Main Street Buda
Originally known as Du Pre, Buda got its name in the late 1800s, but the origin remains a mystery. One legend says it comes from Budapest, Hungary, while another claims it evolved from the Spanish word for widow, viuda, honoring the women who cooked in a local hotel. Today the close-knit community retains small-town charm, particularly in the historic downtown district on Main Street, despite being just 15 miles south of downtown Austin. Because of Buda’s laid-back feel, city leaders have adopted the motto “Breathe Easy Here.”
The bulk of activity revolves around Main Street, where you can eat, drink, and be merry. Tavern on Main, which in November won the award for Best Downtown Business for a city with fewer than 50,000 people from the Texas Downtown Association, offers live music and a burger that a vegan could love. More good music and food can be had at Willie’s Joint, which operates out of a 1940s ranch house, and at Brooklyn’s Down South, which devotes Mondays to margaritas, Wednesdays to whiskey and wine, Thursday to karaoke, and Saturday to jazz. For some mouthwatering breakfast tacos, head to Helen’s Casa Alde, which has been serving Buda since 1980, and then walk over to Summer Moon Coffee Bar for a cup of oak-roasted Buda coffee. If home decor is your thing, Thatcher offers housewares and knickknacks, while Mockingbird Made (the reincarnation of the former Mockingbird Domestics on South Lamar Boulevard) can custom-build furniture to fit your space. Finally, farther south down the road sits Two Wheel Brewing Co., the city’s first brewery and the creator of the Buda-ful Blonde Ale.
The newest attraction in town is Buda Mill & Grain Co., which has been transformed from an 1890s mill into a mixed-used project with hip local retailers, such as Buda Bike Co., Assemblage Contemporary Craftsman Gallery, Sweet Cakes 4 U cakes and cupcake shop, and Willow Gardens Hot Yoga Studio.
With more parkland per capita in Buda than any city in Texas, the state dubbed the area the “Outdoor Capital of Texas.” Many of the city’s events, including the Buda Lions Club Country Fair and Wiener Dog Races, Movies in the Park, and Budafest are held at Buda City Park downtown. Skateboarders will enjoy the Jackson Tyler Norris Memorial Skate Park, which is named after a Buda 15-year-old who was hit by a car and killed while skateboarding in 2011.