Chronicle Readers Share What They Love and Miss About Austin

Everything from restaurants to neighbors to long, stress-free walks

Photo by David Brendan Hall

With all the predictions of a future "new normal" on the horizon, we find ourselves thinking of things in this town that have brought us joy both in the past and the present.

Turns out our readers have been doing the same thing. We asked you to share what you miss about Austin and you didn't disappoint. Below find some of our favorite submissions. We'll be adding to this document as we mourn the loss of Austin institutions, welcome innovation in troubled times, and look forward to new favorites.

Want to share what you miss about the ATX? Use our submission form and let us hear from you. Tag us in photos of things you love on social media and we might use it.


“I loved having a “purple” at Baby A’s, & sharing moments with friends. Meeting the regulars down at the Horseshoe Lounge, & having a bite at Artz Rib House. I miss making a friend in one night, anywhere you go. My heart will always be in Austin, even if I can’t physically. R.I.P. Leslie” – Tiffany

“Every single damn thing. Best city in America.” – Cathy Newman Thomas

“I'm a British visitor for the last 18 consecutive years (starting before the city began to change). I loved the anticipation when I opened the Chronicle on a Thursday to plan my week, going to Eeyore's birthday party, and the BookPeople bookshop. ABGB where I was treated to free beer by the manager, Continental Club where we talked to a pretty lass about Sylvia Plath. Walking home down Congress after 2am. Margaritas in the Texas Chili Parlour bar. My friends after their first visit, "you weren't exaggerating bonny lad, this is great." The charm and curiosity of Texans. And most of all Texan music. Lyle, Nanci, Guy, Bruce and Kelly, Hayes and Dale. I could go on.” – Stephen Goldsmith

“While I love that Austin has SXSW. I love that our leaders were smart enough to cancel it this year. Austin would be in a lot worse shape had the festival gone on. I miss going to Justine's and the Hi-Hat Public House.” – Zoey Provino

“For me Foreign and Domestic is a healing place that helped me through a tough period in my family’s life. Sarah and Nate, the owner-chefs, obviously love presiding over their space, and their warmth permeates the atmosphere. They are skilled and creative, and the meals they serve are wonderfully delicious. Their current take-out menu is great, but I am hopeful for return of the full dine-in experience soon.” – Sandra Reynolds

“I miss the vibrancy of the city. Spring afternoons spent kayaking on Lady Bird Lake. Dinners at Pinthouse Pizza on Lamar. With a cold glass of Electric Jellyfish, laughing with my family and enjoying live sports on their TVs.” – Sarah Farrell

Photo by Jana Birchum

“I love how this town values science and regards its experts. Sure, there's a handful of Alex Jones minions marching on the capitol, but thousands and thousands more are staying home and sheltering in place. Why? Because the experts tell us to – and provide the data and the models to back it up. As the numbers come in, we can see the curve hasn't crested yet, but it is flattening. Our efforts are making a difference. And that's because: science, it works, bitches.” – Courtney Rosenthal

“I desperately miss going out to see live music. My regular gigs at Saxon Pub, music and a margarita while watching the regulars dance at Guero's, ducking out of the heat into the darkness of the Continental Club for some Sunday afternoon blues. This town has some of the most talented musicians, it breaks my heart that we can't hear them.” – Myra Teufel

“Sitting at the Sawyer and Co. bar. Morning swims at Barton Springs.” – Daniel Salinas

“I love the martial arts community here in Austin. I miss refereeing kids' sparring and watching their heads wobble around in their giant padded helmets they can barely see through. I miss getting mashed into the ground by my training partners. I even miss the musty smell of the gym when I close up after a long day of classes – the smell of hard work and growth.” – Katie Villarreal

A karate class at Mendez Middle School (Photo by Jana Birchum)

“I miss bad traffic and music festivals I never go to. I have nothing to complain about now. Damn you, Rona!” – Larry Arocha

“Love seeing all our local businesses adopt and shine in the darkness, doing the best they can. I love people finding new ways to connect while we figure this all out. I love that, while I was pissed at the time, our mayor actually did the right thing in canceling SXSW. I am gonna love how Austinites will band together and keep supporting those who live in this town, new and old, so we can thrive again (hoping the last one is not wishful thinking).” – Melissa Plunkett

“I’m itching for a burger/ fries/ & Bloody Mary at Casino.” – Garrett Winebrenner

“The Arbor Regal. A truly mom-and-pop operation designed for grownups who love movies with character(s). Like a comfy pair of jeans with familiar faces behind the counter – especially super-friendly Brenda taking tickets on weekend afternoons. With ice-cream shoppe tables to sit at in the lobby instead of video games. With plenty of stalls in the bathrooms and, pink goo in the soap dispensers. And with the best array of movies in town, week-in, week-out.” – Davida Charney

“I am not a native, moved here in 1984 because my parents moved me here, and I miss many things that have come and gone since, of course. Like parking Downtown and all the great venues and all that, but that isn't what this question is about. What I have always loved about Austin, and what makes it my home, regardless of where I was born, is the people. And that includes the people who moved here after me. Something about Austin draws people here. It might not be the same thing that drew you here, but there is something about the people that come and stay. And we are not going anywhere. I'll be here for you, you be here for me, and we will all be here, no matter what happens. Love all you Austinites, newbies, young ones, ancients. You have my heart.” – Mel Issa

Deep Eddy Pool (Photo by Jana Birchum)

“Right now I would love to grab a book and go to Deep Eddy, and then walk over to Pool Burger and grab a cocktail. I'm so incredibly heartbroken to learn that Magnolia on Lake Austin will be closing along with Threadgill's. I've been eating at those places since I was about two. I'd love to grab a margarita at Spider House and go see a show in the Ballroom. I'd love to go to Ellis and sit outside on a nice night. My friend and I signed up for a volleyball league which has been postponed, and I'll be glad when we finally get to play. Shortly before the city went on lockdown, I went to see Paul Oakenfold at Empire Control Room. I think maybe more than anything I want to go see a movie at Alamo Drafthouse.” – Brigeda Hernandez

“I miss reading a book at Barton Springs Pool, and then leaving in a huff when an entire UT sorority shows up en masse. I also miss free popcorn at the White Horse. As you’re probably guessing, I’m a specific type of person.” – Johnny Anzollitto

“I miss ambling down North Loop, one of my many happy places in Austin. I miss lazy mornings of treasuring hunting at Blue Velvet Vintage while sipping on a Half-Mojo made with love by the friendly folks at Epoch. Follow that by chatting up the dudes at Breakaway Records and leaving with some nice new-to-me tunes. Don’t forget to head over to Room Service to take selfies in their creepy yet fascinating bunny bathroom and finish off the day with some lunch at Home Slice. That’s my perfect ATX morning and I wouldn’t mind popping over to Deep Eddy for a late afternoon swim. Oh Austin, I miss you.” – Sheila Ferlet

“I really miss the Mohawk and Barracuda. Those two venues I truly felt at home at. Whether it be playing or going to a show, some of the staff were friends and I could always bet on running into friends there. Pre- or post-show at Side Bar or Valhalla. I truthfully miss all of our venues and local bars. The Red River Cultural District needs all the help they can get and we need to save these institutions whatever it takes. Bars and venues are the lifeblood of our city, and every little bit can help so please support however you can. Vans just came out with some sweet new Mohawk shoes that benefit the venue!” – Anthony Rucci

PR Newman at Barracuda (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

“I love sitting in close proximity to my friends, in public, debating about the superiority of la Barbecue vs. Franklin vs. any of the 5 other local contenders for 'best BBQ in Austin.' Until the conversation turns to tacos, then I just realize I probably need new friends.” – Bryan White

“ATX – So proud of our cool city. Too many loves about this great city to share. I will start with my favorite bar to unwind in – The Golden Goose on S. Lamar. What I like to refer to as my little hideaway. Tons of fun cocktails drinks on their chalkboard on the wall located just by the always spinning a tune jukebox. Your departing bill arrives tucked in a romance novel. I look forward to Happy Hour dining at Jack Allen's. Best half price appetizers in town for the value. I miss the noise, chatter and clatter inside the restaurant. Mexican food! Sitting down with chips, hot sauce, and a hot platter of food.” – Lisa Mayo

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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Coronavirus, COVID-19, Austin

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