Hipster Paradise in Austin

Austin has been on my travel bucket list for years now. I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about the city - the abundance of culture, outdoor activities, and giant mustaches!

112 Academy Dr, Austin, TX 78704, USA
A compound-like hideaway on a leafy street a block from trendy South Congress Avenue, Hotel Saint Cecilia is a retro-glam love letter to the 1960s and ‘70s rock music scene, named for the patron saint of music and poetry. But that doesn’t mean that rock stars smash guitars and throw ragers here (unless they rent out all 14 rooms, of course); unlike at its nearby sister properties, Hotel San José and Austin Motel, only guests and club members are welcome at the lounge, a laid-back affair with a Parisian-café–style patio, chesterfield sofas and a fireplace indoors, and craft cocktails and gourmet small plates. Between the 1888 Victorian main house—originally inhabited by a descendent of Davy Crockett—and verdant grounds that hide private porches and a serene pool, the hotel feels more like an impossibly stylish artists’ retreat than a celebrity getaway.

Each distinctively decorated room is larger than many an apartment, and seems ripped from the pages of a fashion magazine photoshoot. Every detail has been thought through, from the refreshing Grown Alchemist body care products to the Swedish Hästens mattresses (the hotel is the only one in North America with them in all rooms) to the impressive library of LPs to borrow. Everyone’s a rock star, here.
1209 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Hillside Farmacy is a farm-to-table restaurant in Austin built around a pharmacy theme. While it may sound odd, the execution is brilliant, with incredible food and wonderfully eclectic design. The restaurant space was formerly the home of a 1920s pharmacy owned by Austin‘s first African-American pharmacist. The decor features authentic apothecary items (from a different 1920s drugstore)—a vintage collection of medicine bottles, antique cash registers, tin ceilings, and wooden cabinets. But it’s the “F” in the deliberately misspelled Farmacy that nods to the emphasis on simple, fresh food. The restaurant works with local food purveyors and regularly changes the menus around the highest-quality seasonal ingredients. Local cheese, homemade pate, artisinal breads and pastries, raw bar, charcuterie are all available here. Dishes include bangers and eggs, buttermilk bisquits and gravy, and bison tartare. Other perks include an old fashioned soda counter and a shaded outdoor patio. If I were a local here, this would definitely be one of my favorite go-to places.
3001 Industrial Terrace, Austin, TX 78758, USA
Texas alcohol laws caused a lag in Texas and Austin breaking into the microbrew scene that is sweeping the nation, but Austin is rapidly catching up to other markets like Portland and Denver in their offerings of artisan beer. The breweries in Austin hold weekly or monthly open houses where you can visit the brewery operations and taste their latest offerings. Some of my favorite breweries in Austin are: Austin Beerworks Independence Brewing Co. Uncle Billy’s (512) Brewing Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery Live Oak Brewing Co. NXNW Restaurant & Brewery Whip In Real Ale Brewery (in nearby Blanco) Jester King Craft Brewery Thirsty Planet Brewing Hops & Grain Brewery Circle Brewing Company South Austin Brewing Company These are just my personal favorites. There are more breweries in town and in the surrounding area and there are more popping up all the time! Don’t miss the chance to try many of these award winning beers right from the tap on your next visit to Austin.
1950 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78704, USA
Part Tex-Indian restaurant, part brewpub, part music venue–Whip In is anything but ordinary. This former convenience store-turned-restaurant is where locals go for south Asian food with South Austin moods. This quirky stomping ground offers comfort food and a of 72 taps of curated, quality beer. Its house-made brand, Kamala Brewing, develops beers and ales that are specifically designed to complement the menu. Not a beer lover? Whip In has an exceptional wine menu too. All this combined live music and indie movie events make it a perfect hangout for travelers seeking an authentic Austin vibe. Image courtesy of Whip In.
More From AFAR