Whether you’re looking for a good date night spot to impress your Tinder date, or you want a tried-and-true restaurant to celebrate a wedding anniversary, we’ve got you covered. There are lots of fun date ideas in Austin, but if you want a truly sexy, romantic restaurant in Austin, here are 12 great ideas. (Map included below.)
Ok, so what makes a restaurant a good candidate for a romantic date night? It's obviously pretty subjective - you might prefer a dark and loud low-ceilinged restaurant while your friend wants a bright, quiet, open-air space. But typically, romantic restaurants are places where you can hear your date well (aka not a club/dance environment), a place with absolutely perfect food, and something memorable, like a unique menu, location, or service.
Criteria for a romantic restaurant in Austin:
- Not too loud…yelling at your date kind of ruins the calm, romantic vibe..
- Phenomenal food. The best of the best of the best because if you’re going out on a date, you want to truly indulge on a memorable, perfectly prepared feast.
- Consistently friendly, helpful service.
- Low lighting (because duh..) Most of these places have low lighting but a few are bright, outdoor spaces for those of you who prefer that ambiance on a romantic date night.
- Beautiful ambiance, both indoors (in that lovely low lighting) and outdoors (for those lovely spring evening sthat we get here in Austin.)
12 Romantic Date Night Restaurants In Austin
A new one in the Austin restaurant scene, Birdie’s is an adorable wine bar in east Austin. It’s great for date night because it’s small and chic and the perfect ambiance for a great conversation. (The food alone will give you lots to talk about on your date!) They have a wonderful wine list, and you'll definitely want to split a bottle or two.
This is a counter service, seat yourself restaurant. (So if you’re looking for reservations and a server, this isn't it.) But that kind of makes Birdie's a fun, interactive date experience! You’ll probably have to wait in line with the rest of the guests on the sidewalk for about 30 minutes, which kind of sounds awful until you’re there, sipping on a glass of wine on the sidewalk, cozied up with your date and enjoying the Austin evening.
They have a small menu of locally sourced items, and it’s always evolving. Whether you’ve been to Birdie’s once or 20 times, it’s still a charmer.
$$$$ | wine, American
2944 E 12th St Unit A, Austin, TX 78702
2. Dip dip Dip Tatsu-ya
Ever had shobu on a date? It’s really fun and makes for a memorable and romantic date experience. You’ll choose the broth, and it’s brought to you all hot and steamy. You select a few types of meat and veggies for dipping (their omakase is fun way to try a wide variety) and you cook it yourself in the hot broth.
If you’ve been to lots of Austin restaurants and you want to try something totally different, book a reservation here. They also have a fun cocktail list, great wine and sake, and the most phenomenal ice cream..save room!
Dip Dip Dip Tatsu-ya
$$$$ | Japanese
7301 Burnet Rd Ste 101, Austin, TX 78757
As far as romantic restaurants in downtown Austin go, Hestia is at the top of the list. A live fire restaurant, Hestia prepares your food on an open flame that makes the whole place smell so smoky and yummy. This is a very upscale restaurant, so plan to splurge here.
The ambiance is just about as romantic as it gets, with simple modern decor and floor-to-ceiling glass walls that give you a view of downtown Austin. Also, in order to enter this restaurant, you have to walk through their Basque-style tapas bar. (Ever enjoyed wine out of a Spanish porron? It's a pretty fun - and funny - date activity.)
Hestia is a perfect place to enjoy a few different aspects of date night (wine bar, dinner, view) all in the same location.
$$$$ | Grill, American
607 W 3rd St Suite 105, Austin, TX 78701
4 and 5. uchi or Uchiko
Either one of these award-winning sushi restaurants in Austin is worthy of your romantic date night. What’s the difference between Uchi and Uchiko? Well, Uchi is a bit more romantic (dark, sultry, low ceilings, slightly more sophisticated/expensive) and Uchiko is a little brighter, faster-paced, and more of a farmhouse/Asian fusion menu (larger dishes).
Depending on the vibe you’re looking for on your date night, either one can be a great fit! Since this list is all about romance, though, Uchi is the sexier restaurant of the two.
$$$$ | Japanese
801 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704
$$$$ | Japanese
4200 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
6. Fonda San Miguel
You’ll be wowed by this place even before you walk inside…that front door alone is a show stopper! (As is the foyer… and the artwork … and the cocktails…) Fonda San Miguel is one of the preeminent interior Mexican cuisine restaurants in the United States and has been wowing its guests for decades. If you want a romantic spot to impress your partner, bring him to Fonda and indulge on margaritas with top shelf tequila, teeny pastor tacos on homemade corn tortillas, chocolatey-rich mole on moist chicken, and the best tres leches cake in town.
Fonda San Miguel
$$$$ | Mexican
2330 W N Loop Blvd, Austin, TX 78756
Olamaie is a modern southern restaurant near downtown that’s racked up several awards. It’s near downtown in a small, renovated bungalow, so it has short ceilings, low lighting, and modern decor. The wine list is amazing, the food menu is evolving based on what’s available, and the service is stellar. If you want a romantic date night experience in Austin, book a table at Olamaie.
$$$$ | Farm-to-table, southern
1610 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78701
8. Barley Swine
Have you ever considered a tasting menu for your romantic date dinner in Austin? It’s a fun concept, because course after course after course is brought to you. You get to taste and discuss and evaluate each tiny plate, and it makes for such a fun time with your significant other.
Barley Swine is owned by the same team who started the popular Odd Duck restaurant in south Austin. It’s a beautifully rustic farm-to-table restaurant in north Austin with simple decor, a romantic atmosphere, and some of the most phenomenal food in the Austin dining scene.
$$$$ | American
6555 Burnet Rd #400, Austin, TX 78757
For a more traditional steak + red wine + cheesecake date night, you need to book a table at Jeffrey’s. It’s known as Austin’s original fine dining restaurant, dating back several decades . This tiny Clarksville steak house is the place to go when you reeeeaally want to go all out and splurge on a phenomenal strip steak and a really great bottle of cab.
$$$$ | Steak House
1204 W Lynn St, Austin, TX 78703
Whether you want an indoor or outdoor date night spot, Lenoir is one of the best places in austin for a romantic dinner. The “hot weather menu” means that they use food that can be grown in this climate, so the food has lots of Mediterranean/Spanish influences.
The small bungalow only has a handful of tables (book early!) but the outdoor wine garden is a bit more spacious. Both are absolutely lovely.
$$$$ | wine garden/new American
1807 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704
11. Lutie's Garden Restaurant
If you can manage to snag a reservation here, get it! Lutie’s has been winning awards since it opened in Austin, and the small, sensual space is a favorite for romantic date night spots in Austin.
$$$$ | American
Our top pick for romantic restaurants in Austin, Justine’s is seriously the sexiest restaurant in Austin. For starters, they serve french food, and there’s nothing more romantic than that! The entire vibe is dark and red and low lights, the patio all moody with string lights. The inside is super sexy with bright red walls and a dark wooden bar.
If you love pommes frites and steak and mussels and cream, definitely pick Justine’s for your next special occasion date night.
$$$$ | French
4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
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