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“Date Night” in Central Austin

published on January 27, 2012

A date night in Central Austin can be car-free in light of the many wonderful restaurants and businesses that pepper the neighborhoods from Barton Creek to Allandale. Romancing a date in Central Austin can include dinner at a local restaurant, gelato at a cozy café, or a live music show that is the signature of Austin’s city flavor. Below are a few of many options to enjoy a night on the town with your favorite gal or guy in Central Austin:


Blue Dahlia Bistro

The French-inspired bistro, a local favorite since its founding in 2007, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a menu that features mouth-watering artisan breads, salads, sandwiches, and cheeses. The eatery uses the freshest ingredients, including local and organic whenever available, and providing vegan and gluten free options on the menu as well. Blue Dahlia Bistro was voted the “Best Place to Take a First Date” by the Austin Chronicle in 2011 because of its warm and relaxed but elegant atmosphere.


Apothecary is known around town as both a wine bar and a restaurant. Located on Burnet, the Moroccan-themed red and warmly lit dining room offers a cozy atmosphere alongside fresh food, an expansive wine list, coffee, and desserts.

24 Diner

Inspired by the classic diners of the 1950’s, 24 Diner is a modern take on the classic lunch counter image many might have of a traditional diner. The restaurant offers local, farm-to-table, and organic produce whenever possible, prepared by famous chef Andrew Curren. Recognizable comfort food fills the menu, like mashed sweet potatoes or meatloaf with sweet onion gravy, but the upscale twist will please even the most refined palates. Located next door to Waterloo Records, 24 Diner is a perfect prelude to browsing records and kitschy music paraphernalia with a date.


Dolce Vita

Located in Hyde Park, Dolce Vita is a darling café that entices patrons with a brightly lit gelato case strategically placed beside the front door. If the multitude of gelato flavors won’t satisfy your sweet tooth, the menu also includes wine, coffees, tiramisu, chocolate mousse, banana splits, cheese cake, and much more.

The Highball

The Highball is a date night all-inclusive, offering food, full bar, bowling, karaoke, and live music. The Highball serves creative re-imaginings of classic dishes created by executive chef Trish Eichelberger, with an emphasis on quality ingredients. Whenever possible, all of the ingredients are procured locally and prepared fresh daily, even down to the hand-cut french fries and onion rings. The most romantic Highball menu item, though, is the banana split for two. Prepared tableside in the style of bananas foster, the split is made with Amy’s ice cream, buttered rum sauce, flambéed bananas, and toasted peanuts. If bananas aren’t your favorite, they also serve bourbon bread pudding with cherry and orange liqueur sauce prepared tableside, and a chocolate stout cake with coffee liqueur mascarpone filling.

teo austin gelatoTeo

Tèo brings the best of Italy to Austin: imported fine chocolates, world-class espresso, unforgettable gelato, and a beautiful cafe to enjoy it all in style. Tèo promises the finest Italian gelatos and sorbettos with the freshest natural ingredients the market has to offer made in store every day. Pair your date night treat with traditional Italian espresso drinks from coffee beans hand roasted by Italian and American artisan roasters.


Flying Saucer

A pub quiz can be a great way to stay entertained while inciting great conversation with a date. The Flying Saucer, one of many beer pubs in Central Austin, offers Trivia Night every Tuesday. Select one of hundreds of beers on tap or bottled while competing against other Austinites in a challenging but enlightening pub quiz for prizes. If Tuesday isn’t your date night, check one of the many other pubs nearby for what day their pub quiz is scheduled.

China Town-Downtown Karaoke

China Town-Downtown is known for its delicious foods, representative of Peking, China and the traditional cuisine of the Mandarins, to dishes from the island provinces and spicy foods of Hunan and Szechuan, to the coastal cities of Canton and Shanghai – plus its live karaoke. There’s no better way to break the ice with a date than to sing your favorite song in front of the restaurant and have it piped to speakers that serenade all passersby on the sidewalk outside.

Painting with a Twist

For a truly unique date night, try taking your date and your favorite bottle of wine to a painting class. Paint, canvas, and brushes are provided, and an experienced and enthusiastic local artist will lead you step by step through the process of recreating the featured artwork. At the end of the evening, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind creation and a newfound talent you’ll want to explore. This is not your average art class; this is art entertainment.  

Live in another part of Austin? Check out our posts: “Date Night” in North Austin, “Date Night” in Central Austin, “Date Night” in South Austin, “Date Night” in East Austin, and “Date Night” in West Austin.

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