Tag Archives: Worth it

Is It A Rip-Off?: 2nd Street Edition

Second St. District is known in Austin for its vibrant boutiques, countless dining options and stunningly lit-up trees. It’s full of unique things to do and see — but half of them are complete rip-offs. So I’m here to tell you what’s best and what’s a mess. This week’s subject: Second Street.

1. Milk + Honey Spa

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: Let me get this started by saying, I’m all for treating yourself to a relaxing day and spas can be a great way to do that. However, paying $40 for a basic manicure or $80 for a simple haircut seems like the opposite of relaxing to me.

2. Toy Joy

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: Toy Joy is your childhood dream come to life. From one-of-a-kind toys to adorable trinkets to classic board games, everything you need for a fun day is here. It’s a blast for kids and adults alike. 

3. Violet Crown Cinema 

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: This is your chance to see awesome movies and support your local community at the same time. The Violet Crown partners with local businesses and nonprofits. So you can feel good about stopping by to watch a wide array of movies, from newly emerging cinema to beloved classics. 

4. Austin Rocks

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: This place is the textbook definition of a tourist trap. It’s full of overpriced souvenirs like $30 graphic t-shirts and $65 beach chairs. Trust me, your money is better spent elsewhere on Second Street.

5. Yummi Joy

Verdict: Rip-Off AND Worth It!

Why: This place, while arguably overpriced, is full of so many unique treats. From dill pickle soda to homemade chocolate pecan caramel fudge to grand truffles, Yummi Joy really does have something for everyone. Your wallet may be empty when you walk out of here but your stomach and heart will be full. 

Now go forward and stride down Second Street with truffles in one hand and Violet Crown tickets in the other. You’re ready for this! You won’t be scammed today. 

Is it a Rip-Off?: SoCo Edition

South Congress district, usually referred to as SoCo, is one of Austin’s most popular attractions for tourists and locals alike. It’s full of unique shops and funky restaurants — and half of them are complete rip-offs. So I’m here to tell you what’s best and what’s a mess. This week’s subject: SoCo.

  1. Jo’s Coffee 
Photo courtesy of: The Austin Chronicle 

Verdict: Worth it!

Why: You may say there are better places for coffee in Austin and you’re probably right, but Jo’s isn’t just selling specialized coffee, they’re also selling an experience. You can get a one-of-a-kind cup of jo (pun intended), the feeling of supporting a local business and an Instagram-worthy picture in front of the iconic “I love you so much” mural.  Seems worth it to me!

  1. Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar
Image courtesy of: Flickr and Thomas Hawk

Verdict: Rip-Off!

Why: The burgers are good but are they worth $10? I don’t think so. Combine this with having to pay an extra $5 for some fries and brutal wait times, and you have all the makings of a total rip-off. 

  1. TOMS
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Verdict: Rip-Off

Why: Honestly, this feels like a given. $50-$150 for mediocre shoes according to Vox reporting. Not to mention, having a huge company on SoCo feels wrong. The space is supposed to be for off-beat local— or at least semi-local businesses— not national giants. 

  1. Home Slice Pizza
Photo courtesy of: The Business Journals

Verdict: Worth It

Why: I have two words for you: Garlic Knots. When paired with a slice or two of Home Slice’s mouth-watering pizza, complimentary post-dinner candy and the electric decor, you can’t deny this is the place to be on a Friday night. 

  1. Amy’s Ice Creams 
Photo Courtesy of: Flickr and Jim Nix 

Verdict: Rip-Off AND Worth It

Why: I’ll be real. This place is pricey! One pint of ice cream costs almost $15. In that way, it’s a huge rip-off, but it’s also so worth it. All of the ice creams have a delicious sweet cream base and the menu is constantly full of one-of-a-kind flavors like Zilker Mint Chip. After snacking at Amy’s, your wallet may hurt but your taste buds will be singing. 

Now go forward and strut down SoCo with a Jo’s latte in one hand and your Home Slice leftovers in the other. You’re ready for this! You won’t be scammed today.

Featured image by Morgan Scruggs

Is it a RIP-Off?: Drag Edition

Austin is full of things to see, do and experience— and half of them are total rip-offs. So I’m here to tell you what’s best and what’s a mess. This week’s subject: The Drag. 

  1. Torchy’s Tacos 
Courtesy of: Visit Austin

Verdict: Rip-Off

Why: Come on. You knew this was coming. We live in Texas. You can get better tacos for less money at pretty much any food truck. 

  1. Whataburger 
Courtesy of: Unsplash and Tendaishe Gwini

Verdict: Worth It

Why: Say what you want about Whataburger not being as good as it was five years ago, it’s still a Texan staple. From the fun orange color scheme to the iconic Dr.Pepper shake, this is the place to go at 2:00 a.m. with $5 in your pocket. 

  1. Coco’s Cafe 
Courtesy of: Fearless Captivations

Verdict: Rip-Off

Why: To be honest, I’ve never gotten the hype around Coco’s. It has okay drinks, long lines and an expensive price tag. I’d recommend getting your boba fix elsewhere.

  1. Caffe Medici 
Courtesy of: Flickr

Verdict: Worth It

Why: Caffe Medici is a prime study spot. There is something on the menu for everyone, including coffee, matcha and Italian sodas. Plus, the atmosphere is student-friendly and there’s plenty of seating.  

  1. Kerbey Lane
Courtesy of: Kerbey Lane

Verdict: Rip-Off AND Worth It

Why: The food is mediocre but no one really goes to Kerbey for the food. They go for the tradition and for saying they ate chocolate cake with friends at 4:00 a.m. after finishing a final paper (possibly based on a true story). So, yes, it is a rip-off, but I also highly recommend you go sometime in your college career. 

Now that you’re armed with knowledge, go forth and explore the drag with confidence! You are most certainly not getting ripped off today.