCO Studio is a woman owned and operated team of creatives based in Austin, Texas. The Identité Collective, which began as a business blog quickly grew into a collaborative community focused on providing business strategy and visual inspiration to the interior design community.

Now you can find our shop of resources, templates and custom branding and web design work over at IDCO Studio—leaving The Identité Collective as a permanent resource for our beloved design community.

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