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Overrated in Austin

19 items only tourists, yuppies and transplants love


Austin truly is a wonderful city. Every year, online lists advertise the treasures this Central Texas oasis has to offer. However, a lot of these landmarks really aren’t that great.

I set out to make a list of things that only tourists, yuppies and recent transplants think are great. What follows is a poorly written list (based off of my lazy research) of the most overrated things in Austin.

Please let me us know if you spot any errors in the click-bait commentary


The hype surrounding Leslie is not is not worth half of what he made wearing a thong and charging sorority girls $5 for a picture. The man is treated like some tormented, creative genius that forever changed Austin.

He’s not a Daniel Johnston, he’s a drunken hobo who wore skimpy clothes and crapped on the doorsteps of 6th street bars. One famous former bar owner remarked that Leslie was “irate when they wouldn’t let him in for free” (cover was for the bands playing inside). “Don’t you know who the fuck I am?” - Leslie yelled. RIP.

6th Street

The center of culture, drinking and music in Austin has become the thing of legends to outsiders. In reality, it’s a bunch of shot bars with shitty cover bands and DJ’s packed with frat daddies, thugs, skanks and amateurs.

It gets especially exciting between 1:30 and 3am! You can’t get a cab, you risk being towed (if you did drive there) and yes; that’s piss/vomit you are standing in. If you are really lucky chances are you’ll get brutally assaulted by a homeless drug addict, wanna-be gangsta, 21-year-old college bro who failed to pick up some pussy, Fort Hood reject or even the boys in blue.

Being Open Minded

Have you read the comments regarding a rainbow crosswalk (that is not being funded by your tax dollars btw)? Those closeted homophobes live here and actually vote, unlike you.

On another note, being open minded and accepting means you are open minded and accepting of ideas even if they are contrary to your beliefs.

Austin is a progressive and liberal city until we get offended. Then the hammer slams down on the nuts of freedom. TRIGGER WARNING: just referred to a part of the male genitalia. It’s great that we have redneck conservatives coexisting with occupy-chemtrail truthers, hacktivist celebrities, offended millennial bloggers and whiny liberals.

But can’t they all just shut up? We pride ourselves on being outside the box just as long as it doesn’t have sharp edges.

Breakfast Tacos

This isn’t just an Austin thing but our city seems to have an especially unwarranted love - for what is essentially -eggs and tortillas covered in hot sauce. Every restaurant, uncle and food trailer has some grease filled culinary adaptation (piled with random crap) that is the “best” in town. “Oooh, let’s go get breakfast tacos” someone in the office cries out (every single day). Could you be more basic?

Barton Springs

The pool itself feels incredible on a hot summer day. The spring water and salamander shit can do wonders for back pain. Yet somehow, this oasis in a dead, drying climate seems to lack. Maybe it’s the yoga classes, packs of little kids, no-drinking policy, sunbathers, Michael Phelps lap swimmers or hairy nude hippy grannies.

Maybe it’s just the difficulty of battling traffic, parking and then waiting in a long line (caused by some parks department employee who can’t figure out how to operate their 1940’s cash register).

Here’s an idea: Up the price from $3 to an even $5 so it’s not so packed and every damn person doesn’t need to get change!!!


Flying disease merchants are no friendly mascot. They are a thing of pure horror and stink worse than sidewalks along our entertainment district’s homeless shelters.

Live Music

Every restaurant has a stage, everyone is a musician and we all pretend to support the scene. In reality, shot bars fuel the night life and the city itself fails to live up to being the live music capital on every level. Perhaps we should change the motto to “Austin: The ‘We Like to Go Drink and Talk with Friends While Some Buzzband Plays Keyboard on Stage’ Capital of the World.” Or perhaps “Austin: The ‘Old People are Stuck in the Past and Love to Bitch About How Better It Used to Be’ Capital of the World.”

Craft Cocktails

Mmmmm. Whiskey with muddled cherries and asparagus tastes great! Too bad the giant ice cube in my glass inhibits me from even being able to drink it.

I would order another, but it took the bartender 28 minutes to bring it out.  Check please!

$45? Wait, what?


“Isn’t Austin lovely? You can bike EVERYWHERE?” No, you can’t. Assholes can, but the rest of us know it’s 110 in the summer and no one wants to be around that sweaty, out of breath stink vat.

No, you cannot keep up with traffic and, no, it is not okay for you to coast along to the front of the stoplight at Lamar and MLK (after we already passed you). Don’t even get me started on the Lance Armstrong’s who cruise along on 360 next to 60mph cars.

Bag Ban

In Austin, you can’t use plastic to bag all the plastic you just bought.

South Congress

Backwards parking on a busy street to buy overpriced clothing and coffee. Make sure to take a picture in front of the “I love you” painting.

Auditorium Shores

The lake smells like dog shit, the park smells like dog shit and the dogs smell like their own shit. Surely the upcoming changes are for the better, but will it help save the joggers from tripping over dogs and bumping into the guy sketching SRV? Probably not.


You are taking a picture of a gorgeous female in front of a wonderful piece of landscape. You are not an artist, you just know how to press click and manipulate color with fancy Photoshop filters.

High Rise Condos

You moved right next music venue so stop complaining about the noise. Fuck you, fuck your chain “neighborhood bar” and fuck your high rent paying parents.

Self Proclaimed VIPs and  CEOs

An idea, WiFi and leased BMW is all it takes to be an entrepreneur in Austin. For every successful startup however, there are one thousand boxes of business cards in a closet.

Food Trucks

If I wanted to wait in line outside for undercooked mediocrity and be served by someone who could be less interested in taking my order; I’d go to Kerbey Lane.

Radio DJs

For a creative city with a lot of traffic, you’d expect the radio to be a lot better. Instead it’s a bunch of corporate shills playing pre-approved songs and ranting about how important they should be. Their gelled spikes, tribal tattoos, fake voices and creepy facial hair reminded us of the guys who still hung out with high school kids after graduating. 

The University of Texas Athletics

Over a million people live in the Austin area and apparently they all went to Texas.  The university has successfully turned the entire population into fans while preventing any real professional sports teams from entering the city limits. They have the largest athletics program in the nation and nothing (much) to show for it. The football, baseball and basketball programs have all found ways to live just below the realm of the best. If this is our professional team, we deserve better.

Complaining About Austin

We get it! You are sew kewl and everything sucks. Traffic, bars, hipsters and dog parks. You hate Austin so why don’t you, pack your bags and go live in Lubbock? Surely you'll be able to get by on being "creative" and blogging in the panhandle.

Also Nominated

Standing in line for bbq, Weird, Mexican food, brunch, Paddle boarding, Guadalupe/the drag, gluten-free, Topo Chico, trail of lights, beards, Mount Bonnell, the East side,  ACL Fest, 'Don't MOve Here' movement, SXSW, the Flag store, reading (who needs to read when you can just glance over something, ignore the details and argue in the comments section), F1, 10ks and races, Marfa, Photo shoots at Town Lake, Town Lake Trail, the Greenbelt and celebs. 



Obviously this list is a bit satirical (no one hates radio DJs) and I love Austin. However, I hate cheesy lists and lines. Perhaps if we do a better job preserving than promoting the things that make our city great, we can actually enjoy and appreciate them to the fullest. Have something to say? Find me on Twitter @theCJMorgan.


Special help provided by: Whitney LeMond, Sierra Pedraja.

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