SXSW is upon us! That means people have flooded the city -- and they’re probably your friends! Mercury Hall is located just perfectly outside of the craziness of SXSW, but still in one of the best areas of town. What makes it one of the best areas of town? Well, not only can you find awesome murals painted on the sides of buildings, but you can find some of the best local restaurants. Let us help you impress your friends.
1. 7th Flag Coffee // 1506 S 1st st.
Need a good wake-me-up after those late night concerts? 7th Flag is some of the best coffee in Austin -- not to mention, everyone who works there is super nice! Go there, grab a cup of jo, and re-coup at one of the picnic tables in the side yard.
2. South Congress Cafe // 1600 S Congress Ave.
You’ll definitely need a reservation for this place. Make a reservation for Saturday or Sunday for brunch and order the Carrot Cake French Toast. Just trust me. Everything else is really delicious, but when else will you get the opportunity to have Carrot Cake French Toast?
3. Elizabeth Street Cafe // 1501 S 1st St.
French Vietnamese cuisine. I’ll give you a minute to think about how amazing that is. From Macarons and Kouign Amann in the bakery to Banh Mi and Pho in the kitchen. This place is refreshing and tasty -- the best mix of cuisines you could ask for! Plus it’s like the cutest restaurant you’ll ever see.
4. Guero’s Taco Bar // 1412 S Congress Ave.
You can’t come to Texas and not have mexican food. Guero’s has a fun atmosphere and mexican food that won’t disappoint -- Bill Clinton is practically a regular here. This place gets packed early, so make a reservation or show up and sip on a marg (or three) until your table is ready. Once you’re there, I recommend the fajitas, but pretty much everything will satisfy your mexican food cravings.
5. ABGB // 1305 W Oltorf St.
Pizza + Beer, what more could you ask for? ABGB has awesome pizza, a whole lot of beer, the cutest outdoor area, and live music during SXSW! If you’re looking for a casual Austin feel, you’ve found the place. They also have an amazing chicken salad sandwich (for those of you who don’t do pizza).
6. Hopdoddy Burger Bar // 1400 S Congress Ave
Get ready to stand in a line out the door, don’t worry, though! It’s well worth it and they’ll take your drink order in line, too! Looking for a good burger? Look no further! They have awesome burgers (I personally LOVE the Continental Club), truffle fries, and a nutella and pretzel milkshake. You may leave 5lbs heavier, but you won’t regret it.
7. Gourdough’s Donuts Trailer // 1503 S 1st St.
If you need a sweet treat at the end of your meal, which, let’s be honest, who doesn’t? Take a walk to the Gourdough’s Trailer. You’ve never seen donuts like this. They’re huge and decadent and the yummiest. I recommend all of them.