Orlando Based Lifestyle Blog

I just got back from a trip to Austin, TX. And I have totally fall in love with the city. It is a city with great diversity. Doesn't matter what time it is, there is always something exciting to do. You can enjoy the beautiful natural-scenery along the hiking trails by the Colorado River. At night on the 6th Street the parties are more than you could count. And if you are looking for something hipster, local and shopping experience, the SoCo (South Congress Ave.) has all to offer. Boutique shops like STAG, Impeccable Pig and my personal favorite, the Austin's trademark lifestyle and fashion store –  ByGeroge are all located in the center of SoCo.

For lodging, the Hotel San Jose definitely worth to be mention. It's a 40 room little boutique hotel located on the South Congress Avenue. Walk behind the stucco walls, the front desk shop is stocked with some quality accessories such as MALIN + GOETZ's travel essential kit in case you need it.

Not to mention the up and coming tech scene in Austin, Google has signed a lease for an entire 35-story tower now building in downtown Austin and Apple is expanding its Austin campus. On top of the well-stock Topo Chico supply in Whole Food Market, Austin is for sure a great city to live at.

Following is a list of my recommendations for the bar in Austin:

Seven Grand

Hours: 5pm - 2am, Mon - Sun
Address: 405 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78701

The night life scene in Austin is phenomenal. I started with Seven Grand. I believe I have passed it the last time I went. The front of it isn't impressive and gives me a dive bar vibe. However walking right in, a display shelf that showcasing all the rare and hard to get bottles the bar carry is for sure impressive. The beautiful limited edition of Suntory whisky, Old Forester birthday bourbon, etc. I can't wait to see their full whiskey list.

I ordered two daiquiri snacks for my friend and I, it was solid and just right. After that I struggled for roughly 15 minutes don't know what to order. I really think they need a "feeling lucky" button or as an option somewhere on the menu for customer that don't know how to choose. I am not complaining, but the options just so overwhelming and my time is too little to try them all.

Finally, we settled down on the Old-Grand Dad bonded and 1792 small batch. Nothing fancy but you can't go wrong with the classic right? I also came back the other night have a pour of the Weller Antique to start my night up.

Half Step Bar

Hours: 4pm - 2am, Mon - Fri / 2pm - 2am, Sat - Sun
Address: 75 1/2 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701

Half Step was not on my list originally, however a night out with my friend and all other graduates have led me to this awesome joint! First of all, the music here is on point. Great players and R&B singers have added more charm to this bar. I was a little bit hesitated to order at first. I thought it will be just another college bar with live performance and beer on tap. I was totally wrong.

The neatly built stainless steel drink rail with extended depth replace the traditional spill mat (Bravo.. no more plastic/turtle killer), large ice blocks were being used and fresh fruit garnishes and citrus juice that were displayed on the the ice. This is not just another pub or live house. I am very happy now and since no one in the group has decided what they want to drink, I ordered another round of snacks for the whole group. Additionally, I ordered another airmail and french 75 to celebrate.

Also, special thanks to our bartender Jeremy that night! His skill and the great hospitality has a huge positive affect on my experience in Austin. And all of us that night were for sure leaving a lot more happier than we came in.

Milonga Room

Hours: 6pm - 12am, Wed - Sat
Address: 1201 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

Hidden behinds the restaurant, a 1920s' speakeasy style bar. It is cozy and intimate. The cocktails are tasty and the collection on amari and fernet is great. We were very lucky the night we visit there was a belly dance live performance happening. We were not expecting that, as all we want is couple more drinks and a nightcap before heading home.

My favorite cocktail will be the Firestarter. It contains gin, green chartreuse, st. germain and a lemon twist. Such a high proof cocktail with perfect balance of the flavor and the smoothness make it extremely dangerous. We were also lucky enough to chat with the dancer on the history of belly dancing. At the end of the night before we take off, the house offer us a shot of fernet with some knowledge behind the spirit. Maybe because of that little buzz in the head or the perfect weather with good company, it was a phenomenal night out in a city that I am a stranger to.