Chef Jam Sanitchat’s cooking career began at 5 years old, when she began following her grandmother around their kitchen in Thailand. After journeying to Austin for graduate school, she opened Thai Fresh delicatessen, where she began teaching classes and cooking. Thrice Cafe is her newest culinary undertaking—an expansion of Thai Fresh that pairs coffee drinks with innovative Thai-inspired dishes, all cooked fresh when customers order.
Sanitchat and her crew cobble together local meats, eggs, and vegetables into light and healthful breakfasts, sandwiches, and salads. They also concoct vegan and gluten-free baked goods, which pair with specialty beverages brewed from Casa Brasil coffee or selections from the lengthy wine and beer list.
Cushy couches and tables populate the interior, and umbrellas shade a verdant outdoor patio. Throughout the week, the café hosts live music and open-mic nights, where guests can showcase their talents to a receptive audience instead of a collection of unresponsive sock monkeys.
ComedySportz’s troupe of all-star laughletes is considered to be not only comedic, but also to have good sportsmanship, since there’s no swearing allowed, the subject matter is suited for all ages, and the show is monitored by a referee who calls offense fouls and hides unfunny heads in a shameful brown bag. Take a friend, relative, significant other, or the relative of a friend’s significant other to see two teams of expert improvisers fight for laughs through an average of 7– 12 scenes, games, and songs based on audience suggestions. At the end, the crowd votes to decide which team wins the honor of dumping life-size cardboard cutouts of the other team into an active volcano.
An Austin staple since 1933, the bright blue exterior and the colorful rainbow letters of ZACH Theatre is visible from blocks away on South Lamar. Unlike other theaters in town, all of ZACH’s productions are developed in-house, from inception to the final curtain, making for delightfully Austin-centric shows. After entering up a staircase full of inspirational quotes, guests can grab a seat inside the Topfer Theatre, a semi-circled and elevated stage that offers room for some 420 audience members. There are two other theaters and rehearsal spaces available for shows, classes and rentals as well. Outside, the People’s Plaza and Bobbi Pavilion provide guests with space for special events; statues stand on the perimeter while an art piece of two large conch shell horns with speakers inside emits toe-tapping jazz music, making ZACH a fun, vibrant artists‘ space – both inside and out.
For eight years running, The Company Theatre's B. Iden Payne award-winning actor J. Damian Gillen has been rallying seasonal spirits throughout Texas with his 60-minute one-man productions of Charles Dickens's beloved A Christmas Carol. Audience members can bring a blanket and find a spot among the 600 seats of the Arneson River Theatre on the historical San Antonio Riverwalk, where breathtaking holiday displays and glimmering lights will stoke festive feelings before the curtain rises. The talented thespian takes the stage as the tale's full range of characters, transmogrifying from Scrooge to Bob Crochet to Tiny Tim with biology-baffling ease. Costume changes and special effects add to the plausibility of Scrooge's heartwarming transformation, which will tug at the audience's heartstrings, then pull them out and knit them into a Christmas sweater. The December 17 performance is one of 30 shows in a 30-day tour of local venues and private functions throughout Texas.
Austin may not be New York City or even Houston, but for a casual town known primarily for its nightclub music scene, it has one of the most renowned opera companies anywhere in America. Many credit the success of the Austin Lyric Opera to maestro Richard Buckley, an internationally acclaimed conductor who was wooed to Austin’s opera company a decade ago and continues to draw some of the biggest talent in the singing world. Austin Lyric Opera puts on lush, fully realized interpretations of classics from Verdi, Mozart and Puccini, as well as a slew of more modern operas. The company also hosts a range of education and community programs, providing a rich blend of high art and accessibility in the city of Austin.
You’ll often spot Freddie’s Place by first spotting Freddie himself, hanging out on 1st Street and drawing in longtime locals. Freddie’s got a big work family that he loves to show off, working through framed photographs of regulars and employees (some from their childhood days) that are plastered across the walls. Wooden booths and tables line the front of the restaurant, while a large circular table encloses a fire pit in the back and a dozen TVs hang throughout. Outside, a large metal rooster perches in a tree overlooking both a dog park and outdoor seating, where visitors can occasionally catch live music performances while downing their typical Texan fare. As an added bit of quirk, Freddie’s Place lists all menu items in cents – so be sure to pull out 789 pennies if you’d like to order the cheeseburger.