Three Austin spots that were worth the trip

We took a quick trip to Austin last weekend for a wedding and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite spots. Though I’m not by any means an Austin expert, I know what I like: good yoga and fresh, delicious food. Austin is overflowing with both!

1. Yoga Yoga
I’ve been to three highly recommended yoga studios in Austin (Yoga Yoga, Wanderlust,and Black Swan) and Yoga Yoga has been my favorite thus far. With four locations, Yoga Yoga is pretty accessible from many parts of the city. I’ve been to the Westgate and the North locations, and taken vinyasa-style classes and an Ashtanga fundamentals class. Regardless of class or location, the teachers are knowledgable, the studios are clean, and there are a variety of class types from which to choose. My favorite thing, however, is the sense of community present among students and teachers. Students ask after each other, and teachers and staff seemed to make it a point to learn my name. I never feel like I’m just a taking a class at Yoga Yoga– instead, I feel like I’m a joining a community. (Bonus: there are little cups of yummy chai tea waiting for students after every class. It’s the perfect post-yoga pick-me-up!)

2. Veracruz food truck
My husband and I learned of this food truck from his cousin, who lives in Austin. Veracruz serves fresh-tasting street tacos on homemade tortillas, with homemade salsa, and homemade tortilla chips (see a theme here?). We ordered chips and salsa, the migas tacos, the reyna tacos m, and a taco with eggs, potato, and cheese. The salsa is worth mentioning particularly. Along with the traditional tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro, the salsa contains bright morsels of avocado. The salsa is perfection when scooped up in one of the thick homemade tortilla chips, and those yummy avocados are a nice surprise. Honestly, I could have made a meal out of just the chips and salsa! It’s probably a good thing I didn’t, because I would have missed out on some fantastic tacos. Those chips I was raving about make a welcome appearance in the migas tacos, and the reyna was stuffed with avocado, sweet peppers, cheese, and eggs (I had my reyna with a whole egg instead of egg whites). If our trip weren’t so short, I probably would’ve shown up at one of Veracruz’s three locations again and again!

3.Shahi cafe
We happened upon this cafe when we were too tired to drive to downtown Austin from our North Austin hotel for dinner. Shahi was just around the corner and had great Yelp reviews, so we decided to give it a try. Shahi creates flavorful Mediterranean and South Asian cuisine (think dolma, kebabs, pakora, and falafel). We ordered: a veggie plate (you can choose three or five sides — the creamy, garlicky hummus was a standout); the Shahi salad (featuring a zesty mix of lettuce, cucumbers, red onions, feta cheese, and dressing); perfectly chewy naan; and the Grand Za’atari, which was my absolute favorite. This wrap included roasted eggplant, fried (not battered) onions, feta cheese, and za’atar sauce. I love strong flavors, so the pungency of the eggplant and onions was wonderful, and feta added a creaminess that helped balance out the chunky textures and strong flavors. If you love Mediterranean and South Asian cuisine, this little cafe is worth the drive if you’re staying in town. Plus, there’s a handy little international grocery attached. I saw everything from hookahs to incense burners to sweets to spices to injera, the Ethiopian flat bread.

What are your favorite yoga or eating spots in Austin? I’d love to give them a try on our next visit!

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