SXSW is right around the corner and what better way to start off the week than with Jane Ko (A Taste of Koko) from Planoly’s HQ city of Austin, Texas. Recently named the official Austin restaurant expert by @VisitAustinTX, Jane is Austin’s top guide for all things food and drinks. Needless to say, we trust her with all things food related! We got to sit down with Jane to find out her favorite recommendations to visit in Austin during SXSW. Whether you’re visiting Austin or you’re a local, these recs will definitely hit the spot! From her favorite coffee shop to the ideal hangover spot, Jane knows best and her suggestions never let us down. Here are the best tips to help you cruise through the city with ease during SXSW.
You’ve been heavily involved with SXSW as a speaker and by hosting the largest food crawl in Austin during SXSW with over 20,000 participants! Please tell us more about that.
2013 was the first year I attended SXSW. I received a ton of emails during the month of SXSW from visitors and readers asking for places to eat. To answer the masses, I created an Eventbrite event called SXSW Food Crawl. Within 24 hours, I received over 5,000 signs up, and by the end of the week, 20,000 people had signed up. I ended up transforming the food crawl into a food scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, due to other commitments during SXSW this year, I won’t be hosting the food crawl.
What is your routine like during this time of year?
During SXSW, I always pack up everything I need for the day and camp out in downtown Austin for panels, meetings, and events. It is one of the busiest times for my blog – last year was the first year when I was asked by multiple brands to be present at their events and post about it on my social media. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this year.
The crowds are something to keep in mind since SXSW pretty much takes over the city. What are your favorite spots to go to escape the craziness?
I heard last year over 70,000 people came to Austin for SXSW – film, music and interactive. I’ll be hiding out at Caffe Medici, Vintage Heart Coffee, and South Congress Hotel.
Let’s break down your favorite spots and meals:
Favorite breakfast spots and dishes: Paperboy and Hillside Farmacy are both in East Austin, so they’re convenient for SXSW. Tacodeli and Torchy’s for tacos, Elizabeth St Cafe, Cafe No Se, and Snooze are my favorites too. Check out my 15 best breakfasts in Austin.
Favorite coffee shops: Houndstooth, Caffe Medici, and Vintage Heart Coffee. Here are 5 Coffee Shops EVERY Local Should Know in Austin.
Best spot to cure a hangover: Tacos are the best cure for any hangover so check out Tacodeli, Torchy’s, or Veracruz Tacos. I’d also get barbecue at La Barbecue. Bangers also has a killer brunch with manmosas (orange juice with a liter of champagne).
Favorite late night spots: Prohibition Creamery for boozy ice cream, Gourdough’s, Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery, and East Side King.
Best places when you have a sweet tooth: Lick Ice Cream, Gelateria Gemelli, Cow Tipping Creamery, Sugar Mama’s, Gourdough’s, and Churro Co.
Bars for cocktails: Garage, The Townsend, Midnight Cowboy, and Small Victory.