Austin’s combination of culture and computing powers its offbeat, cosmopolitan individuality. Even its geography is surprising: high-rise towers downtown, three man-made lakes in the city borders and Texas hill country to the west.
Along with the city’s southern hospitality, its food is unpretentious and portions are generous. Beef brisket — tenderised, basted and cooked for 12 hours on average — has been putting the cow in Austin’s cowboys for centuries.
Those who can stomach a five-hour queue should head to Franklin Barbecue, which has sold out every day since it opened. Aaron Franklin rises daily at 2am to man the smokers and prepare 20,000 pounds of brisket a month.
Good brisket is the backbone of Texas eating; margaritas are the house wine. At the weekend, the Roosevelt Room bar downtown — industrial style with an intimate lounge — makes one of the city’s best.
Austinites may be unabashed margarita mavens, but the snobbery stops there. The city is open minded, open hearted and open for business. According to the 2016 Kauffman Growth Entrepreneurship index, Austin grew its start-ups faster than any other city in the US after Washington.
View the ranking of the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business in the FT’s Global MBA Ranking 2016 here.
Photographs: Alamy, Getty Images/iStockphoto, Getty Images/National Geographic