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Vietnamese Poké Bowls And DJ-ed Yoga Sessions: What To Do in Austin

God bless Texas.

We at Kale.Life are self-professed lovers of all things Austin. Here, our picks of the best of the best this weird little Texan city has to offer.

WHAT TO EAT (AND WHERE)

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Bouldin Creek Cafe
What to try: the Veggie Royale

A favorite for locals of the 78704 neighborhood, this casual cafe serves up healthy fare, with plenty of delicious options for vegan and GF diets. Their veggie burger is probably my favorite in town (and Austin’s got a lot of veggie burger options, guys). Try it with the chipotle-pecan pesto for a smoky kick, and pair with one of their delicious Raspberry Sour lemonades as you chow down on their outdoor patio. A great option for a casual, sunny-day lunch.

Elizabeth Street Cafe
What to try: Sesame Ahi Poké

This adorable restaurant, located within the 1st Street area, serves up some of the best Vietnamese food in town—and also has fresh French bakery items to feed your craving for something sweet. Their version of a poké bowl quickly became one of my favorite go-to lunches because of its Asian twist. Served on a bed of delicious jasmine rice, with tons of veggies, this is my pick for a fresh, healthy, and incredibly yummy lunch option. If you’re looking for something more traditional, their pho and bánh mi options are top-notch and not to be missed.

The Soup Peddler
What to try: the Rip Torn smoothie

Specializing in healthy juices, smoothies, and, of course,  soups, the Soup Peddler began as owner David Ansel riding his bike and delivering soups all over Austin. Since then, his business has expanded to five locations, with my personal favorite being the brick-and-mortar store on South Lamar. Adding to the quirkiness of the SoLa neighborhood, this tiny establishment houses just the prep kitchen, with an outdoor patio for patrons to enjoy their food on. My favorite thing on the menu is the Rip Torn, a peanut-butter lover’s dream of a smoothie. Made with banana, blueberry, apple juice, peanut butter, raw hemp protein, whey protein, and flax meal, it’s my choice for the perfect post-yoga fuel-up.

WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO

Sukha Yoga Austin
What to do: Erinn’s Friday evening Glow class

Located in the middle of South Lamar (one of the coolest neighborhoods in Austin), Sukha Yoga is a bright, colorful, and welcoming yoga sanctuary for visitors and locals alike. Owned by Erinn Lewis and her partner Mark Herron, this studio will make students immediately feel at home. There’s glitter and color everywhere — the decor matching the spirit of Erinn’s classes. Her Glow class is a combination of fluid vinyasa-style movements paired with restorative yoga elements, usually framed within a heart-centered theme. The positive energy in the room is always palpable; Erinn leads a class full of light, energy, vulnerability, and heart. Prepare to move, sweat, drop in, and feel all the things. You’ll walk out of the room feeling like you’ve had your soul washed clean.

Barton Springs Pool
What to do: Take a dip, then relax in the sun

Austin is notorious for its hot, sunny days, and sometimes finding an outdoor activity that won’t leave you spent and sweaty can be difficult. Barton Springs Pool is the perfect option for a hot summer day, and will definitely offer visitors a chance to cool off. This natural, spring-fed pool is always a cool 68-70 degrees, perfect for year-round dips, and especially refreshing on 90 degree days. Take it from a local: Never get in slowly! Take a running start and hop right in — there’s even a diving board if you want to get fancy about it. After a swim, you can relax on the grassy hillside, taking in the sun, and, if you’re lucky, catch some hula-hoopers or acro-yogis doing their thing.

Sunday Ritual at the South Congress Hotel
What to do: Free yoga and meditation class

The South Congress Hotel—one of Austin’s newest landmarks—is a beautifully designed space, with a mid-century modern twist and heavy Texas vibes. It’s also an amazing place to take a yoga class. Hosted by Wanderlust Yoga and Outdoor Voices, Sunday Ritual is an incredible yoga and meditation offering, that’s held inside the hotel and open to the public (you can reserve your spot for only $20). Led by one of my favorite yoga instructors, Kate Waitzkin, this class is the perfect way to start your Sunday. Students will move through a strong practice of asana and breath-work accompanied by a live DJ and capped off by guided meditation. You’re sure to feel rested, renewed, and ready for brunch once you’re done.(Café Nosé next door is a great option for grabbing a bite afterwards, by the way.)

THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE: AMIR MOZAFARI 

Amir has been living in Austin for over twelve years, so he knows all of the ins and outs of the city. A lover of music, food, and all things Austin,  he moved here to attend the University of Texas and is currently Director of Business Development at Front Gate Tickets, working with festivals all around North America. Here, his top five places in Austin to work on health and wellness.

Atomic Athlete 

“Atomic is the perfect place for me to reach my fitness goals. While it’s not your traditional gym, their mix of Olympic lifting, strength and endurance training allows me to tackle different aspects of my fitness. The dedicated coaching is amazing and it feels like one big family. No matter how fast you are or how much you can lift everyone has to put in the work and everyone is on the same page.”

Austin Bouldering Project

“My newest workout obsession, ABP is a rock climbing playground great for all levels of athletes. Not only is it a great work out, but it allows you to get creative and competitive with yourself.”

Getting Outdoors

“If it’s a beautiful Texas day, I’ll head to Town Lake and rent a stand up paddle board. You’ll get an amazing arm and core work out, and get some time in the sun, too. I also love running along the Lady Bird Lake train with my dog—it’s a great way to people watch and take in the beautiful scenery of downtown Austin.”

Fitness and Food Mantra

“I’m a strong believer in allowing yourself to indulge, and I love food, so, of course, I love to eat as much as I can! To make sure I don’t overdo it, I try to eat as healthy as I can, too. I’m a lover of cooking, and spend a lot of time in the kitchen making the majority of my own meals, so I try to balance my diet out with the right mix of protein, veggies, carbs and calories. My favorite morning meal is almond butter and banana pancakes. Mash up one banana for every two eggs, add a tablespoon of almond butter, and fry them up with some coconut oil. Serve them topped with walnuts, blueberries, strawberries and honey. Don’t forget the bacon and coffee!”

Some other of Amir’s favorite local spots? Flat Track Coffee (get the vegan chocolate donut!), Juiceland, and Veracruz All Natural Tacos.

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