Though Austin’s iconic Sixth Street is chock-full of souvenir shops with tie-dyed “Keep Austin Weird” T-shirts, some of the best things to take back with you are a little more off the beaten path.
Callahan’s is a legitimate rancher’s general store, complete with feed, farming materials and chicks for sale. But there’s also a good deal of Western wear, very Texan gifts (like walking sticks, weather vanes, nutcrackers, locally canned items), and often live music and a bit of a livestock petting zoo on the weekends…and it’s right on the way to the airport.
A pair of Old Gringos or Luccheses from Allens Boots would be the nicest gift you could get yourself. Check New Bohemia or the nearby “Boot Whisperer” at Wild West Store in Wimberley for vintage Western footwear. Sheplers sells cowboy hats and bolo ties, and Hatbox carries a wide variety of headgear.
Tears of Joy is a hot sauce store right in the middle of Sixth, teeming with bottles that can serve as mementos for yourself or gifts for others. For another ingestible gift, I often bring a bottle of Paula’s Texas Orange when I go home for a visit — it really gives margaritas an extra citrus kick.
Or maybe locally made craft bitters are more your style? Bad Dog Bar Craft makes a sarsaparilla blend, as well as one called” Fire and Damnation.” All of the above can usually be found at The Austin Wine Merchant.
Lammes Candies is a great place to stock up on “longhorns” (chocolate-covered pralines), and though Whittington’s Jerky general store is a short drive away in Johnson City, its fresh jerky can be found at various stores around town.
But if you’re really stuck on getting a T-shirt, check out the locally screenprinted selection at Parts & Labour and several other stores on South Congress.