Barton Springs Park in Zilker, Austin

City Guide / Austin

Austin Neighborhood Guide: Zilker

By Bri Hand | Jul 13, 2021

If you’re planning on moving to Austin, Texas, you’re likely trying to figure out the best neighborhoods in Austin, and which one would be the right fit for you. Abundant greenery and a thriving nightlife meet in Zilker, a central Austin neighborhood. Close to Barton Springs, this neighborhood gives you prime access to Barton Springs Pool in Zilker Park—which is prime real estate on hot Texas days! 

Even though Zilker is just a few minutes from downtown Austin, you won’t need to leave just to find things to do. This area has unique restaurants, bars, and an ever-changing lineup of events, all within the neighborhood limits. 

Thinking about moving to Zilker? Here’s our guide to the best restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, outdoor attractions, gyms, nightlife, and transportation in the neighborhood. 

Where to go out to eat in Zilker

Enjoy a delicious dinner out at Odd Duck, which sources its ingredients from local producers and has an ever-changing menu. We recommend the fried whole quail, carrot chorizo quesadilla, and cucumber and watermelon salad!

Get your ramen fix at Ramen Tatsu-Ya, a Japanese ramen shop that has local Austinites absolutely raving. You can’t go wrong with any of the ramen options here, but be sure to try the brussels sprouts on the side! We also recommend making a reservation ahead of time, as Ramen Tatsu-Ya’s striking reputation has made it a pretty popular spot. 

Aviary Wine & Kitchen is another great dinner option and has a must-try wine menu to boot. This is a great spot for date night or a hangout with friends, as the dishes are perfect for sharing. 

Where to get groceries in Zilker

Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are just over the river from this neighborhood, but if you want to buy your groceries close by, check out Thom’s Market – Barton Springs

Where to get coffee in Zilker

Bouldin Creek Cafe is a popular coffee shop in the area serving all your favorite espresso drinks, cold brew, and chai tea lattes. We recommend trying the vanilla rose cold brew or strawberry rose lemonade. Yum! 

This area is also home to Opa, a Greek coffee and wine bar serving various coffees and teas, as well as fantastic Greek food. Hang out on their patio as you sip your coffee, and if you bring your pup along, they’ll even give you a bowl of water. 

Outdoor attractions and parks in Zilker

Welcome to your new favorite outdoor spot: Zilker Park! This park is home to Barton Springs Pool, a popular outdoor swimming pool that is the place to be and swim when the temperature hits triple digits. This three-acre pool is actually a naturally occurring phenomenon fed from underground springs, and even though it is a hotspot for tourists, you can still enjoy the springs and pool in the off-season. 

Want to get out on the water? The park has multiple boat rental options, whether you’re interested in taking a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard out. This park is also a stop along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail, which travels along the Colorado River all the way down to Lady Bird Lake. Zilker Park is a popular spot for picnics, and there is even an off-leash area for dogs in the park if your pup needs to get in some exercise.

This park is also home to the Zilker Botanical Garden, which is a wonderful spot to spend the afternoon. Tour the Taniguchi Japanese Garden, Hartman Prehistoric Garden, and Rose Garden, and make sure to take plenty of pictures of this peaceful spot.

Zilker Park also hosts many events over the course of the year, such as concerts, festivals, and its annual Trail of Lights holiday display. 

Local gyms in Zilker

There’s no shortage of places to work out in this part of the city. Check out OrangeTheory FitnessSOLA FitnessAustin Simply FitForge Strength Austin, and FIT Austin

In addition, many apartments in the area offer onsite fitness centers as one of their amenities, which means you don’t have to pay a gym membership to get a workout in. Be sure to check out floor plans and property listings for more information on this option. 

Nightlife in Zilker

Zilker Brewing Company and Taproom, a popular industrial brewery located in an old mechanics garage, is all about the atmosphere. Spend the night hanging out on their patio and drinking beers with your friends, and hit up the nearby Spicy Boys Chicken food truck when you get hungry.

Gibson Street Bar is a community mainstay, serving 16 beers on tap, cocktails, and wine. If you’re in the area around the holidays, be sure to put this bar on your list, since they go all out with decorations! 

Stop by Eberly, which used to be an old print shop, for amazing cocktails and a bit of history! Eberly is the new home of the Cedar Tavern Bar, an actual mahogany bar that lived in Greenwich Village in New York City for more than 140 years before it was transplanted to this Texas town. 

Things to do in Zilker

Zilker Park is home to the famous Austin City Limits Music Festival, so if you become a resident of this neighborhood, be prepared to join in on the fun when this party comes to town!

For the rest of the year, check out the Zilker Hillside Theater for some musical theatre magic, and hit up the Austin Nature and Science Center for a fun day of hands-on nature exhibits, education programs, and recreation activities (for both kids and adults!). 

You can also spend a great afternoon at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, which houses the work of Charles Umaulf and other artists in a gorgeous museum and garden setting.

Transportation in Zilker

The CapMetro 30 bus serves the area, but this area is also a popular spot for biking if you need to get around on your own. We also recommend bringing a car to Austin, or relying on Uber and Lyft to travel around the city. 

Land in a great apartment in Zilker

If you like the idea of moving to Zilker, Landing offers furnished apartments in Austin, Texas, with flexible lease terms, concierge services, seamless transfers, and all the amenities you need. Browse our available apartments in Zilker, 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:

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About the author

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.