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Dart Bowl
Dart Bowl
Sam W./Yelp

14 Low-Key Valentine’s Day Dining Options in Austin

Avoid the romantic crowds

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Dart Bowl
| Sam W./Yelp

Yes, Valentine’s Day is one of the worst dining days of the year. The so-called romantic holiday just entails costly bills and forced amorous atmosphere. But, hey, a person still has to eat, and if you’re looking for casual dining options on Friday, 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 enchiladas at Dart Bowl, barbecue and tacos from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, noodle soup bowls from Ramen Tatsu-ya, and more.

Looking for more places to avoid the day? There are dive bars, karaoke bars, food trucks, and live music spots with great food.

(If dining out is absolutely necessary on Valentine’s day, scope out Eater’s picks and suggestions for dinners and the such, and keep an eye out for a crunch time guide tomorrow — it is just a week away.)

If your go-to laid back spot isn’t on the map, let Eater know through the tipline or within the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Charm Korean BBQ

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1200 W Howard Ln
Austin, TX 78753
(512) 505-8513
Visit Website

Take advantage of the all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue packages at the far north restaurant

2. Ramen Tatsu-ya

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8557 Research Blvd #126
Austin, TX 78758
(512) 893-5561
Visit Website

Slurp down delicious bowls of ramen.

Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen Tatsu-ya/Facebook

3. Happy Chicks

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6425 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757
(512) 467-4209
Visit Website

Fact: chicken tenders make for the perfect meal. 

Happy Chicks’s chicken tenders and fries
Happy Chicks’s chicken tenders and fries
Happy Chicks [Official]

4. Dart Bowl

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5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 452-2518
Visit Website

Dart Bowl has the evening planned with bowling and legendary enchiladas in Brentwood.

Dart Bowl
Dart Bowl
Dart Bowl/Facebook

5. Kerbey Lane Café

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2606 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 447-5717
Visit Website

Pop into any of the six locations of the 24/7 cafe (minus the Westlake spot) for all-hours diner food.

Kerbey Lane pancakes
Kerbey Lane’s pancakes
Kerbey Lane Cafe/Facebook

6. Mum Foods Delicatessen

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2113 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722
(512) 520-5786
Visit Website

Before the tiny Cherrywood deli shutters at the end of the month, pop in for some daytime pastrami sandwiches and slices of perfect chess pie. (Don’t worry: the farmers market stands are staying open.)

Sandwiches and salads from Mum Foods Deli
Sandwiches and salads from Mum Foods Deli
Courtney Pierce/EATX

7. Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

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217 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 474-4227
Visit Website

Look out for no-fuss barbecue at the downtown spot, where smoked meats are served cafeteria-styles, drinks are plentiful, and beans are free and all-you-can-eat.

8. Whataburger

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601 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 477-9586
Visit Website

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

Whataburger’s burger
Whataburger’s burger
Whataburger/Facebook

9. Mission Dogs

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1701East Cesar Chavez Ste. B
Austin, TX 78702

Elevate your hot dogs with Mission Dogs’s bacon-wrapped ones.

10. Jack Allen's Kitchen

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7720 W Highway 71
Austin, TX 78735
(512) 852-8558
Visit Website

Avoid the downtown mess by heading to the Oak Hill restaurant, 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.

Kenny Braun

11. Lucy's Fried Chicken

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2218 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 297-2423
Visit Website

Instead of breaking bread, why not break fried chicken together?

12. Deckhand Oyster Bar & Seafood

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4211 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 326-1963
Visit Website

Indulge in raw oysters, fried seafood, and Thai dishes over at Deckhand.

Deckhand Oyster Bar
Deckhand Oyster Bar
Deckhand Oyster Bar/Facebook

13. Taste of Ethiopia

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3801 S Congress Ave #107
Austin, TX 78704

Sharing at the South Congress Ethiopian restaurant works best with two or more dishes, so order up sharable meats, vegetables, and spongy injera.

14. Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

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11500 Manchaca Rd, Austin
TX, 78748

Barbecue and Tex-Mex is Austin’s one true pairing, and Valentina’s food trailer doesn’t disappoint at all.

Breakfast tacos from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
Breakfast tacos from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
Nick Solares/E

1. Charm Korean BBQ

1200 W Howard Ln, Austin, TX 78753

Take advantage of the all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue packages at the far north restaurant

1200 W Howard Ln
Austin, TX 78753

2. Ramen Tatsu-ya

8557 Research Blvd #126, Austin, TX 78758
Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen from Ramen Tatsu-ya
Ramen Tatsu-ya/Facebook

Slurp down delicious bowls of ramen.

8557 Research Blvd #126
Austin, TX 78758

3. Happy Chicks

6425 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78757
Happy Chicks’s chicken tenders and fries
Happy Chicks’s chicken tenders and fries
Happy Chicks [Official]

Fact: chicken tenders make for the perfect meal. 

6425 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757

4. Dart Bowl

5700 Grover Ave, Austin, TX 78756
Dart Bowl
Dart Bowl
Dart Bowl/Facebook

Dart Bowl has the evening planned with bowling and legendary enchiladas in Brentwood.

5700 Grover Ave
Austin, TX 78756

5. Kerbey Lane Café

2606 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
Kerbey Lane pancakes
Kerbey Lane’s pancakes
Kerbey Lane Cafe/Facebook

Pop into any of the six locations of the 24/7 cafe (minus the Westlake spot) for all-hours diner food.

2606 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78705

6. Mum Foods Delicatessen

2113 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722
Sandwiches and salads from Mum Foods Deli
Sandwiches and salads from Mum Foods Deli
Courtney Pierce/EATX

Before the tiny Cherrywood deli shutters at the end of the month, pop in for some daytime pastrami sandwiches and slices of perfect chess pie. (Don’t worry: the farmers market stands are staying open.)

2113 Manor Rd
Austin, TX 78722

7. Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que

217 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Look out for no-fuss barbecue at the downtown spot, where smoked meats are served cafeteria-styles, drinks are plentiful, and beans are free and all-you-can-eat.

217 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701

8. Whataburger

601 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704
Whataburger’s burger
Whataburger’s burger
Whataburger/Facebook

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

601 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, TX 78704

9. Mission Dogs

1701East Cesar Chavez Ste. B, Austin, TX 78702

Elevate your hot dogs with Mission Dogs’s bacon-wrapped ones.

1701East Cesar Chavez Ste. B
Austin, TX 78702

10. Jack Allen's Kitchen

7720 W Highway 71, Austin, TX 78735
Kenny Braun

Avoid the downtown mess by heading to the Oak Hill restaurant, 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.

7720 W Highway 71
Austin, TX 78735

11. Lucy's Fried Chicken

2218 College Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Instead of breaking bread, why not break fried chicken together?

2218 College Ave
Austin, TX 78704

12. Deckhand Oyster Bar & Seafood

4211 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
Deckhand Oyster Bar
Deckhand Oyster Bar
Deckhand Oyster Bar/Facebook

Indulge in raw oysters, fried seafood, and Thai dishes over at Deckhand.

4211 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704

13. Taste of Ethiopia

3801 S Congress Ave #107, Austin, TX 78704

Sharing at the South Congress Ethiopian restaurant works best with two or more dishes, so order up sharable meats, vegetables, and spongy injera.

3801 S Congress Ave #107
Austin, TX 78704

14. Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

11500 Manchaca Rd, Austin, TX, 78748
Breakfast tacos from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
Breakfast tacos from Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ
Nick Solares/E

Barbecue and Tex-Mex is Austin’s one true pairing, and Valentina’s food trailer doesn’t disappoint at all.

11500 Manchaca Rd, Austin
TX, 78748

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