Retail Roundup: Olympic Heights Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

There are a tremendous number of local boutiques and fashionable stores within easy reach of Olympic Heights.

In fact, there are five major shopping centers within 15 minutes or less of Olympic Heights. All together, these shopping centers represent an assortment of more than 440 additional department stores, movie theaters, restaurants, and local and national merchants. For groceries, residents of Olympic Heights go to their neighborhood HEB or Randalls, both just minutes from home.

A Day of Food, Shopping and Fun at Southpark Meadows

Southpark Meadows, less than 5 minutes away, has more than 125 stores, restaurants and entertainment options. Among the most popular stores at Southpark Meadows are a SuperTarget, JC Penney, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Ross, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Dress Barn, Lane Bryant, Men’s Wearhouse, Office Max, Marshall’s, Payless Shoes, and PetsSmart, to name a few.

Southpark Meadows’ dining options include Carino’s Italian Restaurant, Chili’s, Green Mesquite BBQ, Austin’s Pizza and Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt. The center also features a 14-screen Cinemark multiplex which attracts Olympic Heights residents who want to check out the latest movies. Southpark is also known for its laid back vibe. The center features a mini-outdoor amphitheater that hosts an ongoing family-friendly series of musical performances, a popular playground, and a splashpad.

The Cadillac of Pizzas and Austin-Area Chefs’ Go-To Mexican Restaurant

Café 1626 is best known for their delicious comfort foods for lunch, dinner or in between. Diners seem to love the whole menu – burgers, pizzas, pasta dishes, salads and subs. Among the popular pizzas are “The Cadillac” (fully loaded and top of the line), “The Road Kill” (every meat topping) and “The Farm to Market” (with every veggie). The Blackened Cheeseburger, served with piping hot, delicious fries, is spicy and full of flavor. Some patrons choose from the wide variety of beer and wine.

A hidden gem lies less than 5 minutes from the neighborhood — Mi Ranchito Taqueria. The place doesn’t necessarily look like the kind of eatery people would expect to receive rave reviews and be named by food critics and chefs in Austin as their “go-to Mexican restaurant.” Even glancing at the menu, Mi Ranchito Taqueria’s looks like many other menus in little taquerias around town.

The difference is the quality and flavor of the food. Diners who order breakfast tacos, tortas, gorditas, or platters with entrees such as carne guisada or pork in salsa verde, or the lightly-breaded chile rellenos — or even hamburgers — rave that its literally some of the best Mexican food anywhere. Mi Ranchito’s special hamburger comes with a tremendous beef patty topped with jack cheese, generous amounts of bacon, ham, and avocado. The regular burgers are also excellent, and they come topped with lots of tasty Mexican chorizo.