Sloping gently down to a view of the Texas Capitol, it's a grand avenue littered with restaurants, shopping, bars, and events. Not to mention a constant supply of live music. Only the best businesses survive here, so you can be sure it's worth your time. Austin just wouldn't be Austin without South Congress, and it's the vein that leads straight to the heart of Texas.
It's hard to imagine South Congress without the Continental Club there. For decades it's been the place to go to for down home, authentic music. From the ever-present Dale Watson and his Lonestars to a weekly roster of local, regional and touring artists, Continental Club is one of the things that makes South Congress a destination for late-night entertainment.
The Continental Club was so nice they did it twice. As the name would imply, the Continental Club Gallery is the lounge-y, casual sister bar and music venue of the Continental Club. The Gallery, however, offers a much more intimate experience. It's like seeing live music in your very own living room.
The fact that C-Boys is owned by the same great people that operate the Continental is just one of this neighborhood bar's attractive qualities. Aside from that, cheap drinks, good music, and most curiously, a Japanese-American bar upstairs. If you've never been, you really ought to.
Guero's Oak Garden should be a familiar sight if you've ever walked down South Congress. Featuring a huge, illuminated oak tree surrounded by an outdoor bar and stage, it's kind of hard to miss. Live music in an outdoor setting is always a welcome thing, and it's available here in abundance. Sit down for a drink and let whoever happens to be playing delight your ears.
The very definition of an Austin standby. Ego's is one of, if not the best karaoke bar in town. Considering its location the drink prices unreasonably reasonable, and with a friendly staff, dive-y atmosphere it's the perfect place to engage your inner-rock star.
First Thursday is, for all intents and purposes, a big old South Congress block party. That means the opportunity to go people watching, listen to music, and shopping all night long. Every first Thursday, SoCo's favorite length of concrete stays open late while its shops flaunt sales, eateries flaunt specials, and drinkeries offer conceptually-sound cocktails to the sounds of live music.
If car shows are your bag, you need to know about Lone Star Roundup. It's been going for 14 years strong now, and shows no discernible sign of slowing down. While the "actual event" happens at the Expo Center, from April 17th to the 18th, all kinds of hot rods and exotic custom cars will be front and center on SoCo. As usual, there will be live music to accompany it all.
Deliciousness, 24/7. Anytime can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner at this hot spot! There’s another reason Magnolia Cafe is busy 24 hours a day, and it ain’t just the waffles. Magnolia’s “Mag Mud” is a delightfully layered treat composed of black beans, queso, avocado and pico de gallo; it's basically nachos with an emphasis on the queso and not on the chips.
ATTENTION: South Congress Café does brunch every single day. Every. Single. Day. Do you need any more reasons to check this place out? Start the day with a few Bloody Marys or Mimosas, omelets served three ways, or the Eggs Benedict South Congress Style. The menu also runs the gamut from crispy gulf oysters to burgers and tacos.
Grab your obligatory "I Love You So Much" photo, a cup of delicious Jo’s coffee, and a little breakfast sandwich on the go. You can also enjoy the dog-friendly patio while sipping on a cold beer, and there's live music on the patio just about every Sunday.
Located within South Congress Hotel, Café No sé is an ideal place to have your first cup of french-pressed coffee and meal of the day. The cafe offers nourishing day starters like homemade pastries, avocado toast, and fresh bagels.
This vintage boutique and thrift store offers a unique blend of vintage and contemporary clothing and home furnishings. As a bonus, proceeds from the store fund community programs for those less fortunate.
Located next door to Continental Club, this fair trade retailer offers artisan-crafted home décor, jewelry, accessories and gifts from around the world. They feature products from artisans in over 38 countries, and you can grab a cup of fair trade coffee while you shop.
There's something to be said for a quiet, little bookstore. That's exactly what South Congress Books is. With a nifty selection of some great literature, it's the perfect place to grab something to read. Offering used, collectible, and unique books, vintage posters, antique maps and more.
Kendra Scott started in a small hat shop over at Barton Creek mall, but now she’s selling jewelry to A-list celebrities. As an Austin native, she set up shop right on South Congress and now is all over the country. If you want to find out where my paycheck goes, just take a quick walk into her store.
It’s amazing how many people you will overhear looking around in Uncommon Objects saying things like “Wow, that’s weird” or “Look at this! I’ve never seen anything like this.” Which is exactly what “Uncommon objects” means. Amazing, right? Find something uniquely cool here.
Halloween headquarters!! Check this epic place out for your one and only place for all things dress-up. You will start decking out in their costumes for events that don’t even require a costume, like dressing up as Tinkerbelle and Captain Hook to go apartment hunting.
The elements are as unpredictable as they are intense here in Texas. Sure, it's mainly on the hotter end of the spectrum, but cold fronts can and do happen. Often at the drop of a hat. Stag has all the gear the modern man might need in order to shield himself from the weather.
Get your country on right here. If you’re going to live in Austin, you have to understand that means you also live in Texas and you MUST have a pair of cowboy boots. Get on down to Allen’s for the best boots in the city and beyond. They’ll set you up real nice.
Got a blank space that needs filling? Check out Yard Dog to find your next work of art. They showcase so many different artists and styles that it’s really a matter of getting down there and just looking through what they’re offering this week. You won’t be disappointed (and neither will your walls).
Burro takes the concept of a grilled cheese sandwich is flips it on its ever-loving head. By that we mean that they infuse their artisan sandwiches with some of the tastiest cheeses and combinations of ingredients we've ever seen. Cured meats, delicious sauces, and fresh fruits are all par for the course at this food truck.
Don’t be freaked out by the name, Ms. P just serves some of the best chicken in town! Don’t miss her other great offerings: Truffle Mac & Cheese, Chicken & Waffles, and delicious Grilled Mexican street corn!
Send your taste buds on a first-class ticket to Paris, Texas with these French favorites done the southern way. Their savory crepes pair great with an afternoon on SoCo.
You will most often recognize Hopdoddy by the line wrapping around the building. Once inside, you’ll see why it’s worth the wait. With a full bar and an endless list of burger creations, you’ll be sure to happily feed everyone in your party. They’re also Keeping Austin Weird by using local ingredients to support our community’s agriculture economy.
A local favorite, Snack Bar has some of the tastiest eats around. They've got a downright extensive menu, with foods as diverse as they are delicious. An open-air patio, music, and crafty cocktails make this a great place to hang.
Opened in 2015, South Congress Hotel took time at all to solidify its importance in the area as a place for food, drinks, and for those traveling, exceptionally comfortable digs. In addition to the aforementioned Café No Sé, the hotel's main interior restaurant, Central Standard boasts a menu containing everything from oysters on the half shell to wagyu flatiron steak. If you're really looking to turn the evenings meal into a memorable experience, visit South Congress Hotel's hidden gem: Otoko. This unique, limited-space Japanese restaurant seats just 12 people and presents patrons with the rare opportunity to try a multi-course omakase menu from Head Chef Yoshi Okai
This may be the only seafood joint that’s offering salsa verde as a sauce for their fresh catches, which is awesome. Their outdoor patio is a great spot to relax, and the menu offers fresh fish and oysters flown in daily from both coasts, coupled with delicious coastal cocktails.
People in Austin love their Botticelli’s, and for great reason. Most people only need one visit to be life-long fans of this Italian joint. These chefs are delivering consistently rich foods with just the right amount of creativity to keep things interesting. For example, try the Ravioli filled with butternut squash or the fennel and espresso rubbed NY strip.
Where to get good Italian food in Austin is a question that a fairly large number of people have. Look no further than Vespaio and its sister cafe Enoteca. They both do Italian the right way, with authentic tastes of the old country.
Oh, Home Slice, you’re such an amazing place. Home Slice has been serving NY style pizza to the Austin community for probably 100 years (rough estimate). I’ve taken a few of my New Yorker friends here and they’ve all given it the NY seal of pie approval. But don’t take my word for it, go taste test it for yourself!
No area is complete without a great sushi joint! Lucky Robot is exactly that place and then some. Keep it simple with a karaage chicken taco or expand your taste bud horizons and order the seaweed salad with octopus. Really, the options are endless.
Amy’s has been an Austin institution since the beginning of time. There is simply no where else to go when your sweet-tooth is craving ice cream. If you solve their daily movie quote trivia question you can get free treats with your ice cream. Good luck!
Big Top is the classic candy shop that most kids today didn’t even know ever existed. You can satisfy any sweet tooth, grab a drink from the soda fountain, or enjoy a tasty milkshake. Pick your poison and pucker up for a sugary good time!
Hey Cupcake! was one of the very first air-stream trailers to open in Austin, eventually expanding to multiple locations and a brick and mortar location off of Burnet Rd. Stop by and see what the buzz is about!