Let Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker Be Your Guides
The best way to find out how to really see a new city like a local is to ask one! So with Austin’s SXSW festival fast approaching (March 10-19) we turned to actress Brooklyn Decker and her husband, soon-to-be tennis hall of famer Andy Roddick, to find out their favorite spots in the too-cool capital of Texas.
The best way to start the day according to the longtime residents is with a cup of quality caffeine at Jo’s Coffee. They recommend visitors get momentarily touristy for “a picture by the ‘I love you so much’ wall, which is like an Austin icon and a good photo opp,” Decker, 29, says in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
Lady Bird Lake
For the active couple, a perfect Austin day includes golfing, stand-up paddleboarding or “running a loop around Town Lake,” which was officially renamed Lady Bird Lake in 2007, and, even more confusingly, is actually just a wide segment of the Colorado River.
“Franklin is the primo Austin barbecue spot,” says Decker. “You have to wait in line. It’s where Barack Obama went when he came to town. I also love Stubb’s—they always have surprise performances during SXSW.” Recent years have seen everyone from Lady Gaga to Foo Fighters take the stage.
“People don’t think they’re going to get great sushi in Texas, but I’ve lived in New York and L.A. and traveled to Japan, and for me, Uchiko tops them all,” says Decker. “It’s our favorite restaurant anytime.”
Especially during SXSW, Decker suggests avoiding surging rideshares and making use of the city’s many pedicabs: “You’ll see women dressed as Superwoman. They all have boomboxes. They really are interesting characters and it’s an efficient way to get around.”
One of Decker and Roddick’s”favorite restaurants in the world” is Josephine House, an eatery tucked into a beautiful little house. The actress’s go-to meal is the homemade bread basket and the black rice bowl with vegetables. “They have a ton of cocktails too, so you can eat healthy and have booze, which is the perfect combo,” she notes.
Hotel Saint Cecilia
Out of town visitors should remember one name, according to Decker: “There’s a hotelier named Liz Lambert in town, and everything she touches is beautiful.” Hotel Saint Cecilia, a gem right off South Congress Ave., is overrun by 300-year-old oaks.
Hotel San Jose
“[Lambert] also did the Hotel San José, which has an excellent bar,” says Decker. “My favorite weird cocktail there is red wine with tangerine soda.”
“This is my go-to store in Austin,” says Decker. “They have a great mix of local favorites like potter Keith Kreeger, along with really eclectic designers like Rosie Assoulin and Isabel Marant.”
One of Decker’s under-the-radar home decor resources, “Mercury on Second St. has really good antique art, great old Mexican and indigo blankets, and new stuff like John Derian plates.” (Decker and Roddick, 34, are currently wrapping up a top-to-bottom remodel of their Austin home, which the actress pulled off without a designer.)
Their son Hank, 17 months, has “completely turned what we do upside down,” says Decker. Their go-to kid-friendly spot in the city is an interactive museum called Thinkery. “They have a giant Lite-Brite for kids to play with, but you’ll see parents fully taking it over.”