Our “A Day in the Life” series is presented in collaboration with Greg Walling of Moreland Properties. See the bottom of this article for his listing in the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood, or visit his website for more information on living in downtown Austin.
One of the older Austin neighborhoods, Bouldin Creek, located just south of Downtown Austin and a bordered on the east by South Congress Avenue, was created in the early 1900s. The focal-point of the neighborhood, the ever-growing South First Street, is a bustling but not overwhelmingly busy strip that has everything you’ll need for a perfect day in Bouldin. Here’s that perfect day.
Stop in at Once Over for an espresso. No need to rush—ask for a small shot of seltzer water on the side, and head to the backyard deck. Sit and relax for a bit before that hunger of yours starts to grow.
Next up, for breakfast, head north to Bouldin Creek Café. Carnivores be warned, but do not be scared: this hallmark Austin eatery is 100 percent vegetarian and vegan. Do not fret. Everything on the menu is delicious, but for breakfast, grab a glass of organic apple or orange juice and an El Tipico plate, which comes with scrambled organic eggs, homemade potato hash cake, and toast. Spice it up with a “fire” puree, and throw some cheese on it too. Why not?
Head back toward Once Over, where, next door, you’ll find what is in my opinion the greatest record store in the world. You can (and I have) spend hours digging through stacks of intricately organized vinyl records. New releases come in daily, so be sure to check that section out first. Make your way to the back of the store and check out the impressive vintage hi-fi and speaker section. For those who love to also create music, End of An Ear has added a small music shop back there, where you can splurge on a vintage Ludwig drum kit, if you feel so inclined.
Drop in at Roadhouse Relics, a vintage neon sign store and gallery, where you’ll get a chance to view some of the most quirky and authentically Austin pieces of art in town. If you’re feeling like a true patron of the arts, and you’re in the market for a piece of kitschy Austin signage, plunk down the plastic and take one home.
It’s lunch time, and one of the best Mexican joints in town is right there, on South First. Grab a seat on the patio at Polvos, order a house frozen margarita, and go check out the expansive salsa bar. Grab a couple to sample, plus some escabiche, and order some queso and the chili relleno al nogal— a stuffed poblano pepper with cheese, vegetables, and a choice of pastor, chicken, or ground beef, and topped with a pecan cream sauce and jack cheese.
For dinner and drinks, you really can’t go wrong in this neighborhood, but if you visit the area, you have to eat at Elizabeth Street Café. A hybrid French bakery and Vietnamese café, Elizabeth Street has dozens of menu items and everything is great. Get an icy cold Kronenbourg draft beer or a sake punch, and order some poached shrimp spring rolls as an appetizer. For lighter appetites, try the spicy pork meatball bahn mi sandwich. The braised brisket pho is delicious too, though I love the drunken noodles—with chicken sausage, jalapeños, mushrooms, thai basil, and crushed peanuts when I’m feeling underfed.
Above: Elizabeth Street Café; photo courtesy Molly Winters.
Want to live in this neighborhood? Check out this listing from Greg Walling of Moreland Properties: