Retail Roundup: Bridges on the Park Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Exploring downtown is an adventure in fresh ideas, innovative design, and funky artwork, as well as diverse shopping and dining. From the bars and music of historic 6th Street or the Warehouse District, to shopping on 2nd Street or in the Whole Food’s flagship store on Lamar, there are a wide range of conveniences just steps from Bridges on the Park.

The downtown area has an eclectic mix of upscale national retailers and local shops. Fashion and home décor dominate the 2nd Street Shopping District. Whether shopping for chic fashions at Francesca’s, great casual denim from Girl Next Door, or Austin’s finest in locally crafted jewelry and exciting accessories at Eliza Page, shopping is a local affair. Area men’s fashion retailers include Bonobos, Estilo, and Urban Outfitters.

Nearby Regional Shopping Malls

For more conventional shopping, Barton Creek Square Mall is just 10 minutes away. With 180 stores and restaurants, it’s one of the largest malls in Texas. Shoppers find Macy’s, Nordstrom, Apple, Chico’s, and other popular names among the mall’s retailers, which also hosts a 14-screen AMC movie theater.

Bridges’ central location means that nine more major shopping centers are within about a 15-minute drive or closer. Together, these shopping centers — including The Domain, Gateway Shopping Center, Arboretum, Village at Westlake, Shops at Arbor Walk, Sunset Valley Market Fair, Escarpment Village, Arbor Trails, and Southpark Meadows — host more than 620 shops and restaurants.

Upscale Adventures in Fine Dining

Paggi House, lauded as one of the best local spots for patio dining, is an historic landmark dating back to the 1840s. Nestled in a grove of live oak trees, the restaurant commands stunning views of Lady Bird Lake and the downtown skyline. Patrons love pairing the restaurant’s small plates of deliciousness such as Texas beets and mascarpone with a glass of wine at sunset. The restaurant also offers exquisite “large plate” entrées such as scallops with truffled celery root, Asian pear, popcorn, and brown butter.

Uchi, an award-winning, forward-thinking sushi and Japanese restaurant is routinely touted as either the best (or one of the best) restaurants in Austin, and one of the best restaurants in Texas. The restaurant’s guiding culinary philos­ophy is to combine local seasonal ingre­di­ents with a broad variety of sustainably fished seafood from around the world. While the kitchen is founded in traditional Japanese cuisine, it presents dishes with combinations of novel ingredients for new and refreshing flavors and textures. To that end, the kitchen keeps strong active connections with local farmers and the vendors who sell the seafood flown in daily from Tsukiji market in Tokyo.

HEY!… You Gonna Eat or What?

Austin’s food truck culture is rich and varied, and the ever-popular trend has spawned a number of exciting restaurants. The proudly gauche owners of HEY! … You Gonna Eat or What?, winners of the Truck by Truckwest 2013 Taste-Off have housed their kitchen in an obnoxiously loud-colored red and yellow truck. HEY!’s food is super-delicious, creative, and all-around astounding.

One of their signature dishes is the Shiner Bock Beer Battered Monte Cristo. It’s not just any deep fried ham, turkey, and cheese sandwich — their wonderful creation comes with pit-smoked ham, mesquite smoked turkey, cheddar and provolone, and — get this — a homemade fig and cherry jam. This is just one small example of the subtle touches that elevate their food from hearty and tasty to something really special. Several other delicious sandwiches are on the menu, and there’s always something special on the chalkboard.

Close to Local and National… Everything

Not only is the Bridges on the Park a beautiful building with great views of Ladybird Lake and the downtown skyline, it’s also in a location that makes hundreds and hundreds of both local and national retailers, great restaurants, and everything else conveniently close.