Sundial Rentals


Restaurants on South Congress

Perla’s has fresh seafood and fun patio dining. Home Slice is the best pizza in walking distance, and possibly in town. Vespaio is just steps away and offers delicious Italian fare. Guero’s is an Austin classic; I love the beef alambres and their spinach salad. Neighborhood Sushi is great; and Lucky Robot has less expensive and less posh sushi that still hits the spot. June’s is lovely…they have a $22 ham sandwich that my husband ordered and I thought he lost his mind…it was amazing!

Magnolia Café has simple, unpretentious food in a diner setting…they were open 24/7 but post-COVID, their hours are 8am to 10pm. Hopdoddy has burgers and shakes; there are now locations all over the United States, but this is the original location…I’ve been ordering their parmesan truffle fries and boozy shakes since the beginning!

Torchy’s Tacos has its flagship location along South Congress, about two blocks south of the house. It’s often quiet there so it's a good spot to go if everywhere else is crowded.

In the Music Lane development along South Congress…Aba is one of our favorite spots; it can be a long wait without a reservation but we’ve had luck walking in on weekday afternoons. Sunlife Organics has very pricey but very delicious smoothies and bowls. There are several other casual dining spots in this development. International members-only club Soho House has a location here too.

For coffee or light breakfast…Jo’s Coffee has a great selection of drinks but be sure to get there before 8:30 on weekends as the line gets long. Check out Hotel San Jose’s gardens as you walk back to the house. Tiny Grocer has breakfast tacos and deli items; you can order online and walk through the back alley to their back door. Little Brother Coffee & Kolaches is located in Maufrais. And Manana is a coffee and juice bar tucked into the South Congress Hotel; the entrance is along E. Monroe. The Salty has donuts and coffee…and Teal House has pastries. Even the Kendra Scott store has a coffee and wine bar.

Restaurants on South 1st

Elizabeth Street Café is an easy walk and a favorite of our family. I recommend sitting outside; spring rolls, pho and escargot at my personal favorites. We have also loved going to Fresa’s with our baby, as the outdoor seating is lovely there…and the tacos are delicious. Polvos has casual Mexican fare and pitchers of margaritas. Bouldin Creek Café is a completely vegetarian restaurant that everyone would enjoy. And Picnik caters healthy options for every craving.

Live Music

Guero’s Oak Garden has live music every Wednesday night; this is a weekly fundraiser by Sun Radio 100.1 that supports the station’s foundation. There are cheap tacos and tamales and a full bar available for sale at this outdoor venue. Check out the music schedule at or on the bathroom stall doors at Guero’s!

The legendary Continental Club opened its doors in 1955…and it remains on of the premier live music venues. There’s multiple shows per night, starting around 6:30 on weeknights and in the afternoon through the evening on weekends.


All of the stores on South Congress are fun! Locals will lament the loss of an old-time institution; but what’s new will become old. And there’s always something new on South Congress. So walk both sides of the street, a few times, and enjoy the shopping and window-shopping...

South Congress is Cowboy Boot Central! Heritage Boot creates handmade, vintage inspired cowboy boots; they have over 2000 boots from which to choose. Allen’s Boots is a classic SoCo experience with boots, clothing and an incredible selection of hats. Tecovas just opened a beautiful larger store along South Congress. (Fun fact: Tecovas actually filmed part of a commercial at the house in fall 2021! It aired during commercial breaks of the television series Yellowstone.)

Kendra Scott, the Texas jewelry queen, started out on South Congress. Her new flagship is just down the street from the original location – and just a hop across South Congress from the house! It’s a beautiful store, and I recommend going in for a look!

By George focuses on women’s clothing. Neighborhood Goods is like a mini-department store with a little bit of everything. Love Shack Fancy, Lululemon, Nike, Hermes and Le Labo are all located in the Music Lane development along South Congress.

For menswear, check out STAG and Service Menswear.

For baby items, Enlightened Baby is one of the best baby shops around…and it’s within walking distance, located at South Congress and Riverside. They have everything you might need for a little one. Across town, but still worthy of mention, Picket Fences has beautiful and pricey children’s clothing.

The Great Outdoors

Lady Bird Lake, known to long-time locals as Town Lake, is the heart of the city. Kayaks and canoes may be rented along the lake…it’s way more fun to be on the water than it is to be looking at it from the traffic on the bridge. Join the locals for a walk or run around the trail…look for trail entry near the South Congress or South First bridges.

From March to October, 1.5 million bats emerge nightly from narrow crevices in the underside of the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. They usually start to emerge from the bridge around 20 minutes before sundown. The best view of the bats’ flight varies from season to season…either by boat or from the riverbank. Or grab a cocktail and enjoy the view from one of the downtown riverside hotels.

Zilker Park is a great spot for a picnic, soccer game or frisbee. Blues on the Green is a popular concert offered on some Wednesdays during the summer. Held each spring, the Kite Festival is one of Austin’s most beloved traditions. And of course, Zilker Park is the setting for ACL Festival…so the park will look a bit worn out by mid-October!

Pools: Barton Springs Pool is open year-round, as is Deep Eddy Pool. These are a short drive or bike ride from the house. There’s a great local pool in walking distance. Travis Heights neighborhood is on the other side of South Congress; there is an all-season, spring-fed pool at Stacey Park.

A lovely mini-greenbelt trail connects Stacey Park with Little Stacey Park, and we love to walk from there along Blunn Creek and Alameda Drive, across the footbridge to Pecan Grove Road, down Bickler Road to Academy Drive and then over to Jo’s Coffee, and then loop back to the house. It’s a fantastic urban hike that’s a few miles long…and it’s safe and well-traveled.

Playgrounds: For our youngest guests, we recommend the playground at little Stacey Park. There is also a small playground located on church grounds on the northwest corner of Brackenridge Street and E. Monroe Street; it is open from sunrise to sunset.