Navigating Austin during SXSW can feel like Dorothy’s journey on the yellow brick road in search of the Emerald City: it’s disorienting, kind of magical, and filled with both wonder and anxiety (in this case FOMO). If you find yourself wandering the city with a couple of vagabonds you picked up along the way, then treat this guide like a beacon to illuminate your journey. For the very best recommendations, we sought local artists that know the ins and outs of Austin including Walker Lukens, Israel Nash and Nina Diaz to name a few. From coffee joints to secret caverns, take in all the sights and sounds Austin and SXSW have to offer.
photo by: Brian Dooley/Flickr
Curated by: …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Alejandro Escovado, Austin Basham, Bee Caves, Ben Kweller, Bob Schneider, Curtis Roush, Elijah Ford, Gary Clark Jr., Israel Nash, MISSIO, My Jersualem, Night Beats, Nina Diaz, Okkervil River, Particle Kid , Ringo Deathstarr, Sailor Poon, Shakey Graves, Shy Beast, Sweet Spirit, The Bishops, The Black Angels, The Cuckoos, The Sword, Walker Lukens, Wild Child, Wildfires , William Harries Graham
Farm-to-table fare from locally sourced ingredients served in a rustic space with a butcher shop.
No-frills Mexican joint known for its tacos, beer, booze & live music on the patio on weekends.
Casual spot with a big patio offering Tex-Mex classics & burgers, plus live music under pecan trees.
It's BYOB at this venerable cash-only, BBQ spot with a rustic setting & live music outdoors.
This popular urban natural area offers opportunities for biking, hiking, swimming & rock climbing.
Boisterous, spacious gay dance club with theme nights & a weekly late-night drag show, plus a patio.
Long-standing nonprofit chain with a range of pre-owned clothing, furniture, housewares & more.
A pub menu with all-natural meats, a large beer selection & the signature martini plus a large deck.
It is housed in the former studio of sculptor Elisabet Ney and is dedicated to showcasing her life and works.
Cozy watering hole known for its global nibbles, dog-friendly patio & recycled wood & stone decor.
Sushi, unusual rolls & other Japanese entrees are washed down with sake in a traditional setting.
This light-filled, casual Vietnamese eatery for pho, banh mi & desserts, plus takeout deli counter.
Known for its small plates & extensive drink menu in a setting that's upscale for 6th Street.
Strip-mall tavern with year-round holiday decor, an old-school jukebox, cash-only drinks & games.
Laid-back drinking den featuring pool tables, arcade games, a jukebox & vinyl records on the walls.
Homey cafe featuring classic Ethiopian dishes & an ample lunch buffet, plus beer & honey wine.
American eats, jazz brunch & weekend country music in a rustic spot with a patio & an amphitheater.
1000-person space hosts hip-hop, new rock & electronic dance music shows, with covered patio & bar.
The Paramount Theatre is a live theatre venue/movie theatre
located in downtown Austin, Texas. The classical revival style structure
was built in 1915. The building was listed in the National Register of
Historic Places on June 23, 1976.
Stylish theater chain for new & classic films features cocktails & creative bites served seat-side.
Eco-friendly, bohemian cafe offering hearty meatless meals, coffees & a rotating monthly art show.
Intimate reservations-only lounge known for its hip speakeasy vibe & old-school cocktail menu.
Funky-chic spot for global fusion fare & cocktails in a modern setting with an airy feel.
Longtime hot spot with in-store performances, local artist compilations & concert ticket sales.
Bi-level club hosting weekend performances on the main floor with a Japanese-American bar upstairs.
Offers organic coffees, medium and dark roast coffee and espresso.
Piano bar with live music, 2 dance floors & a diverse crowd, set in old rail cars & a former depot.
This hip brewpub's vast craft-beer menu includes a few made on-site, plus food-truck grub outside.
Coffee kiosk within Farewell Books serves up craft beverages in small digs with limited seats.
Locally owned cafe featuring coffee drinks, sandwiches & baked goods, plus a free conference room.
Food-truck spin-off featuring sushi & homestyle Japanese plates in a bamboo-accented, stylish space.
Popular concert space with free weekday happy hour shows, a listening room & an intimate atmosphere.
Venerable stop for CDs, used vinyl records & accessories, with an emphasis on blues & local artists.
Chicken-fried steak, pork ribs, sandwiches & sides are the calling cards of this Southern kitchen.
Emma Long Metropolitan Park is a large municipal park in northwest
Austin, Texas. The park is on the shores of Lake Austin and was
originally called City Park.
Look for exotic hot dogs & sausages - from venison to veggie - plus sides, cocktails & brunch.