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How to Spend a Day in South Austin

A Story By

South Austin is a hotspot for those wanting a “taste of old Austin” mixed with new, modern digs. Here you’ll find quaint houses, old and new eateries, and lots of scenery to enjoy.

With so much to explore, we want to help you create an itinerary for a fantastic day in South Austin. Below you’ll find some of our recommendations for meals and activities that we guarantee you’ll love!

No day can truly start without a delicious cup of coffee! Stop at one of Austin’s most iconic coffee shops, Jo’s Coffee, for some caffeine and a cute picture in front of the famous “I love you so much” mural. 


📍 1300 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Brunch in style at Café No Se, a sunny, all day café located in the South Congress Hotel. Sit in the chic, rustic-modern space while enjoying a delicious bite from their beloved seasonal menus to kick start your day!

🗓FRI & SAT | 7AM–9PM

📍1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

This spot has served the Austin area since 1979 and South Congress since 1988, making it a must visit for Austinites and visitors alike. Magnolia Cafe is well known for its omelettes and other tasty breakfast dishes, so stop in to fuel your body for the fun day ahead!


📍1920 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

No day in South Austin is complete without tacos! Try El Chilito for breakfast or lunch tacos (you can’t go wrong either way) and enjoy them on the funky patio picnic tables to enjoy the gorgeous Austin sun as you dine.


📍4501 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78745

Our last, but certainly not least, breakfast recommendation is Phoebe’s Diner, an adorable 50’s-style diner serving American classics with a twist! This is a neighborhood staple and caters to both the breakfast and the brunch crowds.


📍533 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704

For a relaxing, slow lunch or snack, check out Easy Tiger Bake Shop & Beer Garden. This spot features artisan bread, locally roasted coffee, housemade meats, a full bar, and more than 30 local and boutique draft beers. Plus, it’s in a beautiful spot along the Barton Creek Greenbelt, so you can dine with a view!

🗓FRI & SAT | 7AM–12AM

📍3508 S Lamar Blvd Suite 200, Austin, TX 78704

Now that you’ve got some fuel in your system, it’s time for some adventure. Hop on over from Easy Tiger to Barton Creek Greenbelt for hiking, mountain biking, or swimming.  With 12.68 miles of gorgeous trails and the main trail spanning about 7 miles, there’s plenty of nature to enjoy!


📍 3755 S Capital of Texas Hwy B, Austin, TX 78704

Nearly 1.5 million bats live at the Congress Avenue Bridge, and this spot is well worth the visit. People from all over the world come here to watch the bats, making it one of the most visited and beloved Austin attractions! It’s also a great spot for a photo op. 

🗓OPEN 24/7

📍Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Show all your Instagram followers how much fun you’re having in South Austin by snagging a pic in front of the Greetings from Austin Mural! This gorgeous mural serves as a virtual postcard and is the perfect backdrop for your next Insta post. 

🗓OPEN 24/7

📍1720 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704

After exploring, we know you’ll be hungry, and what better way to satisfy your cravings than a classic hamburger? Dan’s Hamburgers has been an Austin tradition since 1973 and is still family-owned and operated! With tasty burgers and a retro interior, you’ll quickly fall in love with this spot.

🗓SUN | 6AM–5PM

📍4308 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78704

Another great dinner option is Odd Duck, an upscale eatery with New American bites and drinks in a contemporary setting. Serving innovative dishes using only locally sourced goods, this spot is perfect for a more high-end dining choice!

🗓MON–THU | 5PM–8:30PM
🗓FRI | 5PM–9:30
🗓SAT | 11AM–9:30
🗓SUN | 11AM–8:30

📍1201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

This Chicago import has become a favorite in South Austin for its authentic and delicious Mediterranean dishes and drinks. Stop in to Aba Austin for dinner for a nutritious, flavorful meal to top off your incredible day!

🗓MON–THU | 11AM–10PM
🗓FRI | 11AM–11PM
🗓SAT | 10AM–11PM
🗓SUN | 10AM–9PM

📍1011 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Grab a drink after dinner at Waterloo Ice House, a casual neighborhood gathering spot for business people, students, artists, and musicians alike! Order a beer and gather with friends and family as the night winds down.

🗓 THU–SAT | 8AM–10PM

📍9600 S IH 35 Frontage Rd, Austin, TX 78748

There’s nothing like unwinding outside with a fire pit, a drink, and all your friends after a long day exploring the city! Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden is a great evening hang out spot featuring food trucks, craft cocktails, local beers, specialty coffee, and live music in a garden setting. 

🗓EVERY DAY | 8AM–10:30PM

📍121 Pickle Rd. Austin, Tx 78704

There is no shortage of dog-friendly outdoor patio spaces in South Austin, and we are absolutely here for it! Try South Austin Beer Garden for a 3,000 square-foot deck featuring outdoor games and seating, plus another outdoor area with fire pits and live music. 


📍10700 Menchaca Rd, Austin, TX 78748

More Stuff to Do in South Austin

You’re all set to have one of the best days in South Austin! Be sure to follow us on InstagramFacebook, and TikTok and tag us in your photos @StuffToDoInAustin so we can see all the fun you have! 

For more stuff to do around the city, check out the Stuff to Do in Austin City Guide page and let us know what you want to see next! Make sure to enter your info above to subscribe for more Austin content.

Abby Hopkins

Abby Hopkins

Abby is a blogger for UNATION and author of the Stuff to Do in Austin City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do in the Austin area, download the UNATION app and follow @StufftoDoinAustin on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok.

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