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{blog, inc. book tour} last stop: austin!



My fifth and last stop for my Blog, Inc. book tour is in Austin, Texas on Thursday, November 8th! I've never been to Austin, so I'm really excited end the tour with a long weekend in what I hear is an awesome city. For those of you in Austin, you can RSVP to the book party right here.

Now, friends, give me the dish: what should we eat, where should we go, what should we do? I'll be there with Bob and Ruby for a long weekend. We've already got our hotel, but have nothing else planned. Any restaurants or bakeries or food stops I have to try? Any fun places to take Ruby that are especially unique to Austin? I'm all ears!

Oh, and for those of you who came to the LA event, the Smilebooth photos are up right here!

ps. You can read a recent interview about the book over at The Glitter Glide and an awesome recap of the Q&A from the New York book party at Dry as Toast. For those of you not in a city where I'm headed, we have a really fun live Q&A coming next month, so stay tuned!


  1. Oh, I was just in Austin for a wedding! Try The Salt Lick restaurant-They have the most DELICIOUS bbq! And, you can always pick up a bottle of the bbq sauce at their small airport store, too, on the way home!
    I also heard Bennu Coffee is a great place! The owner of this also made Chameleon Cold-brew coffee!
    Enjoy your trip to Austin!

  2. I loved eating at Backspace for a fun, casual dinner ( Amazing japanese meal at Uchi, but not necessarily kid friendly. We stayed at Hotel San Jose– which is a very special place– right next to coffee shop Jo’s Coffee. In South Congress, I also liked Guero’s for tacos, Perla’s Seafood and Oyster Bar and the South Congress Cafe. We didn’t make it to the dine-in movie theater, Alamo Drafthouse, but that’s an institution. Also, if you have access to a car, Salt Lick BBQ outside of the city is famous for good reason.

  3. Ruby would love Austin’s Children Museum! I would recommend trying Franklin BBQ, Hopdoddy, or John Mueller’s BBQ trailer; Lick Ice Creams is a definite must for honest Texas flavors, Parts & Labour and Uncommon Goods on South Congress for vintage collectibles & goods, BookPeople for the best assortment of local handmade and pressed cards, and bars like Bangers or Easy Tiger. So excited for you to come and to meet you on your tour!

  4. For Ruby:
    As a local with 2 small kids, the Children’s Museum can get really busy on the weekend, especially for smaller kids. We love the Nature and Science Center which is mostly outside and has tons of space to run around and explore (and a great big sand pit with buried dino bones).
    There are 2 Amy’s icecream locations with play areas too. Amy’s is an Austin staple, and worth the hype. The Zilker Park playground is also lots of fun, and there is a train you can ride for just a few dollars and usually a clown making balloon animals.
    The flagship Whole Foods also has a playground on the roof and lots of kid friendly food and snacks.
    Have a great time!

  5. i just went to barley swine for dinner last week, and it’s foodie heaven. very interesting flavors and perfect amounts of swine. 🙂 ditto the salt lick for bbq, which is about a 25 minute drive southwest. torchy’s tacos has become a staple, but there’s a little place on s. 1st called el tacorrido that is amazing. and then trailers everywhere. i recently found the gypsy kit that was great.
    for a kid-friendly park space, check out butler park just south of the river. fun walking paths and jumping water fountain. ditto the whole foods playground (across the street from west elm).
    excited to have you come into town. i just finished your book last week.

  6. Oh Austin! My favorite city ever.
    Definitely stop by Soco (south congress) and check out uncommon objects. It’s pretty amazing.
    If you’re up for cupcakes try Delish. Love their cupcakes and other asked goods!

  7. For the best hamburgers in Austin, go to Hopdoddy on either South Congress or West Anderson. There’s always a wait on the weekend, but it’s worth it! Our favorite pizza is at Little Deli on Woodrow 🙂

  8. Every time I go to Elizabeth Street Cafe (off South 1st and Elizabeth Street) I think of you and your blog! It’s a French Vietnamese cafe – the food is delish and the style is right up your alley! Sharing a parking lot with Elizabeth Street is a little trailer park that houses Gourdough’s – amazing and wacky doughnut creations. Just down the street is my fave local cupcakery/bakery, Sugarmamas. Almost everywhere you go in Austin is super casual and kid friendly, so the whole family is in for a good time!
    Have a safe trip and enjoy our lovely city!

  9. Addie, you are right on the money! I love living in Austin and we eat at those places maybe a little TOO much. We like Rudy’s BBQ as well but Salt Lick is famous and their cole claw is unreal.

  10. Lived in Austin for years now and could t live without…
    Uchi. The shag roll. Best on earth.
    Ramen at the Uchi food truck East Side King!
    Julio’s breakfast tacos.
    The milkshakes at 24 hour diner are out of this world. The peanut butter chocolate in particular.

  11. My husband and I just moved here a year ago (From Chicago)! We have loved exploring Austin and learning to call it “home”!
    I would recommend:
    For food:
    -Lick (
    -Hopdoddy (
    -Amy’s Icecream (try the Burnet Location, they have a playground!)
    -Whole Foods (there is a playground on the upper level)
    -Houndstooth Coffee (
    -Mozarts (
    -Gourdoughs (specialty doughnuts!!) (
    -South First Eatery (for Torchy’s Tacos)
    -Rudy’s BBQ (if you can’t make it to Salt Lick)
    -South Congress Cafe
    For fun and a view:
    -Zilker Park
    -Town Lake
    -Mt. Bonnell (not really a mountain, just GORGEOUS views of the Hill Country and Down Town)
    -Uncommon Objects
    -FREE Austin Capitol Tour!
    Hope this helps! These are a lot of the places we would take visitors!

  12. Here is your official schedule from a born and bred Austinite who also totes around a toddler.
    First off you hav eto come visit me! at Sanctuary in Westlake and have lunch at Blue Dahlia!
    Now for the rest.
    SOCO- Jo’s is my favorite place to hang and be sure to take a family pic on their “I love you so much” wall. Grab a coffee and shop the shops. Take the wee one to Big Top for the coolest candy store and genuine old fashioned ice cream parlor. Hopdoddy is sooo amazing for burgers, but I L.O.V.E the margaritas at Gueros.
    South 1st- Just a street away has the ever adorable Sugar Mammas Cupcakes and my mainstay Bouldin Creek Coffee House. Elizabeth Street cafe is sooo cute with it’s pink door but if you love Mole, handsdown the best is at Polvo’s. All kiddo friendly.
    South Lamar- LICK!!! GO! Barley Swine and Henri’s are right there as well. (not as much of a kiddo place)
    Barton Springs- Check out Spartan. I love everything in that super cool store and walk the trail. Beautiful and Ruby can feed the ducks. Go to Shady Grove. The Kids run on the lawn while you have a drink and wait for a table. THe Hippy Sandwich is awesome. Take Ruby on the little train in Zilker Park.
    6th & Lamar- You’ll be there at West Elm and can walk to a gorgeous Whole Foods and Amy’s Ice Cream! Home Grown Institution.
    2nd street- Fun Shops and Great Brunch at Taverna.
    East Side- Hillside Pharmacy is a Must!
    Sorry so much, but you will have such a great time and parts are very walkable with a stroller. Have Fun!!

  13. So excited! Definitely go to Hopdoddy for a burger, it’s the one stop I have to make every time I’m there! Jo’s coffee is one of my favorites. They’re both on South Congress and close to each other. Bananarchy food truck has delicious chocolate covered frozen bananas that you can add other toppings to! South Congress has a lot of shops with really unique items, and they’re all close together so just park once and walk the way! Have fun!

  14. Please, Gourdough’s. Donuts, perfect donuts. “Son of a Peach” is a donut with peaches and cream cheese and rainbows and cinnamon and tears of joy.

  15. I’ve only visited Austin, but I really enjoyed: shopping along South Congress (Uncommon Objects), seeing the bats fly under the bridge at dusk, taking photos in front of the iconic “Hi How Are You?” mural, BBQ (and/or live music) at Stubb’s, Tex-Mex at Chuy’s, and catching a flick at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Have fun! And share what YOU find, so I have new to-dos for the next trip! 🙂

  16. Everything Katie mentioned is fabulous! I grew up in Austin and these are definitely some unique places to visit. I will add some places:
    – Home Slice (Yummy pizza! If you like white pizza, I recommend the one with the clams – if you like those, too.)
    – Bacon (
    – Ramen Tatsu-Ya (Austin’s only real ramen place presently. Heard good things about it, but the wait is quite long.)
    – Taste of Ethiopia (Not common on people’s Austin lists, but Ethiopian food here is amazing! Ask the waitstaff what they recommend. They are all very sweet. The cook/presumably owner chatted with everyone at the restaurant when I went.)
    – 360 Bridge (Great view with a short hike uphill!)
    – Definitely second Zilker Park, especially the Botanical Garden.
    – Austin Nature and Science Center (Ruby would love this! They have wild animals, exhibits, a dino pit, and more all catered to accommodate all ages.)
    There’s so much more! I love this city!

  17. i actually don’t follow your blog or know what you’re about, but i saw “austin” in the title and had to pop on over. maybe i’ll have to check out this book signing. i do like west elm.
    anyways, i’ve had to answer the “what to do?” question many times for visitors. for people who are well-traveled, yes, some of these places mentioned are the best that austin has to offer in a certain category. but for things that austin (or the central texas area) offers that are unmatched by other non-texas food-wise would be for texas-style bbq & tex-mex. franklins, j.muellers, smittys/blacks/lockhart are all good candidates. personally, i stopped visited franklins once the line got so ridiculous. for tex-mex/mexican, i’m no expert because my husband hates beans & rice, but i do enjoy some trudys & chuys, or on the other end of the formality spectrum, some fonda san miguel. i know there’s a lot of hype about contigo, uchi, and the like. and i agree that they are yummy. but i also think that similarly yummy places could be found in LA, NYC, etc. but no match for the bbq & tex-mex elsewhere.
    based on your blog aesthetic, you might like a visit to la condesa? the interior is funky & upscale all at once, and the food is an inventive mix of modern mexican as well.

  18. I just read your interview over on the Glitter Guide. I’m buying it now! I have been looking for a book like this for a while. I went to a liberal arts college, intending on working in traditional book publishing, but met a boy I love and ended up staying in Arkansas post graduation, where there are no jobs in publishing. I’ve been trying to get more experience by interning for big blogs on the side of my day job but have been having trouble finding someone who wants to teach me in exchange for work. I’m excited at the promise of this book and hope I can learn from it.

  19. Hi. I am a great admirer of your blog and very appreciative for all the inspiration over the years. I live/work right off of South Congress near Uncommon Objects, Hopdoddy’s, Elizabeth Street Cafe, etc, and would love for you to pop by for a studio visit, if you have the time and any interest in looking at my work. It would be a real honor. Here is a piece in apartment therapy on my place:

  20. Hi Joy! so excited you’re coming to my city! Here is my list for you:
    – ice cream at Lick on South Lamar
    – Downtown Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning (9-1pm), eat bfast at the Dai Due booth
    – dinner at Contigo (super cool and kid friendly, great cocktails)
    – take a walk around Town Lake or on the Greenbelt, or hike up to Mount Bonnell to see the amazing view
    – lunch at Polvo’s on South First, then get a sweet from Sugar Mama’s bakery
    – the East Side King Trailer (go to the one that is located in the back of the Liberty tavern), this is run by top chef winner Paul Qui

  21. Hi! You should stop by Olive and June. They make their own pasta and have a fantastic wine list. Jack Allen’s is also great – they source their food from local farmers and it’s nice but still family friendly. And Gordough’s trailer on South 1st for a homemade donut!

  22. I was skeptical, but just had the best Japanese meal of my life in Austin at Uchi. Also, Stubbs if you want BBQ without a three hour wait like Franklin’s. The dosa food truck was amazing too!

  23. Yes, I agree, the coleslaw is really, really delicious! Also, their bbq sauce is amazing, too! I wish I had eaten more when I went to Austin earlier this month. 🙂

  24. I love Austin, although I’m in Dallas, my heart is over there.
    Definitely try the food trucks, they are AMAZING and so unique! For a nice dinner out, check out Eddie V’s fo seafood (their sol fish is unbelievable). If you’ve never been, take a stroll around 6th street and grab some dinner, go see a live band or hit up a bar.
    By the way, LOVE your book- it has helped me so much as a fairly new blogger 🙂
    Have a blast!!

  25. Hi Joy!
    I am about halfway through reading your book and loving it so far!
    Austin is an awesome city- you are going to have so much fun. Second Kitchen + Bar on Second and Congress downtown is amazing. I would also recommend shopping and going to the food trucks on South Congress. Zilker Park is a great place for families and a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
    Have fun!

  26. Everyone here is mentioning many of the trendy places to eat, but I have to agree with one commenter above who said that what might be more unique to Austin (food wise at least) is tex-mex. My favorites are Trudy’s and Chuy’s (I love them, but I wouldn’t say they are trendy by any means like Franklin, hopdoddy, etc). Guero’s on South Congress is popular, but I’ve never loved their food.

  27. Austin is the greatest city! You are sure to love it. I’d recommend shopping on South Congress. You’ll find Uncommon Objects (a must), Yard Dog, Parts & Labour (cool & unique goods created locally).
    I’d also like to second: Barton Springs, Lick, Contigo and Zilker Park.
    I’m just finishing up my first book, so I’m extra excited to live vicariously through you for the part I have to wait a year to experience. Plus, I freaking love CREATIVE, INC. and BLOG, INC. is coming out just as I need to up my blog game. You rock, Joy!

  28. You will love Austin! It is the best city with so much to do! South Congress (SoCo) is a must. It’s full of unique Austin shops and places to eat. Uncommon Objects, Parts and Labor (a Texas only store) and Big Top Candy Shop are all great.
    Hopdoddy (burger place that is yum)
    Chuys (the best TexMex with great margaritas)
    Perlas (highend seafood)
    Lamberts (fancy BBQ)
    Franklin BBQ (get there at least 30 min before it opens. you might wait 2 hours, but it’s WORTH it)
    Home Slice
    Sugar Mama’s Bakery (really the best bakery ever-the Jack’s Lemon and French Toast cupcakes are to die for)
    Amy’s Ice Creams
    Moonshine Bar and Grill (they serve popcorn instead of chips or bread and they have an amazing drink menu. I recomend the Smoked Half Chicken with Dr Pepper BBQ sauce. They also have the best Sunday Brunch)
    24 Diner (maple shakes and corn fritters-open 24 hours a day)
    Spidehouse (eclectic coffee house)
    Mozarts (a fun coffee house that is on Lake Austin, not far from downtown)
    Kerby Ln (great diner with pancakes from heaven)
    New Bohemia
    Parts & Labor
    Uncommon Objects (almost a antique, but so much more)
    By George
    Kendra Scott
    Lux Apothotique
    Big Top Candy Shop (the have an old-school soda fountian)
    Other fun things to do:
    Whole Foods flagship store (it’s HUGE with lots of fun stuff)
    Zilker Park
    Watching the Bats fly from Congress bridge.
    Alamo Draft House (a movie theatre chain with fun food)
    The Highball (a vintage bowling lane with AMAZING food and entertainment. Book a lane ahead of time on their website)
    South Congress food trucks (there are a TON of them all in one lot. My favorite is TexWurst and Mighty Cone)

  29. Hey Joy,
    I work for a company here in Austin that has full event listings of everything going on in town called We also have a kid friendly version at Best restaurant down near where you’ll be is Moonshine. Also, Blue Dahlia is awesome and totally kid friendly. Enjoy your visit!

  30. Thanks for the link love, Joy! It was so lovely to see you again (and get a peek at your little cutie pie in person). I’ve never been to Austin, but I’ve heard that it has such a fun vibe so I’ll be looking forward to your discoveries out there.

  31. Also! if you want a night out for drinks try Pearl Street (or even a happy hour)… I say stay far away from 6th street!

  32. You would absolutely love Elizabeth Street Cafe. I blogged about it here: Also check out all the food trucks on South Congress, Hopdoddy for burgers (the primetime and a salted caramel milkshake), Perlas for seafood, and La Condesa for Mexican food. If it warms up, take Ruby to the playground at Barton Springs.

  33. You have to go to:
    Juiceland – the best smoothies in the world (the Originator is amazing)!
    Lick – organic ice cream
    Mt. Bonnell
    South Congress shopping

  34. Food:
    -Hopdoddy (get a salted caramel milkshake)
    -Flip Happy Crepes (they close at 2 though so you have to get there early)
    -Salvation Pizza
    -Food Heads (sandwiches)
    -counter cafe
    -Galaxy Cafe
    -Torchey’s Tacos (best queso in the city)
    – Saltlick is the best bbq in town. but it is 30 min drive.
    -Moonshine for sunday brunch. Get there at 10:30 leisurely wait on the poarch, and then eat the best all you can eat brunch buffet ever.
    Little ones:
    Austin honestly has a park in almost every neighborhood that is a lot of fun for little ones. If you go down to auditorium shores/lake austin area you have a lot of great views. The children’s museum is in walking distance (they have story times, and sing a longs and stuff). And I actually like the park on top of whole foods, which is right across the streed from West Elm. So you’re all good. Peter Pan mini golf is also fun. A little old for her, but it’s leisurely and outside, and she might like all the big statues.
    South Congress area, or second street has a lot of little shops. Check out Parts and Labor, everything there is made in Texas (so thats neat).

  35. ahhh, so many to check out! Lenoir on South First and Clark’s [it’s on West 6th so u can even walk it from West Elm on 5th] are the newbies [and definitely goodies in town]. For pastries, I’m a die hard Walton’s fan, it’s on West 6th as well. Must check out SOCO of course and get some food trailer food and get inside Uncommon Objects & Lucy in Disguise. Have fun!Have fun!

  36. Everyone has great suggestions!
    In short:
    -Check out South Congress, the lake, and downtown area for great shopping and hangouts
    -TexMex rules in Austin, so be sure to hit up Chuys, Trudys, or any of the food trucks for delicious food and drinks
    -For going out, I recommend casual Rainey Street (check out Lustre Pearl and others) for a good vibe, or to hit the town, check out east 6th street, or “west” 6th
    -Have fun! Tons of outdoor activities, but you can really wonder around, relax, and eat a lot of delicious food.

  37. I visit Uncommon Objects in SoCo every time I go to Austin and it never disappoints. Kind of like an antique store and flea market rolled into one with beautiful vignettes everywhere.
    Magnolia Cafe is my favorite place for breakfast and it’s always packed, but the wait is usually short.
    The Salt Lick is out of town and a little tricky to find, so eat at the one in the airport–just as good, IMO.
    Haven’t tried Lick ice cream yet, but Amy’s is very good.
    Enjoy Austin–it’s a wonderful city!

  38. Can’t wait to see you at the event! A couple fun (and totally photo-worthy) places you should check out: Hillside Farmacy on East 11th, Walton’s (Sandra Bullock owns this restaurant) and House Wine. Great places with cool atmospheres. Looking forward to getting the book and meeting you!

  39. i’ll be at your book signing! you should try backspace, la condesa, elizabeth st cafe and contigo. hillside farmacy is also divine. have fun – its a great city!!

  40. Toy Joy
    North Loop neighborhood (Lots of shops- vintage, music and the like, The Vegan Nom and little bars/restaurants that are really great)
    Wheatsville Coop
    South Congress
    The Steeping Room
    Black Swan Yoga- if you have time to do something just for yourself
    Mr. Natural
    Jackaloupe burgers
    LuluB’s or Arlo’s for other food trailer ideas

  41. The Salt Lick has ambiance but is not even on the top 20 list for great barbeque. Get in line in the morning before they open for mind-blowing brisket at Franklin BBQ. If you’re short on time and don’t want to drive an hour out of town to one of the legendary barbeque joints, just hit up Rudy’s (yummy, kid friendly and awesome creamed corn!) Definitely go to Hopdoddy Burger Bar (Greek Burger, Fries and a Salted Caramel milkshake are my favorites), Sunday brunch at Green Pastures (a historic home with amazing food and peacocks!), dine and watch a flick at the Alamo Drafthouse at the Ritz on 6th St, Gourdough’s Doughnut trailer, Uchi for top notch slurge-worthy sushi, Amy’s Ice Cream, Kerby Lane, the house bars on Rainey Street…and of course there are a gazillion Tex-mex joints. Trust me you will not leave Austin hungry!
    Most of the cute shops are in the 2nd Street district downtown, and on South Congress. Walk or bike along the lake trail, fly a kite in Zilker park, or canoe/kayak/stand-up paddle board on the lake. You’ll also be here during the EAST Austin Studio Tour, so there will be lots of artsy happenings going on on the East side of the city!

  42. Ohhhh Joyyyyy!!!! SO excited to hear you’re coming to the GREAT state of Texas! This visit has been long overdue! Since I’m in Dallas I won’t have the pleasure of coming to your book signing, but I know you will receive SUCH a warm welcome!
    1. EAST SIDE KING! The Thai Chicken Karaage is a total game changer!
    2. Don’t miss out on Gourdoughs.
    3. Salt Lick, the original location, but it does typically have a good wait time.
    4. Joe’s Coffee
    5. Amy’s Ice Cream
    6. Kerby Lane is a signature Austin diner, but don’t be deceived by it’s exterior and “diner” food status, this place can whip a killer brunch just as easily as it can serve duck or pumpkin and other seasonal ingredients on their specialty menu!
    7. Mozart’s Coffee Shop. They have a great outdoor seating area next to the water and live music on the weekends.
    HAVE SO MUCH FUN! So excited for you and the fam to visit the land of big everything, Southern hospitality, and a super fun and funky city (not too dissimilar from Portland in that respect).

  43. I would love it if you and the family came to visit me at AMOA-Arthouse. It is a contemporary art museum at 700 Congress Ave. We have a fabulous exhibition on display of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits and films. We also have a local artist named Andy Coolquitt. Both of them make colorful and eclectic artwork. I feel like you would really enjoy coming and visiting our space. We are child friendly as well. Please visit our website at


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