Austin is full of hot spots and perfect little nooks of pleasure. None hold a candle to our very own neighborhood— South Congress, affectionately called SoCo. Shopping, eating, entertainment, architecture and distinct landmarks are all reasons SoCo is a special spot.
These are just a few of the faves we love…
Situated on a shady corner of South Congress, this walk-up coffee shop is the epitome of Austin java joints. From the simplest order (like a regular cup of coffee made from perfectly roasted beans) to their very own delicious caffeinated concoctions (like the Iced Turbo), Jo’s has something for everyone. They also offer plenty for non-coffee drinkers. Try their iced or hot tea, freshly squeezed orange juice, hot tacos, fresh pastries and other snacks— we LOVE the oatmeal. (It might sound crazy, but their special recipe is just amazing!) Read a paper, connect to the wifi, or simply enjoy the ideal people-watching vantage point from Jo’s cozy dog-friendly patio.
People always ask us “Where should we eat on South Congress?”, and trust us, there are many options. But it’s hard to beat a fresh slice of pizza! At Home Slice Pizza, each pie is made to order with fresh ingredients and cooked directly on 2-inch bricks in an old school deck oven. Order pizza by the slice, or get a whole pizza pie. They also offer homemade calzones and subs, if you aren’t a pizza lover. (Check out their menu! It’ll make your mouth water…)
Of course, we’re a must-see spot on SoCo! (Didn’t you see that coming?) While we do offer a wide selection of hats and apparel, boots are obviously our forte. There are, literally, thousands of pairs of boots under our roof at Allens Boots on South Congress. Our store is organized by Men’s and Women’s boots, then by size. Each row is a size. The entire row…that’s a lot of boots in your size! Find top boot brands like Lucchese, Old Gringo, Ariat, and Liberty Black all in one place. You will even find some styles that have been designed by those brands exclusively for our store, which means you won’t find them anywhere else. If boots aren’t your thing, you have to at least stop in and take a peek. Smell the leather. (You might not think boots are your thing…give us the chance to change your mind!)
Big Top Candy Shop
Just a block away, this shop is extraordinary— and definitely a must-see. Walking into Big Top Candy Shop makes you feel like you found Willy Wonka’s proverbial Golden Ticket. Modeled after the old-fashioned candy shops, Big Top offers all your favorite usual sweet-tooth satisfiers, but you’re sure to discover a new fave among their extensive offering of vintage candies, homemade truffles and toffees, gummies, sours, bubble gum…we could go on and on! Something we want you to know about that most people don’t is Big Top’s old fashioned soda fountain! Their made-to-order ice cream floats and sodas are divine! (Try the cherry limeade or handmade cola float. Trust us.)
Limbo Jewelry and Gifts
We’re so glad this gem is on the SoCo strip. Limbo Jewelry is a sleek local shop…and we love it! You can find beautiful jewelry here, obviously, but you will also find quirky Austin items that you can’t find anywhere else. (Everybody needs a good breakfast taco t-shirt!) Without a flashy store front, you might miss this stop so be on the lookout for it! Besides the fantastically unique inventory, the subtle charm of this shop is what sets it apart from other small boutiques on the street. It’s not flashy or pretentious. Just amazingly creative specialty items, for anyone who loves this city like we do
Austin City Lemons
Something you might not expect to see when walking down South Congress? A giant lemon…with a man inside. Don’t be alarmed, venture forth— from this giant lemon comes the most amazing lemonade you’ve ever tasted! Austin City Lemons is owned and operated by Grant, “the Lemon Dude”, and offers 2 menu items: a Cup of Happiness (classic iced lemonade) or a Cup of Great Day (frozen lemonade). If you want to get fancy, you can add one of his delicious homemade flavorings. We’ve tried them all! You can’t go wrong. Made with no chemical additives, no preservatives, each batch of lemonade is squeezed fresh every day. And you can taste it! Squeeze on, Lemon Dude! Squeeze on!
We know there are many more SoCo spots we didn’t mention! Sound off in the comments! What are some of your favorite must-see South Congress stops?