The Best Bars For First Dates In Austin
Finding the perfect first date bar can be hard - here are the best ones in Austin.
While finding the potential human you’ll spend your life with happens mostly on the internet, you’re going to have to actually meet them in person eventually. And whether you’ve only gotten to stalk them virtually or you’ve been forcefully set up by a mutual friend, nothing about a first date is easy. What you need: a casual place (this isn’t a rose ceremony) that proves you know what you’re doing (this isn’t amateur hour) where you can actually hear each other talk, enjoy whatever it is you’re drinking, and possibly eat something too - because getting accidentally wasted probably isn’t the look you’re going for either.
Ready? Great, so are we. Here are Austin’s best first date bars.
The Drafting Room
Looking for a low-key place where you can actually get to know someone? The Drafting Room, an excellent wine bar, is a great choice for more serious contenders. The patio is one of our new favorite hangs, so go ahead and spring for a bottle, you’re going to want to stay a while.
Yellow Jacket Social Club
Slightly off the beaten path, have faith in your GPS and you’ll find Yellow Jacket Social Club behind some train tracks and inside a tiny forest. The inside space is small and no-frills (at best), so you’ll want to be outside under the twinkly lights and trees, which are what you’re here for. Their frozen drink specials are always good, and when you start getting hungry order a shrimp and grits to share.
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Fact: ordering mezcal makes you look a lot cooler than you actually are. And Whisler’s is one of the best places in town to do it. The tiny Mezcal-only bar upstairs has a great vibe. Plan to go between 4 and 7pm to take advantage of the Happy Hour cocktails.
Whether or not you’re going out with someone who knows the difference between Rye and Bourbon, everyone likes nice things. So treat them (and yourself) right at Drink.Well., a place that delivers on its name. The cocktails are beautiful, the food is great, and the location is just removed enough to feel secluded - but not so far removed that you can’t make a quick exit should things go south quickly.
Gibson Street Bar
Casual, cool, and all things beer, Gibson Bar has just about everything on tap. Their cocktails are also a great option, especially during happy hour - and if you’re a gin & tonic person the well drinks also happen to be extremely affordable. The low-commitment setting is ideal for a last-minute meetup, or a quick chance to feel things out.
Another wine bar that should be on your radar, especially for early in the game dates, is House Wine. Located in a quaint house right off Barton Springs Road, this is an excellent place for a glass of wine, a cheese plate, and hopefully learning more about each other besides your shared interests in exercise and dogs. If you’re dating on a budget, there’s also an outstanding happy hour and daily specials. And if you’re feeling adventurous, every Monday is open mic night, so test the waters and let sh*t get weird.
Kitty Cohen’s is a cross between a chic 1970’s Palm Springs hotel and a chic grandma’s Palm Beach house. There’s a palm tree-covered patio, funky retro decor, beachy cocktails, and a pool - all of which add up to an environment that feels less like a bar and more like an alcohol-fueled vacation. So sit back, relax, and enjoy getting to know one another. Reminder: this is whole dating thing is supposed to be fun.