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Driving through Austin: 10 places to check out along Oltorf Street

Jake Harris
jharris@statesman.com

Oltorf Street in South Austin stretches from its intersection with Lamar Boulevard on the west side, crosses I-35 and finally intersects with Montopolis Drive on the east side. 

This stretch of road covers a lot of ground, and while it might not seem like it on first glance among the apartment complexes and strip malls, there’s plenty to see and do.

Here are 10 places to check out along Oltorf Street.

The ABGB, 1305 W. Oltorf St.

The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company, more commonly referred to as The ABGB, is a go-to spot for pizza and beer happy hours. The Hell Yes Helles and Big Mama Red pair nicely with some of the brewpub’s many pizza offerings. Plus, there’s live music most nights out of the week, with Austin acts like Croy and the Boys and Warren Hood performing often.

The H-E-B at Oltorf and Congress, 2400 S. Congress Ave.

The Central Texas grocer’s location at the intersection of Congress and Oltorf is famous for two things: it stocks some hard-to-find items that you can’t find at other H-E-B spots; and it’s the unofficial home of most of Austin’s grackle population.  Swing by around sunset to see a huge gathering of grackles. (Grackling?  Grackle Gang?)

Music Lab recording studio, 1306 W. Oltorf St.

This spot has been providing studio space and rental gear to artists since 1992. Book room reservations here.

El Tacorrido, 2316 S. First St.

Tacos, tortas, quesadillas, gorditas and more await at this Mexican restaurant at the intersection of First and Oltorf.

Winebelly Wine Bar, 519 W. Oltorf St.

A tapas and wine bar located on the west side of Oltorf, Winebelly has an extensive happy hour menu and gives half-off on select bottles on Sundays and Mondays. It was also named one of the “Top 20 Wine Bars in the U.S.” by “Wine Enthusiast Magazine.”

Tarbouch, 534 E. Oltorf St.

South Austinites don’t have to travel far to find diverse cuisine. This Lebanese restaurant is family-owned and also serves as a hookah bar. They also serve beer and wine, offer carry-out, and offer a mix of Lebanese and Mediterranean food. 

Café Crème, 1834 E. Oltorf St.

Tired of Starbucks? This local shop not only offers an extensive coffee and tea menu, it also serves beer and wine and makes fresh pastries and kolaches every morning. There’s also conference room space available for groups at a $15/hour rate.

Click’s Billiards, 2121 E. Oltorf St.

This chain sports bar is home to pool sharks and sports fans alike, with leagues meeting multiple nights a week.

Phoebe’s Diner, 533 W. Oltorf St.

Located in the same strip as Winebelly (and from the same owners), this new breakfast and lunch spot opened up last year and serves classic American fare like buttermilk pancakes, fried chicken, smoked pork ribs, smoked ham and more. 

Read our review here. 

Check out the Farrah Fawcett mural at 500 W. Oltorf St.

This mural of famous American actress, model and “Charlie’s Angel” Farrrah Fawcett went up on Oltorf last June and has become a photography hotspot for tourists and locals alike.

More: PHOTOS: Take a tour of Austin’s lesser-known murals

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