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Winter Date Night Spots in Austin

Surviving Austin’s oppressive late summer really pays off when the winter months roll around. The cold weather won’t last long, so you better make the most of it and enjoy the added romanticism of a wintry date while you can. Dig your cute sweaters out of the back of your closet, get out there, and get cozy with a cutie. Here are our picks for Winter Date Night Spots in Austin.

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Sip hot cocoa and watch the Christmas Lights at Mozart’s

3825 Lake Austin Blvd

For the eleventh year in a row, the lights are on at Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. A year-round fave, this lakeside cafe kicks it up a notch every holiday season with a stunning light display, musical performances, and of course, delicious treats. You can reserve a spot in the prime viewing area starting at $10 or hang out on the upper and lower decks without a reservation. Either way, enjoying hot cocoa with lights glittering on the lake isn’t a bad way to spend an evening with a cutie. All tables are distanced six feet apart, and masks are required when not at your table.

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Share a giant pretzel and beers at Easy Tiger

6406 N Interstate 35 | 3508 S Lamar Blvd

Germans know how to do winter right: pair it with lots of beer and lots of carbs. Easy Tiger upholds these tenets of cold weather enjoyment at both of its locations. If you’re looking for an airy vibe and a larger menu, head north to the Linc – or opt for the coziness of the new location on South Lamar. Order a round of beers, a big-as-your-face soft pretzel with beer cheese to share with your date, and if you’re lucky and there are some left at the end of the day, a sweet baked good for dessert.

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Cuddle up for a flick at Blue Starlite

2015 E M. Franklin Ave | 300 San Antonio Street

For a hip Austinite, taking a date to a movie may sound like a lackluster idea. You’re not in middle school anymore – is a movie night really still on the table? It is if you bring your date to the Blue Starlite Drive-In, where a range of classics and new indies are shown every day. Rotating themes will satisfy even the most esoterically-minded of love interests, with everything from Christmas staples to experimental horrors.

Sample tea at Zhi Tea

1023 Springdale Rd

Pro-tip: a great date is built on good conversation. Bringing your crush to Zhi Tea on a chilly evening will give you plenty of opportunities for romantic eye contact over steaming cups. The teahouse’s variety of selections and flavors provides a slew of conversation starters – don’t be afraid to ask your knowledgeable server for recommendations to sample. Order a few, steep, sip, and discuss. During COVID-19, your best bet is to call and reserve a private tasting.

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Nosh on farm-to-table Italian at Intero

2612 E Cesar Chavez St

Italian for dinner is another one of those winter date ideas that needs an update. Intero provides an experience that far surpasses the breadsticks-and-caesar-salad routine your parents are following in the suburbs. Bright, bold, locally-sourced dishes like eggplant caponata and butter-poached redfish are served in a warm, spacious East Austin restaurant whose ambiance will truly impress any discerning date. Do not – we repeat, do not – skip Intero’s housemade ricotta. Or the handcrafted truffles, which are essentially love potions in chocolate form.

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Slurp noodles from Michi Ramen

6519 N Lamar Blvd

3005 S Lamar Blvd D-114B

Soup on a date night isn’t always a good idea, but on a brisk winter evening, it just might be. Michi Ramen is an Austin favorite for ultra-customizable (from broth to toppings) savory ramen loaded with noodles and other slurp-able ingredients. Share a to-go bowl with your sweetheart and live your own Lady and the Tramp moment, Austin-style.

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Hike the River Place Nature Trail

8820 Big View Dr

In Austin, outdoor activity isn’t off the table for a winter date. In fact, we’d argue bundling up and going for a cold-weather hike is far more romantic than the summer alternatives of sunburns and sweat stains. The River Place Nature Trail is composed of winding paths through tall trees, with a couple of impressive Hill Country and waterfall views sprinkled in the mix. Pack a trail picnic or bring along your dog to launch your hiking date to the next level.

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Build a cheese board at Antonelli’s

4220 Duval St

This Duval Street cheesemonger is cozy from the moment you walk in. The shelves teem with artisanal treats and cheese accompaniments, from infused honey and fig spread to wine. Don’t worry if you’re not a cheese aficionado – behind the counter, a friendly Antonelli’s employee is always willing to share samples, pairings, and cheese recommendations to guide you and your date to a selection of primo cheeses you’ll both love. During COVID-19, walk-ups are closed, but peruse their curbside pickup menu for offerings.

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Fill up on S’Mores at Halcyon 

218 W 4th St | 1905 Aldrich St Suite 110

Cozy like a camping trip, but lively like a great party, Halcyon is at once intimate and hip. Located in downtown Austin and in the Mueller neighborhood, Halcyon is the perfect lounge to bring your date for some gourmet drinks, great snacks, and even S’Mores. Yep, you read that correctly. S’Mores. Upon ordering the dessert, Halcyon supplies guests with a mini campfire, a pair of sticks, oodles of chocolate, stacks of graham crackers, and, of course, loads of marshmallows. There’s nothing like staring into your significant other’s eyes over a warm fire, and Halcyon allows you to do your gazing right in the heart of the city. Pack up your sleeping bags and put your tents back in the garage for the winter and head to Halcyon for some personal S’Mores.

CONTRIBUTED BY KELLY MCCOMAS | DO512

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