If you’ve ever been to a city of any shape or size, you know what it means to live and play in such a place. With so much to do and everything to see, theres never enough time in the day to get things done or hit up all of the desirable hot spots. Given the attention span of the up-and-coming generations, it’s no surprise that even the busiest of cities are constantly being remodeled and new attractions are consistently being added to the mix.
Whether you live in a city or are visiting one, it’s easy to get swept off your feet with the unfamiliar, tourist or not. Getting wined and dined has never looked or felt so good as it does going to a place you’ve never been to before. But let’s take Austin, Texas, for example. This is a low key city on the upswing of taking over the population ratios within the state that has a funky fresh attitude to match. If you’re a local, there are tested and true places you hold dearly, and places you just have to bring out-of-towners on their vacation in the city away from home.
You’ve probably done your fair share of Googling when it comes to figuring out what to do in a certain place and when, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you can get a local flare on your google results, wouldn’t you be that much more likely to venture out of your routine and normal pit-stops and experience the city as a local would?
As for Austin, there’s continually more to see and do as the days pass, yet OK Cupid as pinned down some of the hottest places to beat the heat with a loved one, friends, or that infamous first-date.
Dime Saver Destination: Torchy’s Tacos
There ain’t no taco like a Torchy’s taco, and there ain’t no better place to indulge than Austin. Though many places have tacos, not all tacos are equal, and Torchy’s Tacos is the only proof of that you’ll ever need.
Local tip: Whatever taco you get, make it trashy.
Nerdy Pickup Spot: Pinballz Arcade
If the idea of a grown up-friendly arcade makes you want to do a little dance, then this is the spot for you. With multiple locations across the city, there’s a Pinballz for you no matter what area of town you, your date or your friends live in.
Local tip: Go to the Burnet Road and 183 location first if you’ve never been.
An Austin favorite, this location is BYOB and cash only, making it all the nerdier and all the better.
No-Bro Sports Bar: Black Sheep Lodge
This place is an Austin legend for a reason: deals, deals, deals. If you’re into saving money every night of the week, this should be your go-to. If your date is into sports bars without the Buffalo Wild Wings vibe, this is the only place you need to go to. Dancing, TVs, music, food and drink . . . what else could be missing?
Local tip: Try the burger.
Super local tip: Try to make it for one of their holiday bashes. Cinco de Mayo, anyone?
Best Boozy, Instagram-Filtered Bar: Whisler’s
It's National Daiquiri Day! Whisler's has a special menu celebrating the perfect summer drink. Whether it's Classic, Hemingway or a Fresh Frozen Strawberry- we got it going on. #localeuraustin #do12 #allthingsaustin #austinonabudget #austinchronicle #whislersatx #nationaldaiquiriday #eateraustin #everythingaustin #daiquiri #beattheheat #365thingsaustin
The decor at this bar is what makes it everything. If you’ve never ventured to the wonderful world of the East Austin, this is a solid place to start.
With each room plastered from wall to wall with eclectic paintings and diverse seating elements, there’s hardly any time for face to face communication with so much to Instagram —at first, at least. Hey, this is a great ice breaker to talk about, too!
Local tip: Try one of their carefully crafted cocktails.
They have their own menu for a reason!
Best Bathroom for Activities: Cheer Up Charlie’s
OK . . . have you ever walked into a bar and just thought to yourself, “Oh, the trouble one could get into in here!” No? Well, maybe you should meander on over to the Red River district and check out Cheer Up Charlie’s. Not only does this bar offer weekly game nights and celebratory parties (last week they had a Broad City party . . . count us in), but they have killer music and drink specials to match.
Local tip: Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you have to.
Spot To Get Steamy: Spider House Ballroom
The vibe at Spider House is eclectic and vivacious, to say the least. With decor that’ll make you squirm, yet feel mysterious and drinks to take it all in with, there’s no wonder this place is dimly lit. Start a heartfelt or personal conversation in a cozy corner of your choice, or play a game out on their patio. There’s no telling where your night will take off to from there, if you know what we mean.
Local tip: Because Austin is the live music capitol of the world, try to check this place out on a Wednesday night for Austin Mic Exchange and see what the Austin hip hop scene has to offer.
Classic Local Spot: The Driskill Hotel Bar
This is a man’s bar if there ever was one, yet one that the ladies will enjoy, as well. Why? Because it has taxidermy from wall to wall, is lowly lit and the bartenders are known for making a stiff cocktail.
But it’s not just all drinks, here. Though they do pack a mean happy hour deal, there’s food to be had here, too! Come hungry, leave happy: the local way.
Local tip: DO NOT, WE REPEAT DO NOT, MISS THEIR WEEKLY HAPPY HOUR.
Well-Hidden Haunt: Midnight Cowboy
This is a speakeasy of sorts in the sense that there’s not really a door. OK, OK, there is a door, but there’s also a call board with miscellaneous names on it, and your brain holds the key to your entrance.
You have to know which button to press to get greeted and welcomed into this secret hideaway on 6th Street. Keep in mind this place is known to be on the pricey end, so come prepared to spend!
Local tip: Make a reservation on their “modeling” website for two hours.
Hey, if you’re going to throw down, you might as well take your time.
Ass-Kicking Locale: Peter Pan Mini Golf
There ain’t no party like a putt putt party, and there’s no better place to go in Austin for mini gold than Peter Pan Mini Golf on Barton Springs Road near the intersection at South Lamar. Boasting that near-downtown flare and a BYOB policy that makes every Austinite and transplant shine with glee, this is a perfect first date spot.
Local tip: If you’re going in the summer, wait until the sun goes down or prepare to sweat your pretty little behind off.
Open-Air Option: Easy Tiger
Still got it! We’re one of @eateraustin‘s essential 38 restaurants for the summer. Check out the full list at the link in bio! #essential38 #eateratx #atxrestaurants #Repost @kat.run (@get_repost) ・・・ First time here, have to try a little of everything. So good! #easytiger #sundayfunday #veggiesausage #somuchcheese #roomiedate
When you sell large pretzels, people will come. This rings true for Easy Tiger, a restaurant and bar unlike any seen this side of Congress Avenue on 6th Street. At the end of the warehouse district lays this gem with a patio that would make anyone cry with joy.
Often streaming movies and boasting beer premiers and giveaways, this is the perfect spot to hit it off with a special someone.
Local tip: Get there early, as you’re not the only person who loves the idea of drinking on a multi-tiered patio whilst eating an impeccably baked pretzel.
Intellectual Attraction: Mozart’s Coffee
What’s a better way to start off or round up your day than with a cappuccino on the lake? Take your date for an evening sunset and a hot cup of coffee with a treat for the ultimate date night tradition you never knew you were missing.
Local tip: They serve Amy’s Ice Cream here, too!
If that’s not the definition of two birds with one stone, we don’t know what is.