Looking for an exciting day out or a delicious meal? Austin has something for everyone! As locals, we’ve explored South Austin and complied a list of our favorite activities. Whether you’re an Austin resident or just visiting, our guide will help you discover the city’s best spots. Let’s dive in!
Our Favorite Restaurants in South Austin
For an Instagram-worthy dining experience, Gabriela’s is the perfect choice. Located near the entertainment district of Dirty Sixth, this colorful and authentic Mexican restaurant blends tradition with modernity. The menu features fresh ingredients, includes vegetarian options, and their cocktails are all inspired by Mexican desserts. The large open patio is perfect to enjoy a meal and soak up the lively ambiance.
If you’re in the mood for Korean comfort food, head over to Seoulju Korean Restaurant and Bar. This casual dive bar serves some of the best Korean Fried Chicken in Austin and was voted Best of ATX 2020 by Austin Monthly Magazine. The portions are generous and packed with flavor, making it ideal for sharing with friends.
Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is another popular spot that offers delicious food, live music, and local flair. Housed in a building on Congress with a rich history, this restaurant boasts a live music stage, rooftop garden, and oak-shaded back patio. The meat is sold by the pound, and the brisket and beef ribs are highly recommended. With friendly staff and an excellent selection of sides, Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is a must-visit BBQ spot in South Austin.
Loro, an Asian smokehouse and bar, is a one-of-a-kind culinary experience combining Asian cuisine and Texas barbecue. Loro offers slow-cooked meat prepared daily, with the Loro Burger being a standout dish. Loro is a great spot to unwind and enjoy the innovative mash-up of pan-Asian flavors and Texas barbecue.
The Best Outdoor Activities in South Austin
Discover the natural beauty and rich history of Pease Park, a public park spanning 84 acres in Austin. Follow the shaded trails that lead to an interactive water feature, nature play area, and playground. Don’t forget to check out the unique Treehouse Observation Pod for views of the park’s wildlife. With picnic tables, walls, and bridges dating back to the 1920s, Pease Park offers a well-maintained park for visitors to relax in nature.
South Austin’s 12-mile Barton Creek Greenbelt trail system is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. Hiking, biking, rock-climbing, bouldering, and swimming in the creek are just some of the activities available along the trail. Dogs are welcome in some areas, and locals and visitors alike can enjoy a leisurely day by the water.
Lady Bird Lake is another recreational hotspot in Austin, offering a range of watercraft rentals for outdoor enthusiasts. The lake prohibits personal motorized boats, making it perfect for canoes and kayaks. The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail spans over 10 miles and encircles the lake, ideal for jogging or cycling with friends or walking your dog.
For stunning city views, take a short hike up Mount Bonnell. It may not be a mountain, but it’s considered the tallest point within the Austin city limits and offers one of the best city views. The trail is free and takes only 11 minutes to complete the 0.5-mile loop.
Dating back to 1915, Deep Eddy Pool is the oldest swimming pool in Texas, filled with water from cold springs that rise from river banks nearby. The pool offers lap swimming and pool-side movies during the summer. Bring some cash for the entrance fee and snacks, and enjoy a refreshing dip in this historic man-made pool.
Our Top Picks for a Fun Night Out in Austin
Check out Radio Coffee and Beer for some mid-week fun in South Austin! This award-winning venue offers a weekly trivia night, as well as an unforgettable Bluegrass Night experience featuring world-class string players. In addition to great coffee and food trucks, the outdoor patio area is large and perfect for enjoying the beautiful Austin weather.
For over 30 years, the Elephant Room has been the go-to spot for live jazz in South Austin. This basement dive bar provides a uniquely long room where you can watch talented musicians perform. With bands rotating every day to showcase different styles of jazz, Elephant Room is a great option for any jazz lover in Austin. Whether you’re a local or visiting, Elephant Room is the perfect spot to enjoy a variety of locally brewed beers in a classic saloon setting.
Head to Westgate Lanes for a fun bowling night in South Austin! This welcoming bowling alley caters to bowlers of all skill levels for a night of fun and friendly competition. You can also enjoy mouth-watering food and refreshing drinks from Slab BBQ and 13th Frame Sports Bar, who serve up delicious Texas-style barbecue, craft beers, and cocktails while you bowl.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is your go-to destination for a movie trip in South Austin. The theater has easy parking, comfortable seating, and funny opening trailers. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema also boasts an on-site restaurant that serves up mouth-watering dishes inspired by popular films.
Located on the University of Texas campus in Austin, the Moody Center is a versatile arena that hosts over 150 unique entertainment events every year. From UT sporting games to live concerts, the center has a seating capacity of over 15,000 seats. With a range of local food vendors, there is no shortage of delicious options to choose from at the Moody Center.
Don’t Miss Out on These Exciting Spots!
From live music and sports events to bowling alleys and movie theaters, there’s always something fun to do in this bustling city. If you choose to enjoy one of our favorite bars or restaurants, always drink responsibly! Be sure to check out these top venues and experiences to make the most of your time in Austin!