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Photo Credit: Giadzy

What Giada Ate in Austin During South by Southwest

15 March 2024
by Giada
Photo Credit: Giadzy
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Giada’s restaurant recommendations in the Texas capital.

I was so excited to be part of South by Southwest this year—not just because it was an honor to host a fireside chat about Giadzy’s growth with my friend Kerry Diamond of Cherry Bombe, but because I got to spend a fantastic weekend in Austin! A core group of Giadzy team members came down for a team building retreat, and we had some really productive planning sessions dreaming up new ways to make the Giadzy experience special for you (stay tuned for more on that soon!).

Austin has such an amazing food scene that I had fabulous meals all weekend long, and I wanted to share a few favorites with you:

Team Giadzy 



Shane and I stayed with friends in Austin, and they insisted that our first dinner had to be at Sammie’s, a local institution that’s one of the most popular spots in town. They serve a take on classic Italian American dishes and their motto is “Life is a combination of magic and pasta,” which really spoke to my soul! Everyone talks about the lasagna here, and with good reason: it was delicious and big enough to feed a small family. We also shared the incredible campanelle cacio e pepe, and you know I had to save some room for the cheesecake for dessert! As you can see, we enjoyed it so much I almost missed my chance to take a photo.

Sammie's Restaurant In Austin





After our SXSW panel, Kerry suggested we go out with the Giadzy team to Birdie’s, which was named the 2023 Restaurant of the Year by Food & Wine magazine. Kerry always takes me to the most amazing woman-led businesses! The chef here, Tracy Malechek-Ezekiel, is so talented, and she’s supported by her husband and partner Arjav, who works as beverage director. They built their restaurant with the awesome mission to create true work-life balance for everyone on their team, which is (sadly) a rarity in the restaurant industry. Everyone there was so kind and welcoming, and I was blown away by the food, especially the orecchiette with broccoli rabe and lemon, the pound cake with sabayon, and the chocolate soft serve with blood orange olive oil. The cherry on top of this delicious meal? When I realized the next morning that I had left my glasses at the restaurant and Arjav was kind enough to bring them over for me.


 Birdie's, Austin


Kemuri Tatsu-Ya

I couldn’t come to Texas without having great barbecue, so I asked our resident Texan, Giadzy’s social media strategist Christina, to suggest a place for our BBQ fix. She chose Kemuri Tatsu-Ya, a fusion of Texas smokehouse and Japanese izakaya—totally unexpected! It was a fun place to do some team bonding. We dove into a BBQ boat loaded with smoked brisket, chashu-style pork belly, and chicken wings, along with the adorable fish-shaped taiyaki cornbread with sesame butter.

Kemuri Tatsu Ya In Austin



Wayback Cafe

The boutique hotel where Team Giadzy stayed and where we had our working sessions was in the Hill Country just outside of Austin. Made up of 8 little cottages and owned by a cool mother-daughter team, it was cozy and peaceful, just what we all needed to clear our heads and focus after those busy SXSW days. Locals flock here for weekend brunch at the Wayback Cafe with its cute outdoor garden. They kept us well fed during our meetings—the banana bread was a hit (especially with our digital experience director Giulia!), the salads were fresh and bright, and our CMO Lindsey couldn’t get enough of the housemade granola!

Wayback Cafe, Austin

Austin, you are on fire! You showed me an incredible time in just a few short days. I can’t wait to spend time with you again soon.


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