Hi, my name is Alex! I moved to Austin, Texas a little over three years ago after graduating from The George Washington University, where I met good ole Audrey Akin. We met when we were randomly assigned as roommates for our Freshman orientation. I walked into the dorm room and found her by herself on a twin bunk, crying about having to make new friends! The rest is history, with a lot more crying.
There are tons of reasons to love Austin, which is probably why 150 people move to the city EVERY DAY. The city is changing and growing quickly, which leads to a mix of old-school Austin charm, and new trendy and chic spots. I love Austin because, to me, it has the perfect mix of city, nature, quirk, and of course great food spots! Since I moved here, I’ve also started an Instagram featuring all of my favorite things to eat; @forkbitchesgetmoney. So far, I’ve been sponsored by Applebee’s so I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.
I honestly don’t know how I could pick just one in this category. Cheap eats make up the majority of my meals in Austin, because of all the amazing affordable options. I’ll narrow my favorites down to three…
CHEAP EATS- VERACRUZ
Veracruz is a food truck with many locations around Austin. My favorite truck is located behind Radio Coffee & Beer, because you can grab a drink with friends and people watch while you wait for your taco! Vercaruz’s migas taco has been rated one of the TOP 5 TACOS in the world and honestly, it lives up to the title. On the weekends, the wait can be up to an hour, but it’s worth it.
CHEAP EATS- KORIENTE
This is one of the first spots I tried when I moved to Austin. Koriente is a small, counter service restaurant offering Japanese rice and noodle bowls, as well as bubble tea. It has such a cozy feeling and you get a lot of food for your money. I ALWAYS get the Japchei bowl (sweet potato noodles) because I’m too afraid to get something else and like it less.
CHEAP EATS- SOURSOP
Soursop is a food truck located behind St. Elmo’s Brewery serving Asian inspired food. The guys running the food truck are ALWAYS changing up menu, but my favorite staple is the “Hot Gai” fried chicken sandwich. On Tuesday nights you can grab a beer from St. Elmo’s and play trivia while you wait for your food.
CHEAP EATS- VIA 313
Okay, I know I said I’d narrow it down to three…but this one had to be included. Via 313 doesn’t exactly fit in the cheap eats category (one pizza can be up to $30), and it doesn’t really fit in the fast category either (each pizza takes about 40 minutes to make), but it still holds a special place in my heart. My go-to is to call in my order when I’m about ready to leave a bar and then pick it up on the way home- genius! Via 313 specializes in Detroit style pizza. My favorite is The Cadillac-- gorgonzola, fig preserves, prosciutto di parma, parmesan and balsamic. Damn.
BRUNCH- Better Half Coffee & Cocktails
Austin has very minimal brunch culture compared to DC. This was a sad realization for me after being spoiled in college with Saturdays spent at marathon party brunches. Austin definitely keeps it a little classier. A favorite new spot for me is Better Half Coffee & Cocktails. This place has the most Instagramable aesthetic, complete with pink picnic tables. I’m hooked on their cauliflower tots with beet ketchup. They also offer a reverse happy hour with yummy draft cocktails.
BBQ- LA BARBECUE
This wouldn’t be an Austin guide without a barbecue mention. This former food truck just moved to a permanent location at the Quickie Pickie on Cesar Chavez. This means you can wait on line INSIDE in AIR CONDITIONING, instead of outside dying in the heat. I know that Franklin is the place everyone talks about when it comes to barbecue in Austin, but la Barbecue is my personal favorite. Franklin definitely wins in the brisket category, but la’s ribs are to die for.
CAFE-COSMIC COFFEE & BEER GARDEN
Cosmic has everything you’ve ever wanted. They serve coffee, beer, cocktails, and have an awesome patio with three delicious food trucks. AND they’re conveniently located next to a winery and rock-climbing gym. It’s a dangerous spot for sure and but an awesome hangout.
Whislers is a fun, but pricey spot for good cocktails on the east side of Austin. Their menu changes seasonally and they have an awesome food truck called ThaiKhun in the back (hmmm...are you noticing a theme for all my favorite spots?). They prepare the ingredients for all of their cocktails daily, which I know because I know the guy who prepares them! A current menu favorite is the Sleepy Hollow, which is made up of bourbon, maple syrup, coconut milk, and pumpkin shrub. A basic girl’s PSL dream!
DINNER- RAMEN TATSUYA
Ramen Tatsuya is hands down my favorite restaurant in Austin. This counter service restaurant almost always has a line out the door, so you have to carefully plan when your visit if you don’t want to wait. My favorite bowl is the Miso-Hot with brussels sprouts. Their “sweet & sour yodas” appetizer with apricot curry brussels sprouts is also a must. Basically, I love brussels sprouts and they’re bomb in ramen.
Oh...something not food related? Okay, let me rack my brain. One of the best things about Austin is the plethora of free events in the city everyday. I highly recommend following @whenwherewhataustin to get in the know on all things free and fun.
The other best thing about Austin is the great weather. In Austin great weather means FLOATING! There are plenty of places around Austin that you can go and float the river. A BYOB, summertime dream.
All photos by @forkbitchesgetmoney unless otherwise noted.