Mi Casa Su Casa's Live Like a Local Guide: SoCo & SoFi

Unless noted, most restaurants do NOT take reservations.  Directions provided are from Casa SoCo.

South Congress Avenue

Name

Enoteca

Cuisine

Italian

Cost

Moderate – less pricey than Vespaio, sister restaurant

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike -3 minute

Location

1610 S. Congress Ave   512-441-7672

Specialties

Pizza, salad, pasta, Panini, outdoor patio

Hours

Mon – Sat 11 am to 10 pm;  Sun 10 am to 3 pm

Directions

Left on Wilson, right on Johanna, left on Newton, right on Eva. Enoteca is on the corner of Eva & South Congress.

      

Name

Vespaio

Cuisine

Italian

Cost

Expensive

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike -3 minute

Location

1610 S. Congress Ave    512-441-7672

Specialties

More extensive menu than Enoteca, risotto.  Probably the best Italian restaurant in Austin

Hours

5 pm – 10 pm

Directions

Left on Wilson, right on Johanna, left on Newton, right on Eva. Vespaio is right next to Enoteca. 

 

Name

Guero’s Taco Bar

Cuisine

Mexican

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike -5 minute

Location

1412 S. Congress   (512) 447-7688

Specialties

Tacos, fresh margaritas, live music.  An Austin original you should really try

Hours

11 am – 10 pm Mon – Fri;  8 am – 10 pm Sat & Sun

Directions

Left on Wilson, right on Johanna, left on Eva (6 blocks), right on Elizabeth,  left on South Congress.  Guero’s is on the corner of South Congress & Elizabeth. 

Name

Botticelli’s

Cuisine

Italian

Cost

Moderate – Expensive (less pricey than Vespaio)

Get There by

Walk - 20 minute

Bike - 8 minute

Location

1321 South Congress        512-916-1315

Specialties

Homemade pasta, very good lasagna, lovely patio outback with live music Thurs - Sun, cozy bar, take reservations, nice service.  The best Italian is from Vespaio/Enoteca.  Happy Hour is 5 - 7 daily.  

Hours

Mon-Wed, Sun 5 pm - 10 pm

Thu-Sat 5 pm - 11 pm  Accept some reservations

Directions

Left on Wilson, right on Johanna, left on Eva (6 blocks), right on Gibson, left on South Congress.  Botticelli's is 1/2 block down on right hand side (east side)

 

Name

Hop Doddy

Cuisine

Burgers

Cost

Moderate

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike - 10 minute

Location

1400 South Congress        (512) 243-7505

Specialties

Gourmet burgers & beer.  Also serve wine.  Expect a LONG line.

Hours

Mon-Wed, Sun 11 am - 10 pm

Fri & Sat  11 am - 11 pm

Directions

Left on Wilson, right on Johanna, left on Eva (5 blocks), right on Elizabeth, left on South Congress.  Hop Doddy is 1/2 block down on left hand side (west side)

Name

Home Slice Pizza

Cuisine

NY Style Pizza:  Dine in and pick up, beer & wine

Cost

Avg Large pizza = $20

Get There by

Walk – 15 minutes

Bike – 6 minutes

Car – Very, very limited parking on street

Location

1415 S Congress Ave  (512)  444-7437

Specialties

Ask anyone. If you want pizza they will tell you to go here!!  Have pizza by the slice and whole pies.  The pizza is better from HomeSlice vs. More Home Slice (take out only)

Hours

Sun - Thurs 11 am - 11 pm  CLOSED TUESDAY

Fri – Sat  11 am – 12 am    Sun 12 pm - 11 pm

Directions

Turn left on Wilson.  Right on Johanna.  Left on South Congress.  Go 6 blocks, HomeSlice is on the right hand side 

Name

New India

Cuisine

Marathi Indian

Cost

Moderate

Get There by

Walk - 10 minute

Bike - 5 minute

Parking available

Location

2304 South Congress        (512) 445-9727

Specialties

BYOB.  Enjoyed the Biryani, garlic nan, samosas and tikka masala.  Very casual.

Hours

Mon-Thurs 11 am - 10 pm          Fri - Sun  12 pm  - 10 pm

Directions

Right on Wilson, left on Live Oak, right on South Congress, go 2 blocks (headed away from downtown).  New India is on the RHS.  

 

 

Name

Jo’s Coffee

Cuisine

Coffee, tea, sandwiches, beer

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Walk – 15-20 minutes

Bike - 10 minute

Parking on street, back angle only and limited

Location

1300 South Congress        (512) 444.3800

Specialties

Coffee, people watching , the “I love you so much” graffiti 

Hours

Mon-Fri, Sun 7 am – 9 pm              Sat 7 am – 10 pm

Directions

Turn left on Wilson, Right on Johanna.  Take a left on South Congress and go .8 miles.  Jo’s is on the LHS.

Name

Lucky Robot

Cuisine

Japanese Sushi

Cost

Moderate

Get There by

Walk – 15 minutes

Bike – 6 minutes

Car – Very, very limited parking on street

Location

1303 S Congress    (512) 444-8081

Specialties

If you want seriously amazing, creative and wow expensive Japanese, go to Uchi.  If you just need some rolls or teriyaki, give Lucky Robot a try.  It’s quite good and affordable.

Hours

Mon-Fri 11 am - 10 pm

Sat-Sun 10 am - 10 pm

Directions

Turn left on Wilson.  Right on Johanna.  Left on South Congress.  Go 7 blocks, Lucky Robot is on the right side of street, next to the Amy’s Ice Cream. 

Name

Perla’s

Cuisine

Seafood

Cost

Expensive

Get There by

Walk – 15 minutes

Bike – 6 minutes

Car – Very, very limited parking on street

Location

1400 S Congress    (512) 291-7300

Specialties

Oysters, excellent weekend brunch, nice cocktails, really fabulous patio to people watch under spectacular trees.  Happy Hour: 50¢ Off Oysters, $2 Off Beverages, M-F, 3 - 6 pm

Hours

Daily: 11:30 – Close  Brunch and lunch menus stop at 2:30

Directions

Turn left on Wilson.  Right on Johanna.  Left on South Congress.  Go 6 blocks, Perla’s is on the left side of street

Name

Snack Bar

Cuisine

Organic, Local “globally inspired” fare

Cost

Inexpensive - Moderate

Get There by

Walk – 15 - 20 minutes

Bike – 6 minutes

Car – Very, very limited parking on street

Location

1224 S Congress    (512) 291-7300

Specialties

Love this place.  Always have interesting items on menu.  Fantastic brunch.  Their sake bloody mary is good.  Burgers, salads, sandwiches, steaks, really haven’t had anything I didn’t like a lot.  Great happy hours!

Hours

Weekdays: 10 – 11, Weekends: 9 – 11  Tues 4 - 11

Directions

Turn left on Wilson.  Right on Johanna.  Left on South Congress.  Go 8 blocks, Snack Bar is on the left side of street

South First

 

Name

Elizabeth Street Cafe

Cuisine

French Vietnamese  - Noodles, Banh Mi, Boulangerie

Cost

Moderate

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike -3 minute

Parking available

Location

1501 S. First    (512) 291-2881

Specialties

Happy hour M-F 3-6. $2 off apps and drinks.  One of my favorite late breakfast/brunch spots.  Spicy noodles with a fried egg; fantastic fresh croissants with house made jam.  Nice atmosphere

Hours

8 am to 10:30 pm, daily

Directions

Left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna and Right on South First, 6 blocks.  Corner of South First and Elizabeth.   

Name

Sway

Cuisine

Thai

Cost

Expensive

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike -3 minute

Very little Parking, Valet

Location

1417 S. 1st St       (512) 326-1999

Specialties

Holy moly – go here!!  One of the best new restaurants in last 3 years – on most top 10 lists.  It’s all fantastic.  No sign, just a pink/purple lotus flower sign outside a modern slate grey building.

Hours

8 am to 10:30 pm, daily

Directions

Left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna and Right on South First, 6 blocks.  Corner of South First and Elizabeth.   

Name

Alcomar

Cuisine

Latin American Seafood

Cost

Moderate

Get There by

Walk - 10 minute

Bike -3 minute

Parking available

Location

1816 S. 1st St

Specialties

Weekend brunch, very cute coastal decor, creative margaritas, HH daily from 3 – 6 pm  $4 Ritas

Hours

11 am – 10 pm

Directions

Left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna and Right on South First, 3 blocks

Name

Lenoir

Cuisine

Local Cuisine with French influence

Cost

Moderate - Expensive

Get There by

Walk - 10 minute or less

Bike -3 minute

Some parking

Location

1807 S. 1st    (512) 215-9778

Specialties

Amazing!  Prix fixe.  Locally sourced, Chef Todd just invited to cook at the Beard House in NYC, wonderful ambiance inside and out on the patio.  TINY.  When it’s hot, they offer an evening happy hour (8 – 10 pm). Believe they are offering limited menu in the wine garden now.

Hours

Dinner  -- NEED reservations

Directions

Turn left on Wilson, Right on Johanna.  Right on S. 1st.  Go 2 blocks, Lenoir on the right.  

Name

El Primo Taco Trailer

Cuisine

Mexican

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Walk - 5 minute

Bike -3 minute

Location

Mid-corner of So. 1st and Live Oak

Specialties

Definitely get at least one round of bfast tacos from the sweet guy in this trailer.  Some of the best $2 you’ll spend.  Tacos, Burritos, Tortas.  Featured in the Breakfast Taco book

Hours

Open for bfast and lunch

Directions

Right on Wilson.  Right on Live Oak.  Right on So. 1st.

Name

Mellizoz Tacos

Cuisine

Mexican

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike -3 minute

Parking available

Location

1816 S. 1st St

Specialties

A good trailer option.

Hours

Bfast, lunch & dinner

Directions

Left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna and Right on South First, 6 block

 

Name

La Patisserie

Cuisine

French pastry, coffee, macaron boutique

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Walk - 10 minute

Bike -3 minute

Parking available

Location

602 W. Annie  (512) 912-0033

Specialties

Wonderful croissants, macarons.  Very cute play area for little ones (toddler/babies)

Hours

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily

Directions

Left on Wilson, left on Johanna, right on S. 1st.  Go 2 blocks, left on Annie.  On the RHS

Name

El Tacorrido (Drive Through)

Cuisine

Mexican Taqueria

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Drive through – 2 minutes

Walk - 10 minute

Bike -3 minute

Location

2316 South 1st    512.912.1939

Specialties

Usually takes 3-5 minutes, very good tacos al pastor, fish tacos, tortas, quesadillas. We eat here regularly.

Hours

7 a.m. – 12 a.m. daily

Directions

Right on Wilson, right on Live Oak, left on S. 1st.  Get in right lane, El Tacorrido is on the RHS, corner of Oltorf & South 1st.

Name

Bouldin Creek Cafe

Cuisine

Coffee bar, Little bit of everything, breakfast, lunch, ALL vegetarian, many vegan and gluten free options, beer & wine

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Walk - 10 minute

Bike -3 minute

Some parking in back

Location

1900 South 1st    (512) 416-1601

Specialties

Vegetarian & vegan

Hours

Mon – Fri 7 a.m. – 12 midnight

Sat – Sun 8 a.m. – 12 midnight

Directions

Left on Wilson, left on Johanna, right on S. 1st.   Go 1 block, turn left on Mary. On the corner of Mary & S. 1st.

Name

Winebelly

Cuisine

Wine bar and tapas.  Go for the wine/ bar atmosphere.  Good patio out back

Cost

Moderate

Get There by

Walk - 10 minute

Bike -3 minute

Some parking in back

Location

519 W. Oltorff    512.487.1569

Specialties

Wine cocktails, friendly service.  Shishito peppers.  Cheese/meat boards.  Great desserts.  Try “Pine Top Perkins”. 

Hours

4 p.m. to midnight

Directions

Turn right on Wilson, pass Live Oak street and head 2 more blocks to Oltorff.  Winebelly is across the street and over to the right.  Oltorff is a very busy street so if walking or biking, cross at Oltorff & So. 1st for safety.

Name

Curras

Cuisine

Interior Mexican

Cost

Moderate

Get There by

Walk - 15 minute

Bike -5 minute

Some parking

Location

614 E. Oltorff    (512) 444-0012

Specialties

Yum!  Cochinito Pibil (pork wrapped in banana leaves), Avocado Margaritas, Mexican bfast and Oaxacan coffee

Hours

4 p.m. to midnight

Directions

Turn right on Wilson, left on Live Oak.  Cross South Congress and continue on Live Oak for 3 blocks.  Turn Right on Eastside Drive.  Go 2 blocks to Oltorff, turn right. Curras is on the right hand side, next to the gas station on the corner.  

 

 

 

 

Name

Once Over Coffee House

Cuisine

Coffee, tea, beer & wine

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Walk - 5 minute

Bike -3 minute

Parking available

Location

1816 S. 1st St

Specialties

Nice coffee joint

Hours

7 am to 9 pm (open at 8 am on Sunday)

Directions

Left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna.   Once Over is on the Left on South First.

 

 

 

Downtown

 

Parking for all: 

Very little street parking, garage parking in City Hall lot @ Lavaca & 1st St. (enter on Lavaca)

 

Cab ($8 – 10)

 

Name

La Condesa

Cuisine

Mexican

Cost

Expensive & Chic

Get There by

Bus (pick up @ South Congress & Live Oak), runs till midnight

Car – Complimentary validated valet parking on 2nd Street between Guadalupe and San Antonio after 5pm.

Location

400 W 2nd    (512) 499-0300, corner of 2nd  & Guadalupe

Specialties

Highly recommend.  Never had a bad meal, Lots of tacos, Mexican street corn is awesome, great cocktails.  The “Flour Room” is available for large parties  (10 -20) booked in advance

Hours

11:30 – 2 Lunch M-F only; Dinner 5 – 10 pm daily.   Always busy

Directions

(Driving) Turn left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna.  Right on S. 1st.  Continue along S. 1st toward downtown, pass the School for the Deaf, pass Barton Springs Road.  Get in left lane.  After the bridge, S. 1st will turn into Lavaca (crossing over 1st/Cesar Chavez).  Make an immediate first left into City Hall parking garage – before 2nd St.  OR if you are going to valet, take a Left on 2nd and Valet should be on the Right in between Guadalupe  & San Antonio

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Name

2nd Bar & Restaurant

Cuisine

Upscale bar food, “Natural American Cuisine”

Cost

Expensive & Chic

Get There by

Bus (pick up @ South Congress & Live Oak), runs till midnight

Car – Complimentary validated valet parking on 2nd Street between Guadalupe and San Antonio after 5pm.

 

Location

200 Congress Ave    (512) 827 2750

Specialties

I crave their roasted nuts and pommes frites.  Many items good for sharing.  Chef David Bull

Hours

Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. – Midnight
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

Directions

(Driving)  See directions for La Condesa 

 

 

 

S. Lamar & Barton Springs Road

 

Name

Uchi

Cuisine

Japanese Sushi

Cost

Very Expensive

Get There by

Car – parking lot on site

Location

801 S. Lamar    (512) 916-4808

Specialties

Highly recommend.  Everything you try will be delicious and interesting.  You can easily drop $100/person and still be hungry for more.  Uchiko is the sister restaurant on N. Lamar and home of Top Chef winner Paul Qui.

Hours

Sun-Th 5-10,  Fri-Sat 5-11  Always busy.

Directions

(Driving) Turn left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna.  Right on S. 1st.  Left on Barton Springs.  Left on S. Lamar.  Uchi is .2 miles on the right hand side

 

Name

Chuy’s Tex Mex

Cuisine

Tex Mex

Cost

Inexpensive

Get There by

Bike – 20 minutes (follow Biking to Zilker instructions)

Drive – 10 minutes, decent parking in lot and along street

Location

1728 Barton Springs Rd,  (512) 474-4452

A few blocks before Zilker Park

Specialties

Highly recommend for Tex Mex.  Everything is made in house.  It’s cheesey, gooey, delicious stuff you should only eat once in a while.  Great frozen ritas.  Fajitas.  Enchiladas.  Queso.  Anything they put out with green chili.  Very eclectic décor with Elvis Presley.  Funny t-shirts.

Hours

Sun – Thurs  11 am – 10 pm   Fri & Sat  11 am – 11 pm 

Always busy

Directions

(Driving) Turn left on Wilson.  Left on Johanna.  Right on S. 1st.  Continue along S. 1st toward downtown, pass the School for the Deaf.  Turn left on Barton Springs Road.  Pass Lamar intersection.  Get in right lane.   Chuy’s will be a few blocks on the right hand side, parking in lot.

 

 

 

Name

Barlata

Cuisine

Spanish Tapas

Cost

Expensive

Get There by

Car – 10 minutes, parking available

Cab -- $10

Location

1500 S. Lamar   (512) 473-2211

Specialties

New!  Modern ambiance.  Seriously good cocktails.  Went with 3 girlfriends and we ate everything they brought to us.  Paella dishes are popular.

Hours

Daily 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.  Reservations accepted

Directions

Turn Right on Wilson, Right on Live Oak.  Left on S. 1st.  Get in right lane, turn Right on Oltorf.  Drive 1 miles.  Turn Right on Lamar (light).  Barlata will be on the left hand side, about .5 miles down Lamar.  Park in garage on site (free).  

 

 

 

GROCERY & TAKE AWAY

 

River City Market

 

High quality products, a great selection of wine and beer, sweets, coffee and lots of excellent prepared foods.  We’ve had their ham & cheese panini and the roasted vegetable panini.  Yum.  The last few times Frank has been in, there were plenty of staff to help.  On his 2nd visit, they already remembered his name!

 

Directions from Casa SoCo:  At end of street, turn Right on Wilson.  Turn Left on Live Oak (2 blocks), go Right on South Congress Ave.  River City Market is a block up and on the left, 2209 South Congress Ave.

 

HEB

 

HEB is a very large grocery store and will have everything you need at the best prices.  They have a large produce section, deli, fish and meat department, home goods, toiletries, beer & wine.  They carry organic options as well as their inexpensive HEB brand items.

 

Directions from Casa SoCo:  At end of street, turn Right on Wilson.  Turn Left on Live Oak (2 blocks).  Turn Right on South Congress Ave.  Turn Right on Oltorf.  HEB is on the corner of Oltorf & South Congress.  You can enter the parking lot from either street.

 

Central Market Westgate

 

The Whole Foods of HEB.  This would be my very favorite grocery store. Beautiful produce, meat and fish market

4477 S. Lamar

 

Whole Foods (Flagship Store)

 

525 N. Lamar

Located downtown on corner of 5th & Lamar

Many good take-away kiosks, huge salad bar and pizza oven

 

 

 

 

 

 

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