Sloping down to a spectacular view of the Texas State Capitol building, South Congress is the vein that leads straight to the heart of Austin.
South Congress has come a long way since its beginnings in 1850 as a rural country road. Today, the eclectic street is peppered with unique shops, award-winning restaurants, quirky music venues and a slew of watering holes.
If you're someone who likes to have it all, you'll definitely find yourself at home here; South Congress is the perfect spot for, well, everything. Get your shopping, gifts, food, alcohol and live music all on this beloved street - and enjoy a front seat to the funky weirdness that Austin is known for.
Here are some highlights of SoCo that everyone needs to check out, whether you're a first-time visitor or an Austin native:
South Congress Hotel is the most recent addition to the area. This trendy boutique hotel sits right on South Congress in a gorgeous contemporary building. The modern minimalistic rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, minibars and most importantly–an awesome view of Downtown Austin. Enjoy a night (or two) on the rooftop pool and bar, where you'll have a solid dose of people watching, dancing and the deliciousness of Austin summers.
South Congress Hotel is also situated in the same building as restaurants Central Standard and Café No Sé, as well as Revival Cycles and Mañana coffeeshop and bakery. Much like SoCo itself, there is no shortage of things to do here!
Start off your day with some caffeine, baked goods or a breakfast sandwich (or taco) at Jo’s Coffee. You can also enjoy live music on the dog-friendly patio almost every Sunday. Jo's is also home to the famous "I Love You So Much" mural, which has now become an Austin landmark in its own right.
Established in 1991 as a small antique collective, Uncommon Objects is a one-of-a-kind emporium of transcendent junk. Twenty-four hardworking antique sellers have been assembled under one roof to bring you this very genuine and sometimes quirky slice of American culture and history.
Uncommon Objects has been described as "your eccentric uncle’s attic on steroids." As the ultimate "green" shopping experience, there is something to satisfy your nostalgic yearnings and peak your sentimental curiosities. This is essential Austin.
The Continental Club is a historical landmark of premier roots rock, traditional country and blues, rockabilly and garage rock club. Its history is as diverse as the musicians it hosts: It started out as a swanky supper club, then became Austin's first burlesque club, and later became a working man's blue collar bar that opened every morning at 7am.
Today, it's one of Austin's premier live music venues. Head upstairs to the Gallery for a cozier atmosphere, where you'll find rose-toned lighting, rotating local art on the walls, and live jazz.
Where New York meets Austin (in pizza form)! Home Slice has been serving New York style pizza to the hungry Austin masses for years. At this point, there's no question that Home Slice Pizza is king in the city.
On top of offering authentic New York style pizzas, Home Slice also has calzones, sandwiches, cannolis and even cheesecakes. With delicious pizza, a sweet back patio, and a hearty selection of beer and wine, you can't go wrong with this tried and true sensation.
This treasure of a bar is named after Louis Charles “C-Boy” Parks, the manager of the legendary Rome Inn club (where The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Paul Ray's Cobras and Stevie Ray Vaughan first began playing in the late 70s). It’s a neighborhood juke-joint featuring classic soul and R&B music.
Make your way to the back patio or venture upstairs to the Jade Room, a lounge styled after 50s era Japanese GI bars. C-Boys hosts 'Chicken Shit Bingo' on Sundays (exactly what it sounds like, and a veritable riot). Enjoy this unique Austin tradition with country music, cold beer and good people.