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Top 10 Places To Get Oysters In Austin (And Their Corresponding Happy Hours)

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My obsession with oysters  is no secret. I’ve tried just about every oyster-slinging joint in town, and I’m hungry for more. Now that we’re getting into ‘Oyster Season,’ I’d like to share my top picks, and of course their discounted happy hours with you. After all, any local worth their salt and brine, should know where to get the good stuff.

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Clark’s Oyster Bar: A huge spread of oysters, in a small, yet fancy place. Enjoy the patio, fantastic service, and overall seafood spread. It’s going to cost you, but if you have the cash to spare it’s well worth it. Happy Hour: 50 cents off oysters from 3-6 daily, with 1/2 off burgers, and $5 beer/martinis on weekdays. 50 cents off oysters, and 1/2 off bottles of wine on weekends.

Liberty Kitchen: I hit this new hot spot recently, and had a great time! I like the space, food, and wine a lot. Their menu is expansive, and good. They even have brunch! Happy Hour: 50 cents off oysters, 1/2 off burgers/queso/wings, 1/2 select bottles of wine, and $5 liquor/beer from 3-6 on weekdays.

Parkside: A surprising diamond in the rough on 6th Street.  This spot has a wide variety, rooftop patio, and busy-yet-good service. Happy Hour: 1/2 off beer, liquor, and all bar food until 6:30 on weekdays.

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Eddie V’s: I don’t normally like Gulf oysters, but I do like theirs! I’m not sure if they’re sourcing them from a premium supplier, or if they’re just conning me with the ambiance, and staff. I used to be there practically every Sunday for the live jazz. Do you like giant, delicious vodka martinis? You’re in luck here. I really do love this place, despite my constant jokes that they make their staff dress like Bond villains (which they do). Happy Hour: All night Sunday-Monday, and 4-7 otherwise. You can enjoy 1/2 off oysters/select appetizers (I go for the tuna tartare), and $5 martini/wine selections.

Monger’s: This happening, new E. Cesar Chavez spot focuses on east coast oysters at $3/pop, and various other fresh seafood dishes. Happy Hour: 1/2 off oysters on Wednesday.

Perla’s: Sister to Clark’s Oyster, and made famous by their own food, as well as a visit from Anthony Bourdain. Expect great wait-staff, and a great wait. The South Congress Avenue people watching is glorious, and I’m a huge fan of their wine list.  Happy Hour: $2 off drinks, and 50 cents off oysters on weekdays.

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Hillside Farmacy: Cute space, and fantastic seafood. I do whine about the small tables, but that’s because I order so much food! I highly recommend this trendy spot for brunch. Happy Hour: 1/2 off east coast oysters, and $5 bubbles all night on Monday.

Quality Seafood: Famous for their amazingly fresh Ocean offerings, this spot is wonderful for the stomach, but not exactly candlelit. (There’s a slight, to-be-expected aroma from the fish, but you get over it fast.) On a regular night you can expect Gulf oysters at 8.99/15.99 and east coast at just 9.99/17.99 for a half/dozen. Happy Hour: Thursdays $1 Gulf oysters

Deckhand: If you’re up north, and have a penchant for grilled oysters then this is your spot! This is admittedly the only place I haven’t tried, but friends and Yelpers alike do rave about it. The menu is Southern, with a slight twist. Expect everything from gumbo to tom yum. Happy Hour: None.

Whole Foods Market at The Domain: Who would have though that a grocery store would offer some of the most amazing grilled oysters? Well, they do. At their in-store beer (and wine) bar, you’ll find a selection of cheesy, buttery shelled delights to enjoy as you take a break from your shop. I’ve been to New Orleans, and these babies are in close competition.  Happy Hour: $1.75 charbroiled oysters (regularly $2.75) daily from 3-5.

As a bonus, I would like to add that Foreign & Domestic does oysters on Mondays. Expect $1 per east coast oyster, and a delightful fried chicken meal. You can have the chicken and sides, oysters, and even specially discounted sparkling rosé once a week.

Oyster Fever: Liberty Kitchen

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You know that one song in Sound of Music where Julie Andrews is listing off ‘raindrops and roses, and whiskers on kittens’ as her favorite things? Yeah, I sing that song to myself anytime I think of oysters, and martinis on happy hour. These are a few of my favorite things!

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I recently popped in around 5 to catch a few of the HH deals (as well as the fantastic regular menu), and boy was I impressed.

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There were discounted drinks, and a few reduced food items. Everything served was spectacular! I couldn’t get over how fresh, clean, and flavorful all of their seafood was! My main issue with local places serving oysters is that a lot only do Gulf. I was delighted to find that they have theirs coming from PEI, and all over!

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What’s that shown above? Oh, just in-house smoked salmon with bacon jelly. That’s all. (It’s insanely good!)

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When I looked at the specials, I saw their Friday offering, and knew immediately it was what I was going to have. That was Marseille Bouillabaisse, served in 2 parts. They start you off with arguably the best seafood-saffron broth known to man, then follow it with a fantastic plate of lobster, clams, potatoes, and more!

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I went nuts on the wine list, because hey, I’m me! Of course, I did! But it is worth a mention that their cocktails are insane.

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My favorite involved grapefruit skins, herbs, and a slight effervescence. It looked a little like the rose-in-the-glass from Beauty and the Beast to me, so I guess this place just fills me with movie references all around.

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It’s hard to get a low-carber like me to crumble, but they did it. Luckily, I had a dining partner with me that did most of the damage, but I was extremely happy to taste their fantastic chocolate cake. It was worth the ‘cheat.’ Apart from the food, I’m a huge fan of their decor, staff, and even the sounds of their brunch menu, which I have yet to try! If you’re a seafood nut like I am, this is definitely a place to taste.

Glamping: Austin Alfresco

Austin Alfresco
There are few things that get me quite as excited as the prospect of ‘glamping’ under the stars with Austin-famous (arguably famous-famous) chefs. That’s why when I heard about Austin Alfresco, I completely lost my mind.

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Apart from eating and learning from the likes of Jack Gilmore and David Bull, just imagine staying in tents made famous by Project Runway on a functioning 60 acre ranch; complete with yoga lessons, and even butchery classes.

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What more could you want? Actually, if there’s something more that you could want, they probably have that too.

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Can it get any better? Actually, it can! Proceeds benefit the Sustainable Food Center, and they’re running a fantastic scavenger hunt where you, yes you, can win this weekend gourmand experience!

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If you enjoy local businesses like I do, then this is going to be CAKE. You can read all the details here. What are you waiting for?! Buy your tickets, or get ready for that scavenger hunt!

Dining Downtown: Stella San Jac

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I live a pretty good life, and as a blogger I’ve been to some very amazing events.

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Though all places I have visited have been incredibly kind, I do have to tip my hat to the wonderful folks at Stella San Jac for the super-cool night they gave me last night.

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The newly opened restaurant, housed in the Westin, brought a ton of local bloggers in for a happy hour with some complimentary appetizers, and even a cooking demo! (More on that later. Actually, seriously, the straight up video for you below.)

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The space was gorgeous, and the food was delish! (Who says ‘delish?’ Oh god, did I just say ‘delish?’ Sign me up for pink sweaters, and tennis lessons STAT.)

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Naturally, I ventured to the bar. (Me?!?!? BAAAAAAAAR????) I asked if there were any happy hour specials, and the bartender replied, “Every hour is a happy hour.” I like it! He poured me a glass of rosé that I was convinced would cost $2508582094821, but it was only $8.66, so you know what? He was right! Every hour is happy hour when good wine is fairly priced.

 

Now, for the biscuits! If you check out my amazing-super-awesome-cinematography (sarcasm) video above (it was Periscope) you’ll see a demonstration from the chef on how to make his famous #16 Biscuits. He calls them ’16’ because it took that many tries to perfect the recipe, and they’re reportedly good enough to make low-carbers crumble. Fret not, dear reader, I crumbled not (“Not today, Satan!”), but I plan to soon. I spent most of my night eating his delicious salmon spread, and put all of my carbs in through pink wine.

Texas Conference for Women Discount & Giveaway!

Academy Award Winning Actress, Keynote Speaker
Patricia Arquette – Academy Award Winner, Keynote Speaker

Are you ready for inspiration, professional networking, and personal growth? The Texas Conference for Women is going to give you just that! There will be keynotes from celebrities like Patricia Arquette, and speeches from well-known locals like my friend, Lani Rosales. The event has it all, and will be held at the Austin Convention Center on October 15th.

Robin Roberts - Co-Anchor on Good Morning America, Keynote Speaker
Robin Roberts – Co-Anchor on Good Morning America, Keynote Speaker

I know I’m ready to meet like-minded, passionate women, and supercharge my drive for success. I’m not kidding! If you’d like a discount on your tickets, I’ve got you covered! Here’s a code for $10 off on all new registrations: TXBG15. The code is good from now through the date of the event! If you’d like to score a FREE ticket, and sit next to me at the conference, I have an awesome contest! Just tweet what’s on your bucket list with the hashtag below, and we’ll select a winder at random! I think mine would be ‘Visit Willie Nelson’s ranch,’ but you can put whatever you’d like to do in Texas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Burger Challenge

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I probably had you at the sheer mention of burgers, but this challenge is so much more awesome than that! The folks behind Mcguire Moorman Hospitality have made a multi-tiered challenge, where all you need to do is eat burgers at their restaurants, and their restaurants are arguably some of the best in town: Elizabeth Street Cafe, Jeffrey’s, Josephine House, Lambert’s, Perla’s, and Clark’s Oyster Bar.

What’s in it for you? (Aside from awesome burgers.) Well, there’s a few options, but I believe the $250 gift card to the restaurant of your choosing is pretty much the best prize. For that one, you have to hit all 6 restaurants in 7 days. We’re on day 4, and my Instagram feed looks like Bob Belcher’s.

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They have other prizes too, and I appreciate that they include a free Juiceland juice cleanse with the ultimate prize, which will go to whomever eats the most burgers. I assume they’ll be needing it. Our favorite experience so far was a tie between Elizabeth Street and Perla’s. Both were excellent burgers, and included the usual things I expect from Mcguire Moorman restaurants: incredible ambiance and service. Pro-tip: Clark’s, Lambert’s, and Jeffrey’s all have happy hours featuring burgers. You’re welcome. Read the full details here, and may god have mercy on your arteries.

Sagra: I Now Love Italian

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I’ve admittedly had an Italian-aversion in the past. I don’t know if it was the string of low-carb diets, or having less-than-flavorful experiences at other places. Regardless, Sagra has converted me into a true fan of food inspired by the stylish, leather boot-shaped country.

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The salads were fresh, and all of the appetizers were flavorful. We had everything from lightly breaded calamari to polenta with brussels sprouts.

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The pizzas were equally amazing. My favorite was the Calabrese with: olives, spicy salami, and even capers. I’m a nut for anything briny.

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I was with several other bloggers, but greedily stole the slice that had the egg on top of it. (Sorry, guys.)

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Their perfectly spiced risotto was definitely one of the stars of the night. Even though I still try to hold back on the carbohydrates, I let this little beauty take me down for the night diet-wise. Worth it.

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They had things on the menu that I don’t normally associate Italian food with (in my admittedly limited knowledge). I was having succulent  chicken, and even slow-cooked lamb.

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You may not think of Sagra as a craft cocktail bar, but maybe you should. I enjoyed expertly made, and perfectly balanced vieux carres, and more than my fair share of wine. I loved the enormous windows, which allowed just the right amount of light to pour into every space. If you haven’t tried their new space, I highly recommend it. There’s even an all-you-can-eat mussels night!

Residence Inn The Mix

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I was recently lucky enough to visit The Residence Inn.

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What they’re doing definitely sets them apart from the pack.

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If you’re lucky enough to stay there during your next business trip, or otherwise, you’ll get to taste amazing food from local food trucks, get a cooking demo, and some complimentary drinks. 3. Nights. A. Week.

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If the delicious Louie Mueller barbecue I tried was any indication, then this will definitely be the spot to be – especially if you’re new to town. Imagine all the places you’ll get to try in one area! It’s a wonderful introduction to the city, and amazingly fun all around.

Banger’s: More Than Just Beer & Brats

 

Banger's Boudin
Boudin Plate

To all my of sausage-eating, beer-drinking comrades: You haven’t lived until you’ve tried Banger’s.

Banger's Boiled Peanuts
Boiled Peanuts

It’s one of the busiest spots on Rainey Street, and for more reasons than you’d think.

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Dak Bulgogi

Their chef really knows his stuff.

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Apart from focusing on the freshest ingredients, most innovative sausages, and having shockingly excellent vegetarian items, Banger’s also boasts regular live music, and a dog-run. (Yes! It’s practically a miniature dog park!)

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The menu’s focus on the best possible ingredients at the peak of freshness allows them to rotate things, and mix up the offerings.

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The bread, meat, and produce are always top-notch, and though I’ve eaten my way through an alarming amount of their menu, I have a hard time finding a fave, but trust me when I say that I wouldn’t miss their shrimp-n-grits inspired sausage. In fact, I’d say their focus is very clearly Southern, and they do it well.

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BBQ Bacon & Shrimp

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House-Made Pickles

Did I mention that just about, if not everything is made in-house? They operate a bit of a deli-counter set up where you can take uncooked sausages and deli pickles home!

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They even have dessert. (And an incredible one at that. It’s not easy to get me on sweets.)

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Poutine

Now, I wouldn’t be able to complete this post without mentioning one of Banger’s arguably greatest draws: The enormous beer list! I’ve never seen so many taps in my life! From hard to find craft beer to their weekend offerings of a ‘Man-mosa’ (it’s pretty much a pitcher of mimosa, which who wouldn’t love?) they have something for everyone, and yes, they do a decent wine list as well. Grab some friends on a sunny day, and head out to their impressively large patio for music, bites, and far too many foamy, alcoholic beverages. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Coconutz Mix: Local, Paleo, and Even Vegan


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I’m a sucker for sweets, which means that going low-carb last February meant sacrificing the things I loved the most. Living for the past year on cream cheese and Splenda desserts wasn’t only unhealthy, I was also feeling really deprived in the “guilty pleasures” department. Thankfully, Valerie Figlin felt my pain, and created a low-sugar treat of her own: Coconutz Mix.

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I heard about the snack from a vegan friend who knew Valerie, and absolutely loved what she was making. As soon as I saw the tasty, coconut-y goodness in her photos, I knew I had to reach out and nab some of my own.

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I was lucky enough to meet Valerie in person, and her enthusiasm for healthy, delicious food is obvious. She gave me a few ideas of what to do with the mix, and I followed those (as a cereal with almond milk) and added my own (mixed into PB Fit). She has a slightly spicy blend, and a more “plain” flavor. I love that they’re chock-full of healthy delights, made here in Austin, and are mixed up with delicious, guilt-free pleasures like cacao nibs. Whether you’re Atkins, paleo, vegan, keto, or just plain hungry… Grab a bag!