A Day on South Congress

Megan Aune

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!