Retail Roundup: Woodhaven Area Shopping, Dining and Entertainment

Woodhaven homeowners have a wide variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options all close to home. The HEB grocery store in the Village at Westlake has one of the largest selections of fresh fruit and vegetables, top-shelf meat, bakery goods and wine and beer in the city.

Not to be outdone, downtown’s world flagship store, Whole Foods Market, is just 10 minutes from home. This 80,000 square foot, two-story one-of-a-kind grocery store offers patrons several mini-restaurants, excellent prepared foods, a juice bar, and a complete inventory of healthful groceries.

Bring Your Shopping List to Barton Creek Square Mall

Barton Creek Square Mall, about five minutes away, is one of the largest malls in Texas. A popular destination for a day of fun, food and shopping, the mall features 180 specialty retail shops and department staples such as 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, 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.

There are eight more major shopping centers only about 15 minutes away or less, including the Arboretum at Great Hills, Gateway, Shops at Arbor Walk, Southpark Meadows, Arbor Trails, Escarpment Village, Sunset Valley Market Fair, and the Domain. Together, these shopping centers host an assortment of almost 500 fine department stores, national and local merchants, restaurants, movie theaters, and more.

Funky to Chic Shopping and Dining in SoCo

South Congress, lovingly known as “SoCo,” is pure Austin. This district, just over 10 minutes away, includes eclectic small boutiques, gift shops, salons, restaurants, music, and art galleries. Boutiques like Creatures and Parts & Labour feature funky-but-chic to just plain chic clothing, shoes, and accessories. Popular and worthy stalwarts that have been doing business on South Congress (since before anyone had 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.

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

The Flavorful Perfection of Moist Smoked Brisket

There are a wealth of different cuisines and both fine and casual dining near Woodhaven. A quick 10-minute drive up Bee Caves Road leads residents to The County Line on the Hill, a Texas barbeque restaurant. The décor reads like a roadhouse, but the ambiance and service are fine dining through and through. The brisket is smoked for hours to moist, flavorful perfection.

Jeffery’s of Clarksville is among the best fine-dining restaurants in the city. Opened in 1975, Jeffery’s earned and has kept rave reviews and national acclaim. In 2013, the original owners turned the restaurant over to Austin chef Larry McGuire and his talented team, who completely reimagined the restaurant. 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 15 minutes from home, is legendary for its impeccable service and extreme attention to detail. The menu is constantly changing, but a good choice might be the Prime Texas Akaushi Tenderloin Tartare with shaved black truffles, crispy shallots, capers, quail egg, and parmesan crisps.