Cocktails and craft beer are mainstays of Austin's nightlife. With so many watering holes waiting to quench our thirst, CultureMap's monthly picks for where to drink are your guide to the best bars around town.
We're kicking things off with the top drinking destinations for date night. Each bar meets at least two of the following criteria: an intimate setting, diversity in the drink selection, fun activities, and central location.
Whether this is the first date, a blind date, or the define-the-relationship date, here are our top picks for date-friendly bars around Austin.
What makes Stay Gold great for a date is its variety. You can choose inside or outdoor seating, beers or cocktails, live tunes or tasty food truck fare. If this is your first date, we suggest starting on the patio, and if things go well, you can snuggle up in one of the indoor booths across from the bar.
Easy Tiger is another well-rounded bar that is both impressive and easygoing. Enjoy cozy inside nooks, outside areas for hangs, craft beer on tap, superb food, and a round of pingpong all in the same place. The expertly located Easy Tiger satisfies the desire to go downtown without dipping into the madness of Sixth Street.
Gibson Street Bar
If you're meeting a blind date (let's be real, it's probably a Tinder match), Gibson Street Bar offers a relaxed atmosphere to ease the pressure. Since this South Lamar Boulevard spot is usually buzzing, you'll also be spared the awkwardness of a one-on-one date if things start going south — and the Luke's Inside Out food truck conveniently located outside means you won't go hungry.
Spider House Cafe
Spider House has been a date destination since its inception. Among the studying and socializing students are plenty of seats for budding couples on the eclectic patio. The variety of food and beverage options — ranging from Japanese food truck snacks to boozy espresso shots — will appease even the pickiest of dates.
Violet Crown Cinema
Snazz up the movie date cliche with a night at Violet Crown Cinema. This theater in the 2nd Street District has a great cocktail menu, so get there before the movie starts and hang out at the bar for a bit. Afterwards, you can enjoy a leisurely walk downtown.
Is this technically a home decor shop? Yes. So why is this on a bar roundup? Glad you asked: This unassuming South Lamar spot also doubles as a wine bar. If you know that your date is the kind that likes to wine and dine, take him or her to the well-decorated Aviary and enjoy a glass (or two) of red complemented by a cheese plate.
Cocktails are the name of the game at this North Loop bar. Get adventurous with your date and try mixed drinks that are outside of your comfort zone. If things are going well, explore the neighborhood and hop around to Workhorse Bar and Tigress Pub.
This South Austin haven guarantees that you and your date won't be bored. Moontower Saloon is a great first date option, because it forces you to interact. Challenge your boo to one of the various backyard games like cornhole, or sit back, relax, and enjoy some live music. Multiple food truck options at Moontower Saloon can turn this excursion into a funky dinner date.
Zilker Brewing Company
An evening at Zilker Brewing Company is sure to impress any craft beer connoisseur. This urban brewery functions as a laid-back bar, with plenty of seating and a sweet lineup of Zilker beers on tap. Grab some tacos from Tamale House East next door and settle in for a quintessential East Austin night.
Part coffee shop, part wine bar, part Greek eatery, there is something for every palate here. Dive into a personal chat over a glass of vino in the lovely shaded yard or play one of the backyard games.