Mixing work with pleasure is one of the best parts of my job as a food photographer and blogger who works solo behind a computer screen most of my days. For many of us, conferences are the perfect excuse to connect in person. It’s a time to network, learn insider tips from other solopreneurs on the front lines, and spend time with friends, old and new, brought together in person thanks to the connection of our online businesses.
It’s what took me to Austin, TX where I spoke at the Indulge Food Blogging Conference and spent time with some of my many online friends. More than just the home of SXSW, Austin is a mecca for anyone into taco joints and food trucks, trendy boutiques, music of all genres, and all things Instagram-able.
After landing in Austin, I shared a green cab with my friends (Austin has banned Uber and Lyft) and we headed to our home away from home for the next 48 hours and checked into to the Four Seasons Hotel Austin.
The hotel sits right on the shores of Lady Bird Lake (don’t miss a lazy swing in one of the shaded hammocks) and is conveniently located between the trendy eating and shopping on South Congress, and the bar and music scene on 6th Street. The hotel’s spa was recently expanded, and beginning in June 2017, the hotel’s lobby, suites and rooms will begin a renovation to an updated and sleek, modern feel.
After check in, food was immediately in order. Our first stop: South Congress and Torchy’s Tacos for some of the best tacos and DEFINITELY the best queso that Austin has to offer. If I lived there, I would likely need to up my daily Tums intake to combat all the salsa I’d be consuming.
Some of the more unique things to do on South Congress besides gorging on Gourdough’s Donuts or Jo’s Coffee is get a real feel of Texas at Allen’s Boots, finger the plethora of vintage finds at Uncommon Objects, and watch the bats come out at night from under the South Congress bridge.
Austin is know for it’s amazing food and with only a few extra hours outside of the conference to spend roaming, these spots were the highlights of our few days and nights.
Breakfast each morning at Trio at Four Seasons Hotel Austin. The Huevos Rancheros was one of the best I’ve ever had.
The most AMAZING Mexican dinner at La Condesa. The Huarache de Hongos y Huitlachoche16 — a yellow corn maize flatbread topped with wild mushrooms, huitlacoche, yellow farmer’s cheese, queso mixto, epazote and truffle oil — totally blew my mind.
Dinner at Elizabeth Street Café (they’re open for lunch too) for totally fresh and inventive Vietnamese with that totally hipster Austin vibe. I actually broke out of my Vermicelli Bún Salad rut and tried the Pork and Shrimp Crepe. Definitely going back.
Happy hour at Licha’s Cafe. The backyard bungalow vibe makes this Austin destination totally $5 margarita happy hour worthy.
On my dining list for next visit:
Café No Sé for burgers, breakfast or brunch
Perla’s for seafood
Hotel San José for happy hour frosé
Some of my good blogging friends have assembled their own lists of Austin essentials for your planning pleasure. Happy trails to Austin ya’ll.
Where to Eat in Austin : Gimme Some Oven
Austin City Guide: Where to Eat, Stay, and Do in Austin : A Taste of Koko
Austin Restaurant Guide SXSW 2017 : Love and Lemons
24 Hours in Austin, Texas with Camille Styles : Salt + Wind
10 Things I Learned in Austin : Gimme Some Oven
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