City Guide / Austin

Austin Neighborhood Guide: South Congress

By Bri Hand | Jul 13, 2021
View of South Congress neighborhood in Austin, Texas

If you’re planning on moving to Austin, TX, you’re likely trying to figure out the best neighborhoods in Austin, and which one would be the right fit for you. If you head to South Austin, don’t stop driving until you arrive in South Congress, an affordable area that’s still only a freeway away from downtown Austin. Also known as “SoCo,” this neighborhood lets you embrace a slower pace of life while still enjoying its unique Austin flair thanks to craft breweries, new restaurants, and cute shops. 

Thinking about moving to the South Congress neighborhood? Here’s our guide to the best restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, outdoor attractions, gyms, nightlife, and transportation in this part of the city.

Best restaurants in South Congress

Satisfy your burger craving at Hopdoddy Burger Bar, which serves up mind-blowing burgers such as the Buffalo Bill, Bacon Jam Double, and the Goodnight/Good Cause (the proceeds of which are donated to local charities!)

Want a classic Austin taco bar? Hit up Torchy’s Tacos for some “damn good tacos.” We recommend trying the Fried Avocado and Texas Hottie tacos, with chips and queso on the side. Don’t forget to order The Peg Leg, which is a margarita with a Corona inside. 

You can’t go wrong with a visit to Home Slice Pizza, which serves up Italian favorites like calzones, subs, and New York-style pizzas (some by the slice!). You’ll love the pepperoni and eggplant pizzas! 

We also recommend stopping by Café No Sé, an upscale brunch spot in the South Congress Hotel. 

Where to get coffee in South Congress

There is no shortage of places to get coffee, whether you want a quick pick-me-up or a place to hang out with your laptop. Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden serves all your favorite espresso drinks in a gorgeous garden setting, and even spins up specialty seasonal lattes like the Root Beer Latte and Lavender Matcha Latte. 

With a sign boasting “Espresso, Champagne, and Chain Lube,” The Meteor is a coffee shop-meets-biker’s-paradise in SoCo. This uniquely Austin joint serves classic espresso drinks—and their coffee is to die for. 

Serving up “Solid bevs” is Little Brother Coffee, which is located inside Maufrais on South Congress Avenue. Start your day with sweet or savory kolaches, then sip on a cortado, cappuccino, or chai to get your caffeine fix. 

Local gyms in South Congress

Work up a sweat at one of the many gyms in SoCo. Gold’s Gym and Planet Fitness are two classic gyms for getting a cardio or weight-lifting workout in. CrossFit lovers will also feel right at home at FOGO CrossFit. 

Top things to do in South Congress

SoCo is a hotspot for many of Austin’s famous murals and street art, such the “I love you so much” mural and “Love from Austin” mural. You can spend a wonderful afternoon exploring all of the murals in this part of the city (and get some fantastic people-watching in while you’re at it!).

SoCo is also home to the Cathedral of Junk, which is exactly what it sounds like: a massive sculpture made entirely of discarded home goods, furniture, and other junk. If you’re a literature lover, head over to South Congress Books, which sells used, collectible, vintage, and unique books. And, even when it’s not Halloween, be sure to stop by Lucy in Disguise With Diamonds, a famous costume shop!

If you have kids, Big Top Candy Shop on South Congress Avenue is a must-visit. This circus-themed shop sells all the candy you could ask for, and even has a great ice cream selection.

The Continental Club is a fantastic spot for catching live music, and you can make your own music at Ego’s, a popular karaoke spot found behind a gas station and under an office building. Or, check out C-Boy’s Heart & Soul, known as the “swankiest club on South Congress,” for some live R&B music and a lively outdoor patio. 

Transportation in South Congress

The CapMetro 801 bus serves the area, and SoCo is also home to the South Congress Transit Center. We also recommend bringing your own car to Austin, or relying on Lyft or Uber to get around town. 

Land in a great apartment in South Congress

If you like the idea of moving to South Congress, Landing offers furnished apartments in Austin, TX with flexible lease terms, concierge services, seamless transfers, and all the amenities you need. Browse our available apartments in South Congress, or contact us to learn more about how Landing works.

Still looking for the right Austin neighborhood for you? Browse our other Austin neighborhood guides:

Bri Hand

Bri Hand is Landing's Content Marketing Manager. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts, with her partner and dog, Arlo, but relishes any opportunity she can to travel so she can try new foods, see gorgeous sights, and daydream about living somewhere new after visiting there for less than 24 hours.