Veronica Meewes

Correspondent

  • Austin, Texas, USA

Veronica Meewes is a correspondent who lives in Austin and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. Meewes is a freelance writer specializing in travel, lifestyle, and food and beverage. She studied writing, art and sociology at Sarah Lawrence College in New York before traveling the country and landing in the sunny live music capital of the world, where the smell of brisket wafts through the air and breakfast tacos grow on trees. She has written for Serious Eats, Food & Wine, The Today Show, The Austin-American Statesman, CultureMap Austin, Edible Austin, Austin Lifestyle and more. For updates and links to her work, follow Meewes on Twitter (@wellfedlife) or visit her blog, www.mywellfedlife.com.

  • On November 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    Where is The Driskill Hotel located?

    The Driskill Hotel is located at East Sixth and Brazos streets. It couldn’t be more in the center of the action, with colorful Sixth stretching east and westward, the Texas State Capitol and historic Paramount Theater mere blocks away, beautiful Lady Bird Lake and the hike and bike trail nearby, and the Convention Center conveniently situated as well.

    Six blocks south and one block west of the hotel is the Congress Avenue Bridge, where tourists flock to watch Austin’s famous Mexican bats make their nightly voyage at dusk. Cross the bridge and continue up the hill to find the South Congress district, which is filled with shops, artisan vendors, restaurants, live music and some of the best people-watching in town. Live music can also be found at nearby Cedar Street Courtyard, a spot known for its outdoor performances, The Elephant Room, an underground jazz hangout, and Austin City Limits at the Moody Theatre, a venue renowned for its fantastic sound system and sold-out shows with nationally recognized acts.
  • On November 20, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    Where is The Driskill Hotel located?

    The Driskill Hotel is located at East Sixth and Brazos streets. It couldn’t be more in the center of the action, with colorful Sixth stretching east and westward, the Texas State Capitol and historic Paramount Theater mere blocks away, beautiful Lady Bird Lake and the hike and bike trail nearby, and the Convention Center conveniently situated as well.

    Six blocks south and one block west of the hotel is the Congress Avenue Bridge, where tourists flock to watch Austin’s famous Mexican bats make their nightly voyage at dusk. Cross the bridge and continue up the hill to find the South Congress district, which is filled with shops, artisan vendors, restaurants, live music and some of the best people-watching in town. Live music can also be found at nearby Cedar Street Courtyard, a spot known for its outdoor performances, The Elephant Room, an underground jazz hangout, and Austin City Limits at the Moody Theatre, a venue renowned for its fantastic sound system and sold-out shows with nationally recognized acts.
  • On August 5, 2013
    Kim Atkinson is now following Veronica Meewes
  • On July 2, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best restaurants in Austin?

    In the past five years, it is safe to say Austin has risen to culinary mecca status.  While we unfortunately don’t have all the thriving ethnic neighborhoods of some larger cities (think Thai Town, Little India, Japantown, Little Korea, etc), our cuisine is diversifying with each new establishment that opens its doors. These days, dining experiences are more fun, educational, and interactive than ever, and we’re seeing a lot of international inspiration brought to the table by young, creative chefs.

    Here, I’ve rounded up twenty wonderful places around town for fine dining. There are certainly many more where these came from, and many more on the way. One thing’s for sure: it’s a great time to be hungry in Austin, Texas.

    Uchi put Austin on the culinary map when it opened in 2003, thanks to the imaginative Japanese culinary stylings of Chef Tyson Cole. To say they make “sushi” is an understatement-- Uchi and its sister restaurant Uchiko (below) are pretty much in a category of their own.

    Uchiko opened in the summer of 2010 and Cole won a James Beard for Best Chef in the Southwest later that year. This location has more of a focus on small cold and warm tasting plates, each one just as artfully brilliant as the next.

    Choose from a three-course prix fixe or seven-course tasting menu in the elegant-yet-inviting dining room of Congress, where Chef David Bull elevates local ingredients by using global influence, culinary intuition, and unpretentious precision. There is no doubt he deserves every accolade he has earned.

    Experience Chef Rene Ortiz’s take on Mexican street food in the equally vivid, playful dining room of La Condesa. Save room for dessert, because pastry chef Laura Sawicki conjures up some of the most imaginative sweets in town.

    Sway is Ortiz's sophomore venture: boldly flavored modern Thai served at mostly communal tables in a hip, rustic-industrial setting. Don’t miss the housemade kombucha and drinking vinegars, sorbets, ice creams and Sawick's other inventive dessert creations.

    Barleyswine, Chef Bryce Gilmore’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant, opened in 2010 with a focus on small plates, craft beer, and farm-to-table ethos. Seating is communal inside this cozy gastropub, which exudes farmhouse chic (and will provide a tiny spatula, if requested, to scrap your plate bone dry).

    Jeffrey’s is an Austin institution that was recently taken over by restauranteur Larry McGuire, who renovated both the timeless menu and the interior. Guests can sip classic cocktails on blue velvet cushions, dine on dry-aged steaks, and make selections from a pastry cart at brunch and decadent cheese and martini carts for dinner.

    qui, the latest and most highly anticipated culinary venture from Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui, recently opened on Austin’s eastside. The sun-soaked wooden interior features a spacious open kitchen, tasting room, and subtle splashes of brightness from colored glass and customized aprons. Qui’s cuisine, served on handmade pottery and reclaimed wood platters, is every bit as inspired, thoughtful, and beautiful as expected.

    Olivia’s chef-owner James Holmes takes pride in sourcing from local farmers, foragers and ranchers, hosting nose-to-tail dinners, and keeping chickens in the backyard of his modern-rustic establishment. On Sundays, they serve a brunch fit for (farm-to-table) kings.

    Perla’s nautical interior and spacious patio overlook a bustling section of South Congress, yet it feels like the classiest of oceanside boardwalks when you’re ordering off their extensive menu of sea treasures, both local and sourced from afar.

    Trace is the only W Hotel restaurant with a forager on staff to ensure the best local, seasonal ingredients are sourced.  Their patio is the ideal setting for their decadent brunch, while the candlelit ambiance of the sleek dining room fits their dinner menu, which is heavy on housemade charcuterie, steaks, and wild game.

    Lenoir’s chef Todd Duplechan uses French technique to prepare fresh and flavorful cuisine, drawing on inspiration from “warm weather” areas of the world, and using mostly locally sourced ingredients. The interior’s intimate, artful atmosphere comes from heirloom lace drapes and reclaimed wood accents.

    Hidden within UT’s AT&T Conference Center is The Carillon, a white tableclothed gem serving reimagined American classics in a refined setting. Service is impeccably attentive, the wine program is strong, and dishes are available a la cart, prixe fixe, or as a part of a chef’s tasting menu.

    True to its name, a set of stairs leads to the ethereal interior of Swift’s Attic, where Chef Mat Clouser and his team clearly know how to have a good time. The dinner menu is split into “snack-ums,” “vegemables,” “snort, soar, and scratch,” and “sweet toofs,” and includes surprises like charred edameme with chili oil and pop rocks, and “popcorn and a movie” interpreted as dessert.

    Chef Shawn Cirkiel serves upscale regional Italian cuisine on the rustic farmhouse tables inside and under the shade of a majestic live oak outside Olive and June. Highlights include handrolled pasta, entrees grilled on Texas oak, and an extensive list of aperitifs and digestifs, such as housemade limoncello.

    Run by veterans from Uchi and Uchiko, SPIN Thai delivers a fresh take on Thai-inspired dishes in quite an unexpected environment. A bit off the beaten downtown path, SPIN’s creations are modern, piquant, and beautifully plated.

    Recently opened Mettle is the “Rainey Street Queen” Bridget Dunlap’s first eastside restaurant venture. Chef Andrew Francisco's very original dishes take inspiration from around the globe, while glass and metal sculptures give the dining room a haute industrial feel that is at once spacious and inviting.

    For 64 years, Green Pastures has been serving elegant regional cuisine on a Victorian estate, surrounded by live oaks and strolling peacocks. Though the menu is largely elevated surf and turf, they have several vegetarian options as well- -and one of the most lavish brunches in town.

    Fino consistently delivers upscale, modern Mediterranean cuisine in the form of tapas, larger entrees, shareable pans of paella, and inspired desserts and cocktails. The service is just as notable as the food and, if the weather is right, the covered patio and lounge is the place to be.

    Chef Ned Elliot takes farmhouse fare to a new level with nose-to-tail, garden-fresh creations at Foreign & Domestic. While all the seats in the small, bustling dining room are coveted, the best in the house are at the bar facing the open kitchen. Pastry chef Jody Elliot sells some of the best baked goods in town at her Saturday Bake Sale pop-ups.

  • On July 2, 2013
    Veronica Meewes is now following the question:
  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best restaurants in Austin?

    In the past five years, it is safe to say Austin has risen to culinary mecca status.  While we unfortunately don’t have all the thriving ethnic neighborhoods of some larger cities (think Thai Town, Little India, Japantown, Little Korea, etc), our cuisine is diversifying with each new establishment that opens its doors. These days, dining experiences are more fun, educational, and interactive than ever, and we’re seeing a lot of international inspiration brought to the table by young, creative chefs.

    Here, I’ve rounded up twenty wonderful places around town for fine dining. There are certainly many more where these came from, and many more on the way. One thing’s for sure: it’s a great time to be hungry in Austin, Texas.

    Uchi put Austin on the culinary map when it opened in 2003, thanks to the imaginative Japanese culinary stylings of Chef Tyson Cole. To say they make “sushi” is an understatement-- Uchi and its sister restaurant Uchiko (below) are pretty much in a category of their own.

    Uchiko opened in the summer of 2010 and Cole won a James Beard for Best Chef in the Southwest later that year. This location has more of a focus on small cold and warm tasting plates, each one just as artfully brilliant as the next.

    Choose from a three-course prix fixe or seven-course tasting menu in the elegant-yet-inviting dining room of Congress, where Chef David Bull elevates local ingredients by using global influence, culinary intuition, and unpretentious precision. There is no doubt he deserves every accolade he has earned.

    Experience Chef Rene Ortiz’s take on Mexican street food in the equally vivid, playful dining room of La Condesa. Save room for dessert, because pastry chef Laura Sawicki conjures up some of the most imaginative sweets in town.

    Sway is Ortiz's sophomore venture: boldly flavored modern Thai served at mostly communal tables in a hip, rustic-industrial setting. Don’t miss the housemade kombucha and drinking vinegars, sorbets, ice creams and Sawick's other inventive dessert creations.

    Barleyswine, Chef Bryce Gilmore’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant, opened in 2010 with a focus on small plates, craft beer, and farm-to-table ethos. Seating is communal inside this cozy gastropub, which exudes farmhouse chic (and will provide a tiny spatula, if requested, to scrap your plate bone dry).

    Jeffrey’s is an Austin institution that was recently taken over by restauranteur Larry McGuire, who renovated both the timeless menu and the interior. Guests can sip classic cocktails on blue velvet cushions, dine on dry-aged steaks, and make selections from a pastry cart at brunch and decadent cheese and martini carts for dinner.

    qui, the latest and most highly anticipated culinary venture from Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui, recently opened on Austin’s eastside. The sun-soaked wooden interior features a spacious open kitchen, tasting room, and subtle splashes of brightness from colored glass and customized aprons. Qui’s cuisine, served on handmade pottery and reclaimed wood platters, is every bit as inspired, thoughtful, and beautiful as expected.

    Olivia’s chef-owner James Holmes takes pride in sourcing from local farmers, foragers and ranchers, hosting nose-to-tail dinners, and keeping chickens in the backyard of his modern-rustic establishment. On Sundays, they serve a brunch fit for (farm-to-table) kings.

    Perla’s nautical interior and spacious patio overlook a bustling section of South Congress, yet it feels like the classiest of oceanside boardwalks when you’re ordering off their extensive menu of sea treasures, both local and sourced from afar.

    Trace is the only W Hotel restaurant with a forager on staff to ensure the best local, seasonal ingredients are sourced.  Their patio is the ideal setting for their decadent brunch, while the candlelit ambiance of the sleek dining room fits their dinner menu, which is heavy on housemade charcuterie, steaks, and wild game.

    Lenoir’s chef Todd Duplechan uses French technique to prepare fresh and flavorful cuisine, drawing on inspiration from “warm weather” areas of the world, and using mostly locally sourced ingredients. The interior’s intimate, artful atmosphere comes from heirloom lace drapes and reclaimed wood accents.

    Hidden within UT’s AT&T Conference Center is The Carillon, a white tableclothed gem serving reimagined American classics in a refined setting. Service is impeccably attentive, the wine program is strong, and dishes are available a la cart, prixe fixe, or as a part of a chef’s tasting menu.

    True to its name, a set of stairs leads to the ethereal interior of Swift’s Attic, where the Chef Mat Clouser and his team clearly know how to have a good time. The dinner menu is split into “snack-ums,” “vegemables,” “snort, soar, and scratch,” and “sweet toofs,” and includes surprises like charred edameme with chili oil and pop rocks, and “popcorn and a movie” interpreted as dessert.

    Chef Shawn Cirkiel serves upscale regional Italian cuisine on the rustic farmhouse tables inside and under the shade of a majestic live oak outside Olive and June. Highlights include handrolled pasta, entrees grilled on Texas oak, and an extensive list of aperitifs and digestifs, such as housemade limoncello.

    Run by veterans from Uchi and Uchiko, SPIN Thai delivers a fresh take on Thai-inspired dishes in quite an unexpected environment. A bit off the beaten downtown path, SPIN’s creations are modern, piquant, and beautifully plated.

    Recently opened Mettle is the “Rainey Street Queen” Bridget Dunlap’s first eastside restaurant venture. Chef Andrew Francisco's very original dishes take inspiration from around the globe, while glass and metal sculptures give the dining room a haute industrial feel that is at once spacious and inviting.

    For 64 years, Green Pastures has been serving elegant regional cuisine on a Victorian estate, surrounded by live oaks and strolling peacocks. Though the menu is largely elevated surf and turf, they have several vegetarian options as well- -and one of the most lavish brunches in town.

    Fino consistently delivers upscale, modern Mediterranean cuisine in the form of tapas, larger entrees, shareable pans of paella, and inspired desserts and cocktails. The service is just as notable as the food and, if the weather is right, the covered patio and lounge is the place to be.

    Chef Ned Elliot takes farmhouse fare to a new level with nose-to-tail, garden-fresh creations at Foreign & Domestic. While all the seats in the small, bustling dining room are coveted, the best in the house are at the bar facing the open kitchen. Pastry chef Jody Elliot sells some of the best baked goods in town at her Saturday Bake Sale pop-ups.

  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best restaurants in Austin?

    In the past five years, it is safe to say Austin has risen to culinary mecca status.  While we unfortunately don’t have all the thriving ethnic neighborhoods of some larger cities (think Thai Town, Little India, Japantown, Little Korea, etc), our cuisine is diversifying with each new establishment that opens its doors. These days, dining experiences are more fun, educational, and interactive than ever, and we’re seeing a lot of international inspiration brought to the table by young, creative chefs.

    Here, I’ve rounded up twenty wonderful places around town for fine dining. There are certainly many more where these came from, and many more on the way. One thing’s for sure: it’s a great time to be hungry in Austin, Texas.

    Uchi put Austin on the culinary map when it opened in 2003, thanks to the imaginative Japanese culinary stylings of Chef Tyson Cole. To say they make “sushi” is an understatement-- Uchi and its sister restaurant Uchiko (below) are pretty much in a category of their own.

    Uchiko opened in the summer of 2010 and Cole won a James Beard for Best Chef in the Southwest later that year. This location has more of a focus on small cold and warm tasting plates, each one just as artfully brilliant as the next.

    Choose from a three-course prix fixe or seven-course tasting menu in the elegant-yet-inviting dining room of Congress, where Chef David Bull elevates local ingredients by using global influence, culinary intuition, and unpretentious precision. There is no doubt he deserves every accolade he has earned.

    Experience Chef Rene Ortiz’s take on Mexican street food in the equally vivid, playful dining room of La Condesa. Save room for dessert, because pastry chef Laura Sawicki conjures up some of the most imaginative sweets in town.

    Sway is Ortiz's sophomore venture: boldly flavored modern Thai served at mostly communal tables in a hip, rustic-industrial setting. Don’t miss the housemade kombucha and drinking vinegars, sorbets, ice creams and Sawick's other inventive dessert creations.

    Barleyswine, Chef Bryce Gilmore’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant, opened in 2010 with a focus on small plates, craft beer, and farm-to-table ethos. Seating is communal inside this cozy gastropub, which exudes farmhouse chic (and will provide a tiny spatula, if requested, to scrap your plate bone dry).

    Jeffrey’s is an Austin institution that was recently taken over by restauranteur Larry McGuire, who renovated both the timeless menu and the interior. Guests can sip classic cocktails on blue velvet cushions, dine on dry-aged steaks, and make selections from a pastry cart at brunch and decadent cheese and martini carts for dinner.

    qui, the latest and most highly anticipated culinary venture from Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui, recently opened on Austin’s eastside. The sun-soaked wooden interior features a spacious open kitchen, tasting room, and subtle splashes of brightness from colored glass and customized aprons. Qui’s cuisine, served on handmade pottery and reclaimed wood platters, is every bit as inspired, thoughtful, and beautiful as expected.

    Olivia’s chef-owner James Holmes takes pride in sourcing from local farmers, foragers and ranchers, hosting nose-to-tail dinners, and keeping chickens in the backyard of his modern-rustic establishment. On Sundays, they serve a brunch fit for (farm-to-table) kings.

    Perla’s nautical interior and spacious patio overlook a bustling section of South Congress, yet it feels like the classiest of oceanside boardwalks when you’re ordering off their extensive menu of sea treasures, both local and sourced from afar.

    Trace is the only W Hotel restaurant with a forager on staff to ensure the best local, seasonal ingredients are sourced.  Their patio is the ideal setting for their decadent, while the candlelit ambiance of the sleek dining room fits their dinner menu, which is heavy on housemade charcuterie, steaks, and wild game.

    Lenoir’s chef Todd Duplechan uses French technique to prepare fresh and flavorful cuisine, drawing on inspiration from “warm weather” areas of the world, and using mostly locally sourced ingredients. The interior’s intimate, artful atmosphere comes from heirloom lace drapes and reclaimed wood accents.

    Hidden within UT’s AT&T Conference Center is The Carillon, a white tableclothed gem serving reimagined American classics in a refined setting. Service is impeccably attentive, the wine program is strong, and dishes are available a la cart, prixe fixe, or as a part of a chef’s tasting menu.

    True to its name, a set of stairs leads to the ethereal interior of Swift’s Attic, where the Chef Mat Clouser and his team clearly know how to have a good time. The dinner menu is split into “snack-ums,” “vegemables,” “snort, soar, and scratch,” and “sweet toofs,” and includes surprises like charred edameme with chili oil and pop rocks, and “popcorn and a movie” interpreted as dessert.

    Chef Shawn Cirkiel serves upscale regional Italian cuisine on the rustic farmhouse tables inside and under the shade of a majestic live oak outside Olive and June. Highlights include handrolled pasta, entrees grilled on Texas oak, and an extensive list of aperitifs and digestifs, such as housemade limoncello.

    Run by veterans from Uchi and Uchiko, SPIN Thai delivers a fresh take on Thai-inspired dishes in quite an unexpected environment. A bit off the beaten downtown path, SPIN’s creations are modern, piquant, and beautifully plated.

    Recently opened Mettle is the “Rainey Street Queen” Bridget Dunlap’s first eastside restaurant venture. Chef Andrew Francisco's very original dishes take inspiration from around the globe, while glass and metal sculptures give the dining room a haute industrial feel that is at once spacious and inviting.

    For 64 years, Green Pastures has been serving elegant regional cuisine on a Victorian estate, surrounded by live oaks and strolling peacocks. Though the menu is largely elevated surf and turf, they have several vegetarian options as well- -and one of the most lavish brunches in town.

    Fino consistently delivers upscale, modern Mediterranean cuisine in the form of tapas, larger entrees, shareable pans of paella, and inspired desserts and cocktails. The service is just as notable as the food and, if the weather is right, the covered patio and lounge is the place to be.

    Chef Ned Elliot takes farmhouse fare to a new level with nose-to-tail, garden-fresh creations at Foreign & Domestic. While all the seats in the small, bustling dining room are coveted, the best in the house are at the bar facing the open kitchen. Pastry chef Jody Elliot sells some of the best baked goods in town at her Saturday Bake Sale pop-ups.

  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best restaurants in Austin?

    In the past five years, it is safe to say Austin has risen to culinary mecca status.  While we unfortunately don’t have all the thriving ethnic neighborhoods of some larger cities (think Thai Town, Little India, Japantown, Little Korea, etc), our cuisine is diversifying with each new establishment that opens its doors. These days, dining experiences are more fun, educational, and interactive than ever, and we’re seeing a lot of international inspiration brought to the table by young, creative chefs.

    Here, I’ve rounded up some wonderful places around town for fine dining. There are certainly many more where these came from, and many more on the way. One thing’s for sure: it’s a great time to be hungry in Austin, Texas.

    Uchi put Austin on the culinary map when it opened in 2003, thanks to the imaginative Japanese culinary stylings of Chef Tyson Cole. To say they make “sushi” is an understatement-- Uchi and its sister restaurant Uchiko (below) are pretty much in a category of their own.

    Uchiko opened in the summer of 2010 and Cole won a James Beard for Best Chef in the Southwest later that year. This location has more of a focus on small cold and warm tasting plates, each one just as artfully brilliant as the next.

    Choose from a three-course prix fixe or seven-course tasting menu in the elegant-yet-inviting dining room of Congress, where Chef David Bull elevates local ingredients by using global influence, culinary intuition, and unpretentious precision. There is no doubt he deserves every accolade he has earned.

    Experience Chef Rene Ortiz’s take on Mexican street food in the equally vivid, playful dining room of La Condesa. Save room for dessert, because pastry chef Laura Sawicki conjures up some of the most imaginative sweets in town.

    Sway is Ortiz's sophomore venture: boldly flavored modern Thai served at mostly communal tables in a hip, rustic-industrial setting. Don’t miss the housemade kombucha and drinking vinegars, sorbets, ice creams and Sawick's other inventive dessert creations.

    Barleyswine, Chef Bryce Gilmore’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant, opened in 2010 with a focus on small plates, craft beer, and farm-to-table ethos. Seating is communal inside this cozy gastropub, which exudes farmhouse chic (and will provide a tiny spatula, if requested, to scrap your plate bone dry).

    Jeffrey’s is an Austin institution that was recently taken over by restauranteur Larry McGuire, who renovated both the timeless menu and the interior. Guests can sip classic cocktails on blue velvet cushions, dine on dry-aged steaks, and make selections from a pastry cart at brunch and decadent cheese and martini carts for dinner.

    qui, the latest and most highly anticipated culinary venture from Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui, recently opened on Austin’s eastside. The sun-soaked wooden interior features a spacious open kitchen, tasting room, and subtle splashes of brightness from colored glass and customized aprons. Qui’s cuisine, served on handmade pottery and reclaimed wood platters, is every bit as inspired, thoughtful, and beautiful as expected.

    Olivia’s chef-owner James Holmes takes pride in sourcing from local farmers, foragers and ranchers, hosting nose-to-tail dinners, and keeping chickens in the backyard of his modern-rustic establishment. On Sundays, they serve a brunch fit for (farm-to-table) kings.

    Perla’s nautical interior and spacious patio overlook a bustling section of South Congress, yet it feels like the classiest of oceanside boardwalks when you’re ordering off their extensive menu of sea treasures, both local and sourced from afar.

    Trace is the only W Hotel restaurant with a forager on staff to ensure the best local, seasonal ingredients are sourced.  Their patio is the ideal setting for their decadent, while the candlelit ambiance of the sleek dining room fits their dinner menu, which is heavy on housemade charcuterie, steaks, and wild game.

    Lenoir’s chef Todd Duplechan uses French technique to prepare fresh and flavorful cuisine, drawing on inspiration from “warm weather” areas of the world, and using mostly locally sourced ingredients. The interior’s intimate, artful atmosphere comes from heirloom lace drapes and reclaimed wood accents.

    Hidden within UT’s AT&T Conference Center is The Carillon, a white tableclothed gem serving reimagined American classics in a refined setting. Service is impeccably attentive, the wine program is strong, and dishes are available a la cart, prixe fixe, or as a part of a chef’s tasting menu.

    Run by veterans from Uchi and Uchiko, SPIN Thai delivers a fresh take on Thai-inspired dishes in quite an unexpected environment. A bit off the beaten downtown path, SPIN’s creations are modern, piquant, and beautifully plated.

    Recently opened Mettle is the “Rainey Street Queen” Bridget Dunlap’s first eastside restaurant venture. Chef Andrew Francisco's very original dishes take inspiration from around the globe, while glass and metal sculptures give the dining room a haute industrial feel that is at once spacious and inviting.

    For 64 years, Green Pastures has been serving elegant regional cuisine on a Victorian estate, surrounded by live oaks and strolling peacocks. Though the menu is largely elevated surf and turf, they have several vegetarian options as well- -and one of the most lavish brunches in town.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are quirky local customs in Austin?

    Austin has several quirky customs that continue year after year.

    The first that comes to mind occurs every Sunday at Ginny’s Little Longhorn on Burnet Road. Folks line up for a raffle ticket with a number so that they can drink Lone Star, two step to country music, and snack on chili dogs until a chicken relieves itself on the lucky winner’s number.  Ah, Texas!

    Every spring, throngs of people gather in Pease Park to celebrate Euyore’s birthday with body paint, bongo drums, and beads. In case you were wondering, this is in fact a family-friendly event.. and proceeds do go to charity!

    Around Easter every year, there is a pet costume parade down South Congress to benefit Austin Pets Alive, an animal rescue group. One recent theme was drag in honor of Leslie Cochran, a local legacy known for baring it all around town.

    Despite its status as an unofficial city landmark, the Cathedral of Junk owners have gone through somewhat of a struggle with city permits in recent years. Now that the issue has been resolved, they’ve opened back up to to public and are just as junky as ever!

    In late March, the Honk!TX Festival celebrates street bands with various performances and parades all throughout the city.

    On any given night, you might encounter a sea of blinkie lights as a massive group of bikers whiz by. In addition to large group rides organized by Critical Mass and the Thursday Night Social Riders, smaller groups are constantly congregating for spontaneous social rides which usually end at eastside bars.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are quirky local customs in Austin?

    Austin has several quirky customs that continue year after year.

    The first that comes to mind occurs every Sunday at Ginny’s Little Longhorn on Burnet Road. Folks line up for a raffle ticket with a number so that they can drink Lone Star, two step to country music, and snack on chili dogs until a chicken relieves itself on the lucky winner’s number.  Ah, Texas!

    Every spring, throngs of people gather in Pease Park to celebrate Euyore’s birthday with body paint, bongo drums, and beads. In case you were wondering, this is in fact a family-friendly event.. and proceeds do go to charity!

    Around Easter every year, there is a pet costume parade down South Congress to benefit Austin Pets Alive, an animal rescue group. One recent theme was drag in honor of Leslie Cochran, a local legacy known for baring it all around town.

    Despite its status as an unofficial city landmark, the Cathedral of Junk owners have gone through somewhat of a struggle with city permits in recent years. Now that the issue has been resolved, they’ve opened back up to to public and are just as junky as ever!

    In late March, the Honk!TX Festival celebrates street bands with various performances and parades all throughout the city.

    On any given night, you might encounter a sea of blinkie lights as a massive group of bikers whiz by. In addition to large group rides organized by Critical Mass and the Thursday Night Social Riders, smaller groups are constantly congregating for spontaneous social rides which usually end at eastside bars.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are quirky local customs in Austin?

    Austin has several quirky customs that continue year after year.

    The first that comes to mind occurs every Sunday at Ginny’s Little Longhorn on Burnet Road. Folks line up for a raffle ticket with a number so that they can drink Lone Star, two step to country music, and snack on chili dogs until a chicken relieves itself on the lucky winner’s number.  Ah, Texas!

    Every spring, throngs of people gather in Pease Park to celebrate Euyore’s birthday with body paint, bongo drums, and beads. In case you were wondering, this is in fact a family-friendly event.. and proceeds do go to charity!

    Around Easter every year, there is a pet costume parade down South Congress to benefit Austin Pets Alive, an animal rescue group. One recent theme was drag in honor of Leslie Cochran, a local legacy known for baring it all around town.

    Despite its status as an unofficial city landmark, the Cathedral of Junk owners have gone through somewhat of a struggle with city permits in recent years. Now that the issue has been resolved, they’ve opened back up to to public and are just as junky as ever!

    In late March, the Honk!TX Festival celebrates street bands with various performances and parades all throughout the city.

    On any given night, you might encounter a sea of blinkie lights as a massive group of bikers whiz by. Besides large group rides organized by Critical Mass and the Thursday Night Social Riders, smaller groups are constantly congregating for spontaneous social rides which usually end at eastside bars.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best neighborhoods in Austin?

    Austin has a lot of great neighborhoods, but deciding on the best ones depends what you are looking for.

    The Zilker area is where you will find the expansive Zilker Park, as well as Barton Springs, Auditorium Shores, the Ladybird Lake Hike and Bike Trail, and the Lamar Pedestrian Bridge. Also in this area is the Zach Scott Theatre, Long Center for the Performing Arts, and Palmer Events Center.

    The University of Texas campus falls between MLK and Dean Keeton and Guadalupe and IH-35. Of course, the Darrell K Royal Stadium is found on campus, as well as the famous clock tower. Many large events tour through the nearby Frank Erwin Center as well. Outside of that, this section of Guadalupe is known as “the Drag” and home to college-student fare, bookstores, and various shops.

    Hyde Park is a neighborhood just north of campus, filled with a mix of beautiful, historic houses and student apartment housing. It’s almost entirely residential, but great to drive, stroll, or bike through just to admire the homes.

    North Loop is just north of Hyde Park and, while it’s also mostly residential, it circles around North Loop Boulevard. Once a funky, colorful strip of retro shops, several great bars, restaurants, and food trailers have now made North Loop a destination for food and drink as well.

    Cherrywood is adjacent to Hyde Park but east of IH-35. This is another adorable residential neighborhood, consisting almost entirely of houses built in the 1940’s through 1960’s. The tree-lined streets make for a nice bike ride and nearby Cherrywood Coffeehouse is always welcoming.

    “The Eastside” vaguel refers to the central east area of Austin from the river up to about Manor (north of Manor becomes Cherrywood). The eastside has become rather “hip” in the last several years and, while affordable housing does still exist, prices continue to rise as bungalows are torn down to build modern, renovated houses. You will find bars and restaurants a-plenty on Manor and East 5th and 6th Streets (and their cross streets). Art studios are also rampant throughout the eastside and open their doors annually for the East Austin Studio Tour.

    Though most of downtown really lights up when the sun goes down, the Museum of the Weird and the Austin Museum of Art are centrally located, as well as the Warehouse district, which is a great area for shopping.

    Follow Congress Avenue from the Capitol, south of the river, and you will land in the South Congress district, which is always bustling with shoppers, diners, and people-watchers. Soco is surrounded by Travis Heights, which is a beautiful and exclusive neighborhood.

    Bouldin Creek is an eclectic neighborhood that still has a lot of Austin flavor, though housing prices have skyrocketed phenomenally in the past several years. South 1st, once home to 24 hour Mexican bakeries and hippie coffeeshops, is now peppered with high end restaurants and boutiques.

    Clarksville and Tarrytown are also very exclusive neighborhoods, though they maintain some old school Austin charm. Oyster Landing Marina on Lake Austin Boulevard, you will find several places to dine overlooking Lake Austin.
  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What is the best way to see Austin in one day?

    If you had only one day to see Austin, this is how I would suggest you spend it:

    Wake early and treat yourself to breakfast tacos at either Torchy’s Tacos, TacoDeli, or Tacos Veracruz on Cesar Chavez. Not only are breakfast tacos something you can’t leave Austin without having, but these will give you sustenance to power through the rest of your jam-packed day (well, until lunch).

    From here, it’s a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure. There are always plenty of Segway tour groups zipping around town and the Land and Lake Duck Adventures tour takes you on an amphibious tour of downtown and Lake Austin .  If this is your cup of tea, it could be a great way to see more of the city and learn about the history from someone whose job it is to tell you about it.  (But be warned: the latter does, in fact, hand out duck beak noise makers for all participants to use at will. Just sayin’!)

    If you are not so much the touring type, you might opt to walk off those tacos with a self-guided tour of the Capitol, followed by a stroll down South Congress, where there are shops aplenty and great people watching. If you’re there until lunch, Hopdoddy is a great burger bar, and Perla’s has fantastic seafood. (But since you do only have one day in this scenarios, you might want to opt for Texas barbecue or Mexican food by hitting up any of the recommendations listed in this post.)

    By the afternoon, you’re going to most likely need a swim (assuming it’s warm weather season).  Barton Springs is another must-see for out-of-towners. The spring-fed canal remains a cool, constant 68 degrees and the tree-shaded hills are perfect for lounging and reading to the tune of bongos, guitars, and sometimes even a didjeridoo if you’re lucky.

    After a shower (and potentially a quick nap if you need one), it’s time to change for dinner and a glimpse of Austin nightlife. But first-- watching the world’s largest urban bat colony take flight for food is an activity that’s not to be missed! This mass bat exodus happens around sundown-- usually between 8 and 8:30pm. They can be viewed from the Congress Bridge, from an adjacent viewing area, or from a bat tour boat.

    For dinner, you can’t go wrong choosing from any of the restaurants on this list.  However, Congress and Trace are closest to the bat bridge, and both would be impeccable choices which focus on local ingredients. Do be sure to make reservations ahead of time for any of the fine dining establishments I’ve listed.  (And several do not take reservations, in which case you can anticipate a 1-2 hour wait).

    Afterward, choose an area to get drinks (West 6th Street is preppy, “Dirty Sixth” between Congress and I-35 is wild coed-central, the Warehouse District is gay and clubby, Red River/Seventh is a grungy crossroads for live music, hipsters reign on Sixth Street east of I-35, and Rainey Street is a newer district that attracts mostly yuppie psuedo-hipsters). But since they all honestly run into each other, why not take a stroll through through downtown for the full scenic tour? (On weekends, Dirty Sixth is a sight to behold on par with the likes of Bourbon Street...definitely worth taking a gander, if only for novelty purposes!)
  • On July 1, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best restaurants in Austin?

    In the past five years, it is safe to say Austin has risen to culinary mecca status.  While we unfortunately don’t have all the thriving ethnic neighborhoods of some larger cities (think Thai Town, Little India, Japantown, Little Korea, etc), our cuisine is diversifying with each new establishment that opens its doors. These days, dining experiences are more fun, educational, and interactive than ever, and we’re seeing a lot of international inspiration brought to the table by young, creative chefs.

    Here, I’ve rounded up some wonderful places around town for fine dining. There are certainly many more where these came from, and many more on the way. One thing’s for sure: it’s a great time to be hungry in Austin, Texas.

    Uchi put Austin on the culinary map when it opened in 2003, thanks to the imaginative Japanese culinary stylings of Chef Tyson Cole. To say they make “sushi” is an understatement-- Uchi and its sister restaurant Uchiko (below) are pretty much in a category of their own.

    Uchiko opened in the summer of 2010 and Cole won a James Beard for Best Chef in the Southwest later that year. This location has more of a focus on small cold and warm tasting plates, each one just as artfully brilliant as the next.

    Choose from a three-course prix fixe or seven-course tasting menu in the elegant-yet-inviting dining room of Congress, where Chef David Bull elevates local ingredients by using global influence, culinary intuition, and unpretentious precision. There is no doubt he deserves every accolade he has earned.

    Olivia’s chef-owner James Holmes takes pride in sourcing from local farmers, foragers and ranchers, hosting nose-to-tail dinners, and keeping chickens in the backyard of his modern-rustic establishment. On Sundays, they serve a brunch fit for (farm-to-table) kings.

    Perla’s nautical interior and spacious patio overlook a bustling section of South Congress, yet it feels like the classiest of oceanside boardwalks when you’re ordering off their extensive menu of sea treasures, both local and sourced from afar.

    Experience Chef Rene Ortiz’s take on Mexican street food in the equally vivid, playful dining room of La Condesa. Save room for dessert, because pastry chef Laura Sawicki conjures up some of the most imaginative sweets in town.

    Sway is Ortiz's sophomore venture: boldly flavored modern Thai served at mostly communal tables in a hip, rustic-industrial setting. Don’t miss the housemade kombucha and drinking vinegars, sorbets, ice creams and Sawick's other inventive dessert creations.

    For 64 years, Green Pastures has been serving elegant regional cuisine on a Victorian estate, surrounded by live oaks and strolling peacocks. Though the menu is largely elevated surf and turf, they have several vegetarian options as well- -and one of the most lavish brunches in town.

    Barleyswine, Chef Bryce Gilmore’s first brick-and-mortar restaurant, opened in 2010 with a focus on small plates, craft beer, and farm-to-table ethos. Seating is communal inside this cozy gastropub, which exudes farmhouse chic (and will provide a tiny spatula, if requested, to scrap your plate bone dry).

    qui, the latest and most highly anticipated culinary venture from Top Chef Texas winner Paul Qui, recently opened on Austin’s eastside. The sun-soaked wooden interior features a spacious open kitchen, tasting room, and subtle splashes of brightness from colored glass and customized aprons. Qui’s cuisine, served on handmade pottery and reclaimed wood platters, is every bit as inspired, thoughtful, and beautiful as expected.

    Jeffrey’s is an Austin institution that was recently taken over by restauranteur Larry McGuire, who renovated both the timeless menu and the interior. Guests can sip classic cocktails on blue velvet cushions, dine on dry-aged steaks, and make selections from a pastry cart at brunch and decadent cheese and martini carts for dinner.

    Run by veterans from Uchi and Uchiko, SPIN Thai delivers a fresh take on Thai-inspired dishes in quite an unexpected environment. A bit off the beaten downtown path, SPIN’s creations are modern, piquant, and beautifully plated.

    Recently opened Mettle is the “Rainey Street Queen” Bridget Dunlap’s first eastside restaurant venture. Chef Andrew Francisco's very original dishes take inspiration from around the globe, while glass and metal sculptures give the dining room a haute industrial feel that is at once spacious and inviting.
  • On June 27, 2013
    Veronica Meewes answered the question: Veronica Meewes

    What are the best activities to do in Austin?

    Eating: You could literally nosh your way through this city (breaking up meals with hikes and swims of course!) Barbecue and Mexican are both no-brainers—you’re in Texas, after all! If you have the time, make an event out of waiting on line for Franklin Barbecue (you might even bring beer and a folding chair!) For something just as delicious with less of a wait, check out Micklethwait Craft Meats just down the street, nearby John Mueller Meat Co, or campus-area Ruby’s BBQ.  For a taste of interior Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, check out La Condesa downtown. Up north, the beautiful Fonda San Miguel offers an upscale, authentic version, and Curra’s down south has a more laid-back patio vibe. And the rumors are true: one can survive on food trucks alone in this city. Grab a quick lunch, dinner, or late night snack at one of the many food trailer parks found in any given direction.

    Seeing Live Music: South by Southwest, Austin City Limits, Fun Fun Fun Fest, Chaos in Tejas, Austin Psych Fest, Reggae Fest—these are just a handful of the festivals that occur in our city each year, and the list keeps growing. Many locals tend to skip the fests altogether, since live music is so prevalent throughout the year anyway, at larger venues like Austin Music Hall, ACL Live, Stubb’s, The Mohawk, Emo’s, Antone’s, La Zona Rosa, The Backyard, or the nearby White Water Amphitheater. Still others swear solely by the many local and indie acts at smaller venues like The Continental Club, Hole in the Wall, Hotel Vegas, Cactus Café, White Horse, Red 7 or Beerland.

    Two-stepping: You haven’t really experienced Texas until you’ve visited an old-time honkeytonk! The Broken Spoke is the best and oldest in town, and they offer dance classes in two step and Texas swing before each show (usually starting at 8pm, but check their calendar!) Ginny’s Little Longhorn is a tiny dive up north with an even tinier dance floor, Donn's Depot is another old spot, with train cars for seating and a caboose for a restroom! A younger generation of two-steppers can be found at Midnight Rodeo down south or the White Horse, off East Sixth Street. Check calendars for times and listings!

    Bar-hopping: There is no shortage of areas for bar hopping in Austin. The after-work, young professional crowd heads to West Sixth Street, while college co-eds dominate “Dirty Sixth” (Sixth Street between Congress and I-35). The hipsters reign on East Sixth Street (east of I-35), and the Rainey Street District is a middle ground for the preppy and hip (prepsters?)  The Warehouse District is home to clubs and gay bars, and Red River and 7th Street has remained pretty rock ‘n’ roll despite the condos that have risen around it. Outside of downtown, the North Loop strip, with its punk roots, has ironically become a hot spot for high quality cocktails and well-crafted beer.

    Swimming: Between June and September, swimming isn’t really an option in Austin. It’s more of a requirement to beat the heat.  The Barton Creek Greenbelt offers various spots around town to pause for a dip, though many of them might be dry depending on the time of year and average rainfall.  Barton Springs and Deep Eddy are large pools that can always be relied on for cool, spring-fed water at a constant 68 degrees.  Twenty seven smaller, free neighborhood pools can also be found around town—check the city website for locations and hours. Hamilton Pool is thirty miles west of downtown and worth every minute of the drive for a dip in the natural pool surrounded by a grotto and a beautiful waterfall. Pace Bend Park is another spot just within city limits, and one of the best public places to jump into Lake Travis.

    Vintage Shopping: You wouldn’t want to spend time in Austin without returning home with a pair of vintage cowboy boots and a worn-to-perfection pearl snap shirt, now would you? While this is also a great city of thrifting, a handful of fabulous vintage stores have done the searching for you.  Charm School Vintage on Cesar Chavez is one of the best for one-of-a-kind handpicked items, and often hosts trunk shows and collaborative parties.  North Loop is home to the well-priced Blue Velvet and Room Service, which has a good deal of furniture and home decor in addition to clothing. Prototype, Feathers, and Cream are all wonderful shops on South Congress and the lovely Laced with Romance is certainly worth the short cruise over to South 1st Street.  King’s Road, which opened recently right smack in the middle of Sixth Street, has a good selection of choice vintage tees.  And Roadhouse Rags, is your one-stop shop for vintage westernwear, usually catered by a food truck to the tune of live music.