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Photograph: Mark Weatherford

The 11 best Austin bars for singles to mingle

Looking to strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger? Here are the best Austin bars for singles

Written by
James Wong
Contributors
Anastacia Uriegas
&
Alex Temblador
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If apps aren’t your thing, why waste time swiping when you can meet someone IRL at one of these hip Austin bars for singles? Whether you’re in town alone and hoping to recruit a couple of travel buddies, or you’re in search of a long-time lover, Austin has plenty of fish—known for some of the most friendly and open-minded folk in the entire state, you’re in good company.

From downtown’s trendy hotel bars to sultry speakeasies or mood-lit dive bars all across the city, the options are endless for singles of all ages looking to mix and mingle. To give you a head start, we’ve narrowed down the most friendly, social spots in town where you’re likely to bump into someone new. And while you’re here, why not take it another step? If you hit it off, make it a proper date at one of Austin’s most romantic restaurants—cheers, lovers.

RECOMMENDED: the very best bars in Austin

Best Austin bars for singles

  • Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Swedish Hill Historic District
  • price 2 of 4

Native is an experiential hostel situated in a historic 1890s railroad hotel and adjoining mid-century warehouse just East of downtown. Within its limestone walls, the spot offers 12 suites, an intimate parlor lounge and cafe, bar and kitchen serving craft cocktails, and a menu with classics like French toast and huevos rancheros. 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 DJ nights, poetry slams, and tarot readings, 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.

  • Things to do
  • Film events
  • Highland
  • price 2 of 4

Austin Film Society’s 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 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. Check out Richard Linklater's 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 up a convo with that cute stranger waiting in line for popcorn.

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With a name like Group Therapy, you know the vibe is convivial in more ways than one. Zaza’s swanky rooftop is brimming with live music many nights of the week, which means this spot (complete with a restaurant, bar, and pool) is a perfect perch for enjoying Texas’ nearly year-round sunny skies. Go ahead and bump into someone new while you listen to the live band, or grab a seat at the bar to get the lay of the land. Weekends are the most fun, although low-key Wednesdays are also winners (because bottles are half-off all day long).

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Congress Ave District
  • price 2 of 4

Small Victory is the ideal bar to have a drink alone without worrying about 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 spirit enthusiasts seeking a properly executed classic cocktail. Just know it’s a bit hard to find—head up a spiral staircase attached to a parking garage and down a corridor—which makes it a perfect bar for a low-key night.

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The warehouse district’s most sultry cocktail bar has romance written all over it: candlelit tables, leather couches, old movies on loop, and beautifully presented liquor. This is absolutely the kind of place where patrons are sharply dressed, so if you’re hoping to mingle with the bar’s chic crowd, it’s best to dress the part. There’s communal stool seating just beyond the bar, which offers plenty of opportunities to chit-chat over a drink with your neighbor.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • East Cesar Chavez
  • price 2 of 4

There's a corner for every type at Whisler's: Sit in one of the candle-lit corners, be in the middle of the action at the bustling bar, relax with your pooch at an outdoor communal table, or hang out with other mezcal lovers in the upstairs Mezcaleria. 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.

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If you’re coming from Austin City Limits or anything else in the Zilker Park region, we suggest stopping by for the after-party at Austin Eastciders. The Barton Springs restaurant and bar serves up a massive variety of ciders and cider cocktails, including sip-friendly tasting flights that are sure to spark conversation with neighboring tables. When you’re all cidered out, head over to the swings and wake up with caffeine, or share a delicious pizza with your new buzzed pals. Keep checking their social media for drag events, live music, and new flavor parties for additional social mixing.

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Central East Austin
  • price 2 of 4

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 or grabbing a bite at the outdoor food truck, Delray Cafe. The killer drinks and lack of pretension at Nickel City have been known to facilitate some pretty flirtatious interactions.

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  • Restaurants
  • Town Lake
  • price 3 of 4

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).

  • Bars
  • North Loop
  • price 1 of 4

Dive bars don’t scream romance, but Barfly's laid-back atmosphere makes it easy to meet new people. The drinks are cheap and with such a small, intimate space, it isn’t hard to talk to that someone that caught your eye when you arrived. Set the ambiance by choosing a song from the 100 CDs on the jukebox, then grab a seat on the outdoor patio or mosey over to the pool and fooseball tables and challenge someone to a game.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bouldin
  • price 2 of 4

Eberly is a collection of dining and drinking spaces in a former print shop. Explore the study, a rooftop terrace overlooking downtown, and the historic Cedar Tavern bar of Greenwich Village in New York City. Each 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 Drunken Monk, made with Don Julio Blanco, green chartreuse, lime, grapefruit, pineapple, and clarified milk—and get to know the mysterious stranger sitting next to you.

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