Best singles bars
Native is an experiential hostel situated in a historic 1890s railroader hotel and adjoining mid-century warehouse just East of downtown. Within its limestone walls, the spot offers an intimate parlor lounge and cafe, bar and kitchen serving craft cocktails and diner classics, plus 12 suites. Why is Native our top pick for singles? For starters, it has one of the most attractive crowds in Austin. And with diverse programming like weekly DJ nights and yoga on Mondays, the hostel, bar and restaurant is a great space to go solo or with a group. The moody vibe of the decor, plush couches for lounging, a solid cocktail list and bar snacks make Native an ideal place to chat up cuties.
Depending on what experience you’re seeking, you can have it at Whisler’s. Sit in one of the candle-lit corners, be in the middle of the action at the bustling bar, join a group at an outdoor communal table or just play pinball alone. Whisler’s cocktail program is one of the most unique and well-loved of its kind in the city, and young people flock to this bar, especially on weekends. And if you meet someone you can always document your first date in the black-and-white photo booth for a cool $5.
Photo: Mark Weatherford
If you show up to Nickel City alone on a Sunday or Monday night, you’ll have the bar mostly to yourself to read, drink and occasionally eavesdrop on other guests’ conversations. Pop in on the weekend and the never-ending flow of 20- and 30-somethings almost guarantees that you’ll wind up chatting with someone while ordering at the bar. The killer drinks and lack of pretension at Nickel City have been known to facilitate some pretty flirtatious interactions.
Photo: Hunter Townsend
Located just around the corner from the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, Small Victory is the ideal bar to have a drink alone without worrying about either feeling like a weirdo or dealing with the type of unwanted attention Sixth Street bars practically guarantee. The dark, cozy space attracts all ages of cocktail enthusiasts and business travelers in the know seeking a properly executed classic cocktail.
Photo: Wynn Myers Dubois
Holy Roller, the all-female run punk rock diner, is known for its carefree attitude, from the giant image of Iggy Pop to the confession box (this one is sans priest). Sit at the bar and sip on rock & roll-inspired cocktails like the savory Lust for Life (Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Ancho Verde, lime, Jarritos tamarind soda, salt) while people-watching, or strike up a conversation over a pile of very shareable Trash Fries—fries loaded with gravy, sunny egg, sour cream, corn, lime and cotija cheese.
Geraldine’s, located on the fourth floor of the Hotel Van Zandt, offers a contemporary Austin menu and cocktail program that draws in all types of people—both locals and visitors. Whether you choose to sit poolside by the fireplace or at the wraparound bar, the live music, seasonally-driven small plates (meant to be shared) and fancy cocktails all lend themselves to great conversation starters when you’re looking for a potential date (or even if you already have one).
Photo: Aubrey Pick
Located in the heart of the Seaholm District, Boiler Nine Bar + Grill is a great spot to grab a drink and unwind solo or meet fellow movers and shakers. Enjoy local brews or a selection of craft cocktails, complemented by the restaurant's fire-focused menu. A multi-level concept, Boiler Nine’s basement-level cocktail lounge—Boiler Room Lounge—also serves as another fantastic singles bar go-to. With a completely different cocktail menu from the mezzanine level, the lounge boasts a unique, speakeasy-esque experience featuring approachable and unorthodox vintage and obscure classic cocktails. Are you hanging out by yourself? Sit at the bar and chat up the friendly bar staff. Plan on meeting someone? The Boiler Room Lounge has been recently revamped to offer a candlelit, cozy ambiance perfect for conversation.
Photo: Cody Graham
Formerly a print shop, Eberly is a collection of dining and drinking spaces that include a welcoming study, a rooftop terrace overlooking downtown (coming soon) and its crown jewel, the historic Cedar Tavern bar of Greenwich Village in New York City. Each one of the spaces are breathtakingly beautiful, and it’s not uncommon to find the lounge area buzzing with conversation and filled with attractive people. Grab a couple of friends and a cocktail—like the Anytime Tea, made with Belvedere vodka, génépy, Earl Grey tea, lemon and prosecco—and get to know the mysterious stranger sitting next to you.
Photo: Merrick Ales
The Lobby Bar at South Congress Hotel seamlessly transitions from a workspace with tall tables and plenty of plugs to a comfy lounge with plenty of eye candy. The bar features several different lounge areas with custom furniture and a great weekday happy hour from 5 to 7pm. Singles often gather after work for handcrafted cocktails and a custom menu of snacks from nearby Café No Sé, especially during the property's monthly First Thursday events. The design of the hotel is comforting and casual, drawing upon California-inspired elements, mid-century features and Brazilian Modernism. Added bonus: free three-hour valet parking with validation!
Photo: Nick Simonite
Comprised of more than 8,000 vinyl records situated around a grand fireplace, W Austin’s Records Room is the perfect spot to nestle into during the week to hide away and get some work done with a glass of wine. Transitioning into the evening, switch to cocktails and small bites while you choose the perfect vinyl to pique the interest of one of the many pretty people who frequent the W Austin’s Living Room bar.
Photo: Mark Knight
Austin Film Society’s recently opened cinema at The Link is a great place to nerd out alone over remastered classics or rising Indie films—or nerd out together with someone equally as in-the-know about arts and culture as you are. The space, designed by Michael Hsu and DesignTrait, feels like a living room and is a perfect spot to lounge pre- or post-film. Grab a book from Richard Linklater’s book collection (kept behind the bar) and check out his rare movie poster collection as you stroll around the space, cocktail in hand. The cinema has an exceptional drink program that will give you just enough liquid courage to strike a convo with that cute stranger waiting in line for popcorn.
Photo: David Brendan Hall
Planning a first date?
Just don't bring up the ex.