Central Austin is a vibrant part of town. The University of Texas and its students are almost always buzzing with activity. The college area is surrounded by older parts of the city with longtime residents and their favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and hangouts. The construction activity is booming in this part of town just like downtown. Mixed-use developments are under construction, and old buildings are under renovation.

Despite all the cranes and scaffolding, this is a great part of town for a date! The eclectic mix of old and new places deliver dozens (maybe hundreds) of options, but for brevity’s sake we’ve picked 10 of our favorites.

Happy date night!

10.) Share a big bowl of Kerbey Queso

Photo: Flickr user Steve Santore, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Steve Santore, creative commons licensed.

Guacamole? Good. Queso? Good. Pico de gallo? Good. Put them together in one bowl? Great! You’ll  quickly find yourself strategizing how to get all three elements on your chip at once.

Kerbey Lane Cafe has several locations around Austin, but the one in central Austin is the original. An easy way to tell is it is actually on a street named Kerbey Lane. Oh, and the building is two old houses put together. Now, that’s quintessential Austin!

9.) Test your bowling skills at Union Underground

Photo: Flickr user Derek Key, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Derek Key, creative commons licensed.

Union Underground is a bowling alley and billiard hall on the bottom floor of the Texas Union building. The primary clientele is the UT student body, but everyone is welcome to play. Reservations are recommended for large groups.

8.) Find out why they call this burger spot ‘Top Notch’

Photo: Flickr user Gino, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Gino, creative commons licensed.

If you can’t find a burger you love in Austin, you don’t like burgers. Top Notch has been serving ’em up hot since 1971, and remains a family-owned business. Those outside Austin might recognize the place from the 1993 movie “Dazed and Confused.”

7.) Sit and sip at Houndstooth Coffee

Photo: Courtesy, Houndstooth Coffee on Facebook.

Photo: Courtesy, Houndstooth Coffee on Facebook.

Austin Chronicle readers voted Houndstooth Coffee as having the best coffee of 2013 and 2014. Have a romantic conversation over their award-winning coffee and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

6.) Dine and shop at The Triangle

Photo: Courtesy, The Triangle on Facebook.

Photo: Courtesy, The Triangle on Facebook.

One of the largest mixed-use developments in central Austin is The Triangle. It sits at the intersection where Guadalupe Street and Lamar Boulevard come together around 49th Street. With several restaurant options and local shops, you and your date are sure to find something you’ll both enjoy. There’s also a farmer’s market each Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m.

Hit ‘next’ to see the rest.

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