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© Kent Wang/Flickr

Alternative Places To Visit In Austin

Picture of Marisa Martinez
Updated: 9 February 2017
While Austin has many widely known attractions, there are much more that are just as good that are not on Yelp’s top ten list. The iconic Austin restaurants and attractions are popular for a good reason, but there is a city full of hidden gems that are just as great (if not better). Here are some lesser known alternatives to classic Austin staples.


If You Like Torchy’s Tacos, Why Not Try Paco’s Tacos?

Torchy’s is not the only place in Austin where one can find good tacos. Many neighborhoods (also known as “barrios”) in East and Northeast Austin are filled with small shacks like Paco’s Taco’s on 51st Street. Paco’s serves over ten different types of tacos as well as other Mexican foods in addition to a special called ‘Paco’s Big Man’ which is served on a ten-inch flour tortilla.

1304 E 51st St, Austin, TX, USA, +1 (512) 323-6206

If You Like Hey Cupcake! Why Not Try Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop?

Hey Cupcake! has gained a solid reputation thanks to its location on South Congress. However, there is a bakery down the way on South 1st (with a second location on Manor Road) that serves up a much more eclectic menu with smaller portion sizes. What Sugar Mama’s lacks in size, it makes up for in quality. All of the ingredients at Sugar Mama’s are fair trade and made-from-scratch, from the cage-free eggs to their ‘no mixes’ guarantee.

1905 S 1st St, Austin, TX, USA, +1 (512) 448-3727

2406 Manor Rd, Austin, TX, USA +1 (512) 912-6628

If You Like Barton Springs, Why Not Try Pedernales/McKinney Falls?

Ditch the crowds that flock to Barton Springs on beautiful sunny days and hit up some of the natural bodies of water in Austin instead. McKinney Falls is located in southeast Austin and is a beautiful, peaceful spot that’s almost never crowded. Not looking for a hike? Further away, about an hour outside of Austin is Pedernales Falls. While they do have a hiking trail, many go to experience the naturally blue water.

Pedernales Falls: 2585 Park Rd 6026, Johnson City, TX, USA

McKinney Falls: 5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX, USA

If You Like 360 Overlook, Why Not Try Enchanted Rock?

Enchanted Rock provides a stunning aerial view of both Austin and its suburbs. This 425-foot monolith located in Fredericksburg is the perfect spot for a day trip or a hike. Enchanted Rock’s hike is just over a mile long and has a roomy top that provides a view of the entire park. However, the altitude is low enough that it is doable for all ages.

16710 Ranch Rd. 965 Fredericksburg, TX, USA

If You Like Homeslice, Why Not Try Mangia?

Even though it’s located on busy South Congress, Homeslice is not the best of the best when it comes to pizza. There are some great pizza parlors in Austin where you don’t have to wait. Mangia Pizza, located only in Austin, has been serving Chicago-style Italian food since 1988 and uses only fresh ingredients. Mangia is only located in northwest Austin on Mesa Drive, but if the commute is too far, they also deliver.

8012 Mesa Dr, Austin, TX, USA, +1 (512) 349-2126

By Marisa Martinez