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Guide to Eating in Austin

I’ve been living in Austin for two months now, and in that time, I’ve consumed a lot of food. After all, Austin is home to an incredible food scene — from BBQ joints to food trucks to healthy, organic outlets to (of course) Mexican restaurants. As more and more people move to Austin (close to […]

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I’ve been living in Austin for two months now, and in that time, I’ve consumed a lot of food. After all, Austin is home to an incredible food scene — from BBQ joints to food trucks to healthy, organic outlets to (of course) Mexican restaurants. As more and more people move to Austin (close to 160 a day at last count) and the city balloons with a more diverse population, Austin has expanded its dining fare to include more varied and higher-quality food.

Part of the reason Austin’s food tastes so delicious is because of the locally-sourced ingredients. As the birthplace of Whole Foods, Austin has always embraced organic food, and it was one of the frontrunners in the farm-to-table movement.

Moreover, to meet the needs of the expanding population, nearly 200 new food trucks and restaurants open up each year! With so many eateries opening all the time, you’re going to get hugely increased variety, selection, and quality.

While I still have much more exploring to do and food to eat, I want to share some of my favorite places to eat in the city for your next visit:

Asian

If there is anything I dislike about Austin, it would be the lack of good Asian cuisine, as it is my favorite in the world. When it comes to Asian food, it has a lot of those fusion joints that serve Chinese, Thai, sushi, and Korean all at once. Most are simply acceptable; they won’t blow you away. However, there are a few restaurants worth eating at:

  • Bar Chi (206 Colorado St., (512) 382-5557, www.barchiaustin.com) – Decent sushi but an unbelievably affordable happy hour (5-7pm each day). My friends and I come here because it satisfies the sushi craving on the cheap!
  • East Side King (1618 1/2 E. 6th S., (512) 407-8166, www.eskaustin.com) – Located in The Liberty Bar (also a kick-ass bar), this is best Asian-Thai fusion food truck in the city! Be sure to get the pork buns, tori meshi, or the chicken buns.
  • Lulu B’s (3632 S. Congress Ave., (512) 921-4828, www.facebook.com/LuLuBsAustin) – I found this place thanks to Jodi from Legal Nomads. I’m not the Vietnamese food expert she is, but this place was delectable. I’ve only had the beef pho, but it was a flavorful broth.
  • Piranha (207 San Jacinto Blvd. #202, (512) 473-8775, www.piranhakillersushi.com/piranha-locations/austin) – My all-around favorite sushi joint. The sushi here gives you the most value for your money, and it’s always fresh and of high quality. I particularly love their yellowtail.
  • Thai-Khun (1816 E. 6th St., (512) 407-8166, eskaustin.com/v2/thaikun) – As a Thai food snob (ever since I lived in Thailand), I’m always disappointed at Thai restaurants because I never think the food is as breathtaking as in Thailand. This place in Austin is the closest to true Thai food that I’ve found so far.
  • Uchi (801 S. Lamar, (512) 916-4808, uchiaustin.com) – The fanciest high-end sushi restaurant in the city. They also have a sister restaurant called Uchiko. Both live up to their reputations and are good date places. Reservations recommended!
  • Wu Cho (500 W. 5th St. #168, (512) 476-2469, wuchowaustin.com) – This is one of the best Chinese restaurants in the city. They serve a very popular dim sum brunch on Sundays. Be sure to come early as it gets packed during dinnertime and Sunday brunch, and the wait for a table can be up to an hour.

Americana

If there is one thing Austin does well, it’s “Americana” food. I define that as a fusion of multiple cuisines: burgers, fries, steaks, seafood, and the like.

  • Launderette (2115 Holly St., (512) 382-1599, launderetteaustin.com) – Located in an old laundry store, this restaurant is one of the hottest spots in town and serves an amazing menu of Americana and seafood, as well as a decent selection of wine. Some of my favorite dishes include crab toast, burrata, okra, brussels sprouts, and grilled octopus. If you’re coming for dinner, come early, as it fills up fast.
  • Truluck (400 Colorado St., (512) 482-9000, trulucks.com) – This is my favorite steak restaurant because it’s one of the few places where you can also get fresh seafood (crab, oysters, lobster). It’s not cheap, but if you want a upscale steak house, try this.
  • Péché (208 W. 4th St., (512) 494-4011, www.pecheaustin.com) – A New Orleans–inspired restaurant serving Bayou food, and it has a very friendly staff, tasty cocktails, and an extensive whiskey list.

BBQ

Austin is world-famous for its BBQ, and you can’t walk down the street without running into a restaurant that serves it. The title for Austin’s best BBQ is hotly contested among fans, and I don’t claim to know who’s right — to me, BBQ is either good or really damn good. But these are among my favorites:

  • Franklin Barbecue (900 E. 11th St., (512) 653-1187, franklinbarbecue.com) – This is considered the top of the top of the top BBQ joints in the country. Even the president ate here! It’s open from 11am until they run out of food (usually in a few hours). Lines start at 8am, so it’s best to go midweek in summer when most people don’t want to wait in that line and you don’t need to line up until 9 or 10am.
  • La Barbecue (1906 E. Cesar Chavez St., (512) 605-9696, www.labarbecue.com) – BBQ is a matter of perspective. A lot of people say Franklin’s is the best, but La Barbecue is #1 to me. It opens at 11am. Expect two-hour waits during lunchtime, so get here early.
  • Iron Works BBQ (100 Red River St., (512) 478-4855, ironworksbbq.com) – Located downtown, this restaurant serves above-average BBQ with large portions and hearty helpings of side dishes. I come here for the lunch brisket plate.
  • Micklethwait Craft Meats (1309 Rosewood Ave., (512) 791-5961, craftmeatsaustin.com) – An awesome food truck on the east side of the city. I’m in love with its ribs, brisket, and BBQ sauce. While it’s very popular, the line here isn’t as long as the other places listed.

Tacos

Tacos are serious business in this city. I have yet to fully experience much of the wonder that Austin has to offer on this front, but I do like a few of the big names:

  • Veracruz (1704 E. Cesar Chavez St., (512) 981-1760, veracruztacos.com) – The best food truck in town (conveniently located across the street from my hostel). It makes wonderful breakfast tacos, and the migas was voted #1 in the country. There is never really a line, but service is slow.
  • Torchy’s (multiple locations, torchystacos.com/in/austin) – World famous (and another spot where the president ate), this taco place has multiple locations in the city. It lives up to all the hype! I’m a big fan of the fried avocado and trailer park tacos. Every location is always packed, so expect a wait, especially on the weekends. The food here is pretty spicy, too.
  • Taco Deli (multiple locations, www.tacodeli.com) – Another delicious eatery serving mouth watering breakfast tacos.

Mexican & Tex-Mex

Like tacos, there are a lot of world-class Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in Austin! There are plenty of people who can dissect their finer points — I am not one of those people, however. But these establishments will never steer you wrong:

  • Vivo (6406 N. Interstate Highway 35, (512) 407-8302, vivoaustin.com) – Solid Mexican with huge portions, spicy dishes, and friendly staff.
  • Benji’s (716 W. 6th St., (512) 476-8226, benjiscantina.com) – Amazing margaritas, huge portions, and an outdoor patio area. Their incredible guacamole is made tableside.
  • Tamale House East (1707 E. 6th St., (512) 495-9504, www.facebook.com/tamalehouse.east) – Located in East Austin, this hole-in-the-wall is only open for breakfast or lunch. It’s famous for its tacos, but like the name suggests, get the tamales!

Indian

There isn’t a lot of good Indian food in town, mostly because there just isn’t a lot of good Asian food in general. I’m not an Indian food expert, but these two are my favorites:

  • The Clay Pit (1601 Guadalupe St., (512) 322-5131, claypit.com) – I order from this spot through UberEats all the time since it often has fast delivery. I love the samosas and jasmine rice, and their naan is just perfect!
  • Masala Dhaba (75 Rainey St., (512) 665-6513) – A higher-end, sit-down restaurant with a flavorful chicken tikka masala!

Miscellaneous

Some other of my favorite must-eats:

  • P. Terry’s (multiple locations, pterrys.com) – This is the best burger bar in the city. It’s delicious and cheap (you can get a burger, fries, and a drink for $6 USD), with filling portions. This is one of my all-time favorite spots in the city, and since it’s close to my house, I tend to eat here too often!
  • The Onion (408 Brazos St., (512) 476-6466, onionbaby.com) – Coming from NYC, I’m spoiled for pizza — you can buy tasty dollar slices anywhere you go there. That’s not the case in Austin: slices are around $4 USD and not as good, but if there is one pizza place I do like, it’s this one.
  • Gus’s Fried Chicken (117 San Jacinto, (512) 474-4877, gusfriedchicken.com/austin-texas-location) – The sister restaurant to the famous location in Memphis, this place has juicy, moist chicken with battered skin that bursts with flavor in your mouth. It’s freaking amazing! They also serve mouthwatering fried green tomatoes and pickles.
  • Leaf (115 W. 6th St., (512) 474-5323, leafsalad.com) – This new lunchtime salad place is incredible (also the line is long). Its gigantic salad bar has anything and everything you could ever want to put in a salad. It’s one of my favorite places for a healthy meal in Austin.
  • True Kitchen (222 West Ave. #HR100, (512) 777-2430, truefoodkitchen.com) – This new restaurant is incredibly popular with people after work. All its food is natural and organic. You’ll find healthy wraps, salad bowls, sandwiches, and fresh and flavorful seafood, as well as an incredible selection of wine and cocktails.

Austin’s growing food scene means that there are still plenty of places I haven’t eaten at yet — and a few locations I probably left out, as a result — but during your visit to Austin, you’ll find yourself with more than enough choices by using this list as your guide!

 

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Destinations

Escape It All With These Secluded Vacation Destinations

If you’re looking to avoid people as much as possible on your next vacation, these are the spots for you. 

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For many of us, one of the best parts of going on vacation is just getting the heck away from all of it. And that most certainly includes people! Getting some quality alone time in a new and beautiful place can do wonders for the soul. So if this sounds like the perfect vacation for you, then check out these amazing destinations that also come with the least amount of people!

PAPINGO, GREECE

We all know how beautiful the Mediterranean is. It’s an incredible area of the world that’s always a worthy vacation destination. But this quaint mountain town is the best option if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and tourists. It also offers some of the best natural river swimming holes and hiking trails in all of Greece.

LA DIGUE, SEYCHELLES

La Digue is one of the over 100 small islands found off the coast of East Africa. And it’s really the only one you need to know about! Because it’s a perfectly secluded and peaceful vacation destination. Almost everyone that lives there only travels by bike and there are literally zero traffic lights on the island. And the beaches simply can’t be beat.

LOFOTEN ISLANDS, NORWAY

When seclusion and nature are top priorities for your vacation, any of the Nordic countries are always a great place to start. And one of the best spots in Norway is easily the Lofoten Islands. Depending on the time of year you visit, you can do just about anything here. From surfing to skiing, to fishing and hiking, these islands have it all.

Not to mention you’ll have a great view of the Northern Lights if they’re in town and can often enjoy some 24-hour sunlight!

THE PEAK DISTRICT, ENGLAND

I mean… it’s the English countryside! You gotta love the English countryside. There are few places greener and every little village is quainter than the last. The Peak District is probably the best option if you’re looking to take in this famous countryside, as it offers many worthwhile historic attractions, and the Peak District National Park offers wonderful outdoor activities.

HSIPAW, MYANMAR

If you’re looking for a truly unique vacation experience while also going off the beaten path, that Hispaw should be at the top of your list. It’s actually a Shan royal city and carries with it incredible history to both look at and learn about. It also carries with it famously chill vibes so it provides a perfect mixture of relaxing and stimulating.

MONTEZUMA, COSTA RICA

Revenge will be the last thing on your mind when you vacation in Montezuma. In fact, it’s likely you’ll never feel more at peace than when you’re in this perfect little beach town. Montezuma is a bit of a “hippie secret” as well and you’ll be sure to meet plenty of interesting artists and musicians while you’re there. This place is perfect for relaxing on the beach all day and enjoying the company of fascinating people all night.

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Destinations

The Coolest Races From Around The World

Lace up those shoes and stretch those hammies, here are the best destination races from around the world.

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If you’re anything like me, then you’re probably tired of running the exact same route every time you decide it’s time for you to get some exercise. You pass the same houses, cross the same streets, get barked at by the same dogs. It just gets so boring! Exercising is very hard to stick to when it becomes monotonous. The best way to stay fit is to look for ways to keep your exercise interesting and what’s more interesting than traveling the world? You will find it hard to zone out when you’re running in one of these races halfway across the world.

So lace up those shoes and stretch those hammies, as you prepare to go on these incredible destination races around the world.

TOUGH MUDDER, PHOENIX, AZ

The Tough Mudder is one of the toughest races we’ve ever done. It isn’t just a ten to twelve-mile run, it also has a ton of obstacles along the way. Now you can run, climb, crawl and get shocked all while enjoying your vacation in beautiful Phoenix. This race is the definition of rewarding and you will marvel at your ability to get all the way through when you sit and gawk at the course you just finished. Just make sure you have a nice place to shower afterward, because trust us, you’re going to need it.

TIMBERMAN HALF IRONMAN, NEW HAMPSHIRE

This triathlon is truly a lot of fun. The bike ride is hilly so the 56-mile ride is a blast thanks to all of the downhill you have to look forward to. Also, New Hampshire is usually a little chilly which means you will be able to wear a wetsuit when swimming making it easier to float. Sure, packing for a triathlon might be a pain, but once you experience New Hampshire in all of its glory you will know that all that packing was worth it.

RAGNAR RELAY, CHATTANOOGA TO NASHVILLE

Experience the South the hard way. Running from Chatanooga to Nashville is an amazing way to experience Tennessee from the big cities to its rural paradise. Nashville is the music city, so be sure to save enough energy to check out it’s hopping nightlife afterward because Nashville has a scene that you don’t want to miss. But the scenery on your run from Chatanooga to Nashville will be breathtaking as well. Plus, all that running will lead to a guilt-free Southern food pig out.

THE NORTH FACE ENDURANCE CHALLENGE, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

The reason this race is great is its flexibility. You can run anything from a 5k to a 50k so run as little or as much as you want, not that 5k is anything to scoff at. You are also running around the spectacular San Francisco which is sure to amaze and impress anyone no matter what they’re doing around town. You actually get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge in this race which is a must for any true runner. This race proves that Ricearoni isn’t the only San Francisco treat.

 

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Destinations

See Where The Super Rich Vacation

Check out where the richest people in the world vacation and what the heck they spend their money on.

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Where would you go on vacation if money wasn’t an issue and you had all the time in the world? Go on and think about it, I’ll wait. I would go to a private island and have a castaway experience with luxury amenities, of course. Well, the super-rich have the ability to go anywhere they wish and do literally whatever money can buy, how awesome must that be? Check out where the richest people in the world vacation and what the heck they spend their money on.

BILL GATES: CROATIA

Unlike many super-rich people, Bill Gates likes to mix and mingle with the locals when he vacations. He enjoys Croatia for its old Europe feel and medieval construction. The hot spot in Europe, Croatia is enjoying a tourism boom, which is centered around the countries pleasurable weather and affordable luxury. Bill Gates doesn’t need to save money but who says the super-rich can’t be frugal?

RICHARD BRANSON: BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

Why not just ball out of control like Richard Branson and buy your own island. That is some next level stuff there. The Virgin Mobile/Records/Airlines etc entrepreneur and billionaire owns Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands. The private island is an actual resort where rooms rent for a minimum of $5,000 a night. Luminaries such as the Obamas and Mariah Carey have stayed here before. Wow, talk about luxury, a private island where the former president stays. Enjoy all the watersports you can handle while basking in the hot Caribbean sun.

STEVEN SPIELBERG: IRELAND

Where do the best directors of all time spend their vacations? Well, if you love Steven Spielberg movies, you’ll know he enjoys incredible landscapes and none are grander than Ireland. The Emerald Isle just is so vibrant and lush that it attracts all sorts of travelers, even the mega-rich. Ireland isn’t a vacation that will break your bank, in fact, its one of the most affordable trips you could choose. Spielberg loved the countryside, the people, and the food, what’s really not to love?

OPRAH WINFREY: FIJI

Where does one of the most influential women of all time vacation? Wherever the heck she wants, is the only acceptable answer, she is the queen of entertainment. Oprah recently went on a luxury superyacht called the Rising Sun, where she partied with The Obamas and Bruce Springsteen in Tahiti. When she stays on land she prefers the beaches of Fiji. The island of Fiji features luxury at every turn but when Oprah is there she reserves the entire resort.

WARREN BUFFETT: LAGUNA BEACH

The man who is in charge of our country’s wealth, Warren Buffett is a billionaire of the most frugal standards. He’s lived in the same modest home in Omaha Nebraska since 1958 and only splurges on vacations, so where does he go? He owned a lavish beach home in Laguna Beach, California where the rich and fabulous play. Laguna Beach is very accessible for the non-rich so check it out for yourself. The steep cliffs and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean will have you coming back for years.

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