Retail Roundup: Westwood Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Residents of Westwood enjoy easy access to Austin’s best dining, shopping and entertainment. For groceries and daily needs, the HEB grocery store in the Village at Westlake — just 5 minutes away — has a large selection of quality fresh produce, top-shelf meat, fresh bakery goods and a broad beer and wine section. Another popular option, Whole Foods Market’s 80,000 square foot flagship store, is only 15-minutes from home near edge of downtown Austin. Far more than just a natural foods grocer, this two-story foodie paradise is a completely unique and exciting shopping experience with restaurant areas, excellent prepared to-go foods, a juice bar, and more.

The nearby Village of Westlake also includes Office Depot, Twin Liquors, GNC, Alyson Jon Interiors, Finley’s Barbershop, Gold’s Gym, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Westbank Dry Cleaners and several other services and retailers. It also hosts a number of restaurants such as Starbucks, Torchy’s Tacos, Izumi Sushi, and La Madeleine.

Easy Access to Barton Creek Square Mall and Nine Other Major Retail Centers

Westwood homeowners are only minutes away from one of the best regional shopping malls in Austin, the Barton Creek Square Mall which features 180 department stores, specialty shops and restaurants. Some of the most popular retailers include Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Apple, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Chicos, Foot Locker, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Gap, Lane Bryant, Lego, Nine West, and Old Navy as well as 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.

Because of Westwood’s prime central location and access to major thoroughfares, there are nine other major shopping centers within 15 minutes or less of Westwood. Altogether, these nine other shopping centers represent more than 520 department stores, retailers, movie theaters, and restaurants.

Funky Boutiques and Chic Cafes on South Congress

South Congress, lovingly known as “SoCo,” is pure Austin and just 15 minutes from Westwood. This district includes a variety of locally owned eclectic boutiques, gift shops, salons, restaurants, music, and art galleries. Boutiques like Creatures and Parts & Labour feature funky-but-chic and just plain chic clothing, shoes, and accessories. Popular and worthy stalwarts that have been doing business on South Congress (since before anyone thought to call it SoCo) like Lucy in Disguise costume shop and Allen’s Boots western wear still draw many old and new customers alike.

Local foodie favorites on SoCo range from the informal Magnolia Café, Homeslice Pizza, and Jo’s Coffee Shop to upscale dining at restaurants such as Vespaio. Vespaio serves exquisite Italian food in an elegant dining room. South Congress is also the home to one of the legendary Austin music scene’s most enduring live music venues — the famous Continental Club.

French Tartines and Rabbit Porchetta with Truffled Mustard Sauce

Residents looking for a quick, easy after-work meal or an elegant night out on the town can always find a satisfying solution. Blue Dahlia Bistro, a new addition to the area, is a quaint French café and wine and cheese bar. Locals love lunch here. Tartines (or open-faced sandwiches) come highly recommended — especially the French goat cheese with olive tapenade, roasted red peppers and shaved parmesan tartine, a house favorite.

When residents of Westwood want to be taken care of by some of the best fine dining service in the region, Jeffery’s is just 15 minutes away and ready to make them feel special. Jeffery’s of Clarksville is among the best fine-dining restaurants in the city.  Opened in 1975, Jeffery’s earned and kept rave reviews and national acclaim. Then, in 2013, the original owners turned the restaurant over to Austin chef Larry McGuire and his talented team, who reimagined the restaurant, enlivened it, but held fast to the quality that had built the name.

Jeffery’s has been named one of the 2013 Top 10 Best New Restaurants in the country by Bon Appétit magazine. The restaurant, located only minutes from home, is renowned for its impeccable service and extreme attention to detail. The menu is constantly changing, but a few choices to look for are the Country Side Farms Rabbit Porchetta with crispy prosciutto, herb gnocchi, savoy cabbage, purslane, hen of the woods and truffled mustard sauce.