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- September 20, 2017

10 Perfect Places For Great Dates: Central Austin Edition

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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 — and how does a queso-based date not beat anything else you’ve got planned?.

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. A leisurely stroll around campus afterward makes for a perfect end to a fun date.

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. Enjoy dinner and recreate that first kiss between Mitch and Julie at this iconic Austin locale.

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 as you explore the complex. There’s also a farmer’s market each Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m.

5. Savor the food at Russell’s Bistro

Photo: Courtesy, Russell’s Bistro on Facebook.

Photo: Courtesy, Russell’s Bistro on Facebook.

Russell’s Bistro is a quiet little restaurant with a popular brunch and an amazing dessert case. Their dinner menu is sophisticated, but not too pretentious. Save room for coffee and dessert, because you’ll want to make this one of those long, lingering meals with your date.

4. Join in the revelry at The Goodnight

Photo: Courtesy, The Goodnight on Facebook.

Photo: Courtesy, The Goodnight on Facebook.

The Goodnight is a restaurant and bar with a ridiculous amount of activities. They have eight bowling lanes, table tennis, shuffleboard, and pool, so you and your date are almost guaranteed to have a good time. They also have private lounges to host parties.

3. Have brunch at Chez Zee

Photo: Flickr user JD Hancock, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user JD Hancock, creative commons licensed.

Ask just about anyone in Austin what their favorite brunch spot is and there’s a very good chance they’ll say Chez Zee — a perfect spot for a daytime date. It’s kind of hard not to appreciate their eggs benedict and migas. Definitely try the creme brulee french toast. It’s amazing!

2. Experience The Drag

Photo: Flickr user Derek Key, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Derek Key, creative commons licensed.

In a town as weird as Austin, saying a specific area of town is extra weird really means something. The stretch of Guadalupe Street running alongside the UT campus, known as The Drag, is that kind of weird. Just how Austin likes it! Grab your date and explore the many restaurants, shops, and personalities that this area has to offer.

1. Try the famous fries at Hyde Park Bar & Grill

Photo: Flickr user Cory Ryan, creative commons licensed.

Photo: Flickr user Cory Ryan, creative commons licensed.

If you haven’t heard of the fries at Hyde Park Bar & Grill, where have you been? Their awesome mixture of fried potatoes, buttermilk, seasoned flour, and amazing dipping sauce will be remembered as a total win on date night.


Featured photo by Flickr user Gino, Creative Commons licensed.