Since opening our pop-up in East Austin a couple weeks ago, we’ve been dying to deep dive into the food culture that’s so famously talked about. Austin based food and travel blogger @atasteofkoko was kind enough to let us tag along with her for a day. This lady knows her food so, we got to taste some great dishes and also got the scoop on the must eats while we’re in town.
How would you describe Austin?
Austin is all about tacos, margaritas, barbecue, live music, and friendly faces!
How has it changed it the last five years?
Austin has changed dramatically in the last five years! Almost 100 new restaurants opened in Austin last year. Major tech companies like Facebook, Indeed, Dropbox, and more also opened offices. So the city has been attracting a lot of young working professionals from all around the country.
Are you an Austin native?
I’ve been in Austin over 10 years now, does that make me an Austinite? I’m originally from Taiwan and then grew up in South Texas in a small beach town.
How did you start your food blog?
I started my blog in 2010 when I was about to graduate from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Nutrition. I didn’t want to become a dietitian and was inspired by the women-run blogs I was reading at that time. A Taste of Koko originally launched as a recipe blog but has since grown into a food blog and evolved into a travel and lifestyle blog. A Taste of Koko has been featured in O Magazine, InStyle Magazine, OWN TV Network, and The New York Times.
What are the key elements you look for in your go-to restaurants?
I’m always looking for blog content so, naturally I favour restaurants that are beautifully designed with natural light. And I always ask my waiter/waitress for Instagram-worthy dishes and drinks when I order.
What are your top 6 restaurants that we should visit while we’ve got our pop-up here?
Cafe No Se – I love getting breakfast at this sunny cafe inside of South Congress Hotel and then walking around SoCo afterwards.
Address: 1603 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704, USA
Elizabeth St Cafe – cute Insta-worthy spot that serves French pastries and Vietnamese food. Love the kaffir lime fried chicken bún!
Address: 1501 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704, USA
La Barbecue – you have to eat barbecue when visiting Austin and the place to go is La Barbecue.
Address: 2027 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Dee Dee – authentic Thai food served out of a cute little trailer. The food is so spicy but oh-so-good.
Address: 2500 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702, USA
Fresa’s – queso, achiote & citrus chicken with corn tortillas, Mexican street corn (off the cob), and frozen prickly pear margaritas is my order every single time.
Address: 915 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78703, USA
Uchiko – best modern Japanese restaurant in town and considered one of the best in the U.S. too! The dinner menu can be pricey so start your evening with their fantastic happy hour.
Address: 4200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756, USA
*and these are all less than a 10 minute drive from our Austin pop-up – be sure to come say hi!
All the above colourful images were taken at the tasty Elizabeth St Cafe and Fresa’s.