Sometimes you gotta spice it up.
Yes, we all love evenings spent on the couch with your significant other watching 20 episodes in a row of a show you're not even sure if you like, but that's bound to get boring at some point. You've got to get out there into the world and take your partner on a date. Whether your idea of a romantic night out is doing shots on Dirty 6th, commanding the room with your karaoke skills or eating a fancy Italian dinner, we've got you covered. Here are our picks for the Best Date Spots in Austin.
419 Colorado St
Texas chef Tim Love recently opened his flagship restaurant, Lonesome Dove Western Bistro, in Downtown Austin. The restaurant uses wood-fired cooking techniques with an adventurous, game-centric menu served on white-clothed tables. You can also opt for a fancy cocktail at the bar.
1205 North Lamar Blvd
Enjoy a delicious steak in a relaxed setting at this independent, family-owned steakhouse. Austin Land & Cattle offers sizzling, hand-cut, aged beef with an excellent wine list, white-clothed tables, and flickering candlelight.
5406 Balcones Dr.
Chez Zee hits the sweet spot between casual local eatery and high-end bistro. The patio is spangled with strands of Christmas lights that continue throughout the dining rooms, local artwork lines the walls, and the entire scene is set to tune of a live classical guitarist. The menu has a depth that will satisfy the most pretentious foodie yet is still very approachable for the less adventurous.
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FOR THE CINEPHILE:
We know what you’re thinking: Wow, the movies, OMG THIS IS SO ORIGINAL. But we’re not just talking any movie. During Weird Wednesdays, you and your date can check out incredibly odd films for the low, low price of $3, and enjoy everything "from cheerleaders gone bad to blaxploitation, from killer mutant animals to women in prison.” And eat popcorn, so there’s that.
2103 E M. Franklin Ave
Drive-In movies are alive and well in Austin! The Blue Starlite offers a drive-in experience that concentrates on indie films, art house, childhood favorites, and drive-in classics. Impress your date, like dad used to.
434 W 2nd St
Violet Crown Cinema is a locally owned and devoted to independent, documentary and international films. Violet Crown offers comfortable seating, a full cocktail bar, affordable fine wines, and a delicious food menu. Guests are encouraged to visit the Bar & Café to enjoy a drink or a snack whether seeing a movie or not.
FOR THE MUSIC LOVER:
310 W. 2nd St.
Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater is a state-of-the-art music venue that hosts approximately 100 concerts a year. It's arguably the best live music venue in Austin, and you can grab a drink on the patio with great views of downtown and the 2nd Street District.
315 Congress Ave
As you descend the stairs into the darkness of the Elephant Room, poignant notes of jazz and the sweet smell of liquor will overcome you. Plush cracked leather and dim lighting combined with an impressive roster of local musicians set an incredibly romantic ambiance. It’s sure to woo even the most cavillous of lovers.
1910 E Cesar Chavez
A great spot for craft cocktails, cold beer, and live music, Stay Gold offers a gold-lined interior with dim lighting, tufted seating, a great jukebox, and a rotating selection of local musicians. The outdoor patio is furnished with DIY pallet furniture inside a storage container and a tasty food truck.
FOR THE PERFORMER:
1120 S.Lamar Blvd
The Highball features a full-service bar, uniquely themed karaoke rooms, a dance floor, stage, lounge area, and an outdoor patio. The kicker? State-of-the-art karaoke rooms where you can serenade your sweetheart.
More info about The Highball
510 S. Congress
Cheap drinks, darts, AND karaoke? What more could you ask for? Not for the timid of heart, Ego’s is the best way to charm a potential luvah with your vocal chords and your knowledge of the entire Rolling Stones catalog.
More about Ego's
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Karaoke in Austin
FOR THIRSTY TYPES:
807 East 4th St.
If you're looking for a place that will impress your date and not break the bank, consider taking them on down to Native Hostel for some drinks. This self-described boutique hostel has already become a popular spot for folks looking to catch a buzz together - both for its chic interior and modestly priced cocktails and beer.
1808 E Cesar Chavez St
Fancy cocktails for two amidst shabby chic patio furniture and twinkling overhead lights? Yes, please. Weather Up offers an impressive cocktail list coupled with lavish glassware sets the mood for amor. Just be wary, the staff is too handsome for their own good and you may lose your sweetheart to a silver-tongued bartender.
313 E 6th St
Nestled in an unassuming nook on 6th Street, Midnight Cowboy is a cocktail lounge with decor that is beautifully decadent without being gaudy, retaining the aspects of the seedy brothel it once was. Have a drink in your own private, curtained room and call for service by pushing the red light just outside your room.
503 Colorado St.
Think of Garage as one of the coolest spots (and impressive date destinations) in the city–in what’s undoubtedly the most unexpected of locations. Marked by nothing but the word “Cocktails” printed subtly on the outside of the building, inside the parking garage on the northeast corner of Fifth and Colorado is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Think amazing, handcrafted cocktails in a beautiful and intimate speakeasy-esque space equipped with leather booths, cozy corners, and a large, circular bar.
Sure, you could go to a bar, but c'mon—amateur hour. Instead, climb aboard the Austin Brew Bus for one of their upcoming tours, during which you and your date (and probably some random strangers) will visit three breweries whilst being chauffeured by a totally enthusiastic designated driver.
For the Bougie Babes:
604 Brazos St
The Driskill Bar offers a unique collection of quiet nooks, intimate seating areas, private groupings of period furnishings and generous spaces. Patrons enjoy a relaxed atmosphere of overstuffed leather sofas, bracing spirits, fine wines and good friendships.
4710 E. 5th St
Impress your date with outstanding French and European cuisine at Justine's. This place goes all-out on the charm, with antique wooden tables, wooden folding chairs, plus great wine and cocktails in a little bungalow with a light-strung patio. The menu is affordably priced, with dishes such as steak topped with herbed butter, steak tartare, duck confit, and grilled pork chops.
1900 Rio Grande
Located inside the historic Hotel Ella, Goodall’s Kitchen is refined but not uptight or stuffy. The dining room is inviting with a warming fireplace, or guests can sit out on the sprawling veranda.
FOR THE TOURIST:
1100 Baylor St.
Located on the corner of 12th and Baylor, Hope Community Park features a sprawl of urban ruins utilized as a canvas for numerous Austin artists. The park also features a flat top hill overlooking the city, the only place in Austin where one can see every single moon tower. Grab a bottle of wine and a small pair of speakers to make it extra romantic.
Sure, sitting out on the grass south of the South Congress Bridge is touristy, but with such vistas of the skyline against the setting sun, you’ll both have a good time. And parking is free in the Statesman’s lot.
2201 Barton Springs Road
Barton Springs Pool has an average temperature of 68-70 degrees, ideal for year-round swimming. Pack a lunch and take your date out for people-watching and poolside conversation.
4321 Emma Browning Avenue
Soaring over Austin in an old-school plane (a 2012 Waco YMF-5, which was originally produced in 1935, for the record) is the perfect mix of retro, romantic, and a tad terrifying—essentially making you the Casanova of the clouds. (Find more info here!
For more things you should absolutely do in Austin (with a date), check out:
The Austin Bucket List
617 Congress Ave.
Perfect for dates with a funny bone, the Hideout Theatre is indisputably one of the most cherished laugh factories in the city. In this coffee-shop-slash-comedy-venue, patrons can grab a yummy coffee drink or an ice-cold beer before settling in for an evening of hysterical comedy.
521 E Sixth St
This long-running comedy club hosts local stand-up acts in an intimate setting. The comedy is either randomly wonderful or predictably regrettable, and often a bit of both.
8120 Research Blvd.
This old-school comedy club features local comedians and national acts alike, with refreshingly funny standup, raucous improv, and a popular variety show. A nice deviation from the dinner-and-a-movie routine.
Want to laugh more?
FOR ACTIVE TYPES:
Living in a bubble typically gets a bad rap. But how about playing soccer AND going on a date in one? Austin Bubble Soccer has turned that notion into a full-blown vocation, and we can happily report that the activity is safe, silly, and super fun. Probably all in equal measure. The game basically mirrors the mechanics of actual soccer, except you're in, you guessed it, a giant bubble. Perfect for a budding couple of romantics who veer towards the more physically active side of life.
2500 McHale Ct
If you've got the need for speed (and/or your date is a huge Fast and the Furious fan), the best spot to show off is at this indoor go-kart racing spot, where you can reach speeds of up to 45 mph.
121 Pickle Rd
If you're looking to really impress your date, show them how rad you are at rock climbing. It'll put your determination, bravery, and physical prowess to the test in a public setting. Crux Climbing Center features a constantly changing set of climbing walls, a yoga room, and a cast of friendly staff who will ensure that both amateur and pro rock climbers alike will have a fun and safe experience.
13265 N Us 183
Indoor skydiving is a total adrenaline rush (which is proven to help couples bond and spice things up), and if you bring a date, you won't have to...um, fly solo. You'll learn if your date is capable of defying gravity and how awesome they look in a jumpsuit. Plus, you'll see their willingness to join in when someone inevitably breaks into "I Believe I Can Fly"
2100 Barton Springs Rd.
With 350 days of sunshine a year, Austin offers plenty of time for fun in the sun. If your sweet thang is athletically inclined, Zilker Park may be just the place to impress upon them with your sweet moves. Disc golf, a jogging trail, volleyball nets, or swimming at Barton Springs there is plenty of excuses to be sweating and as barely clad as possible. For extra points go to Barton when it is a full moon, after 9 the pool is free and hoards of people join in on werewolf calls.
201 Lee Barton Drive
Butler Park Pitch and Putt is a nine-hole, par 3 course near downtown Austin, the Hike and Bike Trail, and Lady Bird Lake. This is a golf course for everyone, and great for the more competitive couple.
1207 Barton Springs Rd.
One of Austin’s oldest and most original attractions, Peter Pan has been fulfilling the general public’s mini-golf needs since 1946. Not only does the quirky establishment offer two 18-hole courses—each complete with a plethora of interesting obstacles and odd, colorful and somewhat frightening characters—but it also has a BYOB policy that makes the classic kid-friendly activity totally adult-approved as well.
208 Barton Springs Rd.
If you’re doing an outdoor date in the summer, it better be on the water, and SUP is a reliably fun activity that also doubles as a decent workout...in a way that's far more acceptable than dragging your date to watch you work on your delts.
Feeling adventurous? Austin has a great selection of activities that are the opposite of a "boring-ass date." Here's a list of unique date ideas, along with what you’ll learn about your plus-one in the process.
Got a great place to take a date?
Let us know.