Just west of downtown Austin lies Clarksville, one of the most unique neighborhoods in the entire state of Texas. The area’s rich history began in 1871, when Charles Clark settled here after being freed from slavery. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Now almost frozen in time, Clarksville harkens back to the days of an older Austin, filled with historic homes, quirky restaurants, and mom-and-pop shopping. If you’re looking for the quintessential Austin experience, spend a day exploring this truly walkable neighborhood.
Start your day at Sweetish Hill Bakery, an Austin institution since 1975. Grab a Texas Coffee Traders espresso to enjoy with a cinnamon roll or a schnecken, a traditional German sticky bun. Then take a fresh-baked baguette and a chocolate croissant (or two) to go.
One of Austin’s oldest gallery spaces Artworks, features original paintings, sculptures, glassworks, and more. Head over to the 5,000-square-foot space to take it all in.
Next, stop at Nau’s Enfield Drug, a no-frills soda pop shop that will transport you all the way back to the days when you could grab a flat-top cheeseburger and a chocolate malt in the back of a pharmacy. The prices are a bit higher than they were in 1951, when Nau’s opened, but not by that much.
Walk down to 6th and Lamar to Waterloo Records, open since 1982, when vinyl was still king. This megastore still carries new and special release vinyl records, used classic albums, and a large variety of films, books, shirts, and even toys and trinkets. Whoever said that the record store was dead surely hasn’t been here.
End your day at Jeffrey’s, opened in 1975 and revamped in 2013. It’s been named one of the top 10 Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit magazine. Get there early and sit at the bar for some crispy fried oysters and a Hokkaido Highball, a Japanese twist on the classic cocktail. Stay for dinner, and try one of four cuts of Wagyu beef topped with one of eight different classic toppings, including the ultra-decadent foie gras butter—an amazing way to cap of the day.
Here is one of our favorite Real Estate listings in the neighborhood.
For more information on Austin real estate contact Greg Walling of Moreland Properties
Being the hip hippie town that it is, Austin boasts a plethora of farmers markets within the city limits—so many, in fact, that picking just one to visit on a weekend can be daunting. If you’re on a quest to eat better and fresher, here is a list of five markets where you’ll never go wrong:
Sundays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
4550 Mueller Blvd.
Listed by the Austin Chronicle as the top farmers market in Austin the last two years, Texas Farmers Market features dozens of local favorites. You can find everything you need to throw a legendary dinner party here. Grab a baguette from Easy Tiger, dried pasta from Gourmet Texas Pasta, olive oil from Texas Hill Country Olive Company, some Texas Gulf shrimp from K&S Seafood, and get those dull knives sharpened by Assured Sharp. It’s a one-stop shop.
755 Springdale Rd.
Wednesdays and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Formed in 2009, this family operated farm in East Austin grows more than 75 vegetables. The indoor farm stand is currently featuring chicken and duck eggs, fennel, and collared greens, plus handmade spa products, like soap, body butter, and scrubs, made right on the farm.
3414 Lyons Rd.
Wednesday thru Saturday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Opened in 1992, Boggy Creek is the first urban farm in East Austin. The market stand, in addition to featuring farm-fresh pink beauty radishes, sugar snap peas, and French sorrel, also sells one-of-a-kind products like fermented cowboy kimchi, wild mustang green grape jam, and smoke-dried tomato bean dip, all from Larry’s Commercial Kitchen.
Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
2921 East 17th St.
The main draw of this farmers market is Johnson’s Backyard Garden, a 1,000-member community supported agriculture (CSA) operation. On Tuesdays, you can pick from some of the freshest vegetables you’ll ever eat, from bok choy and rainbow chard to golden beets and daikon radishes. JBG even has an extensive veggie guide, with storage and culinary tips for every product.
8310 Canoga Avenue
Tuesdays, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 10 am. – 2 p.m.
Sustainability is key at Green Gate Farms, they have a farm stand built entirely from found items in and around an old shed in East Austin. Located in what is considered a food desert, Green Gate Farms provides some of the only organic food in the neighborhood, including seasonal vegetables like heirloom tomatoes and a wide variety of meat, from chicken and beef to bison and mutton.
Photos: Jason Neff
Brunch isn’t just a meal to Austinites; it’s a way of life.
Okay that was really trite. But dammit, brunch is awesome and a Sunday Funday just isn’t one without it. There are so many great spots in Austin, I’d be a fool to try and rank them. So instead, I’m going to match the restaurant to what you’re feeling in the moment. It’s your Sunday Funday, after all.
If you need migas and mimosas STAT…
Takoba is here to rescue you. Their brunch menu has the Mexican breakfast classics Austinites love, including migas. However, may I suggest going outside the box and getting the huevos montuleños? This dish will change the way you think about how to eat bananas (okay, plantains) for breakfast. As far as mimosas go, I’m not sure there’s a better deal in town– $1 for a single or $7 for a carafe. You’re welcome.
The Huevos Motuleños at Takoba
If you just want to people watch while sipping a Bloody Mary…
Bar Chi is a great place for that. Get a table outside and enjoy watching the shoppers and tourists as they get lost trying to navigate the 2nd Street District. Even better, Sundays are all day happy hour at Bar Chi. Meaning you can enjoy their straightforward (read: not intimidating) sushi selection on the cheap. Also, you will not be disappointed by their signature Bloody Sake Mary. Check out their menu.
If you want to get all fancy and have food to match…
Launderette just started serving brunch in May, so you won’t be seeing the hoards of people waiting for a table like you do on a Tuesday night—for now. Their menu combines brunch classics with high-end ingredients. Think duck leg confit in the hash and a delicately fried oyster in the Florentine. The portions are perfect for sharing family-style, so have the crew clean up nicely and make it over there sometime soon.
One of the daily brunch pastry options at Laundertte
If you’re feeling rough around the edges…
Betcha didn’t even know East Austin bar Yellow Jacket Social Club had a brunch, did ya? Okay, it’s not a secret or anything, but Yellow Jacket for brunch isn’t something you do when you’ve had a good Saturday night’s sleep… it’s more of a “hair of the dog” thing, get me? And even though you order at the bar, the food comes out quickly and is consistently delicious. The Mister is a friend’s favorite, but personally I’m a sucker for the Shrimp and Grits. Top it all off with a bucket (or two) of mimosas and you’ll be ready to keep the weekend going in no time.
If you’re wanting to do it big, Texas style…
When people ask me about Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile, I have a hard time finding the right words. Something about this restaurant reminds me of Sunday night steak dinners as a child, but then again, I NEVER ate this good in my youth. Their brunch menu evokes that same nostalgia/confusion. Sure, their buttermilk biscuits and gravy tastes exactly like the kind my Mimi made for me as a child, but what genius decided to put chicken fried steak on waffles? Nobody in my family, that’s for damn sure. That Jacoby’s clan… they’re really somethin’.
The Chicken Fried Steak & Waffles at Jacoby’s
If you want a side of mac n’ cheese with your breakfast…
Liberty Kitchen opened earlier this year on West 5th Street (right next to Tacos N Tequila), and they spread a great brunch on weekends and holidays. They also offer their lunch menu all day; so feel free to start your brunch with raw oysters (after 11am), or a crock of their delicious mac n’ cheese (available with or without king crab) for the perfectly rounded meal.
Shirred Eggs, Hot Smoked Salmon, Caviar & Cream at Liberty Kitchen
Written by Dani Barrow, a local Austin enthusiast.
With so many new food trucks popping up, it’s hard to know which are worthy of your appetite. Our friends at Austin Passbook are food truck experts, and they’ve gone out and tried many of the new trucks (there are so many!) and created a quick list of 5 you must try. If they’ve missed some great ones, let us know your new favorites in the comments below.
1. 40 North – The pizzas here are neapolitan style. With their handmade mozzarella, wood fired brick oven, and the perfect balance of chew, crunch, and airiness to their crust, you’re going to love these pies.
2. Uncle Bob’s BBQ – Thomas Claybar and Shawn Jackson are one of the newest BBQ trucks in town, and they’re doing it right. They’ve got a lot of BBQ options with Pork, Beef Brisket and Sausages smoked daily.
3. Boteco ATX – Brazilian born owner Fernando Marri brings some authentic flavors to their new truck. Some of the ingredients can’t even be found in Austin. Grab some authentic food here and watch a soccer game on their truck mounted TV.
4. Bistro Vonish – Owner and Chef Craig Vanis has created a new experience with this truck offering high-end vegan delights. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’ll find something to love on the ever changing menu.
5. TLocs Sonora Hot Dogs – Simply calling these creations hot dogs don’t do them justice. These Sonora Dogs, artfully crafted by owner Miguel Kaiser, are a guilty pleasure.
If you’d like to try these food trucks as well as 23 others, check out the Austin Passbook. It offers 2-for-1 deals on some of the best items at 28 of Austin’s best trucks. If you’re lucky, you can pick one up for only $15 during the pre-sale on the Summer edition until May 15th. Check it out here.
I have always been one to live by the terms, “Go Big or Go Home” and the same stays true whenever I decide to have an unhealthy eating day. While I am all for eating healthy and being active, every now and then it is good to just throw caution to the wind and indulge. If you are going to eat bad, might as well do it right. I hope you enjoy the many delicious stops along this list as you defy dieting.
25. Chicken & Waffles at 24 Diner
Chicken & Waffles
Photo Credit: 24 Diner Facebook Page
24. The Don Juan at Juan In A Million
23. The Monte Cristo at Hey You Gonna Eat or What?
22. The Goodnight at Hopdoddy Burger Bar
21. Cookies & Cream Shake at Alamo Drafthouse
20. Bacon Chicken Sandwich at The Jalopy
Photo Credit: Jalopy Facebook Page
19. Cheesy Garlic Bread at Mercury Pizza – CLOSED
Cheesy Garlic Bread
18. The Stuffed Avocado at Trudy’s
17. Breakfast Frito Pie at Lamberts
16. “World Famous” Glazed Round Rock Donut at Round Rock Donuts
“World Famous” Glazed Round Rock Donut
Photo Credit: Round Rock Donuts Facebook Page
15. American Fries at Banger’s
14. Trailer Park “Trashy” at Torchy’s Tacos
Trailer Park “Trashy”
Photo Credit: Torchy’s Taco Facebook Page
13. Chopped Beef Sandwich with Habanero Sauce at The Salt Lick
12. Korean Pork Burger with Fried Egg & the Beef Kimchi Spicy Fries at Chi’Lantro
Photo Credit: Chi’Lantro Website
11. The Bully at Short Bus Subs
10. JapaJam with Side of Bacon Jam Fries at The Peached Tortilla
Photo Credit: Bonnie Berry Photography
9. The Carnivore Pizza at Via 313
8. Marconi & Cheese at Hoover’s
7. S’mores Bar at Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop
6. Brunch Buffet at Moonshine
5. Blackened Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos at Turf ‘N Surf Po-Boy
Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos
4. 2 Meat Plate at Franklin BBQ
Photo Credit: Franklin BBQ Website
3. Migas with Fajita Meat Cisco’s
2. Double Grind Burger at Bacon Austin
1. Gourdough’s in any way, shape or form.
Mardi Gras Donut
If you’re feeling bad but not wanting to completely blow all your hard work here are few lesser of the evils as along as they are enjoyed in moderation.