The Best of Austin’s South Congress Avenue


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The Austin Hotel, keepin it weird on South Congress, the home to many awesome vintage and unique shops.

The Austin Hotel, keepin it weird on South Congress, the home to many awesome vintage and unique shops.

Keep Austin Weird. That’s what Austiners say about their liberal oasis in the desert. And we can see why. From bat-bombarded bridges and food and drink amped movie theaters, to major music and creative festivals and food trucks out the wazoo like no other place in the nation, Austin has it’s unique elements that make it stand out as a national destination.

One of the best parts of Austin is the strip of South Congress Avenue near where the Colorado River runs trough downtown. It’s home to tons of delicious restaurants, boutique hotels, food trucks and unique shops carrying handmade, vintage and secondhand.

We took a little tour to share our recommendations with you. Check em!

Heritage Boot

Heritage Boot

There’s a certain romance to a well-crafted cowboy boot, Jerry and Patti knew that even before they opened their first shop in 1976. Now on South Congress, their shop has a huge selection of men’s and women’s boots – all new and handmade, and they do offer some beautifully pre-worn pairs as well. You know the kind: they’re perfectly worked-in, in just the right ways. Buy just one of these pairs and they’ll last you a lifetime.

Heritage Boot
1200 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 326-8577 ‎

Blackmail Boutique and Atelier


Blackmail Boutique and Atelier is a working design studio and boutique that produces gorgeous handmade and one-of-a-kind clothes, all on the premises and all in black. Some of the most memorable pieces are hand-stitched, full-leather dresses – you’ve never seen the likes of these before. The store is beautifully curated with minimal stock (only some of which is carefully contributed by guest designers), matching accessories, vintage cowboy boots and a couple of sewers and designers in the back.

Blackmail Boutique and Atelier
1202 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704-2422
(512) 326-7670 ‎


Stag provides a modern take on classic style with a bend towards the woodsy, outdoor male, and paying homage to a time when boys played Cowboys and Indians. A whole smattering of provisions for men include plaid button-downs, screen printed American Alternative t-shirts, expertly tailored shirts and pants, only the best quality vintage clothing, and odd accessories like guitar straps and raccoon pelts. Who knows, maybe you want to hang that from your leather belt. There are also gifts, trinkets, jewelry, grooming and skin care, vintage concert posters, art books and lucky rabbit’s feet.

1423 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704-2434
(512) 373-7824 ‎

St. Vincent de Paul

St Vincent de Paul

Although the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop is pretty standard with racks of clothes, shelves of home goods and piles of children’s stuff, they are very much steeped in Austin culture, so you’ll also find secondhand cowboy boots and huge belt buckles. And if we’ve learned anything about secondhand cowboy boots, it’s that they aren’t necessarily cheap. Except for here. Definitely check this spot to see if you can pick up a little treasure in the form of hand-stitched leather and wooden soles.

The St. Vincent de Paul Stores of Austin are owned and operated by the Ladies of Charity of Austin, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocesan Council of Austin, whom offer basic needs and assistance to their community by providing goods, services and funding for other outreach programs. Go buy, and do some good.

St. Vincent de Paul
1327 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 442-5652 ‎

Uncommon Objects

Uncommon Objects is one of the most amazing stores in Austin for their sheer selection and eloquent curation. Beautiful and dense scenes are created throughout the store and are populated with unique, vintage and antique thing-a-majigs, whosey-whats-its and everything ever made. Ever. Is the best thing about this store exploring or is the best thing being able to afford the booty? Hard to tell. But it’s a crucial stop for all Austin shoppers.

Uncommon Objects
1512 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 442-4000 ‎

New Bohemia

New Bohemia

Love vintage clothes? Ahem, cheap vintage clothes? New Bohemia is THEE place to go for vintage duds. From authentic petticoats and real-deal 50′s dresses all the way to neon 80′s gear, cowboy boots (of course), and pearl-buttoned button down shirts, they’ve really got the hook up. Long racks of awesomely soft t-shirts with hilarious throw backs will keep you perusing for a while.

1606 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704-3522
(512) 326-1238

Map It Out

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Recommendations from a friend

And a big thank you to Angela at The Bounty Huntress for the awesome recommendations. Check her out on Krrb at

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  • Viola Davis

    I was thinking of buying some fashion accessories which
    includes belts and earrings and then came up with review of mizuno while
    searching. It was nice to read this review.

    Belt buckle

  • Van

    Beautiful photos! I’d love to investigate each of these thrifts. Uncommon Objects looks like the shop -I- would curate if I had the time, it speaks to my soul, it does!

  • Thanks! We had a good tipster. And I’m sure there are plenty more that need some highlighting too!

  • Anonymous

    Awesome finds! (and pics!)