Updated: Oct 29, 2019
With all of the beautiful hikes and delicious food to eat in Austin, it can be hard to keep up. And no matter how well you plan it, your long beautiful hike can end in hangry tantrums, cause you to break down and get some mismatched grub - or even worse, a desperate trip to a fast food joint. But that’s why you are here and we won’t let that happen to you. Certain parks or trails have a quality about them that matches up well with certain cuisines - and if you have been looking for a great way to spend an afternoon, we recommend pairing your delicious food with a breathtaking hike, the same way that one would match their food to their beverage.
Tacodeli and Greenbelt entrance on Spyglass
This comes in at number one, because this pairing is dog-friendly and we can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon. Go to the south Tacodeli location which is on Spyglass Dr. Show up anytime before 3pm for grub. There are fabulous specials and the menu can accommodate vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians, omnivores and carnivores alike. We recommend two tacos per person, or three for a hefty appetite. Don’t skip the queso because that is a thing here in Austin and we don’t want you to miss out!!
Once you are through eating, head over to the recently remodeled trail head directly across the street at 1601 SPyglass. Hike downhill to get to the main artery of Violet Crown Trail. Go left if you want a perfect one-mile hike to Barton Springs for a super chili dip. The temperature is an icy 68 degrees year round. You can pay $5 (if you are local, $10 if you flew here) for the fancy pool area, or save your money and dip into “Barking Springs” which is free and pooch friendly.
If you are more of a rock climber and want the challenge of Seismic Wall or want some deep woods, head right on the main trail. Either way will provide a nice afternoon of hiking. When your hike is complete and you need an icy cold beverage, head to Thom’s Market next door to Tacodeli, where you will find any number of delicious frosty beverages to cool you off.
Walnut Creek Park and Texas French Bread
This pairing is a class act, combining a fine bakery lunch spot with a waterside stroll. To get started with this pairing, make your way to Texas French bread. You can opt or the beautiful interior, or if weather permits, the outdoor garden seating. If you are in the mood to eat healthy before your hike, we recommend the Nicoise Salad - it comes with smoked trout instead of the usual tuna - and it's to die for. If you are feeling more carnivorous, grab the TFB hero: Italian style turkey, salami, ham, provolone, tomato onion, pepperoncini, with red wine vinaigrette on ciabatta. When you are finished eating, hop on over to Walnut Creek Park, 12138 N Lamar Blvd which has a looping waterside hike that will help you walk off that filling meal!
You can run this pairing in either order, it is that good! The good times are rolling at Radio, where you can get caffeinated, meet some happy people, get some work done if you want, take in some live music, and eat tacos. Yes, some of the best tacos in Austin are located at the on-site taco truck, Veracruz All Natural. Usually, fish tacos are associated more with California, but the fish taco is a must here and so is the sauce it comes with. Other taco recommendations: the al pastor and the migas.