Whether you’re an ATX transplant or born-and-raised, there are a few things everyone comes to know by heart: Tacos are acceptable for every meal, Austin is weird, and all your friends talk about moving here. But how well do you really know Austin when it comes to being healthy … or at least kind of healthy?
Don’t sweat it, yet—we’ve got you covered! Our friends at Fitt have narrowed down the options. Fitt’s healthyish guide to Austin is your go-to for grub you can feel good about eating, sweat spots that’ll actually make you want to workout, and the best local spots to hang out with your crew. Now, the hard task of choosing (or trying them all) is all yours!
Put up your peace fingers. Flower Child has proven itself as hotspot for salads, soups, mix-and-match bowls, and wraps of the truly healthy variety. Head to their digs in The Domain or downtown on 2nd St. on a day when you don’t have to do anything but enjoy the sunny patio and your Mother Earth Bowl. Like any healthy eatery, the dishes here are highly customizable, so you can order exactly what your inner flower child is craving.
Café No Sé
Head over to South Congress to snack at Café No Sé. It occupies the amazing South Congress Hotel and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner creations to die for. This all-day cafe offers innovative takes on healthy dishes with the freshest ingredients. Think quinoa bowls, tuna poke, kale salads, and more. The vibe is great, too — you know, the kind you can’t help but Instagram … so have those phones close by.
Picnik fits the bill if you’re looking for clean eating. Priding themselves on real food, Picnik serves up dishes like the Southwest Hash in the AM and Eggplant Rollatini for PM. Plus, count on lots of Butter Coffees (they’re the butter coffee connoisseurs around here), or go for one of their delicious heathyish cocktails. At either location, you can find lots of real (and local) foods free of any gluten, corn, peanut, or soy products.
Black Swan Yoga
Whether you live north, south, or somewhere in between, Black Swan Yoga has a studio nearby. But beyond being super convenient, all of its locations offer fun, donation-based classes with an upbeat soundtrack and funky-fresh lighting. Instructors here are encouraged to express themselves in their practice—no class is the same! Their Power Yoga sessions are a community favorite, but you’ll want to have a bit of beginner experience under your belt before you check ’em out.
This is a gym as much as it’s a movement in South Austin—and they make the word “boutique” a little less cutesy. Workouts are uniquely planned, interval-driven, and involve a combination of strength and endurance training. Each week, you can expect to experience three kinds of workouts: momentum, anaerobic, and durability (MAD). Not to worry though—intensity is tailored to your needs and all levels of fitness are welcome.
Onnit Academy Gym
Onnit Academy Gym is the real deal. The trainers here focus on technique and advanced methodologies that deliver crazy results and peak performance (though, they cater to aspiring athletes, too). You’ll get an in-depth understanding of the fundamentals from trainers who really know their shit. Head over to this South Austin gym if you’re ready for ropes, kettlebells, weighted maces, sprints, and one heck of a post-workout protein shake!
Ah, Zilker. The crown jewel of the Austin parks system. A large expanse of grass crawling with pick-up soccer games, cute dogs, picnics, and people reading books under trees. Zilker also hosts some of Austin’s most famous festivals throughout the year: Austin City Limits, Kite Festival, Trail of Lights, Zilker Relays, and Blues on the Green. This place truly is an outdoor oasis.
If escaping the heat is your main goal, Barton Springs Pool is the best place to do it. The water is spring-fed and sustains a chilly 68 degrees year round. Wade in the deep end, take a jump off the diving board, or spend your afternoon people-watching. Bonus: You don’t need to pay an entrance fee to enjoy the best of Barton Springs. The greenbelt is free, and along the hiking path you can find Gus Fruh and Twin Falls—two great places to take a relaxing dip or throw yourself off a rope swing.
Lady Bird Lake Trail
Austin’s beloved (and convenient) Lady Bird Lake Trail is a 10-mile loop with a number of access points. With entry at Downtown, Zilker, and Butler Park, it feels like a natural refuge right in the heart of the city. Dogs, joggers, walkers, and strollers populate this busy route, enjoying skyline views and access to the river. There are also stops along the way to rent paddleboards and kayaks if you’re looking to cool off from the Texas heat.
A bake shop AND a beer garden—say no more. Easy Tiger on East 6th gives you the best of both worlds with delicious brews, pastries, pretzels, and the list goes on. And if you thought this spot couldn’t get any better, think again. Easy Tiger has a killer outdoor patio that’s the perfect place for a laid-back hang sesh or an epic ping pong battle with friends. In Cedar Park and craving one of Easy Tiger’s house-made sweets? Stop by their outpost in Whole Foods Market 365 for a quick fix.
How do you say no to house-made sausage, craft beer, Big Band Brunch, Smoke Out Saturday, and an off-leash dog park? At Banger’s Sausage House on 79 & 81 Rainey Street, you’re always in for some good, old-fashioned fun, quality food, and Texas-sized hospitality. And with an outdoor patio that’s second to none, you’re going to have to be convinced to leave once it’s time to close shop.
All the convenience of your backyard but with local beer and spirits on deck, kick back at Yard Bar on Burnet Road. to unwind. Oh, and we should mention that they have an off-leash dog park, complete with “bark rangers” to pet-sit your pooch while you wolf down hush puppies, burgers, and charcuterie boards with your friends. Don’t want to let your dog do all the socializing? Take a shady seat in the yard with your beer and forget you have a care in the world.
Easy Tiger and Madabolic images via Instagram.