12 top restaurants for every kind of date in Austin

A hand holds a negroni next to two vegetable-heavy Italian dishes at Intero in Austin.

Austin’s most romantic restaurants have the swagger the city is already loved for. Asian comfort food and an al fresco setting make for an unforgettable first date. A stylish cantina downtown is group-date central. And when you’re ready to ask the ultimate question, there’s a century-old icon once visited by Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. 

This guide pairs Austin restaurants with romantic occasions from first dates all the way to milestone anniversaries. These are Austin’s 12 best date-night restaurants.

For a first date

P6 (Downtown)

If you’re vying for that first-impression rose, head straight to this rooftop stunner. P6 overlooks Lady Bird Lake and has a Provençal-inspired vibe thanks to large wicker sofas and dreamy pastel decor. Share snacks like beef tartare, cheese, and charcuterie boards, or come for weekend brunch, when you can linger over raspberry ganache croissants and boozy coffee at this scenic first-date faithful. 

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Bar Peached (Downtown)

This laid-back spot was made for early-in-the-game dates. Bar Peached is all about excellent Asian comfort food (Vietnamese pork buns, Taiwanese duck rolls) and draft cocktails, like a house margarita with Thai basil-infused tequila. Score a spot under the heritage oak tree for peak vibes, and if you want to take things up a notch, go on Wednesdays for Korean barbecue night. 

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For a second date

Kalimotxo (Downtown)

This easygoing Basque spot has “second date” written all over it. Go for tapas and pintxos, like goat cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers and oysters with green tomato mignonette. Spanish wine served from traditional porrones (pitchers with long narrow spouts, designed to share) adds to the flirty feels. And so does a tranquil patio overlooking Shoal Creek—an ideal spot to spend a sunny afternoon or starry night.

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ATX Cocina (Downtown)

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, you’re ready for a proper sit-down meal, so grab a table for two at ATX Cocina. This sophisticated downtown spot has blonde wood, soaring ceilings, and velvet banquettes. The menu is just as refined, featuring masa made from heirloom corn grown on small family farms in Mexico. But the portions are most definitely Texas-sized. If you’re taking things slow, hit the restaurant’s bar after work and enjoy a tacos-and-margarita happy hour deal.

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For an anniversary or romantic milestone

Uchi Austin (Downtown)

Diners hold chopsticks and dig into a couple of sashimi-style dishes and a wooden tray with several pieces of nigiri at Uchi in Austin.
Award-winning chef Tyson Cole’s inspired takes on Japanese classics make Uchi a sought-after special-occasion spot. | Credit: Uchi Austin

It’s been more than two decades since award-winning chef Tyson Cole first served his show-stopping riffs on Japanese food, and Uchi is still a sought-after special-occasion spot. Sushi is the main event, made with fish flown from around the world daily, but the menu also includes non-seafood dishes as epic as your big night, like pork belly with pepper-rose sauce and sizzling wagyu beef cooked on a hot rock. 

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For an adventurous and transportive date

Justine’s Brasserie (East Austin)

The bustling, dimly lit dining room at Justine’s Brasserie in Austin with red walls and pendant lights
Justine’s Brasserie is the next-best thing to a romantic Parisian escape. | Credit: Crawford Morgan

Chic French menu, check. Serious cocktails, check. Celebrity sightings, check. This East Austin hotspot is the next-best thing to a romantic Parisian getaway, fueled by onion soup, duck confit, and steamed mussels. Bartenders spin vintage vinyl while shaking up your drinks, and whether you get cozy in the velvet-draped oyster bar or dimly lit dining room, you’re in for one transportive night.

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For a proposal-worthy place

Garrison (Downtown)

Garrison at the Fairmont Austin hotel is where you go for a splashy night out. The multi-award winning steakhouse embodies Southern luxury, with an open-flame kitchen and a grand entrance that channels the front porch of an Austin home. Chef Jakub Czyszczon serves oak-fired rib eye and Gulf seafood, plus Gruyère tater tots worthy of entrée status. If you’re planning to pop the question, raise the bar with vintage Champagne and caviar.

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Driskill Grill (Downtown)

Seared halibut with cauliflower, warm grain salad, sweetened yogurt glaze, and lemon confit at Driskill Grill in Austin
The elegant American dishes at Driskill Grill include seared halibut with warm grain salad and lemon confit. | Credit: Jane Yun

This century-old dining room—President Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson had their very first date here—recently reopened after a three-year closure. Luckily, the restaurant’s nostalgic ambience remains untouched, matched by old-school dishes like oysters Rockefeller, aged steaks, and duck and venison. Add super-attentive service, one of the best wine lists in town, and decadent desserts, and you’ve got Austin’s most pitch-perfect proposal spot. 

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For an evening of eatertainment

Geraldine’s 

Geraldine’s is one of Austin’s trendiest hangouts, as confirmed by the many celebs who pack the place during SXSW season. The clubby Hotel Van Zandt venue is where you bring your beau for breathtaking lake views and killer live music. Also come for eclectic global dishes like Korean fried chicken and blackened Texas redfish. But you’re really here to see some of the city’s most talented artists in action, best enjoyed with a post-dinner cocktail.

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For a group date

Wu Chow (Downtown, Rosedale)

Hearty family-style mains like noodles with wok-tossed beef and sweet-and-sour braised eggplant make both locations of this modern Chinese restaurant a group-date fave. Tiki cocktails keep the good times flowing, and farm-to-table ingredients fuel the (mostly) Sichuan dishes. Pro-tip: Visit on weekends for one of the largest dim-sum spreads in Austin—over 30 small plates, including housemade soup dumplings—and book well in advance because it’s an especially popular brunch spot. 

Book Wu Chow Downtown
Book Wu Chow Rosedale

 

For an intimate and cozy date

Aviary Wine & Kitchen (South Austin)

The bar area with wine shelves at Aviary Wine & Kitchen in Austin
Aviary Wine & Kitchen draws date-night regulars for an evolving wine list by an award-winning sommelier. | Credit: Cassandra Klepac

It’ll take more than just one date to get through the wine list at this beloved South Lamar spot. Aviary Wine and Kitchen first opened as a furniture shop (that happened to sell wine) in 2006. It’s now a neighborhood gem that draws date-night regulars for an evolving wine list by award-winning sommelier Alex Wheatley Bell. Pair your drinks with one of the delicious Texas-meets-Paris plates, and you’ll see why many couples come back to this charmer for round two.

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Intero (East Austin)

This Eastside fixture feels like an extension of your dining room—only with more Instagrammable touches like dried-herb bouquets, reclaimed-wood fixtures, and a striking watercolor accent wall. Wife-and-husband team Krystal Craig and Ian Thurwachter’s Italian menu is an ode to all things local, featuring Texas olive oil and housemade burrata. Locals dig Intero’s homey vibe and hyper-seasonal menu, which means no two date-night meals here will be exactly the same.

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Tried them all? Check out other options here.

Claudia Alarcón is a Mexico City-born writer based in Austin, Texas covering dining, drinking, and travel since 1999.

Find your table for any occasion