Austin hiking; two men walking in treed area across a creek

Best of Austin

We’re proud to be a local Austin business. Here we celebrate some places that make Austin such an amazing place to live. Read on to learn about some of the great Austin restaurants you can visit on National Bagel Day and Support Local!

Best of Austin Highlights:

Voting is Open in Austin Monthly’s Best of ATX Competition

Austin’s homegrown publication, Austin Monthly, has opened their final round of voting in the annual Best of ATX competition. Voters are invited to vote once per day in each category.

May the most popular and persistent win! Those to make it to the top will be published in the April Issue of the Austin Monthly. Voters can choose their favorites among Lifestyle, Food and Drink, Culture and Recreation, and Shopping broad categories. Some categories include Best Taco, Best Museum, Best Hiking Spot, Best Plant and Gardening shop, and Best Acupuncture among others.

Click to cast your vote for the best that Austin has to offer today!

Best of Austin Hiking Trails

Many are drawn to Austin for the green space – and during Covid-19 precautions, the green spaces have been a popular space for many to recharge.

Barton Creek Greenbelt

755 S Capital of Texas Hwy B, Austin, TX 78704 (One of several, there are multiple access points)

Barton Creek Greenbelt in South Austin offers hiking, swimming dips, mountain biking, and rock climbing. These areas in South Austin have been popular getaways long before quarantine, and vary greatly season over season with rainfall (or lack thereof.)

There are seven major access points to the greenbelt, including at Zilker Park near Barton Springs Pool. For hot summer getaways and a guaranteed swim, it’s a good idea to park in one of the city’s paid parking lots, hike a short loop on the trail, and swim in Barton Springs Pool before it gets too hot. Be sure to pack plenty of drinking water! No matter where or when you enter the park – Texas trails and their rough terrain promise a healthy sweat.

River Place Nature Trail

River Place Nature Trail, 8820 Big View Dr, Austin, TX 78730

River Place Nature Trail is known for its steep terrain in the Texas hill country. It’s also more recently known for the steep entrance fee to enter the park. Good news is that some areas of the trail are open again for free public use – and the Canyon Trail is open to the residents of the neighborhood, and others for a fee. There is no longer a $10 fee collection for Panther and Little Fern trails because public funds were used in creation of the trails. Fees are collected for the longest stretch

Background on River Place Nature Trail Fees:

In March 2019, a new $10 per person and per pet fee began for people living outside the district to use the trail on holidays and during popular times on the weekends. But because State funds had been used in part to create the trail, it was not clear whether the fees imposed by RPLD, a governing body that oversees recreational facilities, recycling and solid waste disposal in the district, could legally impose such a fee.

Complaints filed with Texas Park and Wildlife Department, the agency found that the $500,000 grant issued to the project required that the grant recipient “…will permanently dedicate for public park and recreation use all project area(s) which receive TRPA assistance, as required by Chapter 640.1.2 of TRPA Grants Manual Guidelines.”

With these restrictions of the space in mind, both the Little Fern Trail and Panther Trail are free to use for the public. If you don’t want to pay the fee – be sure to use the public-funded areas of the park to avoid the $10 per person fee from the HOA.

Regardless of where you start your hike, this trail is rigorous! Pack plenty of water (and snacks for the kids) before heading out.

Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park
Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park, 12138 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78753

There are city parks, and then there are parks like Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park. The park is one of many that connect the larger Walnut Creek string of parkland. The primary city park contains 290 acres of city park including trails, softball fields, an extensive BMX Pump Track, dog park, and more. This park is situated in North Austin. Although city pools are closed this time of year (and throughout 2020 for Covid-19 safety precautions) this park still offers something for the whole family – including 15 miles of trail.

Go for the playground, two basketball courts, five softball fields, or volleyball. But stay for the people watching, creekside view, or hiking trails.

For more information on great places to enjoy the outdoors in Austin, visit Austintexas.org.


Some of Austin’s Best Bagels and Where to Get them

Did you know National Bagel Day is Friday January 15, 2021? With bagels as amazing as these, we don’t need an excuse to order them any day of the year.

What makes a great bagel? Most would say the bagel should be dense and chewy, with a small hole in the middle. Ideally, it should be as fresh as possible (to get a taste of the snappy crust) and delicious even when left un-toasted. Is a bagel really a bagel if it hasn’t been boiled? And there are some who have even claimed that the properties of NYC water produce a better bagel.

For this list, we consulted some of Austin’s most opinionated foodies (see reddit), the Austin Eater, the Statesman, and more to craft this Best of Austin list. Unfortunately some of Austin’s best bagels are no longer available due to Covid-19 related closures. But there are still local bagel shops where you can get your hands on a one holed wonder.

Nervous Charlies: Famous for NY Style Bagels and Sandwiches

Nervous Charlies ships dough directly from NYC to Austin to create their “NYC” style bagel. We’re not sure if it gets more authentic than that. After the dough these bagel experts go off-book. With toppings like brisket, pimento cheese, and bacon jam, diners have raved about their unique bagel sandwiches since they opened in 2018.
5501 N. LAMAR STE. B101
AUSTIN, TX

Rockstar Bagels

Rockstar Bagels is your neighborhood bagel shop and wholesale production facility in East Austin founded in March 2009. You can find their bagels in select coffee shops around town or at their East Austin
Rockstar Bagels is proud of their old-school bagel technique, using 100% barley malt syrup to awaken the yeast, boiling their bagels, and baking fresh each day. But when it comes to toppings Rockstar rolls out both oldschool favorites and new takes. Classics include everything and plain cream cheese bagels or look further down the menu for newer takes such as jalapeño cheddar bagels with Kimchi Jon’s cream cheese.
1900 Rosewood Ave, Austin, TX 78702

Wholy Bagel

From two locations, Wholy Bagel “Keeps Austin Baked” with fresh bagels daily. Their NYstyle bagels proof overnight, then kettle boiled before they are baked in a rotating oven. Wholy Bagel offers a wide variety of classic takes on bagel sandwiches, including bagels and lox, hot pastrami, a reuben bagel and more.
Two locations: 3637 Far West Blvd., and
4404 William Cannon Dr.

Big City Bagels

Northwest Austin is home to a family business that relocated from NYC. The shop located on 10401 Anderson Mill Road, Suite 117, offers their bagels via a variety of delivery options. Some of their highly rated bagels and subs include hot pastrami, turkey, roasted vegetables, and seafood salad to name a few.
Photo by @baddandfoodie

Rosen’s Bagels:

A homegrown bagel supplier, Rosen’s is available for delivery to your home, available for pickup at select grocery stores, and can be crafted into an irresistible bagel sandwich at Biderman’s Deli and Brooklyn Breakfast shop!

Don’t see your favorite bagel here? Tell us about your favorite local picks at community@mcminnlaw.com. We’re happy to talk about the great local food and businesses that make Austin such a great place to work and live.