If you are planning a move to the capital city, South Congress
should be on your short list of neighborhoods to consider. This upbeat and energetic community, known as SoCo, sits between two historical South Austin
neighborhoods, Travis Heights
and Bouldin Creek.
Famous for its funky and diverse variety of restaurants, shops, art galleries and music locales, South Congress captures the unique vibe of Austin.
South Congress residents and visitors enjoy breathtaking views of the downtown Austin skyline and a convenient walking distance to gorgeous parks, nature preserves and hiking trails. After undergoing a major revitalization, SoCo has become a hotspot for hip, young professionals.
Schools in South Congress
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Restaurants & Nightlife
South Congress satisfies a variety of tastes, from authentic Mexican food to unique treats only found on a funky food truck to scrumptious vegetarian fare.
Guero's Taco Bar combines the atmosphere of an old Mexican cafe, friendly service and some of the best food in Austin. After a long day of shopping at SoCo's trendy boutiques, you'll want to enjoy one of Güero's hearty lunch specials like the chile relleno or chilaquiles.
If you enjoy checking out trendy little food trucks, you can't miss SoCo Burgers parked in the H-E-B Grocery Store parking lot. Be sure to try their Lomito sandwich, featuring an 8-ounce ribeye steak, egg, signature sauce and all of the classic toppings.
For a wide variety of exotic home-cooked dishes from the Western coast of India, check out New India Cuisine. Locals recommend the curried lamb and chicken tikka masala. Their menu includes an impressive selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.
South Congress nightlife embodies the trendy vibe of the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin. Any night of the week you can kick back at a dive bar or enjoy live music from just about any genre you fancy. Austin landmark The Continental Club has been the premiere live music venue in Austin for over 50 years. Check out their happy hour for cheap drinks, live music and dancing.
History & Culture
The history behind this eclectic neighborhood began back in 1830, when Edwin Waller sought out Congress Avenue to be Austin's most prized boulevard. In 1852, James Gibson Swisher graciously donated the land and later constructed it into a road that became a direct postal line to Austin, and highway to San Antonio. A concrete bridge in 1910 provided Austin with a secure route across the river.
Many of SoCo's heritage symbols arrived between 1930 and 1960. By the 1970s, the streets of South Congress had become a top destination for musicians, artists and others alike. In the late 1980s, shops, restaurants and galleries started opening. By the end of the '90s, South Congress developed into a respected shopping community.
South Congress, like much of Central Austin, provides a long list of transportation options. Most of the buses that run through and around the SoCo area pass through or lead to the downtown
area. The bus service runs until roughly 11 p.m., after which you can call the local cab company, American Yellow Taxi.
South Congress is a bike-friendly community, incorporating trails and pathways throughout the community. You can feel safe riding your bike here. Bicycle Sport Shop is one of the many places where you can purchase or rent a bike for the day.
Whether you just need to get from point A to point B or want a luxurious night out on the town, the Austin Black Car Service has an option for you. Call them for limo services, airport shuttles, last minute pick-ups and more.
With all of the amenities that South Congress has to offer, it is surprisingly affordable in comparison to other Austin neighborhoods. The average rental rate for a South Congress apartment is $910. More upscale apartments with amenities like a pool, gym and on-site childcare will cost you closer to $1,500 or more.
At the bars, you can find the top locally crafted brews and brands, with the average glass of craft beer costing around $6. Find your favorite brews at the WhichCraft Beer Store, just a short four-minute drive from South Congress Avenue.
The neighborhood gas average sits at 12 percent less than the national gas average.
On any given weekend, thousands of shoppers flock to South Congress Avenue for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. You'll find funky second-hand shops and trendy, upscale boutiques. Enjoy some late-night shopping on the first Thursday of every month when the shops stay open until 10 p.m.
Stop by Uncommon Objects and comb through antique jewelry, toys and other fun objects. For unique, locally made products, stop by Parts & Labour. This eclectic shop carries elegant handmade items by Texas artisans, from printed tea towels to funky jewelry. With its central location on South Congress Avenue, the shop is an easy stop on a walking tour of the neighborhood.
Second Time Around is a top-quality women's consignment store that has been around since 1974. Here, you can find used clothing, including vintage wear, at a reasonable price.
Add some fun to your shopping day by visiting Lucy in Disguise With Diamonds, a quirky and colorful costume shop. Find all types of accessories, such as vintage-style wigs and jewelry, for purchase or rent. Men should swing through Stag to pick up everything from wallets to sunglasses to suits.
River City Market has all of your everyday needs, as well as an enormous and varied beer selection. Pop in on your way to work for a cup of coffee and a breakfast taco, or come by at lunch to pick up a freshly prepared sandwich from the deli. There is also the H-E-B Grocery Store, which offers an impressive selection of organic items and affordable prices.
South Congress resides in a picturesque location near some great family-friendly parks. Take a leisurely walk through the stunning greenery of Blunn Creek Preserve. This public park consists of a pathway that loops the area, complete with several side trails, bridges that pass over tranquil creeks and rivers, and two captivating panoramic overlooks.
Another park worth checking out is Gillis Park, spread across 7 seven acres of land. This park welcomes both humans and canines. You will find access to such outdoor amenities as basketball courts, a multipurpose field, a picnic shelter with four picnic tables and even a swimming pool that is available periodically throughout the day.
One way that South Congress adds to Austin's city slogan, "Keep Austin Weird," is the annual Bat Fest. Witness the unreal phenomenon of 1.5 million bats emerging from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. This popular event includes live music, dozens of original arts and crafts vendors, a wide range of food and drinks, and activities for the whole family.