A fresh salad at Elizabeth Street Café.
text by JESSICA ROMM PEREZ
photography by MOLLY WINTERS
With inspiring hotels, a seriously stylish shopping scene, and stellar new restaurants, Austin is ready for its close-up.
Poolside at Saint Cecilia
WHERE TO STAY
South Congress Hotel
1603 S CONGRESS AVENUE, 512-920-6405;southcongresshotel.com
The 83-room South Congress Hotel, located at the former site of the South Congress food truck park, is set to become the meeting place for what’s cool in Austin right now. Designed by architect Michael Hsu and interiors firm Studio MAI, the hotel is home to a slew of amazing restaurants, bars, and retail concepts scattered throughout the property. Paul Qui’s 12-seat omakase spot, Otoko, a California-inspired menu at Café No Sé, a wood-fired, meat-centric menu at Central Standard, and fresh juices at Mañana truly means there’s something for everyone and every craving. Pop into Revival Cycles for vintage motorcycles and biker gear, natural nail salon tenoverten for perfect pedicures, and the Sunroom boutique for swimwear, sunglasses, and other ray-catching necessities.
Brass and tile at South Congress Hotel
Hotel Saint Cecilia
112 ACADEMY DRIVE, 512-852-2400; hotelsaintcecilia.com
Named in homage to the patron saint of music and poetry, the Saint Cecilia is a quiet Chateau Marmont–inspired retreat by Liz Lambert and Bunkhouse Hospitality tucked away in the Travis Heights neighborhood of South Austin. The bar for guests and members and poolside bungalows are reason enough to stay here, but in-room amenities like Le Labo bath products, Rega turntables in every room, and a lending library of vintage vinyl will make sure your stay is lengthy. Papillionaire bikes are available for borrowing so guests can explore the shops nearby on South Congress Avenue.
An herby and bright breakfast at Josephine House
WHERE TO EAT
1601 WATERSTON AVENUE, 512-477-5584;josephineofaustin.com
A cool cottage painted in a deep navy blue with crisp white trim is home to Larry McGuire’s casual sister restaurant to a more formal Jeffrey’s next door. A jewel-box interior of gleaming white, marble, brass, and wood is the picture-perfect setting for healthy-ish dishes like huevos rancheros and green juice at breakfast and shrimp and grits at dinner. Monday’s popular steak frites night is not to be missed.
elizabeth street café
1501 S 1ST STREET, 512-291-2881;elizabethstreetcafe.com
A colorful boulangerie in the morning serving strong Vietnamese iced coffee, creative croissants, and breakfast bánh mì turns into a sexy spot for cocktails and spicy noodles after dark.
Pink light at dusk outside Elizabeth street café
1610 SAN ANTONIO STREET, 512-474-2796; olamaieaustin.com
Chefs Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nona reimagine classic Southern cuisine at their celebrated restaurant, named after four generations of women in Fojtasek’s Tennessee family. Savor familiar comforts like hush puppies and country-fried cornbread alongside innovative creations like the cauliflower burger. The setting is also picture perfect: an elegantly restored 80-year-old home marries traditional southern charm and modern design.
2115 HOLLY STREET, 512-382-1599;launderetteaustin.com
Rene Ortiz and Laura Sawicki’s spot located in a former gas station and laundromat is one of the coolest tables in town.
1914 E 6TH STREET, 512-354-1480;gardner-austin.com
The vegetable-forward menu at Gardner is served on handcrafted ceramic plates, and the Scandinavian vibes in the beautifully minimalist interior are not to be missed.
WHERE TO SHOP
701 S LAMAR BOULEVARD, 512-428-6639; nannieinez.com
Nannie Inez is Austin’s authority on colorful and cool, contemporary design. Local talent is thoughtfully incorporated with an assortment of up-and-comers from around the globe, including designers from Denmark, France, and Japan. Founded by Deeyn Rhodes and Lonzo Jackson in 2012, this concept boutique is inspiring and original.
1601 S 1ST STREET, 512-243-8901;esbyapparel.com
Stephanie Esby’s store is located in a former autobody shop that underwent a crisp makeover courtesy of designer Duffy Stone. Concrete floors and white-washed walls are a clean backdrop for Esby’s flattering jumpsuits and feminine linen blouses that stick to an edited color palette of white, indigo, black, and tan.
kettle & brine
908 W 12TH STREET, 512-375-4239; kettleandbrine.com
A modern kitchen shop that fuses food and design for customers who appre-ciate the craft of cooking. Japanese cast-iron pans and one-of-a-kind walnut cutting boards are sold along with Portland, Oregon’s Jacobsen Salt products and teas from Brooklyn-based Bellocq; there is also an ongoing roster of workshops and cooking classes.
2204 LAKE AUSTIN BOULEVARD, 512-770-6211;supplyshowroom.com
Opened in the fall by partners Kim West, Callie Jenschke, and Kristin Gish, Supply offers a powerful medley of fabric, lighting, furniture, and wallpaper designers not previously available in Austin. Kari Fisher, Heather Ashton, and Abnormals Anonymous are among the showrooms exciting exclusives. If you’re looking for design services, Supply’s curated mix of inspiring design elements brings a breath of fresh air to the Austin interiors scene.
524 N LAMAR BOULEVARD AND 1400 S CONGRESS AVENUE, 877-472-5951;bygeorgeaustin.com
ByGeorge is leading the charge in Austin’s recent retail revival. When Larry McGuire took the reins last spring, he hired a new team, including creative director Kristen Cole from LA and Dallas boutique TENOVERSIX. Loaded with lots of fashion-forward labels, such as ACNE, Ulla Johnson, Frame Denim, and The Row, as well as a mix of local designers, this colorful lifestyle shop certainly secures Austin a spot on the contemporary style map.
2324 S LAMAR BOULEVARD, 512-840-0900
This Austin shop designed by Duffy Stone in collaboration with Ian Collings of Fort Standard, feels like the glam-desert closet of your coolest best friend. Amazing interior details, such as Calico ombré wallpaper and buttery leather-top tables draped with marble accessories, are inspiring beyond the amazingly affordable fashion, beauty, and home products.
215 S LAMAR BOULEVARD, SUITE D, 512-579-0303; spartan-shop.com
Located next door to JM Drygoods, Spartan carries a unique spread of home goods and personal accessories, including ceramics, jewelry, and skin care. Handcrafted ceramics by Judy Jackson, jewelry by Satomi Kawakita, and accessories by Fort Standard are carefully selected by retail powerhouse Currie Person.
606 BLANCO STREET, 512-356-9136;outdoorvoices.com
Founder tyler haney s flagship store occupies a modern, light-filled bunga-low in Austin’s Clarksville neighborhood. Haney launched the design-forward brand in 2012 after tiring of the too-tight and too-bright merchandise dominating the market. Outdoor Voices is a meeting place for the beautiful, fit, and stylish in Austin. Look for a collaboration with APC coming this fall
215 S LAMAR BOULEVARD, SUITE C; jmdrygoods.com
Fans of this eclectic South Austin shop describe it as an escape to Marfa without the drive. Founder Michelle Teague carefully selects breezy embroidered caftans, chic leather sandals, and heavy cotton blankets crafted by Mexican artisans for the shop. The store offers an especially fine collection of handmade Oaxacan textiles, furniture, and accessories.
Check in for a soulful stay at Hotel Saint Cecilia.