Travel

South Congress

Establishment neighborhood
ByGeorge
1400 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
ByGeorge opened in Austin 1979 but in 2014 the clothing and home store came under new ownership—it's now helmed by Austin restaurateur Larry McGuire (of Josephine House, among others). There are two locations in Austin: The Clarksville ByGeorge actually combines two shops next door to one another—a women's store and a men's store. On the women's side, you'll find designers like Chloé, Marni, Saint Laurent, and a good selection of bags and shoes; and on the men's, Brunello Cucinelli, Common Projects, and Levi's Vintage. The South Congress store carries clothing as well (A.P.C., FRAME, Outdoor Voices, Jenni Kayne, and more), but it's also known for its home goods and decor, furniture, ceramics, books, and great gift-y items.
Elizabeth Street Café
1501 S. First St., South Congress
Austin's South First is a gem of a street and this is one of the top highlights. A Vietnamese café plus French bakery, Elizabeth Street Café combines the best of two worlds. The bakery makes two different kinds of baguettes daily (order the bánh mì to try), croissants, and a variety of pastries including macarons. Stumptown is the house coffee, and you can get traditional Vietnamese coffees with classic café du monde chicory. In addition to bánh mì, the restaurant also serves spring rolls, pho, and spicy curries. The interior is exquisitely pretty, clean, and bright, decorated with oversized framed mirrors and divided by an open arch. The chic neon touches on the side patio follow suit.
Stephen F. Frostin’
1603 S. Congress Ave., South Congress
This cleverly named truck (for out-of-towners, Stephen F. Austin was a founder of the state of Texas) operates out of the exceptionally cool South Congress Hotel, and all of the treats are creations of the hotel's Executive Pastry Chef, Amanda Rockman. The ice cream itself walks a perfect line between classic and a bit innovative—try the birthday cake flavor—and they make the prettiest paletas that are perfect for littles. On Sundays in the summer, they do ice cream socials with live music and drink specials in the hotel courtyard.