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The 1886 was once the gathering point for pretty much all of Austin. With its diner-cafe feel, most flocked to The Driskill's lobby for wholesome food, the quality bar and the friendly atmosphere. The now revived 1886 Cafe and Bakery is no different. Walk across the chequered tile floor and take a seat beneath the art-deco chandeliers. The 1886 Bakery opens early and offers great chocolate croissants, muffins and aromatic coffee. If you're in for breakfast, the skillets or Benedicts are just what you need. The lunch and dinner menus cover a good range of pasta, salads and steaks. It may say 1886, but step in and you know, it's still Austin chic.
This little shop in the heart of downtown Austin is an ideal place to find souvenirs of your Texas (culinary) adventure. Beware, however: the hot sauces and salsas you will find here are probably hotter than what you have found in other restaurants. Among the hundreds of salsas, Firewater is the most popular and Dave's Insanity Special Reserve is the hottest. The spice rubs, barbecue sauces and marinades here are world-class, shipped to discerning palates around the country. Another specialty here are the chicken, veggie and black bean O'Shucks tamales, which you can eat there, take-out or have shipped anywhere.
Those with deep pockets, a penchant for interior decorating, and an attraction to objects from around the globe will feel right at home shopping at this home furnishing spot. With imports from India, Pakistan, Morocco and more, at The Khazana, you can transform any space. The inventory ranges from necklaces modeled after the ohm symbol and intricately hand-woven Kashmiri shawls to giant murals of the Buddhist mudra (a hand position). Indeed, it is quite hard to get bored browsing here.
Crystal Works features a broad spectrum of crystals and minerals, loose or in various artistic settings. This dazzling shop carries a range of ethereal New Age products, including tabletop fountains, jewelry set with semi-precious stones and crystal window ornaments. There is a great selection of stone and polished amber fossils. A collection of Feng Shui books and literature details where to best place items like these calming decorative pieces in your home. The staff is friendly and very helpful. First time visitors receive complimentary lavender.
Great food, awesome brews and a fantastic vibe sums up Banger's in short. For the long form, this beer garden on historic Rainey Street offers quality pints as well as artisanal farm-to-table food. With an endless list of refreshing beers that accompany the comfort food on its menu, Banger's is easily one of the most popular joints iin Austin. Additionally, the outdoor beer garden with long tables is reminiscent of those in Munich and when the weather is right, its a great place to take one or two of Banger's 30 or so housemade sausages alongside a frosty pint.
Nestled in the heart of downtown, lies this cozy little slice of Central American ambiance. Whether it is beautiful hand-woven rugs, straw hats, beaded necklaces, or other household and clothing items you are looking for, El Interior carries it all. Browsing is half the fun; the place is a treat for the senses.
Pluckers Wing Bar specializes in serving some of the best chicken wings in Austin. This outlet near the University of Texas sees a regular stream of students all day, and even in the night as an after-party hang out place. The menu is quite varied, and one can choose from a variety of sauces to put on their wings, and side dishes such are fried pickles are also offered. Depending on your appetite, you can go for a pack of 5 wings or 100! Burgers, sandwiches and salads are also available.
This is by far Austin's most notorious vintage shop, and its most flamboyant. This fabulous store is largely a costume shop packed with thousands of choices ranging from gorilla suits to bullfighters to princesses; and the store carries all the necessary accessories to boot. If your personal style is unconventional (to say the least), there is a huge selection of retro clothing suitable for everyday wear as well.
Allens Boots has been in the South Congress shopping district for years. The tan stucco exterior is pretty nondescript, but the boot-emblazoned sign by the door leaves no doubt as to what might be sold here. This is a serious shop for serious Western wear, from the Wranglers to Justin boots and more. This is where you can grab a classic Resistol hat and a pair of ropers, or a fancier set of lizard or snake skin boots. Fancy duds are available, but so are serious work clothes. While urban cowboys are welcome to shop here, the store caters to the real thing, too.
If you've got a serious candy craving, Big Top Candy Shop probably has what you're looking for. In its circus-themed store, complete with striped walls and circus posters on the walls, candy is everywhere. Big Top has old-time goodies like Bit-O-Honey and Chick-O-Sticks, as well as new novelty candies and other edibles, like bacon-flavored mints. Children of the 80s will find Now & Laters and Fun Dips. A glass case holds unusual chocolate-covered items like potato chips and gummy bears, while bulk bins contain a large selection of gummies, jelly beans, and hard candies. A real soda fountain also offers treats like egg creams, phosphates, and Blue Bell ice cream.