Ask a Mom: Rachel Thornton of @austinfoodstagram

Alexa Alspaugh

In our new series, "Ask a Mom," our founder Alexa talks to mothers who are experts in their fields. Below, she interviews Rachel Thornton, a top food influencer with her account @austinfoodstagram, about her tips for eating out with toddlers and what she loves about her Daily Dress.

Alexa: Hi Rachel! I love following your instagram, @austinfoodstagram to know about new restaurant openings in Austin. How did you get started doing that? 

Rachel: Thank you! I started my Instagram after graduating from the University of Texas, Hook’em Horns! I had spent a few years in Austin, but hadn’t explored outside of the university bubble. My Instagram started as my own personal food diary where I documented all of the new restaurants I was trying. I loved posting and following like-minded individuals and quickly built up a following in the Austin food community. It’s been such a fun journey and it all started from my passion to explore a city I love and try new restaurants. I never would have guessed it would morph into a full blown business and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to continue sharing my favorite spots with my community of nearly 100K. 

Alexa: It's so impressive how you were able to turn your passion into a career. How has creating content for your instagram changed since you became a mom?  

Rachel: I’ve always wanted to be a mom and family has always come first. When we had our son, it was such a huge lifestyle change, but it felt really natural to start integrating my life as a mom into my content. I will say dining out with a toddler is a challenge so I’m not hitting as many restaurants as I used to. 😂 My favorite content I produce now is often not even food related, but just fun and unique experiences you can have in the city.. many of which are family-friendly. I feel like my audience has grown up with me and many are now in a similar stage.

Alexa: I can imagine filming content while having a toddler in tow would be challenging! What tips do you have for bringing little ones out to nice restaurants?

Rachel: I would say the biggest thing that has helped us is continuous exposure to dining out. The more we are able to take our son out, the more he can practice his restaurant etiquette. It’s still hard at this age and we go in with low expectations and loads of patience, however, we are regularly surprised with how well he does. I really hope our son will have an appreciation for food + the opportunity to be exposed to different cultures through food while he is still young.

Alexa: That makes sense, and I agree it's so important to expose kids to culture from a young age. What are your favorite family friendly restaurants in Austin? 

Rachel: Littlefields Coffee & Tacos with the large turfed play area, Via 313 because what kid doesn’t love pizza (also ask for the pizza dough- they will bring some for your kid to play with at the table) and Chuy's!! I’ve also been told by many that I need to visit Flores Mexican Restaurant, because they have a playground + margaritas for the adults! 

Alexa: We haven't been to Via 313 yet! Thanks for those recs. Finally, what do you love about The Daily Dress?

Rachel: It is my new go-to mom fit! I love the how the top feels like athleisure wear yet it is chic enough to wear in a nicer setting. The pockets are INCREDIBLE. It’s so hard to bring a purse + a diaper bag out so having large pockets to keep your keys, phone, etc handy is clutch. 


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