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ACL | © Ralph Arvesen/Flickr
ACL | © Ralph Arvesen/Flickr
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13 Things You Miss When You Move Away From Austin

Picture of Jessica Devenyns
Updated: 16 March 2018
Once you’ve been in Austin a little while, things begin to lose their charm and just become everyday life. One day you wake up and Austin no longer seems weird. We keep hearing that Austin is one of the most fun, trendy, tasty and innovative cities in the world, but because of that or maybe in spite of that, it is so easy to take the city’s uniqueness for granted. For all of us who live here, top-notch food, live music, and a rotating calendar of events is just life-as-usual in the capital of the Lone Star State.

However, if you leave, you’ll suddenly realize that there are some unexpected things that are missing from your life. Like breakfast. Who knew that tacos were so essential to your happiness? So, what else are you going to miss? Here are 13 things.

The best damn breakfast tacos. Ever.

Except for San Antonio, no one else understands that tacos are for breakfast. There’s just something about exchanging $2 (£1.40) for a tortilla filled with your favorite breakfast staples that is irreplaceable. Warning: things can get worse if you’re a fan of migas tacos. If you move somewhere that doesn’t even know what migas is, you’re morning meal is going to be in shambles.

Breakfast Tacos | © Arnold Gatilao/Flickr
Breakfast Tacos | © Arnold Gatilao/Flickr

Queso is life

Sure you can get queso in plenty of cities around the U.S., but it’s just not the same. It may be a similar color, but none of the queso in the city of Austin would even dare claim any relation to the Velveeta goop you get at other places. Plus, Austin is all about variety. For starters, every Austinite knows that Kirbey queso is for late nights, while Torchy’s queso is best after work. Did we mention that queso flameado is the viable option when you want to use tortillas instead of chips?

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Chips and Queso | © Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

Food trucks are fine dining

There is something so special about having your food served out of the three-foot, sliding window of a trailer. Not only do you get to choose whether you want to sit and eat at a picnic table or while you’re walking, but these food trucks are the only recourse when you find yourself starving at 2 a.m. and in desperate need of some nosh.

Also, for some reason, the food from these trucks is often of exceptionally high quality.

East Austin Food Trailers | © Steve Polunsky/Flickr
East Austin Food Trailers | © Steve Polunsky/Flickr

Graffiti selfies

Nothing says “I love you” better than the quote scrawled in black spray-paint on the side of Jo’s Coffee Shop on South Congress. Also, Valentine’s Day will never be the same if you can’t take a photo of your S.O. at the “You’re my butter half” mural.

Austin Postcard Mural |Wikimedia
Austin Postcard Mural | Wikimedia

The Bungalow Bars on Rainey Street

You may not have thought so, but you’re going to miss Rainey Street. There’ s just something about going to the bar in what used to be someone’s house and playing Jenga in the backyard that is so much more fun than going to an established club. Truly, it’s one of the best examples of the Austin vibe.

Rainey Street | © Steve/Flickr
Rainey Street | © Steve/Flickr

Al fresco dining

Except for a few weeks during the height of summer and the depths of winter, Austin has beautiful weather. Therefore it’s no surprise that many of the restaurants are designed to have outdoor seating. You probably never even realized that indoor restaurants often have neat mechanisms like garage doors that can open to let in some fresh air and give you that connection with nature that is often missing in a city.

SXSW + ACL

Half of you will be so grateful that you don’t have to deal with the debauchery that is the Austin music festival scene as you try to make it to your Wednesday-morning meeting, but the other half of you will desperately miss the fun. SXSW is the first sign that spring has sprung and ACL is the first inkling that cooler weather is arriving. Both bring with them an excuse to work far fewer hours to enjoy all sorts of free entertainment; that is, if you can manage to get tickets to the events, of course.

Live music

Austin is the live music capital of the world for a reason. No matter where you go, you’re almost guaranteed to have someone serenading you. Be it a street corner kazoo player or the neighborhood mariachi group, musicians find nooks and crannies all over the city to play their music. Outside of Austin, you may be lucky to hear music through a venue’s outdoor speakers, but chances are, your world is now much less melodious.

The violet crown

No, we’re not talking about the movie theater. In Austin, the violet crown is that vast expanse of Texas sky that fades into a deep purple as the sun sets. No matter how long you live in the city, it’s a beautiful thing to see, and when you leave, you’re going to be sad that you don’t get to enjoy those colors anymore.

Austin Sunset | © Justin Jensen/Flickr
Austin Sunset | © Justin Jensen/Flickr

The 6th Street Cowboy

You know that guy who rides his horse around town? Yeah, that’s Sam. Sam Olivo is the original 6th Street Cowboy whose horse is named Texas. Of course, Sam isn’t always on 6th Street. You might have seen him on Congress or Eastside. Either way, there is something to be said about how he managed to figure out that it is legal to ride a horse while intoxicated, so no one can pull you over.

The cops. Honestly.

You didn’t ever think you’d actually miss the cops, did you? Well, once you move from Austin, you’ll suddenly realize that the cops here are a whole lot nicer and more connected to the community than you remember. Seriously, not many cities allow 20,000 people to gather in one field a couple times a year to smoke marijuana in a state where it’s still illegal?

Green space being sacred

Green space is the crown jewel of Austin and the city has even passed laws to guarantee that they stay that way. The result of this is that at its urban core, Austin has more green space and outdoor activities than most other cities. It’s hard to even pick what to do on any given day, but a few favorites include running around Ladybird Lake, walking the dog at Waller Creek, or climbing Mt. Bonnell for a stellar view of the city skyline.

Zilker Metropolitan Park | Wikimedia
Zilker Metropolitan Park | Wikimedia

Wintertime is the best time of the year

If we’re being honest, winter lasts about two weeks in Austin, and even then it might be 40°F (4°C) . The rest of the year, you can be outdoors. There aren’t many cities in the U.S. out there where that’s the case.

Winter canoeing in Zilker Park | © Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia
Winter canoeing in Zilker Park | © Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia