More: Kayaking in Austin, Best time to visit Austin, Zipline Austin, burgers in Austin, Vegan restaurants Austin, Houston Elevation, BBQ in Austin, Hiking in Austin, Best Austin Shopping, Free Things to Do in Austin. 10.Donn's Barbeque. Donn's Barbeque Located in a historic building that dates back to 1869, Freedmen's is a smokehouse that serves up classic Hill Country-style Texas barbecue and vintage-inspired cocktails. Meats can be ordered by the quarter, half, or full pound and are served with barbecue sauce, house-made pickles, and focaccia bread.
Summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st, but Austin receives an early delivery of sweltering days and balmy nights, which means plenty of opportunities for a hot date. Want to capitalize on the heat with a date night, but drawing a blank? Fear not; we’ve put together a warm-weather date guide that eschews lame clichés with plenty of fun options designed to keep you cool, from frosty adult beverages to an electric bike tour that requires no actual exertion (aka sweat).
And hey: if it doesn't work out, you can always salvage the experience with . Share some oysters and mai tais at Clarksville When you’re feeling really confident about your feelings for the person you’re seeing and want to seal the deal, take them to Clark's for oysters and a classic mai tai.
The aphrodisiac qualities of the slippery mollusks, combined with a totally Instagrammable cocktail, will send him/her right over the edge and into your... heart. (What did you think we were going to say?) Sing yourself hoarse at karaoke Various locations Depending on what side of town you’re on, there are a few great options here.
Northsiders check out -- it has clean rooms, is BYOB and BYO-food, and is open almost all night! Southsiders: ’s TV- and film-themed private rooms are a blast and are free to rent from 4:30pm-7pm all week. Pro tip: The blacklight in the Twilight Zone-themed room will make your teeth look green; go for the cozy Twin Peaks-themed room instead.
Show off your mad trivia skills Various locations This is probably best suited for a third date, once you’ve come to terms with introducing your weird friends to your new person.
are all over town, all week; find a spot near you and seal the deal with your team’s vast knowledge of fictional planets.
Shoutout to Qo’noS! Learn how to two-step East Austin We’ve all been there -- you’re at , there’s a hoppin’ bluegrass band playing, and the dance floor is full of intimidatingly great dancers. You go out there and proceed to spin your date the wrong way, step on her feet, and almost drop her during the dip. (I’ve been dropped, and it’s not fun.) Lucky for us, all the dance instructors from are there to baby step us into legit two-steppin’ masters -- every Saturday at 7pm at The White Horse...
FOR FREE. Various locations Show your date you’re cultured and head to Southeast Austin, where Fitzhugh Road has become the place for breweries and distilleries to set up shop and give free tours and tastings on weekends. Start at for a distillery tour followed by cocktails and smoked meat at , then hit , (Austin Reserve Gin, Amaro, and Coffee Liqueur), and , which are all on the same block. Then, mosey on down to for pies and uniquely crafted, award-winning beer from .
Be a pinball wizard North Burnet is famous for its vast collection of classic pinball machines and new-school arcade games. Win game tickets and hook your date up with something from the prize shop. A spider ring? A handful of Tootsie Rolls? The sky’s the limit. Pro tip: you can BYOB; the catch is they must be brought in one at a time.
See improv and sketch comedy at The New Movement Downtown There’s a talented group of writers, actors, and at , and they host free -- and practically free -- events all week. Every night, catch one of their original comedy shows; they range from inappropriate to political to hilariously absurd.
Check out the . Also... BYOB! Get sneaky Various locations OK, it’s the 21st century, and there are no real speakeasies left. BUT, there are bars that give you the feeling that you're sipping drinks somewhere no one else knows about. Check out the unmarked on Dirty Sixth, the found-behind-a-false-bookcase , and , which is accessed through a fake barrel inside .
West Fifth Austin very first ping-pong bar, SPiN, is scheduled to open on May 19 in the 9,000-square-foot original Antone’s on West Fifth Street. The combination of elevated food, cocktails, and ping pong -- played on state-of-the-art, Olympic-style tables -- has already taken off in major cities like New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, and is an excellent recipe for a fun date.
Expect tournaments, private lessons, dance parties, casual play, and plenty of private lounge space. Watch a free movie in the park Various locations As if you need another reason to love Austin, every summer sees the return of outdoor movie season -- and consequently, our comprehensive screening calendar (stay tuned for that). and both host free films that start just after Sunset; Sound and Cinema pairs films and live music with food trucks and alcohol sold onsite, while Movies in the Park has a simpler, non-alcoholic (but still romantic) picnic vibe.
Whichever one you choose, don’t forget to bring snacks and a cozy blanket! Catch a classic movie screening now has a two-screen theater showing independent, arthouse, classic, and cult films, both old and new. These are films you won’t find on any other screens in town, and better yet, AFS Cinema also has a of elevated snacks (like Smokey Denmark hot dogs), beer, wine, and cocktails (like the Firing Squad: Espolon blanco tequila, Angostura bitters, lime juice, pomegranate molasses, and Topo Chico).
Learn about cheese while you learn about each other , Austin’s premier cheesemonger (aka the folks who provide the good stuff to top restaurants), offers a , both at the shop and at cool spots around town, which include pairings with local beer, jam, and more. Spend quality time with your date while you learn all about the origin and aging process of the expertly curated selection at Antonelli’s. Best of all, the classes are always BYOB, so be sure to grab a bottle on the way!
Grab a shareable drink for two Picture you and your date sipping a boozy concoction out of a ceramic poodle or blowfish with two long straws, just like the idyllic ‘50s soda shop image... only way better. Try the shareable Rings of Saturn (gin, passionfruit, lemon, falernum, orgeat, Peychaud's) from , Puff Puff Pass (sweet potato shochu, aged rum, pecan, grapefruit, five-spice bitters) from , or the Jay Jay Bowl (tiki rum blend, macadamia nut, coconut, lime, pineapple) from .
Unwind on a Various locations Texas agriculture probably calls to mind cows more than chardonnay, but there are a growing number of vineyards in the Austin area well worth a day trip detour, either or with a DIY route through Fredericksburg and beyond. If your date is nice enough to sip 'n spit so you can relax with a couple of glasses of vino, you’ve found yourself a keeper!
Get a new perspective with a helicopter tour Various locations Sometimes you just need to get above it all, and what better way to do so than with There’s a reason people on dating shows are always being shoved into helicopters together; the sweeping views of sunset and skyline, combined with the frisson of being reminded of your own mortality, really gets the heart pumping.
Catch a special event at the Alamo Various locations We all love the Alamo Drafthouse, but it's a safe bet you’ve been snoozing on its special events. From , which pairs your favorite fluffy films with a signature cocktail, to , cult action and thriller movies from the '70s on, to the eternally popular , there’s something for everyone at the Alamo.
Unless your date just doesn't like movies, in which case… what are you doing with them in the first place? Shake your tail feather at the Fed West Campus The has been hosting weekly swing dancing parties in the ballroom of the historic Texas Federation of Women’s Clubs building since 1999. Isn’t it about time you joined the fun? Whether you and your date are total newbies, here for the introductory lesson at the beginning of the night, or old pros ready to dip and flip to the live jazz in the side rooms, Thursdays at the Fed are a guaranteed good time.
Various locations Enjoy a leisurely exploration of the city with a Rocket Electrics Austin Foodie Tour. The name really says it all: the tour is guided by local foodies with a deep knowledge and appreciation of the food scene in Austin, and includes an electric bike rental and four courses of food at some of the hippest restaurants in Austin.
Unlike a traditional bike tour, these bikes can do as much or as little of the work as the rider wants -- in other words, keep your date from seeing you sweat by letting the bike do all the work. Get a tan Various locations Whether your date loves hiking, biking, swimming, or just catching a great tan, there are plenty of opportunities for all of that on the Greenbelt -- and our has the inside scoop on the best places to access it all. Pro tip: The Spyglass access point is a solid option, if only for its proximity to Tacodeli.
Grab your bathing suits and some breakfast tacos, and don’t forget the sunscreen! Learn how to cook together Various locations Couples cooking classes have become something of a cliche, but for good reason. All that chopping, stirring, and basting pays off with a delicious meal to share!
Plus, you can take home your hard-earned new skills and impress each other with gourmet new creations to take to work for weeks to come. , , and all offer classes for all skill levels, beginners and experienced chefs alike. Cozy up with a good book Sure, a library date might not be ideal for everyone, but if you haven’t been to yet, you’re both missing out big time.
In addition to the hundreds of wonderful books and informative classes on everything from bullet journals to romance novels, the new central library also boasts a ton of public art events, a gorgeous, light-filled space for reading and lounging, an adorable gift shop, and even a publically curated zine library.
If your date's into books, this is an easy choice. Find something new (that's old) at a Flea Market With all those gorgeous old barns peppering the countryside, is it any wonder that the Austin area is home to some of the best flea markets in the country? Start off with a weekend trip to the , the oldest and largest of the bunch, where you can explore the wares of over three hundred vendors, while enjoying food and live music, or get a little funkier at the Austin Flea, where you can focus on their big three: handmade, vintage, and local products from artisans of all stripes.
Go to one of Austin's many awesome festivals Various locations Treat your date to a day at one of our MANY festivals which celebrate food, drink, music, and the area’s most awe-inspiring natural features.
(May 24-27) is all about the best in food and music; (June 23) is a literal lick fest; (July 21 & 22) will combine tubing with an insane lineup including Snoop Dogg, Tame Impala, and Run the Jewels; (August 11) will be one of the most fun and colorful events of the year.
Stay cool with frozen cocktails Various locations Summer is upon us, so staying cool is essential… especially on a hot date. Hit up for a frozen hurricane or frozen Irish coffee; for a frozen Sex on the Beach; for a baby pink frosé garnished with a single mint leaf; and for their icy Bee’s Knees and seasonal, rotating drink. Downtown Imagine five semi-buzzed adults, frantically searching for clues and shouting while trapped in a log cabin -- that’s the Escape Game.
The challenges are extremely addictive, you have 60 minutes to escape a series of rooms using logic, problem-solving, a few much-needed hints, and most importantly, communication skills. What better way to get to know your date? Challenges rank in difficulty from “we got this” to “OMFG this is impossible,” as you’ll find out in the Jail Break experience. Check out live jazz and blues Various locations We all know the as the OG underground jazz club where local and touring jazz talent play shows, but you can (and should) also visit the recently opened for a more high-end experience, complete with classic cocktails perfect for a special date.
If blues is more your thing, the Eastside’s is a cozy venue where the authenticity is palpable thanks to regular performances from Austin’s living legends. Learn your love destiny at tarot night Various locations Gain some relationship insight through a tarot card reading at every Sunday from 6 to 8pm for $10, or enjoy complimentary readings at Eastside speakeasy Milonga Room of the month (). Irene’s is also hosting Tarot & Tequila Tuesdays, with free tarot readings while enjoying $3 shots of house tequila, $5 tequila punch, and $4 frozen or rocks margaritas from 11am to midnight.
best date restaurants in austin tx - The 18 Best New Restaurants in Austin
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Franklin Barbecue Located just 15 minutes away from the Texas Capital, always has a line out the door with customers waiting for their #1 Texas barbecue.
Even in the middle of Austin, Franklin Barbecue’s shop has the atmosphere of a roadside diner and features southern-style favorites like brisket and pulled pork, both by the pound and on sandwiches.
They are open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 am until they run out. But don’t worry – you can always order online too. , +1 512-653-1187 La Condesa is a tasty and trendy modern Mexican restaurant with bright colors, a lovely wooden bar, and outdoor dining. They feature a plethora of contemporary Mexican cuisine, including sopas, seviche, and an extra-special guacamole topped with crab, apple, and coconut vinegar. You can even rent La Condesa’s private indoor and outdoor space that provides a beautiful view of downtown Austin and Austin City Limits.
The restaurant’s overall atmosphere makes you feel like you’re drinking their craft cocktails and artisanal beers at a chic garden party. , +1 Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden With this one, the name says it all. has tons of sausage and it’s made pretty much any way you can imagine.
They have Turducken sausage, banger’s and mash, currywurst, and even a vegetarian sausage made from beets, walnuts, and goat cheese. Banger’s Sausage House is complemented by its rustic-chic Beer Garden, which features long, wooden family-style tables under twinkling lights. While enjoying a brew and a specialty sausage on a warm Austin night, you can relax listening to some live music.
, +1 (512) 386-1656 Easy Tiger After spending the day in downtown Austin, is a great place to relax and kick back. This hip cafe is part bakery and part beer garden, and allows you the chance to enjoy some food and drink next to a gorgeous creek. Whether you need a cup of locally roasted coffee and some homemade bread or a local brew and board of cheese and sausage, Easy Tiger has you covered.
Their snacks will keep you going, no matter what you need. . +1 (512) 614-4972 Scholz Garten has been around since 1866 and is the place to go to eat burgers, drink beer, and watch a game. Plus, it’s right next to the Frank Erwin Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
At Scholz’s, you can enjoy some German-Meets-Mexican cuisine with either a German Burger on a pretzel bun with sauerkraut or a San Jacinto Burger with refried beans and corn chips.
Don’t want to miss the game? You can get your Scholz Garten food to-go. , +1 (512) 474-1958 Eastside Cafe is one of the oldest restaurants on Manor Road – they make nearly everything from scratch, and feature a rotating menu of chef specials.
What really makes Eastside Café special is that they grow their own vegetables, and whatever they don’t grow, they get locally sourced. So, you know you are eating fresh at Eastside Café. From their enchiladas to their artichoke manicotti, you know you’re in for a great plate at Eastside Café. , +1 (512) 476-5858 Blue Dahlia Bistro At , you can get the feel of eating at a European countryside while in the heart of Austin.
Blue Dahlia Bistro serves local, organic, and simple dishes at both private and communal table. You can even enjoy your Mushroom crepes with bleu cheese or brie and walnut tartines with a homemade jam in the elegant ambience of their outdoor patio. Paired with a glass of wine, any of Blue Dahlia Bistro’s dishes will ease you into the Austin food scene.
Make sure to buy a homemade baguette before you go. , + 1 (512) 542-9542 John Mueller Meat Co. For no-nonsense BBQ, look no further than . John Mueller Meat Co features the perfect picnic spot to enjoy your legendary BBQ served from a trailer. Though the restaurant is just a few minutes from downtown, it still provides the atmosphere of a backyard BBQ. Once you have finished your traditional BBQ meal, you can explore John Mueller Meat Co’s butcher and bakery, to take some of the home-cooked goodness home with you.
Ruby’s BBQ In Central Austin, is one of the best places to get pit-smoked BBQ with a Cajun flair. This roadhouse has a quaint kitchen feel, as well as a lovely outdoor patio. Enjoy your BBQ that has been smoked in an authentic brick pit to give it that perfectly smoky flavor. This Cowboy cooking method taps into the traditions of German and Czech settlers.
In addition to their BBQ, Ruby’s has Cajun cuisine, vegetarian dishes, and tacos to match any diner’s needs. , + 1 (512) 477-1651 Contigo provides a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere to enjoy farm-fresh Texas dishes. The restaurant is modeled after Contigo Ranch in South Texas, but on this ranch model in Austin, there’s no work, just good eating. On long picnic tables, you can enjoy Rabbit & Dumplings or Ox Tongue Sliders accompanied with a seasonal cocktail on a quiet evening in East Austin.
Contigo accepts reservations, so you don’t have to worry about waiting for a table. , +1 (512) 614-2260
10 Things to Do in Austin For Under $20