Edit: February 2017 – I wrote an updated post to Best Date Spots in Austin. You can read it here!
I compiled a list of date spots in Austin, Texas as part of the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance yearly city guide collaboration. What made this post both difficult and easy to write is that really any venue could be a great date spot if you’re spending time with someone you like and find attractive. That said, I focused on coffee date alternatives, spendy dates, dives and holes-in-the-wall, cozy and intimate restaurants, and picnic spots. I hope you enjoy this list and are inspired go on dates!
For when you’re tired of the coffee first date but aren’t ready to commit to a full meal
1713 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Open: Tuesday – Thursday 11a-10p; Friday – Saturday 11a-12a. Closed Monday.
The first of a handful of repurposed houses in my list, Dolce Neve is relatively new in the gelato scene in Austin. The space is cheerful and bright, a great place for a casual date.
Dolce Vita Gelato & Espresso Bar
4222 Duval St, Austin, TX 78751
Open: Monday – Friday 6:30a-12a; Saturday – Sunday 8a-12a
Nestled in Hyde Park, Dolce Vita has intimate seating inside and out. Serves coffee, sandwiches, gelato.
218 W 4th St., Austin, TX 78701
Open: Monday-Thursday 7a-2a; Friday 7a-3a; Saturday 8a-3a; Sunday 8a-2a.
A coffee bar downtown, Halcyon has become an Austin staple and their table top s’mores an iconic Austin dessert. They often have live music in the evenings and serve comforting small bites and desserts.
11220 N Lamar Blvd, Ste 275B, Austin, TX 78753
Open: Monday – Thursday 12p-10p; Friday – Saturday 12p-11p; Sunday: 12p-10p
I’m so happy that Austin finally has a snow ice cafe! Bright, casual, and a nice change to the coffee date. If you’ve never had snow ice, imagine gelato and shaved ice got together and had a baby. Their baby is snow ice.
For when you’re feeling spendy
Hudson’s On The Bend
3509 Ranch Rd 620 N, Austin, TX 78734
Open: Monday 6p-9p; Tuesday – Thursday 6p-10p; Friday-Saturday 5:30p-10; Sunday 6p-9p
When I think of Hudson’s On The Bend, I think classic fine dining in Austin. Hudson’s On The Bend may be my very first fine dining experience in Austin ten years ago. Hudson’s On The Bend has a beautiful property and specializes in game. You can say it has strong game game!
1204 W Lynn St., Austin, TX 78703
Open: Monday – Thursday 6p-10p; Friday – Saturday 5:30p-10:30p; Sunday 6p-9:30p
Plush and lush. May I recommend the escargot?
1501 E 7th St., Austin, TX 78702
Open: Tuesday – Thursday 5p-10p; Friday -Saturday 5p-10:30p; Sunday 10:30a-2:30p; 6p-9p. Closed Monday.
Grand and luxurious decor and I still dream about the brioche donuts. My dear friend Michelle wrote a fun review on her blog.
4200 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78756
Open: Monday – Thursday5p-10p; Friday – Saturday 5p-11p; Sunday 5p-10p
Uchiko has remained my favorite restaurant in Austin since first trying them when they opened. Great for celebratory dates. The food and service are impeccable.
801 S. Lamar, Austin TX 78704
Open: Monday – Thursday 5p-10p; Friday – Saturday 5p-11p; Sunday 5p-10p
Food and service are on par with their sister, Uchiko. Also another great place for celebratory dates.
200 Congress Ave
Open: Tuesday – Saturday 6p-10p. Closed: Monday, Sunday.
I haven’t been myself. I hear Congress is a formidable presence in our fine dining scene. Yet another great restaurant for celebratory dates.
For classy people who enjoy dives and holes-in-the-wall
1005 E Braker Ln., Austin, TX 78753
Open every day 11a-9p.
Literally tucked inside a convenience store, this Indian fusion stop is cheap, delicious, and unique.
East Side King at Hole in the Wall
2538 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705
Open: Monday – Friday 11a-12a; Saturday 2p-12a. Closed Sunday.
East Side King is an Austin must visit. With multiple locations with slight differences between the menus, I suggested this location for because of the homage to holes-in-the-wall. Tucked in the back of the bar, Hole in the Wall, this location is also the only location that serves ramen.
Kin & Comfort
1700 W Parmer, Ste 100, Austin, TX 78727
Open: Monday 11a-8p; Wednesday – Sunday 11a-8p. Closed Tuesday.
I miss living just behind this shopping center! Tucked inside Hanna World Market is Kin & Comfort. I’ve tried everything on the menu and liked it all. I recommend the Son-In-Law deviled eggs and Shrimp and Grits. On one of my visits, I dined with Mad Betty who wrote a great review. Since you’ll already be in the neighborhood, hop on over to Snow Monster for a fun dessert option.
Nau’s Enfield Drug
1115 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703
Open: Monday – Friday 7:30a-4p; Saturday 8a-4p; Sunday 10:30a-3:30p
I haven’t been here but have a list of places I want to hit up with Sugarface. He doesn’t know it yet unless he’s reading but this place is on the list! This is located in the back of a 50’s styled pharmacy and has a 50’s soda shop feel. They have an old fashion soda machine and serve burgers.
Cozy and Intimate
601 W 6th St., Austin, TX 78701
Open: Monday – Wednesday 5p-10:30p; Thursday – Saturday 5p-12a; Sunday 5p-10:30p
Arro is a sophisticated French restaurant with all the lighting and acoustics to facilitate eye gazing and intent listening. It’s been hit or miss with the food myself but many of my friends and acquaintances hold their food in high esteem.
1519 E Cesar Chavez, Ste 200, Austin, TX 78702
I attempted to go here once but the line was three hours long. Some of my close friends say Bufalina is one of their favorite date spots. Quaint space and great pizza. If you are discouraged by the line, take a leisurely stroll hand in hand to WeatherUp which usually doesn’t have outstanding waits.
4710 E 5th St., Austin, TX 78702
Open: Monday 6p- 2a; Wednesday – Sunday 6p-2a. Closed Tuesday.
Cute seating both outside and in. Open late and may I recommend the mussels?
510 Neches St.,Austin, TX 78701
Open: Tuesday – Friday 11:45a-2p, 6p-10:30p; Saturday – Sunday 6p-10:30p. Closed Monday.
Through the years, Chez Nous has earned a reputation of being one of the most romantic restaurants you can take a date.
1807 S 1st St., Austin, TX 78704
Open: Tuesday – Saturday 5p-10:30p; Sunday 6p-8:30p. Closed Monday.
I love the cozy interior of Lenoir. Romantically lit, this repurposed house is one my favorite date spots in Austin and I recommend it to everyone looking to woo or be wooed.
Simple and delicious French fare.
1014 N Lamar Blvd, Ste E, Austin, TX 78703
Monday – Thursday 8a-10p; Friday 8a-11p; Saturday 9a-11p; Sunday 9a-10p.
Four words: El Rey Chocolate Cake.
601 Waterson Ave, Austin, TX 78703
Open every day 11a-10p.
I enjoy both dinner and brunch at Josephine House and am always charmed by the darling house with twinkle lights hanging over the patio.
1808 E Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702
Open: Monday – Friday 4p-12a; Saturday 4p-1a; Sunday 11a-3:30p, 4p-12a
Another repurposed house on the list! They have solid and unique cocktails. Outdoor and indoor seating.
3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin, TX 78731
Hope Outdoor Gallery
1101 Baylor St., Austin, TX 78703
Open every day 7a-9p
So that’s my take. What’s yours? If you’re in Austin, what are your favorite romantic places? If you’re not in Austin, tell me about your best dates!
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