Retail Roundup – Texan Tower Area Dining, Shopping and Entertainment

The “Drag” on Guadalupe has a vast array of shops and fine boutiques such as C Jane, Eclectic Eyewear, University CO-OP, Cotone, Tyler’s, Asel Art Supply, Brave New Books, Oat Willie’s, Nice Kicks, Whole Earth Provision Company, Pipes Plus, TRIPP, Manju’s, Flirt, BuildURShirt, MUD paper, and Whetstone Audio.

A central attraction on the Drag is the long-running Austin Renaissance Market on 23rd Street, an open-air arts and crafts market featuring local artisans selling beautiful clothing, jewelry, and crafts. With countless shops selling women’s and men’s fashions, athletic gear, outdoor gear, jewelry, and even tattoos and piercings — residents need to go no further than a few blocks to find almost anything they might want to buy.

Residents do their grocery shopping at Wheatsville Food Co-op, just minutes away. Central Market, or a nearby Randalls, are also popular and about a 5-minute drive from home.

Diverse Cuisines Nearby

Nearby dining includes Clay Pit, Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill, Fogo de Chao, La Traviata, Roaring Fork, Manuel’s, Stubb’s BBQ, Torchy’s Tacos, Fuzzy’s, and Freedmen’s, as well as the colorful collage of Food Trailer Park vendors.

Residents love Torchy’s Tacos, a casual establishment serving up its acclaimed Tex-Mex tacos created with unique and interesting twists. Combined with their award-winning sauces, Torchy’s tacos are truly an Austin epicurean delight. No other vegetarian taco ever tasted like Torchy’s amazing fried avocado taco. They hand-batter fresh avocados, drop them in the fryer, then put them in a fresh corn tortilla with vegetarian refried beans, top it all with pico, lettuce, cheese and their outstanding poblano sauce. It’s rich, decadent, and supremely delicious.

Among their signature tacos is the audacious Trailer Park: crispy fried strips of chicken wrapped in a fresh tortilla with green chilies, lettuce, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and a smoky poblano sauce. Intrepid customers can get it “extra trashy,” replacing the lettuce with creamy queso. Torchy’s queso is also the object of much food lust. Once customers have tried Torchy’s particular take on chile con queso, a delicious green chile con queso topped with guacamole, queso fresco, cilantro, and diablo hot sauce, they rarely claim to have tasted anything better.

Another Local Foodie Favorite

The popular Freedmen’s, a couple of blocks from Texan Tower, is a laid-back lounge, beer garden and BBQ joint housed in a historic building. They host a thriving happy hour, and dogs are welcome in the beer garden on the patio. The menu boasts barbequed brisket, pork spare ribs, house-made sausage, pork belly, and Vital Farms Chicken. For veggie lovers, there is an assortment of smoked and grilled veggies to choose from.

Among the most popular menu items, the Holy Trinity Plate includes brisket, pork ribs and sausage with side dishes of German potatoes, grilled cabbage slaw, smoked beets and pit chili. The bar offers custom cocktails such as the Daily Muddle — a concoction of fresh fruits, berries and herbs blended with just the right spirit for the day. The Triple Kiss is another favorite, consisting of Z Reposado Tequila, triple sec, lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice and Clear Creek cranberry liqueur. For dessert junkies, the Sweet & Smoked Banana Pudding is heavenly and the intense Salted and Smoked Chocolate Mousse is a must.