Retail Roundup: Zilker Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

With so many opportunities to swim, cycle and hike in their own backyard, Zilker residents are often on the move. But when it’s time to slow down and take it easy, some of Austin’s finest shopping, dining and entertainment options are right around the corner. Of course, just minutes away across Lady Bird Lake, downtown offers an endless variety of stores, restaurants and live music venues as well.

Local grocers include Whole Foods Market, HEB and several small independent specialty food stores such as Farm to Market and Thom’s Market for fresh fruit and vegetables. Several small bookstores such as Blue Rocket Books and Half Price Books dot the landscape throughout the Zilker area, as well as interesting boutiques in the “SoCo” (South Congress) District that include Ten Thousand Villages, Blackmail, Creatures, and American Apparel.

A 10-minute drive away, Barton Creek Square, one of the largest malls in Texas, features 180 stores and restaurants. Some of the most popular retailers include Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Apple, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Chico’s, Foot Locker, Frederick’s of Hollywood, GAP, Lane Bryant, Lego, Nine West, Old Navy, Sears and many others.

The mall also offers some great dining selections, including favorites such as California Pizza Kitchen, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Frullati Café & Bakery, Ruby Thai Kitchen, Sarku Japan, Steak ‘n Shake, Villa Pizza and more. And for date night or family fun, movie buffs also love to check out the latest blockbusters at the 14-screen AMC Barton Creek cinema.

Tasty Tex-Mex, Tropical Drinks and Gourmet French Cuisine

Zilker residents enjoy close proximity to many of Austin’s most popular restaurants and hang-out hotspots. Just down Barton Springs Road, locals round up friends and family for tasty Tex-Mex dishes and tropical drinks at Chuy’s. Shady Grove, a rustic and casual Americana-style bistro, hosts an unplugged music series all summer long, and locals love to relax on their pecan grove-shaded patio.

For a fresh breakfast, the area features Kerbey Lane Cafe and Magnolia Cafe, both long favored by Austinites for their use of natural ingredients and consistent variety to suit any taste at any time of the day. Fine dining in the neighborhood includes the legendary Green Pastures Restaurant, serving French and locally inspired gourmet meals for over 65 years. A hot newcomer to the area, Barley Swine features “Small Plate Offerings” from local farmers, making for an ever-evolving menu based on the provisions of the day.