[ATXMIX002] The End Is Another Beginning


Listen To Mixtape002 Now:


Artist: The Halfways – Song: Not All Are To Be Trusted
Show: 12/4/2015 The Parish
Site: http://thehalfways.com/

Artist: Tameca Jones – Song: Hot and Bothered
Show: 12/11/2015 Stubbs
Site: http://tamecajones.com/

Artist: Megafauna – Song: Touch the Lion
Show: 12/5/2015 Cheer Up Charlies
Site: http://www.megafaunamusic.com/

Artist: Big Bill – Song: Weird Walk
Show: 12/11/2015 Swan Dive
Site: http://bigbillband.bandcamp.com/

Artist: Lord Buffalo – Song: Black Mesa
Show: 12/11/2015 The Sidewinder
Site: http://www.lordbuffalo.com/

Artist: Young Tongue – Song: Caveshare
Show: 12/11/2015 Mohawk
Site: http://www.youngtonguemusic.com/

Artist: Löwin – Song: Gonna Run You
Show: 12/5/2015 Cheer Up Charlies
Site: http://www.lowinband.com/

Artist: Kiddoo and the Dude – Song: Brand New
Show: 12/10/2015 Mohawk
Site: http://www.kiddooandthedude.com/

23 Independent Shops Keeping Austin Authentic

It’s getting increasingly expensive for independent shops to stay weird in Austin.

The city is growing faster than any other big American city, and festivals like SXSW, ACL and Fun Fun Fun Fest are magnets for big businesses. Anyone who’s had his or her favorite venue close its doors because of rent prices in the last few years understands this all too well.

Fortunately, there is a whole lot of local support for the independent businesses that keep the city’s spirit alive. Here are 23 record stores, cafes, boutiques, bookshops and various other indie shops that authentically capture what makes Austin such a great place to live.

Record Stores

Waterloo Records

Waterloo predates “the boom years of the eighties had yet to fully take hold of the sleepy town.” In the 34 years the shop has been in business, it has remained true to its original vision of being a go-to spot to find good music. Even with festival growth and tech booms, that mission has proved resilient.

Antone’s Record Shop

Antone’s is another institution in Austin. The record shop opened more than a decade after Clifford Antone’s club, but it has endured the city’s transformations by being a reliable place to find great blues records and records from Texas musicians.

Friends of Sound

Friends of Sound opened just south of downtown in 2004 and has grown quickly to become a local favorite. The shop buys old records, has a nice online store and a 45s Bargain Bin that any of us could spend hours exploring.

End of an Ear

The beauty of being so far down on South 1st St? End of an Ear has a nice parking lot. And most people end up leaving their cars parked for a while because browsing the shop’s collection takes hours.

Breakaway Records

Up in North Loop, a neighborhood that looked radically different not too long ago, Breakaway Records has staked its spot as the best place to pick up records. It’s all vinyl in the shop, and there is a ton of stuff to sift through every time you stop in.


Music Shops

Austin Vintage Guitars

Austin Vintage is a great place for guitarists to go geek out. The selection is nothing short of incredible, and the staff are laid-back but still helpful. If you’re driving on Red River, you’ll be able to spot the shop by the gigantic Telecaster out front.

South Austin Music

Down on South Lamar, South Austin Music has its own impressive collection of instruments and a professional, helpful team on hand. The shop is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2016.

Strait Music Company

The almost-50-year-old Strait Music Company has a couple of locations, one on the north side and one on the south side of town. There is a great selection of guitars at both, and beginner musicians can get lessons on site.

Capital Music Center

Capital Music Center is the best place in town to shop for pianos or keyboards. The knowledgeable team here also sell drums, offer piano lessons and have instrumental rentals available.


Cafes, Coffee Roasters and Bakeries

Houndstooth Coffee

Houndstooth makes some of the strongest, tastiest coffee you’ll find anywhere in Texas, and the coziness of the cafe will make your pour-over taste that much better.

Sweetish Hill

The fresh, local ingredients Sweetish Hill uses results in some of the most delicious and decadent breakfast foods you’ll get your hands on. And if you need an artisan cake for a special celebration — or just because — this is the place to go.

Baguette et Chocolat

It’s a drive out to Baguette et Chocolat in Bee Cave, but it’s worth the trip. This five-year-old shop serves the best French bread, French pastries and French cakes you’ll find this side of the Atlantic.

Flat Track Coffee

The two founder of Flat Track opened their tiny cafe (it’s 250 sq ft) three years ago and have cultivated a strong following since. In October 2015, the duo was able to crowdfund $31,500 to expand the cafe. “We are trying to preserve the disappearing culture of a tight-knit community by giving people a space to bond over a delicious cup of coffee,” the team writes.

Russell’s Bakery

Russell’s has been an Austin institution for 20-plus years, a place where locals can come in for a delicious lunch, quality espresso and maybe a slice of cake. Russell’s also supports local artists by turning its space into a gallery of sorts. Every time you go in there, a new collection from a different local artist adorns the walls.

Once Over Coffee Bar

Judy Rae Merhar at the Austinot writes that at Once Over “you’ll find a welcoming spirit, enhanced by the scent of freshly roasted coffee.” The atmosphere truly is inviting, and it makes for a great spot to sit down to enjoy a glass of wine, an espresso or a beer.


Clothing Stores and Boutiques

STAG Provisions

Men’s shop STAG Provisions is actually spreading the gospel of Austin’s independent spirit by branching out: It’s since opened stores in Dallas, Houston and Southern California. “Every item we carry personifies our commitment and passion to providing products with authentic, red-blooded style,” the owners write.

Uncommon Objects

Uncommon Objects doesn’t really belong in the Clothing and Boutiques section, but where else to put it? If you’re looking for a taxidermied animal head or creepy statute, this should be the first place to check. Otherwise, just go in and marvel at the universe of cool stuff for sale.


Feathers is one of the best vintage shops in the whole country. Co-owners Emily Hoover and Christina Simon opened Feathers in 2005, and it “has quickly become a favorite stop among fashionistas from around the globe,” they write.


ByGeorge is a high-end shop that’s been around since the old days of Austin’s small-cityness. This is the best place in town for designer fashions (for men and women) and pieces for the home. There are two storefronts in the city today: On N. Lamar and on S. Congress Ave.



South Congress Books

Sheri Tornatore opened South Congress Books in 2011, “at a time when many booksellers were closing their doors,” she notes. The shop specializes in harder-to-find books, which makes for an awesome browsing experience.

Malvern Books

Malvern Books specializes in literature and poetry from independent publishers, keeping the indie ethos alive from writer to reader. “We sell books we love to read and are proud to press enthusiastically into your hands,” the shop’s owners say.

Brave New Books

Brave New Books opened in 2006 to reflect the independent, contrarian, sometimes subversive spirit of the city. Or, as owner Harlan Dietrich writes on his shop’s Facebook page, Brave New Books is “Austin’s fine purveyor of the proverbial flip side of the coin. All the information the schools forgot to tell you and the media refuses to give you can be found here!”


No shop belongs on this list more than BookPeople, whose owner, Steve Bercu, has been THE driving force behind promoting local, independent business in Austin.

OK, who did we miss?


images by:
antifluor, Karim Boubker, BreaLeaDesigns, Leon Ephraïm, Christelle Bourgeois

[ATXMIX001] Austin Mixtape Launch


Listen To Mixtape001 Now:

NOTE: This Download Has Expired. Don’t Miss The Next One. Register Now!


Artist: Heartless Bastards – Song: Hi-Line
Show: Nov 21 at Mowhawk
Site: http://www.theheartlessbastards.com/

Artist: Shakey Graves – Song: Dearly Departed (feat. Esmé Patterson)
Show: Oct 22nd Cactus Theatre – Lubbock TX
Site: http://www.shakeygraves.com/

Artist: Quiet Company – Song: Understand The Problem
Show: Oct 17th at Sidewinder
** Official Austin Mixtape Launch Party **
Site: http://www.quietcompanymusic.com/

Artist: Stukenberg – Song: No Home
Show: Oct 17th at Sidewinder
** Official Austin Mixtape Launch Party **
Site: http://www.stukenbergmusic.com/

Artist: Chakra Khan – Song: Give Up
Show: Oct 17th at Sidewinder
** Official Austin Mixtape Launch Party **
Site: https://soundcloud.com/chakrakhanatx

Artist: Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Song: Wrapped
Show: Oct 17th at Sidewinder
** Official Austin Mixtape Launch Party **
Site: https://lettingup.bandcamp.com/

Artist: Shivery Shakes – Song: Recurring Dreams
Site: http://www.shiveryshakes.com/

Artist: Boyfrndz – Song: Dark Braining
Site: http://www.boyfrndz.com/

Artist: Holiday Mountian – Song: Bump That Bass
Show: Oct 31 at Sidewinder
Site: http://holidaymountainmusic.com/

Artist: Hello Caller – Song: Box Above The Belt
Site: http://www.hellocaller.com/

Artist: Dana Falconberry – Song: The Dream
Show: Oct 23 at Mowhawk
Site: http://danafalconberry.com/

Austin Mixtape Launch Party At Sidewinder

Austin Mixtape Launch

We are super excited to welcome you to the Austin Mixtape Official Launch Party!

Saturday October 17th
At Sidewinder – 715 Red River


Quiet Company – http://www.quietcompanymusic.com/
Stükenberg – http://www.stukenbergmusic.com/
Chakra Khan – https://soundcloud.com/chakrakhanatx
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – http://lettingup.bandcamp.com/

8:00 Doors
8:30 Music

$10 In Advance
$15 Day Of Show


Austin Scene: 23 Local Music Blogs You Should Be Following

austin sign

America’s best music scene leaves plenty of room for coverage.

As much effort as Austin’s local music reporters, reviewers and bloggers put in, there is so much music happening that it takes a couple dozen publications to cover everything.

Here are the 23 local music blogs to follow for news and reviews of all the music going on in Austin every single night.

The Austinot

“Hyperlocal blog” The Austinot is run by husband and wife team of Brittany and Eric Highland, who created the blog in late 2011. They had lived in Seattle but were planning to move to Austin, and as they learned about all that was going on in their new city, the two started the Austinot just for fun. Neither anticipated that it would grow into a site many locals count on to track cultural events, bars, restaurants, films and music in the city.


98.9 KUTX is an excellent radio station with a great blog. Read detailed show reviews, browse through the music archive to hear short live sets, stream new music, and don’t miss KUTX’s Song of the Day.

BrooklynVegan Austin

It was only a matter of time that BrooklynVegan would outgrow its name. Now, the site also covers Chicago and Austin. There are plenty of great, high-res photographs to take in, plus show reviews and news. Shout out to Tim Griffin, who has been getting some killer photos of ACL 2015 for BrooklynVegan.


OVRLD (“Overload”) should be one of the first sites you bookmark for all that’s new in Austin. The team that runs the blog is dedicated to covering the city’s food and music scenes and often does some really nice sit-down interviews with artists such as Walker Lukens, Feral Future and Jason McNeely. Robin and Carter have their own podcast that’s worth a listen, too.

live guitarist


If you think that the music video is a dying medium, See/Saw begs to differ. “We are drawn to music and music videos that give us the chills, make us question, make us see the world from a different perspective, and make us smile, laugh or cry,” is how See/Saw describes its relationship with music. The blog is local, but the scope is international — one recent video featured was from Dutch hip-hop group De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig, for example, which none of us here have any idea how to pronounce.


Expect music to prominently figure into the coverage at Austin360, the Statesman’s culture and events site. When big names such as Danzig or Selena Gomez come through, you can read about those show and maybe grab some free tickets. Tuesday’s Music Picks are a weekly treat that zero in on the lives of local Austin musicians.

The Deli Magazine

A fanzine for the Internet age, The Deli Magazine covers several music scenes across the US. Its Austin Scene Blog breaks news about emerging artists and lets you filter bands by genre. This is another good place to hear brand new music from local musicians.

Austin Insider Blog

The Austin Insider Blog, via AustinTexas.org, is staffed by members of the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). This blog has an eye for music and events that would appeal to both locals and visitors. If you’re new to Austin or visiting for a short while, this is a nice starting point.

Austin Music Foundation

By bringing the music industry and its artists together, and by making the public more aware of artistic initiatives, the Austin Music Foundation does a lot for the city. The Foundation’s blog updates only sporadically, but there are several worthwhile posts that any local artists should read on copyright laws, effective music promotion and background on local venues.

concert sepia

Austin City Limits Festival Blog

ACL definitely needs its own blog. This is the best place to find event updates, artist listings, photos and general information about attending Austin City Limits. Also, keep an eye out for contests and giveaways.

Sound Dessert

Arts lover Gillian Driscoll opened Sound Dessert’s virtual doors in 2009. The site, whose scope is wider than Austin’s scene itself but still leaves a big local footprint, became so beloved and popular that it grew in 2013 to include an artist development company called Sound Dessert Consulting.

Austin Town Hall

For direct, to-the-point album reviews, Austin Town Hall writes about all the good music that comes from its hometown. You can also find interviews and the latest music headlines here. Most of all, make ATH’s playlists part of your weekly listening.

Pop Press International

Pop Press International has the latest on literature, film and music. You can find all sorts of commentary on the Austin music scene here, album reviews, song critiques, live show reviews and photo galleries. Bryan Parker, Pop Press International’s founder and photographer, writes many of the posts himself.


93.3 KGSR is another Austin rock station with a noteworthy blog. Radio station staff can always be found at the festivals and live shows in the city, and they also manage to land the best interviews with local artists.

playing guitar live

Austin Monthly

The online version of Austin Monthly magazine has a great music section. Expect regular music reviews, stories about local bands and artists, and the coveted Band of the Month feature.

Red River Noise

Part magazine, part blog, Red River Noise staffs excellent photographers and bloggers for a truly comprehensive Austin music experience. The film and music reviews are honest and always worth a read. Also, watch out for ticket giveaways.

Citygram Austin

Citygram Austin Magazine has an app available for Android or iOS devices with awesome video tours and interviews, a weekend itinerary with suggestions on how to fill your Saturday and Sunday, a shopping radar that helps you save money, and a restaurant radar so you can always find good places to eat.

101X Alternative Austin

Radio station 101X stands out from most rock radio by actually carefully selecting the station’s playlist and by offering great coverage of Austin’s music scene. Previews, show recaps, interviews, a concert calendar and quality photos round out this station’s blog.

Way Out West Austin

Way Out West Austin focuses exclusively on what’s going on in the west side of the city. When there is an event in the area, WOW’s bloggers jump in to cover it. Also, the team is strict about not receiving remuneration or hookups for coverage. Reliable opinions and suggestions here.

playing guitar dark

KVRX 91.7 FM

“None of the hits all of the time” is KVRX’s tagline. Head over to KVRX’s blog for news about and reviews of the artists you hear when you tune in. There are also plenty of interviews to sink your teeth into.

The Austin Chronicle

The Austin Chronicle is the city’s OG resource for news on the arts, film screenings and music. Coverage of SXSW and ACL here are top-notch, as are the album reviews, the concert calendar and artist interviews. Check this one out daily.

Side One Track One

John Laird fills his spare time with movies and music, so in 2006 he decided to write about Austin’s offerings at Side One Track One. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, he shares song rambles with a free download. Every Wednesday, he also writes a (TV) Show of the Week recommendation. And then on Friday, contributors get to share their favorite music suggestions.

Gorilla vs. Bear

Having received props from Rolling Stone, The Independent UK, URB Magazine and others, Gorilla vs. Bear is a pretty big deal. This is one of America’s best music sites, and you can enjoy Gorilla vs. Bear in a few different ways: Its Sirius XM Satellite Radio, the videos it uploads, the huge digital library of Austin music, or by reading the latest music reviews.


Images by:
Jeremy Keith, William Iven, Daniel Ebersole, Karim Boubker, contatoarielilha

12 of Our Favorite Food Trucks in Austin

Lead Image

While Austin’s original claim to fame might be the music scene, it’s now also nationally renowned as a food truck mecca. The million-plus people who visit the city every year rave about the street food here. Here are 12 purveyors of meals on wheels that locals and tourists alike should try out.

The Feed Store

Exclusively located at Lone Star Court — the nostalgic boutique hotel in The Domain — The Feed Store is known for its wide food variety. From roasted jalapeno mac and cheese to sausage gumbo, they have something for everyone.

The Hey-Ha Food Truck

The Hey-Ha Food Truck boasts Thai street food that focuses on gastronomy and locally sourced meats and vegetables. The brother-sister co-owners grew up watching their mother cook Thai food in her restaurant, giving them a taste for Thai, an eye for detail and a knack for business.

Red Star Southern

This East Coast southern food-inspired truck features dishes such as fried chicken and pimento cheese. A reservation-only chef’s table features an exclusive menu. And — bonus — Red Star Southern uses Yelp to offer a free life-coaching service, responding to every review with advice from their mascot Ol’ Shitter Jim.

Chico & the Fox

Known for their 12-hour pulled pork that would “make our moms cry tears of happiness,” Chico & the Fox serves up some serious comfort food. From Cubanos to fried pickles, they put their signature taste into every bite.


Smokey Denmark

Family owned and operated, Smokey Denmark has been serving premium smoked meats for more than 46 years. And now with a food truck, their quality meats can find an even bigger crowd.

Churro Co.

Churro Co. gives the traditional churro a twist with sauces, jams and toppings you never thought possible. And “served all day err day,” you never have to go without your favorite dessert.

Brunch Haus

Austin may love brunch as much as it loves its food trucks. Brunch Haus serves up traditional plates with a sophisticated spin, and everything on the menu is fresh and made to order.

Baby’s Badass Burgers

This provocative food truck has a badass menu served up by the Burger Babes. Baby’s Badass Burgers has long list of burger options, but nothing tops The Bombshell — a half-pound burger between two bacon grilled cheese melts. Yum.



With home-cooked meals “just like your momma made them,” Toaster offers deliciously satisfying food from brunch through dinner. Dessert grilled cheese? Yes, please.


Specializing in Brazilian street food, Boteco brings a laid-back South American vibe to Austin. From yuca fries to feijoada, prepare to be cultured.

Four Brothers

Four Brothers‘ authentic Venezuelan food has Austin raving. And their vegan and gluten-free options ensure there’s something for everyone.


Known as the “Texitalican kitchen,” Gibroni’s offers a fusion of three cuisines — Texan, Mexican and Italian. So, don’t be surprised when you see pasta with chorizo meatballs and sweet potato postadas on the menu.


images by:
kamystry, TesaPhotography, biggifraley

17 Microbreweries and Tap Rooms to Check Out in Austin


Whether you’ve just moved here or you’re only staying for a few days, Austin is a thriving city rife with its own culture.

But the city is more than just the Live Music Capital of the World. If you’re one of the roughly 21.5 million people who pass through the city each year, you’re going to want to take in as much as you can, which includes a good craft brew before and after whatever shows you see.

Here are 17 microbreweries in Austin you shouldn’t miss.

Pinthouse Pizza

On the surface, Pinthouse Pizza may seem like another pizzeria, but inside it’s also a brewpub. Director of Brewing Joe Mohrfel works alongside Trevor Kelly and Jacob Passey to create delicious drinks (recommendations: the Batch 69 Double IPA and the ATX Pale Ale).

Live Oak Brewing Company

Since 1997, Live Oak Brewing Company‘s Brian Peters and Chip McElroy have been creating some of the best brews in Austin. They started brewing at home then eventually found an establishment to open in the city; they’ve since expanded to other parts of Texas. Try the Big Bark Amber Lager or the Pilz, both of which are available all year.

Black Star Co-Op Pub & Brewery

Black Star Co-Op Pub & Brewery was the world’s first co-operatively owned and worker-managed brewpub. The team here makes sure that only the best beers get on its menu through extensive meetings and beer tastings. House brews to try include the Vulcan (with pine hops and rye), the Inglorious Irish Red Ale (with toffee and caramel flavors), and the High Esteem (with crystal and wildflower honey hops).

Austin Beerworks

Forget the glasses at Austin Beer Works. This brewery insists on serving all of its beverages in cans for better coldness, better taste and improved recyclability. Try the Peacemaker Anytime Ale, an Austin Beerworks original and favorite.

Uncle Billy’s Brewery & Smokehouse

Uncle Billy’s, with head brewer Trevor Nearburg and Director of Brewery Operations Richard Everitt, has already won awards for its brews. Definitely try the Green Room IPA and the Belgian Red Elegast Ale. Pair the beers with a burger or succulent pulled pork.


NXNW Restaurant and Brewery

North by Northwest owner Davis Tucker is passionate about beer. This microbrewery sources all of its beverages from the Brewery Tower, which boasts silos that can handle up to 25,000 pounds of delicious barley. That gives beers like the Duckabush Amber (with chocolate malts and pilsner), the Bavarian Hefeweizen (with German Hallertau hops and pilsner malt), and the Northern Light (with pilsner malts and Horizon hops) a very fresh taste.

Hops & Grain

Hops & Grain also uses cans only and is diligent about recycling them. The company also donates 1% of its entire revenue to local non-profits, and it uses leftover grains to make dog treats, called Brew Biscuits. Check out this brewery’s Porter Culture, with chocolate wheat and Munich malts.

Independence Brewing Company

The team of Amy and Rob Cartwright, Brannon Radicke, Rhett Wright, John Sikes and Mike Biggers create the awesome beers at Independence Brewing Company. The Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout is a great go-to on a cool night.

Thirsty Planet Brewing Company

Thirsty Planet Brewing Company‘s team gives tours on Saturdays, which is one of the best ways to sample its collection of brews. Highlights include the Thirsty Goat Amber, Buckethead IPA and Yellow Armadillo Texas Ale.

Adelbert’s Brewery

If you crave Belgian ales, then you should head to Adelbert’s Brewery. Scott Hovey named the brewery after his brother, who had been a huge fan of ales. Hovey and Taylor Ziebarth, the lead brewer, create some killer beers. The Dancin’ Monks (Dubbel ale) and the Sundowner (Biere Brut) come highly recommended, as do the barrel-aged Vintage Series brews.

Jester King Brewery

Jester King Brewery is a farmhouse microbrewery where you can stop by Friday through Sunday to get the freshest brews straight from the tap room. Definitely try the Black Metal farmhouse imperial stout, the Wytchmaker farmhouse rye IPA and the Gotlandsdricka bottle-conditioned ale with gale and juniper berries.


(512) Brewing Company

Founders Sarah and Kevin Brand created (512) Brewing Company to focus on using only organic malts, and hops. Check out the wild-fermented Wild Bear (with “backyard funkiness” — their words) and that pecan porter.

Kamala Brewing/Whip In

At Kamala Brewing, Chandan and Amrit Topiwala infuse Indian flavors into their beers, which are out of this world. The brewery is part of The Whip In, a former convenience store where you can try Gujarati meals. Definitely try the Ganeshale, a quadruple with bourbon-soaked hibiscus flowers.

Twisted X Brewing Company

At Twisted X Brewing Company, brewer Jim Sampson and partner Ted Stewart use barrel fermenting to give you Texas-based beer with a Mexican twist in every sip. Some cool examples of their Tex-Mex beers include the Fuego jalapeno pilsner and the Chupahopra IPA, which features Amarillo hops thrown in at the end of the fermentation process.

Circle Brewing Company

Circle Brewing Company has one philosophy: Use simple techniques when making beer. That means no unhealthy additives, clarifying agents or unwanted chemicals in the beers you drink here. The Alibi blonde ale took home Silver at the World Beer Cup in 2014, and the Nightlight Irish Stout is a great bet for fall drinking.  

South Austin Brewery

Get a real taste of the fusion between music and beer at South Austin Brewery (“transforming barley, hops and yeast into Liquid Austin Soul,” as the brewers describe it). If you stop in, get a 6 String Saison. Also, keep an eye out for those Saturdays when the tap room has $3 pints.

Infamous Brewing Company

Infamous Brewing Company has tasting room hours every Thursday through Sunday, and we definitely recommend stopping in to try their Hijack Untraditional Cream Ale straight from the source. Other highlights include the Infamous IPA and Bugsy’s Fire Brush Amber Beer.


images by:
Life-Of-Pix, kdiem1229, PublicDomainArchive

Liquid Brunch: The 15 Best Bloody Marys in Austin


The Bloody Mary is a staple drink. Whether it follows a big night, or starts a bigger day, the spicy brunch cocktail is steeped in tradition. Filled with vegetables and healthy goodness (or so we hope) to get you feeling good, there are a few variations that have brought the Bloody Mary into the spotlight. So, we set out to find the best bars in Austin to order one, whether it’s a make-your-own or made to order.

Rio Rita

If your hangover is too intense to deal with making your own morning savior, Rio Rita is the East Austin bar for you. The only decision you’ll need to make is between regular, jalapeno or habanero vodka. The Bloody mix is salty, with strong tones of tomato and citrus, and the simple celery, okra, olives and peppers round out the flavor well enough to make this one of Austin’s best Bloody Marys.  


This make-your-own at Zax starts you off with a tall glass of ice and a shot of pepper-infused vodka. Then, the highball is your court. Choose between V8, Clamato and tomato juice as your base, then work your way through the generous offering of spices, hot sauces and condiments. And why stop there when you can make-your-own omelet from over a dozen ingredients?

Yellow Jacket Social Club

The word around town is that this East Austin bar serves up some of the best brunch going. An extensive and well-rounded menu gives you plenty of choice and even more flavor. And the ready-made Bloody Mary hits the spot with its shot of beer, spicy kick and towering archipelago of garnish.

Stubb’s BBQ

A brunch destination with an incredible history (including slavery, Korean War veterans and the explosive Austin music scene), Stubb’s serves a make-your-own Bloody Mary not to be missed. Choose from a decadent array of condiments, spices and sauces and experience the famous Gospel Brunch. And maybe hang around all day to catch some more live music.  

The Silo on Seventh

This is an East Austin brunch destination with a difference. Casual, relaxed and catering to the industry crowd (it’s open for Monday brunch), the rooftop restaurant at The Silo On Seventh lets the morning sun soak up some of your sorrow. And the famous Bloody Mary will have you feeling merry in no time.


Sawyer & Co.

This East Austin brunch destination is a retro-modern diner offering South Louisiana cuisine, retro cocktails and old-fashioned hospitality. Sawyer & Co. has a brunch menu to make anyone hungry. But first, a choice must be made: A Bloody Mary made with vodka, gin or tequila?

The Hi Hat Public House

The Hi Hat Public House pairs unique tap beers with American cuisine, making it a perfect local eatery on a Sunday morning. While it’s not a build-your-own, the Bloody Mary here makes the list for ditching the vodka and giving you a healthy dose of sake to kickstart your day. And to keep the flavors in sync, the drink features a healthy serving of garlic, cilantro and spice, making it one of the best in town.  


Regardless of who you woke up next to, Frank‘s Red Headed Stranger is the only company you need for brunch. This Bloody Mary is made with bacon-infused Tito’s vodka, a house-made Bloody mix, a rim of Frank-salt, and a garnish that includes black-pepper bacon, a jalapeno-stuffed olive, a pepperoncini and cheddar cheese. Delicious.

Gourmands Neighborhood Pub

Simple in name but not in nature, head straight to Gourmands if your wake up needs a helping hand. Classic pub fare fills the menu, and the Bloody Marys aren’t lacking. But don’t stop there — make sure you try the sandwiches, famous enough to have their own following.

The Driskill Bar

Famed as the grandfather of the make-your-own movement, The Driskill Bar gives its patrons a Sunday morning worth getting up for. More than 30 different condiments allow a personal touch to the Tito’s handmade vodka. And for those who like it hot, you can forgo the Driskill’s 32-year-old Original mix for the Bloody Revolution varieties, including Ribeye, Smoked Habanero and Pickle Zing.


South Congress Café

You’ll be saved from your morning by South Congress Café‘s tall, elegant and pretty concoction bursting with spice, potency and flavor. After all, there’s a reason The Huffington Post named this one of the best Bloody Marys in America.

The Grackle

The Grackle‘s staff will ask you how you want your Bloody, and they’re open to suggestion. Besides, you’ll be happy to watch when the brunch bartenders get to work.  Spices, flavors, artisan garnish and plenty of passion make these liquid salsas worth getting up for.  

Swift’s Attic

Like everything about Swift’s Attic, the BYO Bloody Mary bar is impressive. Empowered with a glass of vodka, a brunch-goer faces off against two types of Bloody Mary mix, 20-odd types of hot sauce, regular and stuffed olives, pickled okra, carrots, banana peppers, celery, lemon and lime wedges, spices, horseradish, green beans, pearl onions, jalapenos, bacon, and more.

The Park at the Domain

The Park at the Domain is not just a sports bar, although you’d be forgiven for thinking so with its 42 HDTVs. Meticulously tinkered recipes make for delicious cuisine with a modern twist and are accompanied by artisan beers and handcrafted cocktails — including a Bloody Mary your way.  

Star Bar

And finally, the mother of the breakfast cocktails is Star Bar‘s Hail Mary. Not a make-your-own, this jaw-dropping, ergonomically-challenging cocktail starts with a classic Bloody base before being adorned with skewers of food. Garnishes (using that word loosely) include:

  • an all-beef hotdog
  • lil’ smokies
  • hickory-smoked bacon
  • pepper and garlic shrimp
  • onion rings
  • a slider
  • chicken nuggets
  • a deviled egg
  • crab meat
  • pickled okra
  • cherry tomatoes
  • pepperoni
  • pepper jack cheese
  • and a cinnamon roll.

A meal in itself, this drink will see you through to dinner.


images by:
Wokandapix, Unsplash, Dogancan Ozturan

22 New Austin Restaurants Worth Checking Out

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Let’s not limit discovery to just local music — Austin has way too many great eateries to ignore this pillar of the city’s culture.

Of course, good restaurants come and go for a variety of reasons, and keeping up with notable new spots is a full-time job. (Seriously, Austin’s food critics stay busy. We know because we read their reviews dutifully.)

So in the spirit of discovery, we’ve put together a list of 22 new restaurants in town we think are worth checking out.

Our primary selection criteria:
• Doors opened no earlier than January 1, 2014.
• Reboots of old classics and permanent homes for food trailers are fair game.
• Input from critics and patrons (via Yelp! and other such review platforms) were given roughly equal weight.

This is not a ranked list; we wouldn’t feel comfortable calling one restaurant better than another. But for easier browsing, we at least alphabetized the entries.

Let us know if you think we left some place off the list!

Apis Restaurant & Apiary

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Up in Spicewood along the Pedernales River, Apis features a welcoming interior, 20 beehives, and all the delicious honey you could ever want. The whole concept — from the bees to the menu to the decor — represents a lifelong dream of owner Taylor Hall, last seen working as the head chef at Supper Underground.

Blackbird & Henry

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Matthew Odam from the Austin-American Statesman ranked Chef Mark Schmidt’s Blackbird & Henry No. 17 on his list of best restaurants in Austin at the end of 2014. “[Schmidt’s] campus-area restaurant features Texas cuisine like fried quail with creamy white corn grits, and the British influence — and India’s effect on that country — can be tasted across the menu, from cocktails (a Calcuta Ritta with a curry-salted rim) to entrees (a mild curried prawn kedgeree with fried lentils and fluffy couscous) and dessert (a strawberry and cream Eton Mess),” Odam wrote.

Dai Due

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The beloved butcher shop and supper club on Manor Road opened as a full-on restaurant in 2014, now serving breakfast and lunch. The emphasis as always is local, seasonal ingredients — so much so that the supper and day menus have to be filtered with a calendar.

El Sapo

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

El Sapo took over the Flat Top Burgers spot on Manor Road last summer and picks up where the former burger joint left off. “The real fun starts when you venture out across the menu and try some of their specialty burgers and sandwiches,” writes Full and Content’s Lisa Rawlinson. “The Lamburgesa, with a thick slice of grilled queso panela, cucumber slices and lemon-serrano aioli, is a tasty alternative, and El Pascador will satisfy fans of a good fish sandwich, with its perfectly flakey buttermilk-battered Texas black drum.”

Elizabeth Street Cafe

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

French-Vietnamese colonial fusion cafes are the kind of places where if you find a good one you will stick with it forever. Elizabeth Street Cafe, however, takes it up a notch by somehow combining the charm of the best bistros in Austin and Paris with excellent Vietnamese flavors. Said Austinot’s Erin May, “It is the dedication to carefully constructed, hearty meals that will keep me and so many others coming back.”


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Upscale Southern food restaurant Fixe definitely wins the award for best family meal in Austin: Just look at that sea of jalapeño cornbread pictured above! Bonus points for the special grits section on the menu and the barrel-aged cocktails.

Fork and Taco

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Fork and Taco is like one big love letter to Austin’s food scene. “The day we moved to Austin it was 70 degrees and sunny…and it was December,” owners Jeff and Susan McCoy write. “Within hours of being here, a taco truck pulled up and three neighbors stopped by to say hello and helped us move in.” To return the favor, they grabbed Chef Casey Fannin, formerly of Uchi, and started making some of the city’s absolute best and most innovative tacos.

G’Raj Mahal

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

After four years of building up a loyal following in a food trailer, Sidney Roberts and her husband, Anthony, found a cozy brick-and-mortar home for G’Raj Mahal on Rainey in 2014. “We have rebuilt and custom-designed an old house into a funky, beautiful space featuring: a large, gorgeous wooden deck in the back patio, a lovely stone front yard, comfortable indoor café seating, and a premium wine and beer bar,” the owners write.


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The team from Contigo — Andrew Wiseheart and Ben Edgerton — have opened a new place to much fanfare, and with an emphasis on vegetables. This is your best bet in town for a plate of celery root and black truffles that will blow your mind.

Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile

This family-run restaurant in East Austin sources all of its meat from the family’s ranch in Melvin. Owner Adam Jacoby says that he draws much of his inspiration from growing up in Melvin, where his parents ran a feed store and cafe in addition to raising four children.


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Chefs Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki opened this East Austin neighborhood cafe (converted from an old laundromat) in February 2015 after months of anticipation. So far, their casual-yet-innovative approach to the cuisine has won people over. “The approachable menu draws from an eclectic mix of influences, accented with flavors such as anchovy, togarashi and scotch bonnet,” CultureMap’s Melody Fury wrote in February.

Licha’s Cantina

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

It’s not easy for a Tex-Mex place to stand out in Austin, but Austin Monthly’s Lynne Margolis and Veronica Meewes argue that Licha’s Cantina, opened in January 2014, does just that. “With hospitality and homestyle food served in an intimate setting, Licha’s truly makes you feel like their casa is your casa,” they write.”

Lucky’s Puccias & Pizzeria

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The food trailer that serves some of the best, most authentic food from southern Italy opened a brick-and-mortar location on West 5th Street in early February. “Don’t worry,” the owners write, “the trailer location will continue to serve puccias, but if it’s pizza, salad, beer and wine that you want then come visit our new location.”


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Chef Shane Stark & Roberto San Miguel got together in 2014 and created a restaurant / wholesale seafood market that promises some of the freshest fish and shrimp from the Texas Gulf. The restaurant’s menu is seasonal, and there is also an awesome raw bar featuring oysters, shrimp and crab.

Noble Sandwiches

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

After four years of inspiring pilgrimages up north, Noble Sandwiches opened a central location in spring 2014. Meanwhile, accolades keep rolling in for Noble Sandwiches, including Men’s Journal putting the seared beef tongue sandwich on its list of 50 best sandwiches in America.


22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The Austin Chronicle’s Virginia B. Wood wrote a sparkling review of Olamaie when it opened in August. Special praise was reserved for the biscuits, which the chefs had tried to keep as a secret, but now they’re mentioned in every review of this place. Oops.

The Peached Tortilla

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

For some people, eating from the The Peached Tortilla’s truck was a borderline religious experience. Now that the team has opened a restaurant on Burnet Road, those folks finally have a proper place of worship.

Salvation Pizza

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Purveyors of the city’s finest New Haven-style pizzas, Salvation opened up a second location on Rainey Street in February.

Sawyer & Co.

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Just downriver from Jacoby’s, this Cajun and Creole diner is doing a lot of things right: $5 happy hour cocktails, legit po’ boys, hurricanes on tap, and astroturf out on the patio.

The Scarlet Rabbit

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

The Scarlet Rabbit opened up in Round Rock summer 2014 to provide a “culinary rabbit hole” for adventurous eaters to venture down. That’s no joke. Check out some of the menu items: quail flatbread, fried oyster nachos, and Texas Bouillabaisse.

St. Philip Pizza Parlor + Bakeshop

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

Here is a repeatable model for success: Take the team behind a proven hotspot (Uchi), focus their efforts on making great pizzas and baked goods, then just for the fun of it put s’mores pancakes on the brunch menu.

Taco Flats

22 New Restaurants in Austin Worth Checking Out

A reboot of a classic hangout from the ‘70s, Taco Flats earned rave reviews from Thrillist Austin: “True to old-school Austin, their menu runs the gamut from carnitas tortas to hemp seed burgers and ‘hippie tacos’ with grilled Oaxaca cheese, refried black beans, and house pickled escabeche — all on delicate, house-made tortillas, of course.”

Alan / Flickr
Other images courtesy of the restaurants’ web pages or Facebook pages.

Austin Music Tastemakers: 50 to Follow on Twitter

1acllive2andylanger3antonesrecords4ashleycass5austin360music6AustinBloggy7chronevents8musicaustin9austinmusicppl10austintownhall11bvaustin12C3Concerts13CameronAtSX14e4thequeen15CovertCuriosity16CM_Austin17CultureMapATX18cottonaustin19deborific20DeidreGott21do51222DMFreeman23SoundDessert24grahamreynolds25Greg Ackerman26ianmorales27JacobStetson28JamesMinor29jenleduc30joegross31SideOneTrackOne32johnpointer33yelpaustin34KOOPradio35YouGotKOd36LauraATX37hipstercrite38lillianlee39ulovei40Noel Bridges41ovrld42partyends43pwaites44Playback_Austin45SamanthaCPhelps46SaschaStone47theAustinot48theloyaltyfirm49TRIBEZA50thevickeys

Austin’s music scene is obviously vast, and keeping up with the city’s music news, the shows around town, and all the places to score SXSW wristbands is a full-time job.

Let’s make that universe a bit more accessible. Below are 50 people, news outlets and companies that are a key part of the Austin music scene. Throw them all into a Twitter list, and you’ll have the most up-to-date info on what’s going on in Austin. From show announcements to venue closings/openings, these are the people who know things first.
• ACL Live, @acllive
• Andy Langer, @Andylanger
• Antone’s Record Shop, @antonesrecords
• Ashley Cass, @ashleycass
• Austin 360 Music, @austin360music
• Austin Bloggy, @AustinBloggy
• AustinChronEvents, @ChronEvents
• Austin Music Office, @musicaustin
• Austin Music People, @austinmusicppl
• Austin Town Hall, @austintownhall
• BrooklynVegan Austin, @BVAustin
• C3Concerts, @c3concerts
• Cameron @ SX, @CameronAtSX
• Colleen Fischer, @e4thequeen
• Covert Curiosity, @CovertCuriosity
• CreativeMornings/ATX, @CM_Austin
• Culture Map ATX, @CultureMapATX
• David Cotton, @cottonaustin
• Deborah Sengupta Stith, @deborific
• Deidre Gott, @DeidreGott
• Do512, @do512
• Doug Freeman, @DMFreeman
• Gillian Driscoll, @SoundDessert
• Graham Reynolds, @grahamreynolds
• Greg Ackerman, @g_ack
• Ian Morales, @ianmorales
• Jacob Stetson, @JacobStetson
• James Minor, @JamesMinor
• Jennifer Leduc, @jenleduc
• Joe Gross, @joegross
• John Laird, @SideOneTrackOne
• John Pointer, @johnpointer
• Kelly Stocker, @yelpaustin
• KOOP 91.7FM, @koopradio
• Kristin Owen, @YouGotKOd
• Laura V. Johnson, @LauraATX
• Lauren Modery, @Hipstercrite
• Lillian Lee, @lillianleee
• Miguel Angel, @ulovei
• Noel Bridges, @Noel_Bridges
• ovrld music, @ovrld
• Party Ends, @partyends
• Patrick Waites, @pwaites
• playback, @playback_austin
• Samantha Phelps, @samanthacphelps
• Sascha Stone, @saschastone
• the Austinot, @TheAustinot
• The Loyalty Firm, @theloyaltyfirm
• Victoria Alvarez, @thevickeys

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
The Live Music Capital of the World has 250+ official venues, and we thought we should go ahead and invite controversy by identifying and ranking which ones we think are the best.

With the city’s huge diversity of venues, we found it necessary to impose a little objectivity to the selection process. It’s not scientific, per se, but the three-point rubric we came up with did a good job of separating the great venues from the good ones and the good ones from the merely decent. This worked regardless of venue size or what kind of bands the place books.

Here were our three key criteria:

  • Does the venue frequently surprise us with the quality or stature of the artists it books?
  • Is the drink selection noteworthy, and are the drinks priced fairly?
  • Does the venue’s atmosphere make a good show better?

As we found out, this didn’t totally filter out our own biases — you’ll see what I’m talking about below — but it did give us a very solid list of venues.

Below are our picks for the 10 best venues in Austin and why we ranked them in the order that we did. But first, a shoutout to the venues that just missed the cut: Brass House, Cedar Street Courtyard, The Elephant Room, The Saxon Pub and Beerland. Also, keep an eye out for the new Antone’s location on Fifth Street.


10. The Roost

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
It’s clear that the people behind this place are music industry veterans. The pro sound design and the old show poster collection prove it. The Roost is a bit out of the way for many people — it’s in Wells Branch — but that only helps weed out a great crowd night after night.

Why We Put It Here: There are few other places where you can catch some big-name acts such as Michael Martin Murphey in such an intimate setting.


9. Cheer Up Charlies

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Cheer Up Charlies feels as though it distills the best parts of a good festival into a fun evening. Some nights it’s a show; other nights it’s a DJ spinning ‘90s country records, and the crowd is as eclectic as the monthly music lineup.

Why We Put It Here: Vegan-friendly, queer-friendly, everybody-friendly. It takes serious effort to create an inclusive and fun environment such as Cheer Up Charlie’s, but the payoff is great crowds. Those $6 drinks help, too.


8. The White Horse

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Speaking of all-inclusive, The White Horse has built itself into an authentic honky tonk that appeals to a huge swath of people without even a hint of kitsch or irony.

Why We Put It Here: It’s the way The White Horse approaches its own authenticity that’s so noteworthy — there are weekly lessons in two-stepping and zydeco dance to make everyone feel comfortable about getting out on the dance floor. Bonus points for Bomb Tacos.


7. Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Here is another venue where the dancefloor gets crowded in a hurry. The crowds are diverse and always a lot of fun. And if you’re cramped for space, you can always take your beer outside and chill.

Why We Put It Here: Chicken Shit Bingo.


6. Continental Club

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin

Interestingly, our rubric caused one of Austin’s most iconic venues to rise nearly to the top. The Guardian ranked the Continental Club as Austin’s best live-music venue in 2012, and Rolling Stone named it America’s No. 6 live music venue in 2013. Yet despite this notoriety, the place remains a great spot to catch a show.

Why We Put It Here: Overall value and the quality of the bookings make the Continental Club a real contender to this day. Door prices for killer shows are routinely in the $10–12 range, and drinks are still modestly priced.

Bonus points: History’s gotta count for something.


5. Holy Mountain

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
In 2012, Holy Mountain took over the space Beauty Bar occupied, and it seems to be a net gain for the Red River District.

Why We Put It Here: Fast, friendly bar staff; NBA Jam tournaments; and an excellent sound system.


4. Empire Control Room

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Empire Control Room and its two additional spaces, the Garage and the Patio, have created one of the most fun nightlife spots in town. The party nights are great, and the Super Smash Bros. tournaments are a blast, but Empire Control Room shines brightest on show nights.

Why We Put It Here: The atmosphere Empire Control Room has created is turning this place into a go-to spot for many people right now, and it’s the audiences that make show nights special. Watch as this venue grows and develops. Once it is allowed to hit its stride, this place could become legendary.


3. Hotel Vegas

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
“If you want to know the next new sound, band, or vibe to come out of the local rock scene before it gets picked up by the media or bigger clubs,” Chris Apollo Lynn writes at Republic of Austin, “Hotel Vegas and their partner venue, the Volstead, are definitely worth a visit.”

Why We Put It Here: Value. Shows are often just a few bucks (sometimes free), and the quality of the music booked here far exceeds the door prices. Drink prices are also cheap. Even if you show up with just $10 in your pocket, you might very well leave surprised at the great night you had.

Bonus points for this review:
The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  


2. Red7

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Red7 is grimy and hot, and the drink selection is meh. But if you’re looking for craft brews in the first place, you’re at Red7 for the wrong reasons.

Why We Put It Here: Red7 has punk and metal shows that look pretty much the way punk and metal shows did a generation ago. When Mastadon or DRI are coming through, this is where you want to see them play. We’re not going to make one of those “Austin was cooler back when…” arguments, but the authenticity of Red7 is nonetheless refreshing. Bonus points for the outdoor stage, which is always a lot of fun.


1. The Mohawk

The 10 Best Places to Catch a Show in Austin  
Not yet a decade old, The Mohawk won The Austin Chronicle’s Best Live Music Venue three years in a row (2010–2012) and established itself as an institution.

Why It’s No. 1: The drink selection and prices earn The Mohawk points, as does the overall atmosphere, but there is a bigger-picture consideration that puts it over the top.

The staff here care about what they do. The design projects an aesthetic that somehow complements any genre of music. And the crowd typically brings it. A great venue elevates a show. So, when an Aesop Rock or an Of Montreal — someone with a built-in following — comes through, the performance meshes with all the elements that make America’s best music scene great.

And you can feel the difference.


Images by:
rafoto / Flickr
Venue images courtesy of venue websites or Facebook pages.