The 15 Most Romantic Restaurants in Austin

Kick Valentine’s Day into gear at sexy Mediterranean lounges, upbeat sushi dens, and more.

Romance is cooking down south, and Austin’s restaurants are particularly ready for lovebirds of all species. Unlike other big cities, good weather and a relaxed attitude mean wining and dining here can span upscale, casual, and just about everything in between. Maybe your beau is into getting all dressed up to go downtown? Or perhaps y’all like some jazz music to set the mood? How about catching a warm orange sunset beneath a twinkling Texas oak tree? No matter your dating style, there’s a table in Austin with your name on it.

Here are the 15 most romantic restaurants in the city, each bound to make the sparks fly. (And while you’re at it, don’t forget to consider one of Austin’s best bars for a post-dinner nightcap.)

Information listed here may be subject to change depending on the developing situation with COVID-19's Omicron variant. Please check for the latest updates available or contact each establishment directly for more info.

Devil May Care

Downtown
$$$$

Devil May Care has the perfect recipe for love: live jazz music, candlelit lounge seating, and Mediterranean cuisine complemented by a host of fine Greek wine. The underground boudoir will absolutely set a seductive mood, no matter how stressful it is above ground. Call ahead and snag the prized birdcage chairs, loosen up with some Espresso Martinis, then dive into a tantalizing journey of mezze platters, Grilled Lobster, and sumptuous Baklava. For singles looking to mingle, look out for happy hours and events throughout the year, such as the Surrealist Ball, for ample social interaction.
How to book: Reserve via SevenRooms.

Lucky Robot

South Congress
$$$$

In Japan, pink flowers signal Cherry Blossom—and in Austin, pink flowers at a Japanese restaurant signal flirty, flirty fun. Lucky Robot is the ideal spot for young love to blossom, and if not, hey, at least you’ll get some great new photos for your dating app profile. And the sustainable sushi restaurant offers more than just fish. There's ramen, seaweed salad, pork buns, Chicken Karaage, and a whole lot more, not to mention an awesome liquor cabinet that includes lots and lots of sake.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via Toast.

Available for Reservations

Group Therapy

Downtown
$$$$

Group Therapy’s the kind of spot where you can impress a date at any time of day. When the weather’s nice, snag a table by the rooftop pool and enjoy a romantic brunch with cocktails, and come evening, get a table under the chandeliers to be serenaded by guitar strings (there’s a live music program most nights of the week). The menu features a variety of options from superfood salads to short ribs to pizza, but it’s really all about the wine, which happens to be very generously poured (Texas-sized, if we’re being all technical). If you’re doing it by the bottle, drop by on Wednesday when they’re half-off regular prices.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Ciclo

Downtown
$$$$

When a trip to the Four Seasons is on the agenda, you know there’s serious romance in the cards. Talented chefs cook up modern Texan cuisine infused with Latin flavors, served either indoors by candlelight or at your outdoor table overlooking Lady Bird Lake. Every dish is a visual masterpiece, from the flambeed Texas Wagyu Tomahawk (spoiler—an open flame is involved) down to the shiny, puffy Parker House bread rolls. And of course, a sommelier does the rounds to ensure each table has the perfect wine pairing. Finish on a sweet note with the Vanilla and Cacao Nib Bon Bons—made with Amy’s beloved Mexican vanilla ice cream, they’re outrageously tasty and tailor-made for sharing.

Available for Reservations

Aba

South Congress
$$$$

The Chicago-based import from Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson opened here in 2020, and has since become a lovers’ go-to thanks to its scenic location on Music Lane, Cali-cool vibe, and mezze-style shareables. Their Mediterranean-led menu offers inventive takes on Israeli, Lebanese, Greek, and Turkish dishes like Crispy Short Rib Hummus, Muhammara (roasted pepper, chili, walnut, and pomegranate molasses), and Grilled Cauliflower Kebab. Meanwhile, drinks experiment with similarly regional ingredients, like a Mediterranean Mule with herb-infused vodka, almond, Galliano, ginger, and lime. Booze-free “zero proof” cocktails are also available for those abstaining from liquid courage.
How to book: Reserve via Tock or order takeout delivery via Caviar.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Garrison

Downtown
$$$$

Garrison transports you out of Austin and into a swanky Manhattan date spot, minus the commute. You’ll dine fine within gorgeous dark wood interiors, either facing the mastery in the open kitchen or the shutter-framed windows overlooking the Fairmont Austin’s pretty indoor courtyard. Menu highlights include Whole Grilled Branzino and Pan Seared Skate Wing, raising the bar for grilled seafood in Austin (add the Garrison Reserve Caviar, if you’re going all-out). There’s still a hint of Texas here, don’t worry—look out for the Eye of Rib from local purveyor Dean and Peeler, and the Austin Fields section, a collection of sides spanning garden-fresh Maitake Mushrooms and fragrant Black Truffle Tater Tots.

Available for Reservations

Intero

East Austin
$$$$

For a true Lady and the Tramp experience, it has to be Italian, right? Intero is the best of the bunch, with saucy handmade pastas for you to slurp until you “accidentally” kiss. They also have pizza and meat-focused dishes like Wagyu Beef Shoulder and Risotto & Grilled Quail, though ingredients may vary due to seasonal availability. Local chocolatier Krystal Craig is in charge of dessert—don’t miss her famous chocolate truffles in daring flavors like Earl Grey Tea and Peanut Butter and Honey.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast.

Available for Reservations

Geraldine's

Downtown
$$$$

Situated in the live music capital of the world, Geraldine’s echoes Austin’s famous motto with performances scheduled every night of the week, and it’s always a stellar lineup. The food is a nod to classic Texan flavors made with fresh local ingredients, starting with small plates like Smoked Carrots and Hamachi Crudo and progressing to heftier spreads like a Half-Roasted Chicken graced with heavenly crispy potatoes, all family-style and scrumptious. Out on the patio, their pool bar makes for a great spot to discuss the day over a stiff whiskey.

Available for Reservations

El Naranjo

South Lamar
$$$$

James Beard-nominated chef Iliana De la Vega leads culinary expeditions to Mexico City via her incredible culinary chops. The housemade tortillas use heirloom corn imported from different regions of Mexico, the bread is baked daily, and the vegetables and herbs are selected fresh locally. Start with a selection of weekly ceviche, before getting right into it with duck or sauteed shrimp doused in multilayered mole negro. A street food menu is also available, if tacos are calling your name.
How to order: Order takeout via ChowNow.

Available for Reservations

Justine's Brasserie

East Austin
$$$$

One of the things that makes Justine’s so appealing is its sheer versatility. Yes, it’s French, but it’s also not just French. It's a place where old soul songs are played on vinyl, where they put up a yearly "Winter Tent" and throw a party in its honor, and where you can enjoy sazerac cocktails on a light-strung patio for hours on end. Order some Steak Frites (with a side of extra frites), and allow yourselves to soak up the ambiance and each others’ company in equal measure.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Fonda San Miguel

Brentwood
$$$$

Between the Saltillo tiles, the soaring ceilings, and the vividly colorful artwork, Fonda San Miguel has all the trappings of a memorable date night. Sip a few top-shelf margaritas at the bar before slipping over to a corner table. Crowd favorites include Angels on Horseback (bacon-wrapped shrimp) and the ever-popular Ancho Chile Relleno San Miguel, but make sure you leave room for coffee and dessert (AKA crepes sauced with rich goat milk caramel and toasted almonds).
How to order: Order takeout via Toast.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Olive & June

Central Austin
$$$$

A lush backyard with an enormous 200-year-old oak tree, an upstairs terrace, and a dining room bathed in natural light all add up to make Olive & June a romantic retreat away from the busy street upon which it sits. They proudly house the largest Italian wine list in Austin, not to mention a fabulous Prosciutto and Cheese Board to enjoy with it, featuring Robiola Bosina cheese, olives, almonds, and giardiniera.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Old Thousand

East Austin & Burnet
$$$$

Now with two locations, inventive pan-Asian dishes backed by an outstanding music selection make Old Thousand a playful and delicious date night option. Everything on the streamlined menu is tempting, from Brisket Fried Rice laden with house-smoked brisket and Chinese sausage to Mala Fried Chicken kicked up with Szechuan spices and chili oil, and they also have a solid selection of vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives. Settle in for creative cocktails and a dumpling or five while a Biggie throwback takes over the hi-fi.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout via Toast.

Mattie's

South Austin
$$$$

This massive residential home-turned-restaurant is about as opulent it gets, thanks in no small part to the peacocks that routinely roam the grounds. Date night is a genteel affair, whether you’re seated comfortably inside or parked under the sweeping trees, while the Southern-leaning menu is peppered with decadent items like Andouille and Duck Gumbo, Tender Belly Grilled Pork Ribs, and the unmissable Buttermilk Biscuits slathered with seasonal butter and Texas honey. Mattie’s also does a gorgeous brunch, if morning dates are more your thing.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations

Lenoir

South First
$$$$

The menu may change every week, but rest assured Lenoir's ambiance remains the same. It’s a classic Austin spot where friends can laugh over a shared bottle and some snacks, while leisurely lovers can spend hours sampling the five-course daily prix-fixe with optional wine pairings. Every plate is a profusion of flavors, with seasonal additions spanning Texas Stone Crab with Fazzoletti Pasta, Vindaloo Lamb Ribs, and Roasted Eggplant Lasagna laced with ripe summer squash and tomato dashi.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Available for Reservations
James Wong is a contributor for Thrillist.