A break from the fried food, burgers and pizza near the downtown bars, Koriente offers fresh, healthy food in the heart of the Red River bar scene. Open late on weekends, the Asian-inspired restaurant has a diverse clientele, from health-conscious diners to late-night snackers. The menu features lots of fresh vegetables, noodles and spicy dishes like curries and bibambap. Snacks include summer rolls, tapioca wraps and edamame. To drink, Koriente offers an extensive tea list featuring greens, blacks, reds and herbals. Bubble tea, the chilled drink with delightfully chewy tapioca pearls suspended in it, is also available in a variety of fruit or yogurt flavors.
Take an exquisite lake view, add in a spacious deck, a glass of carrot juice and a double latte, and what do you have? This king of all coffeehouses, where coffee drinks and desserts can be had in one building and, across the deck in the juice bar, a yogurt smoothie or fresh vegetable juice. Caffeine addicts and natural food buffs can mingle and soak up the view, while music lovers can enjoy the live music Wednesdays through Sundays. This coffee room attracts a varied crowd, from early morning exercise nuts to late-night conversationalists. Others simply kick back, relax, and smell the coffee.
If you think that Bouldin Creek Coffee House serves only coffee and breakfast, then you're wrong. Boulder Creek serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the menu here is strictly vegetarian. For drinks, try the chai latte and the honey lemonade. Leslie Martin, the owner offers the best multi-cultural menu at reasonable prices.
Whip In has Indian-infused breakfast items available until 2 p.m., perfect for late risers. Naan (Indian flatbread), scrambled eggs, cheese and your choice of chutney (a spiced, Indian condiment) makes up the breakfast naan (cilantro chutney is rather appetizing). As if that wasn't enough, they also have an impressive beer selection on tap, a vegan/vegetarian grocery aisle, a wine and beer area, and a tobacconist with Indian candles & incense.
Serving macrobiotic food in a community setting, this restaurant offers natural, organic, vegan meals. One complete, balanced macrobiotic meal is created for lunch and another completely different meal will be offered for dinner. You will not find a menu, as the chef plans meals daily based on the seasons. The cooks work continuously during each meal to keep the fresh food coming, as you may go back for seconds as often as you like. The fresh steamed greens with almond sauce are a favorite of many patrons. Its environment is spacious and airy with many windows surrounding the dining area. There is even a silent table, where guests may eat without being disturbed.
Besides its great name, this bar is a fabulous place to grab a beer. Casino El Camino also features one of the largest burgers this side of the Mississippi. The jukebox is always crammed with your favorite rock 'n' roll hits, and the staff is very friendly. The lighting inside is subdued, and patrons enjoy the outdoor patio featuring its own birdbath.
OneTaco, a food truck unabashedly advertising itself as An Urban Eatery decided to drop anchor at West 6th Street. Of the lunch & dinner options, the Traditional al Pastor tacos combine spicy marinated pork, onions, pineapple, and cilantro within corn tortillas. Customers can One Up their orders by choosing a side at an additional fee. Moreover, the Guacamole Selection brings together avocado, lemon juice, tomatoes, cilantro, and onions. You can opt to wash everything down with Austin's own Sweet Leaf Tea (Citrus Green is a fine choice). Additionally, the employees of bar Little Woodrow's have no problem if you bring in whatever you order from OneTaco.
When you get bored of peanut butter and jelly, visit the 2nd Street District's famous sandwich makers, Which Wich. One of seven Austin locations, this downtown version of the small and creative concept chain is always crowded and fresh. A favorite among Austin businessmen and busy families, Which Wich serves up warm, made-to-order sandwiches, house potato chips, frothy milkshakes and generously cut Rice Krispie treats. The real appeal of this legendary sandwich shop is the power it gives the patron– you create your sandwich by selecting ingredients that have been written on the face of a brown paper bag. Try the toasty Turkey Reuben, the vegetarian-friendly hummus and bell peppers, or the ever popular Tuna Salad.
Juan Pelota Cafe has quickly become a fixture in the Austin community. The Cafe is located inside Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop, making this a popular place with the local cyclists who tend to stop by while on their way to check-out the latest arrivals in the bike shop or while waiting for their bikes to be fixed. Juan Pelota knows its customers and have named their drinks after cycling heroes or after alpine climbing routes. With a menu focused mostly on quality made coffee there's also tea, smoothies and breakfast options.
With locations in Portland, Eugene, Denver, Austin and even Taipei, Taiwan, this doughnut shop is slowly taking over the world. Well, at least they have taken the title for best downtown doughnut in Austin when you consider how many people come in and out of the doors at this 24-hr. shop. The doughnuts are definitely one-of-a-kind; try the Voodoo Doll, it is a raspberry jelly filled yeast masterpiece that actually looks like a scary doll. The Mexican Hot Chocolate dusted with cayenne pepper, cinnamon and sugar is something you'll find only at Voodoo and even if you don't choose one of the crazy, but delicious concoctions, the shop still has plain chocolate, powdered, apple fritters, etc.
A longtime favorite on South Congress, Jo's opened a second location in the downtown area to join the ranks of the ever popular 2nd Street District. This casual coffee shop is bustling all day long, first with the morning crowd of caffeine addicts, followed by writers, grad students and WiFi worshipers, and finally, filling up in the evenings with friends gathering to grab a drink after work. The highlight of Jo's downtown locale is the spacious patio. Grab a seat at one of their high tables to nurse a beer or munch on a famous Jo's Chicken Burger. Jo's exemplifies Austin's easygoing disposition and would be a great stop for out-of-town guests and first-time visitors.
Friends, perhaps it may not be based on the hit TV show "Friends", but it is one of Austin's most fun bars to be at. It's mainly for the young adults, college crowd et al. Moreover, Austin's greatest local rock and blues bands play quite often to get the crowd going. And that's not it, in-house DJ brings in the beat as it only gets better. Special drinks at great prices with a decent staff. So, if you have friends and want to have a great time, get 'em along.