The 11 best Austin bars for singles

Whether you're mingling or hanging solo, these bars for singles are perfect for those times when you're a party of one
Photograph: Merrick Ales
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There are a lot of reasons you might be scoping out bars for singles in Austin. After all, dating in this city can be an absolute nightmare: the apps encourage superficial interactions, the pool thins out as you creep into your thirties and the competition is stiff with co-eds and transplants (here's how to spot the latter). So when you want to grab one of Austin's best cocktails on your own without feeling like a total loser, or check out a cool dive bar that's more Cheers and less meat market, where do you go? We’ve put together a cheat sheet of the best bars in Austin for singles to meet other singles—or to just be left alone. In both cases, moody lighting, plush furniture and fantastic bar programs are the answer.

Best singles bars

1
Native Hostel
Photograph: Courtesy Native Hostel
Hotels, Hostels

Native Hostel

icon-location-pin Swedish Hill Historic District

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.

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2
Whisler's
Photograph: Mark Weatherford
Bars, Cocktail bars

Whisler's

icon-location-pin East Cesar Chavez

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

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3
Nickel City
Photograph: Hunter Townsend
Bars, Cocktail bars

Nickel City

icon-location-pin Central East Austin

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

Time Out says
4
Small Victory
Photograph: Wynn Myers Dubois
Bars, Cocktail bars

Small Victory

icon-location-pin Congress Ave District

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

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5
Holy Roller
Photograph: Robert Lerma
Restaurants, American

Holy Roller

icon-location-pin Market District

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.

Time Out says
6
Geraldine's
Photograph: Aubrey Pick
Restaurants, American

Geraldine's

icon-location-pin Town Lake

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

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7
Boiler Room Lounge
Photograph: Cody Graham
Bars

Boiler Room Lounge

icon-location-pin Downtown

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

Time Out says
8
Eberly
Photograph: Merrick Ales
Restaurants

Eberly

icon-location-pin Downtown

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

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9
Lobby Bar
Photograph: Nick Simonite
Bars, Hotel bars

Lobby Bar

icon-location-pin South River City

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

Time Out says
10
Records Room at the W Austin
Photograph: Mark Knight
Hotels

Records Room

icon-location-pin Warehouse District

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

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11
AFS Cinema
Photograph: David Brendan Hall
Things to do, Film events

AFS Cinema

icon-location-pin Highland

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

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