What made this post both difficult and easy to write is that any venue could be a great spot if you’re spending quality time with your boo thang or boo thang prospect. Still, in case you’re stumped, here’s my take on best date spots in Austin. I focused on coffee date alternatives, spendy dates, dives and holes-in-the-wall, cozy and intimate restaurants, and venues that serve more than just food and drink. I hope you enjoy this list and are inspired to go on more dates!
For when you’re tired of the coffee first date but aren’t ready to commit to a full meal
multiple adorable locations
Both of their locations are so pretty! Their desserts are precious. Do order the pineapple brown butter blondie. The location in Mueller serves cocktails! If the date is going well, take a romantic stroll around Mueller Park.
1713 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
The first of a handful of repurposed houses in my list. The space is cheerful and bright, a great place for a casual date.
2222 Rio Grande St. # B120, Austin, TX 78705
I recently listed Cream Whiskers in my Matcha /Green Tea Desserts Round-Up. Cream Whiskers offers unique cream puff treats! I don’t know any where else in town who serves these cream puff concoctions!
The Factory – Cafe With a Soul
7718 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Going to Factory is an experience. Sure they have amazing matcha lattes and cute bites, but I can’t get enough of the space! There are cozy nooks like the one pictured, swinging chairs, and a hidden doorway. They don’t allow laptops and don’t have wifi available. It’s like they want to facilitate the love connection!
1009 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702
A sweet gelato addition to East Austin. If the date goes well, you can wander East 6th for drinks or trailer eats. They’re also a bar! A gelateria and bar!
218 W 4th St, Austin, TX 78701
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.
Polkadots Cupcake Factory
2826 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705
Polkadots has been my favorite cupcake place in town ever since I first tried them in 2010. Their space is a tiny house near campus.
1407 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702
And another repurposed house! This one serves boozy ice cream. I repeat, boozy ice cream! I wrote a fuller post here.
11220 N Lamar Blvd., Ste 275B, Austin, TX 78753
Bright, casual, and a nice change to the coffee date. If you’ve never had snow ice, imagine gelato and snow cones had a baby. Their baby would be snow ice.
For when you’re feeling spendy
Counter 3 . Five . VII
315 Congress Ave. Ste. 100, Austin, Texas 78701
Counter 3 . Five . VII only seats 25 or 26 people at their counter and they feature tasting menus of either 3, 5, or 7 courses. (Oh, now I get it!) My first time at Counter 3. Five. VII was on 2015’s Valentine’s Day when my sweet friend, Foodie is the New Forty could not make her Valentine’s Day reservation and gifted us the romantic dinner she was supposed to have. The up close and intimate seating sets the tone for the night and the menu was precisely executed right before our eyes. Speaking of my friend, she also posted a very comprehensive guide to fine dining in Austin here.
604 Brazos St, Austin, Texas 78701
If this is your first date, you can slyly work in the fun fact that Lyndon B. Johnson took Lady Bird on their first date at the Driskill. Just don’t be creepy about it. You can read my post about the Driskill here.
105 Tillery St, Austin, TX 78702
I fell for Grizzelda’s at first sight and bite. The food is great and the space is dreamy. The chandelier hanging in their patio is the same chandelier from the wedding of the couple behind Grizzelda’s. So you can say they built Grizzelda’s with love in mind. You can read more about it in my post here.
1204 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703
Plush and lush. May I recommend the escargot?
419 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701
The name of this restaurant warms my heart as it is a nod to one of my favorite books. Celebrity chef Tim Love, the master mind behind Lonesome Dove brings to Austin another fine dining restaurant that specializes in game.
4200 N Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78756
Uchiko has remained my favorite restaurant in Austin since their inception. Great for celebratory dates. The food and service are impeccable.
801 S Lamar Blvd., Austin TX 78704
Food and service are on par with their sister, Uchiko. Also another great place for celebratory dates.
For classy people who enjoy dives and holes-in-the-wall
1005 E Braker Ln., Austin, TX 78753
Literally tucked inside a convenience store, Chicken Lollypop serves Indian fusion that is cheap, delicious, and unique. You obviously have to order the chicken lollypops as a starter.
Nau’s Enfield Drug
1115 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703
Located in the back of a 50’s styled pharmacy, Nau’s Enfield Drug has a 50’s soda shop feel. They have an old fashion soda machine and serve burgers.
For when you want a cozy atmosphere
Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar
4800 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78756
I like the relaxed and sophisticated feel of Apothecary Cafe & Wine Bar. They have ten dollars off all bottles of wine on Sundays.
4807 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751
Bullfight has a lovely vibe and feel. A Spanish tapas place, it instantly puts me in a romantic mood because it makes me think of my time in Barcelona with Sugarface.
601 Waterson Ave, Austin, TX 78703
I enjoy both dinner and brunch at Josephine House and am always charmed by the darling house with twinkle lights hanging over the patio.
4917 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751
The header photo of this post is from one of my first dates with Sugarface before we became an item. It’s one of our regulars for date nights. Leave room to split the green tea parfait!
1417 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
I love Sway. In fact, Sugarface and I celebrated both our first and second anniversary here after watching Die Hard and Die Harder. Try the Son-In-Law and maybe the whole fish. Definitely have the Thai Tea Affogato for dessert.
1519 E Cesar Chavez, Ste 200, Austin, TX 78702
Some of my close friends say Bufalina is one of their go-to date spots. Quaint space and great pizza. If you are discouraged by the line, take a leisurely stroll hand in hand to WeatherUp.
4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
Cute seating both outside and in. Open late and I liked their mussels!
510 Neches St, Austin, TX 78701
Through the years, Chez Nous has earned a reputation of being one of the most romantic restaurants you can take a date.
Fabi and Rosi
509 Hearn St, Austin, TX 78703
Known for their charming atmosphere, Fabi and Rosi serves modern European fare.
1807 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
Romantically lit, I recommend this cozy repurposed house to everyone looking to woo or be wooed.
1808 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702
Another repurposed house on the list! They have solid and unique cocktails.
For when you want more, more than just eating that is
Sure dinner and a movie can be a bit of a date cliche but not if it’s dinner and a movie at the same time. If you go to the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar you can grab drinks and snack at Highball. (Read my post about Highball.)
Central Market Cooking Classes
4001 N Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX 78756
I’ve done a few cooking classes with Central Market and think they make awesome date nights. What’s not sexy about getting handsy with your food and sharing bites over wine?
13265 US-183 A, Austin, TX 78750
Did you know there have been studies that link adrenaline boosting activities to attraction? I think that makes iFLY a top pick for date night! If you haven’t heard of iFLY, they provide indoor skydiving experiences. iFLY does not serve food but there’s Baked, a dessert shop next door. I recommend going for sweet treats after you do the wind tunnel flying!
2700 Esperanza Crossing, Austin, TX 78758
Topgolf has decent food and you can work off your date jitters (if you have any) by swinging at balls!
If you’re in Austin, what are your favorite romantic places? If you’re not in Austin, tell me about your most memorable dates!
This post was written in collaboration with Austin Food Bloggers Alliance‘s yearly City Guide project. This is also an updated version to the post that was originally posted last year.
Last updated 2/28/2017
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