Our “48 Hours in…” series continues this week with Austin, that hip-and-happenin’ spot that’s a little bit country, a little bit Brooklyn/Portlandia. Make sure to check out our previous posts in the series, with 48 Hours in…Miami and 48 Hours in…the Airport.
Hey y’all and yee-haw!
For this round of “48 Hours in…”, I asked my friend, and locale expert, Evan Strange, to point us in the right direction. Though I originally met Evan during my visit to Indianapolis, he moved down Texas way two years ago, and is certainly my go-to to get the off-the-radar dining deets in this capital city.
Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden
79 & 81 Rainey Street, Austin
Located in the hip little neighborhood known as Rainey Street, Banger’s sets itself apart with more than 100 tasty beers on tap, a huge dog-friendly beer garden and some of the most delicious sausage I’ve ever put in my mouth. And let’s not forget, they do offer a free (yes, free) tattoo to anyone daring enough to get it. And yes, I got it.
Whether the South Lamar brick and mortar, or one of their many stationary trucks found in the backyards of some of the best dive bars in the city, you can’t come to Austin without trying Top Chef Paul Qui’s tasty food. Each location offers something a little different, but his Thai Chicken Karaage and Poor Qui’s Buns with pork belly are must-trys. All locations have plenty of beverages to wash down your meal as well.
1201 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin
When culinary wunderkind Bryce Gilmore is at the helm, you know you’re in for a treat. Whenever I have to pick one place in Austin to do some serious eating, Odd Duck is my go-to spot. The menu is always insanely local and the flavor combinations are crazy good. You’ll have to order multiple plates per person, so my best advice is to let the staff do the choosing for you – you can’t go wrong and might even get something off-menu. And don’t forget their frozen orange margarita: it’s the best and strongest in the city.
2316 South 1st Street, Austin
When you’re in a city where brunch, happy hours and late nights are a religion, there has to be that one recovery meal everyone enjoys. For Austinites, it’s breakfast tacos. Everyone has their favorite, and while Tacodeli is a very close second, El Tacorrido does the trick. Two tacos and a Top Chico will treat you right.
1411 East 7th Street, Austin
My list would be incomplete if I left off a place to brunch, and for me, it’s Takoba. With unlimited salsa and chips as thick as a 2×4 paired with an awesome menu, great cocktails, micheladas and cheap mimosa carafes, this place will give you more than enough reason to start imbibing before noon.
1200 East 6th Street, Austin
The great Texas barbecue debate will continue as long as there are cows, but to me, it’s been decided. La Barbecue is by far my favorite place to get brisket in the city, and while Franklin BBQ is equally amazing, you won’t have to wait hours in line for this good stuff. That said, they do sell out early, so get there at least 30 minutes before they open, so you can relax and enjoy a keg of free beer (yes, I said free again) before the meat sweats set in. And just to be clear, Austin barbecue is unlike anything you have ever had, I promise.
Born and raised in Indiana, Evan Strange fell in love with traveling and tourism at a young age and started his career at Visit Indy to promote the greatest city in the Midwest. Now based in Austin, Evan, his fiancee, and their bulldog, Hank, are on a neverending quest to find the tastiest food and best Happy Hour in the city. You can find him infrequently on Twitter.
*Photo credit: Evan Strange