Livin’ La Vida Local // Austin Twyla heads home to bring you our favorite spots for eating and drinking in Bat City.

Our hometown of Austin is about to see a major influx of visitors over the next couple of weeks for South by Southwest. This now-massive festival transforms the city while it celebrates everything interactive, film, music and comedy. If you’re heading into town, we’ve gathered a list of some of our top places to eat and drink. Escape the usual suspects near your hotel and check out these spots, which have been properly vetted by Austin locals and the Twyla team.

BREWS / Lazarus Brewery

This new brewery on Austin’s always fun and funky east side serves three of the city’s favorite vices—coffee, beer and tacos. Ask about purchasing their special “Patron Saint” glass (warning: it’s not cheap) and get beer for life.


BITES / Launderette 

This hot spot has a beautiful interior, large outdoor cocktail bar and a drool-worthy menu with something for everyone. We love their burger, but always attempt to save room for their epic desserts. Can you say birthday cake ice cream sandwiches? The pastry chef Laura Sawicki just got nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the US by the James Beard Foundation.


HONKY TONK / Donn's Depot

If you want to get a sense of how Austin used to be, head to Donn’s, one of the city’s classic honky tonk bars. Make sure to go on a Friday night when 70+ year old Donn still plays with the band.


BBQ / Micklethwait Meats 

We could go on and on about Austin BBQ. The options are endless and it’s hard to go wrong. Of course Franklin and La Barbeque are some of the city’s best, but the lines are often insane. Micklethwait is another great, although slightly lesser known, truck for BBQ. Bonus points for the fact that it’s tucked away in a really quaint spot and the truck is painted in the most adorable way. You’ll probably still have to stand in line for a bit, but last time we checked they had some free beers while you waited. Try the moonpie!


COFFEE / My Name is Joe

Our new favorite coffee bar is run out of a vintage silver Airstream. They offer more unusual hot drinks like Matcha and Turmeric Lattes, if you’re crazy like that. Their breakfast options are  amazing, including housemade granola,brown rice porridge, and a variety of gourmet toasts. Feel good when you drink here because My Name is Joe’s mission is to serve those in the service industry who are looking for new life from alcohol and drug addictions. Usually their van is parked downtown, but check before you go.

Photo by Robert J. Lerma, EATX.
Photo by Robert J. Lerma, EATX.

TEX-MEX / Grizzelda’s 

This newcomer to the city is winning hearts and minds with its updated Tex Mex menu (we don’t think you can ever have enough places to eat guac). The restaurant interior will make you smile with its happy and festive hot pink accents. We recommend sipping on one of their 50/50 margs—half rocks, half frozen.

Photo by Robert J. Lerma, EATX.
Photo by Robert J. Lerma, EATX.

JUICE / JuiceLand

When you need to detox from all the bbq, beer and tacos, google “JuiceLand” and you’ll probably find one near you. The city’s original juice bar has locations all around the city and serves, naturally, healthy juices and smoothies. We like grabbing one after taking a run around Town Lake. Crowd favorite- the "Wundershowzen."

REAL-Juiceland on Barton Springs Road offers specialized fruit and vegetable juices for the health conscious person.   

COCKTAILS / Kitty Cohen’s 

Kitty Cohen's feels like a cross between a tiki bar and someone’s house in Palm Springs and  we love it. They serve up lovely cocktails and have the perfect outdoor patio for enjoying the Austin weather. The highlight is their mini wading pool where you can dip your feet while sipping on your rosé.


BURGERS / Pool Burger

This new tiki hut/food truck creation is the brainchild of McGuire Moorman Hospitality (Jeffrey's, Elizabeth Street Cafe, Clark's, and others) and Will Bridges (Deep Eddy Cabaret, Antone's, and Cisco's). Check this spot out if you're in the mood for a great burger (veggie options), Tahitian vanilla soft serve, and a slew of classic tiki cocktails. The best part? It's right next to Deep Eddy Pool.