Sharing the Struggle: 5 Best Date Spots in Austin

The days of malt shops and parking in dad’s car may be long gone, but Austin still offers some pretty great places to connect with your sweetie.  While I am pretty partial to North Austin, this list includes spots from all over town.  Variety is the spice of life and sometimes you need to mix up your usual venues.  These spots have been tested and approved by yours truly.

List compiled by June Spence

The Moviehouse & Eatery

Image credit: Moviehouse and Eatery

Image credit: Moviehouse and Eatery

The Essentials

The Moviehouse and Eatery is located at 8300 N FM 620 Austin, TX 78726.  I know what you are thinking “That is soooooooo far north!” But, trust me, it’s worth the drive.  If you are coming from South Austin, take the 2222.  The scenic route is a great way to start a romantic evening at the movies.

When to Go

They suggest you get there 30 minutes before showtime.  This is good advice, because you will definitely want time to review the menu while the lights are still up.  If there is a popular movie out, you definitely want to buy tickets ahead of time.

Why I Love It

We have all been to those theaters where the seats are hard, the food choices are limited, and if you want a refill, it means missing part of the movie. Not at The Moviehouse!  They have a full bar and menu to enhance your movie-going experience.  And the seats … oh the seats.  They are cushy recliners that lay all the way back.  It’s like watching movies at home, but I’ve tried having someone bring me dinner in my living room and so far no takers.

Bonus Intelligence

They will let you order from the kids’ menu!

The Spiderhouse Cafe & Ballroom

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Image credit: Spiderhouse Cafe & Ballroom

The Essentials

The Spiderhouse Cafe & Ballroom is located at 2908 Fruth St. just north of the UT campus.  For this article, I am referring to the café.

When to Go

If you are aiming for Saturday night, try to go around 10:30 p.m.  They are busiest around 9 p.m., so 10:30 p.m. will allow for much of the crowd to clear out.

Why I Love It

This is one of the most unique spaces I’ve seen in Austin.  They have this beautiful courtyard (outdoor seating) full of lights.  None of their furniture matches but it just adds to the eclectic vibe.  The tables are small and the service is great.  Every time I’ve been there, they have been busy, but it has never interfered with the incredible atmosphere.  I’m a girl that can appreciate good lighting and Spiderhouse has it in spades.

Bonus Intelligence

They have free wifi until 2 a.m.  Their Bad MamaJama is so good, they only allow you to have one! What could be better than a frozen margarita with a shot of Hornitos & a Pacifico?!

The White Horse

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Image credit: The White Horse

The Essentials

The White Horse is located at 500 Comal St. Austin, TX 78702.  Their patio is dog friendly and they have live country music most nights.  You can get more details at their website.

When to Go

This place stays busy, but that is part of the charm.  You can usually get a drink pretty quickly because they understand the importance of a fully staffed bar.

Why I Love It

The dance floor is quite small, but it puts you in close proximity to the band!  There were more people dancing than not. On Saturday nights at 7 p.m., the Two Left Foots hold two-step dance lessons before the band goes on at 8 p.m.  For a small fee, they will show you how to dance like a pro.  Not into two-step?  Friday nights at 7 p.m. they have Cajun lessons and every second Sunday of each month, they hold a Sock Hop.

Bonus Intelligence

The tall, dark-haired, bearded bartender is not polite, so spend your tips on the more friendly ones.  Bomb Taco (the food truck out back) is truly bomb!  But, avoid the shrimp quesadilla.  We are too far inland for a shrimp food truck.

Punch Bowl Social

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Image credit: Punch Bowl Social

The Essentials

Located in the Domain, Punch Bowl Social is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.  You can make a reservation using OpenTable.

When to Go

Midweek is a great time to go.  They generally don’t get busy until about 8 p.m.  If you are going to try to go on a weekend, get there early.

Why I Love It

This is a great place for the date who can’t decide what he/she wants to do.  After dinner, you can bowl, play darts or shuffleboard.  They have lounge areas near the bar there: you can talk and watch others play.  They have ping pong and karaoke also if you dare!

Bonus Intelligence

Parking can be a challenge.  Luckily, the Macy’s parking lot is immediately adjacent.

Cap City Comedy Club

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Image credit: Holly Phillips; Maria Bamford at Cap City Comedy Club during 2016 Moontower Comedy and Oddity Festival

The Essentials

Cap City Comedy Club is located at 8120 Research Blvd. just off of 183 South.  Don’t let the strip mall fool you,  this venue is a true destination for some high-profile acts.

When to Go

Essentially any day besides Monday.  On Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the only show is at 8 p.m.  Friday and Saturday night shows offer the options of either 8 p.m or 10:30 p.m.  Get there early to get a good seat.  They are first come, first serve.

Why I Love It

Cap City is my favorite comedy club in Austin.  I have loved every show I’ve attended there.  You and your honey can show up early, grab a drink, and mingle with the talent.  Austin is home to some real up-and-comers, including Mac Blake, Raul Sanchez, Jenny Zigrino, Chris Cubas and Abby Rosenquist to name a few. Cap City also books major national talent.  Gary Gulman will be there later this month and Ari Shaffir will be there this October.

Bonus Intelligence

There is a two drink minimum, so plan ahead.  Also, if you are planning to go to the Ari Shaffir show this October. be sure to follow him on Twitter.  Pay special attention to his feed before, during, and after his show because likes to hide special surprises.

Alright Shufflers, get out there and give these spots a try.  Don’t forget to post a picture of your evening and tag Shuffle Online and Sharing the Struggle.  You can find us on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @ShuffleOnline.

Have fun,

June Spence

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