Yes, Austin loves its weirdos. And you don’t have to live in downtown Austin to embrace your inner weird. From Westlake to Lakeway to Steiner Ranch, we’re doing our part to keep our favorite tagline alive and well in the burbs too.
First of all, we should give credit where credit is due. In 2000, the Austin Independent Business Alliance adopted the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan in an effort to promote small businesses. Those three little words stuck like glue and we started seeing the famous bumper stickers. In fact, the slogan was so widely admired, many other cities started adopting it as their slogan too — like Portland. (Of course they did.)
So why are we happy about being weird? Well, the message is a positive one celebrating Austin for having an accepting culture where artistic expression thrives and we embrace progressive growth politically, socially and in culture — especially music. And we love and support our local businesses. This spirit is what keeps our city (and our suburbs) vibrant and eclectic.
Some of the things that make us quirky are obvious like our undying love of food trucks. We just can’t get enough mobile cuisine. We’ve got Chew Chew BBQ, Tricia’s Street Treats, Boss Hog’s Kitchen and Hey Cupcake! to name a few.
We also love a good frozen treat. A Tiger Blood snow cone from Frozy’s? A Peach Razzmatazz from Otto’s Hawaiian Shave Ice? Heavenly.
We have our unique Austinites like the guy who travels via a tiny yellow vehicle, which we call the banana mobile. He is often spotted on 360 near the Bee Caves exit and he happens to shop at that H-E-B. We doubt he can fit many groceries in his uniquely Austin vehicle, but it sure does make us smile when we see him on the road.
We’re infatuated with breakfast tacos. You have no idea how hooked you are until you leave Austin and find yourself staring at a breakfast menu and asking for the breakfast taco page.
The waiter might look at you like you’re crazy. Then you start to describe what a breakfast taco is and you really start getting eye rolls, “…you know, it’s a tortilla and you put scrambled eggs in it with some potatoes and cheese … and you serve it with beans and rice…???”
The same holds true for our must-have frozen margarita fixes. There are tons of restaurants and bars that specialize in serving up the biggest baddest frozen margaritas like Cantina Laredo’s Tres Amigos which is a triple threat featuring Cantina Laredo’s signature Casa Rita (Giro Silver tequila by Sauza, Cointreau orange liqueur and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juices) with a sidecar shot of Sauza Hornitas Silver and a Coronita beer.
In Lake Travis, we have every flavor of frozen margarita and every brand of tequila available to us at all times. Again, leave Austin and you quickly discover you won’t get your frozen margarita fix until you get back home.
Since we’re the birthplace of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, founded in Austin in 1997, this city loves sing-alongs. From ’80s music to grunge to Kayne, if it can be played, we will dedicate a sing-along to it, complete with glow sticks and costumes. Lake Travis residents sang their hearts out at the Frozen sing-along at Lake Travis SpringFest at The Backyard a few months ago (including parents … yes, dads were singing too).
If you’re ready to embrace the weird in you this weekend, make sure to check out the Keep Austin Weird Fest & 5K on Saturday (June 28) at The Long Center. Costumes are encouraged and the most outrageous wins free Amy’s Ice Cream for a year! Tickets are on sale now.
How do you Keep Austin Weird alive and well in the Lake Travis area?