The Austin Summer 25 image
collection-badge

The Austin Summer 25

Keep Reading

collection-badge

The Austin Summer 25

Summer in Austin is no joke. It’s hot as hell, which doesn’t stop us from spending most of our waking hours outdoors anyway—we’re gluttons for punishment. But there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. Whether you’re looking for a cold pool to hide from your boss in, or an underground bar where you can escape the sun, our Summer 25 is here to help you do what ERCOT can’t always do—stay cool.

Summer in Austin is no joke. It’s hot as hell, which doesn’t stop us from spending most of our waking hours outdoors anyway—we’re gluttons for punishment. But there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. Whether you’re looking for a cold pool to hide from your boss in, or an underground bar where you can escape the sun, our Summer 25 is here to help you do what ERCOT can’t always do—stay cool.

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

It’s a Friday, the sun is shining, and you just got yet another message about some mandatory employee satisfaction survey that you already filled out. If you’re going to work from home today, do it at a shaded brewery with exquisite AC, excellent carnitas tacos, and maybe a few sneaky beers. - Nicolai McCrary

More like this

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Grab a Pacifico tallboy from the Shell station off I-35 and Town Lake, bring it out to El Marisquero in the parking lot, order fish ceviche, shrimp-and-scallop aguachile, and a michelada setup. Combine it all, and there you have it: a beer-cocktail and seafood feast in a gas station parking lot. - Nicolai McCrary

8.5
The Gas Station Cevicheria image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Show up to Desnudo on the weekend and you’ll probably see a line that rivals La Barbecue or Terry Black’s. But make your way to the front and you, too, could be walking away with an iced miso and brown sugar latte—a slightly sweet, barely savory, and incredibly refreshing way to start the morning. - Nicolai McCrary

The Coffee Spot With A Barbecue-Length Line image

More like this

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

In Austin, the Mexican Martini is about as iconic as Willie Nelson and our fabled community of little green parakeets. And when the temps crawl into triple-digit territory, we’re grabbing the frozen version of this riff on a margarita that we’ve only ever found at Holiday. Plus, it comes in a cute cactus glass we’re tempted to steal. - Nicolai McCrary

photo credit: Richard Casteel

The Paramount’s Summer Classic Film Series is a great way to catch up on older films, but sometimes those heavy movies can weigh you down. Unwind afterwards at one of Austin’s many Downtown speakeasies. If you didn’t have the forethought to grab a reservation, head to In Plain Sight. The walk-in only bar is an intimate, futuristic space serving riffs on classic summer cocktails, like a highball with clarified coconut and toasted sesame. - Nicolai McCrary

The Bar To Hit Up After Seeing A Movie At The Paramount image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

No longer limited to steakhouses, the clear front-runner for the menu item of the summer is the shrimp cocktail. Refreshing and extravagant, plump Gulf coast shrimp and horseradish-heavy cocktail sauces make ideal partners for an ice cold martini. Why should shrimp fanatics limit themselves to just one? We propose a crawl from Bill's Oyster to Uptown Sports Club, and then end at Holiday. - Raphael Brion

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

“Yeah, I think I’m going to have to miss work today *cough cough* I’m a bit under the weather,” you tell your boss, with a margarita in hand and your legs dangling into a cold pool. If you’re taking the day off work, do it from one of Austin’s most iconic pools. - Nicolai McCrary

The Poolside “Sick Day” image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

Nobody tell the carnitas shoyu tonkotsu bowl at Ramen Del Barrio that hiding beneath a layer of slow-cooked pork, chile toreado, and cebolla asada, is a generous helping of ramen noodles and a bath of rich ramen broth. It’s a dish that straddles a line between ramen and tacos that, up until now, didn’t exist. Plus, there’s something about squeezing lime into ramen that feels more fitting for summer months. - Nicolai McCrary

photo credit: Richard Casteel

When you’re not ready to let the weekend end, keep your feet moving with a Latin dance social at Lulu’s every Sunday. Beginner classes, a DJ, agua frescas, and shots of mezcal are all there for moral support. - Nicolai McCrary

The Salsa Dancing & Agua Fresca Cocktail Spot image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

There’s something about going down a flight of stairs into a bank vault-themed room behind a dive bar that feels uniquely Austin. Pair that feeling with a list of well-made classic cocktails (including a very good Jungle Bird), and you’ve just found your summer oasis and its flying tropical mascot. - Nicolai McCrary

The Semi-Secret Speakeasy image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

A surprising amount of energy goes into a sun-drenched afternoon of floating down the water in an inflatable tube. And there’s no better source of fuel than breakfast tacos, preferably ordered by the pile from a no-frills walk-up window that dispenses migas tacos like a magic vending machine. - Nicolai McCrary

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

As counterintuitive as getting even closer to the sun might seem on a warm summer afternoon, the eighth-story breeze at the downtown conservas bar Las Bis does a pretty good job of helping you forget about all the heat advisory notifications you’ve been getting from the city. And the small menu of refreshing cocktails, light wines, and tinned fish go down easy on the rooftop patio overlooking Congress Avenue. - Nicolai McCrary

The Rooftop Bar With A View (& Plenty Of Tinned Fish) image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

A small drizzle of spicy salsa macha transforms the humble vanilla paleta into our favorite handheld dessert of the summer. It’s sweet, spicy, nutty, and a refreshing conclusion to any meal (but especially one made up of tacos). - Nicolai McCrary

photo credit: Taylor Hannan

Cosmic Coffee’s patio is kind of like the daydream of someone who just wandered the desert for three days, hungry and dehydrated. There’s a Pueblo Viejo, a Tommy Want Wingy, and Leroy And Lewis, plus tons of picnic tables, access to coffee and cocktails, copious fans, and even a tiny waterfall. - Nicolai McCrary

The Patio If You Have To Be Outside image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

At KG BBQ, Central Texas-style barbecue favorites get an Egyptian makeover. Because as much as we love a good slice of oak-smoked brisket, we love the portability of a brisket shawarma with Egyptian-style pico and tahini even more. - Nicolai McCrary

photo credit: Richard Casteel

The Thicket has it all: tons of tree-shaded tables, a small playground area, Taiwanese fried chicken nuggets, handmade spaghetti and meatballs, and more. Just send the kids to wait in line while you enjoy a few rides down the slide. - Nicolai McCrary

The Trailer Park Where You Can Let Your Kids Run Wild image

photo credit: Nick Simonite

Like gophers and armadillos, we’ve found that simply going underground helps when the outside temps get too hot to handle. And it doesn’t hurt that this hi-fi listening room pulls inspiration from post-war Japanese kissas, in a basement outfitted with comfy chairs, great cocktails, snacks, and an extensive record collection. - Nicolai McCrary

The Underground Bar Where You Can Literally Escape The Sun image

photo credit: Taylor Hannan

While some people opt in to email alerts for the latest concert tickets or sneaker releases, we’ve got Google notifications for weekly ice cream pint drops at Bésame. Sure, you could just pick up another container of Blue Bell’s pistachio almond, but then you’d be missing out on the chance to pick up limited-release flavors like peanut butter and banana pudding with salted fudge before they inevitably sell out. - Nicolai McCrary

The Limited Edition Ice Cream Pint Drop image

photo credit: Richard Casteel

The hordes of UT students are (mostly) gone, which means you’ve got a way better shot at snagging one of the four small tables at Wee’s Cozy Kitchen. This tiny spot in the back of a Shell station puts out excellent, home-style versions of Malaysian classics, like nasi lemak, beef rendang, and char kway teow. - Nicolai McCrary

photo credit: Richard Casteel

The fish tacos at Este disregard all the known laws of fish, fry, and gravity. Served on supple house-made corn tortillas, each taco gets a masa-battered and fried strip of swordfish that’s crispy yet impossibly delicate. Make sure to have a margarita handy—you'll need it to put out the heat from the spicy habanero-piquin hot sauce. - Raphael Brion

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

If you asked us what to do in Crestview last summer, we’d have sent you to Little Deli for a sweaty, outdoor, BYOB, New York-style pizza experience. Grocery store six-packs and sunshine are nice and all, but now that The Violet Crown has opened in the same shopping center, things have changed. The new wine bar and coffee shop lets you BYOP(izza) from Little Deli, so you can sip great natural wine and eat pizza indoors. - Raphael Brion

The BYOP(izza) Wine Bar image

photo credit: Nicolai McCrary

Tamales are a Christmas tradition, but there’s no reason to limit your tamal consumption to the month of December. Especially when it comes to the singular Veracruzano tamal, filled with smoky pork adobo and wrapped in a banana leaf, at this new brick and mortar in Mueller. Light and fluffy but deeply flavorful, the tamal is winter food, summer food, deserted-island food, and last-meal-on-earth food. It's phenomenal. - Raphael Brion

photo credit: Richard Casteel

So you drove your Tesla all the way from California, and your new mailing address is in Austin. But you miss the trappings of home: year-round availability of local citrus, liberal state politics, and the inalienable right to pay a lot of money for a whole roasted chicken. Until Zuni Cafe opens a branch here, head to Pecan Square Cafe, where the pastas are handmade, the produce is seasonal and local, and the chicken costs $72. - Raphael Brion

photo credit: Raphael Brion

Made using a vintage blender from the now-shuttered Clarksville institution Nau’s Pharmacy, the Freezes at Uptown Sports Club are simply thick and creamy milkshakes like you’d find in New Orleans. Here, however, you can add hard liquor to your milkshake, which turns it into more of an ice cream cocktail, a terrific companion for the double patty cheeseburger or the bread pudding. - Raphael Brion

photo credit: Andrew Reiner

Only open Fridays and Saturdays, the walk-in only Bar Toti is exactly what you want it to be. It’s a bar, it’s a restaurant, it’s snacks, it’s drinks, it’s dinner. But most of all, it’s a neighborhood hang in a tiny-ish electric space. Pop in for not-too-complicated classic cocktails like a vermouth and soda, Aperol spritz, palomas, or a mojito, and soon you’ll end up face-to-face with the outlandish (and delicious) “smashburgesa.” - Raphael Brion

Infatuation Logo

Cities

2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

FIND PLACES ON OUR APP

Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store