South 1st Street
Often overlooked because of its close proximity to Congress, South 1st is an underrated district that boasts some of the most unique stores, bars, and restaurants in Austin. But South 1st's charm lies in the fact that it does not try to emulate its trendy celebrity sibling. Instead, South 1st attracts and captivates with its low-key subtlety and unfussy demeanor. The area contains a multitude of delicious Tex-Mex restaurants, chic clothing shops, and homey watering holes that are welcoming to both regulars and newcomers. Get ready for some killer queso, vintage clothes, and ice cold beer, because we're about to take you on a stroll down South 1st.
1506 S. 1st St.
Welcoming and relaxing, Seventh Flag Coffee is an unfussy java house that serves gourmet coffee and tasty snacks. Started with the desire to create an educational and high-quality coffee shop that never falters to pretension, Seventh Flag Coffee perfects the balance between the luxurious and the casual. The shop serves excellent, top-of-the-line java with friendly, amiable service that goes unrivaled in Austin. Whether you're craving a regular old cup of black coffee or a specialized Macchiato, Seventh Flag has got you covered.
3115 S. 1st St.
Inspired by early American coffee roasters and the simplicity of their tools, Summer Moon Coffee Bar crafts specialty coffee that is fresh, innovative, and bold. Seriously though, Summer Moon does things wonderfully old school: Using a one-of-a-kind hearth built brick by brick, Summer Moon roasts fresh South American, African, and Indonesian coffee beans over an open flame, ensuring a high-quality product. Summer Moon is family owned and operated, making the coffee house something of an Austin heirloom. Next time you're feeling groggy and in need of a pick-me-up, head to Summer Moon Coffee Bar and relish in its homegrown charm.
2009 S. 1st St.
Once Over Coffee Bar is a laid-back coffeehouse-turned-bar that serves specialty cups of joe, top-notch wines, and craft beers. Dog-friendly and equipped with a beautiful back deck that overlooks scenic Bouldin Creek, Once Over is something of an urban paradise. What could be better than sipping a fresh Live Oak poured straight from the draft while watching dogs meander and play in the neighboring creek? Not much. And if you're not in the mood for a brewski, grab a gourmet coffee like their special Americano. Once Over is a great place to take the load off, nurse a hangover, or disconnect from the stresses of the modern world.
2004 S. 1st St.
Polvo's is one of Austin's most iconic Tex-Mex restaurants. A longtime favorite of the S. 1st community, Polvo's has been serving delicious interior Mexican food to both out-of-towners and age-old residents for some time now. With its wide variety of tasty salsas, potent margaritas, delectable queso, and mouthwatering enchiladas, Polvo's is a poster-boy for Austin Tex-Mex. The restaurant's environment is casual, laid-back, and friendly, with a spacious outdoor patio that's seen many good times. Polvo's is a perfect spot to guzzle down some Tecates and chow down on chips and salsa. But beware: their margaritas are made with Everclear and have been known to trouble lightweights.
1417 S. 1st St.
Started by the successful restaurant group that brought you modern Mexican favorite La Condesa, Sway is a "hip Thai eatery with an open kitchen." Sway specializes in contemporary cuisine, offering both traditional and creative dishes like prawn miange, pad thai, and phat phrik khing, a mouthwatering blend of pork loin, snow pea, shiitake mushroom, sweet soy, fresno chili, and toasted almond. In addition to the good eats, Sway also offers a wide array of teas including oolong, jasmine pearls, and herbal sunshine tea. Affordable but also gourmet, Sway perfects the often tricky balance between ornate and casual.
1417 S. 1st St.
El Mercado, with its excellent happy hour specials, savory Tex-Mex, and fun atmosphere, has developed into one of Austin's beloved restaurants. While everything on El Mercado's menu is top-notch, our favorites include the Tacos al Pastor, two delicious marinated pork tacos served with grilled pineapple, onions, cilantro, lime, and guacamole, and the Mercado Plate, a tasty combination of queso, tacos, and enchiladas. Oh, and El Mercado keeps the live music going with The Backstage, their official venue that's hosted great local acts like The Honeycutters, James McMurty, and The South Austin Moonlighters.
1501 S. 1st St.
Situated on the cozy corner of S. 1st and Elizabeth St., this neighborhood
cafe serves French breakfast snacks and creative Vietnamese dishes for
lunch and dinner. With its modern architecture and soothing cream-
turquoise color scheme, Elizabeth Street Cafe is a great place to relax,
people watch, and drink some coffee. One of the most alluring aspects of
the cafe, however, is their rotating selection of punch. Right now, the
coconut milk punch, red velvet, and shady blonde punches are available
on their menu, the last being a flavorful mix of sparkling wine, Lillet Blanc,
grapefruit, and thyme. Like a good vacation, Elizabeth Street Cafe is
rejuvenating and fun—a perfect place to get some thinking done.
1807 S. 1st St.
Opened in January 2012 with the mission to create a new style of dining,
Lenoir adds to Austin's thriving culinary scene with its unique blend of
Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. Romantic, vintage, and equipped with
a lush wine garden, Lenoir is a perfect restaurant to impress a date or
schmooze with your significant other. Lenoir's menu rotates weekly and
offers gourmet three-course meals with main course choices ranging
from land, sea, and air. While the restaurant is certainly upscale, Lenoir
never feels pretentious or ostentatious—it's a welcoming and affordable
place to treat yourself.
1311 S. 1st St.
Vegan favorite Conscious Cravings is a conceptual eatery that serves meatless wraps and other veggie dishes that will "delight even the most discriminating palates." Made with homemade sauces and dressings, Conscious Cravings' wraps are healthy and delicious. The Seitan Chimichurri is succulent, bursting with flavor, while the Pan Seared Tofu is rich and bold, a delectable dish. Made with fresh, 100% plant-based ingredients, Conscious Craving's cuisine is some of the best veggie-inspired food in Austin. And be sure to wash down your wrap or salad with one of their strawberry banana smoothies for the perfect meal.
2316 S. 1st St.
Guess what? We love El Tacorrido. We love its breakfast tacos. We love its tortas. We love its gorditas and its quesadillas. We love its salsas and we love its desserts. Most of all, though, we love that it's a drive-thru and we can enjoy it without having to get out of our cars. Should you find yourself on South 1st street with an appetite, try El Tacorrido. As for what you should order? Anything. It's all good. Seriously, you can never go wrong with anything at El Tacorrido. Grab your keys, hop in your car, and cruise on over to the drive-thru. Oh, and if you're looking for a little pep in your step - DO NOT miss out on ordering The Equinox. It's a delicious mix of horchata, espresso, and maybe some magic.
1501 S. 1st St.
Bouldin Creek Cafe is a quaint little eatery that serves wholesome vegetarian and delicious vegan food. Equipped with well-trained baristas, the cafe also specializes in beverages both hot and cold. Their coffees are locally-brewed and always fresh; the Americano, Cafe au Lait, and Specialty Mocha prove to be highlights. If you're feeling hungry, Bouldin Creek Cafe also serves scrumptious sandwiches like a vegetarian B.L.T. and the Veggie Royale, a homemade, award-winning veggie burger served on grilled ciabatta bread with green-leaf lettuce, red onion & locally grown tomatoes. Despite its vegetarian roots, Bouldin Creek Cafe has something great to offer for both herbivores and omnivores.
1703 S. 1st St.
Nestled in the cozy Bouldin Creek neighborhood, Fresas serves wood-grilled
tacos, bols, and verduras that'll have you coming back for more. While Fresa's
location on Lamar only offers take-out, their new spot on S. 1st contains a
bright dining room and a tree-shaded patio that complements the restaurant's
neighborly atmosphere. We love everything on their menu but the Achiote &
Spice Chicken certainly persists as a favorite here at the Do512 office. Tender,
crisp grilled chicken served with Mexican Rice, Charro Beans, Grilled Onion,
Jalapeño, Lime, Salsas, & Corn Tortillas. What could be better? Really, pretty
1502 S. 1st St.
100% homemade pasta. Fresh ingredients. Al fresco dining. What more could you ask for? At Regal Ravioli you'll get all three of those things and more. A food truck equipped with covered picnic tables, Regal Ravioli serves fresh Italian cuisine like meatball subs, pecan pesto, and, of course, ravioli. The Jabroni, however, stands out as an unlikely hit: a delicious hot sandwich made with herb-roasted pork, sautéed broccolini, banana peppers, and provolone cheese, The Jabroni is a without a doubt a party your tastebuds will thank you for throwing. Oh, and we almost forgot, the food truck allows BYOB. So grab your favorite sixer of craft beer or buy that new expensive bottle of wine and head on over to Regal Ravioli for some Italian delights.
1503 S. 1st St.
Big. Fat. Donuts. Do we need to say more? Gourdough's is housed in a vintage air-stream trailer, and has tasty doughnuts on the menu. From the Flying Pig (topped with bacon and drizzled with maple icing) to the Miss Shortcake (dressed with cream cheese icing and fresh-cut strawberries), these treats are guaranteed to rock your world. Originally just one food truck on South 1st that served extravagant doughnut creations, Gourdough's eventually opened a full-fledged restaurant on South Lamar. With all of their success, who knows where Gourdough's will be next?
1713 S. 1st St.
Dolce Neve Gelato is considered a gem in the Austin community with its delicious, authentic gelato. The name of the establishment, Dolce Neve, means “Sweet Snow” in English. Because snow is as natural as their gelato, the three owners, Francesca, Leo, and Marco, felt the product does the name justice. Since they've opened, they have created more than 300 different flavors inspired by their Italian traditions, ingredients found at local farmer markets, and fantastic deserts they've eaten around the world. They currently serve between 12 and 18 flavors of gelato and sorbets, classified into three categories: staples, rotating, and seasonal flavors.
1413 S. 1st St.
The Tasty Spoon takes an old school Italian approach and locally sourced ingredients to create some of the tastiest gelato around. Founded in Austin, The Tasty Spoon serves authentic handcrafted gelato alongside delicious coffee and espresso beverages. Plus, they use fresh, in-season ingredients from some of the finest farms in Texas. Come enjoy your gelato in their dog-friendly backyard, play some yard games or just relax in the shade under their charming 120-year-old oak tree.
519 W. Oltorf St.
Okay, Winebelly is technically located on Oltorf a few hundred feet away from S. 1st, but it's simply too badass to leave off this list. Winebelly is a cozy neighborhood wine and tapas bar that serves craft beer and offers a wide selection of fine wines. Named one of the "Top 20 Wine Bars in America" by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Winebelly, undoubtedly, knows their stuff. But the wine bar doesn't just stop at the grape, they also offer excellent celebrity-themed cocktails like the Bo Diddley, a white doe chenin-viognier mixed with blood orange, and tarragon syrup, and the Ella Fitzgerald, a potent mixture of bocelli prosecco, white peach, rosemary, fresh lemon juice. Winebelly is a sophisticated wine bar that will leave even the snobbiest sommelier smiling.
2901 S. 1st St.
Locally-owned and deeply rooted in old Austin, Toss is a charming amalgamation of pizzeria and pub, specializing in New York-style pies, craft beer, and potent cocktails. Toss offers great daily beer and liquor specials like $5.00 Bloody Marys on Sundays, $2.00 PBR on Wednesdays, and $4.50 Tito's on Thursdays. But Toss' best drink is certainly their frozen margarita. Ice-cold, tangy, and potent, the frozen will have you feeling like an astronaut in no time. Oh, and it perfectly complements the mouthwatering goodness of the pub's pizza. Grab a margarita, a pint, and a slice of pizza and take it easy over at Toss.
2420 S. 1st St.
A little rough around the edges and a tad seedy, G&S is one of Austin's coolest
dive bars. The bar is dark and filled with glowing neon signs and pool tables
waiting to be sharked upon. The tap here flows generously and the bartender/
owner knows his way around a bottle—just don't order a Kentucky Derby Mint
Julep or something else embarrassingly pretentious. Keep it cool and stick
with beer or a simple liquor-soda combination. G&S also contains some super
fun games like Bubble Hockey, Air Hockey, and a particularly awesome Sopranos-
themed pinball machine. Ditch the suit and tie and head on over to G&S for some
1905 S. 1st St.
Want to know why we love Secret Oktober so much? Because this amazing local shop specializes in all things goth. One of Austin's only stores truly dedicated to the subculture, Secret Oktober sells both new and vintage clothing of the industrial, darkwave, goth, and steampunk persuasion. Moto jackets and Joy Division t-shirts abound, this shop is the perfect place to load up on your favorite merch from all those moody bands you loved back in the 1980s. In addition to selling neat threads, Secret Oktober also serves as one of Austin's leading sources of local goth and darkwave news and events, keeping the community strong and relevant. It's a cool shop operated by friendly and knowledgable people—check it out.
1906 S. 1st St.
Originally established in a small house on S. Lamar in 1982, Flashback has
developed into an iconic vintage clothing store. For the past 35 years, Flashback
has "dressed musicians, theater groups, hippies, flower children, hipsters, punks,
soccer moms, celebrities and everyone in between," developing a devoted group
of regular customers that swear by the store's chic clothing. Flashback sells
clothing that spans generations: you'll find polos from the 1950s alongside
parachute pants from the 80s and Gin Blossoms tour shirts from the 90s.
Affordable, bohemian, and always rewarding, Flashback is undoubtedly one of
Austin's coolest stores to buy vintage clothing.
2214 S. 1st St.
Started by Jahnavi Sievert in 2009, Mana Culture sells unique jewelry with roots that span the world. Sievert crafts gorgeous necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings that emanate profound serenity and carefree spirit. The spiritual community and natural beauty of the world appear in Sievert's collection: many of her necklaces and bracelets contain majestic stones and gems that are at once casual and sophisticated. Whether you're looking for that new ring tom impress Mr. Right or a new necklace to radiate your beauty, Mana Culture will never disappoint.
1628 S. 1st St.
Bloomers and Frocks was started with a single and admirable mission: to sell vintage clothing for modern women. Offering classic, one-of-a-kind vintage clothing that draws its roots from 1920s flapper chic to 1980s Wall Street prep, Bloomers and Frocks certainly understands the subtle complexities and nuances of generational style. But Bloomers and Frocks don't merely sell clothes: For years, they have been assisting with wardrobes for movies, theater, costumes, and everyday casual wear. Like they suggest in their mission statement, Bloomers and Frocks will help build your wardrobe no matter the occasion, from office attire to black tie formal.
1603 S. 1st St.
Described by cultural signpost Vanity Fair as "a sweet spot between northeastern
prep and Austin's relaxed yet dynamic creative vibe" local haberdashery Criquet
Shirts sells WASP-y menswear with a Southern twist. Preppy and traditional but
not overdone or collegiate, the store's vintage-style polos and oxfords blend
casual ease with subtle hints of sophistication, perfecting the balance between
tradition and innovation. However, one of the store's coolest elements is
something that rarely goes unnoticed, its backyard: a driving range that serves
beer. That's right. Criquet Shirts will actually let you whack golf balls into the
abyss and drink brews while shopping. If that isn't luxury, we don't know what is.
1601 S. 1st St.
Venerated designer Stephanie Beard founded esby apparel in 2014 with the goal to sell quality clothing for women with a menswear mentality. Beard grew tired of watching her expensive womenswear deteriorate after only a few wears and decided to begin crafting elegant women's clothing with the durability of menswear. With an emphasis on comfort and wearability, esby apparel's clothing is loose but not oversized, the trendy bagginess of the 90s toned down. Sophisticated, comfortable, and of course, durable, esby apparel has successfully crafted stylish women's clothing that boasts the shelf life often found in menswear.
1711 S. 1st St.
If you're looking for someplace to buy art, or simply wandering around until something beautiful catches your eye, Art for the People Gallery is a must-visit spot on South 1st. The self-described boutique of visual & functional art is filled with a variety of visual wonders. The boutique carries the works of over 100 artists from all over Austin and also sells things like jewelry, home decor, cards, prints, and clothing.
1615 South 2nd Street, Austin, Texas 78704