Thinking of dating in Austin, Texas? As with every big city in the country, ATX has its unique charms. This article will be your guide to the wonderful, sometimes weird Austin culture around life and love.
The Austin dating scene is quite diverse, owing to its political and ideological makeup. Texans in general are conservative, so if you lean that way, you’ll feel quite at home here. In addition, real estate is cheaper here than in most other big cities, so if you’re looking for that single-detached family dwelling to plant your roots in, you’ll have a good head start here.
That said, if you have more liberal attitudes, you'll likewise find like-minded individuals here. Austin has been called a “blueberry in the tomato soup” for being more liberal than most other parts of Texas.
There’s something for everyone in Austin, as this article will show you in just a bit.
Table of Contents
What Dating in Austin is Like Right Now
As with other cities, dating in Austin is a numbers game. To find the people you want to date and spend time with, you need to get out there. And that means making an investment of time, money, and effort—especially if you’re a guy.
Here’s a snapshot of the Austin dating scene: ATX has a population of 983,366, 34.80% of whom are single. And among the 342,211 single Austinites, there are 178,943 men and 163,269 women. So, if you’re a man looking for a woman, competition will be stiff.
That said, new people are always moving to Austin. Huge employers like Dell Technologies, IBM Corp, and H.E.B. Grocery Company will always attract new people. Likewise, universities like Texas A&M, The University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Houston notch record enrollment numbers year after year.
As for hangouts and activities, Austinites love the outdoors. There’s the massive Zilker Park in the middle of everything, and hill country all around. There’s enough to keep you busy no matter what you like
Where to Meet Someone to Date in Austin
Again, to meet people to date in Austin, jump into the fray. It doesn’t matter where you’re from—Austin’s dating game won’t be too unfamiliar. Austin singles love going out, having fun, and meeting new people like you. We already have a full guide on where to find Austin hookups, so feel free to check it out.
The best places to meet the right people should have the following characteristics:
- Lots of singles
- Fun atmosphere
- Easy to mix and mingle with new people
- Quiet enough to actually have a conversation
- Alcohol is a plus
- Relatively inexpensive
Why You Should Be Using at Least One App
As exciting as the Austin dating scene is, you'd be smart to use at least one dating app. We've compiled 11 dating apps that work best in Austin so we suggest you start there.
Besides our recommended apps, we also suggest you sign up to one of two particular online dating services, depending on what you want:
- If you're looking for something casual or physical then AFF (which has a great free trial) has been the best option lately
- If you’re looking for a long-term relationship eHarmony is the clear winner right now.
Both services have free trials, so sign right up.
The Best Singles Bars in Austin
Your staring point should be—what else?—Austin’s singles bars. They’re places where people purposefully go to make new connections. The best singles bars in Austin are, in our opinion:
- Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company - 1305 W Oltorf St
- Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden in Waller Creek - 79 Rainey St
- Caroline in the Financial District - 621 Congress Ave Suite 101
- Topgolf in North Austin - 2700 Esperanza Crossing
- Firehouse Lounge in the Financial District - 605 Brazos St
- Violet Crown Cinema in 2nd Street District - 434 W 2nd St
- Skylark Lounge in East Austin - 2039 Airport Blvd
- Casino South Side Lounge in South Austin - 1502 W Ben White Blvd #7606
- The Rose Room at Domain Northside (if you’re a guy who’d like to meet older women in Austin) - 11500 Rock Rose Ave
Other Great Places to Find a Date in Austin
Naturally, you’re not limited to singles bars. Many people call Austin “The Live Music Capital of the World,” owing to the popularity of its dazzling music lounges. You can also make new friends at Austin’s hidden-gem cafes. Here are our recommendations:
- Skylark Lounge in East Austin - 2039 Airport Blvd
- Donn's Depot - 1600 W 5th St
- Pete's Dueling Piano Bar at Sixth Street District - 421 E 6th St
- Parker Jazz Club - 117 W 4th St #107b
- Epoch Coffee - 221 W North Loop Blvd
- Cherrywood Coffeehouse - 1400 E 38th 1/2 St
- Trader Joe's at Seaholm - 211 Walter Seaholm Dr, Ste 100
We also suggest Meetup groups, which are popular in Austin. If you’re not in the mood to meet new people at bars, coffee shops, and clubs, Meetup groups let you meet like-minded folks for events.
What About Speed Dating in Austin?
Speed dating is another viable option in Austin. There are many attractive singles in ATX who want to meet you, and the speed dating scene in the town is quite lively. Here’s why you should consider speed dating:
- You can meet up to two dozen people (or even more) in an hour or so
- The people you meet are all there to socialize
- You get to make new connections in a safe and controlled environment
As always, it’s best to stick to the agencies who make speed dating one of their specialties. In Austin, they are:
Our Best Date Ideas in Austin and Why They're Great
Now, let’s plan ahead a bit. Let’s say you played the Austin dating scene, found someone special, and now you’re building a relationship with them. Where should you take them next?
Austin offers a whole slew of options that it’s hard to pick just one. To help narrow down your options, keep these important requirements in mind:
- It must have a fun and upbeat energy
- There should be things going on around you that you can talk about
- It shouldn’t involve you sitting face-to-face for long periods of time
- It should have you both moving around a bit
- It shouldn’t be too expensive
- It shouldn’t last for hours and hours so you can cut it short if there isn't any chemistry
- It should allow both of you to feel comfortable
- Optionally, it should involve a little friendly competition
I'm going to give you a handful of my best date ideas that work well around Austin and then some very specific suggestions in the next section. These are dates that both people will enjoy as long as they have a good attitude about it going in:
- Take a dance class together
- Shoot some arrows at an archery range
- Go to the driving range
- Check out a street fair (we have tons)
- Axe throwing
- Escape room
- Take a walk with your dog somewhere fun (if you have one)
- Painting class (preferably with booze)
- Botanical garden
This is a very short list, but you get the idea. All of these are somewhat active and fun and don't involve any great amount of skill. Set the expectations that you're just going to have fun and fool around.
The First Date Idea That We Always Recommend
The ideas above can be great first dates, but we have a better idea. When people ask our team what the best first date in Austin is we always tell them the same thing, meet up at a laid-back lounge or coffee shop and get to know each other a bit.
A full-blown date is a lot of pressure and isn't cheap. It takes time to plan and might involve you taking a bus around town to get there. Before you make that kind of investment you want to know that you and your interest have at least some level of compatibility. The last thing you want is to get stuck for hours on a date that you knew 10 minutes in wasn't going anywhere.
Instead, tell them that you're really busy but would love to meet up for a drink to get to know each other a bit. If things go well, you can always extend the date into one of the activities above. If it doesn't, you haven't lost much. This also takes a lot of pressure off both of you so you can both relax and be yourselves.
Best Date Bars in Austin
Is it a good idea to take a date to a bar, especially when you’re in Austin? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Most good bars have special gimmicks that make each visit extra memorable—and that’s important if you want to leave a good impression on your date.
What’s more, alcohol is always a welcome addition to any date, and each bar has a unique, tempting lineup of drinks to try. And if a particular bar doesn’t suit your taste, there’s always another one to try just down the street.
Austin’s bars are, according to tourists and locals alike, “weird”—and they like it that way. The only way to see what they mean is to experience them firsthand. Here are some of our favorites:
- Pinballz Arcade in North Austin- 8940 Research Blvd
- Whisler's in East Austin - 1816 E 6th St
- The Driskill Bar in Downtown Austin - 604 Brazos St
- Garage in Downtown Austin - 503 Colorado St
- Dive Bar and Lounge in Downtown Austin - 1703 Guadalupe St
- Deep Eddy Cabaret in Westfield - 2315 Lake Austin Blvd
Best Date Night Restaurants in Austin
Now, what about restaurants? Are they as good as bars when it comes to dates? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Restaurants focus on serving top-notch food and drink while encouraging conversation—and to achieve that, they do away with many of the frills bars and lounges have.
That means restaurants are ideal for couples who already know each other well. If you’ve been seeing your date for a while—and especially if you’re dating each other exclusively—then restaurants are perfect.
Meanwhile, if you’re setting up a first or second date, I’d suggest you steer clear of restaurants for now. Instead, find activity-oriented date ideas in order to build rapport with each other fast. Once you’re sure you like each other, then consider having a date in our favorite date night restaurants in Austin:
- Corinne in Austin Marriot Downtown - 304 E Cesar Chavez St Unit 100
- Irene's at West Avenue - 506 West Ave
- Acre 41 at the Campus District - 1901 San Antonio St Unit 130
- Suerte at East Austin - 1800 E 6th St
- Red Ash at Warehouse District - Colorado Tower, 303 Colorado St #200
- Aba Austin - 1011 S Congress Ave
- Garrison in Fairmont Austin - 101 Red River St
- French Quarter Grille - 13000 Interstate 35 #600
More Date Spots in Austin We Love
Mix it up! Don’t limit yourself to bars and restaurants, especially when Austin has so much to offer while the sun is out. Here are some of our favorite date spots that you, too, should check out:
- Mueller Lake Park - 4550 Mueller Blvd
- Town Lake Metropolitan Parks - 1928 S Lakeshore Blvd
- Zilker Park - 2207 Lou Neff Rd
- Blanton Museum of Art - 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
- LBJ Presidential Library - 2313 Red River St
- Bullock Texas State History Museum - 1800 Congress Ave
- Cidercade Austin - 600 E Riverside Dr
- Emerald Tavern Games & Café - 9012 Research Blvd #1
- Game Over Videogames - 2620 S Lamar Blvd, Ste B