Austin, Texas is one of the fastest growing cities in America. Everyone loves it for its food, energy and it being the music capital of the world. Oh, and then there's this little conference known as SXSW…
Where to stay
W Austin Hotel — In the heart of Austin on Willie Nelson Boulevard, W Austin is in the center of downtown's music scene with next door access to the famed Austin City Limits music venue. Experience SXSW music like you never have before with KGSR's landmark live broadcast from W Austin. Featuring more than 30 bands over four mornings, this free event has previously introduced audiences to the likes of The Lumineers, fun. and Ed Sheeran, among other rising talents.
Where to eat
Sullivan's Steakhouse — The very first Sullivan's location in the entire nation, this establishment not only paved the way for the Sullivan's brand but also the growth of the warehouse district and the area's decided love of steak restaurants. Sullivan's recently underwent significant renovations, the landmark restaurant also launched a new year-round three course prix fixe menu, The Sure Thing for only $39. Enjoy live music at the 360 degree bar, every night of the week (hint: drop in Thursdays for Swingin' at Sully's all night happy hour).
Bess Bistro on Pecan — Obviously, we couldn't leave Austin without trying Sandra Bullock's restaurant. A fabulous blend of casual elegance, cheeky ease, and European flair, we just about died when we tried their gumbo. Don't miss the mac & cheese gratin or the shrimp and grits!
Uchi & Uchiko — You can't find good seafood in Texas? Think again. From the James Beard Award-Winning Chef, Uchi, and sister restaurant Uchiko are a must-visit on any trip to Austin. Celebrating its 11th year anniversary this year, the restaurant has been praised by Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, WSJ and the list goes on. A tip for a guest looking to try the acclaimed food on a budget: try *sake social*. Daily from 5:30-6:30 guests get steals on a variety of beverages and can try some of the most popular dishes for $10 or less.
Gourdough's Public House — Not for the faint of heart, or tight of belt. Gourdough's was a famous food truck that became so popular, it became a restaurant. Here you can get a salad …on a donut. Or burgers…on a donut. Or how about chicken fried steak…on a donut? Beware: One visit here and you'll be in bliss, but not able to eat again for days.
The Driskill Bar — located in The Driskill on 6th and Brazos, it is literally in the middle of SXSW and a true, iconic Austin destination. It’s great for grabbing a cocktail or a glass of wine, people watching, and seeing all the deals get made.
Second Bar + Kitchen — located on the corner of Second and Congress, this late-night dining spot is always packed during SXSW. Its floor-to-ceiling windows and multi-tiered patios are perfect for checking out the crowds, and its food is comforting and inventive. Case in point: house chorizo chili cheese fries, pork belly bahn mi sandwich, baked brie with apricot mustard and pepperoni soup. They have wines by the glass and liter, and also offer classic and house cocktails. They even have a cocktail with Emergen-C in it (the "C-Section”), which is desperately needed during SXSW.