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10 top date night restaurants in Austin

A photo of Red logo
by James Wong
Updated February 02, 2023

Austin is no stranger to quirks. Bat City knows that romance, and the places you choose to celebrate your love, come in a multitude of forms.

In Bouldin Creek, break the ice over a lawn game at a neighborhood pub. Get better acquainted over do-it-yourself Korean barbecue in Highland. Or celebrate a seasoned relationship with Champagne and caviar at an award-winning downtown steakhouse.

There’s a table for every kind of date in this bustling Southern city. Read on for a guide to the 10 most romantic restaurants in Austin.

A photo of Kalimotxo restaurant
4.8
4.8 (308)
$31 to $50
Tapas / Small Plates
Downtown
About the restaurant

First dates frequently unfold at this easygoing, Basque-style spot. Tapas and pintxos—small, savory bites such as goat cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers—make tasty icebreakers. As do inventive cocktails, including the bar’s namesake, made with red wine and cola, plus Spanish wines served from traditional porróns (pitchers with long narrow spouts, designed for sharing). Kalimotxo’s tranquil patio overlooking Shoal Creek is a dreamy spot to spend a sunny afternoon or starry evening.


Top review
CesarRvip
Dined on Mar 13, 2024
Food was amazing, the staff were extremely welcoming! Blake made us feel right at home.
A photo of ATX Cocina restaurant
4.8
4.8 (2489)
$50 and over
Contemporary Mexican
Downtown
About the restaurant

With initial pleasantries out of the way, you’re ready for a proper sit-down meal, so grab a table for two at ATX Cocina. Mexican restaurants in Austin tend to fall on the casual side, but this downtown spot has a more sophisticated setting, decked with blonde wood, soaring ceilings, and velvet banquettes. The menu is just as refined: The housemade masa uses heirloom corn grown on small family farms in Mexico. But the portions are undoubtedly Texas-sized. If you’re taking things slow, hit the restaurant’s bar after work and enjoy a happy hour deal on tacos and margaritas together.


Top review
SPORTZDAD
Dined 2 days ago
It to be missed if you’re in Austin. Great food and servers.
A photo of P6 restaurant
4.6
4.6 (1051)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Downtown
About the restaurant

This Mediterranean bar boasts an airy indoor-outdoor space overlooking Lady Bird Lake. Lined with comfy wicker sofas, pastel furnishings, and plants, the ambiance is equal parts lively and laidback—ideal for a second date. The menu consists of shareable handhelds such as satay skewers and charcuterie boards. On warmer evenings, come at sunset and impress your new beau with one of the best views of the famed Congress Avenue Bridge bats.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 11, 2024
My experience at P6 with Sarah was so incredible! She’s so knowledgeable about the menu and was so sweet and informative. She made great suggestions for us to order and we loved everything!
A photo of Aviary Wine & Kitchen restaurant
4.6
4.6 (255)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
South Austin
About the restaurant

It’ll take more than just one date to go through all the wines at this beloved South Lamar joint. Aviary Wine and Kitchen first opened as a furniture shop (that happened to sell wine) in 2006. It’s since morphed into an inviting neighborhood restaurant that draws date-night regulars for a wine list featuring bottles from the Balearic and Canary Islands, among other unique locales. Pair your glasses with one of the shareable Texas-meet-Paris plates, including creamy manchego farro and beef short rib. Much like your relationship, the wine list here is ever-evolving.


Top review
lauragluvip
Dined on May 13, 2024
Justin was amazing! He took great care of us on a Monday.
A photo of Intero restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1482)
$31 to $50
Italian
East Austin
About the restaurant

Eastside legend Intero is Austin’s go-to Italian restaurant and casual date spot. The emphasis here is on whole ingredients (Intero is Italian for “complete”). Husband-and-wife team Ian Thurwachter and Krystal Craig’s menu is loyal to all things local. That allegiance surfaces in hearty mains such as braised pork neck with grilled turnip and egg yolk, made with meat from a local farm. Both indoor and outdoor seating areas exude a homey vibe, as do the chunky serving plates and simple glassware. A date-night here feels like an extension of your dining room—only much chicer.


Top review
SamanthaJ
Dined 2 days ago
We had a fabulous experience for our anniversary! The staff made it a point that we were celebrating and everything was perfect. Rosie, our server, had fantastic recommendations and all food and drinks were top notch. I can’t wait to go back!
A photo of Garrison restaurant
4.8
4.8 (927)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
Downtown
About the restaurant

Garrison at the Fairmont Austin hotel was made for splashy special occasions. The multi-award winning steakhouse is a stately spot, with an open-flame kitchen and a grand entrance that channels the front porch of an Austin home. Chef Jakub Czyszczon serves up a decadent succession of Texas post oak flame-grilled tomahawk steak, duck breast rossini, and crispy octopus, plus tater tots worthy of entrée status. If it’s an extra-special milestone you’re celebrating, raise the bar with vintage Champagne and caviar.


Top review
DannyR
Dined on May 14, 2024
Food was spectacular. And, our server was an absolute professional. Will definitely recommend. Will definitely dine here again.
A photo of Geraldine’s restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2258)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Downtown
About the restaurant

Starry night views and live music make a powerful pair. Find both at Geraldine’s, one of Austin’s hippest hangouts (come SXSW season, celebs are known to descend on this Hotel Van Zandt venue). Bring your beau for modern Southern plates, including grilled coconut quail and half-roasted chicken. Though you’re really here to see some of Austin’s most talented artists in action, best enjoyed with a post-dinner cocktail.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Great atmosphere, brunch and drink options with live music for entertainment. The food was great and the jazz music was a nice add. The service lacked a bit of luster though, even though she shared we were her only table at that time. I requested a refill of cream for our coffees and she brought back the little pitcher that was still empty, weird. Also had to ask for syrup twice before getting it. Other than that, we enjoyed our time.
A photo of Devil May Care restaurant
4.6
4.6 (203)
$31 to $50
Mediterranean
Downtown
About the restaurant

An evening at this underground Mediterranean escape sends a decidedly sultry signal: Seductive candlelight and antique mirrors line the chamber (sneak the occasional peek to confirm you make a beautiful pair). Share a mezze platter of DMC’s greatest hits including whipped ricotta, house-marinated olives, and tabbouleh as you sip on Greek and Lebanese wines. On Wednesdays, a live jazz band enhances the transportive experience.


Top review
JOSHUAFvip
Dined 5 days ago
My first visit was quite impressive. Everything served to us was fresh and presented elegantly, including East Coast oysters, shrimp cocktail and a huge shared mezze platter. I believe this is the best Mediterranean-style food I've had in Austin, and the chef here is definitely not an amateur. Neither was our server Morgan, who was extremely pleasant and attentive. Will definitely return.
A photo of Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (3552)
$31 to $50
Seafood
Downtown
About the restaurant

This South Congress seafood staple is reminiscent of a posh New England beachtown. The patio, flanked by heritage oaks and fairy lights, evokes a festive clambake, far from south central Texas. Perla’s outdoor space is an especially romantic perch for drinks, dinner, happy hour, and brunch. On the menu, expect seasonal oysters, shrimp cocktails, lobster rolls, and seafood mains, complemented by a thoughtful wine list.


Top review
TexasKittyvip
Dined 3 days ago
Perla's has been our special occasion go-to for ten years. You can't beat the outside patio which miraculously remains cool in 90+ heat thanks to the huge tree and the fans. The service is always excellent, and the food remains consistent and delish. Our favorite approach is to start with oysters and make our way through the apps: shrimp cocktail, a salad, gazpacho, some grits or mac and cheese. The burger and lobster roll are also excellent, as is the fish and chips. The other entrees (the fish and scallops) are good but small for the price. I think you're better off with apps.
A photo of Uchi Austin restaurant
4.9
4.9 (5337)
$50 and over
Sushi
Downtown
About the restaurant

Award-winning chef Tyson Cole first served his groundbreaking riff on Japanese food in this refurbished bungalow back in 2003. Twenty years later, Uchi remains one of Austin’s hottest tickets, guaranteed to deliver an inimitable date-night experience. Sushi takes center stage, with a variety of fish flown from around the world daily, but the menu also includes non-seafood options, inventive hot and cold plates, and entrées worthy of an epic romantic outing. The thoughtful wine and sake list follows suit—so go ahead and pop that ring in the Champagne flute.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 20, 2024
Incredible experience - we went during happy hour and asked the server to pick a couple of items for us from each part of the menu. He picked perfectly and everything was amazing. Definitely the best sushi we’ve ever had!
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