#BestieDate: a round-up of where atx&o lovers hang with their BFF's

Today we're celebrating the person in your life who receives your ugliest selfies, texts you only in GIFs, and makes you feel like a 🌟 everyday!

In honor of National Best Friend Day, we asked a few of our top followers where they go in Austin for a #BestieDate. 

Rachel (@rachhella_)

Pictured with her bestie, Nicole (@nicole_lorrainee)

"We've been friends for 4 years and we love exploring Austin! We're right outside of Hotel San Jose here!"


Raquel (@raquelgreergordian)

Pictured with her bestie, Becky (@bexosaurus)

"This one is in the Hill Country, so our #bestiedate [was] The Salt Lick."


Anee (@aneemuja)

Pictured with her #QueenGang

"I have a best friend but seriously it's a group of girls. It's like 9 of us and we talk literally every single day in our group chat. 5 of the girls I've known since 6th grade & the other 5 (1 is a cousin) have been around for years. Seriously cannot break us up! Our fav fav spot is Trudy's for our fav Strawberry Margarita! "


Jesse (@jessegarule)

Pictured with his bestie, Shadow (@adventures.with.shadow)

"I would have to say Shadow is my bestie. This is the Greenbelt. We go here a couple times a week at least, and I spend every day out exploring with him. And he sleeps in the bed between my wife and I lol."


Adrienne (@atx_albregts)

Pictured with her bestie, Nora (@nora_orp)

"My bestie's name is Nora. Our favorite places for a bestie date are: VIP shenanigans at either ACL or SXSW2nd St District for happy hours and/or boutique shopping, Nora's backyard or the Four Seasons pool."


Casey (@tigercavity)

Pictured with his besties, Tyler (@tyler_grayson_ellis) and Poff (@poffdeluxe)

"Our #bestiedate recommendation has gotta be Radio or Backbeat."

 


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Ashley & Becky

@atx.and.o

Growing up, our mom always told us that there will never be anyone we're closer to than each other. She was right! Our favorite place for a #bestiedate has got to be Grizzelda's. There's something magical about the hot pink decor and insanely good Mexican food that brings out our full selves.

ATX Weekend Visitors: Where to Bring Mom Edition

If you're like most Austinites, you're a transplant. And with transplant territory comes weekend visits from your adoring (suburban, midwest, Starbucks-lovin') mama who's ready for a full tour of ATX minus the heat and city hustle. So where do you go and what do you do with so much to see and so little time? 

We've got you covered so you can spend more time mentally preparing for a weekend of childhood stories and less time falling down a Yelp blackhole. 



Squad Up

Our favorite street art for a sweet Instagram op.

SoCo Murals

Stroll South Congress between James Street and Milton Street and you'll find a boatload of photo ops including the must visit "I Love You So Much" mural. Pro tip: the Austin postcard mural is located nearby at 1st Street & Annie Street. 

East Sixth Street

Pop down East 6th Street between San Marcos Street & Comal Street to catch one-of-a-kind, edgy photo ops.

Domain Murals

Up and down Rock Rose. Bonus spot: Score a pic in front of the vintage car or food trucks in front of Lonestar Court. 


Level Up

Learn something new and share an experience. 

Paper + Craft Pantry

Pinterest-worthy stationary store with weekend classes including basket weaving and watercolor lettering. More crafting=more bonding. 

 

Succulent Native

Adorable succulent shop on the East Side that allows you to bring in your own plant or pot, and they'll help you put together a succulent masterpiece. 

 

Lacquer

Socially conscious nail salon to help you and your mom get your glam on. 

 

Shopppp--ping!

Bring back those memories of back to school shopping with mom (but swap out Kohl's with way cooler local businesses). 

  • A-Town: Local is the key word at A-Town. We love supporting them because they love supporting Austin artists. You'll find everything from jewelry to clothes to candles to homewares and beyond here. Plus, as you walk in the door, you're greeted by wine and baked goods and immediately know you're off to a great start. 
  • Allens Boots: Play dress-up with mom like the good ol' days with the unmatched selection of cowboy boots, belts and hats at Allens.
  • Uncommon Objects: If your mom loves antiquing, this is her spot. Uncommon Objects is covered floor to ceiling with unique antiques sorted by color (the perfectionist in us loves them for this). Be prepared to get lost for hours in this popular SoCo spot.

Fill Up 

Brunch:

Irene's


Travel back to the 50's at Irene's, the perfectly funky sweetheart of Austin with a killer patio and hearty American classics on the menu. Named for one of the partner's grandmothers, this spot hits you over the head with whimsical nostalgia and keeps you there with their heavily-poured, well-crafted drinks.  We can't get enough of their Biscuits and Booze Brunch every Sunday set to the tunes of local DJ's.  

 

Tillery

Draft wine, peaceful lake views, modern mediterranean. Wins all around!

 

Perlas

Hip seafood spot known for their brunch and incredible patio location on SoCo. 

 

Josephine House

Oozing with elegance yet approachability, Josephine House presents a New-American menu with a dedication to locally sourced products. Their grassy "front yard" and cozy patio make you feel like you're having a meal at a friend's home. We're all about their Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, "Sprinkledoodle" cookie and alcoholic fruit cup cocktail.  

 

Dinner:

Lamberts

Mom's in Austin, which means she needs to eat some BBQ that she can brag about to her friends back home. Kick the classic BBQ up a notch, and do yourself a favor, by getting the Chicken with white BBQ sauce! Beyond the deliciously modern Southern food, Lambert's boasts a cozy lounge area that hosts bands on the weekends. Plus the location is super walkable to some of our favorite downtown speakeasys (see below) to carry on your night. 

 

The Oasis

Bring your mama here at sunset for the unmatched view of Lake Travis and the hills. 

 

Wu Chow 

Ok. We can't stop talking about this place. We took our parents here the last time they visited and highly recommend you do the same. They started out hella skeptical about the place since they had to use chopsticks, but after a tiki drink and soup dumpling, they were instant fans! Our other menu suggestion is the eggplant...garlicky perfection! We also love Wu Chow as a dinner destination because it's next to the West Sixth street bars, which can lead you and your mom into a whole night of fun.

 

Bonus Sweet Treats:

Bribery Bakery

If Barbie had a dream bakery, it'd be Bribery. Pretty in pink and unapologetically sweet, Bribery is the perfect place for an afternoon pick-me-up treat like their rotating macaroons, savory popovers and picture perfect cupcakes. They also serve coffee, wine, beer and cocktails for an extra boost ;)

 

Prohibition Creamery

Build your own boozy ice cream sundaes and shakes, or as Prohibition Creamery calls them, intoxicatingly delicious delights. #badandboozie


Drink Up

Top off a great day with a fancy-smancy toast. 

Somersault

Two word: Pudding Shots. And they're topped only by the drinks they set on fire (shout out to the Violet Crown!). If you can find the front door, you're asked to choose your beverage based on your style: bold, daring or established. 

Icenhauer's

Our list wouldn't be complete without one Rainey street shoutout. Take mom here on a Sunday afternoon to dance the day away to Austin's favorite soul band, The Night Owls. Jam out to Motown hits while throwing back their signature sangria served in mason jars or one of their signature drinks themed after 90's chick (whaddup to the Ashley!).

Garage

Taking the speakeasy trend to the next level, Garage is literally in a parking garage. Your mom won't find that back home! It's one of those spots you have to experience for yourself to truly understand its magic (and the fact that they're too cool for a full website proves our point). Their extraordinary (and extra powerful) cocktails and charmingly unassuming ambiance sets the perfect backdrop for a mom: daughter heart-to-heart.

Elephant Room

Looking for somewhere to take your mom downtown with a lively scene that isn't flooded by college kids (no offense, Dirty)? This underground jazz club and bar is the place to go!

 

The Infinite Monkey Theorem

Not enough time to spend a day out in Hill Country with your wine-loving mama? This urban winery (that's a thing now!) has ya covered. Enjoy a tasting for $25 or sip on their canned wine while listening to live music in their funky hangout space. 

 

 

 

 

Sinful Sweets & Jackpot Snaps: Our gals guide to Vegas

What happens in Vegas, goes on Instagram...

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...So no need to gamble on finding the right 'gram photo ops. We've got you covered! Here's our guide on where to go to snap Sin City sweet tooth pleasers and the hottest Vegas insta-worthy spots. 


Sinful Sweets

Calories don't count when you're on vacation, especially in the Mecca of gluttony. When we weren't at the roulette wheel or day club, we were stuffing our faces with the sugary goodness below. 

 

Milk Bar:  The New York fave made it's way to The Cosmopolitan. We recommend the soft serve ice cream and birthday cake shake. 

Milk Bar: The New York fave made it's way to The Cosmopolitan. We recommend the soft serve ice cream and birthday cake shake. 

The Perfect Scoop & Boba Tea:  Great excuse to get about 10 minutes off the strip and enjoy a local treat! We swooned over the cotton candy-topped boba milk tea and the fruity pebbles macaroon ice cream sandwich. The options are endless and totally customizable with the build-your-own format. (Insider insight: They also offer vegan options.)

The Perfect Scoop & Boba Tea: Great excuse to get about 10 minutes off the strip and enjoy a local treat! We swooned over the cotton candy-topped boba milk tea and the fruity pebbles macaroon ice cream sandwich. The options are endless and totally customizable with the build-your-own format. (Insider insight: They also offer vegan options.)

Hash House a Go Go:  Two words-- Hangover. Cure. Most people visit this place for the gigantic pancakes and fried chicken stack, but we stayed for the one-of-a-kind coffee creations. The Frosted Mint Latte and The Famous HH S'mores Mocha gave us the boost we needed for the body and soul to recoup from Friday and take on Saturday. 

Hash House a Go Go: Two words-- Hangover. Cure. Most people visit this place for the gigantic pancakes and fried chicken stack, but we stayed for the one-of-a-kind coffee creations. The Frosted Mint Latte and The Famous HH S'mores Mocha gave us the boost we needed for the body and soul to recoup from Friday and take on Saturday. 


Jackpot Snaps

The best part about exploring another place is finding the unique landscapes and pieces of art that brand the city's backdrop. In the land of excess, there's no shortage of Vegas gems to grab a picture with. Here are a few of our fave locations to add to your insta-portfolio. 

Love Art Installation:  Pop by the Venetian to catch this larger than life, which was previously on display at the Life is Beautiful music festival. 

Love Art Installation: Pop by the Venetian to catch this larger than life, which was previously on display at the Life is Beautiful music festival. 

Seven Magic Mountains:  Desert vibes meet pops of color with this art installation of 7 bright boulder stacks located about 20 minutes off the strip. 

Seven Magic Mountains: Desert vibes meet pops of color with this art installation of 7 bright boulder stacks located about 20 minutes off the strip. 

The Las Vegas Sign:  The OG of Sin City insta-ops. We recommend going before 10am to avoid lines and have your pose ready to go!  

The Las Vegas Sign: The OG of Sin City insta-ops. We recommend going before 10am to avoid lines and have your pose ready to go!  

Sweet Home Chicago: A guide to Wicker Park in the Windy City

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Reach for the stars so if you fall, you land on a cloud/ Jump in the crowd, spark your lighters, wave ‘em around/ If you don’t know now I’m talking ‘bout Chi-Town
— Homecoming by Kanye West

As the craziness of SX rolled in, we rolled out✌🏻atx&o took a weekend getaway to the land of the Cubs, deep dish pizza, Kanye and our home base of 25 years...Sweet home Chicago!

There's something unique about being a visitor in a place you used to call home. A fresh perspective washes over you; it's like seeing your side chick through a new set of eyes and remembering she used to be your main. 😉

Chicago has 77 neighborhoods and spans 234 square miles. Our high heeled boots couldn't cover it all, so we focused on Wicker Park where Ashley lived before moving to Austin. The local businesses and sights surrounding the neighborhood's namesake are some of our fave in the city. We created this local 's guide to steer you towards an amazing afternoon on Chicago's west side. 


More than a whacky Josh Hartnett movie and the old stompin' grounds of Liz Phair-- Wicker Park is the center of hipster heaven in Chicago. Named after an actual park, the Wicker Park neighborhood is just west of downtown and is home to a booming art community, foodie paradise and casual yet robust nightlife scene. 

More than a whacky Josh Hartnett movie and the old stompin' grounds of Liz Phair-- Wicker Park is the center of hipster heaven in Chicago. Named after an actual park, the Wicker Park neighborhood is just west of downtown and is home to a booming art community, foodie paradise and casual yet robust nightlife scene. 

 

We kicked off our adventure by taking the Blue Line from downtown. Hustle and bustle fills Chicago's "L" (short for elevated line), giving riders a sense of immediate purpose. And for $2.25 a ride, it's a cheap and easy way to get where you're going without being enveloped in rush hour traffic. Our purpose for the day took us to the Damen stop, conveniently located a block away from the actual Wicker Park. We love the small details of Damen stop; its recent renovation kept its historic Queen Anne architectural charm and elaborate metalwork (how simplistically beautiful and unexpected is that diamond pattern?!).

 

Once we hopped off the stop, we "trekked" the 30 second walk to Big Star, the Mecca of tacos in the Midwest. Living in Texas has turned us into taco snobs (shoutout to Torchys all day erryday), but Big Star is our O.G. spot for tacos from our Chicago days. This 1940's gas station turned taco joint brings Southern hospitality to the north complete with the tagline "tacos, whiskey and honky-tonk".

We kicked off our meal with a round of Big Star margs (aka smoky mezcal goodness) and the original queso... queso fundido w/ corn tortillas. Nom nom nom. Next came the tacos. This is where Big Star shines by nailing the Mexican street food classic while still putting their own twist on it. We loved the Taco de Pollo which is topped with pickled chayote, cilantro, queso fresco, pepita and...sesame seeds! So much yum, so little time. So after a a few quick shots of Big Star's funky TACO marquee sign, we were off.

Side note: Big Star quickly fills up, so to accommodate more folks, they have a pick-up window with an outdoor seating area. The "Eat More Tacos" mantra on their pick-up window inspired us to make our very own embroidered version...although we don't really need the reminder ;)

 

Once we were fully in our taco & marg coma, we went on a mission to burn off some cals and capture more of the culture immediately surrounding the actual Wicker Park. A block is Six Corners, a six way intersection connecting Damen, North and Milwaukee. It's home to miles of boutiques, restaurants and dive bars; everything from Una Mae's unique vintage clothing store to the iconic Empty Bottle music venue to Trench, a bathhouse turned New American restaurant. The area is organically decorated with local street art. We stopped to pose with the heavily sticker-ed street signs and the vibrant Double Door graffiti. 

 

We ended the day with a creative cocktail at the jewel of Wicker Park, Violet Hour. For those not knowing what they're looking for, it's easy to miss. There's no sign out front, just an always impressive and always changing mural with a single light above the front door. Talk about speakeasy #goals! 

Their current mural is by contemporary artist and Chicago native, @JennyVyas. A giant set of wings with the hashtag #HowWillYouRise beautifies Violet Hour's otherwise grey exterior wall. The painting encourages interaction by asking visitors to take a picture with the wings and share how they will "rise from adversity and pain" in their lives. 

Violet Hour keeps the modern prohibition vibes inside as well with thick velvet curtains, intricate crown molding, high-backed velvet chairs, chandeliers dripping from the ceiling and candles illuminating your way through three salon areas. The House Rules (below) add to the ambiance and are also the reason we don't have pics of inside (no cellphones, which gave us the perfect escape from technology that is oh so hard to find these days).

 

If you're visiting Chicago and are looking for more ideas on ways to explore our hometown, shoot us a note at hello@atxando.com--- we'd love to help! Now go on and play us out, Kanye...