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South Congress Avenue Shopping

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Loretta Adams Last updated on Sep 15, 2023 by

South Congress, or SoCo, is well known for being one of Austin’s best shopping districts. What started as a haven for retro clothing, oddities and unique local shops, has grown to host some of the biggest names in goods and apparel. This area is always evolving so here is your guide on what to do and where to go. Find below the best SoCo shops, activities, food, drinks, & more! 
 
View of Capitol from South Congress


SHOPPING 


BOOTS & HATS
Get your feet and dome decked out!


Allen’s Boots - Austin’s beloved South Congress boot shop has been tuckin’ toes into leather for nearly 50 years. They have a massive selection of boots, hats, belts, and western wears. As per Austin tradition, travel up and down the cowboy boot corridors to find your sole-mate.

Heritage Boot Co - Now female owned, this company has been making beautiful boots since 2007 and recently found a permanent home on South Congress. Visit the “Boot Mavens” and slip into some supple leather.

Goorin Bros. - Find your perfect fedora or a true Texas trucker. Search no further, these skilled hat makers have a wide selection of styles and designs to decorate your dome.

More: Tecovas, Howler Bros, Maufrais


GIFTS
Some of SoCo's Iconic shops!


Big Top Candy Shop - Serving SoCo the best selection of wrapped and bulk candy for almost 20 years. Stop by to get your favorite sweets from the past and present and make sure to try a fizzy refreshment from their old-fashioned soda fountain! 

Monkey See Monkey Do! - Your one stop shop for the best toys, novelty items, gifts, and more! This long standing SoCo toy shop has a huge selection of fun, funky, and offbeat objects. The perfect place to wander in, window shop, and acquire unique Austin mementos for you and your loved ones.

Prima Dora - Alongside the classic Magnolia Cafe is this adorable “Old Austin” gift shop. Truly keeping it weird with the best (and funniest) Texas and ATX themed gifts. Find the perfect souvenir for you or your favorite friend.

Mi Casa Gallery - This vibrant and eclectic shop is filled with artisan made crafts, decor, gifts, artwork, and more from Mexico, Texas, and countries around the globe. The selection here is a reflection of Latin American, Southwestern folk, and religious culture. Stop by to see the crystal bedazzled longhorn skulls!

Le Labo - Famous worldwide for their finely crafted fragrances, this perfumery provides the essence of luxury. Let the lab technicians here hand-blend and package your favorite scents like Santal 33, Another 13, and more.
Visit the technicians at Le Labo to find your scent - Ask for Ken!


Yeti - Find the Yeti your heart desires at their Flagship location on SoCo and Barton Springs. Way more than just a store with a music stage, family friendly events, and the BARRR where you can grab beer and snacks. 

More: Paperwork, Kendra Scott


CLOTHING & GOODS

Feathers Vintage - One of the oldest shops still remaining on SoCo, Feathers provides the best in vintage clothing and locally sourced goods. Pop into this pretty in pink, blast to the past and find a piece you love.

SoCo Vintage Pop Up - In true old South Congress walk-up vendor fashion, this semi permanent pop up gallery is an outdoor expo for local vintage clothing, jewelry, and art. Walk around the booths here to find something as unique as Austin.

STAG Provisions for Men - This locally founded shop has been clothing Austin men for nearly 15 years. They have an elegant yet laid back style that meshes perfectly with the city's culture. Stop by STAG to search their selection of clothing, accessories, and even authentic one-of-one antique home items.

Neighborhood Goods - Stop by this fresh and modern department shop to find a wide array of fun, useful, and creative products. If you’ve been looking to get permanent jewelry installed, sit for a moment with Love Weld. Visit Prim and Proper, the full bar, cafe, and restaurant also located inside Neighborhood Goods.
Sip and Shop with Neighborhood Goods & Prim and Proper


More: Ray Bans, Lululemon, Freebird, Allbirds, Everlane, Aviator Nation 




ACTIVITIES


Don't miss SoCo's famous murals!

Austin Motel Pool - Cool off with a dip and a sip at the Austin Motel Pool. This splash spot hosts awesome DJ parties, great entertainment, and fun events for all! Grab a delicious drink at the bar and beat the heat in this old-school pool.

First Thursdays - First Thursday is not just a day on the monthly calendar at SoCo, but marks a local tradition where South Congress shops stay open late, playing host to an array of events and activities. A unique Austin event for shopping, eating, and listening to local Austin music. Wander through the many pop up vendor tables selling locally made crafts, art, gifts, and plenty more!!

South Congress Hotel - In honor of this tradition the South Congress Hotel now hosts a free event in the same light. Head here on the first Thursday of every month to grab drinks, hear great music, and connect with friends and community. 

Mural Hunting - Bring your cameras and look for some of Austin’s best and most famous mural art. Start off with Jo’s Coffee and the classic I Love You So Much green wall. Wander through the rest of the area to find other favorites like Willie Nelson for President, Mr. Rogers, the Heart of Texas wings, and plenty more.

More: Guero’s Oak Garden outdoor stage, Birds Barbershop, Equinox Austin Gym
 


FOOD & DRINK


Must Taste Austin Classics!


Best Bars on South Congress - Here is our guide to the best places along this stretch to stop for a beverage or happy hour. Some of the bars on this list are MUST SEE spots in Austin including Continental Club and Guero’s Taco Bar!

Home Slice - A staple on SoCo serving some of the best slices of pizza in Austin. They’ve been around for nearly 20 years, valued for their huge New York style pies.

Magnolia Cafe - Local Austin legendary diner. This place exemplifies the culture and community of Austin and SoCo. Get in line early for brunch because they get BUSY! Worth every minute and you can visit Prima Dora next door while you wait.

Amy’s Ice Cream - After dinner, save room for some delicious desert from Amy’s. They have incredible ice cream, creative flavors, and select service. Scoot up to the window at their walkup location on SoCo and pick your favorite scoop.

Joann’s - Swim at the Austin Motel pool and then gather for some good grub at Joann’s. Find here a cool and calm combo, diner and full bar serving tex mex food in a neighborly atmosphere.

Torchy’s Tacos - Visit the famous flaming Torchy’s devil at their SoCo location. They have a bar and, of course, top tier tacos with interesting ingredients.

Jo’s Coffee - Home of the famous “I Love You So Much” mural and the delicious Iced Turbo. This cafe is a local icon and an important piece of South Congress culture. Show up for the coffee and stay for the live music on the porch.

Vinaigrette - Newcomer to the Austin dining scene in 2016, Vinaigrette offers a refreshing style of dining focusing on well crafted salads. Originating from New Mexico with locations in Albuquerque and Sante Fe, Vinaigrette owner Erin Wade strives to source all vegetables and meats from local organic farms and the Texas gulf. A modern, clean interior adds a refreshing touch for indoor dining and the outdoor patio beneath the "tree of life" shown in the picture is one of Austin’s best patio dining.

More: Lucky Robot, Aba Austin, SunLife Organics, Jeni’s Ice Cream, Two Hands Coffee, Tiny Grocer 


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