This month, we’re putting the spotlight on downtown Austin, the neighborhood right in the thick of it all! This week, we’ll be taking a look at some of the dining, entertainment, and shopping options available in downtown, although it would take a book to cover all of them!
Want amazing food, an incredible wine selection, and more people watching than you can shake a stick at? Then park your bottom at one of the outside tables at Mulberry located in the 2nd street district right across from the Austin Music Hall. Want to taste heaven on a plate? Try the Devils on Horseback. Or just about anything else on the menu. Using locally sourced ingredients, Mulberry elevates food to a whole new level.
Feeling more in the mood for Mexican? Manuel’s on Congress is a great choice. Whether you want amazing Chicken Tortilla soup or sizzling hot fajitas, Manuel’s has fresh, delicious Mexican food to please everyone in your group.
Parkside has oysters that are so tasty you’ll close your eyes and swear you can smell the saltwater. Located in the heart of Sixth Street, Parkside is an oasis from the shotbars and t-shirt shops that line the avenue. Inventive dishes and expertly prepared cocktails are the order of the day at Parkside. Insider tip: From 5-6:30 every weekday, INCLUDING Fridays, Parkside becomes a completely affordable meal when the bar menu and all cocktails and beer are half-price. Try the burger, it is out of this world.
For entertainment, you can’t get more classic Austin than Esther’s Follies, the comedic sketch show that’s been lovingly skewering Austin, Texas, and even the nation for 36 years. Located at 6th and Red River, in the “Fishbowl” with all the windows, even the passerby become part of the magic at Esther’s.
The Hideout Theater is in the middle of everything on Congress and offers a variety of improv acts, as well as coffee, beer, wine and pastries. There’s an open mike night, improv for kids, and occasional scripted work as well. There’s definitely something for everyone at the Hideout!
Need some new duds? Thanks mostly to the 2nd Street District, downtown is crawling with hip boutiques ready to help you (or your home) get decked out to the nines. From unique national retailers like Urban Outfitters, an eclectic store with quirky finds for your home and your wardrobe, and local sources of treasures like Mercury Design Studio, which specializes in hand-picked objects from around the world for your home and for gifts, there’s something for everyone.
Want to find interesting high-end furniture and accessories for your home? Design Within Reach and Bo Concept both have outposts of their modern design stores in the 2nd Street District. Your downtown loft never looked better with the sleek, clean lines of the couches, chairs, tables and carefully curated brick-a-brack in both of these stores.