There are a lot of places I miss, but only one hometown. These, sweet readers are the places I miss in Austin so much that I’ll be visiting every single one of them when I go home for Thanksgiving.
Uncommon Objects is my favorite antique shop in Austin (or nostalgia shop, if you’re a Woody Allen lover). It’s a never-ending store where you can find any number of things. It’s organized by color, not object, so you’ll find decades-old postcards and photographs next to giant marquee signs, longhorn trophies, ancient dishware, books and kaleidoscopes. Unfortunately photos aren’t allowed in UO, so if you want to keep a memory of this place (and trust me, you do), you’ve got to buy something to take with you. Go. Enjoy.
A true Austin spot, Waterloo Records sits on the corner of 6th and Lamar. It’s been an Austin institution for years, and it’s one of the only places I go to buy actual CDs or vinyls anymore. It’s situated on a corner right next to the Whole Foods flagship, Amy’s Ice Cream, a Lush and a Lululemon store, so if you’re traveling with people who don’t have the attention span for a music store, just send them to any of those spots and shop/listen to your heart’s content.
There are a few stores in the world that will drop jaws: Bergdorf Goodman on 5th Avenue in New York City, Harrod’s in London, Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche in Paris. I would venture that anyone unfamiliar with a Texan’s love cowboy boots would be awestruck upon opening the door to Allen’s Boots on South Congress. That is, after all, only the natural reaction to seeing rows upon rows of cowboy (and cowgirl!) boots for the first time. These boots run the gamut from perfectly affordable to insanely pricey. The Lucchese boutique is next door, for anyone interested in designing their own pair.
I hope you’re ready for a wild ride, because that’s what Gourdough’s is. Like a lot of places in Austin, it started out as a food truck, selling joy and fried carbs to anyone dedicated enough to show up. Now they’ve got two brick-and-mortar locations and two more trucks in Austin. I’m a Naughty and Nice fan myself, but make sure to try a Flying Pig–it has bacon on it. You’ll hate how much you love it. (Beware! The menus aren’t the same at the trailers as they are at the restaurants. Be sure to check them out online before going.)
Clark’s Oyster Bar is perhaps my favorite spot in Austin… for anything. Whether you stop in for brunch or for dinner, you will leave satisfied and happy (and likely, more-than-a-little drunk). Special recommendations: the burger is renowned city-wide, and the lobster roll is superb. I’ll never turn down their cioppino, either.
Have you been to any of these places I miss in Austin?