My SXSW cherry has officially been popped!
I spent five full days in Austin and wholetime, I think I’m a stan. Meshing the cosmopolitan (and obnoxious hipster) vibes with the flat out ‘bamaness of Texas, it was the perfect combo for good eatin’, live music, and cheap fun.
This site rests on four tenants. Everything:
- black + excellent
- below 14th street
Each city guide will follow this model, since these are the foundations from which I build trip itineraries. Everybody got it? Ready to get to the fun stuff? Okay, check it….
Paperboy: Austin is overflowing with food trucks, but all food trucks are not created equal! Apparently, the city has been buzzing about this new place Paperboy, so we went to check it out. Yams. Pork belly. Perfectly poached egg. HELLO?! To top it off, it was service with a smile. Unlike most food trucks, Paperboy has seating, so you can sit and enjoy your meal. The portions aren’t that huge, so either come when you’re not that hungry, or with a bunch of friends, so you can dip and dabble in everyone’s plate.
Lick: Any of the iSo14below day ones know I looooooove ice cream! It was blazin’ hip-hop and R&B for two of the days of my trip, so a scoop stop was necessary. We landed at Lick and I landed in love. Artisinal ice cream can get cheesy, but the shop was super laid back and playing Brandy’s “Angel in Disguise”. As wild as I am in real life, I like fun twists on vanilla ice cream, so I implore you all to get up on that goatcheese/thyme/honey and fresh orange/fennel. They sell pints too, so feel free to cop some for later.
Stiles Switch BBQ: One of the most important things to me whilst in Texas was to come up on some good bb-que. Stiles Switch MORE than delivered! I mean…just look at that tray. ::wipes drool:: I also got to try out the Texan delicacy, frito pie and I had to kick myself for shading it for so long. A layer of fritos, topped with beef brisket chili, beans, cheese, jalepenos, and onions. How could I be so silly? Shoutout to Stiles for showing me the way and giving me the best ‘itis nap of all time. Next visit, I’m giving that peach cobbler a whirl!
Cisco’s Restaurant Bakery: Tacos are serious business in Texas. They even eat them for breakfast! But if you really want a quality breakfast taco, you mustmustmust get them from Cisco’s. They’ve been cheffin’ it up for the last 50 years, so trust they know what they’re doing back there. It has a cozy diner vibe and the staff is super nice. Also – cheap af!
Little Plaza Tacos: Iron obvi sharpens iron because right next door to Cisco’s is a taco truck that legit changed my life. It was 1am and we were about to embark on a night of dancing to Mexican trap music, so fuel was needed. One bite into Little Plaza’s fried chicken taco and life changed forever. They’re always in the same location and stay open past Austin’s 2am curfew, so if you do nothing else in Austin, make your way over!
Everything Black + Excellent
I’m gonna be 3hunna with ya’ll…Austin is the whitest place I’ve ever been in my life. Once the SXSW crowd left, I legit saw no more than six black people over two days of walking the city. Gentrification is real and rude! The black community is shrinking quickly, but there are still some gems to be found.
Mr. Catfish: It’s 2am and I’m hungry. I’m on a fake diet, so of course, the first thing I do is run to whatever food truck smells like pure grease and bad decisions. I’m scanning my options in a near panic before the h’angry set in and my eyes landed on the word “hush puppies”. I run to the truck and beg them to just sell me six. (they only come if you buy a meal) Two bucks later and I’m on the corner of 6th and Red River weeping because they were the best hush puppies of my life. The next day, we heard Monica’s “All Over Me” blasting from somewhere. It was obvi coming from Mr. Catfish so we obvi ordered fishplates and popped to the fye mixtape they had bumpin’. Mr. Catfish has a brick and mortar location, so if you don’t find the truck, they’re right in East Austin.
The Waffle Bus: Ya’ll….like…this is the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had in my life. Seasoned and fried to perfection. The waffle was obnoxiously fluffy. Then..THEN…the chipolte sauce and spicy honey. Yeesh! Okay, I might be gassin’ it a little, but that jawn is bomb. The Waffle Bus is stationed in Houston unfortunately, but there is an active petition to get an annex in Austin.
Head over to Instagram to see more photos of my trip via the hashtag #STEPHdoesSXSW. I’ll hopefully be heading down to Austin towards the end of the summer to take on all of the watering holes and museums I hoped to see, but cancelled since the weather fronted on me. ::screwface emoji::
Have any spots you love in Austin? Tell me all about it in the comment section!
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