Food & Drink

Austin's 10 Best First Date Bars

Published On 05/14/2015 Published On 05/14/2015
Taylor Prewitt/Thrillist
The Goodnight
Taylor Prewitt/Thrillist
Nick Simonite
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1. Hopfields 3110 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705 (Hyde Park)

A cathedral-inspired gastropub, Hopfields creates an upscale atmosphere where locals can enjoy craft beer, French wine, and a menu filled with French cuisine (or, at least, French-inspired takes on American classics). You can opt of a low key night of cheese plates and Pinot Grigio, or chow down on the colossal Pascal Burger and a nice craft beer.

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2. Garage 503 Colorado St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

One of the most exciting drink menus in Austin is also one of the most hidden. Keep your eyes peeled as you head to dark, industrial Garage: it's tucked inside the parking garage on Colorado and marked by a turquoise neon sign. Feeling something citrus-y and herbal? Go for the Indian Paintbrush (vodka, grapefruit, lime, rosemary). Looking to go bold? Consider trying the Forked Tongue (sotol, jalapeno, lime, green chartreuse, saline).

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3. The Goodnight 2700 W Anderson Ln, Austin, TX 78757 (Crestview)

Since it's weird that South Austin gets to keep all the fun, the North Side's making a play for your attention with The Goodnight.

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4. Whip In 1950 S Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

Whip In has a lot going for it: 72 beers on tap, growlers for you to take your brews home, live music every night of the week, and Indian cuisine with a Texas flare.

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5. Peche 208 W 4th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Warehouse District)

Consciously attempting to recreate the European art of mixology that was largely lost in America as a result of Prohibition, Peche is a genuine cocktail paradise, and it's the only place in Austin that you can experience absinthe "in its true form".

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6. Firehouse Lounge 605 Brazos St, Ste 100, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Located in Austin’s oldest standing fire station, built in 1885, the Firehouse Lounge is a speakeasy hidden behind a bookshelf in the Firehouse Hostel’s lobby. With cerise damask wallpaper and candlelit tables in an otherwise dimly lit space, the split-level cocktail room is redolent of an old jazz club, which is fitting as the Firehouse Lounge doubles as a music venue, featuring DJs and jazz, blues, and rock musicians. Craft cocktails change seasonally and can be paired with the menu of small bites, including sandwiches and snacks.

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7. The Tigress 100 W North Loop, Austin, TX 78751 (North Central)

Intimately tiny and British mainly in vibe, this pub's decked out with steam-punkish touches like custom wood-worked benches & stools and a copper mushroom-headed beer tap, which spews imperial pints of Guinness, Live Oak Hefeweizen, Independence Brown, and more.

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8. Whisler's 1816 East 6th St, Austin, TX 78702

Whisler’s is the the go-to patio on the East Side for great classic cocktails, spicy eats from Thai-Kun, live music shows, and ample seating. And, while the outside of Whisler’s may seem pretty ordinary, the bar’s unique brand of elegance is evident inside, where the juxtaposition of different elements makes for a truly lovely place in which to do your drinking. Chandeliers and candles cast a glow on stone walls, while a few tiny tables exist for quiet conversation. Drinks are muddled behind a gleaming wooden bar, and other unexpected touches -- intentionally cloudy mirrors, the occasional piece of art -- combine to create a one-of-a-kind feel.

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9. Midnight Cowboy 313 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Once part of Austin's red light district, The Midnight Cowboy pays tribute to its former brothel glory as a reservations-only, buzz-in cocktail lair, where clients are encouraged to flirt with staff as long as they abide by house rules. Reservations are for two hours and there’s a two-drink minimum per guest. With so many expertly crafted cocktails to choose from, you can’t really go wrong -- some of them are even prepared table-side.

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10. Lucille 77 Rainey St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

The dudes behind a slew of 6th St college haunts (Friends, Cheers, Touche) are also responsible for Lucille: a decidedly date-friendly Rainey St bar complete with polished hardwoods, velvet curtains, and a delicately lit, xeriscaped patio on which to enjoy a menu of signature martinis and draft beers like a (512) Porter.



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