10 Best Restaurants for a Romantic Dinner in Austin

The restaurant scene in Austin has exploded in recent years, and there is no shortage of options when it comes to fantastic places to dine. But when you're in the mood for a little romance, or are celebrating a special occasion, not just any restaurant will do. You want a place that not only offers fantastic food and attentive service – that's expected in a foodie town like Austin – but you also want a place that sets the right atmosphere for your special night.

Fortunately, our city has many places that offer an intimate, lovely setting along with exceptional menus and service. Let our Top 10 guide to romantic dining in Austin help you pick the right place, with a variety of types of food and price ranges for all budgets. From small European bistros, to established local favorites that have been proving themselves for decades and even a couple of relative newcomers, many of these places will go the extra mile when they know in advance that you are celebrating something special.

In fact, there are so many good options that it is hard to narrow down just ten. Below are our top picks, but we also have a few "honorable mentions" that might also be considered. Swift's Attic and Justine's Brasserie get many kudos for their food and hip atmospheres, but didn't make this list because they are often very crowded and noisy. Picking a non-weekend night or securing a corner table or couch in the lounge corner could up the romance factor. Eddie V's scores high with a lot of Austinites for both a romantic dinner as well as their fantastic bar and happy hour, but didn't make the top ten because it is a chain operation. The last honorable mention is Fonda San Miguel, which made our list of Top 10 Restaurants in general, and also has a romance factor in the lounge area and beautiful interior and artwork that surrounds.

With these recommendations, you are all set for your perfect recipe for romance.

West End


Cafe Josie is a small, intimate restaurant situated in a house in the Clarksville neighborhood just west of downtown. Since opening in 1997, it has become a local favorite for casual fine dining. For the past 15+ years, owner Cody Taylor and...  Read More

Congress Avenue


For over a decade, La Traviata has been serving the Austin area with genuine Italian comfort food. For those with lighter appetites they serve a wonderful selection of salads. Fancy a great pasta? Ask what the homemade ravioli of the day is....  Read More



Jeffrey's is a neighborhood fine dining restaurant featuring dry-aged prime beef and French American classics, first established in 1975. After closing for remodeling, the beloved Austin restaurant reopened in 2013 and is better than ever, with...  Read More

South Congress Avenue


Vespaio opened its doors in 1998, long before South Congress was the bustling destination it is today. The building had history as a Western wear shop and a grocery at the turn of the century, and the owners had a vision. The space was recreated...  Read More

South Austin


Lenoir came on the scene in 2012, when husband and wife team Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher opened their restaurant with two big ideas: to help build a strong culinary community in Austin and to create a new style of dining in Austin. Lenoir...  Read More

West End


Since opening in June of 2001, Wink has consistently been ranked as one of the best fine dining venues in town. The restaurant space is an intimate, unpretentious "white-tablecloth" parlor, with staff that is attentive and extremely...  Read More



This European kitchen has strong German influences on the menu; but done with a deft, light hand. The bold, distinct flavors bring classics into the modern century, some with new preparations not seen before. The refined, elegant atmosphere,...  Read More



What more romantic place could there be than a cozy Paris bistro, with lace curtains and fresh flowers in wine bottle vases? At Chez Nous, you can be transported to the City of Light for the evening, with old-world charm along with authentic...  Read More


Meet Shelley Seale

Shelley Seale is a freelance journalist and author in Austin who has written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian and Texas Monthly, among others. She loves yoga, indie movies,...  More About Shelley