Travel | Austin, Texas

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to make a very quick trip down to Austin, Texas to be part of a childhood friend’s wedding. Although the majority of my short time spent in Texas was dedicated to preparing for and attending this very special event, I did have a chance to squeeze in a couple of stops along the way. Here are some of the places I was able to drink too much coffee, eat delicious food, and get my yoga on!

Coffee

Jo's Coffee:

Whenever you take a trip to Austin, you must go here! They conveniently have 3 locations to choose from, but the South Congress location is the one with the iconic message of ‘I love you so much’ on the side of their building. Their outdoor seating (which felt amazing to use since it was 35* in Maine!) is perfect for people watching and is dog friendly as well. They serve Stumptown Coffee Roasters coffee and are known for the Iced Turbo, which is a delectable blend of espresso, coffee, hazelnut, chocolate, and cream. They also have non-dairy alternatives available!

Stouthaus Coffee Pub:

This café/bar is located in South Austin and happened to be pretty close to where I was staying. I made a quick stop here before heading to the airport and was very impressed with the modern and relaxed vibe that reminded me a lot of Bard Coffee back home in Portland, Maine. They serve Cuvee Coffee which is a local coffee roaster. In addition to their coffee and espresso drinks, they have local kombucha (!) and beer on tap…although I did not partake because it was only 8 in the morning when I made my visit. The Americano I had was rich and creamy, and the atmosphere provided the perfect environment to leisurely enjoy my espresso before making my travel back to the northeast.

Eats

Now let me just preface this with saying that Austin has some amazing places to eat and I wish I had had more time to enjoy all of the delicious food this city has to offer. However, I still managed to make a couple of stops before flying out!

Whole Foods:

Yes, I know this is a grocery store and with all of the other amazing places to eat in Austin this may seem silly to list, but hear me out. This place is amazing! We are very fortunate to have a really great Whole Foods in Portland that I frequent far too often, but the one in Austin cannot be beat!  They literally have every type of food imaginable. The amount of fresh, vibrantly colored produce and the rows and rows of local kombucha were astounding! Whether you're grabbing a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner from the hot bar or just stopping in for a snack or beverage before heading to a yoga class, this place will meet any craving you might have.

Bouldin Creek Cafe:

This place is a must for breakfast or brunch! Their menu provides an array of hearty vegetarian options (many of which can be made vegan), that even non-vegetarians would enjoy. All of the items they serve are made from scratch and they purchase locally grown produce when possible. The eggs they serve are always local, organic and from pasture-raised hens and the kitchen even composts food scraps! The zucchini migas is a dish I dream about and have already attempted to recreate (It just doesn’t taste the same!). The environment at Bouldin is relaxed and eclectic, providing the perfect spot to enjoy a relaxed weekend breakfast.

Yoga

Although I was unable to spend the little time I had eating my way through Austin, which would have been quite delightful, I did manage to take a couple of yoga classes during my stay. The yoga scene in Austin absolutely fascinates me! Many of the yoga studios I perused online prior to attending a class operate fully as donation-based studios, meaning you can attend all of the classes on their schedule by paying any amount you are able to donate! I love that this city strives to make yoga accessible to more people!

Practice Yoga Austin:

I absolutely fell in love with the interior of this studio as soon as I walked in. The waiting area and studio space are divided by the most gorgeous sliding barn doors and the light fixtures that hung from the ceiling in the studio are ones that I want to have in my own house! I attended an Align class at Practice Yoga, which is an alignment-based class (my favorite!) that is paced at a moderate to advanced level. Staci was the teacher for this class I took and I immediately appreciated how her personality came through as soon as we started. She was funny and lighthearted, but also very caring towards everyone in the class. Before we even began class she encouraged us all to choose the version of a pose or shape that was best suited for us and always gave multiple options to help everyone feel successful. Her anatomy and alignment knowledge was very impressive and it was clear that she takes time to create intentional sequences for the classes she teaches.

Black Swan Yoga:

I was the first person to arrive at the studio for the class I took at Black Swan, which can sometimes be unnerving when you are the “new person” but I was immediately put at ease after being warmly greeted and set up by Felicia, the teacher of the class. Black Swan is like no other yoga studio I have seen before. The studio is a big open space with black walls (one of which is painted with a beautiful mural of swans), and the studio has an industrial type of feel. I attended a Flow class, which at Black Swan is a heated Vinyasa class for all levels. I was impressed with Felicia’s ability to provide hands-on assists for better alignment to each class participant, even though the class was quite large in size. I also really appreciated the genuine kindness she extended from the moment I walked in the door to the moment that I left.

What are some of your favorite places in Austin?

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