South of Lady Bird Lake, the South Congress business district stretches from Live Oak all the way to Riverside Drive; this iconic Austin avenue offers a gorgeous view of the Texas Capitol, and some of the best shopping, dining and people-watching in town. South Congress, dubbed by locals as SoCo, is nationally known for eclectic retail offerings; Allen’s Boots keeps shoppers on their toes in finely handcrafted leather cowboy boots, while Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds is rumored to be a favorite shopping haunt of celebrated musician Bob Dylan. Located in the music capital of Texas, South Congress doesn’t disappoint; the Continental Club plays host to both local and touring acts, while Guero’s Oak Garden offers a laid back, outdoor music experience. There’s no shortage of delicious food on South Congress, where locals can enjoy tried and true favorites at Magnolia Cafe and Jo’s Coffee. For fine dining, Botticelli’s serves up exquisite Italian cuisine, while South Congress Hotel’s Otoko offers patrons an authentic Japanese Omakase experience. SoCo locals enjoy all the amenities this beautiful district has to offer, such as alternative fitness services at Somaspace, and a haircut and a shave at Birds Barbershop. South Congress is the backdrop for local life in Austin and continues to keep its “weird” vibe, proving that even in a changing city, some things stay the same.
The South Congress Merchants Association is working to maintain and preserve the heritage of its diverse neighborhood while promoting growth. It’s focused on affordability and retention of creative and small business; building loyal repeat patronage from surrounding neighborhoods; resolving the issues of parking shortages; creating shared cultural events and collaborating with local artists to create distinctive public art.