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My Austin Running Buddy

by Meghann on March 9, 2012

Good Morning!

I tend to get a little giddy whenever I meet fellow runners during my travels. There’s something about running that just bonds people and there’s no better way to get to know a person (or city!) than running with them. So when Meg told me she was running between 5:00 and 6:00 this morning, I immediately jumped at the chance to join her. Never mind the fact that my team didn’t make it back to the hotel room until close to 11:00 last night – or that our hotel is 20 minutes from downtown – I wanted to run!

And this is why I love running buddies. Without Meg there’s no way I would have made the drive downtown to run. I probably would have stuck with the treadmill in the hotel gym and totally missed out on seeing all Austin had to offer in the early morning light.

I’m not going to lie, when my alarm went off at 5:00 this morning, it wasn’t pretty. I barely had 5 hours of sleep and the thought of driving across town to run in the cold and rain wasn’t a positive one. Still, I knew Meg was waiting on me. I got up, got dressed, and got my butt out the door.

And I’m so glad I did!

We had a killer 6 mile run through UT campus, around the capitol, and up and down the hills of downtown. Plus, I had a chance to really get to know Meg (who is originally from Jacksonville – but went to school in Tampa – and no lives in DC).

It did start to rain on us about halfway through our run, but we survived.

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We finished our run at a coffee shop and I warmed up with a cappuccino (it was a little cold out for this Florida girl).

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Meg and I said our goodbyes and I headed back to my hotel all the way across town. (p.s. the roads here are CRAZY)

Our teamed had picked up some breakfast supplies last night so we wouldn’t have to worry about food in the morning.

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I made a cereal bowl with the Kashi Go Lean Crisp, an apple, plain yogurt, and a packet of Barney Butter from my snack bag stash.

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After three days of ‘road food,’ I’m excited to get out and see what Austin has to offer. I know this town is FAMOUS for their foodie scene and I definitely travel to eat.

Any suggestions on where to eat in this town? ;)

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carolyn March 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

Ah… Texas my alma matter!
My favs are Stubb’s for BBQ and live music, Threadgill’s for home cooking, Chuy’s for queso, Juan in a Millon for breakfast tacos aka migas, Continental Club for live music, Trudy’s for Mexican martinis…. I could go on and on.
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2 Sara March 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

Trudy’s mexican martinis are amazinggg! Salt lick is a pretty famous and tasty BBQ place as well!

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3 Jamie Z March 9, 2012 at 10:59 am

If it ever decides to clear up, you should head to Shady Grove off Barton Springs Rd.. The Hippie Sandwich is amazing!!!! Also, any of the trailers, especially off South 1st street, are great!! And I have to echo the post above that Juan in a Million has the best breakfast tacos!!!!

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4 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed March 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

the Miz knows all about austin.
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5 Casey @ Insatiably Healthy March 9, 2012 at 11:10 am

Ahh i miss Austin so much. It had great food everywhere, but the best was all the food trucks! Theres a food truck park somewhere with about a half dozen or so there.
Also visit the Whole Foods flagship store. It’s well beyond large and in charge
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6 Ali March 9, 2012 at 11:11 am

I ate at Home Slice Pizza (1415 South Congress Avenue) and it was delish! An Austin favorite if you like pizza.
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7 laura March 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

We had IDENTICAL breakfasts! I get such a kick out of when that happens!
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8 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats March 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

Haha I would have had a rough time with that wake up call too, but I’m glad you enjoyed your run!
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9 Jessie @RunforFroYo March 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

I’m from Austin originally. It’s an amazing place! Shady Grove is really good, and Chuy’s has the BEST tex-mex food you will ever have. I would definitely hit up one of those. Chuy’s has multiple locations so there’s bound to be one close to you!

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10 Belinda March 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

The Mexicobb salad at Chuy’s is absolutely amazing. Even though it seems weird to order a salad at a Mexican restaurant, this one is truly great, especially eaten with hot off the press corn tortillas.

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11 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

WOW–that is early for a run! But I bet it felt good :)
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12 Jenna March 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

There are sooo many great places to eat in Austin. My favorite food truck is flip happy crepes. SO good! Perla’s on congress is great for seafood. La Condesa on 2nd street is great Mexican. Parkside on 6th street is yummy, too. I can keep going… :) And definitely try to make it to the flagship Whole Foods between 5th and 6th streets on Lamar.

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13 Casey March 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

A taco truck! :)

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14 Amanda March 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

be sure to visit the Hey Cupcake truck on South Congress!!! And Magnolia’s or South Congress Cafe are both WONDERFUL brunch spots! Have fun!

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15 Meghann March 12, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I had TWO Hey Cupcakes while in Austin – LOVED them! :)

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16 Kristen March 9, 2012 at 11:45 am

Ahhh I love Austin!! So jealous you’re there right now :-) Here’s my recap of what I love about it: http://lifeasanamericanadian.blogspot.com/2011/10/austin-hearts-america.html….but to sum it up: go to South Congress. Super cute stores (hello best cowboy boot store ever) and really yummy food! I love Guero’s (I usually get the salad with the chipotle vinaigrette and the Tacos al Pastor…mmmm) and Hop Doddy’s had the best burger of my life. Enjoy hope you have a great time!!
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17 Meghann March 12, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I didn’t see South Congress until my last day (when I ran by it this am), but I wish I had more time to go visit it! I heard so many good things about it.

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18 Kristen March 19, 2012 at 1:59 am

Bummer! But that means a second trip is in order and thats never a bad thing ;-)
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19 Holly March 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

Flip Happy Crepes!! AMAZING! It’s a “trailer” food/truck but I think it’s always parked in the same place (close to Barton Springs)- ask any local and they should be able to help you out.

If you get a chance to run again tomorrow, try the trail around Lady Bird Lake (downtown)- it’s fabulous especially on a Saturday morning. Bring your camera– local elite athletes often train there (hint- a certain pro cyclist who’s returned to triathlons). Enjoy Austin life!
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20 Emily March 9, 2012 at 11:49 am

hooray for running buddies!
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21 steph March 9, 2012 at 11:49 am

South congress is the shit. Guero’s.

La condesa on 2nd.

My all-time favorite is blue dahlia at 11th and 35.

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22 Ashley March 9, 2012 at 11:51 am

Try Uchi!! It’s a little pricey, but so worth it. My husband still talks about the meal he ate there over a year ago. Plus, the chef was one of the contestants on top chef! If you do go there, try the bacon steakie!
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23 Jenny March 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

The Top Chef guy (Paul Qui) started out at Uchi but he is actually the Executive Chef at Uchiko, the sister restaurant where you can get an expensive (but totally worth it) chef’s tasting that my husband and I recently did for our anniversary. Possibly my best meal ever and I’m a big foodie.
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24 AJ March 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

Must haves while in Austin: Home Slice Pizza, Franklin BBQ (get there early, was voted best bbq in the world), blue dahlia bistro, the clay pit (awesome indian food), uchi (for really fancy, awesome japanese food!), Kebabalicious, Best Wurst, Hey Cupcake, Amy’s Ice Cream, Hopdoddy (really awesome and creative burgers..everything there is made in house) and Perlas (awesome seafood)

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25 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

Maybe I’m crazy but rainy runs are my absolute FAVORITE!!

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26 Regina March 9, 2012 at 12:16 pm

I just moved from Austin and lived on South Congress :) I saw y’all went to Chuy’s yesterday so in the interest of trying DIFFERENT things, try the trailers. It’s what Austin’s known for. Home Slice gets awesome raves for it’s pizza, Hop Doddy is an INCREDIBLE burger joint with delicious fries (they have crazy delicious options including bison burgers) and Amy’s for ice cream dessert :) If you want Asian Fusion, Mama Fu’s is AMAZING, super healthy and very fresh.
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27 Kristen March 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Oh yea Homeslice! I agree with everyone on that one…wow you guys are making me hungry! I might need to plan an another austin trip soon :-)
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28 Meghan March 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

So many…Home Slice, Flip Happy Crepes, Guero’s, Shady Grove, Whole Foods, Amy’s Ice Cream

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29 Caroline March 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

It’s always fun to explore a new city on foot, especially with a new friend. I’ve never been to Texas before, but am excited to see your finds in Austin.
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30 Jenny March 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I’m in Austin and you really can’t go wrong eating wise. If you want something fancy, I would definitely recommend Uchiko (I haven’t been to Uchi yet even though I can walk there from my new place), last night we went to East Side Kings food truck at the Liberty. Highly recommended. Frank’s is great for hot dogs. I second the recommendation for Perla’s.
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31 Rachel March 9, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Go to SO CO, south of Congress. They have a food truck park as well as yummy restruants!

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32 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Yay for early morning runs and running buddies. I’m always too afraid to run with other people. I really need to grow out of that fear!
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33 Britt @ Run with Britt March 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I love Austin! I’m not really supposed to say that because I’m an Aggie, but the town is so amazing! I would recommend going to a place called Hey Cupcake. It’s on South Congress and their cupcakes are amazing. If you are feeling like Mexican go to the Hula Hut! It’s right on the lake and the food is to die for. Like 2 stores down from the Hula Hut is a coffee shop called Mozarts. I’m not sure how long you are there, but it is a cute coffee shop that has a patio and is right on the lake. Also a good Italian place is the Brick Oven. It’s right by the U.T campus kinda by the La Quinta. Their pizzas are wood fired and oh so yummy!
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34 Regina March 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I second and third (I’m preggo, it counts right? ;) ) Hula Hut and Mozart’s. My husband and I went to both on our first real date! I loved the fish tacos at Hula Hut and the brownies at Mozart’s are delicious. Just be weary of the cookies. I ordered a chocolate one once and it tasted like coffee grounds (blech!)
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35 Sneakers2Sandals March 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm

So amazing of you to get out and run with little sleep and a bad weather forecast. You rock!
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36 Whitney March 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Kerbey Lane- great pancakes and queso
Magnolias
Amy’s Ice Cream
The Oasis for the view more than the food

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37 diana@mymarblerye March 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

Yes to kerby lane and magnolias. Great vegetarian fare and get the f*cking queso!
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38 Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 9, 2012 at 12:58 pm

There are so many fabulous places in Austin to eat! Can’t wait to see where you go!
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39 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope March 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Austin is a fun place! I can’t wait to see where you choose :)
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40 Krystle March 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I’ve never been…but I say Hula Hut. Taylor Kitsch (aka my number one male crush on the planet) swears by it and ate there all the time when he was filming Friday Night Lights.

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41 amy March 9, 2012 at 1:26 pm

guero’s is the best!!! enoteca. home slice. hey cupcake!

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42 Kate March 9, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Whatever you do, make sure you head to the Whole Foods flagship store!!! I bet you could spend a few hours in there :) Also, Cabo Bob’s has some of the best tacos I’ve ever had. They make the tortillas fresh to order and their mango salsa is amazing. Shady Grove is definitely a good local spot as well. Z. Tejas as great Tex Mex. Enjoy!
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43 Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Mmm…I want that yogurt concoction you posted! Although the fluff I’m eating right now (posted below) is pretty smile-inducing too! :) :)
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44 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm

It’s so much easier to get runs in on vacation (or any trip) when you have a buddy to run with. Go you for making it happen :)
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45 Meredith March 9, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hope you enjoy my hometown for me this weekend!! Magnolia Cafe, South Congress Cafe, Guero’s, Uchi, and Maudie’s are some of my favorites. You really can’t go wrong, I don’t think I’ve ever not liked something I’ve eaten in Austin :)

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46 Lindsey d. March 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

It is WORTH the drive to the Salt Lick BBQ joint (http://www.saltlickbbq.com/). Best bbq I’ve had in my life. Warning: It is in a dry county and is BYOB.

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47 Malinda March 9, 2012 at 2:47 pm

I just moved from Austin last August after living there for 5 years. Such a fantastic city. I would recommend trying East Side Cafe. They have their own vegetable garden outside and use only the produce from that garden in their menu, it’s pretty tasty and a great concept. Also, if you want something upscale and awesome, I suggest Uchiko. It is amazing and the head chef, Paul, just won Top Chef last week! Hula Hut is also great! They are part of Chuy’s but it’s a Polynesian tex-mex and right on Lake Austin. Hawaiian Fajitas are the best! There are tons of great restaurants in Austin, I could go on and on and on.

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48 corey @ learning patience March 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm

So glad you found a running buddie….enjoy Austin girlie…

xoxo from Trinidad
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49 Sarah March 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

I bet you would love 24 Diner downtown – it’s catty-corner to Whole Foods. They have the BEST waffles – bourbon vanilla w/ real maple syrup! They’re open 24-hours and everything we’ve had there has been great. Other favorites are Mother’s Garden Cafe, Quack’s Bakery, Bouldin Creek Cafe & Coffee House, Caffe Medici, and of course Whole Foods.

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50 Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt March 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm

I hope you get some amazing bbq while your there!
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51 Alaina March 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I went to Austin last year and my husband and I pretty much stuck to E. 6th street which had some great spots! We had a drink at Shakespeare’s Pub and then had dinner Chupacabra. Tasty stuff and fun street! :-)
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52 Army Amy* March 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Austin is a great place to run! So many cool things to see and such a great vibe. I hope you have fun there!*
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53 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm

At that hour in the morning, a running buddy is a most!
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54 Kelly March 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

If you’re still in town Sunday, Moonshine Bar and Grill on Red River has an amazing brunch. Whole Foods flagship store on 6th is a must. Piranha Sushi on San Jacinto is our favorite sushi place. Next door Max’s wine dive has some yummy eats, although not healthy. Alamo Drafthouse (movie theater that serves food and drinks) has amazing fried pickles (sounds gross but worth running a couple extra miles for ). Kerby Lane has yummy pancakes..I could go on..:) If the weather cooperates, you should run Town Lake- it’s my favorite. Have fun!

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55 SaraRM March 9, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Love that you had a running budy!! Definitely a must in a new place.

Out of curiousity whats the crazy roads comment in regards to?! Layout, name changing or traffic? I must be use to it….. lol

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56 Meg March 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Aw, I’m so flattered! But, seriously, you are saving my training program this week. Thanks for keeping me motivated despite the early hours and awful weather. And, man, we have a long list of restaurants to try should the rain EVER let up.
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57 diana@mymarblerye March 10, 2012 at 8:39 am

go to south congress cafe. they have carrot cake french toast. amazing. I dream of it still. They also have little shops and food trucks/trailers there. once again…amazing. I miss my college town!!!
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58 Meghann March 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Wah – I’m so sad I never went to South Congress :( I guess I’ll just have to go back for the carrot cake french toast alone! ;)

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