Old Austin Favorites

5 under-the-radar gems and old favorites at Austin's Northcross Center

5 under-the-radar gems and old favorites at Austin's Northcross Center

Chaparral Ice skating rink Austin
Individual and group ice skating classes, parties, hockey games, and more are offered at Chaparral Ice. Chaparral Ice/Yelp
Petticoat Fair Austin store lingerie
Petticoat Fair offers professional fittings. Petticoat Fair/Facebook
PhoNatic restaurant Austin pho noodle soup
Customize a bowl of pho at PhoNatic. PhoNatic/Facebook
Guitar Center Mitchell electric guitars
Even non-musicians can appreciate Guitar Center. Guitar Center/Facebook
Sandy's Shoes Austin stores
Sandy's Shoes is known for expert fitting of children's footwear. Sandy's Shoes/Facebook
Chaparral Ice skating rink Austin
Petticoat Fair Austin store lingerie
PhoNatic restaurant Austin pho noodle soup
Guitar Center Mitchell electric guitars
Sandy's Shoes Austin stores

Austin is full of great new places. But it also has plenty of places that have stood the test of time — places that newcomers may not know about and even long-time residents may overlook amid all the shiny new stuff.

Take, for example, Northcross Center at West Anderson Lane and Burnet Road. It opened in 1975 as Northcross Mall, and many long-time Austinites have memories from those early decades: ice skating for the first time, comfort food at Furr's Cafeteria, a make-over at the Frost Bros. makeup counter, and learning to swing a golf club at an indoor virtual tee after that space became Oshman’s. Those places are long gone — with the exception of the ice rink. Check it out, along with these other four favorites.

Chaparral Ice
Yep, the middle of this center remains frozen, in time and otherwise, with individual and group ice skating classes, parties, hockey games, and even curling are offered by the family-owned business. Free one-time, 30-minute ice skating and hockey classes are available. It's a place to beat the heat or finally get to wear that winter sweater. 

Guitar Center
Guitars, drums, keyboards, and pro audio and lighting rigs; a trained staff offering repair service; used and vintage gear, plus lessons on it all. Even non-musicians can appreciate that Austin would be less of a live music mecca without places like this. Plus these shoppers are fun to listen to.

Petticoat Fair
Never had a professional bra fitting? You owe yourself a trip to this family-owned shop, open since 1964, for a professional, one-on-one, complimentary fitting. Plus high-quality swimwear and jammies you'll want to spend all day in.

PhoNatic
Pat and Sara Lee set out to make Vietnamese cuisine more accessible and diner-friendly with a simple, step-by-step menu built around pho — slow-cooked rice noodle soup, garnished with cilantro, red and green onions, bean sprouts, and Thai basil. Pick your protein: choices include steak, brisket, meatballs, chicken, shrimp, and veggies. Don't be shy about asking for suggestions.

Sandy's Shoes
Open since 1979, Sandy's is known for expert fitting of children's shoes, which is no easy task. They stock women’s shoes and clothes, too, to make the excursion more fun for everyone.