It’s that time again. South By Southwest is upon us, and tech geeks, film aficianados and music lovers will soon converge upon Austin, Texas for about two weeks of mayhem.
Last year, we gave nine tips on where to eat, drink, hang out and nurse a hangover during SXSW Interactive (or SXSWi, for those in the know). Those tips are still worth noting, but we wanted to provide some fresh advice for those making the pilgrimage to Austin. Here are x tips to make feel more like a local at SXSW.
So if you want to actually want to get a drink within 30 minutes of making your order, check out The Side Bar on 7th. While it can get busy, this stop is often one of the easiest to navigate and less crazed then places like Stubb’s just down the street.
Best Place to Impress Your Boss
You’re not traveling to SXSWi alone. Your boss is coming with you. Where do you go?
When a breakfast taco won’t cut it, treat your boss to Blue Dahlia Bistro on East 11th for a real breakfast or an impressive array of French-inspired cuisine and wine. The food is made with natural ingredients and the atmosphere is quiet enough that you can hear each other talk.
Best Place When You Need Coffee, Wifi and To Get Some Work Done
I feel your pain. SXSW is a great conference to learn and network. But you also need to get some work done, and all the coffee shops are overwhelmed.
Hit up the newest Caffé Medici location on Congress. The espresso will give you a charge, the wifi is free (and works) and space facilitates concentration. It’s the ideal place to catch up on all those emails.
Best Place to Get Real Mexican Food
You have a hankering for queso, poblano peppers, tortilla chips – but not out of a truck. You should probably head to Takoba on East 7th. On the East Side of Austin, Takoba boasts some authentic Mexican meals, delicious margaritas and plenty of inside and outside space.
Best Place to Get a Tattoo You’ll Probably Regret
You know how it goes, you meet up with friends and colleagues, have a few tequila-infused beverages and next thing you know everyone agrees you should get matching tattoos of your startup’s logo.
You probably shouldn’t. But if you must, True Blue Tattoo is an easy walk up Red River St. Here you can forever immortalize your trip with the kind of branding you can’t forget.
Best New Food Trailer On the Block
Ausin is known for it’s legendary food trailers. You can get all kinds of goodies – from an omlette to hot coco to tacos. Want to find the latest trailer to impress your pals back home?
Give Arlo’s on East 6th a whirl. One of the newest trailers to hit the scene, Arlo’s serves vegan bacon burgers, chicken patties, etc. But it’s the kind of vegan food that even carnivores will savor.
Best Place to Meet a Bunch of Creative People
Tired of jumping from day party to day party? Want to meet some Austin locals with a knack for cranking out new startups, writing, designing, coding and more?
Take a tour of Conjunctured, a co-working space on East 7th St. Brainstorming and new ideas abound in this house. Who knows? You might meet someone making the next big thing.
Best Venue to See a Show
Maybe you’re staying for the music portion of SXSW. Maybe not. But if you want to experience the ultimate Austin music experience, make it to The Mohawk on Red River.
Drinks are typically cheap, the décor is uniquely rustic and with the new deck installed, The Mohawk is one the most fun places to experience live music.
24 Diner on North Lamar not only serves some of the best meals in Austin, it serves them 24 hours a day. It’s not that far of a walk from downtown, and your friends will thank you when led there.
I’ve got some other gems for you. For one, you shouldn’t miss our panel on Brand Journalism in the Real World, featuring experts from MarketingProfs, Twitter and Contently.
And if you want to party like a local, stop by our free event with Bulldog Solutions at Club Deville.
Finally, if you want advice on what to do and see from a local, hit me up on Twitter (@noyesjesse). I’ll give you my best advice.