It's A Date?
3 hot Austin restaurants make Bumble's top 100 date night destinations
There's still something romantic about meeting someone you really click with over a meal, and it looks great to suggest a cool, delicious restaurant for that first get-together. But it also adds to the pressure: According to a press release, an OpenTable and YouGov survey found that the top “stressor” for people going on first dates is “picking the right spot/activity.”
To address that unfortunate idea gap, OpenTable and Bumble teamed up to create a dining guide in 2021, listing the 100 Best Restaurants for a Date in America. This year, they reprised the popular list across Bumble’s three verticals — romance, friendship, and business — and three of those standout restaurants are in Austin.
“At Bumble, we’re fueled by bringing people together to build genuine connections across every stage of their life: dating, making friends and professional connections,” said Olivia Yu, Bumble’s global vice president of partnerships, in the release. “We saw great feedback from our community following our partnership with OpenTable last fall … [and] couldn’t wait to partner with OpenTable again.”
On the Best Restaurants for a Date list, Uchiko charms as always, and Trattoria Lisina (technically out in Driftwood) transports visitors to Italy. Both restaurants are often cited as must-tries, and have earned their popularity in large part because of atmosphere.
Uchiko, a slightly more accessible offshoot of one of Austin's — and America’s — best sushi restaurants, Uchi, is dark and chic inside — almost entirely covered in rich, stained woods and earthy tiles. Trattoria Lisina couldn’t be more different except for the white tablecloths, built like an Italian villa, letting light splash in on the interior stones through gigantic arched windows.
One other Austin restaurant, Steiner Ranch Steakhouse, made the list for Best Restaurants for a Friend Date (although there’s no obvious reason it couldn’t be on all three). The big stone house has an airy patio overlooking Lake Travis, with a fire pit in the center. There were no Austin picks on the Best Restaurants for a Business Meeting list — a surprising coincidence for the Capital City.
Before going any further, it’s time to acknowledge any weirdness in categorization. The methodology compared user ratings on OpenTable to determine the “best” restaurants, and then sorted them based on tags indicating whether each was "romantic," “good for groups,” and “good for business meals.” Although Bumble and OpenTable teamed up for this, the data is all automated. So, no one knows who to blame for this next one.
For San Antonians, according to these lists, daters should head to Brazilian steakhouse Chama Gaucha; friends should try Brasao Brazilian Steakhouse. (Some crossover is probably permissible, but the OpenTable hive mind makes the rules). Business contacts should meet up at J-Prime Steakhouse. So hopefully San Antonians enjoy steak. In any case, they’ll all make a good impression — to meat eaters, anyway.
“People are craving connection, and partnering with Bumble to debut curated diner guides means skipping the dreaded ‘where should we go’ question and instead focusing on nailing that first impression,” said OpenTable chief growth officer Susan Lee in the release. “The win-win is that this movement for in-person socialization also supports the still-recovering dining scene.”
Now through August 18, these lists will pop up for users in Bumble, who can swipe for a link giving recommendations. Those who would like to browse more intentionally can view the lists on OpenTable. All can book, and if they don't agree with this year's lists, feel free to leave the reviews that build next year's.