Some haters say anything north of Hyde Park or north of Allandale or north of Mueller or north of where 183 and Mopac intersect is not “the real Austin.” The phrase, “Don’t Dallas my Austin” is often heard directed at North Austin too, suggesting that part of Austin has become a corporate business park full of chain stores and prefab, single-family houses.
Despite the attitude of many South Austin’ers, there are reasons to defend North Austin from this abuse. Here are 10 reasons why North Austin is actually awesome.
10.) The art
The fence murals on North Lamar, just south of Rundberg, that the neighborhood painted are incredible. Just look at the Beauty Will Save the World project (above, video by Austin PBS affiliate KLUR-TV) and see for yourself. Notice the different languages, styles, messages and variety of colors? Some of the best art in town can be found on the north side.
9.) The hiking trails
They’re everywhere. In fact, there are over 60 hiking trails in North Austin.
8.) The Drafthouse(s)
Just like everyone down south with easy access to downtown, North Austin also has Alamo Drafthouse — three, in fact: Alamo Village, Alamo Lakeline and the newest addition to the Drafthouse family, Alamo Mueller. Check out the 10 reasons you’ll fall in love with the new locale here.
7.) Sooooo many parks with bike trails
North Austin hosts 155 parks, a number most other parts of town don’t even come close to. Most of them have bike trails. You know you love bike trails.
6.) The more laid-back Whole Foods Market
One of the most Austin-feeling grocery stores in town is not Whole Foods downtown. Whole Foods Market at Gateway takes the crown instead. Although not the Austin original, it’s still one of the company’s first stores, and the atmosphere is much more laid-back than the downtown location. It definitely captures the friendly vibe that attracted many of us to this city in the first place.
5.) Two words: Top. Notch.
Ever see “Dazed and Confused”? Then you know about the classic burger joint Top Notch on Burnet, which has been around since 1971. A simple menu and nostalgic-feeling, and the burger can’t be beat. (Bonus: North Austin also has P. Terry’s and Mighty Fine… So, there’s that too.)
4.) The International food
North Austin has some of the best international food in the city, such as China Town and Ramen Tatsu-Ya. Ramen Tatsu-Ya in particular has probably the best broth and ramen you’ll ever have in your life — outside of Japan, of course. And if you’ve never been to the Asian market on North Lamar, you’re missing out.
3.) The ever-quirky Genuine Joe
North Austin hosts one of the quirkiest coffee shops, Genuine Joe, which has its walls filled with local art and serves the insanely delicious beverage Bananarama, containing peanut butter, banana, cocoa and whey or soy protein. Just try it.
North Austin has one of the best bars in town: Black Star Co-op. This cooperatively run, worker-owned brewpub isn’t just a revolutionary business model in action — they also serve an amazing rotation of house-made beers, and their grilled cheese sandwich is divine.
1.) Tech startups
North Austin is home quite a few of Austin’s bustling tech startups. You can learn all about the tech startup culture and search for current openings on builtinaustin.com.
Featured photo: Screenshot via YouTube.
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