My personal favorite Austin event is coming up in less than
a week- South by Southwest! It’s a time when many locals leave town and,
wisely, local school districts and the University of Texas plan their spring
breaks to fall during the Festival.
For me, it’s the best time to be here - our city welcomes some of the brightest minds in the technology and film worlds for a few days, and then it’s jam-packed with rock and rollers. What’s not to love?
For those coming in from out of town, here are a few recommendations for true Austin flavor to enjoy between interactive sessions, movies and concerts:
1.) Uchi or Uchiko- this one is a no-brainer. The restaurants gets amazing national press and win awards on an almost weekly basis with good reason. While I’m no fish connoisseur, (personally I really like the sushi at Whole Foods!) Uchi takes it to a whole new level. I recently visited for the first time in several months, and was glad to see a lot of new dishes on the menu. Even the non-fish dishes are amazing here; I had an out of this world bison entree!
2.) G’raj Mahal- this family-owned trailer is right in the middle of one of the trendier nightlife areas of town, Rainey Street. The BYOB Indian restaurant serves flavorful cuisine using local and organic produce in addition to using biodegradable service ware. G’raj Mahal will definitely be a much needed change for your taste buds after all of the breakfast tacos and sandwiches that will be served at the convention center during SXSW.
3.) Franklin BBQ- Nothing says Texas like some downhome BBQ. This is a great pick for someone with more time while in town, as you will likely be in line for around two hours (totally worth it!) before actually ordering your BBQ. The award-winning BBQ gets amazing publicity, but really – the food speaks for itself. Insider trick- if you are ordering five pounds or more, call in advance and you can simply stop by to pick it up at 10:00am, no need to wait in the long line for a big order.
4.) Henri’s Cheese- this hidden gem on South Lamar is the perfect place to get away from the downtown crowd and relax over a glass of wine and tailored charcuterie plate. If you are a cheese novice, tell the team what your basic favorites are and they will create a plate with similar tastes while allowing you to try something new and seasonal. I simply love this space. It’s got a romantic feel, but also has seating to accommodate a bigger group.
5.) Foreign & Domestic If you’re up for a short drive north of downtown Austin, this is a great independent restaurant with a lot of charm and “expertly prepared food at reasonable prices.” The 47-seat restaurant is located near Hyde Park and surrounded by locally-owned shops (lots of vintage happening here!), bars and coffee shops ideal for your post-gourmet dinner plan.
Top image credit: Austin-American Statesman