Facebook/Ski Shores Cafe

An Ode to the Classic Lakeside Cafe

How many of you have a lakeside cafe you frequent?

It took a trip to what's become a local lakeside icon here in Austin, Texas to remind ourselves: there's just something great about a cafe that tends to boaters, anglers, and those enjoying themselves near the rivers and lakes that make this country so great.

Austin's Ski Shores Cafe is emblematic of that feeling, and while boating on a pontoon under the famous Pennybacker Bridge, we knew this was one of those nostalgic things that can hit home for lots of us.

The necessities

Face it, plenty of us flock to water in the hot summer months, whether you're up north and suffered a long winter, or down south and have few better ways to literally beat the heat.

Big cities are typically located around large bodies of water, and wherever a popular boating spot coincides, you're going to find new lakeside cafes popping up regularly. But on the other hand, the long-established places that are often a little more off the beaten path tend to have the right atmosphere, better service, and just the right kind of grub and cold drinks you'd want after a day on the water.

It's got to be family friendly, have a nice bar selection, and be pretty easygoing. That's the Ski Shores Cafe on Lake Austin, for sure.

The waterfront cafe, with docks to keep your boat alongside the parking lot for your land-lubbing car, is swimsuit-ready, another need-to-have element of any good lakeside establishment. It's come a long way from the glorified hot dog stand that opened all the way back in 1954. The outdoor playground, sandy beach area, live music stage, and revamped menu (highlighted by the Border Burger!) are all new additions since its 2010 reopening. There's even a fire pit and a free s'mores roast on Fridays.

What's great is they're staying true, and we're sure anyone familiar with the typical qualities of a lakeside cafe would feel comfortable at Ski Shores. They wouldn't have lasted 65 years in business without doing so.

What do you remember?

Is there a specific place, or something you recall about a memorable lakeside cafe you've been to? Do you make it a point to frequent one, at least seasonally? What's your go-to order?

We know there's plenty of you out there who can relate, so hit us up on Facebook and let us know about your favorite lakeside cafes.


Extra points if they've got fried pickles!