East Austin has all the characteristics of a stylish arts district. The eclectic neighborhood is home to art studios and galleries, trendy cafes and cocktail bars, thriving restaurants, food trucks, a wealth of street art, live music performance spaces, parks, and a smattering of storied local haunts. If you’re looking to better know the neighborhood, here are some East Austin spots you should check out.
East Austin has a rich history, and many of the neighborhood’s residents have lived there for generations. Walking down Alamo Street, you get a sense for this. You also get a sense for the new development and striking renovations in the neighborhood, as architectural styles of neighboring houses charmingly clash. In other cities, this might look weird. Here, it’s just Austin.
East Austin is known for its bounty of murals, none of which is as well known as that painted on the neighborhood public library by artist John Fisher in 1986. The striking and colorful display of art is titled Voyage to Soulsville and dedicated “to those who didn’t make the middle passage,” in reference to lives lost at the height of the slave trade. The mural is a pleasant ten-minute walk from AMLI Eastside.
1161 Angelina St., (512) 974-1010
Affectionately called Parque Comal, Comal Pocket Park is a small neighborhood green space on the corner of Comal and Third streets. At first glance, it might look like any neighborhood park. Take a closer look, and you’ll see what makes this park distinctly East Austin. The handcrafted yellow-and-purple archway that reads “Parque Comal” is a good place to start.
300 Comal St., (512) 974-6700
The Carver Branch of the APL is not the only ode to books in East Austin. Farewell Books is an independent new and used bookstore and art gallery with frequently rotating shows. Inside, you’ll also find a clothing boutique, tailor, and high-end espresso. This nearly one-stop shop is a 15-minute walk from AMLI Eastside.
913 East Cesar Chavez St., (512) 473-2665
Another newer East Austin hotspot, Mr. Natural, is a juice bar, vegan bakery, Mexican restaurant, holistic pharmacy, and yoga studio all rolled into one. The ingredients are fresh, products on the shelves are high-quality, and prices are affordable.
1901 East Cesar Chavez St., (512) 477-5228
James Brown, B.B. King, and Billie Holiday have all had their moments on stage at this historic live music venue. The nightclub portion of this East Austin establishment closed down in 1995, but the restaurant is still going strong. Historic Victory Grill’s motto is “nourishing the soul since 1945.” It’s just two blocks from AMLI’s Eastside Austin apartments.
1104 E 11th Street; (512) 291-6211
This East Austin honky tonk hub is an integral piece of Austin’s live music fabric. The bar and restaurant is open seven days a week from 3pm until 2am. There’s live music every night, and rarely a cover charge. The White Horse, a 15-minute walk from AMLI Eastside, has a reputation for being both family- and pet-friendly
500 Comal St., (512) 553-6756
Feature photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/Everdayzac
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