In Austin for SXSW?: 11 Stylish Spots for Awesome Austin Design

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The annual South by Southwest festival is in full swing, and if you're in town to hear great tunes, watch new films or catch up with the hottest trends in the tech world, you might also be interested in soaking up some of the great design Austin has to offer. Consider a peek at these old and new favorite stores, restaurants and more — all places to enjoy good design (and food) while giving your eardrums a rest.

These eleven spots to visit (when you're not absorbing delicious tunes at a hot show, watching a hip short film or hearing about the latest app) sure aren't the only good-looking places in Austin. Designers here have been designing hit after stylish hit in recent years; this is just a quick mix of low and high-end spaces to poke your head into if you want.

And the best part? This list is good year-round!

And though these spots (as well as most of Austin's entire urban core) will probably be packed with people during SXSW, you may still find inspiration in these spaces. (And for those determined to hang in the least-crowded places as possible this SXSW —and this is for the locals as well — check out the app made by GSD&M: Avoid Humans.)

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1. Nannie Inez

This was on the top of our list last year, and it makes the top of the list this year as well. One, because it's still one of the best and fun design stores in Austin, but also because they just moved locations to an even bigger and better place! So even if you visited last year you'll have to go back this year to see the new space.

2. Gardner

This new restaurant on the East Side is from the team behind another popular Austin eat spot, Contigo (another great place to visit). The stripped down, simple interior highlights the menu of seasonal vegetables and features modern high-quality furniture designed by Michael Yates Design.

3. Jacoby's Restaurant & Mercantile

This "ranch-to-table" restaurant in East Austin overlooks the Colorado River and features a warm and rustic interior, a bold outdoor eating area and some seriously good eats. They also have a small neighborhood market featuring "artisan food and vintage and modern goods."

4. Quickie Pickie

Find a colorful use of reclaimed wood plus a great place to grab a snack to refuel during SXSW.

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5. Hillside Farmacy

A couple of years old but still as charming as ever, with cute design details and yummy eats.

6. Figure 8 Coffee Purveyors

A simple and small space with honest materials, subtle details, and a great place to grab a cup of coffee. On the East Side.

7. Hotel San Jose

An Austin classic. Meander around the landscaping, sip a drink by the pool or catch the always-good South by San Jose music showcase.

8. Launderette

An adorable little cafe in East Austin with bold floors, lots of bright natural light and a comfy, casual atmosphere.

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9. Qui

An awesome piece of modern architecture inside and out, located on a corner in East Austin. Rumored to have great food (kidding, chef Paul Qui's that guy who won Top Chef).

10. Mockingbird Domestics

Find a modern and rustic mix of hand-crafted and locally designed items for the home.

11. Sawyer & Co.

A charming, mid-century modern-inspired eatery on the East Side that's perfect for breakfast. Great patio and lots of charming design details.

So what's left off this list that's a must-see design spot in Austin in your opinion? If you dare share, feel free to post your secret, great-design-low-people SXSW places in the comments below!

Re-edited from a post originally published 3.17.14 - JL

(Image credits: Tre Dunham for Michael Yates Design; Courtesy of Nannie Inez; Adrienne Breaux)