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The Texas Toy Museum.
Texas Toy Museum/Facebook

14 Low-Key and Fun Valentine’s Day Options in Austin for Dining and Drinking

Avoid all of the lovey-dovey stuff

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The Texas Toy Museum.
| Texas Toy Museum/Facebook

Yes, Valentine’s Day is one of the worst dining days of the year. The so-called romantic holiday just entails costly bills and a forced amorous atmosphere. But, hey, a person still has to eat, and if you’re looking for casual dining options on Wednesday, February 14, without having to shell out a bunch of money for prix fixe menus, dreaded aphrodisiacs, and being inundated with red and pink everywhere, Eater has you covered.

Here are Austin’s best low-key picks for Valentine’s Day. Avoid the greeting card holiday with bowling and burgers at Westgate Lanes and Slab BBQ, cat cafe Purrfecto Cat Lounge, Korean barbecue from Gangnam Korean BBQ, tacos from Las Trancas, noodle soup bowls from Sazan Ramen, and more.

Looking for more places to avoid the day? There are dive bars, karaoke bars, food trucks, and bars with good activities and games.

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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

Top Notch Hamburgers

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Instead of breaking bread, why not break fried chicken together, especially with the ease of car hop services? Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Tumble 22

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Fact: chicken tenders make for the perfect meal, and the Austin fried chicken mini-chain is the place to go for tenders. Takeout orders can be placed online, and there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Sazan Ramen

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Slurp down delicious bowls of ramen from the Highland Japanese restaurant. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are deliveries; and there are indoor dine-in services.

The Omelettry

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For daytime plans, look no further than the classic Austin diner. Takeout orders can be placed online or over the phone; there are indoor dine-in services.

Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant

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Sharing at the campus Ethiopian restaurant works best with two or more dishes, so order sharable meats, vegetables, and spongy injera. Takeout orders can be placed online, and there are indoor dine-in services.

Texas Toy Museum

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Okay, so there is no food at this downtown nostalgic-filled space, but they do sell beers and nonalcoholic drinks for people who want to wander and examine all sorts of older toys and video games. Play the scavenger hunt too for a chance to win some stickers and little toys. Entry is $17 for adults and $11 for people 17 years old and younger; there are indoor dine-in areas.

Fareground

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Mix up the meal through the array of restaurants at the downtown food hall — dumplings, noodle soups, sliders, latkes, French baguette sandwiches, tacos, and drinks. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Las Trancas

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Tacos make for great meals and the East Austin truck’s menu is delicious and affordable. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas.

Whataburger

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Perfect easy meal: drive-thru burgers and honey butter chicken biscuits.

Purrfecto Cat Lounge

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What’s more casual than hanging out with adoptable cats? That’s what the Zilker cafe is all about — adorable felines and a coffee menu with lattes and the such. Entry tickets are $16.24 for 30 minutes or $32.48 for 70 minutes; there are indoor dine-in areas.

Jack Allen's Kitchen

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Avoid the downtown and east side mess by heading to the Oak Hill location of the Texas restaurant mini-chain, to load up on everything from the chicken fried-anything to the green chile pork queso. Wash everything down with many many different types of margaritas. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Frazier's Long & Low

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Play a game of pool while indulging in easy beers, cocktails, and corn dogs at the East Riverside bar. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Westgate Lanes & Slab BBQ

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Bowling and excellent barbecue sandwiches can be found at Westgate and this location of Slab BBQ (which means ribs and smoked meat sandwiches). There are indoor dine-in areas.

Gangnam Korean BBQ

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DIY Korean barbecue is fun and delicious, especially with a full bar of cocktails and beers. There are indoor dine-in services.

Top Notch Hamburgers

Instead of breaking bread, why not break fried chicken together, especially with the ease of car hop services? Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Tumble 22

Fact: chicken tenders make for the perfect meal, and the Austin fried chicken mini-chain is the place to go for tenders. Takeout orders can be placed online, and there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Sazan Ramen

Slurp down delicious bowls of ramen from the Highland Japanese restaurant. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are deliveries; and there are indoor dine-in services.

The Omelettry

For daytime plans, look no further than the classic Austin diner. Takeout orders can be placed online or over the phone; there are indoor dine-in services.

Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant

Sharing at the campus Ethiopian restaurant works best with two or more dishes, so order sharable meats, vegetables, and spongy injera. Takeout orders can be placed online, and there are indoor dine-in services.

Texas Toy Museum

Okay, so there is no food at this downtown nostalgic-filled space, but they do sell beers and nonalcoholic drinks for people who want to wander and examine all sorts of older toys and video games. Play the scavenger hunt too for a chance to win some stickers and little toys. Entry is $17 for adults and $11 for people 17 years old and younger; there are indoor dine-in areas.

Fareground

Mix up the meal through the array of restaurants at the downtown food hall — dumplings, noodle soups, sliders, latkes, French baguette sandwiches, tacos, and drinks. Takeout and delivery orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Las Trancas

Tacos make for great meals and the East Austin truck’s menu is delicious and affordable. Takeout orders can be placed in person; there are outdoor dine-in areas.

Whataburger

Perfect easy meal: drive-thru burgers and honey butter chicken biscuits.

Purrfecto Cat Lounge

What’s more casual than hanging out with adoptable cats? That’s what the Zilker cafe is all about — adorable felines and a coffee menu with lattes and the such. Entry tickets are $16.24 for 30 minutes or $32.48 for 70 minutes; there are indoor dine-in areas.

Jack Allen's Kitchen

Avoid the downtown and east side mess by heading to the Oak Hill location of the Texas restaurant mini-chain, to load up on everything from the chicken fried-anything to the green chile pork queso. Wash everything down with many many different types of margaritas. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Frazier's Long & Low

Play a game of pool while indulging in easy beers, cocktails, and corn dogs at the East Riverside bar. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Westgate Lanes & Slab BBQ

Bowling and excellent barbecue sandwiches can be found at Westgate and this location of Slab BBQ (which means ribs and smoked meat sandwiches). There are indoor dine-in areas.

Gangnam Korean BBQ

DIY Korean barbecue is fun and delicious, especially with a full bar of cocktails and beers. There are indoor dine-in services.

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