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A shallow bowl of light yellow ravioli with shaved dark truffles on a dark wooden table
Ravioli with truffles at Il Brutto
Il Brutto/Facebook

19 Splendid Date Night Destinations in Austin

A guide to the perfect restaurant for every romantic occasion

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Ravioli with truffles at Il Brutto
| Il Brutto/Facebook

Picking out just the right spot for a date is tricky, whether it's for a first date, anniversary celebration, or just an opportunity to spend some quality time together. After working up the courage to ask that person out, or just coordinating schedules for the right night, you need the perfect setting. Eater is here to help you work your wooing magic with the best date night restaurants in Austin.

Below are the best places to take the object of your affection for every occasion. Hit happy hour destinations like Contigo if you’re more interested in nibbling on appetizers than a full-blown meal, and reserve heavy hitters like Jeffrey’s for anniversaries. Slay your first date with Lenoir, or keep it casual (but still delicious) with Bufalina Due. This update adds Kalimotxo, Radio Coffee and Beer, Il Brutto, Chosun Galbi, and Perla’s. Any of these date night destinations will set you up for success.

For more options, check out Eater’s guide to fine dining restaurants in the city.

As with all businesses, be sure to call ahead to make sure each restaurant is still open or if there are updates on current offerings and service models, as things are changing constantly. Wear a mask, tip well, and if you’re ordering delivery, try to order directly from the restaurants themselves.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya

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For a first date with an activity and food, the Tatsu-ya team opened up their upper-scale take on Japanese hot pot with their Crestview restaurant. Order, dip, and cook an array of meats and vegetables (or opt for the omakase servings to make things easier in an intimate space seated across from each other. Even better: each individual gets their own pot of broth so you don’t have to share necessarily.

The shabu-shabu setup at DipDipDip
The shabu-shabu setup at DipDipDip
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Barley Swine

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Often lauded and rustically chic, the finer dining destination in Brentwood makes for a superb milestone celebration destination. Order the tasting menu and let the chefs guide you and your date through unusual but delicious offerings.

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Bufalina Due

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The close seating and convivial crowd at the Brentwood Neapolitan pizza restaurant make it a lively setting for a post-drink pizza. Watch the wood-fired oven where perfect Neapolitan-style pies are made while sharing the buttery smooth burrata and an excellent bottle of wine. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Chosun Galbi

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Activity-pegged dates are always fun, and Korean barbecue is always a people-pleaser. The Highland Korean restaurant is a classic for good reason. Mix and match grill-your-own meat sets (the marinated short ribs are particularly great) or share the larger barbecue set, while adding in classic Korean dishes and stews.

Musashino Sushi Dokoro

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If your date is a sushi purist, this Japanese restaurant in the Heritage neighborhood is the place to go for classic sushi. Indulge in the a la carte array and make sure to ask the bartender which of the myriad sakes would be the best accompaniment. The secluded interior ambiance is perfect for long-time lovers and seafood fans alike.

Contigo

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The tapas-style offerings at the MLK patio restaurant are perfect for sharing, so make it a double date and snag a spot on the expansive, beautifully lit patio. If you’ve got a four-legged friend along, the dog is welcome to lounge under the table as well. When the weather (eventually) turns cooler, Contigo is a great destination to warm up your date with heartier fare under the heat lamps. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Sliced steak on a plate
The tri-tip at Contigo
Contigo/Facebook

Dai Due

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The Cherrywood restaurant and butcher shop — aka a meat lover’s paradise — is ideal when you want to please the carnivore in your life. This butcher shop knows its way around everything from bierwurst to wild boar. Err on the side of adventure and order something different from the usual fare. Venison ceviche, anyone? Takeout meat orders can be placed online.

Antelope sausage with red cabbage and sweet potatoes and fried onion rings on a white plate
Antelope sausage at Dai Due
Dai Due/Facebook

Jeffrey's

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The Clarksville restaurant should be reserved for big occasions, like a 10-year anniversary. The elegant surroundings, top-notch service, and delicious classic American menu make the restaurant a destination for memories.

Fish and orange broth with greens in a paper bowl on a white plate
Texas Gulf snapper en papillote at Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s/Facebook

Clay Pit

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Head to the downtown restaurant for Austin’s take on contemporary Indian cuisine. Don’t miss the coconut curry shrimp and the creamy tikka masala, making sure to pair both with pillowy garlic naan. Takeout orders can be placed online.

A metal bowl with handles containing spinach cooked in spices
Jeera saag at Clay Pit
Clay Pit/Facebook

Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum

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The Clarksville Chinese restaurant offers an adorable backdrop for a date, with cute decor, tasty dishes, and of course, those famed dumplings. Don’t miss the beautiful desserts. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Kalimotxo

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Pintxos and cocktails are a tried-and-true date combination. Test your compatibility by creating your own snack board or go for a larger plate like the wood-grilled flatbread or a burger at this downtown Spanish restaurant from the Emmer & Rye team. Don’t miss some of the best desserts in town — the burnt cheesecake and Kali sundae (a pool of salted cream with hidden treasures inside). Takeout orders can be placed online.

Backlit bottles and porrons in front of green tile
The bar at Kalimotxo
Kalimotxo/Facebook

Il Brutto

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An Italian date night is never a bad idea, especially at the East Sixth restaurant. Share a pizza or go “Lady and the Tramp” on some handmade pappardelle. Sit outside on the patio for great people watching. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Pizza at Il Brutto
Pizza at Il Brutto
Il Brutto/Facebook

Long considered the most popular sushi restaurant in town, the Zilker Japanese spot is the number one spot to take a date when you want to impress, whether it's the first time you’re stepping out together or you’ve been holding hands for years. Uchi’s modern take on Japanese cuisine emphasizes small shareable bites, perfect for splitting. Splash out on the omakase to let the chef surprise you and your date with the day’s most innovative offerings. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Juniper

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Modern Italian food, a gorgeous atmosphere, and well-crafted cocktails make the Holly restaurant a nice date spot for any stage of the relationship, from the a la carte array to the tasting menu.

A gray plate with a round piece of brown meat and several stalks of broccolini with a fork.
A dish from Juniper
Juniper/Facebook

Justine's Brasserie

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The Govalle restaurant does its inspirational home country France proud. Flickering candlelight, red walls, and music provided by a record player playing anything from its wide collection will help set the mood. Make sure to finish the evening by sharing the impeccable crème brulee. Takeout orders can be placed online.

A plate with a piece of meat that is covered in a white sauce next to another plate with a green salad
Dishes from Justine’s
Justine’s/Facebook

Perla's

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The South Congress seafood restaurant with a giant patio is the place to indulge in East Coast oysters and people-watch.

A tray of ice and halved oysters
Oysters at Perla’s
Perla’s/Facebook

Vespaio

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The South Congress restaurant is the place for that casual date night when you’re craving quality Italian but aren’t in the mood for stuffy atmosphere. Welcoming and cozy, Vespaio serves up hearty traditional Italian fare meant to be enjoyed fully. Split a freshly made mozzarella and toast your date with one of the many delicious wines. Takeout orders can be placed online.

A plate with broth, a pile of capellini pasta and halved cherry tomatoes and seared scallops
A scallops and pasta dish at Vespaio
Vespaio/Facebook

The New American Bouldin Creek restaurant is the refined counterpart to Justine’s sultry vibes. The wine garden makes for an impressive first-date venue with a beautifully romantic ambiance. Opt for the five-course tasting menu, which makes ordering a breeze, freeing up the rest of your time to chat away. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Radio Coffee & Beer

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The South Austin coffee shop and bar has all the ingredients for a great casual first date: alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and truly excellent food options. Try some of Austin’s best tacos courtesy Veracruz All Natural, get spicy with Thai truck Dee Dee, or try a po’ boy from Da Boot Po’ Boys. Lounge on the large outdoor patio or cozy up inside.

Margarita at Radio Coffee & Beer
Margarita at Radio Coffee & Beer
Jenn Hair

DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya

The shabu-shabu setup at DipDipDip
The shabu-shabu setup at DipDipDip
Courtney Pierce/EATX

For a first date with an activity and food, the Tatsu-ya team opened up their upper-scale take on Japanese hot pot with their Crestview restaurant. Order, dip, and cook an array of meats and vegetables (or opt for the omakase servings to make things easier in an intimate space seated across from each other. Even better: each individual gets their own pot of broth so you don’t have to share necessarily.

The shabu-shabu setup at DipDipDip
The shabu-shabu setup at DipDipDip
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Barley Swine

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Often lauded and rustically chic, the finer dining destination in Brentwood makes for a superb milestone celebration destination. Order the tasting menu and let the chefs guide you and your date through unusual but delicious offerings.

Barley Swine
Barley Swine
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

Bufalina Due

The close seating and convivial crowd at the Brentwood Neapolitan pizza restaurant make it a lively setting for a post-drink pizza. Watch the wood-fired oven where perfect Neapolitan-style pies are made while sharing the buttery smooth burrata and an excellent bottle of wine. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Chosun Galbi

Activity-pegged dates are always fun, and Korean barbecue is always a people-pleaser. The Highland Korean restaurant is a classic for good reason. Mix and match grill-your-own meat sets (the marinated short ribs are particularly great) or share the larger barbecue set, while adding in classic Korean dishes and stews.

Musashino Sushi Dokoro

If your date is a sushi purist, this Japanese restaurant in the Heritage neighborhood is the place to go for classic sushi. Indulge in the a la carte array and make sure to ask the bartender which of the myriad sakes would be the best accompaniment. The secluded interior ambiance is perfect for long-time lovers and seafood fans alike.

Contigo

Sliced steak on a plate
The tri-tip at Contigo
Contigo/Facebook

The tapas-style offerings at the MLK patio restaurant are perfect for sharing, so make it a double date and snag a spot on the expansive, beautifully lit patio. If you’ve got a four-legged friend along, the dog is welcome to lounge under the table as well. When the weather (eventually) turns cooler, Contigo is a great destination to warm up your date with heartier fare under the heat lamps. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Sliced steak on a plate
The tri-tip at Contigo
Contigo/Facebook

Dai Due

Antelope sausage with red cabbage and sweet potatoes and fried onion rings on a white plate
Antelope sausage at Dai Due
Dai Due/Facebook

The Cherrywood restaurant and butcher shop — aka a meat lover’s paradise — is ideal when you want to please the carnivore in your life. This butcher shop knows its way around everything from bierwurst to wild boar. Err on the side of adventure and order something different from the usual fare. Venison ceviche, anyone? Takeout meat orders can be placed online.

Antelope sausage with red cabbage and sweet potatoes and fried onion rings on a white plate
Antelope sausage at Dai Due
Dai Due/Facebook

Jeffrey's

Fish and orange broth with greens in a paper bowl on a white plate
Texas Gulf snapper en papillote at Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s/Facebook

The Clarksville restaurant should be reserved for big occasions, like a 10-year anniversary. The elegant surroundings, top-notch service, and delicious classic American menu make the restaurant a destination for memories.

Fish and orange broth with greens in a paper bowl on a white plate
Texas Gulf snapper en papillote at Jeffrey’s
Jeffrey’s/Facebook

Clay Pit

A metal bowl with handles containing spinach cooked in spices
Jeera saag at Clay Pit
Clay Pit/Facebook

Head to the downtown restaurant for Austin’s take on contemporary Indian cuisine. Don’t miss the coconut curry shrimp and the creamy tikka masala, making sure to pair both with pillowy garlic naan. Takeout orders can be placed online.

A metal bowl with handles containing spinach cooked in spices
Jeera saag at Clay Pit
Clay Pit/Facebook

Lin Asian Bar + Dim Sum

The Clarksville Chinese restaurant offers an adorable backdrop for a date, with cute decor, tasty dishes, and of course, those famed dumplings. Don’t miss the beautiful desserts. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Kalimotxo

Backlit bottles and porrons in front of green tile
The bar at Kalimotxo
Kalimotxo/Facebook

Pintxos and cocktails are a tried-and-true date combination. Test your compatibility by creating your own snack board or go for a larger plate like the wood-grilled flatbread or a burger at this downtown Spanish restaurant from the Emmer & Rye team. Don’t miss some of the best desserts in town — the burnt cheesecake and Kali sundae (a pool of salted cream with hidden treasures inside). Takeout orders can be placed online.

Backlit bottles and porrons in front of green tile
The bar at Kalimotxo
Kalimotxo/Facebook

Il Brutto

Pizza at Il Brutto
Pizza at Il Brutto
Il Brutto/Facebook

An Italian date night is never a bad idea, especially at the East Sixth restaurant. Share a pizza or go “Lady and the Tramp” on some handmade pappardelle. Sit outside on the patio for great people watching. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Pizza at Il Brutto
Pizza at Il Brutto
Il Brutto/Facebook

Uchi

Long considered the most popular sushi restaurant in town, the Zilker Japanese spot is the number one spot to take a date when you want to impress, whether it's the first time you’re stepping out together or you’ve been holding hands for years. Uchi’s modern take on Japanese cuisine emphasizes small shareable bites, perfect for splitting. Splash out on the omakase to let the chef surprise you and your date with the day’s most innovative offerings. Takeout orders can be placed online.

Juniper

A gray plate with a round piece of brown meat and several stalks of broccolini with a fork.
A dish from Juniper
Juniper/Facebook

Modern Italian food, a gorgeous atmosphere, and well-crafted cocktails make the Holly restaurant a nice date spot for any stage of the relationship, from the a la carte array to the tasting menu.

A gray plate with a round piece of brown meat and several stalks of broccolini with a fork.
A dish from Juniper
Juniper/Facebook

Justine's Brasserie