Austin inspires a lot of music – chin music that is. Everyone who visits leaves singing its praises. Known for its prolific music scene and affinity for the weird, Austin draws culture hungry travelers in droves. Its electric vibe is amped up by rock star chefs cooking diverse and tasty cuisine. Some boost flavor volume with wine pairings that are music to your mouth! I think this duet gives food and wine top billing in Austin – if the restaurant doesn’t offer wine pairings itself, you can be sure a bar nearby will help you round out your meal. A city rich with personality, there is a great mix of AirBnB rentals, boutique hotels, resorts, and national chains. I use Hipmunk.com to get the best price on all off these types of accommodation.

No matter how or where you choose to stay, sweet music and great food abound in Austin. The following experiences will help you join the choir and let your taste buds rejoice in the process.

Dive in at Max’s Wine Dive

wine bottles

Image via Flickr by Joopey

Max’s Wine Dive is a complete juxtaposition with a casual, comfortable vibe and a first-rate food and wine program. Inspired by a love of wine, great food, and unpretentious atmosphere, Max’s brings gourmet comfort food to their guests paired with a changing and expanding choice of wines from around the globe. The owners open-minded approach “Fried chicken and Champagne?…Why the hell not?!” translates to tasty food and wine with a welcoming, rock and roll style that’s magical. Visit Max’s to experience comfortable fine dining or to enjoy a glass of wine with friends for happy hour either way it’s an experience you won’t forget.

Stay centrally at the Sheraton Austin at the Capital, it is walking distance to Max’s, great shops, and restaurants on eclectic 6th st.

The Best BBQ in Austin

barbecue

Image via Flickr by T.Tseng

Arron Franklin, owner of Franklins Barbeque, is a man obsessed with cooking up the best slow smoked brisket in Austin and it is the best. The restaurant serves up the Holy Trinity of Texas BBQ: brisket, ribs, and sausage. A testament to its deliciousness is the raving fans that travel far and wait long to get a taste! Long lines with three-hour wait times are common, but so worth it. Franklins is only open for lunch so show up early to get your fill.

What makes the brisket exceptional is the painstaking smoking process and simple seasoning. Arron uses an all-wood smoker, no electricity or gas. He slow smokes the meat overnight and even wakes to stoke the fire for goodness sake, serious goodness. It is magical how amazing salt, pepper, and oak smoke can create such incredible taste. Go with high expectations and a healthy appetite. There no such thing as disappointment at Franklins.

Franklins Barbeque is in great area close to the University of Texas at Austin, museums, and the Texas Memorial Stadium. Check out East End Wines to enjoy wine tasting or sip craft beer on the patio after your fill at Franklins. Stay at Double Tree by Hilton Austin University Area or one of the great AirBnB options available in this area and enjoy everything that makes Austin a sought after destination.

Austins Simply Complicated Deliciousness

Farm to table eats

Photo via Flickr by Kari Sullivan

Farm to table eats to the extreme in a former skate shop. Foreign and Domestic serves up food that is complex in a very good way – if they can make the ingredients for their creations better than buying them they do! Bacon and buttermilk are a two of the homemade staples made at this restaurant regularly.

The offerings are a smash of simplicity and sophistication that inspires people to eat new and different things with enthusiasm. The fried chicken biscuit and popovers are outstanding! They sound simple but one taste and the surprise of flavors will blow your mind.

Foreign and Domestic is in Hyde Park Historic District. Stay affordably at Americas Best Value Inn Austin. It is close to historic homes and tree-lined streets that lure you to walk and explore this charming area. Check out Vino Vino Wine Bar. They offer a cozy atmosphere and delicious food and wines that garner great press, bringing visitors back repeatedly.

Austin Does Good Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian!

vegetarian food

Image via Flickr by Kari Sullivan

If you are a vegetarian or have gluten allergy that won’t hold you back from feasting in Austin! Full of culinary surprises Austin has a staggering variety of deliciousness to satisfy every diet restriction. Nothing is off-limits.

Casa De Luz hits all the highlights, delicious vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals served breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s easy to spend some serious time at Casa De Luz. More than great food, you can enjoy yoga, Zen like classes or just chill in the tranquil gardens.

Enjoy a lot of a Good Things in Austin

I like to find hidden gems and visit the places deemed the best by locals. Vayable.com offers unique tours lead by local insiders that help me do just that in Austin. You can take the Bike the Best Food Trucks Tour and sample from the best food trucks and see some of the city to! Take the Austin Taco Tour. It highlights the best taco purveyors in Austin with some spicy local history thrown in as well.

There is plenty of opportunity to discover gems on your own in Austin. Austin Food and Wine Festival is a weekend to sip and savor! Indulge in exquisite food, fine wines, beers and spirits from hundreds of talented exhibitors. If you love wine, Austin is a great place for happy hour! Many great wine bars and restaurants offer specials seven days a week in all corners of this great city.

I have only scratched the surface on part of what makes this great city so special. Austin has long been known for its music but today its known for music and so much more. If you have been to Austin and loved it please add your thoughts and tips on your favorite parts in the comments below.

Author Bio:

Tracey Tullis is a freelance travel writer for Hipmunk. She sold everything and left home in April 2014 to travel the world with her husband and young son. Tracey details her families adventures on their blog The Expat Experiment to inspire readers to believe in themselves and fight like hell to pursue their dreams.