Iconic Movie Scenes in Austin

Known for its great music, nightlife, and barbecue, Austin has something for just about anyone, even movie directors! Here are the top most iconic movie scenes in Austin that you may recognize while hanging out in Austin. 

Dazed and Confused 

Ever wonder where the now-famous slogan “Alright, alright, alright” originated? Dazed and Confused, starring UT Austin alumni Matthew McConaughey, was shot in Austin in 1993. Director and University of Texas at Austin alumni Richard Linklater’s film is about teenagers’ lives growing up in the 70s celebrating their last day of high school. The most famous location shown throughout the now cult classic coming-of-age film is Top Notch Hamburgers. This old school joint is located at 7525 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757, and is known for its charcoal-grilled burgers and fried chicken. 

Boyhood

Boyhood, the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film, was shot over 12 years throughout Texas. Also directed by Dazed and Confused director Richard Linklater, this film chronicles the highs and lows of life through the eye of a boy named Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, his sister, Lorelei Linklater, and his parents played by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke). A famous spot in the movie is filmed at Magnolia Cafe and the Continental Club, both on South Congress. You can visit Magnolia Cafe at 1920 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 and the Continental Club down the street at 1315 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Miss Congeniality 

Sandra Bullock stars in this romantic comedy as an FBI agent who has to go undercover in a beauty pageant. Some scenes for the pageant were filmed outside the Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas, and hotel scenes were shot at the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark.  

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – (1974)

This horror film follows a group of friends who fall victim to The Sawyers, a family of cannibals, while on a visit to their grandfather’s vandalized grave.  The Sawyer household on Quick Hill Road, Round Rock, I-35, is about ten miles north of Austin. However, the house was dismantled and reassembled in 1998 at The Antlers Hotel, 1001 King Street in Kingsland. You can also visit the gas station featured in the movie, located just an hour’s drive from Austin. The owners converted the gas station into a restaurant and merchandise shop for the film. If you want to get the full effect, fans can also stay overnight at the gas station in mini-cabins right behind the restaurant.  If you dare, you can visit that gas station at 1073 TX-304, Bastrop, TX 78602.

Fun Fact: The cast for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre came from the University of Texas drama department.

Friday Night Lights 

Though not a movie, it’s hard not to include an iconic spot centered around a Texas staple – high school football. The show “Friday Night Lights” follows a small town’s football team and their coach, Eric Taylor. Tim Riggins is the fullback/running back of the team, and although the show is set in the fictional town of Dillon, Riggin lives in Austin. Another local house on the show is coach Taylor’s at 6805 De Paul Cove, Austin, TX 78723. Another famous Austin location in the show is the Broken Spoke at 3201 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704 honky-tonk and dance hall, where character Tim Riggin hangs out.  

 

Our Guide To Working Out in Austin

It’s no secret that Austin, Texas is one of the most active cities you can come across. The city is filled with running trails, gyms, and yoga studios offering the average workout junkie a wide variety of options that most cities just don’t offer. Having a wide variety of options, however, is sometimes overwhelming. Whether you’re visiting the city on a quick trip or you’re an Austin native looking for more options, you may not know where to start. For this reason, we found the best running trails, gyms, and yoga studios and compiled a guide to working out in Austin!

Running

Lady Bird Lake Butler Trail

This is without a doubt the most famous trail in Austin, and for good reason. The beautiful Austin skyline on one side and the Colorado river on another, this trail goes for 10 miles alternating between paved and gravel roads. The most famous highlights are the boardwalk section and the “bat bridge” where runners are able to have the full Austin experience. 

Two people biking on Lady Bird Lake Butler Trail, one place you can work out in Austin.

Barton Creek Greenbelt

If you’re looking for a trail more in-tune with nature, this is the one. Spanning over 1,937 acres across south-central Austin, this trail starts in Austin’s famous Zilker park. The path extends 7.4 miles and gets progressively more challenging as the distance increases. The Barton Creek Greenbelt has some of the best paths Austin has to offer and the beautiful scenery is unbeatable. 

A man jogging through Barton Creek Greenbelt.

South Congress

If you’re the type of person who hates running on the treadmill because you need the stimulation of your surroundings, running along South Congress is what you need. Although this is not a traditional trail and you will not be immersed into nature, it is no doubt entertaining. You’ll see all the cool shops Austin has to offer, getting the full Austin experience running along this hipster street. 

A picture of South Congress.

Southern Walnut Creek Trail

Finally, if you’re a runner looking for a simple yet scenic trail that also provides some peace and quiet, this is the trail for you. Located in East Austin, this 7.3 mile trail links Govalle Park to the Walnut Creek Sports Park. The trail is mostly shaded – which is great considering this Austin weather – and you will be surrounded by trees, nature, and most importantly, find some peace and quiet to reflect upon your thoughts on your run.

Two people biking on Southern Walnut Creek Trail.

Gyms

Castle Hill Fitness

Another great, classic gym in Austin is Castle Hill Fitness. This gym has countless fitness classes available at almost all times, has steam rooms and saunas, pools, and even acupuncture. In addition to all of this, this gym also has childcare available for busy parents who want to get a quick workout session in for the day. For all these reasons and more, Castle Hill Fitness is an Austin staple, combining everything you could want in one gym.

Castle Hill Fitness' gym equipment, one of the best places to work out in Austin.

Hyde Park Gym

Helmed by iron game legend Mike Graham, this is the complete minimalism gym. Hyde Park Gym prides itself in needing what is only necessary and it is perfect for weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, sports performance, and fitness enthusiasts in general. This is where you can find anyone–from ages of 14 to 71–working out and gaining the strength and muscle needed to live a long, healthy life. 

Hyde Park Gym's minimalist approach to gym equipment.

Blackbird

Finally, the Blackbird Fitness and Nutrition center offers some of the best programs Austin has to offer. For those who are looking to meet and exceed their fitness goals, this gym creates specific programs that are designed for your needs, and they help you along your nutritional journey as well. For this reason, Blackbird is the place where you can begin living a healthier, fuller life. 

Yoga

Flow Yoga

We cannot talk about Austin fitness without yoga. With four area locations, Flow Yoga is an icon in the city with its regularly hosted workshops and training sessions. Perhaps most impressive, they have some of the biggest out-of-town yoga teachers in the country and they host many different series of classes that are oriented towards beginners and yoga fanatics. 

Black Swan Yoga

This is Austin’s most popular yoga studio, where a yoga session is an intense workout session as well. Black Swan Yoga is a yoga studio funded by donations – you only pay however much you wish to donate. This studio is particularly popular with young professionals. Their classes are typically flow oriented, incorporating many different movements each class depending upon the mood of the instructor. 

Several women in Black Swan Yoga participating in exercise.

Pure Bikram Yoga

Another classic yoga studio is Pure Bikram Yoga, a studio offering Bikram yoga classes – a practice that involves the same 26 positions each class. This full schedule offers Bikram at all times, convenient for beginners who wish to master each pose with confidence. At present, they have four locations in downtown, south, Cedar Park, and Westlake. They also offer child care on weekday mornings for parents who are looking for a quick session during the week. 

Wanderlust Yoga

Finally, a must-go yoga studio is Wanderlust Yoga. Founded by Kirsh Patel, this yoga studio wishes to elevate people’s vibrations through intentional and high-quality yoga experiences. They strive to build a community through their sessions, which are both in studio and outside in beautiful Austin areas. This yoga studio is perfect for those who want a unique yoga experience that will help them grow and push their boundaries. 

A Day on South Congress

South Congress has so much to do that you could easily spend your entire day there. We share our favorite food, music, and shops on SoCo – a day on South Congress.

Breakfast at Café No Sé

I’ve seriously never had a more difficult time choosing what to order than at Café No Sé. Everything is inventive, delicious, and beautifully presented–not unlike the café itself, which has a colorful, clean, and California-esque atmosphere. They serve seasonal dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (until midnight on weekends) but between the three meals, I think their fresh and flavorful fares are the best way to start the day. 

Dress-Up at Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds 

I’ve never once passed this place up. Lucy in Disguise is a costume and vintage shop that could keep you entertained for hours. Customers can find anything from outlandish streetwear to that integral piece they need to complete their costume. From iridescent gogo boots to boas to corsets (I’m looking at you, cottagecore fans), Lucy in Disguise has something for everyone and is definitely a must-see. 

Go Mural-Hunting

Photo from A Taste Of Koko

South Congress is also home to many of Austin’s famous murals. You can hardly turn a corner without something colorful and funky catching your eye, which makes it the perfect place to embark on a mural scavenger hunt. Whether you feel like making a list of destinations or just wandering and seeing what you come across, this is always a fun and likely photo-filled SoCo activity. 

Lunch at Home Slice Pizza

Now that you’re probably famished from walking all over, stop for a slice at this iconic Austin pizzeria. Home Slice Pizza has evolved from a lovable mom-and-pop restaurant with a devotion to New York-style pizza to a multi-location favorite of both locals and everyone who visits. Their inventive slices always hit the spot and are a great way to fuel up for the rest of your afternoon. 

Check Out Some Classics at South Congress Books

Is there anything more adorably local than a small bookstore? The reader in me thinks not. South Congress Books has the feel of a personal library and the collection of a time-traveler’s trove. You’re almost sure to find a book you can’t live without, and it’s super fun to peruse regardless. 

Embrace Austin Everything at Prima Dora

This shop emphasizes local and works to celebrate the “Old Austin.” Prima Dora is the ultimate destination for souvenirs, unique gifts, and the work of local artists. Their eclectic collections means you can find pretty much anything here and it’s massively entertaining just to enjoy the merchandise and appreciate the artistry.   

Snack Stop at Gelato Paradiso

After all that shopping, you’re probably getting hungry again and are ready to chill out for a bit. For a dense, silky-smooth treat, head to Gelato Paradiso. They make their artisan gelato fresh in the shop every day, and it’s a great way to cool off after a long day of walking (my mouth is seriously watering just remembering it). And if you’re vegan, try their sorbetto for a dairy and egg-free frozen snack. 

Wrap Up with Some Live Music at the Continental Club

In a city known for music, the Continental Club is a must-see. Both a historical landmark and the ultimate destination for live music, many mourned the temporary closure of the club due to COVID. However, it’s due to reopen on May 28, so mark your calendars and check out their website for performance dates! 

The Best Healthy Margarita

Here at the Texas Tasty, we’re always posting new recipes for our readers to take inspiration from. As the summer heat steadily approaches, we’re giving you a quick, easy, and healthy margarita recipe. It’s a margarita that’s sweet without any added sugar and keeps things organic. After all, if you can beat the heat in a fun and healthy way, that’s a win in anyone’s book.

Ingredients

3 OZ Mango & Gogi Berry Karuna
1.5 OZ Silver Tequila
1/4 – 1/2 Tsp of Monk Fruit Sweeter (Can substitute with your favorite)
1/2 Lemon Juiced

A healthy margarita using Karuna juices for that sweet kick.

Images by @honestfoodie_blog

Raspberry Smash Green Power Smoothie

The Recipe

2 chopped frozen kiwi

1 ripe peach or nectarine (chopped & frozen)

1 sliced frozen banana

Juice of 1 lemon

2 cups frozen spinach

A few sprigs of mint 

1 cup @mykaruna juice (we used Grape & Kiwi DETOX + Peach Mandarin & Kiwi D-Joy)

1/2 cup fresh raspberries (smash for the bottom)

Images by @annie_siegfried

Sipping your way through Texas — Unique bars to fancy your tastebuds

In our latest edition of things to do in some of the most popular cities of Texas, we take you through some of the most unique bars in Texas.

Houston

Present Company

Present company pioneered the Instagram-worthy bars in the Houston scene. Famous for their colorful tropical motif, many Houstonians and tourists flock to this bar in hopes of snapping the perfect photo to add to their feed. What I find unique about this bar are their LaCroix drinks – that’s right, a cocktail served in a LaCroix can. There are two options of LaCroix cocktails: the first is “Stranger Danger,” a concoction of watermelon vodka, lime juice, and honeysuckle liqueur served in a Kiwi Sandia can. The second option is titled “Principal Kisses Alligator,” a combination of gin, lime juice, agave, and fresh blackberries, served in a Mure Pepino LaCroix can.

Houston

Houston Watch Co.

The history of this speakeasy is what captivates people to visit this bar. Owners Erik Bogle & Ryan Clark took a nod to “The Houston Watch Company” that originally occupied the space. Opened in 1912, it originally provided timepieces for the railroad industry, being eventually named the official “timekeeper” of the region. Today Houston Watch Co. is famous for its Old Fashions, which can be prepared in four different ways.

San Antonio

Elsewhere Garden Bar & Kitchen

While not exclusively a bar, Elsewhere has garnered attention as the “hidden bar” of San Antonio’s River Walk. A visit to this bar & restaurant is not complete without saying hi to their resident couple: Madison & Drake. By couple, we really mean two ducks you’ll see bathing and waddling around the manicured patio. Elsewhere has re-invented the margarita by featuring a White Claw Margarita – Imagine a beerita, but with White Claw!

San Antonio

Sternewirth at Hotel Emma

Hotel Emma is one of the only two hotels in Texas that boast the 5 diamond rating. Such a high class bar would, of course, naturally feature a dramatic bar.  The 25-foot vaulted ceilings that soar over beautiful industrial era decor are undoubtedly its most stunning feature. The owners named the hotel after Emma Koehler, notable as the Pearl Brewery’s CEO during Prohibition. The “3 Emmas” cocktail is made with pearl beer & rose cordial, amontillado sherry, botanist gin, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice. History never tasted so exquisite.

Dallas

Dallas

The Tipsy Alchemist

Imagine Harry Potter’s cauldron but sexier. As described by their website, “The Alchemist’s sole purpose is to blow your mind with elevated cocktails through science, art & technique in a sexy, social lounge setting.” The “Mad Hatter” cocktail is the most notable feature of this bar, and is mixed through a pneumatic tube system that hangs above the ceiling. As it flows through the bar, the drink mixes itself (imagine the tubes at a drive-through bank, but obviously, cooler). Their science-inspired approach includes liquid nitrogen in their ingredients and cocktails served in lightbulbs.

Dallas

Truth and Alibi

Truth and Alibi is for the connoisseurs who seek a swanky atmosphere. A speakeasy concept but with a club atmosphere, the “Deep Ellum Candy Company” façade deters those who are strangers. Even for those who want to enter, beware, as a password is still needed. Once inside, an ornate chandelier with matching décor greets its guests. A modern Moulin Rouge, you’re guaranteed to enjoy your evening while rubbing shoulders with exclusive patrons.

Austin

Floppy Disk Repair Co

Austin is sprawling with speakeasies, but Floppy Disk Repair is undeniably the most exclusive and secretive in the city. Why? This small bar only serves 45 lucky guests. And why Lucky? Because getting the secret door code is nearly impossible unless you know of someone who knows someone who knows someone… I was lucky enough to visit once, but even my friend of a friend was hesitant to share the secret on how to retrieve the gate code (trust me, as I tried to finesse my way in). Once inside this small bar, a horror-motif by the likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Shining greets its patrons. The fun part of the bar is looking out the window watching people looking in, not knowing there are people inside watching them back.

Austin

Mezcalería Tobalá at Whistler’s

Many Austinites and tourists have visited Whistler’s, but not many have ventured to the second floor. A bar that sits on top of Whistler’s, Mezcalería Tobalá is a 20-person intimate space that offers a variety of mezcals. Rather than serve mezcal-inspired cocktails, Mezcalería Tobalá caters to mezcal aficionados, where they are served neat in traditional vessels called Copitas and Veladoras. You can request a garnish of orange dusted with Sal de Gusano (mezcal worm salt) to pair with your choice of mezcal. 

Mezcalería Tobalá at Whistler’s

Reviewing Austin’s Parks

It’s springtime, y’all! For most of Texas, the window in which we can be outside without either (a) bringing a jacket or (b) passing out from heat exhaustion is a brief one. Because of this, we all know we have to enjoy the great outdoors while we can. For you, that could be taking on a five-mile hike, going on a picnic with friends, or even just bringing your laptop a few feet from your home to do some work in the sunshine. There’s one place, though, where everyone–groups and individuals, young and old, adventurous and reclusive–can go to enjoy a day in nature. (It’s parks, in case that wasn’t obvious from the title.) Keep scrolling for my take on some of Austin’s most popular parks.

Zilker Metropolitan Park

Crowds of people in Zilker Park, Austin's largest park.

This one was predictable, huh? Zilker is probably the most well-known park in Austin, and rightfully so. The vast lawn, incredible cityscape, botanical gardens, and natural spring-fed pool aren’t even half of the amenities this local hub offers to the public, making it perfect for anyone and everyone. Plus, dogs! They’re everywhere, and sometimes their owners will let you pet them, so that joyous experience speaks for itself.

That said, the park can get a bit crowded (I once spent over 45 minutes trying to find parking). If you go for a relaxing picnic, you’ll have loose dogs running over to sample your food, other people will probably be in your space, and the odds of getting hit by a frisbee are pretty high. I’m a firm believer that everyone has to go to Zilker at least once–it’s just too cool to miss. But if you’re just trying to have a chill afternoon, we’ve got some more options below. 


Best for: Playing frisbee, volleyball, or other sporty activities

Mueller Lake Park

A view of Mueller Lake park's lake.

If you are, in fact, looking for a place to sit and relax, this should be right up your alley. Mueller Lake Park features sprawling lawns with lots of shady spots, lots of cool art, and (you guessed it) a lake! The open amphitheater is also a popular setting for pictures. You can oftentimes see cool photoshoots happening while you’re there (I once saw a group dressed all in nineteenth-century teatime garb–it was ninety degrees out!). Overall, Mueller is usually a bit less crowded than Zilker. A combination of the shade and the breeze from the lake create a cool, relaxing atmosphere for you to lounge, jog, or whatever you feel. 

Best for: Lying down with a book or biking around the lake

Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve

Mayfield's ponds studded with lily-pads. Arguably one of Austin's most beautiful parks.

One word: Peacocks. The first thing to come up when you look Mayfield up, the main attraction of most of its visitors, and definitely what this park is best known for. The actual park is composed of a historic cottage and its two gardens, which include gorgeous landscaping, water lily-filled ponds, and several vibrant peacocks. You definitely don’t want to miss the nature preserve either, though. Twenty-one acres of wilderness and trails that lead to cool docks, lookout points, and other amazing spots! And because Mayfield is also the natural habitat to a lot of wildlife, be sure to keep an eye out for animals and birds while you explore. 

Best for: Exploring

Butler Metro Park

If you’re looking for a city view without the crowd, Butler may be your place. This park has a children’s garden, a meadow, a fountain that lights up at night, and an observation hill overlooking Lady Bird Lake. Between the multlicolored fountain, bright Austin skyline, and general peaceful atmosphere, I’m excited to come back here at night, but it also makes for an excellent daytime excursion. 

Best for: Picnic dates!

Bonus: Eastwoods Neighborhood Park

Sometimes, you just want a classic, nostalgic park. If like me, you live on or near UT campus, Eastwood is a short walk away. It’s an amazing place to study sitting on shaded picnic tables, people-watch, or relive some fond childhood memories (I may have indulged in a few minutes on the swings, and 10/10 would recommend). This park has also been there since 1930, so you know it’s time-tested and well loved by the neighborhood. Also, pro tip: if you’re taking a car, parking is free on Sundays.