How To Do SXSW Like an Austinite


According to RESTART CBD, an Austin born cannabis brand founded by three Austin sisters!

Welcome to Austin! 

RESTART CBD is a locally owned business out of Austin, Texas; as a brand and as a team of born and raised Austinites, we’ve seen this city boom and turn into a HUB for big corporations like Google, Apple, Samsung, and Tesla. Austin has been known as one of the fastest-growing cities in the US since 2019 and still holds the title. In addition, this central Texas city holds some of the best festivals, like SXSW, ACL, and Blues on the Green, and smaller gatherings like Eeyore’s birthday, Marley Fest, and the Pecan Street Festival.

Austin has been compared to cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and even Denver. 

With all of these BIG businesses moving to AUSTIN, people look to the locals to ask simple questions like, “How do you feel about everyone moving to Austin?” Or “Do you think Austin isn’t so weird anymore?”… 

With that being said, we will jump right into tips and tricks on doing SXSW like an Austinite! This blog will provide you with unique local gems, beautiful hill country hikes, and fun murals of Austin to snap a photo in front of, plus learn the history of how Austin is so weird.

How Austin’s stamp of “weird” came to be: Meet Leslie!

Leslie Cochran

Photo: Rebecca McEntee/Austin American Statesman

Meet Leslie Cochran, an activist and the man who embodied the aesthetic and lifestyle of “keeping it weird.” Leslie was a part of the homeless community in Austin in the 90s. As a voice for the LGBTQ and homeless of the ATX, he actively fought for everyone’s voices to be heard. Leslie was known for his scandalous thongs and stylish heels and was mainly seen around 6th street and Congress Ave, where Leslie filmed his first official campaign video for mayor.

As quoted by Clark Rodgers from LGBTQnation: 

“The idea of a man in drag protesting treatment of the homeless in the deep red streets of Texas was revolutionary.”

Watch the “Leslie Cochran For Mayor 2000 Official Campaign video”.

LC was on the campaign trail during the 2000s election for Mayor of Austin. He believed that Austin was straying away from listening to the people; and thought that he was the person to change the community and help Austin stay Austin.

Leslie sadly passed away in March of 2012 due to head trauma. The City of Austin was devastated to learn about the passing of Leslie Cochran. With him being either idolized as our future mayor or just the guy in the frilly thong: We all shared the same opinion of Leslie Cochran; in that, he lived by “Keep Austin Weird.” Those three words will forever remember his life.

In 2019, on the first day of SXSW, a documentary premiered titled “Becoming Leslie.” (Which is linked in the 1st photo of Leslie at the top of the blog post.)

“No matter what you do in life, be happy where you’re at; Even if you get to the bottom of the rung, find ways to enjoy that.” Leslie Cochran — 2003,

RestartCBD Recommendations: Local Snack Stops

Grabbing a quick bite to eat, goes hand in hand, with RESTART CBD. Sometimes we get a craving for something sweet or savory and we bet you do too. When you want something local to enjoy to tide you over, or just help curb your munchies, pay a visit to one of these stops and enjoy some Austin approved snacks!

Blenders and Bowls

  • 4200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
  • 1625 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 

Blenders & Bowls was founded by two best friends Erin and Kara; they came together with their love for smoothie bowls and created their first restaurant on wheels after moving to Austin from the beautiful islands of Hawaii. The two best friends met in sports extra-curricular activities in Santa Barbara, California, and continued to keep in touch throughout college. Now they find themselves in the heart of the world’s live music capital, ATX, with one food truck and five brick and mortar stores- and you can also find them in 300 grocery stores across the countr with their pre blended scoopable bowls..

If you do find yourself at one of the B&B shops, make sure to check out the RESTART CBD bowl available all spring long.

Spread n Co.

1601 W 38th St, Austin, TX 78731

Suppose you are feeling snacky while you’re out and about during SXSW. One of RESTARTS’ favorites is charcuterie board heaven … Spread & co.

Owner Rosemary Ewald founded SPREAD & CO in 2016. Rosemary started molding her vision for S&C with her passion for making homemade jams and creating these masterpieces of assorted cheeses, bread, and many other yummy garnishes to build the future of the S&C menu. With Rosemary’s creative eye for color and natural foods, and husband Austin, joining ownership in 2019, adding his experience as a chef + baker. The Ewald’s brought their skills and knowledge together to create this brilliant gem of a business in the heart of Texas.

Quoted by the owners: “Originally the plan was to take those passions and start a food truck serving picnic boxes, along with the house-made preserves, but between that seed of an idea and after being inspired by the “grazing platter” scene in Australia, the company evolved into a combination of the concepts!”

In 2019 Rosemary and Austin opened up their first brick and mortar at Jefferson Square right in the beautiful neighborhood of Rosedale, and their second location in February of 2021 at The Contemporary Laguna Gloria. 

Rosemary and Austin still dedicate their time to working out of both locations, so if you run into them, be sure to say hello! 


Lick Honest Ice Cream 

Owners Chad and Anthony founded Lick Honest Ice Cream in the fall of 2011 after pondering the ideas of “savory ice cream” for the palates of the ATX. Owner Anthony is from Hallettsville in South Central Texas; Chad is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. With both moving from a small town to a big city plus their love for ice cream, they came together to bring Austin a traditional ice cream shop environment with untraditional flavors!

If you crave coffee ice cream, then their coffee + cream will be your espresso paradise!

6555 Burnet Rd, Unit 200, Austin, TX 78757
1100 S Lamar Blvd #1135, Austin, TX 78704

Restart CBD Recommendations: Local Restaurants

If we know one thing, it’s staying fed during SXSW. So check out some of our favorite local recs to sit down and enjoy a quintessential Austin dining experience no matter where your taste buds want to go, there are plenty of flavors and options to choose from.

The Peached Tortilla 

(Asian Fusion Cuisine) 5520 Burnet Rd #100, Austin, TX 78756

Another successful food truck that has taken off in the ATX! The Peached Tortilla is a fresh take on Southern Asain Fusion. Their founder Eric Silverstein was born in Tokyo, Japan, where he was strongly inspired by Japanese, Chinese and Malaysian cuisine, sparking this peachy idea of a business! What started as one food truck has now turned into a multi-restaurant operation. First, with having a location in the beautiful neighborhood of Rosedale; to having sister company ‘Bar Peached’ in Clarksville. They’ve made their next step into the Austin Bergstrom Airport, so you’ll be able to enjoy this tasty fusion cuisine when you first land in the ATX or on your way out!

To learn more about this ATX gem, read the owner biography below or click the photo to read up on the team and browse the menu!

If you wanted to read more about this peachy company and meet the team: clink here


2307 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

The Patrizi family founded the business back in the 1940s in Beaumont, TX. Patrizis wasn’t just known for their unique, authentic Italian cuisine, but also because they indeed are a family business. The grandmothers in the back crafting their famous meatballs; to their cousins behind the bar. The Patrizi family brought Beaumont an honest “family-owned and operated” business. 

Now Austin get’s to enjoy the Patrizi family food at their namesake food trailer!

We are lucky enough to say we have this Authentic family-owned business; right outside the city. You can get all of these savory, mouth-watering dishes from a food truck with homemade noodles and sauces!

Tamale House East 

1707 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

In 1958, Carmen and Moses Vasquez were serving out of a tiny window on Congress Ave lined up with other small businesses. They’ve served locals, senators, and even a president at one point. The food you would find at this small local establishment is the same food you’d see on Carmen’s dinner table at the end of the day.

With the passion for creating these authentic Mexican cuisines- the family found themselves opening more small dine-in spaces and receiving a high volume of customers in return!

You can still find grandma Carmen’s eight original menu items at both locations. The Tamale House still is one of those small neighborhood places that give you that warm home-cooked meal experience. What makes this spot so different is the beautiful outside seating garden; that makes you feel like you’re not in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city!

Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop

Photo: Matthew Johnson

Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop

La Oriental, now known as Joe’s bakery, was founded by (mother) Sophia and (stepfather) Florentino De La O in 1935. The Avila family has been a part of the East Austin community for 87 years. However, La Oriental was sold to Joe Avila in 1962. With that, started the uprising of Joe’s Bakery after being named by the partners Joe Avila and Joe Hidrogo (brother-in-law).

Joe Avila’s specialty was baking, so as they’ve passed down this business down the family line, they have kept all of his original recipes since 1962. Joe was an apprentice under his stepfather, who sparked his passion for baking.

There are so many moving pieces to this family business, so this isn’t even tapping into all of the family members that made this restaurant what it is today. 

Highly recommend reading the history section of their website and seeing all their beautiful family photos.

Restart CBD Recommendations: Coffee Shops

This section is for all of the coffee lovers out there! There are a lot of successful, excellent cafes that you will find in the Austin area, but what makes them different? As a local, these have stood out the most! It’s not just about a good old cup of joe, but also the environment and the vibes.

Radio Coffee

This gem is located in the neighborhood of south Manchaca; Radio Coffee isn’t only a cafe but also a beer garden. This excellent hangout spot in Austin is the Swiss Army knife of cafes. Not only do they have fantastic espresso and baked goods, but they also have an assortment of food trucks on their outside patio. A lot of Austenites love the indoor-outdoor experience because of the fact everyone (and their mom’s) have a dog. 
@ 4204 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX  78704, United States


221 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78751

EPOCH coffee is the ultimate college kid study spot because it is open 24/7. Located in the north loop neighborhood, this street has a hidden strip of vintage shops, record stores, and a dive bar scene. Epoch has a relaxed homie aesthetic to the interior and a beautiful patio, with a whole wall of local artists for you to support on the outside. This neighborhood cafe is the perfect place to grab a late-night cup of coffee or even just a deliciously creamy hot chocolate to aid your sweet tooth!

Tiny’s Milk + Cookie

1515 W 35th St building c, Austin, TX 78703

Tiny Milk and Cookies is right down the street from one of our other recommendations! Located in the neighborhood of Rosedale, this farm-style coffee shack is a sister company to restaurant Tiny Boxwood, which is known for starting a restaurant right in the middle of a nursery in the River Oaks area in Houston, Texas. Tiny Milk and cookies has fantastic coffee and sweet delicious baked goods; another plus factor is that they sell their famous cookie recipes in a cookie dough option.

 Restart CBD Recommendations: Hikes to take

Austin is a part of the beautiful Texas hill country, with beautiful hikes and water views. Hiking and outdoor festivities are a part of the Austinite lifestyle. These pins on the map lead to stunning water views with dog-friendly environments.

The Greenbelt

3755 S Capital of Texas Hwy B

Mt Bonnell

3800 Mount Bonnell Rd; Austin, Texas 78731

Mckinney Falls

5808 McKinney Falls Pkwy, Austin, TX 78744

Bull Creek 

6958 Old Spicewood Springs Rd

Restart CBD Recommendations: Top 5 Murals To See

You can’t visit Austin and not snap a photo at one of our iconic mural painted walls. Whether you’re in the area or driving specifically to scope one of these out, we recommend going early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the rush of visitors who want to also make a memory in front of one of our murals.


ARTIST: Amy Cook  

PHOTO BY: Roger Ho 

LOCATION:1300 S. Congress



ARTIST: Renee Dominguez 

PHOTO BY: Roger Ho 

LOCATION: 2nd & Brazos


ARTIST: Jacqui Oakley, Erick Montes, Joe Swec 

PHOTO BY: Roger Ho 

LOCATION: 1423 S Congress Ave


ARTIST: Creative Suitcase

PHOTO BY: Roger Ho

LOCATION: 2000 E MLK Jr Blvd 


ARTIST: Daniel Johnston 

PHOTO BY: Roger Ho 

LOCATION: Guadalupe & 21st


Now that you have all the tools and knowledge to rock and roll like a local! You can experience the city through an Austinite’s eyes. We all know that we’ve missed opportunities like gatherings and traveling during this pandemic, so supporting locally during this high volume time in the ATX is an essential part of keeping the city as authentic as it is. With RESTART being a local company, we want to speak out and support our neighbors! If you are interested in trying any of these places their websites are linked in the photos, and so is photo credit for any photographers: addresses will be listed below the respected photo as well. 

With that said: thank you for reading our recommendations, and have a safe SXSW!