Retail Roundup: Western Oaks Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

With two major retail markets nearby, Western Oaks is a shopper’s paradise. The 70-acre, 365,000-square-foot Arbor Trails, a two-time recipient of the “Best Real Estate” Award from the Austin Business Journal, features more than 30 stores and businesses including Pure Bikram Yoga, Costco, Healthy Pet, Staples, The Dental Centre, and Lane Chiropractic, as well as 10 restaurants. Whole Foods has a store here, too, hosting movie nights, tastings from local brewers, live music, and kids’ cooking classes. Culinary lovers enjoy Mandola’s Italian Market for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — and to shop the vast array of imported gourmet Italian foods and products on hand.

Nearby Escarpment Village, Austin’s first green retail center, boasts rainwater-harvesting cisterns and solar panels, as well as six restaurants and over 25 shops and stores anchored by a high-end “hybrid” HEB, which incorporates many of the gourmet aspects of Central Market, as well as Starbucks, Oasis Day Spa, Massage Envy, Eye Tech Optometry, an animal hospital, and Tomlinson’s Pet Supplies, among others.

Casual Comfort Food, Critically Acclaimed Fine Dining and a Choice of Movie Theaters

For casual meals, locals have a choice of several beloved Austin institutions such as Torchy’s Tacos, Waterloo Ice House or Kerbey Lane Cafe (as famous for savory dishes like bacon pesto chicken with parmesan mashed potatoes as for their legendary pancakes), followed by ice cream at D’Lites, which boasts 150 naturally flavored varieties.

For more formal occasions, local foodies dine at the critically acclaimed Cypress Grill. Their Louisiana/New Orleans menu offers epicurean marvels such as crawfish enchiladas and New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp — jumbo shrimp sautéed in butter, with garlic, red onion, Worcestershire sauce and craft-brewed Abita Amber beer, and a dessert menu featuring a decadent bourbon chocolate pecan pie. For more exotic cuisine, the sleek and sophisticated Yanagi Japanese and Korean restaurant serves tempura, sushi, ten different varieties of rice bowls, and dozens of other dishes, notably Galbi, Korean marinated grilled beef ribs served with onion on a sizzling iron platter.

Movie buffs find their home away from home at the nearby Alamo Drafthouse which serves up “cold beer, hot movies, and delicious food.” They also frequent other nearby theaters like Westgate and Barton Creek AMC. For book lovers, the Hampton Branch Library offers a Book Club and Conversation Café for grown-ups, as well as a host of activities for youngsters.